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Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
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Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
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The New Vichy Syndrome:
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These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 15, 2008.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
“This is not England. It is Saudi Arabia.” Teacher vindicated.
A former teacher at an Islamic school, who alleged that it taught an offensive and racist view of non-Muslims, has been awarded £70,000 by an employment tribunal after winning his case for unfair dismissal.
Colin Cook told the tribunal in Watford that pupils were taught from Arabic books that likened Jews and Christians to “monkeys” and “pigs” at The King Fahad Academy, which is funded and run by the Saudi Arabian Government.
The tribunal ruled that Mr Cook, a British Muslim, was unfairly dismissed from his £36,000-a-year post at the school in Acton, West London, in December 2006 after blowing the whistle on systematic cheating at a GCSE exam.
The panel found that the school created a “smokescreen” to try to justify his dismissal after 18 years’ unblemished service.
It awarded Mr Cook £58,800 in compensation for loss of earnings and £10,500 for injury to feelings. But it rejected his claim that the school discriminated against him on racial grounds. As we keep saying here that Islam is an ideology not a race I suppose that’s not unfair.
Mr Cook told the hearing that after leaving the school another member of staff gave him extracts from an Arabic textbook, which encouraged students to believe that all religions other than Islam were worthless.
The books referred to “the repugnant characteristics of the Jews”. Another passage said: “Those whom God has cursed and with whom he is angry, he has turned into monkeys and pigs. They worship Satan.”
Mr Cook alleged that the books were spreading race hatred. “They should not be brought into this country and they should not be used in this country,” he said.
The school denied ever teaching any form of racial hatred and insisted that the offending passages in the books were “misinterpreted” and were never used in class. But it later got rid of the books.
The tribunal was told that when he suggested that the school might be trying to cover up his allegations, a senior colleague told him: “This is not England. It is Saudi Arabia.”
Mr Cook of Feltham, West London, taught English as a second language at the school. Giving evidence to the tribunal, he said that some pupils “talked as if they did not live in London at all”.
He also claimed the school was seen as an extension of the Saudi Embassy rather than part of Britain, with Saudi teachers even enjoying diplomatic immunity.
Mr Cook’s solicitor, Lawrence Davies, said: “Safeguards under English law were thrown out of the window when Mr Cook was sacked.
“This school must learn that it is not the Saudi way or the highway. The tribunal has upheld justice and protected the whistle-blower.”
The tribunal panel was not required to rule on Mr Cook’s allegations about the school’s curriculum. But in its judgment, it said it had considered Mr Cook to be a “truthful witness”.
As he was a respected teacher, with an 18-year unblemished record, it ruled that the impact of his dismissal had been “nothing short of life-changing” for Mr Cook. He had received a “harsh punishment for doing what he thought was the right thing to do”, it concluded.

I won't put it as a separate post but also in The Times see

Prisons watchdog says Belmarsh risks making Muslims more extreme

Posted on 04/15/2008 1:01 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Bangers and mash 'cone'

Traditionally, British ice cream has come in in cornets, not in cones. Cones are what we put in the road. But "cone" has snuck into Britspeak recently. What next? Soda jerks?

Anyway, here is a cone with a difference. From the Boston Globe, with thanks to Regular Reader Reactionry:

The English food company Aunt Bessie's has invented an unusual way to keep the popular pub specialty "bangers and mash" (sausages and mashed potatoes) in one tight parcel. Their solution is the "mash cone."

The Metro in England ran this photo under the headline, "World most disgusting ice cream," with the caption, "horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible."

Well Aunt Bessie's was understandably upset. So the company delivered mash cones to the offices of The Metro, where the staff felt obligated to eat them and really say what they thought.

Here's the review: "Metro is happy to report that that the mash has 'good texture', the sausage is 'pretty tasty' and the gravy 'actually quite nice'. Unfortunately, the makers have had to backtrack on the actual cone element of the product, as the cones were disintegrating. However, they said they'd give serious consideration to our suggestion that they should make the cones out of Yorkshire pudding. Some further suggestions: the mash is perhaps a little bland - it could use a bit of gentle spicing up. Also, it would be awesome if you could get a kind of 'gravy ripple' effect running throughout the mash, rather than just as a sauce on top."

Obligated? Awesome? I smell a rat.

Next week, our more than intrepid Boston Globe reporter is rendered speechless as he tries to get his head around some typically English spotted dick.

Posted on 04/15/2008 4:18 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
How do you pronounce 'scone'?

Talking of food, the question on everyone's lips is: do you pronounce "scone" with a short or a long "o"?

Whenever I am stuck for an answer, I usually turn to Sellar and Yeatman's 1066 And All That:

The childless Scotch King Alexander the Great had trotted over a cliff and was thus dead; so the Scots asked Edward [I] to tell them who was King of Scotland, and Edward said that a Balliol man ought to be. Delighted with this decision, the Scots crossed the Border and ravaged Cumberland with savage ferocity; in reply to which Edward also crossed the Border and, carrying off the Sacred Scone of Scotland on which the Scottish Kings had been crowned for centuries, buried it with great solemnity in Westminster Abbey. This was, of course, a Good Thing... 

I'm sure it was, but it doesn't tell you how to pronounce "scone". A long O might be more in keeping with "great solemnity", and perhaps with Scottishness, but there is no proof.

God only knows how Americans pronounce it. I'm not even sure if they have scones in the sense that we have them. Their biscuits are cakes, except when they are covered in gravy, when they are a bit scone-like and a bit dumpling-like. Or vice versa. No, let's leave Americans out of it.

Enough of this waffle. I've now remembered how to pronounce "scone". It depends on the circumstances. If you've got it, it's s-cone, and if you've eaten it , it's s-gone.

What more do you want? Jam on it?

Posted on 04/15/2008 5:21 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Talking of biscuits...

Or are we talking of cakes? Americans confuse cakes and biscuits, but think that we do. And everyone is confused about scones. Never fear - the EU has come to the rescue. Michael Gove gives us a few crumbs of wisdom:

Marks & Spencer's recent victory in the courts, in which it established that its chocolate teacakes are cakes, not biscuits, means we won't have to pay VAT on these goodies. The case had other benefits. It revealed that gingerbread men decorated with chocolate count as biscuits eligible for VAT unless the chocolate amounts to no more than a couple of dots for eyes. However, bourbon and other biscuits where the chocolate forms a sandwich layer, with no chocolate on the outside, are zero-rated. Chocolate shortbread incurs VAT, but “millionaire's” shortbread where the chocolate is separated from the shortbread by a caramel layer is zero-rated. Isn't it nice of the EU to give us this delightful VAT regime to make life more fascinating for us all?

Posted on 04/15/2008 6:28 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Yet Another Topic for Jimmy Carter's Dialogue with Hamas
From Fox News:

A sermon last Friday by a prominent Muslim cleric and Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament openly declared that "the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital," would soon be conquered by Islam.

The fiery sermon, delivered by Yunis al-Astal and aired on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV, predicted that Rome would become "an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread though Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, even Eastern Europe."

"Allah has chosen you for Himself and for His religion," al-Astal preached, "so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security and consolidation of power, and even to conquests through da'wa and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world.

"Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our prophet Muhammad," he added.

Posted on 04/15/2008 6:45 AM by Andy McCarthy
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Tax Day

If you live in the United States, today is the day you have to pay tax on your income of the year before. Richard Conniff thinks we should change the name of taxes to "dues" and that somehow this would make the sudden wiping out of your bank account each year easier to take. I don't think that will catch on. Vijay Kumar, like Mike Huckabee, wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service altogether and replace income tax with a national sales tax. Allowing the government to poke into every aspect of our lives by opening our financial records, has never seemed like a good idea in a free society.

Tax Man

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'cause I'm the taxman,
yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'cause I'm the taxman,
yeah, I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet
Taxman

'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman

Don't ask me what I want it for (ha ha Mr. Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more (ha ha Mr. Heath)
'cause I'm the taxman,
yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'cause I'm the taxman,
yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me

Posted on 04/15/2008 6:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Shariah Law: The Future For Britain

Posted at Sharia Finance Watch with the comment, "no comment necessary." Quite.

Posted on 04/15/2008 7:43 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Bursting the Bustenhalter

It isn't often I agree with Lawrence Auster. I certainly never thought we would see eye to eye on bosoms. But how much is too much?

Caroline Flint's cleavage, barely discernible unless you're looking really hard, is one thing:

But Angela Merkel's bosom - "cleavage" doesn't begin to cover it - is quite another:

I'm all for women smashing the glass ceiling, but not while bursting the Bustenhalter. Particularly strange is the contrast between the plunging neckline and the stern, Teutonic face.  This bosom is not enticing but formidable - it is waiting to obey orders. Nicola Copping at The Times had a similar reaction:

As images emerge of the German Chancellor in a plunging evening gown, we ask again: should a world leader dare to bare? Well, if anyone can, Merkel can. With a cleavage the size of two pitchers of Warsteiner, and a steely demeanour, who would mess with the Iron Lady of Europe (and that bosom?). Hands off, Dubya.

Posted on 04/15/2008 8:20 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Pseudsday Tuesday

Big-footed Italy
Kicked little Sicily
Into the Mediterranean Sea

 

So we used to chant in the school playground. Places can resemble parts of the body. Many years ago, the logo of the British School of Motoring was a picture of Britain (without Northern Ireland) made to look like a man driving a car. And without a doubt, Croydon resembles an armpit. (I have never been to Pratt’s Bottom.)

 

But how low can you go? From The Times:

 

Few people know that New Orleans is the vagina of America. Few would suggest it. “It is fertile. It's a delta. And everyone wants to party there,” explains Eve Ensler, activist, feminist icon - and the author of The Vagina Monologues. Never one to act on a small stage when a bigger one would do, last weekend she turned the New Orleans Superdome into the Superlove - a two-day global event to mark the tenth anniversary of her V-Day movement, the campaign to stop violence against women which she founded on the back of her play.

Not everyone got it. “When Eve told me New Orleans was the vagina of America, I was like, oh sweet Jesus,” says the actress Kerry Washington, putting her head in her hands. “Sometimes I think, Eve, do you really want to go there. Really? But now I get it. Its sexy, everybody loves it - but when it has problems nobody wants to know.”

Ensler has been coming to New Orleans for more than two years, working with local women's groups. With benefit performances for V-Day taking place in more than 80 countries, the anniversary could have been staged anywhere, but Ensler chose New Orleans because of its recent unhappy past. “New Orleans has been a war zone for women.” And, yes, because New Orleans is the vagina of the most powerful nation in the world. It looks that way on the map she demonstrates, making a little vagina shape between her thumb and forefinger. She has written a new piece to christen the event called Welcome to the Wetlands.

I’d rather wet my … er … whistle at the pub. Beer is a good social lubricant.

 

Under a giant vagina in the renamed Superdome/Superlove, the celebrations commence. The mostly female participants enter, appropriately, through an origami-like vulva, glowing red. On stage, women from a local Native American tribe open the proceedings, dancing in full regalia, while a female Buddhist priest looks on beatifically.Jane Fonda is in the third row of the audience, smiling gamely as people take her picture on their mobile phones.

After all this, Ensler's own speech could be an anti-climax.

You don’t say.

Superlove is a pinnacle for Ensler's years of efforts. It is “V-World” she tells the audience - a place where women get their power back; a place where suffering can be transformed through love.

Well, I don’t know about that, but the place sounds as if it’s full of tw*ts.

©Pseudsday Tuesday - "Putting cant in the spotlight since 2006"

Posted on 04/15/2008 11:30 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Terror group plot to hit Melbourne Cricket Ground
From The Australian It just isn't cricket.
A TERRORIST strike on the 2005 AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was averted just two months before the game, after police raids on members of an alleged homegrown Muslim terror cell disrupted preparations for the attack.
The jury in the country's largest terrorist trial was yesterday told that after the plans to attack the MCG were foiled, the group decided to target the Crown casino during Formula One Grand Prix weekend or the AFL's pre-season NAB Cup football final early the following year.
The AFL Grand Final was the original target and because of the raids, and because of security reasons and funding, they were put off until the following year," Mr Atik told Crown prosecutor Richard Maidment SC. "The next targets were the NAB Cup and the Crown casino building on the Grand Prix weekend."
The 2005 AFL Grand Final drew a crowd of almost 92,000 at Melbourne's famous MCG, featuring two interstate clubs - the Sydney Swans and Perth's West Coast Eagles. The Swans scored a historic four-point win.
The Supreme Court trial - which is heading into its third month - has been previously told that Mr Benbrika, a self-proclaimed Muslim sheik, discussed obtaining up to 500kg of fertiliser to use as explosives.
Mr Benbrika, 48, and 11 other Melbourne Muslim men have pleaded not guilty to a range of terror offences, including being members of a terrorist group.
Mr Atik said one alleged member of the group, Aimen Joud, 23, asked him whether he could obtain weapons, including handguns and AK47 assault rifles, and explosives.
The Crown is alleging in the trial, which started on February 13, that the Melbourne group planned to wage "violent jihad" in Australia with a terrorist attack aimed at killing hundreds of people.
During yesterday's hearing, Mr Atik, wearing a grey suit and conservative blue tie, cast occasional glances at the 12 accused seated at the rear of the crowded court as he was questioned for four hours.
At the request of Mr Maidment, he raised his arm and pointed at each of the accused, identifying them by name. In addition to Mr Benbrika, the men on trial are: Shane Kent, 31, Majed Raad, 23, Abdullah Merhi, 22, Aimen Joud, 23, Ahmed Raad, 24, Fadl Sayadi, 28, Ezzit Raad, 26, Hany Taha, 33, Shoue Hammoud, 28, Bassam Raad, 26, and Amer Haddara, 28.
The hearing was played a secretly recorded conversation between Mr Benbrika and Mr Atik that took place on March 4, 2005, in which Mr Benrika was heard saying: "We'll damage building, blast things."
Mr Atik said Mr Benbrika and Mr Joud described Australia as being a "land of war" because it had sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to kill innocent Muslims and "put war between Islam and this country".
He said Mr Benbrika also showed him a video recording of a hostage being beheaded by Arabic-speaking masked terrorists and said: "We should learn this type of thing."
After raising concerns about whether theft was forbidden, Mr Joud assured him it would be "halal".
"Aimen said, 'You'd be surprised what's permissible in our religion'," Mr Atik said.
Mr Benbrika later issued a "fatwa", or religious ruling, justifying theft if the victim were a non-believer.
Mr Atik is due to continue giving evidence when the trial resumes today.
Posted on 04/15/2008 2:59 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Obama In Iowa

Bill Warner sent in this cartoon by Tennyson Hayes inspired by this report on Senator Barack Obama in Iowa.

“Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” the senator said. “I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

The state of Iowa, for all of its vast food production, does not have a Whole Foods, a leading natural and organic foods market. The closest? Omaha, Minneapolis or Kansas City.

Mr. Obama, perhaps sensing a lack of reaction from the crowd, moved along to the next topic...

Posted on 04/15/2008 2:55 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Bardot On Trial Again

PARIS (Reuters) - French former film star Brigitte Bardot went on trial on Tuesday for insulting Muslims, the fifth time she has faced the charge of "inciting racial hatred" over her controversial remarks about Islam and its followers.

Prosecutors asked that the Paris court hand the 73-year-old former sex symbol a two-month suspended prison sentence and fine her 15,000 euros ($23,760) for saying the Muslim community was "destroying our country and imposing its acts".

Since retiring from the film industry in the 1970s, Bardot has become a prominent animal rights activist but she has also courted controversy by denouncing Muslim traditions and immigration from predominantly Muslim countries.

She has been fined four times for inciting racial hatred since 1997, at first 1,500 euros and most recently 5,000.

Prosecutor Anne de Fontette told the court she was seeking a tougher sentence than usual, adding: "I am a little tired of prosecuting Mrs Bardot."

Bardot did not attend the trial because she said she was physically unable to. The verdict is expected in several weeks.

French anti-racist groups complained last year about comments Bardot made about the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha in a letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy that was later published by her foundation.

Muslims traditionally mark Eid al-Adha by slaughtering a sheep or another animal to commemorate the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son on God's orders...

"I am fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts," the star of 'And God created woman' and 'Contempt' said.

Bardot has previously said France is being invaded by sheep-slaughtering Muslims and ... also lamented the "Islamisation of France".

Posted on 04/15/2008 3:11 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Second Grader Granted Divorce In Yemen
Breitbart: A Yemeni court on Tuesday granted a divorce to an eight-year-old girl whose unemployed father forced her into an arranged marriage this year, saying he feared she might be kidnapped.

"I am happy that I am divorced now. I will be able to go back to school," Nojud Mohammed Ali said, after a public hearing in Sanaa's court of first instance.

Her former husband, 28-year-old Faez Ali Thameur, said he married the child "with her consent and that of her parents" but that he did not object to her divorce petition.

In response to a question from Judge Mohammed al-Qadhi, he acknowledged that the "marriage was consummated, but I did not beat her." ...

Nojud was a second grader in primary school when the marriage took place two and a half months ago.

"They asked me to sign the marriage contract and remain in my father's house until I was 18. But a week after signing, my father and my mother forced me to go live with him."

Nojud's father, Mohammad Ali Al-Ahdal, said he had felt obliged to marry off his daughter, an act he claims she consented to...

Dressed in traditional black, Nojud said she would now go to live in the home of her maternal uncle and did not want to see her father.

The girl's lawyer, Shadha Nasser, said Nojud's case was not unique. "I believe there are thousands of similar cases," she said, adding that civil society groups are pressing parliament to set the minimum age for marriage at 18.

Posted on 04/15/2008 3:31 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Man shot 'for Christian beliefs'
More on this story, from the BBC.
A man killed by Islamist fighters in Somalia was shot because he had converted from Islam to Christianity, his widow has claimed.
Daud Hassan Ali, 64, of Kings Heath, Birmingham, was found dead at the school his charity had built in Beledweyne on Monday.
Margaret Ali said she was "certain he was killed because he was born a Muslim but converted to Christianity".
Rehana Ahmed, 32, from Birmingham, and two Kenyan teachers were also killed.
Mr Ali had left Somalia in 1967 and became a Christian after meeting missionaries.
Mrs Ali, 64, said that some Islamists "believe it is ok to kill any man who was born into Islam and left the faith".
She added her husband knew it was a risk going back to Somalia as a Christian but said he was there to teach not convert others to his faith.
She said: "He was a teacher, he never made any attempt to convert anyone to Christianity, and only practised his faith in private.  Most people didn't give tuppence about him being an apostate (someone who has renounced the religion of their birth), but some Muslims interpret the Koran differently.  I just hope they died quickly and didn't suffer too much. But I hear their bodies are riddled with bullet holes."
Mrs Ali said Ms Ahmed, who was a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, had joined her husband at the school to teach English.
She said she was a "gifted student" who was "loved by all the people at the school".  She is survived by a brother and sister.
The Islamist al-Shabab Movement, the armed youth-wing of the Council of Islamic Courts movement, has admitted taking the town.
But a spokesman said: "We heard that the foreigners were killed but we do not claim responsibility."
Posted on 04/15/2008 3:40 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
A totally ludicrous interlude - Remember You're a Womble

videoFrom Top of The Pops 1974, although this clip is a repeat from TOTP2

Posted on 04/15/2008 4:26 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Tehran: Seven Ancient Synagogues Destroyed

The synagogues are part of jahiliyya, the time of ignorance, before the coming of Islam, so like the tomb of Cyrus the Great, they may be destroyed for they are valueless.

Tehran, 15 April (AKI) - Seven ancient synagogues in the Iranian capital, Tehran, have been destroyed by local authorities.

The synagogues were in the Oudlajan suburb of Tehran, where many Iranian Jews used to live.

"These buildings, which were part of our cultural, artistic and architectural heritage were burnt to the ground," said Ahmad Mohit Tabatabaii, the director of the International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) office in Tehran.

"With the excuse of renovating this ancient quarter, they are erasing a part of our history," said Tabatabaii...

Posted on 04/15/2008 6:45 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Bush Personally Picks Pope Up At The Airport
Posted on 04/15/2008 6:57 PM by Rebecca Bynum

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