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

These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 13, 2008.
Sunday, 13 January 2008
The Sunday Telegraph expands upon Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s statement last week in several articles today.
A majority of Britons believe that Muslims need to do more to integrate into society and want tighter restrictions on immigration, an opinion poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph shows.
However, the population is divided about whether the breakdown between communities has reached such a level that there are "no-go areas" for non-Muslims.
His comments have been backed by church leaders in majority Muslim areas who have disclosed that their congregations have been targeted by militant Islamists in a campaign of intimidation which has seen churches vandalised and converts to Christianity attacked.
They say that extremists are determined to make non-Muslim residents feel unwelcome, with the ultimate aim of driving them out.
Church leaders in communities with large concentrations of Muslims said that Christians were being targeted. An east London vicar who had delivered Christmas leaflets in his parish said he was told to stay away from "Muslim areas".
He said: "Despite this being a mixed area, where Muslims make up only about 15 per cent of the population, I was told that the leaflets were offensive and could make people angry."
Another churchman said his path had been blocked by Muslim youths as he drove through a district of Oldham, Lancashire, last year. "They wanted to know why I was coming into 'their' area," he said.
A priest ministering in the Manchester district of Rusholme said he knew of "dozens of cases" in which Muslim converts to Christianity had been attacked.
Another church leader said that Asian Christians in Leicester feared being identified when leaving churches. "They are scared of being stopped and beaten up if they are found carrying Bibles," he said.
None of the church leaders we spoke to wished to be identified for fear of retaliation, but Don Horrocks, of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "It's increasingly difficult for non-Muslims to live in areas of high Muslim density, especially if they are practising Christians."
Some commentators fear that the aim of Islamist groups such as Tablighi Jamaat, Hizb-ut-Tahir and the Deobandi sect is to drive non-Muslims out of areas such as Dewsbury, in West Yorkshire, and Oldham along with neighbourhoods in Luton, Leicester, Birmingham and Leyton, in east London.
The ultra-conservative Deobandi movement, which produced the Taliban in Afghanistan and some of whose British followers preach hatred of Christians, Hindus and Jews, is thought to be in control of almost half of Britain's 1,350 mosques, reports claim.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, the director of the Barnabas Trust, which helps persecuted Christians, said: "Muslims are being told not to integrate into British society, but to set up separate enclaves where they can operate according to sharia law." He said the process of "cleansing" Muslim-majority areas of non-Muslims had already begun, with white residents urged to leave and churches threatened.
It has been more than 40 years since Tim Carbin walked the length of Oak Lane, the Bradford backstreet of his boyhood. Then, when he lived with his grandmother Florence Pawson, a matriarch within the community, his task after school was to run errands.
Mr Carbin, then 13, knew all the local storekeepers by name, just as he knew the families in the surrounding terraces.
Yesterday, outside number 95A, his grandmother's former home, Mr Carbin gazed in bewilderment as he scanned his old haunt.
Not surprisingly, the stores of his youth had gone: such has been the change in our shopping habits over the decades that they have given way to supermarkets and fast-food outlets.
But that was not all that had changed irrevocably in Oak Lane. Among the new stores, the clothes shops sell Muslim dress, the butcher stocks halal meat and even the local takeaway advertises halal pizza.
"I feel like an alien, like I'm on a street in Karachi," Mr Carbin says, awkwardly.
"I don't feel I have anything in common with this area. It's like I've never been here before. I knew it would be different but I knew, too, that I would feel uncomfortably like I don't belong."
As Mr Corbin trudges farther along Oak Lane, he passes the tumble-down Anglican church where many of his former neighbours worshipped. Amid the mound of bricks, Sunday school hymn books are strewn.
In the surrounding streets, the few white residents willing to talk speak of isolation rather than intimidation. One said he had had several members of the Asian community knocking on his door, asking if he wanted to sell his home.
I had that when my father was in hospital and so did my oldest friend 3 streets away when her father died. This happened just before I started courting my husband. On the advice of a Muslim colleague I took two male “cousins” with me when I had deal with the opportunist would be purchasers.
"At face value, that seems innocuous," he says. "But others believe it was a message saying I should get out."
Another tells of how his father, an electrician, parked his van in the area only to have it rocked and thumped by a group of Asian youths telling him: "This is our area now. You are not welcome here."
In the nearby town of Dewsbury, which was once, like Bradford, a thriving mill area, similar enclaves exist. Local people were outraged recently to read that busy nurses at their local hospital had to allocate time to turning the beds of Muslim patients towards Mecca five times a day so that they could pray.
But, as Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, points out, the notion of space and territory is vital to Muslims.
During the 1979 European Islamic Conference, a policy of integrating as communities, not as individuals, was advocated.
"Once those communities become the majority," he says, "they can control education, the economy and so on. And that is what has happened."
Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader:
"In 1987 I stood in Bradford West as the Conservative candidate, an election characterised by some violence and death threats. My experiences at that election left me worried that we had a growing problem with a community reluctant to integrate. This debate should have taken place a long time ago."
Ann Cryer, the Labour MP for Keighley, near Bradford:
"I've been told about men and women of my age who don't like to go into local parks because they've been told by Pakistani lads to stay out. There are almost entirely Muslim areas where it would be difficult for a white to live in the same way that it would be hard for a Muslim to live in some of the all-white areas." Anne Cryer is a mature lady I would say around 64. I have great respect for her for her work against forced marriage and domestic violence.
Prof Anthony Glees, of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies:
"We have now got Islamic enclaves where a self-selecting apartheid system is emerging under the banner of 'celebrating diversity'.
That's dangerous from a security point of view because it allows the threat of terror and subversion to emerge, as it did with the July 7 London bombings, which were carried out by young men born and raised in Britain, but who looked to Islam."
Posted on 01/13/2008 3:51 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Weasel words from "Ed" Husain

"Ed" Husain - our Ed - is such a nice, ordinary bloke isn't he? Not like those "Islamists" he once mixed with, an experience he seems to have done rather well out of. Ed Husain is the Prodigal Son whom we all want to forgive. And lo, the former "Islamist" agrees with the Bishop of Rochester about "no go areas". Unless you read the small print. From The Telegraph:

Last week Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali had the courage of his convictions and lambasted multiculturalism, Muslim extremists and "no-go" areas in our country. I think he was right and wrong.

Kill that fatted calf, now.

A "no-go" area is not a literal or legal term, but a reference to feeling unease or significant social and physical discomfort in certain surroundings. My local town centre, for example, is a "no-go" area for me on Saturday nights. Binge drinking and violence run rampant. The mentality of drunkards is not too dissimilar to groups of young, hate-filled men who do not want to see others "on their turf".

Notice the slick, almost imperceptible moral equivalence. Bad Muslims are just like bad people everywhere, so Muslims are just like everyone else. Wrong. A drunken infidel may be obnoxious, but tomorrow he will be sober. And he is not planning to make drinking compulsory and turn non-drinkers into second-class citizens. Husain slithers on:

The bishop was right to identify the problem, but wrong to focus, as it appeared, only on Muslims. Whether it's Muslim extremists in Blackburn, or Jewish isolationists in Golders Green, or white supremacists in rural Wiltshire, or fundamentalist Sikhs in Southall, collectively as a nation we have to accept that we are facing a serious failure in social cohesion. There is no point in showcasing multicultural Britain on the continent when our cities are divided along ethnic, class and religious lines. In the name of multiculturalism, we have created monocultural ghettoes. A shopper in London's Green Street or Birmingham's Alum Rock Road may as well be somewhere in India.

"Jewish isolationists in Golders Green"? Jewish isolationists? Oy gevalt! How scary they are with their notional eruvs and their latkes. In fact, Golders Green is a very cosmopolitan area, with a mix of all races. "Vibrant" is the term generally used for such areas. But even if there were hoards of "Jewish isolationists" that would not scare me at all. The thing about isolationists, you see, is that they leave you alone. I wish Mohammed had been an isolationist, and I bet I'm not the only one. As for "fundamentalist Sikhs in Southall", I will leave it to regular reader Pali to comment on whether they are a threat.

Sorry, "Ed" - I think the fatted calf lives to fatten another day. Read the rest if you like. I got to the bit about "Jewish isolationists" and gave up. Readers may find my December 2007 article, The Islamist, more satisfying. In it you will see him compare Islam, to which the whole world must submit, with Zionism, the desire for a tiny homeland for a persecuted people.

I do not like thee, Ed Husain
The reason why  is surely plain

Posted on 01/13/2008 5:36 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Kangaroo Court in Alberta

Alberta Human Rights Commission Interrogation

Opening remarks by Ezra Levant, January 11, 2008 – Calgary

My name is Ezra Levant. Before this government interrogation begins, I will make a statement.When the Western Standard magazine printed the Danish cartoons of Mohammed two years ago, I was the publisher. It was the proudest moment of my public life. I would do it again today. In fact, I did do it again today. Though the Western Standard, sadly, no longer publishes a print edition, I posted the cartoons this morning on my website,

I am here at this government interrogation under protest. It is my position that the government has no legal or moral authority to interrogate me or anyone else for publishing these words and pictures. That is a violation of my ancient and inalienable freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and in this case, religious freedom and the separation of mosque and state. It is especially perverted that a bureaucracy calling itself the Alberta human rights commission would be the government agency violating my human rights. So I will now call those bureaucrats “the commission” or “the hrc”, since to call the commission a “human rights commission” is to destroy the meaning of those words.I believe that this commission has no proper authority over me. The commission was meant as a low-level, quasi-judicial body to arbitrate squabbles about housing, employment and other matters, where a complainant felt that their race or sex was the reason they were discriminated against. The commission was meant to deal with deeds, not words or ideas. Now the commission, which is funded by a secular government, from the pockets of taxpayers of all backgrounds, is taking it upon itself to be an enforcer of the views of radical Islam. So much for the separation of mosque and state.

I have read the past few years’ worth of decisions from this commission, and it is clear that it has become a dump for the junk that gets rejected from the real legal system. I read one case where a male hair salon student complained that he was called a “loser” by the girls in the class. The commission actually had a hearing about this. Another case was a kitchen manager with Hepatitis-C, who complained that it was against her rights to be fired. The commission actually agreed with her, and forced the restaurant to pay her $4,900. In other words, the commission is a joke – it’s the Alberta equivalent of a U.S. television pseudo-court like Judge Judy – except that Judge Judy actually was a judge, whereas none of the commission’s panellists are judges, and some aren’t even lawyers. And, unlike the commission, Judge Judy believes in freedom of speech.

It’s bad enough that this sick joke is being wreaked on hair salons and restaurants. But it’s even worse now that the commissions are attacking free speech. That’s my first point: the commissions have leapt out of the small cage they were confined to, and are now attacking our fundamental freedoms. As Alan Borovoy, Canada’s leading civil libertarian, a man who helped form these commissions in the 60’s and 70’s, wrote, in specific reference to our magazine, being a censor is, quote, “hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions. There should be no question of the right to publish the impugned cartoons.” Unquote. Since the commission is so obviously out of control, he said quote “It would be best, therefore, to change the provisions of the Human Rights Act to remove any such ambiguities of interpretation.” Unquote.


The commission has no legal authority to act as censor. It is not in their statutory authority. They’re just making it up – even Alan Borovoy says so.


But even if the commissions had some statutory fig leaf for their attempts at political and religious censorship, it would still be unlawful and unconstitutional.


We have a heritage of free speech that we inherited from Great Britain that goes back to the year 1215 and the Magna Carta. We have a heritage of eight hundred years of British common law protection for speech, augmented by 250 years of common law in Canada.


That common law has been restated in various fundamental documents, especially since the Second World War.

In 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Canada is a party, declared that, quote:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”


The 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights guaranteed, quote


1. “ human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,

(c) freedom of religion; (d) freedom of speech; (e) freedom of assembly and association; and (f) freedom of the press.

In 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed, quote:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;

b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;


Those were even called “fundamental freedoms” – to give them extra importance.

For a government bureaucrat to call any publisher or anyone else to an interrogation to be quizzed about his political or religious expression is a violation of 800 years of common law, a Universal Declaration of Rights, a Bill of Rights and a Charter of Rights. This commission is applying Saudi values, not Canadian values.

It is also deeply procedurally one-sided and unjust. The complainant – in this case, a radical Muslim imam, who was trained at an officially anti-Semitic university in Saudi Arabia, and who has called for sharia law to govern Canada – doesn’t have to pay a penny; Alberta taxpayers pay for the prosecution of the complaint against me. The victims of the complaints, like the Western Standard, have to pay for their own lawyers from their own pockets. Even if we win, we lose – the process has become the punishment. (At this point, I’d like to thank the magazine’s many donors who have given their own money to help us fight against the Saudi imam and his enablers in the Alberta government.)

It is procedurally unfair. Unlike real courts, there is no way to apply for a dismissal of nuisance lawsuits. Common law rules of evidence don’t apply. Rules of court don’t apply. It is a system that is part Kafka, and part Stalin. Even this interrogation today – at which I appear under duress – saw the commission tell me who I could or could not bring with me as my counsel and advisors.

I have no faith in this farcical commission. But I do have faith in the justice and good sense of my fellow Albertans and Canadians. I believe that the better they understand this case, the more shocked they will be. I am here under your compulsion to answer the commission’s questions. But it is not I who am on trial: it is the freedom of all Canadians.

You may start your interrogation.

Later, Mr Levant reports on his experience:

If you don't pay attention, you might not even realize that freedoms are being eroded. I had half-expected a combative, missionary-style interrogator. I found, instead, a limp clerk who was just punching the clock. She had done it dozens of times before, and will do it dozens of times again. In a way, that's more terrifying.
Posted on 01/13/2008 7:45 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 13 January 2008
She sits among the cabbages and peas

Notice in a Sainsbury's store window in Kent:

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will not be serving hot food after 3pm today. Sorry for any incontinence this may cause."

Posted on 01/13/2008 7:52 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Damian Thompson on the Muslim Call to Prayer

After reading Ed Husain's weasel words, it is refreshing to read Damian Thompson. In his excellent blog, Holy Smoke, Thompson backs one bishop and bashes another:

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, is supporting calls by Muslims to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer in East Oxford. And he has attacked Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester for suggesting that attempts are being made to impose an “Islamic character” on parts of Britain.

Bishop Pritchard is wrong and Bishop Nazir-Ali is right: it’s as simple as that. The creation of Muslim (as opposed to Pakistani) ghettos in our cities is a threat to social cohesion. The call of the muezzin through East Oxford streets will strengthen the sense of territorial domination that is central to modern Islamic identity.

“I am personally very happy for the mosque to call the faithful to prayer in East Oxford,” says the bishop – who, conveniently, doesn’t live in that part of the city and so won’t have to listen to it himself.

It’s this sort of dhimmitude that is enabling mosque leaders to redefine British Pakistanis as “the faithful”. Muslims eat halal, right? And Pakistanis are Muslims, so let’s force primary schools in ethnic minority areas to serve halal food. Likewise, we all know that Muslims are “called to prayer”, so let the mosque broadcast its call across the terraced outskirts of Oxford.

The Bishop of Rochester, himself a Pakistani, is worried that British Islam is creating its own exclusion zones. But Bishop Pritchard knows better.

“There are no no-go areas in this country that we are aware of and in all parts of the country there are good interfaith relationships developing,” he says.


Posted on 01/13/2008 8:13 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Ezra Levant Answers His Accuser

 This YouTube tape should -- will - be used in Constitutional Law courses, all over the United States.

In discussing the issue of American "free speech," it will be appropriate, even necessary, to show students the Danish cartoons (and discuss that brouhaha), the ones then reprinted by Levant in Canada, and will wish students to compare what happened in Denmark, as a belated and organized reaction (Muslim ambassadors recalled, economic boycotts in Arab and other Muslim countries, the attempt by Muslims in Denmark to whip up Muslim rage against Denmark, the death-threats against Danes abroad, the attacks on Danish institutions and embassies) with what appears to be happening in Canada, and with First Amendment jurisprudence.

And finally, professors teaching courses in Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, and Human Rights Law, will wish to have students set side by side, and then carefully study and compare, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its "Islamic" equivalent, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights.

That will be instructive.

Posted on 01/13/2008 9:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 13 January 2008
She Must Have Skipped Biology

Perhaps feminist Caitlin Flanagan would like to take back the following statement in New Duranty, but it's too late.

Even the much-discussed pregnancy of 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears reveals the rudely unfair toll that a few minutes of pleasure can exact on a girl. The very fact that the gossip magazines are still debating the identity of the father proves again that the burden of sex is the woman’s to bear.

Posted on 01/13/2008 8:33 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Muslim Britain is becoming one big no-go area
The Times also has something to say from another former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Shiraz Maher. How many renegades from Hizb ut Tahrir are there?
Perhaps it had to be someone like Michael Nazir-Ali, the first Asian bishop in the Church of England, who would break with convention and finally point out the elephant in the room.
His comments last week about the growing stranglehold of Muslim extremists in some communities revived debate about the future of multiculturalism and provoked a flurry of condemnation. Members of all three political parties immediately clamoured to dismiss him. “I don’t recognise the description that he’s talked about – no-go areas and people feeling intimidated,” said Hazel Blears, the communities secretary.
A quick call to her Labour colleague John Reid, the former home secretary, would almost certainly have helped her to identify at least one of those places. Just over a year ago Reid was heckled by the Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen in Leytonstone, east London, during a speech on extremism, appropriately. “How dare you come to a Muslim area,” Izzadeen screamed.
That picture is mirrored outside London. One of our country’s biggest and most deprived Muslim areas is Small Heath, in Birmingham, where Dr Tahir Abbas, director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture, was raised. With a dominant Asian monoculture, low social achievement and high unemployment, Small Heath is precisely the kind of insular and disengaged urban ghetto Nazir-Ali was talking about.
Reflecting on his experiences there, Abbas is critical of his peers who don’t stray beyond their area. “They haven’t seen rural Devon, a stately home or Windsor Castle,” he says. That refusal to engage with anything beyond the community is suffocating young Muslims by divorcing them almost entirely from Britain’s cultural heritage and mainstream life.
And their feelings of separation have been further reinforced by the advent of digital broadcasting, which has swelled the number of foreign language television stations in Britain, creating digital ghettos. Islamist movements such as Hizb ut-Tahrir (of which I was once a senior member) have been quick to spot the opportunities this affords them.
the moral ambiguity of multiculturalism means Britain no longer knows what it stands for, our enemies are not just growing ever surer of themselves but are also winning the debate.
For almost three decades now, the witless promotion of cultural relativ-ism under successive governments means that our national identity can simply be reduced to the theme of a courtroom sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus – anything goes. Measuring the extent to which this ambiguity has affected perceptions within Britain’s already insular Muslim communities, Abbas told me he surveyed schoolchildren in Small Heath by asking them how many Muslims they thought lived in Britain.
“We had answers around 30m to 50m,” he says, with more than a hint of despondency in his voice (the true figure is 1.6m).
Moghal blames the mosques for this, saying: “They promote a conscious rejection of western values.” He has a point. In many places the prevailing attitude is that sporting a flowing Arab robe symbolises your religiosity while your piety is linked to the length of your beard.
Muslim groups have already reacted with predictable intemperance to the bishop’s comments. “Mr Nazir-Ali is promoting hatred towards Muslims and should resign,” said Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, while Ajmal Masroor of the Islamic Society of Britain said the church should “take serious action”.  The Church should actually. Making Bishop Michael the next Archbishop would be a start. Standing up for our Christian heritage should be next. Challenging the wrongfulness of the Koran wouldn’t hurt either.
Their anger vindicates him entirely and in many respects demonstrates that Nazir-Ali’s observations not only are valid, but don’t go far enough. The Glasgow bombings proved that the kinds of no-go area extremists are creating don’t always have to be physical locations.
Muslim attitudes are now so hyper-sensitive that anyone who dares to criticise Islam or Muslims has to think twice – and then some more – before doing so. Publishing a simple cartoon is enough to provoke a serious diplomatic crisis, the ransacking of embassies, mass global protest and at least several deaths.
But it’s not just non Muslims for whom extremists reserve their hatred. After I wrote about the way British Islamists celebrated Benazir Bhutto’s assassination last month, a number of threats quickly appeared on the internet. “If I meet him I’m going to paste him in his face,” wrote Abu Junayd from Slough on a chat forum. Another commentator said I should “suffer severe punishments in this life and the hereafter”.
Their attitude springs from the Takfiri mind-set, which, in its most extreme forms, underwrites Al-Qaeda’s philosophy by suggesting that anyone who disagrees with Islamism (the extreme, politicised form of Islam) is a legitimate target for attack. 
Posted on 01/13/2008 8:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Tomorrow Belongs To Me

"Many of the converts [to Islam] are in fact reacting against Western materialism and relativism. Others, straitlaced morals aside, are attracted by the prospect of religious sanction for polygamy."
-- from Robert Spencer's comments here

These are two of the reasons. But there are others. You may find it necessary, given your surroundings (you are a prisoner in a prison where Muslims comprise the group that dominates, and threatens; you live in a council house where you are one of very few non-Muslims) to join up, in the same fearful way that some might join the Crips or the Bloods. Or, you may like the idea of the Instant Community, "the brothers," who offer you -- just say that Shahada will you, and let's get on with it -- a group to which you will now Belong. Or you can't stand the confusion of life, which only gets more confused every day, and long for a Simple Solution to the Universe, and what is simpler, than handing over your intellect, and learning the habit of mental submission, something no longer to be ashamed of, as a sign of inability, but now the source of strength and pride, as you are obeying -- with everything neatly labelled haram or halal, in the Total Belief-System that does not merely encourage or discourage, but Commands and Prohibits.

And think, as a kind of commentary on this phenomenon, of the telling scene in "Cabaret" where, one by one, the young boys rise, until they are no longer individuals but The Crowd, The Mass, as they join in singing the Nazi-esque anthem, "Tomorrow Belongs To Me."

Posted on 01/13/2008 9:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Give The People What They Want?

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - President Bush said Sunday that Iran is threatening the security of the world, and that the United States and Arab allies must join together to confront the danger "before it's too late."..

"Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere," Bush said, calling on the Iranian government to make itself more accountable to its citizens...

Which begs the obvious question, what if the citizens of Iran and the citizens of the Arab world and even the entire Muslim world "all want the same thing," that is, the destruction of the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel?

Posted on 01/13/2008 11:35 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 13 January 2008
The Queen's Close Call

Sunday Express: AL Qaeda terrorists posing as TV crews planned to blow up the Queen by smuggling explosives into last year’s Commonwealth summit.

Two huge outside broadcast vans belonging to the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation were seized after a tip-off from intelligence agents.

As a result, UBC was unable to transmit live pictures of key summit events, including the Queen’s historic address to the Ugandan parliament on November 22.

Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, the Uganda Minister of Internal Affairs, said: “We received information that a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda, the Allied Democratic Forces, was planning to carry out terrorist activities at the Commonwealth meeting. The security services in Uganda neutralised these threats.” ...

Posted on 01/13/2008 1:30 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Journalist Charged With Blasphemy In Afghanistan

Reuters (hat tip DW): MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan - Dozens of Afghan journalists and activists on Saturday sought the release of a journalist detained by security officials for allegedly making blasphemous comments.

The 23-year-old Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, reporter of Jahan-e Naw daily paper and a journalism student at Balkh University in northern Afghanistan, was detained three months ago.

Kambakhsh was accused of mocking Islam and the holy book, the Koran, and for distributing an article which said Prophet Mohammad had ignored the rights of women.

Activists gathered outside at the Human Rights Commission’s office in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh, demanding the journalist’s release...

Posted on 01/13/2008 3:35 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Musical Interlude: Billie Holiday
Posted on 01/13/2008 6:32 PM by Rebecca Bynum

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