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These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 13, 2012.
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
France turns away three Saudi women over veils

From Expatica and Metro News Canada

France has refused entry to three women from Saudi Arabia who declined to take off their veils for immigration officials, forcing them to get a return flight, an airport source said Tuesday.

An official with the SGP-FO police union spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly for the police.

The women arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha at 2:30 pm (1230 GMT) Monday but were denied entry into France after refusing to lift their full Muslim veils to show their faces to police carrying out border controls.

"They were issued a fine, according to the law" and returned to Doha that evening, the source said.

Posted on 06/13/2012 2:57 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Pakistan Cleric declares jihad against polio campaign

From the Express Tribune

MUZAFFARGARH: A cleric in Muzaffargarh declared the polio campaign ‘un-Islamic’ and announced at the local mosque that Jihad should be carried out against the visiting polio vaccination team.

According to details, the local polio team entered Muzaffargarh’s rural Khan Pur Bagga Sher area and asked local families to cooperate with the campaign.

When the local cleric, Maulvi Ibrahim Chisti found out about the campaign, he immediately went to the biggest mosque in the area and declared that polio drops are ‘poison’ and against Islam. He added that if the polio team forced anybody to partake in the vaccination campaign, then Jihad was ‘the only option’.

As a result, the polio team returned to Muzaffargarh city without carrying out immunisation . . .  A police inquiry was ordered, after which a raid was carried out in the cleric’s area. However, Chisti had already escaped by the time the police arrived. Residents said the cleric had tried to convince them that the polio campaign was a ‘western conspiracy’ to render the population impotent.

Posted on 06/13/2012 3:14 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Pull the other one

Writing in The Telegraph on the subject of educational standards, Janet Daley obeys the Law of Sod and misplaces an apostrophe:

Seated as he and his primary classmates were at group tables made it far too easy to be distracted and annoyed by others' misbehaviour, and also meant that it was possible for pupils to copy each others' work.

The second others' should be other's, but I think she got distracted by the first others' which should not be other than it is. Or maybe this is an Americanism, in which case all bets are off.

I'm pretty sure I'm right, but people who correct each other's grammar run the risk of reflexively hoisting themselves with one another's petards.

Janet Daley also messes up her syntax. Corrections below:

Seated as he and his primary classmates were at group tables, made it it was far too easy to be distracted and annoyed by others' misbehaviour, and also meant that it was possible for pupils to copy each others'r's work.

Posted on 06/13/2012 6:11 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Tripolitanian Tribulation

Libya: The worst may be yet to come

By Ranj Alaaldin

Editor’s note:  Ranj Alaaldin is a senior analyst at the Next Century Foundation and a political and security risk consultant specializing in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Libya has become embroiled in chaos over the past week.  First, militiamen seized the capital’s international airport for several hours in protest against the kidnapping of their leader.  Islamist militants then targeted the U.S. diplomatic office in Benghazi, following it up with a surprisingly sophisticated attack on a British diplomatic convoy.  And in the south, tribal clashes broke out town in the town of al-Kufra, claiming the lives of at least 20 people. Government troops did not intervene, according to reports from the town.

These developments suggest indecisiveness on the part of the interim government, the National Transitional Council, which appears unable and unwilling to try to assert its control over a complicated network of armed militias. Unless national institutions are developed in Libya, an environment of low-level conflict and bloody lawlessness could soon prevail.

The current security environment, dominated by militias, does not constitute a proper security framework:  It lacks coordination and creates gaps that allow for conflict between rival groups, as well as criminal activities like smuggling – and terrorism, which appears to be a new factor in the east. It is precisely this form of loosely organized, unaccountable security structure that criminal gangs and terrorists thrive on.

The ultimate test of Libya’s fragile stability could emerge after elections take place in July (delayed by three weeks because of logistical problems), when the stakes are much higher.  The question is whether powerful factions, many of them representing tribes and regions, will defer to the new constitutional process or whether they will seek to undermine and circumvent the political process in pursuit of higher stakes and settle what could be longstanding disputes over control of the country and its oil-based wealth.  The potential for civil war could, therefore, be amplified after elections when competing groups jostle for positions of power, like control of the military and the country’s finances or lucrative oil industry.

Challenges will begin to arise over who or what group heads security institutions.  Many will fear the “personalization” of such institutions by well-armed non-state actors, not least since the very individuals and groups who will have positions in the country’s new government head their own, or have extensive links to, existing militia groups.

The situation is compounded by the fact that, since the former regime was ousted in September, the Libyan army and security forces have remained disorganized, devoid of authority and thin on the ground.

As these deficiencies are remedied (assuming they are), so too may militia groups respond by amalgamating into larger groups.  Militia leaders will have a choice: back down to respect the prowess of a more authoritative Libyan army or try to compete with that army.  The latter course would obviously create an uncontrollable environment conducive to instability and potentially irreversible violence.

Like Iraq in late 2003, Libya is enduring a somewhat uneasy period of relative stability after international intervention, disrupted only by intermittent attacks and clashes between rival factions.  But, like Iraq, that could simply be the calm before the storm. Soon, one group among the many competing for power and authority in the new Libya will seek to assert its authority.  For the sake of the Libyan people, one can only hope that it will be the state, with a reformed and capable national army.

Posted on 06/13/2012 9:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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