A WARNING from South Australia's biggest Islamic school that teachers - including many non-Muslims - will lose their jobs if they do not wear a hijab to school functions and outings has sparked outrage among News Ltd readers.
Furious debate has erupted, with many respondents irate over what they perceive as double standards in the school's stance, claiming the ruling is religious discrimination. There were repeated calls for an end to any government funding to the school.
Up to 20 non-Muslim female teachers, who do not wish to be named, have been told they will be sacked from the Islamic College of South Australia's West Croydon campus after three warnings if they do not wear a headscarf to cover their hair.
"If a female Muslim teacher working at a non-Muslim school was ordered to stop wearing her hijab at school functions and outings then that school board and principal would be before the Anti-Discrimination Commission before you could say 'hypocrisy'," wrote "Sir Loin of Lamb".
Earlier it was reported that the order, from the school's governing board and chairman Faruk Kahn, contradicts the policy of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.
Mr Kahn yesterday referred The Advertiser to AFIC for comment on the matter. "I have no comment ... I think you better go to AFIC, they are the only ones that are to make comment," Mr Kahn said.
School principal Kadir Emniyet did not return calls.
One long-term teacher at the Islamic College of SA said a new school board was now "forcing teachers to put hijabs back on". "There's no discussion ... you wear it or you're fired," the teacher said. "The teachers have always adhered to the policies and we are respectful of that. We are respectful of their religion but they are not going to respect us."
The college has about 800 students and 40 staff. Guidelines from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to other Islamic schools do not require teachers to wear hijabs.
Glen Seidel, state secretary of the Independent Education Union, said the union was monitoring the policy. "Essentially it means female staff have to wear a scarf covering most of their hair, and not have legs and arms exposed," he said. "In 2012, the requirement was being managed moderately, but with a new principal in 2013 enacting the decisions of a very conservative school board, there is no room for compromise. . . Non-Islamic staff can, however, feel rightly aggrieved that they are being coerced to adopt the dress code of a religion to which they do not belong."
Fortitude is one of the four cardinal virtues: and it was traditionally the most British of the four. We prided ourselves (a vice) on our stiff upper lip, that is to say on being uncomplaining in the face of adversity (a virtue).
A new study suggests that fortitude is still a British characteristic, but that it might be hazardous to our health. The British, it seems, are more likely than other nationalities, such as the Swedes, Danes and Germans, to delay going to the doctor with symptoms that could be those of cancer, thus decreasing their chances of survival. They say that they do not want to bother the doctor with their complaints.
Certainly I have known such cases. Many years ago I visited a man in his eighties who had been losing blood slowly for a long time and was now so desperately weak from blood loss that he could hardly move.
“Why didn’t you call me sooner?” I asked him.
“I know you’re very busy, doctor,” he replied. “I didn’t like to bother you.”
On the one hand this was absurd, for what more important task could a doctor have than to attend to someone like him? On the other, though, it was admirable, for it implied that, even in adversity, he put others before himself and was modest about the scope and importance of his own suffering. I was much moved.
Another time I was walking through the hospital when I noticed a man whom I knew slightly sitting on a bench. He was in his seventies; he was obviously weak and was so jaundiced that he was almost orange. At his age it could mean only one thing: secondaries in his liver, and death.
I approached him and asked him how he was.
“Not very well, I’m afraid,” he replied.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said.
“Well, we’ll just have to do the best we can,” he said, and I wished him well.
He knew that he was dying, and he knew that I knew that he was dying, but he made no fuss. As far as he was concerned, I had expressed an appropriate degree of concern and sorrow. Even two weeks before his death he was anxious not to embarrass me by an emotional outburst. I found this again admirable, both moving and quietly heroic. “See how a Christian can die,” said Addison; I do not know whether this man had any religious faith, but he most certainly possessed one of the cardinal virtues. I felt him to be a model when my time comes.
Of course, the relative British reluctance to go to the doctor might be the consequences of something other than fortitude. It is probably more unpleasant to go to the doctor or a hospital in Britain than in any other similarly developed country known to me.
Despite the fact that we have twice as many doctors practising as 15 years ago, the Government has arranged matters so that it is more difficult now than ever to see the same doctor twice: and most people feel more comfortable consulting someone whom they know and who knows them. British patients increasingly feel they are but parcels in a game of pass the parcel; and while they may get very good treatment they may also get abominable, with very little control over which it is to be.
Moreover, fortitude is not the same as fear. Fortitude is facing adversity without emotional display and with a certain degree of acceptance; fear in this context is not facing reality because of what that reality might be.
A person who goes to the doctor with symptoms suggestive of cancer may in fact be displaying more fortitude than the person who cowers at home. Fortitude is not denial.
It is premature, then, to conclude that the stiff upper lip, the physical metonym of fortitude, is unhealthy or dangerous because it leads to failure to consult a doctor at a time when a disease can be cured. The reluctance to consult doctors early is not necessarily a sign of fortitude. No doubt control of emotional expression can go too far and even become ridiculous, as in “Dr Livingstone, I presume?” But no one who observes modern Britain could conclude that the present-day British are all the phlegmatic types that they are still stereotypically considered to be in places in Europe where the young British never go. (Stereotypes always lag behind the reality they are supposed to depict.) On the contrary, many British people are now incontinently emotional. Their gestures are crude and obvious rather than subtle and restrained; and their upper lips are now far too mobile for my taste.
Nevertheless, it is my impression that, at least in the medical context, the British remain relatively undemonstrative. Perhaps they even like the discomforts of their disagreeable hospitals, because they offer the opportunity for them to display the national cardinal virtue of fortitude.
For if there is one place you often need a stiff upper lip, it is a British hospital.
'NZ Politician Wants Muslims Banned From Airlines'.
Actually, it's not all Muslims, just (presumed) Muslim males of military age, that one Mr Prosser, MP, would like to keep from travelling on planes full of defenceless Infidels. But even that perfectly sensible suggestion - perfectly sensible, given the sheer number of Muslim males of military age who have hijacked planes, blown up planes, or attempted or plotted to blow up planes, in the latter decades of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first - is giving certain people conniptions. - CM
'New Zealand politicians have rounded on a colleague who has suggested that young men who are Muslim or "look like Muslims" be banned from "Western" airlines.
He's on the right track. Where there are Muslims you do tend to get Jihad. Of course, the trick is to identify, and to exclude, those most dangerous Muslims who, in order to engage in Jihad, are pretending to be what they ain't, or who have become Muslim but are not advertising the fact; one might screen out all the ladies in Slave Rags and the gents with zebibas, Muslim beards, Arab-type robes or 'pyjamas', and trousers above the ankle, and overlook a beardless white convert to Islam dressed in normal western clothes. - CM
'In a column for "Investigate" magazine, New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser said he accepted that the majority of Muslims were not terrorists (he might rather have said, that in western countries many Muslims do not appear, at the moment, to be interested in personally engaging in active combat Jihad, Jihad of the sword; though they may be waging jihad - the struggle to establish Muslim dominance both locally and globally - by all kinds of other methods, by pen and tongue and by the purse - CM) but added it was "equally undeniable" that "most terrorists are".
True dat. - CM
"If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you're a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim (does he mean, 'you are dressed like a Muslim', or 'you look like you belong to one of the ethnicities that predominate within the 'Muslim world'? Profiling by 'ethnic appearance' alone would make life difficult for Jews, for Lebanese and Egyptian and Assyrian Christians, and for South and South-East Asian non-Muslims, and for Ethiopian and Nigerian Christians; it needs to be combined with judicious use of other screening devices - CM) or you come from a Muslim country (again, one does need to ask him how one would make allowance for Copts, or for Iraqi Christians, or for Hindus and Christians from Pakistan and Bangladesh, desperately fleeing Muslim persecution - CM) then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West's airlines", he wrote.
He should perhaps consult with the Israelis on methods of profiling that do not rely merely on appearance but combine it with judicious use of other indicators. - CM
"If the greatest identifiable threat to modern aviation security is posed by young Muslim males, then surely the answer is to prohibit young Muslim males from flying on our aeroplanes".
The greatest identifiable threat - not just to our planes and trains and buses and ferries, but to synagogues and temples and churches, to the lives and property of Non-Muslims worldwide - is posed by Muslims, period. Muslims who take Islam to heart. And any Muslim, no matter how harmless he or she may be or seem to be at a particular point in their lives, may one day cease to be harmless and become dangerous, dangerously mass-murderous, once he or she decides to take Islam fully to heart.
It was not lone Muslim males but a sweet young-married Muslim couple, husband and wife, who plotted together to bring down airplanes over the Atlantic by bringing powerful liquid/ chemical explosives on board plane concealed inside bottles of baby formula. They were prepared to take their infant on board the doomed plane with them, to die with them both and go to 'paradise', slaying and being slain in the cause of 'allah'.
Girls and women have carried out murder-'martyr' raids, wearing explosive vests; if one were to prevent Muslim males of military age from boarding Infidel planes - and why not also keep them from boarding trains, buses, ferries? - then the jihad gang bosses would merely use those other Muslims - the elderly, minors, women - who were being allowed on board.
The nettle that even Mr Prosser is not yet grasping is one simple fact: that it is the Muslim 'community', the Ummah as a whole, that forms the sheltering and nurturing sea within which the jihadis, the sharia-pushers, Allah's Enforcers, swim and from which, ceaselessly, they emerge. Wherever there are Muslims, there - sooner or later - you will have Jihad. If we had never allowed any Mohammedans to settle within or to visit 'the West ' - Europe, or Australia or New Zealand or the Americas - our collective security 'headache' would be a great deal less, and so would our security bills. - CM
'He also claimed New Zealand's rights were being denigrated by "misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan".
Any number of ex-Muslim women, such asTaslima Nasreen, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, and Nonie Darwish, would concur with him about the deep misogyny of classical Islam and indeed of Islam-on-the-ground, Islam as lived in dar al Islam and in the Muslim colonies in Europe and elsewhere. - CM
'Since the article was published, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has distanced himself from Mr Prosser's views but confirmed he had spoken with him about the irresponsibility of such a one-sided view.
Mr Peters needs to read Rosemary Sookhdeo's 'Secrets Behind the Burqa' and Nonie Darwish's 'Cruel and Usual Punishment' and Ayaan Hirsi Ali's 'Infidel' and Sultan's 'A God Who Hates'; he might discover that Prosser's views are not 'one-sided' but rather, constitute a brutally true assessment of Islam as such. - CM
"I've told him you cannot go and generalise in the erroneous way he did", Mr Peters said.
Spend a few hours browsing what's on offer, nicely translated, on MEMRI TV, Mr Peters, and you might find that Mr Prosser's generalisation is ...all too terribly accurate. - CM
"He wrongfully impugned millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslims.
But how do we distinguish those who might really be harmless and 'peaceful' (and will remain so) from those who may be harmless now but will become dangerous later (or whose children or grandchildren, as is happening in France and the UK, will become dangerous); or from those who merely seem harmless but are in fact deadly dangerous, now? What of those who are pursuing the strategy articulated by one Muhammad Taqi Usmani who argued that "Muslims should live peacefully in countries such as Britain, where they have the freedom to practise Islam, only until they gain enough power to engage in battle"? 'Our followers must live in peace until strong enough to wage jihad'. As was reported by Andrew Norfolk in an article in the Times Online, September 8, 2007 (I cannot provide a link, as the original link is no longer active). And then there was Hamza Yousuf , an American convert to Islam, who argued - in a lecture at a Muslim gathering in Dubai in 2004, said, "There are times when you have to live like a sheep in order to live in the future like a lion". As mentioned here:
'Mr Prosser agrees that the article did not have balance and does not represent the views of New Zealand First".
'Mr Peters added that Mr Prosser had written the article as a journalist and were from an extreme point of view "which we don't share as a party".
But how, Mr Peters, do you propose to distinguish the Muslim who is harmless and will always remain harmless, from the one who looks harmless but isn't, and from the one who is harmless now but is going to 'flip' and embrace the Sixth Pillar and Go Jihad on you tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or after five or ten years...and will, when he or she does, murder hundreds or thousands of people?
Ali Sina, apostate from Islam, has some grim things to say about the 'myth of the moderate Islam'.
He says, flatly: "Every 'moderate' Muslim is a potential terrorist. The belief in Islam is like a tank of gasoline. It looks innocuous, until it meets the fire. For a 'moderate' Muslim to become a murderous jihadist, all it takes is a spark of faith. It is time to put an end to the charade of "moderate Islam". There is no such thing as moderate Muslim. Muslims are either jihadists or dormant jihadists - moderate they are not".
Probability and statistics, probability and statistics. Ockham's Razor. Precautionary principle. Why should not New Zealand/ Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud, opt to stop playing what might be called 'Muslim Roulette' and...stop importing identifiable Muslims altogether? Don't just keep them off the planes. Keep them, en masse, out of New Zealand, from this day forward; for if you keep on letting them in, and the Ummah grows larger, and stronger, and perceives itself to be strong, then I guarantee that there will be an attack, or a series of attacks, steadily escalating, and many New Zealanders will be murdered, just as at Madrid, or in London, or in Mumbai. - CM
'Ethnic affairs minister Judith Collins described Mr Prosser's comments as extremely disappointing and feared they could embarrass the country internationally.
'Ethnic affairs'. Islam is not an ethnicity. Islam is a belief system. It is correlated strongly with certain ethnicities, yes, but it is not coterminous with them - many black people, many south asian people, and even quite a few persons of malay and 'middle eastern' descent are not Muslims at all - and it is not transmitted genetically. It is taught, by parents to children and by da'wa artists to gullible new recruits - or by sharia assassins to terrorised new recruits (such as kidnapped Coptic Christian girls or Pakistani Hindu or Christian girls, too many of them minors), willy-nilly. And although it can truthfully be seen as the Arab Imperial Cult, or the Arab National Cult, and Arabisation accompanies thoroughgoing Islamisation, the majority of Muslims today are not ethnically Arab. As for embarrassment: I see nothing embarrassing about stating what is plainly factual; many males belonging to what Churchill called 'the religion of blood and war' have plotted, or attempted, or actually carried out jihad attacks of various kinds on board planes or at airports. Meanwhile, males belonging to other belief systems have carried out rather fewer such attacks. - CM
'New Zealand values diversity and prides itself on being an inclusive society", she said.
Ms Collins needs to inform herself on the subject of Dar al Harb and Dar al Islam and the war that the latter is obliged to wage upon the former until all non-Muslims are converted, or dhimmis, or dead; she needs to read Quran 9: 29, and 9:5, 'the verse of the Sword', and Surah 48: 29 which states that 'those who follow him [Muhammad] are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another"; and she needs to find out about al-wala wa al-baraa, loyalty, which is owed only to Muslims, and enmity (whether passive or, preferably, active) which must be maintained toward non-Muslims unless and until they become Muslims. She might also like to find out what leading modern Muslim 'clerics' such as Al-Tantawi and Yusuf al-Qaradawi have said about Jews - not just Jews in Israel, but about all Jews, everywhere and always. And then she should ask herself: "Do I want to include in New Zealand society people whose cult teaches them to hate and despise and attack Jews? Whose cult explicitly instructs them to hate and war against and seek to subjugate me?" How can one 'include' those whose ultimate goal, 'religiously' defined, is to conquer and subjugate?Who would put an end to the music and art and sculpture, the pet dogs and roast pig dinners, of Pakeha and Maori alike? -CM
"Muslims in New Zealand are also a diverse community - it is simply appalling to profile people based on their religion, skin colour, country of origin or a perceived stereo-typed look, as Mr Prosser has done".
'A diverse community'. But they are all Muslims. They all read the same Quran, Sira and Hadith; they are all obligated to imitate the example of Mohammed. If a cult - an ideology, a belief system - permits and prescribes and sacralises and practises, inter alia, wife-beating, forced marriage of minors, and the taking and sale and use (including the sexual use) of slaves, and if it instructs its followers to wage war upon all non-members until they are converted, or subjugated, or killed - and a significant percentage of its followers are seen doing just that - then looking askance at people whose clothing or country of origin suggest strongly that they may be adherents to that cult is nothing more than commonsense. - CM
"Mr Prosser's anti-Muslim rant has let New Zealand down and as a member of parliament he should know better.
"The Office of Ethnic Affairs (here, again, is this misclassification of Islam under the 'ethnic' rubric - despite the previous claim that it is so wonderfully 'diverse' - CM) works closely with the Muslim community in New Zealand - a community that denounces terrorism and has vowed to work with authorities to counter any terrorism threat".
Oh, I'm sure they've said all the right things, smiling winningly.
But, Ms Collins, you might like to find out a bit more about something called taqiyya, and something called kitman, and something called tawriyya, and you might also like to ask yourself exactly what Islamspeak defines as 'terrorism' and what it does not.
For Muslims 'jihad' - even violent jihad that butchers infidels right and left - is not, strictly speaking, 'terrorism'. Above, I quoted one Hamza Yousuf on the necessity for the Muslim ummah, while it gathers its strength within a host society, to 'lie low', so that it may later 'live like a lion'; the same article reports that he said, "Jihad is actually considered a Rahma (mercy) in Islam". Because, you see, it stops 'oppressors' from 'oppressing'.
And if one carefully examines what Islamspeak means by 'oppression' one discovers that so long as Muslims are not the Top Dogs, and the state within which they live is a non-Muslim state, then ipso facto they are 'oppressed'. For more, see this excellent piece by Daniel Greenfield, 'The Dangers of Legitimising Muslim Grievance',
Excerpt: "The fundamental Muslim grievance is that they are not in power, not just in Israel, where the world has accepted their demand to be in power as a wholly moral and legitimate demand, or throughout the Muslim world, where Western governments have helped bring the Islamists to power with bombs and political pressure. The fundamental grievance is that they are not in power...everywhere".
Abul Kasem, Bengali apostate from Islam, makes exactly the same point at greater length and in detail in his 2005 essay, "When Is Islam Oppressed?"
It is worth noting that he opens the essay by citing a statement made by a Muslim resident in Australia, one Abdul Nacer Benbrika/ Abu Bekr, spiritual leader of a group of Jihad plotters, in an ABC interview: "I am telling you that my religion doesn't tolerate other religion. It doesn't tolerate. The only one law which needs to be spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam".
Do you think you can include people who think like that, Ms Collins, New Zealand 'Ethnic Affairs Minister'? Can you 'include' people who have no intention, ultimately, of including you, except as a convert to Islam, or as a despised, exploited and degraded dhimmi near-slave? The thing is, no matter what the smiling taqiyya-masters have told you, that agenda isn't extreme, it isn't an aberration; what Benbrika articulated is bog-standard Islam, Islam, Islam. That's what Islam is all about; it's the grand project that all members of the Ummah are supposed to be engaged in. And that's why, instead of heaping scorn on Mr Prosser's sensible suggestion that it might be prudent, in light of recent bitter experiences, to keep Muslim males of military age away from airplanes full of Infidels, you should be asking yourself whether, rather, it fails in not being anywhere near what is, alas, required. - CM
One of the FBI’s former top experts on Islam has announced that President Obama’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, converted to Islam years ago in Saudi Arabia.
As WND has reported, former FBI Islam expert John Guandolo has long warned that the federal government is being infiltrated by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. But Guandolo now warns that by appointing Brennan to CIA director, Obama has not only chosen a man “naïve” to these infiltrations, but also picked a candidate who is himself a Muslim.
“Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia,” Guandolo told interviewer and radio host Tom Trento.
“That fact alone is not what is most disturbing,” Guandolo continued. “His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him. The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior U.S. government position in a foreign country means that he either a traitor … [or] he has the inability to discern and understand how to walk in those kinds of environments, which makes him completely unfit to the be the director of Central Intelligence.”
Brennan did indeed serve as CIA station chief in Riyadh in the 1990s and today holds the official title of Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. On Jan. 7, Obama nominated Brennan as the next director of the CIA, though he has yet to be confirmed.
“Are you kidding me?” Trento balked at Guandolo’s allegations. “The head of the CIA is a Muslim? For real? … Are you sure?”
“Yes I am,” Guandolo asserted. “The facts of the matter are confirmed by U.S. government officials who were also in Saudi Arabia at the time that John Brennan was serving there and have direct knowledge. These are men who work in very trusted positions, they were direct witnesses to his growing relationship with the individuals who worked for the Saudi government and others and they witnessed his conversion to Islam.”
A former Marine and combat veteran, Guandolo worked for eight years in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division as a “subject matter expert” in the Muslim Brotherhood and the global spread of Islamism. Guandolo boasts he created the Bureau’s first counterterrorism training/education program and twice received United States Attorney’s Awards for investigative intelligence.
“My contention is that [Brennan] is wholly unfit for government service in any national security capacity, and that would specifically make him unfit to be the director of Central Intelligence,” Guandolo told Trento.
Guandolo then broke down a three-part argument against Brennan’s confirmation.
“The first is he has interwoven his life professionally and personally with individuals that we know are terrorists,” Guandolo asserted. “He has overseen and approved and encouraged others to bring known leaders of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood into the government in positions to advise the U.S. government on counterterrorism strategy as well as the overall ‘war on terror.’”
Second, Guandolo asserted, Brennan has “proven through his own comments publicly that he is clueless and grossly ignorant of Al-Qaida’s strategy.
“Third and finally, which some would say is most disturbing, is Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam,” Guandolo said, but stressed, “I think the [larger] news is that that conversion is the culmination of the work of people in Saudi Arabia who worked for the Saudi Government – and that makes John Brennan just naïve, foolish, dangerously ignorant and totally unfit for this position.
“That in and of itself, again, shouldn’t be shocking to people,” Guandolo continued. “Mr. Brennan, they have the clip where he specifically says during a public address … he said during that speech that he has learned and gets his understanding and his ‘worldview’ in large part from Islam. It shouldn’t be a large leap to imagine he’s converted to Islam.”
Iranians Accuse Saudis Of Razing More Historic Sites In Medina, As They Did In Mecca
And as usual, the Iranians offer a crazed conspiracy theory, in whcih the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia are merely doing the bidding of the Americans and "the Zionists."
Saudi Arabia’s plan to demolish Masjid al-Nabawi, Israel plan: Iran MP
A view of Masjid al-Nabawi in the holy city of Medina (file photo)
Mon Feb 11, 2013
The measure by the government of Saudi Arabia merely substantiates the idea that the rulers of the country are subservient and submissive to the Zionist [regime] and obey the orders dictated by Israel and the US.”
Iranian lawmaker Naser Mousavi Largani
An Iranian lawmaker has warned that Saudi Arabia’s plan to demolish Masjid al-Nabawi [the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) Mosque] is part of a US and Israeli scenario.
In a Monday interview, Seyyed Nasser Mousavi Largani pointed to the plans by the Wahhabis and Al Saud regime to bulldoze three of the world’s oldest mosques around Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina under the pretext of expanding the holy site.
“The measure by the government of Saudi Arabia merely substantiates the idea that the rulers of the country are subservient and submissive to the Zionist regime [of Israel] and obey the orders dictated by Israel and the US,” he said.
The Iranian lawmaker pointed out that destruction of the Muslims’ religious sites which are used for the promotion of Islam is a Western hegemonic agenda.
The main change in Masjid al-Nabawi will occur in the Western wing of the mosque, which holds the tomb of the founder of Islam, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
The three mosques, scheduled to be demolished, including Ghamama mosque, where Prophet Mohammad is said to have given his first prayers for an Eid ceremony, are located outside the western walls of Masjid al-Nabawi.
Saudi officials have not declared any plans with respect to preserving the historical mosques that are covered by the Ottoman-era structures.
The Washington-based (Persian) Gulf Institute says Riyadh has bulldozed 95 percent of 1,000-year-old buildings in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the past 20 years with the aim of expanding shopping centers, skyscrapers and luxury hotels.
During the construction of the Jabal Omar complex in Mecca, which overshadowed Masjid al-Haram, Saudi officials destroyed many archeological sites, particularly Prophet Mohammad’s birth place and the house of Prophet’s wife, Khadijah (PBUH), turning the holy locations into library and public toilet respectively.
Two of the seven key historic mosques built to mark the Battle of the Trench and a mosque belonging to the Prophet’s grandson were also dynamited ten years ago.
Surprisingly, pictures of demolition of the ancient mosque which were taken secretly and then smuggled out of the kingdom reveal the Saudi religious police hailing and celebrating the collapse of the Islamic monuments.
The report attributes Saudi Arabia’s disdain for historic sites of Islam to the kingdom’s association with Wahhabism, which is an extreme and inflexible interpretation of Islam.
The spot that marks the Prophet’s tomb is covered by a famous green dome and forms the centerpiece of the current mosque. The new redevelopment plans of Masjid al-Nabawi will move Prophet’s dome from the center to the east wing of the new site and destroy the praying niche at the center of the mosque.
The area forms part of the Riyadh al-Jannah (Gardens of Paradise), which was regarded as a holy place by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Last October, someone by the name of Abdullatif al-Mulhim wrote an article that broke a taboo. He told fellow Arabs something they are never allowed to hear, that their wars against Israel have only harmed themselves. Hostility towards Israel is almost sacrosanct in Arab countries, and learned men on public platforms solemnly assert that Jews are descendants of apes and pigs. It is dangerous to keep people in ignorance like this. The real enemies of the Arabs, Mulhim spells out, are corruption, lack of good education and health care, and so lack of respect for human life. Arab dictators, he goes on, have committed atrocities against their own people far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars. What decided him to write like this was starvation, killing, and destruction in one or another Arab country. The final clincher is that Palestinians in Israel or under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza are happier and in a better situation than their Arab brothers who came to liberate them.
I know nothing about Mulhim except that he is described as a retired officer of the Saudi navy. And now Amal al-Hazzani publishes two articles with similar observations. She is Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics at King Saud University in Riyadh with quite a list of contributions to professional journals to her credit. In Israel, she writes, “politicians are distinguished by their sincerity and devotion to the higher interests of the state.” Arabs listen to the cheap words of poets and politicians who heap insults on Israel from their luxurious hotel rooms. They are still unaware where, why, and how their feelings of hate towards Israel come about. While they have sunk into hating, the Israelis have built eight public universities and 200 museums and become a rival to America in the programming and software industry. Israelis have got where they are by intelligence, or as she explains, by learning Arabic and studying the culture of Arabs. Her admiration for these achievements is clear.
The Middle East is exploding and the explanation for these articles may lie in the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, that is to say Sunni versus Shiite, or Arab versus Persian. The Saudis are frightened of the imminent finalization of an Iranian nuclear bomb and they see President Obama as weak, variable, more likely to surrender rather than use military measures to stop the nuclear threat. Israel would certainly take military measures and so there is a coincidence of interests. The Arab press is controlled, and it may be that the ground is being prepared for welcoming a strike. As far as I know, neither has been pressured by authorities, let alone punished. Both of these writers may also be free spirits with the courage of their opinions. If ever the word gets out to the masses that hatred of Israel is irrational and counterproductive then there will be a repeat of perestroika and the Arab Spring will become a reality.
Comment: Even if there not two examples, but two thousand, or two hundred thousand, of Muslim Arabs wiling to see Israel as not the villain and center of conpsiracies against Arabs and Muslims, nor as an offense against Allah and Muhammad and all that is good and right and just, still there remains Islam, the texts of islam. And a billion or so Muslims are not likely to reach a stage of enlightenment that will allow them to overlook those texts.
Still, a few examples such as this, where reality has broken through, are heartwarming. So enjoy them. Dream. But don't base any policies on these examples. That would be like Obama, who famously said that he was putting his money "on the Google boy" -- that is, Waed Ghonem, who was depicted, not quite accurately, as an example of Thoroughly Modern Egypt (apparently, being a Middle East marketer for Google made him practically a Muslim Robert Noyce or Steve Jobs or Sergey Brin), which was inevitably Going To Win because the wael-ghonems of this world were, just like Obama and Hillary Clinton, on the Right Side of History.
â€œA Smaller, Lighter, More Powerfulâ€� Nuclear Bomb Test by North Korea Shocks the World
North Korean nuclear test site at Punggye-ri
The US Geologic Survey and Japan’s Meteorological Agency at 11.57 AM KST, February 12th detected a ‘small earthquake recorded at 5.2 on the Richter Scale, with the epicenter located at the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility in North Korea. The impending test had been previously announced by the hermit kingdom and its young hereditary leader, Kim Jong-un .
Watch this AP Video on the third North Korean nuclear test since 2006:
Immediately following the underground blast, South Korea went on alert. Japan’s Defense ministry launched Air Self Defense agency aircraft to detect radiation. The world, including Iran disapproved of this wanton act . The Islamic regime didn't want to be seen 'involved', given its fast track to complete development of its own nuclear weapons that could occur this spring. U.K. Foreign Minister William Hague in a Foreign Office statement said:
I strongly condemn this development, which is a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874 and 2087. North Korea’s development of its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities poses a threat to international and regional security.
Its repeated provocations only serve to increase regional tension, and hinder the prospects for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Director, Won Hei-Soon, in a briefing to legislators, indicated there may be another shoe to drop, a second nuclear detonation:
The briefing raised "the possibility for another nuclear test by the North" or a ballistic missile test once the UN Security Council begins discussions on imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang, Yonhap said.
"The North may stage other provocations to distract international efforts to impose more sanctions on the North or to push China to eventually side with Pyongyang,"
The White House spokesperson Jay Carney put out a statement by President Obama joining the chorus of condemnation:
North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region.
These provocations do not make North Korea more secure. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies. We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action.
Was this a 3:00AM wake up call for the Obama West Wing engaged in fine tuning the President’s State of the Union to be delivered tonight at a joint session of Congress. Absent from the glittering audience in the Capitol will be his nominees for the Pentagon and CIA posts, Chuck Hagel and John Brennan, awaiting critical confirmation votes in the US Senate this week. The rumored content of the President’s State of the Union message is skewed towards announcement of a domestic agenda to mark the beginning of his second term . Doubtless that will upstaged by this North Korean nuclear test; the third since 2006.
The difference is this underground test involved what the North Korean news agency said was a ‘smaller, lighter more powerful” nuclear device indicating a significant heretofore not though possible achievement; possible miniaturization leading to fitting an intercontinental missile with a warhead.. According to a U.K. Telegraphreport, “the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization . . .the blast created by the nuclear test was "roughly twice as big as the 2009 test". The 2009 blast was approximately 2 Kilotons in magnitude. The nuclear test was meant to put a thumb in the eye of America, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia in the East Asian Pacific Rim and the UN Security Council for sanctions triggered by a provocative ‘satelitte’ intercontinental missile launch in December 2012.
Note the implications of the third North Korean nuclear test in this Fox News report:
Experts say North Korea's successful detonation of a miniaturized nuclear device is concerning because it indicates the country may be getting closer to the ability to put a nuclear device on a missile.
North Korea drew worldwide condemnation Tuesday after it announced it had successfully conducted its third nuclear test, in direct defiance to U.N. Security Council orders to shut down its atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation.
It claims the test was its "first response" to perceived U.S. threats and warns it will continue with unspecified "second and third measures of greater intensity" if the United States maintains its hostility.
North Korea expert Andrei Lankov tells Fox News that possession of such a "miniaturized" device would be necessary to create a nuclear warhead.
"It shows they are advancing their nuclear technology," Lankov said.
He also noted the significance of the timing of the test, which came just months after North Korea's successful intercontinental ballistic missile test.
"It seems they are very close to being able to put a device on a missile," Lankov said.
While Iran officially disapproved of North Korea latest nuclear test, perhaps we shall hear shortly that the Islamic regime in Tehran had sent a team to monitor the effects of the underground orth Korean blast. Iran is most anxious to fit nuclear warheads on future ICBMs slated for introduction in 2015.
Yesterday in a speech at a gathering of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization in Jerusalem, Israeli PM Netanyahu warned President Obama and others that Iran may have crossed red lines he dramatically forecast at the UN General Assembly last September. He noted:
The prime minister said that Iran had yet to cross the “red line” in its nuclear fuel enrichment that would necessitate an attack on its enrichment facilities, but that Iran is working to “shorten the time it will take them to cross that line.”
“This has to be stopped in the interests of peace and security,” he said. “You have to upgrade the sanctions, and we have to know if sanctions and diplomacy fail, that [Iran] will face a credible military threat.”
Clearly Netanyahu’s comments were a message to President Obama about to embark on a journey to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman.
The White House agenda on display in tonight’s State of The Union Address has been turned topsy turvy by events beyond its and the world’s control by the Axis of Evil, North Korea, Syria and Iran.
Ken Clarke: Compensation payments fund terrorist groups
You don't say. What a surprise. From the Telegraph
Compensation paid to terror suspects by the British government has ended up in the hands of terrorist groups, Kenneth Clarke has said. The minister told a Parliamentary committee that it would be “naïve” to think that money given to people who claim to have been mistreated by British security forces has not helped fund extremist causes.
Mr Clarke was explaining Government plans to change the law to allow some terrorist cases to be held in secret.
Mr Clarke told the Joint Committee on Human Rights the government’s changes are needed to allow judges to hear sensitive the evidence against some of the suspects who allege mistreatment by the State. MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, has been successfully sued for damages by several people it considers to be terrorists, but who have never been convicted.
Mr Clarke said that such cases only arise because the intelligence against suspects cannot be disclosed in open court without jeopardising confidential sources. . . Mr Clarke insisted that holding so-called “closed material proceedings” would ensure that terror cases are properly handled and mean compensation payments are not needed.
“At the moment, we pay out millions of pounds. It is arguable that quite a lot of these people would not have got those damages if the defence had been called against them,” he said. “We don’t know where the money goes. You are completely naïve if you don’t think that some of that money has possibly made its way to a terrorist organisation.”
Since He Wasn't Alive, Fanatical Muslims Had To Content Themselves With Decapitating His Statue
Syria violence claims head of ancient Arab poet
Feb. 12, 2013
BEIRUT (Reuters) - A statue of the blind Arab poet Abu al-Ala al-Maari, famed for his 11th-century critiques of Islam and other religions, has been decapitated and toppled from its plinth in his home town in northern Syria.
A picture of al-Maari's headless bust, rusting and abandoned in the town of Maarat al-Noman, circulated on social media on Tuesday, angering many Syrians who accused Islamist rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad of cultural vandalism.
A prolific philosopher, Maari was known for his skeptical writings on religious faith. "Inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains," he wrote.
Maarat al-Noman, where he died in 1058, had been at the centre of battles between government forces and the majority Sunni Muslim rebels seeking Assad's overthrow, who now control the town.
"Your barbarity will not destroy the philosophy of Maari - it lives and you go. Ideas do not die," said a banner pictured in Damascus and posted on Facebook.
An activist called Safi, who described himself as a moderate Muslim, also condemned the attack on Maari's statue. "The war against the regime does not give justification for anyone to destroy the cultural heritage of the country."
The 22-month-old uprising against Assad started as mainly peaceful protests but escalated into an armed insurgency with increasing sectarian dimensions. Mainly Sunni rebels battling the Alawite president have been joined by growing numbers of Islamist fighters.
In a recent sign of the growing Islamist influence, judges at a rebel-run prison in the northern city of Aleppo offered reductions of up to six months' jail terms to people convicted by opposition courts if they memorized sections of the Koran.
"Prison is a place of reform," the head of the city's judicial council said in a statement announcing the incentives.
The Islamexpasperation Factor in Franceâ€™s Presidential Election
What is Europe going to do about Islam? Submit? Resist? Or just wait it out, dimwittedly? The recent French presidential election offers insight into the way Islam, or more exactly the Islamist factor, may eventually play out in European politics.
Despite attempts by the Left to focus the debate on the economic crisis, Islam played a decisive role in the contest. The Socialist candidate, whose platform was tilted to favor the party's Muslim clientele, could not have won without total support in the second round of voting from far Left parties marked by zealous anti-Zionism and a full range of anti-Western ideologies. The question of Islam-in-France was raised with unprecedented candor by incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy of the Movement for a Popular Majority (UMP). For the first time in France, a major party clearly advocated a push back against Islam (qualified of course with the adjective "radical"). This strategy fired up the enthusiasm of the base, mobilized voters, brought tens of thousands to party rallies, and led to a daily increase in Sarkozy's polling figures. It would be fair to estimate that if he had had one more week to campaign he might have defeated Hollande during the second-round vote on May 6, 2012.
But his momentum had already been slowed by Marine Le Pen, candidate of a refurbished Front National. During the first-round campaign of April 9-22, the media kept its spotlight on her in a replay of the strategy used by the last Socialist president, François Mitterrand, who deployed them to exaggerate her father Jean-Marie Le Pen's importance and weaken the conservative opposition. While accusing the Right of dallying with the Front National "fascists," Mitterrand had unashamedly governed with a coalition of communists and the far Left without which the Socialists could never have won. A variation on this strategy was used in 2012: Anyone who dared question the virtues of "immigration" (code word for Islam) or defend national identity (code word for Islamexasperation) was smeared with pejoratives, all related to Nazism and the Holocaust.
French exasperation with Islam is prompted by situations such as this where Muslims illegally take over streets in Paris in order to pray. Authorities look the other way while the French are left wondering what has happened to their country.
In fact, this worked to the advantage of Le Pen, who came in third with 17.9 percent of the vote in the first round. What explains her pulling power? Did millions of French voters, disappointed with Sarkozy's failure to release the pent up energies of the French economy, go for the Front National's unrealistic economic program? Or did they, like the more vocal counter-jihad activists who rushed into her arms, simply ignore it and focus strictly on her championing of Islamexasperation? The activists, blaming Sarkozy for being big on rhetoric but soft on Islam, placed their faith in Le Pen, who came out beating the drum against Muslim street prayers ("an invasion without tanks") and marched forward, stressing all the issues about which they themselves were blogging. They believed she would put an end to shameful compromises by the Right and the Left, which they designated by the composite "UMPS" (UMP + PS [Parti socialiste]).
Enchanted by her tough-on-Islam rhetoric, the new enthusiasts ignored the core of small-minded, retrograde anticapitalist—and often anti-Semitic—Front National stalwarts. Members of the "Jews-for-Marine" faction gave credibility to her clumsy visits to the United States and Israel. Her secularist Jewish supporters hardly noticed the way she lumped Judaism together with Islam, willing to sacrifice kosher slaughter if Islamic halal could be abolished along with it. They did not even hear her declare that the U.N. Security Council should recognize Palestine.
Heady with power after her good first round showing, Le Pen orchestrated the defeat of Sarkozy by convincing half of her supporters to cast a blank ballot in the second round of voting. Bloggers and activists associated with the counter-jihad site, Riposte Laïque, believed that the UMP, condemned for its failure to stop the Islamic onslaught, would fall apart, and Le Pen would pick up the pieces. Confident that a slew of deputies would be elected in a Front National wave, they said she would be the leader of a new conservative party and, in 2017, why not Présidente de la République?
The True Victims
There is one category of the indigenous European population that is clearly persecuted by Muslim immigration: the Jews.
Not all Muslims attack Jews but virtually all anti-Jewish violence in France is committed by Muslims. And it is so widespread, so merciless, so stubbornly resistant that thousands of Jews have chosen to emigrate. Of those who remain, many valiantly devote their energies to denouncing the violence and trying to defend Jews against it. But no less shocking than the flight or fight choice imposed on Jews is the general indifference to their dilemma.
The expulsion of a few illegal immigrants can monopolize prime time news for days while most attacks against Jews are ignored by the national media. Those that are reported are twisted out of shape by fabricated ambiguity. The victim says he was beaten/knocked down/kicked/slashed/bombarded with anti-Semitic insults. The perpetrator denies the insults. The journalist gives equal credibility to the Jew-basher and the bashed Jew, and the story quickly drops out of sight.
On the rare occasion when an anti-Semitic crime is too big to ignore, it is drowned in a flood of emotion: Solemn public figures in skull caps attend synagogue ceremonies, Jewish community leaders and intellectuals publicly agonize in the media, and minutes of silence and solemn marches are organized. But the connection between Islam, Jew hatred, the specific killer, and the criminal act is severed. This was the case with the murder of Sébastien Selam by a Muslim neighbor in 2003 and the kidnap-torture murder of Ilan Halimi by an Islamist gang in 2006.
Islamism's brutal face showed up once again on the eve of the official presidential campaign in the form of Muhammad Merah, who assassinated three paratroopers of fellow North African origin—Abel Chennouf, Imad Iban Ziaten, and Muhammad Legouade—and then on March 19, executed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Aryeh and Gavriel, and 7-year-old Miriam Monsonego at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse. A surviving soldier, Loic Liber, is a tetraplegic while student Bryan Aaron Bajoui is recuperating from critical chest wounds and the shock of witnessing the murders.
Because Merah killed both Jews and apparent Muslims (in fact one of his Maghrebi victims was Christian), the crime could not be termed as purely anti-Semitic. The fact that he was a run-of-the-mill punk rather than a wildly deranged one-of-a-kind killer raised no alarms in the public mind: Ominously, a striking increase in attacks against Jews following Merah's jihadist operation showed that a very broad swath of the French Muslim population is both radicalized and activated.
This does not mean that French society was not shaken by the Merah massacre. The weekly Nouvel Observateur featured a cover story on anti-Semitism in July. Yet, the lead article by Isabelle Monnin, "Journey to the Depths of Anti-Semitism," meanders with half-closed eyes down the path of the new anti-Semitism. Merah is identified as a jihadist admired by a "small minority." Several attacks against Jews are described. (Attacked by whom?) Jews who wear skull caps are afraid to go into certain neighborhoods. (What kind of neighborhoods?) Most incidents, it seems, are not violent enough to be worth reporting. Others—in Villurbane, a North African bashed a young Jew's head with a hammer—are admittedly serious but, writes Monnin, they are whipped up by bloggers, leading to a "paranoid trend that makes every attack on a Jew the absolute proof of rampant anti-Semitism." Finally, Monnin identifies the Jew-bashers when she states that "today's anti-Semitism is often [sic] committed by youths of Maghrebi origin or sub-Saharan Africa calling themselves Muslims." Are they not really Muslims? Or does the author think they do not represent true Islam? She attributes this anti-Semitism to a "political-religious molasses transposed from the Israel-Palestine conflict and anti-Americanism." But, she alerts her readers to watch out for "a certain number of Jews whose racism and Islamophobia is reinforced by the increase in anti-Semitism."
This blaming of the victim is repeated in other articles of the special issue, which accuse Jews of exaggerating the situation while exonerating Islam of anti-Jewish animosity. Journalist Marie Lemonnier begins her piece with a statement by the prominent Muslim Brotherhood cleric, Yusuf Qaradawi, hoping the Muslims will follow in Hitler's footsteps and perfect the next holocaust. Yet after admitting that "extremists" like Qaradawi draw their legitimacy from Muslim tradition, she goes on to deny the evidence: The anti-Judaism of Islam's beginnings is just the "traditional" way that religions differentiate themselves. She cites specialists who tell us that Jews and Muslims lived harmoniously together for fourteen centuries, ignoring massive documentary evidence to the contrary. Forced conversions during the Almohad period, she says, were an exception to the "imperishable" Qur'anic verse: "Let there be no compulsion in religion [Surat al-Baqara, 256]." Anti-Semitism in Muslim lands was tragically imported from Christian Europe. And, she concludes, "in the wake of decolonization and Israeli-Arab wars, Jewish presence in Islamic lands became rare." If by chance Jewish presence in France were to become rare, would it be equally passive?
The Campaign Must Go On
While Le Pen immediately cited Merah's crime as proof of the connection between immigration, Islam, and violence, the media narrative was framed to disconnect Islam from this murderous hatred though the terms "jihad" and "jihadist" were widely employed, and the media did include information about Merah's radicalization. In the ensuing election campaign, the Socialists opted for the deprivation/marginalization explanation while Sarkozy proposed legislation that would criminalize radicalization—for example, training in Pakistani jihad camps—making it possible to arrest men like Merah before they go into action.
But the issue of Islam's coexistence with Western society and its values was allocated to the Front National. Every time the UMP raised the question, it was accused by the Socialists, the media, and some of its own members of appealing to the public's worst instincts, sucking up to Le Pen's supporters, and stoking irrational fears, xenophobia, and "Islamophobia." At the opposite end of the spectrum, counter-jihad militants dismissed Sarkozy's "empty rhetoric" and tallied up his sins of past concessions to Islam.
In fact, Le Pen had neither the political savvy nor the party machine to capitalize on her first-round success. In ensuing legislative elections, she was defeated in her bid for reelection as deputy of the town of Hénin-Beaumont by her arch rival, the leftist Front de Gauche presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The Front National ended up with a grand total of two deputies in parliament: Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, Marine's 20-year-old niece, and lawyer Gilbert Collard (who is not even a card-carrying party member). No longer useful for the Left's divide and conquer strategy, Marine Le Pen and her meager band of supporters disappeared from the media.
Faced with a choice between a muted appeal to the Center and a resolute attempt to consolidate his right-wing base and win back Front National voters, Sarkozy chose the latter line of attack. Accused by Left and Center of selling his soul to the Front National devil, the battling incumbent rose to the height of his political skills and attracted an increasingly enthusiastic following. His defense of family values, the work ethic, and patriotism were equated by his detractors with the infamous "travail, famille, patrie" of Maréchal Petain. His concern for decent people in poor neighborhoods victimized by thugs was met with contempt and cries of "populism." They called him a xenophobe for linking immigration with criminality, abuse of social services, and a damaged school system. His warnings against the dangers of Islamic radicalization earned him the "Islamophobe" label. In the counter-jihad camp, voters closed their ears to his siren's song. He did not deliver when he was Interior minister; he did nothing when he was president; we don't want to hear it!
In the course of a three-hour presidential debate on May 2, 2011, the candidates had a fiery exchange on the subject of the Socialist candidate's promise to grant voting rights to foreigners in municipal elections. With the brutal Ozar Hatorah murders still alive in the collective mind, Sarkozy said this would encourage communautarisme (clannishness, tribalism, identity politics) at a time of extreme tension "between communities" and intense pressure for radicalization. A righteously indignant Hollande snapped back: What gives you the right to say that non-European immigrants are Muslim? Sarkozy responded at length and in detail, challenging his opponent to face the reality that immigration is essentially from Muslim countries of the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. These immigrants, he said, were the source of conflict. If they voted in municipal elections they would make demands based on Islamic practices. Reiterating his hallmark call for an "Islam of France" not an "Islam in France" and citing his own record of defending the religious freedom of Muslims, Sarkozy noted that Muslims were treated better in France than Christians in the Muslim world. Hollande, rebuffing the slightest insinuation that Muslim voters would exert communitarian pressure, promised there would be no breach of the principle of laïcité (the relegation of religion to the private sphere) under his presidency.
When it came time for the second round of voting, Mélenchon's Front de Gauche supporters along with the Green Party and a smattering of anti-capitalist formations, high on ferocious Palestinianism, cast their votes for Hollande, making no secret of their utter disagreement with his platform. Hollande's campaign manager, Pierre Moscovici, assured his fellow Jews that Hollande would indeed cultivate the votes of these somewhat unsavory parties, but they would have no influence whatsoever on his policies as president.
The proliferation of flags from Muslim-majority countries at Hollande's victory celebration was graphic evidence of this support. Apologists explained away the foreign flag waving as the normally variegated enthusiasm of diversity. But a television team interviewed some Palestinian-flag wavers who repeated new variants on old canards (e.g., Israeli soldiers mow down Palestinian children on their way to the mosque), promising to head over there and kill all the Israelis.
What transformed the predicted landslide defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy into a narrow victory for François Hollande (51.67 vs. 48.3 percent)? Though the totality of the far Left vote, including an estimated 93 percent of the Muslim vote, went to François Hollande, this alone would not have ensured his victory.
It seems clear that Sarkozy limited Hollande's numbers by addressing the Islamexasperation of his party's base. The loss of a significant portion of this "counter-jihad" vote, diverted in the beginning to the Front National, blocked Sarkozy's momentum in the first round and deprived him of decisive votes in the second. This was compounded by the desertion of morally indignant centrists who accused the president of leading his party into the disgraceful clutches of the far Right.
The elections are over, but the debate continues, not only within the UMP, as it determines its policy of reconquest, but also within the Socialist government, confronted with a problem that will not go away. For Jews in France, the issue is stated with terrible acuity: The future of their community in the country—as in the rest of Europe—depends on the government's capacity to identify and deal with this problem.
The Islamic factor will not go away. This summer, punk jihadists on the warpath caused a million Euros of damage in the housing projects of Amiens; thugs fired at police in Grigny; drug dealers are mowing each other down in the streets of Marseille; teachers are getting insurance coverage for injuries inflicted by students or their parents after a teacher in Bordeaux was beaten by a student offended by a history of religion lesson on Islam.
Jean François Copé is competing with former prime minister François Fillon for the presidency of the UMP on a platform that carries over Sarkozy's campaign themes. He has vowed to defend a party that will confront the issues without political correctness, defend law-abiding citizens against criminals, and promote enterprise, innovation, and self-reliance. But neither he nor any of the other candidates, parties, or elected officials are up for an unambiguous confrontation with Islam. When Jamel Ghabi, a French elected official was nearly killed by a group of Salafis in Bizerte, his Tunisian birthplace, because of the "immodest" dress of his wife and 12-year-old daughter, Copé decried the attack by "extremists" who have nothing to do with a religion and a society moving toward democracy. Interior Minister Manuel Vals vowed to bring law and order to Marseille without stigmatizing the population while Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius balanced out strong words against Iran's president Ahmadinejad with a reminder that the Israelis should give the Palestinians a state.
The economic crises of modern days may come and go, but the survival of civilization depends on intelligent decisions by informed citizens and courageous statesmen. The 9/11 anniversary murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues by Libyan jihadists, along with attacks on Western embassies and institutions throughout Muslim-majority countries are alarm bells for those who are willing to listen. The Israeli ambassador to Egypt has been working in temporary quarters since the embassy was torched last year. All other issues pale beside the existential triangle: Islam, Israel, and Iran. Will Israel, the only Western nation in which the governing party is resolutely counter-jihad, lead the free world into a new strategy of resolute self-defense and preemptive operations? Which side of the chessboard will the newly-elected U.S. administration choose? And finally: Whither France?
Nidra Poller is an American novelist and journalist living in Paris since 1972. The English version of her collection of short stories, Karimi Hotel and Other African Equations, will be published by Authorship Intl in 2013.
 Author interviews with anonymous supporters of Le Pen, Paris, Apr.-May 2012.  Ibid.  Riposte Laïque website, Chanteloup-les-Vignes, Sept. 10, 2012.  Michel Gurfinkiel, "French Jews/No Future," MichelGurfinkiel.com, Aug. 12, 2012.  See, for example, Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, Apr. 30, 2010; The New York Sun, Feb. 22, 2006. Algemeiner Journal (Brooklyn), Mar. 19, 2012.  "Alerte Actes Antisémite," Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive en France, accessed Oct. 9, 2012.  Paul B. Fenton and David G. Littman, L'Exil au Maghreb (Paris: PU Paris-Sorbonne, 2010). Le Nouvel Observateur (Paris), July 5-11, 2012. The Guardian (London), May 10, 2002.  "Débat Hollande Sarkozy Intégral," The Daily Motion (Paris), accessed Sept. 28, 2012.  Nidra Poller, "Toward an 'Islam de France,'" The Wall Street Journal Europe, Mar. 28, 2011.  Pierre Moscovici, presentation at a meeting of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France, l'espace Rachi, Paris, Apr. 2, 2012.  Khoutspa TV (Paris), May 6, 2012. BBC News, May 3, 2012; The Guardian, May 3, 2011. Business Insider International (New York), May 8, 2012. Le Figaro(Paris), Sept. 13, 2012. Le Monde (Paris), Sept. 6, 2012.  News release, Union pour un Movement Populaire, Aug. 23, 2012. Laurent Fabius, interview, Consulate General of France in New York, accessed Oct. 9, 2012.
Obama Administration To Rush The Rest Of The F-16s To Morsi's Egypt
From the WorldTribune.com:
Priority delivery: U.S. to ship all 20 F-16s to Egypt in 2013
CAIRO — The United States has pledged to accelerate delivery of 20
F-16 multi-role fighters to Egypt in 2013.
Officials said Egypt would receive all of the F-16 Block 52 aircraft
this year. They said the arrival of the four aircraft marked the first
delivery of the F-16s in 2013 as part of cooperation between Egypt and the
Despite anti-government protests in Egypt, the United States is sending 20 F-16 fighter jets to the Cairo government as part of a $1.3 billion foreign aid package.
“The U.S. delivery of four aircraft is part of a group of 20 F-16s that
will arrive in Egypt over the course of the year,” the U.S. embassy said.
On Feb. 3, Egypt and the United States held a joint ceremony to mark the arrival of the four F-16s. So far, Washington has delivered 224 F-16 aircraft to the Egyptian Air Force.
“Our 34-year security partnership is based upon shared interests and
mutual respect,” U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson said. “The United States has long recognized Egypt as an indispensable partner.”
The F-16 delivery came after the Senate voted down an amendment to stop the F-16s and M1A1 main battle tanks to Egypt. The 79-19 vote ended an attempt by Sen. Rand Paul to stop the latest arms sales amid nationwide unrest against the Islamist regime of President Mohammed Morsi.
“The F-16s are part of the $1.3 billion in the Foreign Military
Financing program from the U.S. in annual military and security assistance
to improve Egypt’s defensive capabilities and support Egypt’s contributions
to regional security that counter terrorist threats,” the U.S. embassy said.
The administration of President Barack Obama acknowledged that the F-16
delivery was taking place amid rising unrest in Egypt. On Feb. 5, Defense
Secretary Leon Panetta urged his Egyptian counterpart, Abdul Fatah Sisi, not
to use the U.S.-financed Egyptian military against protesters.
“Secretary Panetta called Egyptian Minister of Defense Abdul Fatah Sisi
today to receive updates on the political situation in Egypt, the role of
the Egyptian Armed Forces during the recent protests, and express U.S.
commitment to the defense relationship,” a Pentagon statement said.
“Minister Sisi reiterated the Egyptian Armed Forces’ commitment to the peace
treaty with Israel, and underscored that his commitment that the Sinai will
not be used as a base to threaten Israel.”
DUBAI/DOHA (Reuters) - In the center of Cairo, young men hold up a burning flag for the cameras to show their fury at a nation they believe is meddling in their country and the wider Middle East.
It's a familiar image. But it's not the U.S. flag they are waving, it is that of Qatar, the Gulf state that has used its billions to spread its influence in the wake of the Arab Spring.
For most Western governments and officials, the influence of Qatar emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani's government is seen as broadly positive.
Qatar's neighbors are uneasy, however.
In Egypt, Libya and Syria, where Qatar tried to play a role post-Arab Spring, it finds itself blamed for much that has gone wrong on a local level. Close ties to Egypt's new leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood, have alarmed countries like the United Arab Emirates, where the Islamist group is still banned and which in January said it had foiled a Brotherhood-linked coup plot.
Senior officials in the UAE have long believed Qatar has long-term strategy to use the Brotherhood to redraw the region.
"There is both greater apprehension and appreciation for Qatar two years after the Arab awakening in the region," said Taufiq Rahim, Executive Director of Dubai-based geopolitics consultancy Globesight.
"While prior to the revolutions, Qatar was seen more as a mediator, its foreign policy recently has been much more proactive and in some cases partisan."
Some Western analysts and diplomats believe Qatar's leaders have been effectively improvising their way through the new landscape, experimenting to see what they can achieve with the massive wealth generated by its natural gas reserves over the past 15 years. An estimated $17 trillion in monetisable natural gas riches still remain in the ground.
Others, however, see a much more deliberate strategy.
"What we are seeing here is a high-stakes poker game for the future of the Middle East," said one Gulf-based Western diplomat on condition of anonymity.
Even supporters are concerned the country may be overstepping its boundaries and getting a reputation for playing favorites.
"There is widespread appreciation of the positive role that Qatar has played in the region," said Ari Ratner, a former advisor on the Middle East at the State Department and now fellow at the Washington-based Truman National Security Project.
"At the same time there is a broad consensus that the Qataris themselves would be better served by fully delivering on their pledges of aid and working through established governments rather than their preferred factions."
The emirate has long been a country of sometimes baffling contradictions. While in many ways one of the most conservative of the Gulf states, it has also proved the most enthusiastic about the changes wrought by the Arab Spring.
Of the 1.9 million people who live there, only some 250,000 are ethnic Qataris, most of whom practice Wahhabism, the austere form of Islam also practiced in Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Hamad and his glamorous second wife Sheikha Mozah have gained a reputation as modernizers in recent years, however, raising the country's profile significantly with the launch of the Al Jazeera television network and successful hosting of the 2006 Asian Games, as well as initiating the country's World Cup bid.
The emirate has always made a point of keeping as many diplomatic doors open as possible and has relished its role at the center of regional diplomacy. Of all the members of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council, it has long been the closest to Iran even as it courted Washington and hosted U.S. forces. It has been trying to inject new life into peace efforts between Sudan and rebel groups in Darfur with offers of development aid.
Its links to the Muslim Brotherhood may be similarly pragmatic and flexible. But some believe Qatar has made a risky bet to put the movement at the heart of its regional strategy.
The emirate has clearly emerged as something of a focal point for the group, originally founded in Egypt in 1928 and now with national chapters across much of the Islamic world.
Several key current or former members - including televangelist Yousef Al-Qaradwi, a former senior Brother widely watched across the region - reside in the country having fled other states. Western officials who have worked with the Qataris in Libya and Syria say they have invariably favored groups with Brotherhood connections.
Sandhurst-trained Sheikh Hamad is seen broadly sympathetic to the movement, diplomats say, while heir apparent Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is widely believed to be closer still.
As early as 2009, senior officials from the UAE were briefing their U.S. counterparts that they believed Doha's rulers were using the group to destabilize their neighbors. According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan told U.S. officials Qatar was simply "part of the Brotherhood".
ARMS, AL JAZEERA
Senior Brotherhood officials deny any regional conspiracy; national chapters in different countries say they share ideology but have no direct links.
In their very occasional public statements, Qatari officials deny any special relationship with the group. Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani also rejected suggestions of a wider regional agenda from Qatar.
"We have a clear policy which is not to interfere in the internal affairs of any state," he told Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper in a September 2012 interview.
Few take that statement at face value, however.
Qatar's funding and direct support - including weaponry and the deployment of special forces - were key to building the capacity of opposition fighters first in Libya.
As President Mohammed Mursi's government in Egypt has struggled with mounting economic woes, Qatar has stepped up as an increasingly vital financial backer. In Syria, it has been a leading supplier of rebel arms.
But already, Qatar is feeling the heat for its actions. In Libya, Qatar is being blamed for an increasingly destabilizing rise in Islamist intolerance and violence. In Egypt, it finds itself caught up in the popular dissatisfaction with Mursi and accusations of economic imperialism: a multibillion dollar Suez Canal investment deal was described by protesters as a foreign attempt to seize control of vital national assets.
In Syria, critics say its shipments of arms to rebels has become a chaotic free-for-all. Current and former Western officials say Qatari officials and rich Arabs from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere have been cutting ad hoc deals on the Turkish-Syrian border with a disparate collection of opposition groups.
Even Al Jazeera - which played a crucial role in spreading the word of the 2011 unrest - is facing complaints of mounting and usually pro-Brotherhood bias. While the English-language service is seen as more neutral, the station's Arabic service is widely viewed as openly espousing a pro-Muslim Brotherhood agenda.
FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE?
Diplomats say Qatari officials have been surprised at the pushback.
One problem, those who watch Qatar closely say, is that with only a handful of senior royals and officials controlling policy it is all but impossible for the outside world to know what their strategy is.
Officials rarely answer media requests for information and there is no foreign ministry or government spokesman. For the handful of foreign media based in Doha, the only way of getting official comment is to accost officials at public events, and even then they are often tight-lipped.
No Qatari official was available to comment on this story.
"They are simply not explaining what they are doing properly," said one Doha-based analyst on condition of anonymity. "Conspiracy theories are rife."
Western governments and corporations with an eye on Qatar's vast gas wealth and investment portfolio have so far tended not to concern themselves too much with its politics. A higher profile is bringing with it greater scrutiny, however.
The arrest and sentencing of a local poet to life imprisonment late last year for writings critical of the government spurred widespread international condemnation and accusations of double standards.
Indeed, Qatar's problems with its neighbors may be only just beginning.
"People asking questions are met with walls of silence," said the Doha-based analyst. "That doesn't wash very well with an Egyptian who has just been shot in the leg in Tahrir Square."
Egypt's Islamists Say Clerics Must Approve IMF Loan
Feb. 13, 2013
Egypt's main hardline Islamist party says an IMF loan agreement requires the approval of a body of Muslim scholars under the new constitution and it is considering legal action to make sure the government sticks to the law.
The case could set a marker on the extent to which clerics will have a say over state affairs according to the Islamist-tinged constitution that was signed into law in December following its approval in a referendum.
The Salafist Nour Party says the loan agreement, seen as vital to easing a deep economic crisis, must be approved by a body of senior scholars at Al-Azhar, a religious institution whose new role is embedded in the constitution.[what about the payment of interest, tiny as it is, on the loan?]
Such a challenge could complicate the Muslim Brotherhood-led administration's effort to finalize the International Monetary Fund deal that was tentatively agreed last year but shelved following political unrest in Cairo.
Abdullah Badran, head of the Nour Party's bloc in the upper house of parliament, told Reuters the move was intended to "activate the role of the Senior Scholars' Authority in all matters pertaining to sharia [Islamic law]''. He said the party was studying its legal options.
The Nour Party believes the IMF agreement must be vetted by the scholars because it includes a loan on which Egypt will pay interest - something that is forbidden under Islamic law.
The constitution states that the opinion of Al-Azhar's Senior Scholars' Authority must be sought "on matters pertaining to Islamic sharia''. It does not say whether their opinion is binding on the government nor make clear the scope of Al-Azhar's role.
The article is one of several written into the constitution by the Islamist-dominated committee that finalised the document in December, fast-tracking it into law despite the objections of liberals, leftists, feminists and Christians, among others.
The party has previously signalled it would not oppose such a loan on principle, citing arguments that allow Muslims flexibility in interpreting Islamic law when they have no alternative or face severe conditions.
The interest on any IMF loan is expected to be around 1.1 percent, far below market rates.
Badran said the party's main concern was to make the government apply the new constitution. "There are many reasons which must be researched for either taking the loan or not,'' he said.
"Our request is that the opinion of the Senior Scholars' Association be taken, on this agreement or other agreements [related to sharia],'' he said.
The government has said IMF negotiators are due in Cairo soon to complete talks on the loan agreement, which would require Egypt to agree to a set of economic reforms including tax increases and cuts in subsidy spending.
Many economists, however, believe final ratification of the agreement could be pushed back to mid-year as the politicians try to avoid upsetting voters ahead of parliamentary elections due in April.