These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 12, 2009.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Dubai Police do not restrict the freedom of their immigrant communities, except when they do
From Gulf News:
Dubai Police do not restrict the freedom of the diverse communities here, but there are red lines that must not be crossed because the UAE, an Islamic Arab country, prides itself in its rich values, said a senior official.
Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview that it is not the duty of police to interrogate or interfere with couples in Dubai, but if they are spotted committing obscene actions then they will intervene.
What is their definition of "obscene"? Kissing in public? Hugging? Holding hands? Waving? Drinking coffee in a cafe? Looking at each other across the room? Uncovering their wrists or ankles?
His comments come after several incidents of public indecency, which prompted the British Foreign Office to issue a travel advisory for its citizens.
"I think it is clear to the average person what is meant by obscene. There are red lines that must not be crossed. The country has its values and traditions which cannot be overlooked to satisfy others," Al Mazeina said.
"There are red lines." That certainly clears things up. But he most interesting part of this article are the comments from readers, who are unanimous in their support of Major General Khamis in his crackdown on "obscene" behavior by immigrants and visitors. Some examples:
"Freedom doesn't mean creaking the line of a country and it's principle All countries have its own traditional ethics people who live and visit must be follow and respect that culture"
"It is important to take care of the values of any country. It is not fair to say we are like this in our country and we will behave that way here too. The Major must be given full support."
"Well done Major Khamis!.. It should make people aware of islamic rules and red lines. Authorities should give pamphlets to all class of people to be aware of UAE culture especially public obscene and dressing. People should not wear dress above knees whether ladies or gents in public"
"i think UAE is most secure and have enough freedom. People have to follow the rules of the countries were they are living doesn't matter which nations they are. UAE rules are very efficient for reducing the crimes."
And so forth. Yes, Muslims are absolutely firm in their position that immigrants or visitors to a country should be met at the border, told the rules and regulations of the host country, and be expected to strictly live within those rules and regulations. No special dispensations or exceptions should be made for the immigrants or visitors. No, the immigrants must respect the culture of their host country, no matter what the cultural values were back in their native country. The values of the host country are of the utmost importance and they must be vigorously defended.
Fascinating. Simply fascinating.
Posted on 07/12/2009 1:17 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Sunday, 12 July 2009
The Islamic Saudi Academy: "The County and School of Hate"
Townhall.com, has an arresting piece, “The County and the School of Hate” by David Stokes, a pastor of a congregation in troubled Fairfax County, Virginia. Troubled, because like Stokes and Jim Lafferty of Virginians Against Sharia Teachings (VAST), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on Monday, July 13th to pass on a recommendation from the County Government Planning Commission to expand the campus of the controversial Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA). On the schedule for approval at the Fairfax County Board of supervisors hearing is expansion of the ISA’s Pope Head campus to accommodate upwards of 600 additional students who would be transferred from the Alexandria campus, a former county middle school leased by the Royal Saudi Embassy of Washington at an annual cost of $2.0 million. Essentially, this Board of Supervisors hearing will be held to ‘rubber stamp’ the Planning Commission recommendation. VAST and other community NIMBY opponents will ensure that the hearing will noisily demonstrate once again the County legislators’ Dhimmi-like pusillanimous behavior.
My Fairfax County colleagues, Lafferty, Christine Brim of the Center of Security Policy, Denise Lee and Catherine Martin of the Act! For America Chapter Northern Virginia chapter, John Cosgrove of the Virginia Chapter of the United Americans Committee and others organized a protest in June, 2008 to protest the ISA’s hate-filled Wahhabist texts spotlighted in a report by Nina Shea of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. That action roiled the local and national media for months and aroused Northern Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf to confront our State Department about the ISA’s Royal Saudi Embassy sponsorship.
We had written extensively about the ISA’s ‘migratory’ problems in the Washington, DC metropolitan area since its founding in 1984 with planning commission battles over school sites in Montgomery County, Maryland, Loudon and Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. We also unveiled what hatred was like towards non-Muslim faculty inside the ISA.
Stokes draws your attention in this Townhall.com opinion piece about the dangers of the ISA Islamic studies hate mongering: its graduates. He notes:
Last month, a Saudi Arabian man named Raed Abdul-Rahman Al-Saif, placed three bags on the Tampa, Florida airport security conveyor belt as he made his way toward his gate to board US Airways flight 1077 to Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon. He never made it to the gate.
A Transportation Security Administration representative saw something on his screen that made him curious. Upon further investigation, TSA officers found a knife “artfully concealed between the outside fabric and the expandable pull handles of the bag.” This bag, by the way, would have been easily accessed by Al-Saif had he made it on his flight.
It was a butcher knife.
It turns out that he has been living in the U.S. illegally for a while and had been previously arrested on drug-related charges and for driving without a license. He had been a student at the University of Tampa, but was dismissed this past May due to poor academic performance. Word is, though, that he was a much better student back in high school. In fairness, that likely had to do with where he went to school and what he was learning.
Raed Al-Saif is a 2003 graduate of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), the same institution that gave us the likes of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was the school’s valedictorian in 1999. If that name rings a bell, it’s because he’s the guy who was convicted in 2005 on charges that included “providing material resources to Al-Qaeda” and “conspiracy to assassinate President George W. Bush.”
Then there were Mohammed Osam Idris and Mohammed el Yacoubi, both former ISA students, who were denied entrance to Israel in 2001. It turns out that they had written farewell letters before the trip for some kind of “suicide mission in the name of jihad.” And, let’s not forget Mr. Abdall I Al-Shabran, the ISA director who was arrested last year for failing to report child abuse.
Stokes draws attention to the confluence of citizen concerns behind this latest episode surrounding the ISA:
But in the case of ISA, there appears to be an almost fawning and subservient approach on the part of many county leaders. Perhaps they are afraid of being politically incorrect. Perhaps they are just afraid.
Most likely, however - they are simply naïve.
Some of those arrayed against ISA are doing so simply out of concerns about traffic and other logistics on a particularly picturesque stretch of Popes Head Road. But most opponents are involved because they see ISA as a training institution for Wahhabism, an ultra-dogmatic and extreme form of Islam. They see ISA as “a hate training academy.” One detractor has said of the school: “We feel that it is in reality a madrassa, a training place for young impressionable Muslim students in some of the most extreme and most fanatical teachings of Islam.”
Of course, one of the great challenges when dealing with issues like this is to think and work through it in the context of religious liberty and tolerance. But what happens when our best intentions to preach freedom and tolerance wind up being used as a cover for something more sinister – even deadly?
At what point, if ever, will some Americans awaken to the idea that a fair amount of what is passed off as Islam is, in fact, a cloak of unrighteousness – designed to use the guise of “religion” to gain cultural and ultimately political hegemony here?
Sure, not all Muslims are advocates of the kind of hate that would overthrow a government and superimpose Sharia-rule over the rest of us. But the evidence is growing that the number of Islamists in the Islamic fold is significant. And the battles are now being fought with the issues blurred.
What is needed now in America more than ever is an emergent group of leaders who are discerning – people who are wide awake to the threat from within.
My ISA protest colleagues in Fairfax County take Stokes’s warnings seriously, as they should. Fairfax County harbors a rapidly expanding radical Islamic community, Wahhabi Alley, filled with Mosques headed by radical Imams, al Qaeda supporters and Islamic think tanks that harbored financiers of terrorism against Israel and America. All within a literal stone’s throw from our nation’s Capitol in Washington, DC and all backed to a significant degree by a highly questionable ‘ally’, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We don’t pretend to know what the outcome will be of Monday’s hearing on the ISA school expansion. One thing we do know is that my protest colleagues at that session are relentless about informing their neighbors and all Americans of the consequences of abetting the spreading Islamization of this country: educating future cadres of Jihadis in our midst.
Posted on 07/12/2009 2:48 AM by Jerry Gordon
Sunday, 12 July 2009
80% of Yemeni Spinal Cord Injury Patients are Women
This one gave me the creeps while reading it, as much from what was not said as from what was said. From the Yemen Post:
According to the German professor Abdullah Nabhan, and as a result of his visit to Yemen, as is the case in most Islamic countries, most of spinal cord injuries' patients are women. Nabhan attributed this high percent to lack of sports, exercise, movements that strengthen the abdominal and back muscles, as well as high weight. Nabhan added that having women doing exercises is good for their backbone health confirming that treating chronic spinal diseases might become very difficult and need surgery, in addition that such surgeries are very difficult to be conducted either in Arab or Western countries, because they need very qualified and highly experienced doctors.
Professor Nabhan recommended that centers for backbone diseases treatment must be established in Yemen, as well as providing hospitals for natural treatment where patients could have walking exercises.
He also noted that it is very important to find women places to exercise to strengthen their abdominal muscles.
This puts me in mind of the death of magician Harry Houdini. He was proud of the strength of his abdominal muscles, and would invite fans to punch him in the stomach with all their might. One time, the last time, he had not gotten a chance to tighten his muscles before the fan punched him, and he died days later of a ruptured appendix. Perhaps Professor Nabhan should also recommend that women be given the chance to tighten their muscles beforehand, in order to prevent injuries.
So, I'm not sure how weak abdominal muscles will cause this many spinal cord injuries, but there it is. Logically, I would expect men to be far more common victims of spinal cord injury, since men are out climbing ladders, doing construction work high above the ground, playing contact sports on the weekend, driving cars, lifting heavy object over their head at their job, etc., while traditional Muslim women would not be doing any of those things.
Now, obesity certainly also occurs in the affluent West, with its easy access to high-caloric food of all types, and lack of time to exercise. But spinal cord injury demographics look very different in the West. For example, the University of Washington School of Medicine has this to say about spinal cord injuries in the U.S.:
Historically, many more men sustain spinal cord injuries than do women, at a ratio of about four to one. [ie. 80% men, 20% women]
So the numbers are basically reversed in Dar al-Islam. It would be an interesting epidemiological study to understand why women in Dar al-Islam are getting so many spinal cord injuries compared to women in the West. But just as reported rape statistics in Dar al-Islam are 0.0%, I don't expect that we'll be getting a clear, honest explanation on this one anytime soon.
Posted on 07/12/2009 1:08 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Sunday, 12 July 2009
It was the best of lines, it was the worst of lines
It is a truth universally acknowledged that good opening lines are all alike, while every bad one is bad in its own way. Sam Leith from once upon a time in The Telegraph:
One of [Alice Thomas Ellis's] novels begins, if I remember right, with the words: " 'Bugger,' said Rose, and dropped the secateurs." What economy of style! In just seven words, that sentence tells you, indirectly, about the location of the scene; the sex and class and age and temperament of the speaker; and even, perhaps, the time of year. All while doing, up front, the work of making you want to read the next sentence.
In discussions about best first sentences, it's normally the show-offy ones that get all the air time, like L'Etranger ("Mother died today. Or perhaps it was yesterday, I don't know.") or Anthony Burgess's wearisome line about an octogenarian lying in bed with his catamite when the archbishop calls. I think there's a case to be made for Rose and her secateurs.
An open and shut case. Bugger the catamite and cut to the secateurs. As for that stuff about happy families, wot utter rot.
One of my first posts at this blog, over three years ago, was on Anita Brookner. Brookner has been writing the same novel for twenty years, and I vowed never to read another. Her passive, manipulative heroines - and occasional heroes - infuriate. But her prose style draws you in, so when someone lent me a copy of Strangers, I was tempted - until I read the opening paragraph:
Sturgis had always known that it was his destiny to die among strangers. The childhood he remembered so dolefully had been darkened by fears which maturity had done nothing to alleviate.
Enough, already. Snap out of it and whistle a happy tune.
Posted on 07/12/2009 3:33 PM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Four killed in attacks on Iraq churches
BAGHDAD (AFP) — At least four people were killed on Sunday and 32 were wounded in a wave of bomb attacks targeting churches in Baghdad, a security official said.
The four dead, all Christians, died when a car bomb exploded near the Notre Dame church in Palestine Street in the east of the capital at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT), the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The blast targeting the Chaldean house of worship also wounded 21 people, 15 of them Christians.
At least 11 people were wounded in other explosions at churches during the day, the official added. Three were injured in the southern Iraqi district of Dora, while the remaining eight were wounded in the other blasts.
Posted on 07/12/2009 4:09 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 12 July 2009
I much prefer theatre to cinema. This is partly because there are few half-way decent films around - discount anything with the word "wedding" in the title unless preceded by "Muriel" - and partly because even a good film cannot replace a live performance. Attending a live broadcast of Phèdre, from the National to a north London cinema, confirmed my preference, and the reason for it: it is not just the physical presence of the actors, but the tension, and the possibility that it could all go worse than wrong - or better than right. With a film, there are no more possibilities. How disappointed I would have been had I discovered that the Phèdre I saw was not live; that they re-took a scene because Helen Mirren had sneezed all over Hippolytus while struggling to declare her love. Disappointed does not cover it - I would have been furious. Helen Mirren is more than capable of turning a misplaced sneeze into a sob or a sigh - or if she isn't, the audience has a right to know.
In The Times a couple of days ago, Richard Morrison applauded the court victory of a man who insisted that live means live:
Last week, Manchester County Court was the scene of an extraordinary victory. A man called Adrian Bradbury had taken his family to see a professional staging of The Wizard of Oz at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. I know the Lowry well. It’s a superb arts centre and it usually puts on top-class shows. But The Wizard didn’t enchant Mr Bradbury for one simple reason. It had no live band.
All the songs and dance routines were performed to pre-recorded backing tracks. Mr Bradbury felt that if you had paid to see what was billed as a “magical family musical” you were entitled to expect live musicians. So he sued under the Trade Descriptions Act. And, astonishingly, he won. The Lowry argued that “133,000 theatregoers have enjoyed The Wizard of Oz at the Lowry and Mr Bradbury was the only person who expressed any concern with the lack of live music”. But the judge, in effect, said “so what?”. He ruled that Mr Bradbury’s personal expectation of hearing real musicians was genuine and reasonable. So the Lowry must now refund the £134.50 that he spent on tickets.
Why do punters pay to see live entertainment, as opposed to sitting at home and watching the telly or playing a DVD? The answer is that they want to see a performance created afresh before their eyes, not synthetically recycled with minimum effort. A performance that can vary subtly, or a great deal, from night to night. One that responds to the changing mood of the audience or the performers. One that exhibits high theatrical and musical skills. One that requires superb teamwork if all its elements are to be kept in perfect alignment. One that might go wrong, unless everyone gives 100 per cent.
Backing tracks remove a large measure of that danger, as well as any display of instrumental skills. But they also bind singers and dancers to the same speeds, the same interpretations, the same phrasing, for show after show. That vital musical ingredient called “rubato” — the flexibility to slow or quicken the pace on the spur of the moment — is eliminated.
In effect, the audience is being hoodwinked. They are paying to hear live music — yet spontaneity, the very essence of live performance, is ruled out.
A play, or a musical, should be completely live - that is what you pay for. A film is under no such obligation, unless it is a documentary or a news film. Which brings me to to Brüno, Sacha Baren-Cohen's new film, which I will be going to see this Thursday.
Reviews of the film have been mixed, with many, including The Spectator's Deborah Ross, saying Brüno is no Borat. Perhaps Baron-Cohen's joke is wearing thin - I will decide for myself. Not being funny enough is a serious drawback for a comedian. Toby Young, on the other hand, objects to Brüno on the grounds that it is "dishonest". From The Spectator:
When I watched this scene during a screening earlier this week I laughed as loudly as everyone else, but afterwards it left a sour taste in my mouth. What is its purpose, exactly, beyond making people laugh?
You mean it needs one? What next, a mission statement?
Once you strip away the supposedly high-minded intentions of Baron-Cohen and his collaborators, the scene in question begins to seem uncomfortably snobbish, not to say a little racist. A sophisticated, metropolitan audience is being invited to laugh at poor Southern blacks for not having the wherewithal to conceal their visceral disgust when being confronted by someone who looks suspiciously like a pederast. If the purpose of satire is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, then Bruno doesn’t qualify as satire. On the contrary, Baron-Cohen is comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.
First, if it’s funny, who cares? Second, what "high-minded intentions"? Does Young seriously believe that Baron-Cohen had any? Third, any journalist who uses the word “racist” should be summarily disbelieved.
Former New English Review film critic Mark Butterworth objected to Borat for all kinds of reasons, the silliest of which was that many of the scenes were set up, or misleadingly edited. So what? Did anyone imagine for a minute that they weren’t, or that Borat was a serious, or – Lord help us – “authentic” documentary?
Brüno may or may not be funny, but that it is “dishonest” or that it makes good folk look ridiculous is neither here nor there.
Posted on 07/12/2009 9:35 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 12 July 2009
What, Me Worry?
Newsweek explains, in an article meant to discredit those who are concerned, why it is we don't have to worry about Europe being taken over by Muslims:
"The worst of the scaremongering is based on the assumption that current behavior will continue," says Grace Davie, an expert on Europe and Islam at the University of Exeter in Britain.
It assumes that immigration will "continue at a pace that's now politically unacceptable." It is more likely that "new controls will slow Muslim immigration."
So you see, it is silly to worry about it, because those who are worried about it are probably going to do something about it. So, why worry?
Posted on 07/12/2009 9:55 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Daily Mail (h/t: Mark Steyn):
A £1.2million council house occupied by an Afghan family and paid for by the taxpayer was raided by customs officials yesterday.
Twelve officers entered mother-of-seven Toorpakai Saiedi's home in Acton, West London, at 7am and later emerged with documents and suitcases.
HM Revenue and Customs refused to discuss the case due to 'taxpayer confidentiality' but did confirm a property in Acton was visited yesterday morning.
The 36-year-old moved into the detached property last July and receives £170,000 a year in benefits, which includes £12,500 a month for her rent.
Ealing Council has been unable to find suitable council housing, forcing it to pay a private landlord to re-house the family.
Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell promised to stamp out the practice when the case was exposed last year.
Mrs Saiedi moved to London seven years ago after she fled her native Afghanistan during civil unrest.
She was made homeless from a five-bedroom house in Ealing, West London, in 2008 and pleaded with the council for a suitable home but there was nothing available.
As well as seven bedrooms, the house in nearby Acton has two reception rooms, a dining room, two kitchens and an extensive back garden.
The landlord, Ajit Panesar, is being paid double the normal market value of the property because of another government loophole...
Posted on 07/12/2009 10:16 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Indian Govt refutes Pak-Taliban attack report. Plus more plots afoot
This is from Times Now, Indian TV news.
Government on Saturday (July 11) rubbished a Pakistani media report which claimed that six Indians had been killed in a terror attack in Afghanistan, raising the question whether the video was an attempt at propaganda. Government sources claim that there is no specific information yet on whether Indian construction workers were targeted by the Afghan Taliban.
Minister of State External Affairs Praneet Kaur told TIMES NOW that the report aired on Pakistan's Dawn News channel showing a video it claimed was of a Taliban attack on an Indian construction company in Afghanistan, was "absolutely baseless".
The Indian embassy in Afghanistan meanwhile has issued a statement assuring that all Indians are safe and secure in the country. Pakistan's Dawn News TV channel had last night claimed that six Indians were among 18 killed in an attack by Taliban in Paktia province of Afghanistan.
I was just about to post the original report, claiming the deaths and that the Indian firm was attacked for 'unislamic activities' and US connections which I found here.
Elsewhere in Times Now is an exclusive interview with a Lashkar-e-Toiba operative named Shafquat. Video of him, with limited English subtitles here, and written report here.
In a startling confession to TIMES NOW , Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist Shafquat reveals the sinister plot to target Baghlihar dam in India and to construct a tunnel from Sialkot to Jammu region to infiltrate terrorists from the other side of Pakistan.
Born and trained in Pakistan, Shafquat infiltrated into India with the mission of causing maximum destruction. It was in the Shamsabari forests that the Indian Army carried out the encounter and got Shafquat and four of its accomplices in its custody. A huge cache of arms were also recovered including two AK 47, 20 grenades, 100 rounds of ammunition, two radio sets, 1 GPS, battery cells, bullet proof jackets and woolen clothes.
Shafquat, the terrorist, arrested two days back by the Indian Army, is 22 years old Pakistani who belongs to the Lashkar-e-Toiba terror outfit who was trained along with a 120 other terrorists in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and had crossed over into India through the Lipa Valley and got caught in an encounter with the Indian Army. This group of terrorists who infiltrated along with Shafquat had a three pronged plan to spread terror in Jammu and Kashmir.
The first plan was to target Baghlihar dam also known as Baghlihar Hydroelectric Power Project in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. Around 15 militants were provided training to target the dam. The second plan was to construct a tunnel to infiltrate terrorists from Sialkot in Pakistan to somewhere in Jammu region in India. 6-7 metres of tunnel has been completed.
The last one was to target Indian Army camps near the Line of Control.
Posted on 07/12/2009 3:09 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Major New York Times Article on Homegrown Somali Terrorists: Will It Prod Congressional Action?
by Jerry Gordon (July 2009)
Posted on 07/12/2009 5:26 PM by NER