Imagine a 77-year-old woman hanging around, say, Leicester bus station, telling people about her life. She confides her belief that she is under surveillance by the military. She maintains that she can ‘see the reality of the web of synchronicity in my life’. Showing off her special jewellery that ‘helps balance the chakras’, she reveals that ‘because I had a high metabolism and moved around a lot, I had no real [weight] problem until I was about 50’.
Past-life experiences figure heavily. She was a ‘harem girl in the home of a pasha in Turkey’, an androgynous being in the ‘Lemurian (pre-Atlantis) time period’, and also knew her dog Terry before ‘in Egypt, I think, when she was an Annubis, a God of the Netherworld.’
She has strong views on inject-able vitamin C, and needs ‘at least two slices of bread a day, usually at breakfast’. Aware that she is ‘ten years ahead of the curve on many things’, she shares her suspicion that the government is concealing the ‘real truth behind Pearl Harbor’, and reveals that UFOs are ‘documented fact’, but that a cover-up is in operation ‘so as not to alarm the human race’.
The only difference between this woman and the Hollywood actress ShirleyMacLaine is that while one is given a wide berth, the other has been given a book deal. The result — I’m Over All That — is available for £14.99 from Simon & Schuster. There is no entrance fee at Leicester bus station.
I don't care if she's nuts. She's Fran Kubelik in The Apartment - sweetheart of Bud "no-napkins" Baxter (beatnik) - and that's all that matters:
A campaign group for Muslim prisoners, partnered by Amnesty International, has published a mock execution of President Obama.
CagePrisoners, run by Moazzam Begg, the former Guantánamo detainee, published a fake picture of Mr Obama with head wounds and headlined it: "Breaking news: Barack Obama is dead."
The article underneath, which has been duplicated on Muslim forums across the internet, described the US president as a war criminal and claimed he had been killed by Pakistani security forces at a compound near Camberley, Surrey, not far from Sandhurst. Mr Obama's wife Michelle was also said to have been killed when she was used as "a shield".
"Obama was cremated at the stake after a Christian funeral on board an aircraft carrier," the article said, mocking the Muslim funeral given to Osama bin Laden.
Another article by Asim Qureshi, the executive director of the group, claimed that bin Laden was "one time a hero of the mujahideen in Afghanistan". He added: "Western history books may seek to remember him as an evil man, but as we know history is written by the victors and there is no end to the war in sight."
CagePrisoners has received £170,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Trust, which funds social policy research, and £25,000 from the Roddick Foundation, set up by the family of the founder of the Body Shop, Anita Roddick. Amnesty International has campaigned alongside it on the issue of Guantánamo Bay and on the Gibson inquiry into the treatment of detainees.
The group has been able to move to offices in Camden, north London and to employ three full-time and one part-time member of staff.
Amnesty International said it did not approve of the article but would continue to work with the group. More shame on AI then, and another reason why I don't use Body Shop.
[Former president George W.] Bush said U.S. foreign policy needs to continue to promote the ideas of democracy and freedom as a way to combat global terrorism.
"The long-term solution is to promote a better ideology, which is freedom. Freedom is universal," Bush said. "People who do not look like us want freedom just as much. The relatives of [former Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice over 100 years ago wanted freedom. It is only when you do not have hope in a society that you join a suicide bomber team."
Still unable to understand the total enslavement of the human mind and soul created by Islam, still unable even to glimpse the world through the eyes of the believers, still promoting the disatrous policy of democracy promotion in Muslim lands which is sucking our treasury dry and changing absolutely nothing.
Though the 9/11 attacks by Islamic extremists are almost 10 years past and al-Qaida boss Osama bin Laden is dead, the American debate over Islam is still raging, as evidenced by numerous conflicts over public events around the country.
The battles — a kind of holy war for American hearts and minds — feature a changing cast of players, but they typically array some of the dozens of groups dedicated to exposing the threat of radical Islam in the U.S. against dozens of others established to protect the rights of Muslim Americans and defend their religion as peaceful.
Charles Kurzman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says the clashes over Islam point to two powerful prevailing currents.
“One trend is heightened alarm and suspicion on the part of people concerned about domestic security,” he said. “The other trend is increased assertiveness and political activism on the part of Muslim Americans.”
At a national level, the conflict played out in controversial congressional hearings in April, which featured testimony from witnesses warning of a threat posed by Islamic radicals within the United States. Meanwhile Muslim leaders and civil rights groups — who were largely excluded from the proceedings — held press briefings comparing the hearings to red-baiting of the McCarthy era.
War of words, waged on small battlefields
But more often they unfold on smaller battlefields. Recent examples include:
· In Detroit, the city transit system is locked in a legal struggle with groups who sought to use advertising space on the sides of buses for controversial messages on “honor killings” of Muslim women. After the city rejected the ads as too political, the groups behind the ads — Stop Islamization of America and the American Freedom Defense Initiative — sued the city, and won. Detroit is appealing.
· In Temecula, Calif., a group called Citizens Concerned about the First Amendment this month held a protest outside the local high school, where they handed out fliers that labeled the teaching of Islam in the school’s social studies program as “brainwashing.” The fliers offered links to national anti-Islam groups.
· In Texas, the board of education passed a resolution last September to reject the purchase of textbooks that include “pro-Islamic, anti-Christian half-truths and selective disinformation.” The debate is expected to resurface with the review of new textbooks this year.
· At least 20 states are considering “anti-Shariah” measures, which in various ways prohibit the courts from considering Islamic law in their decisions. Muslim advocates say the measures are legal gibberish that promote fear and hatred, while drafters portray them as a bulwark against creeping Islamization.
No one is immune from the theological tug-of-war, as administrators learned last week at a small Washington community college sandwiched between the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains that decided to run a special lecture series called “Islam in America.”
Since it launched the series in January, Everett Community College has been battered by forces far beyond its normally quiet campus.
“I knew it would be controversial, but I thought it was going to be more internal,” said Craig Lewis, dean of communications and humanities at the school. “I had no idea we were going to get national attention.”
‘The truth… is ugly’ The talk that inspired the most recent protest at Everett Community College was a May 5 appearance by Raymond Ibrahim, who works for the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank in Philadelphia. Ibrahim, an Egyptian American of Coptic Christian upbringing, holds that there can be no such thing as a “moderate” Islam. If Muslims adhere to the Quran, he said, they are compelled to engage in jihad or “struggle”— by persuasion, deceit or violence, if necessary — so Islam can triumph.
“To a Muslim, jihad means a certain kind of struggle — spreading and empowering Islam against non-Muslims,” Ibrahim told students and local residents who crowded the lecture hall. “Peace with non-Muslims is a provisional state only.”
Ibrahim invoked a notion from Islamic theology called “taqiyya,” which allows Muslims to lie in certain circumstances. Ibrahim argued that taqiyya is broadly used by apparently moderate Muslims whose real aim is to convert and control others.
When a member of the audience asked Ibrahim why most Islamic scholars in the United States condemned al-Qaida, he pointed to taqiyya. “It’s strategic. … It is a deception that is allowed by Islam.”
Ibrahim said he had come by his knowledge through a precise reading of the Quran and other Arabic sources.
Pakistanis, Some With American Citizenship, Arrested For Supporting Taliban
From Bloomberg News:
Three U.S. Citizens Among Six Charged With Supporting Taliban in Pakistan
By Richard Rubin and Dan Hart - May 14, 2011
A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, four family members and another man were charged by federal prosecutors with providing “material support” to the Pakistani Taliban.
Three of those indicted, including two South Florida imams, have been arrested, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice. Three others are at large in Pakistan. All are charged with conspiring to support a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap persons overseas as well as supporting the Pakistani Taliban.
Named in the indictment are Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, of Miami; two of his sons, Irfan Khan, 37, of Miami, and Izhar Khan, 24, of North Lauderdale, Florida, also U.S. citizens; and Ali Rehman, Alam Zeb, and Amina Khan. All are originally from Pakistan, the Justice Department said.
Hafiz and Izhar Khan were arrested today in South Florida while Irfan Khan was picked up in Los Angeles, according to the statement. Amina Khan is Hafiz Khan’s daughter and Zeb is her son, the government said.
South Florida Imams
Hafiz and Izhar Khan are imams at mosques in southern Florida, the Justice Department said. They are scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami on May 16. Irfan Khan is expected to make his initial court appearance in Los Angeles.
“Despite being an imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace,” U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer said in the statement. “Instead, as today’s charges show, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming.” ["Despite"?]
The FBI began the investigation based on a review of financial transactions, according to the Justice Department.
The Pakistani Taliban has been involved in several attacks on U.S. targets in South Asia. The group claimed responsibility for bombings on May 13 that killed 80 people at a paramilitary police academy in northwestern Pakistan. It said an attack on the U.S. is next, as part of its attempts to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden.
keep away from him", was the advice given to young Muslims in one of the dubious mosques exposed recently. I wonder what those bearded imams would make of these infidel bristles. I like his hat as well.
Michael Beran: Islam And The Permanent Closing Of The Muslim Mind
From National Review:
Michael Knox Beran
May 10, 2011
The Dark Night of Islam The revolutionary events shaking the Islamic world will not change an intolerant and obscurantist culture
The last six months have proved a climacteric in the history of Islam. An astonished world has witnessed the deposition of rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, revolts in Syria and Libya, the intensification in Iran of a struggle between President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei, and the United States’ imposition on Osama bin Laden of a wild but under the circumstances salutary justice.
Yet however tumultuous the events may be, Islam seems unlikely to undergo the reformation its most generous hearts and intelligent minds desire. The revolutions in the Arab states more nearly resemble the abortive ones of 1848 than the successful ones of 1989: Only the identity of the ruling cabals is likely to change. Osama is dead, but his cult and myth live on. He has already been enrolled by many Muslims in the register of their martyrs, while others piously approach his house in Abbottabad as they would a reliquary shrine.
- - - - -In Iran the conflict between the messianic president and the apocalyptic ayatollah has been phrased, not in the language of liberty and the just limitation of power, but in a cryptic idiom concerned with the invocation of djins (genies or demons) and the proper method of computing the coming of the Mahdi, the redeemer of Islam, who, it is foretold, will raise a Black Standard, have a natural mascara around his eyes, and establish the new caliphate.
A small number of Islamic intellectuals, many of them educated in the West, have during the last few decades attempted to open the Islamic mind and reconcile the teachings of the prophet with individual liberty, freedom of conscience, the rule of law, and wide and accurate learning. They have sought to disprove the pessimistic conclusion of Charles Doughty, who after living for some time among the Arabs complained, in Travels in Arabia Deserta, that “the Moslem religion ever makes numbness and death in some part of the human understanding.”
These humane Islamic intellectuals — I met a few of them some years ago in Fez and Rabat — have been faithful to the spirit of Dr. Aziz in Forster’s A Passage to India. Aziz has an open mind; “for so young a man he had read largely; the themes he preferred were the decay of Islam and the brevity of love.” But however promising this humane Islam might be, it remains the dream of a few isolated philosophers whose idiom and orientation are largely Western, and who have no idea how to appeal to the sensibilities of ordinary Muslims. [they do not dare to abandon Islam, and therefore cannot openly recognize that Islam is the source, the explanation, for all of the many and continuing failures -- political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral -- of Muslims themselves]
The Islamic intellectual who seeks the regeneration of his faith finds promise in the mystic saints and learned faylasûfs (philosophers) of Islam’s golden age. But Islam today is very different from what it was in its springtime. A few years ago a U.N. report noted that “Spain translates in one year the number of books that have been translated into Arabic in the past 1,000 years.” Greece alone translates “five times more books every year from English to Greek than the entire Arab world translated from English to Arabic.”
The light of Averroes and Avicenna, of Rûmî and Junayd of Baghdad, long ago waxed dim, and when one today visits a country where Islam is the religion as by law established, it is difficult to escape the feeling that a darkness has come over the faith. Not the creative darkness that begets illumination but an oppressive darkness under cover of which millions of people live without freedom, opportunity, or the useful employment that offers a way out of squalor and sloth.
A rich spiritual life, it is true, might be an adequate or indeed a more than adequate compensation for the want of material felicity, and he is unwise who would dismiss the spiritual recompense of Islam. Coleridge, Mill said, “considered the long or extensive prevalence of any opinion as a presumption that it was not altogether a fallacy. . . . The long duration of a belief, he thought, is at least proof positive of an adaption in it to some portion or other of the human mind; and if, digging down to the root, we do not find, as is generally the case, some truth, we shall find some natural want or requirement of human nature which the doctrine in question is fitted to satisfy . . .”
Islam, to have flourished as it has, must put down deep roots in the soul. But in the present darkness even the spiritual virtues of Islam are blighted. Whatever is divine and true in its orthodoxy has been obscured by a vengeful and intolerant fanaticism. A wise soul might prefer a high, pure spiritual culture to what Emerson called the “vulgar aims,” the “erudition of sensation,” the “civility of trifles, of money and expense,” characteristic of a wholly materialist culture, as the West’s is perhaps coming to be; but the spiritual culture of Islam, in its most visible forms, seems no longer to be pure. On the contrary, it appears gloomy and bigoted — a machinery of intolerance and obscurantism manipulated by mob-masters and demagogues who, though they masquerade as holy men, derive power and profit from the malignant passions they excite.
Because the Islamic mind, in its present benightedness, is so largely a closed one, the Islamic state can only be barren and corrupt. A constructive renovation of the Islamic regimes, if it is to take place at all, can take place only after more light has been let into the intellectual part of the Islamic mind. But what prospect is there of this? What Islamic leader today is preaching sweetness and light? From India to China, non-Islamic Asians, many of whom grew up under the most oppressive authority, are opening their eyes. But the Islamic peoples, for the most part, vegetate in darkness.
As epochal as the events that have shaken Islamic civilization in the last six months seem to have been, they have not let in the sun and can bring forth little fruit. New tyrants will replace old tyrants; living terrorists will replace dead terrorists. The darkness will remain, and will not be dispelled until a new and different sort of leader emerges, to show his people a better way.
The film begins with the Sultan of Makyad (presumably from Arabia Deserta rather than Felix or Petraea), being encouraged to send his daughter Princess Fatima to St. Trinian's, a School For Young Ladies, where the headmistress is played by Alastair Sim who also plays her bookie brother. Much mayhem follows, as that bookie brother tries to find out more about the Sultan's racehorse Arab Boy and how it might perform in an important upcoming race.
The movie dates from 1954, long before OPEC trillions transformed the Arab states of the Gulf, that is before OPEC trillions gave them ideas about their power vis-a-vis the West. The odd Sheik or Sultan could be merely a figure of comical fun, harmless if you understood, and made allowances for, his absurd manners and customs.
But since then, the receipt of some fifteen trillion dollars since 1973 alone, money for which not a finger had to be lifted, has changed the observable behavior of Muslim Arabs, and swollen their numbers all over the West. and the rich Arabs, akin to that Sultan of Makyad, have since the early 1970s been swaggering all over the poshest parts of London, buying up the best properties in the city, houses and messuage, and vast estates in the country, including such things as the Plantagenet hunting-lodge that Prince Bandar had, and where he no doubt entertained many of those Englishmen -- serving or retired businessmen, diplomats, government officials, journalists -- whose services the Saudi government, and other Arabs too, have employed so successfully for such a long time. And they have bought up Englishwomen as well, for other uses. Though the rich Arabs -- Saudis, Kuwaitis, Emiratis, Qataris -- have not been an economic drain as have so many other Muslims who have been allowed to live in Great Britain, their presence has certainly been a disrupting and corrupting one, in every conceivable way.
Egyptians urge rulers to step up Palestinian support
People gather during a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo May 13, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
By Sami Aboudi
CAIROMay 13, 2011
CAIRO (Reuters) - Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets on Friday to push their military rulers to do more to help Palestinians following the overthrow of the country's president Hosni Mubarak.
Many Egyptians felt Mubarak, a U.S. ally, was too soft on Israel and want their new government to take a much stronger pro-Palestinian stand.
The gatherings in Cairo, Alexandria and El-Arish come amidst preparations by activists to organize a march to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, May 15 -- which Palestinians mark as the anniversary of their 1948 displacement following the establishment of Israel.
Egyptian authorities have banned the march, saying the timing was inappropriate given sectarian tensions in Egypt.
The government deployed army and police to prevent demonstrators from crossing the Suez Canal to Sinai -- the route they would have to take to reach the Gaza Strip, witnesses said.
"We are demonstrating to show that the Palestinian cause is in the heart of all Muslims," said Sameh Abu Bakr, an agriculture engineer, in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which was decked with red, white, black and green Palestinian flags.[of course: the very idea that an Infidel nation-state should exist on land once possessed by Muslims enrages, and cannot be tolerated]
The square was at the epicenter of the February uprising that drove Mubarak from power.
One sign read: "The people want the opening of the Rafah crossing, fully and permanently."
Egypt has said it plans to open the crossing into Gaza permanently, but has yet to do so. Mubarak was accused of participating in an Israeli blockade on Gaza by shutting the border.
"We want to show the world the inhumane way Israel treats Palestinians," said demonstrator Hassan Yusri, standing next to the Rafah sign.
Hundreds marched in El-Arish in Sinai after Friday prayers, chanting pro-Palestinian slogans.
CAIRO – An angry mob [of Muslims] attacked a group of mainly Christian protesters demanding drastic measures to heal religious tension amid a spike in violence, leaving 65 people injured, officials said Sunday.
The Christian protesters have been holding their [non-violent] sit-in outside the state television building in Cairo for nearly a week following deadly Christian-Muslim clashes that left a church burned and 15 people dead.
More than 100 [Muslim] people rushed into the sit-in area, lobbing rocks and fire bombs from an overpass and charging toward the few hundred [Christian] protesters sleeping in the area. Vehicles were set on fire and fires burned in the middle of the street.
Qur'an 7:97"Did the people of the towns feel secure against the coming of Our wrath by night while they were asleep? Or else did they feel secure against its coming in broad daylight while they played about (carefree)? Did they then feel secure against the Plan of Allah? But no one can feel secure from the Plan of Allah, except those (doomed) to ruin!"
Police and army troops fired in the air to disperse the crowd, and a tree was set on fire under the overpass.
Medics said 65 [Christians] were injured in Sunday's melee, two in critical condition. The security official said nearly 50 of the riot instigators were arrested.
I wonder if the security official is referring to the Christians, after they were released from the hospital?
Following the religious violence, the military vowed to respond firmly to instigators of violence and promised to respond to a number of the Christian demands, including reopening nearly 50 churches But no trial date has been set for those responsible for the church burning or the violence last week.
Actually, I don't remember reading reports that the Egyptian military had closed 50 Coptic Christian churches. Ah well, I'm sure there were more important matters to cover, what with peace, democracy, and freedom breaking out all over the Arab Muslim lands. Besides, reports like that would just confuse the people.
Just hours before the Cairo violence, several suspected [Sunni] Islamic extremists bombed the tomb of a [Shi'ite] Muslim saint in the northern Sinai town of Sheik Zweid, said a security official, also declining to be identified because he wasn't authorized to release the information. The official said the eight or nine [Sunni] attackers fled the area. [Sunni] Muslim radicals have blown up at least five other [Shi'ite] Muslim shrines, because they believe the veneration of saints as a violation of Islam.