These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 17, 2008.
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Cross-dressers in Nigeria court
The trial of 18 men accused of dressing up as women has started in a Sharia court in northern Nigeria.
The men were arrested last year in a hotel room in the city of Bauchi. The men were originally accused of sodomy, which could lead to the death penalty under Sharia, but the charges were reduced.
“Under Sharia law a man must dress like a man and woman must dress like a woman” Prosecutor Yusuf Adamu
For centuries in Nigeria's Islamic north - where ethnic Hausa culture dominates - there have been men called Dan Daudu - known for dressing as women and speaking in high pitched voices.
They are largely engaged in doing what was considered to be women's' work and could sometimes be hired as entertainers for parties.
Being a Dan Daudu, however, did not necessarily say much about a person's sexual preferences, our correspondent says.
But eight years ago Nigeria's northern states reintroduced some of the harsher penalties of Islamic law which had been removed under colonialism.
It was a response by politicians to a wave of popular discontent in the Islamic north against political corruption and social injustice.
This new tougher Sharia has largely failed to end such problems but there is now, perhaps, more of a willingness to target groups who appear to behave in ways that run counter to today's more puritan practice of Islam, our correspondent says.
But prosecutors have asked the court to write a response to HRW which could now delay the case.
The case was adjourned until further notice by the judge.
Posted on 02/17/2008 2:53 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Malaysian police break up protest
Malaysian security forces have used tear gas and water cannon to break up a protest by ethnic Indians in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
More than 20 people taking part in the banned march were detained by police.
The demonstration was organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force, which is demanding the release from jail of five of its leaders.
Activists say policies granting economic advantages to the ethnic Malay majority discriminate against Indians.
The Malaysia government has rejected claims of unequal treatment.
Some 2000 protesters defied a ban on public gatherings, and carried roses to symbolise what they said was a peaceful demand for justice.
A heavy police presence kept them in the city centre - preventing their planned march to parliament to give the flowers to the Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi.
The protest was meant to be led by a group of about 200 children. There were no reports of any children being injured.
Police used water canons thought to be laced with chemicals and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
That rally exposed increasing unhappiness among some of Malaysia's minority Indians who feel they have fallen behind after decades of government policy which gives preferential treatment to the majority Malays, our correspondent says.
What the dear old BBC fails to mention is that the ethnic Malays are all officially Muslim (see here for what happens when an ethnic Malay wishes to follow a religion that is not Islam) and that the scheme, the Bumiputra or Sons of the soil is jizya by another name.
Posted on 02/17/2008 4:09 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Muslim leader to join court burka debate
President of the Trinidad Muslim League (TML) Azid Ali has expressed an interest in attending court proceedings to discuss an issue which arose in Justice Joan Charles' court in December 2007, involving a potential juror wearing a burka.
Ali, along with other attorneys representing the office of the Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions, Law Association and the Bar Association, were given until on or before March 10 to file their submissions.
After yesterday's session, March 17 and April 1 were set aside for hearing of the submissions.
The matter, which is being heard in the Fifth Court, has raised debates among attorneys representing various agencies, following an incident in which a woman, who was not selected to sit on a jury panel, refused to lift her burka to show her face to the court.
Charles had summoned the juror and asked her whether she would be willing to lift her burka to allow her face to be shown. The woman, whose name cannot be published, said she was unable to comply, and the judge said she would have to decide whether the court would have the power to order the lifting of the veil and whether there were any grounds for doing so.
"I cannot raise my veil. This is my religion," she told the judge.
"Other individuals will come (to court wearing burkas) and this should be sorted out in court on a permanent basis," she told the judge.
The judge eventually decided to hold a public hearing and invite submissions from the various institutions.
Advertisements were placed in the newspapers once per week for two weeks in a bid to attract religious bodies to discuss the issue.
Charles said she hoped to produce guidelines on how women wearing burkas should be treated by the courts, which will be applied on a permanent basis.
Posted on 02/17/2008 4:26 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 17 February 2008
New sharia row over Chancellor's plans for 'Islamic bonds'
The Mail on Sunday is not my first port of call for financial news and analysis – to be honest it is not my first port of call for serious news about anything. Rather it is a useful medium to gauge the mood of a certain section of British Society. The Financial Times has nothing about this at all today although in October David Oakley wrote about the problems attached to Ed Balls’ proposal and how unlikely it was to come to fruition in 2008, if at all. Others will be interested and will assume that it is happening now rather than a proposal which may not come to fruition, and those others will claim it is another step towards British dhimmitude, another nail in the coffin of old England which is dead. I post the Mail on Sunday lead article and editorial as it stands, but with the above as my opinion.
A new sharia law controversy erupted last night over Government plans to issue special "Islamic bonds" to pay for Gordon Brown's public-spending programme by raising money from the Middle East.
Britain is to become the first Western nation to issue bonds approved by Muslim clerics in line with sharia law, which bans conventional loans involving interest payments as "sinful".
The scheme would mark one of the most significant economic advances of sharia law in the non-Muslim world. It will lead to the ownership of Government buildings and other assets currently belonging to British taxpayers being switched wholesale to wealthy Middle-Eastern businessmen and banks.
The Government sees sharia-compliant bonds as a way of tapping Middle-East money and building bridges with the Muslim community.
But critics say the scheme would waste money and could undermine Britain's financial and legal systems.
Senior Conservative MP Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said: "I am concerned about the signal this would send – it could be the thin end of the wedge. British Common Law must be supreme and should apply to everyone."
Other Western nations have been reluctant to issue Islamic bonds.
In the United States the bonds are banned partly as a result of claims that the money could be linked to terrorism.
However, The Mail on Sunday has established that Chancellor Alistair Darling is ready to give the go-ahead to sharia-compliant bonds – known as "sukuk", an early Arabic form of cheque.
The deadline for responses to Mr Darling's consultation document setting out how the bonds will work expires on Thursday. (I emphasis – this is a CONSULTATION document and the proposal is not popular)
The Islamic bonds proposal was devised by Mr Brown's former Treasury adviser Ed Balls, now Schools Secretary and the Premier's most powerful Cabinet ally.
He claims it is a vital way of improving relations with Muslims in Britain as well as helping the UK to obtain vast sums from Middle-East banks in oil-rich nations such as Dubai and Qatar.
Sharia-compliant bonds have been issued by the governments of Pakistan and Malaysia and private banks but never by a Western government. The Government has already backed Islamic car loans and mortgages.
The Treasury consultation document says Government assets such as "buildings or a piece of infrastructure" would be switched to a "special-purpose vehicle" set up to administer the bond. This would be carried out by a contract known as an "ijara".
The asset would then be leased back by the Government, generating rental payments for the Islamic bond holders. When the "sukuk" matured, the Government would guarantee to buy back the asset, allowing the bond-holders to get their redemption payments.
"Sukuk are akin to Islamic investment certificates," the document says.
"They are designed to be in compliance with sharia law, the divine law in Islam which is based on the Quran." Mary has written several times about what a con trick sukuk is.
It is strangely shocking to find that Her Majesty's Treasury, that very matter-of-fact department, should be issuing bonds that comply with the ancient rules of sharia law.
As it happens, the decision makes sense on business terms. Many major investors are Muslim and it would be foolish to spurn their custom by refusing to consider their religious views.
Yet there is still something slightly unsettling about the news. Is it coincidental that ours is the first major Western country to offer this facility?
Official Britain has a startling enthusiasm for adjusting itself to make Muslims comfortable. The Home Secretary has weirdly described terrorist activity as 'Anti-Islamic'.
The Foreign Office was recently revealed by a whistleblower to be giving undue status to militant strands of Islam. It (unsuccessfully) prosecuted the whistleblower.
Some of this behaviour has roots in the century-old Arabism of the diplomatic service. Some of it is entirely cynical, influenced by the fact that much of Britain's oil comes from Muslim regions, or that so many Labour MPs' majorities depend on Muslim votes.
But it coincides with an increasing tendency to reduce the privileges of the Christian religion in Britain.
Yet multicultural liberals, many of whom profess themselves Godless and despise Christianity, are strangely ready to suck up to Islam, whose views on such topics are far fiercer than those of the most militant Christian moralist.
It sometimes seems as if we are slowly drifting, without really thinking about it, or meaning to, towards the Islamic world. It is time we did think about it.
Posted on 02/17/2008 5:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 17 February 2008
The arrangement described in Esmerelda's post on "Islamic bonds" is a sham. This is a secured loan. The Government sells the asset; in other words it raises a loan. The Government guarantees to repurchase the asset, that is to redeem the loan. The rent, paid by the Government, and in turn by the taxpayer, is interest in all but name. There is no risk to the investor.
I object in principle - or should that be "principal", since this gets repaid? - to the idea of securing loans to wealthy Muslims on Government assets. Any acceptance of sharia, even if it is only the appearance of sharia, is wrong, and will be seen as a victory for Islam, which cares more about appearance than reality.
These vehicles are not Islamic. Even Muslims know this:
In the case of sukuk, the silly bonds marketed as "Islamic" by rent-seekers, there are numerous legal risks that are very poorly understood, including by the lawyers and bankers who structure the instruments. The problem in this case is self-inflicted: the lawyers want to structure the instruments, e.g. lease-backed bonds or sukuk al-ijara, in such a way as to assure "Shari`a scholars" that bond-holders have material ownership of the underlying assets and receive "rent" rather than "interest". At the same time, they want to assure markets and rating agencies that the instruments are indistinguishable from conventional bonds, where the only mateiral risk is credit risk of the issuer. The rating agencies read the legalese and conclude that the lawyers are right: the "Islamic" structure is merely a fiction, and there is only credit risk. They give the sukuk the same credit rating they would give any other unsecured bond issued by the same entity (see, e.g. S&P's analysis of Qatar's Global Sukuk, where the rating was based on the soundness of the Qatari economy, without any significance lent to the asset ostensibly being leased back by the issuing SPV).
Unless and until we have a high-visibilty case of bankruptcy, we will not know with any certainty who owns what in the maze of SPVs that lawyers and structured financiers love to use. Until then, many will continue to line their pockets with legal, structuring, and advisory fees, as they congratulate themselves on "innovative Islamic products." What a shame!
The proposal may well not go ahead, but it is wrong of the Government even to consider it. By doing so, the Government appears eager to yield territory to Islam, but because the bonds are not even properly Islamic, Muslims will not be satisfied. Neither one thing nor the other, yet somehow the worst of both worlds.
Posted on 02/17/2008 7:08 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 17 February 2008
A nation of whingers?
Pull yourself together, says Jenny McCartney in The Sunday Telegraph:
Each time I have visited India - which remains a country beset by political corruption and social injustices unthinkable in western Europe - the most astonishing aspect of its poorest people is a near-total absence of self-pity: that luxury is clearly only available to those who don't have to struggle every day for survival.
One often sees the same touching resilience here, among disabled or seriously ill adults and children, who seem to wish to spend the minimum amount of time brooding on the cruel twist of fate that delivered their condition, and the maximum amount in living to their fullest. Yet, in general, Britain often seems a prosperous nation riddled both with misplaced self-pity and the vicarious enjoyment of other people's.
Increasingly, people wish to indulge in the status of victim, but without suffering the reality: the pervasive mentality of youths in the dock is a self-righteous sense of amorphous but enormous grievance. One of the most frequently committed crimes in the area where I live is the theft of disabled parking badges. I expect that while the thieves seek to trivialise the crime as a cheeky dodge, there is also a little voice within that whispers: "You deserve it, really. After all, you haven't always had it easy."
The same little voice must speak to the thousands of disability benefit fraudsters. One such was Jonathan Stentiford, a strapping fellow who managed to win the title of Cornwall's Strongest Man while simultaneously claiming disability allowance. The only disability such people really have, of course, is an unusually elastic conscience, but I suspect that with every minor headache they half-convince themselves that they really do have a legitimate claim. Either way, in 2005 it was estimated that disability fraud or error was costing the British taxpayer £1 billion a year.
Alison Lurie, in her novel Foreign Affairs, created the character of a rather precise spinster who imagines her own self-pity in the shape of a large dog called Fido. Things invariably reach a low when Fido has both paws on her shoulders, and is slobbering on her face. It strikes me that Fido, and the attitude of resentful dependence that comes with him, is now at large on the streets of Britain, and in his own way he's every bit as dangerous as a pit bull.
Of course, the whingers are the ones you hear from, not least Muslims with their "grievances". Most people just get on with it.
Posted on 02/17/2008 7:57 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 17 February 2008
You Mean, He's Not Black?
Kenneth E. Lamb writes (thanks to Jerry Gordon):
...Why is the fact that Mr. [Barack] Obama is only 6.25% African Negro not reported?
Because to acknowledge it is to report this devastating truth about him: Mr. Obama is not legally African-American. It is impossible for him to be, in truth, America's first African-American president.
Federal law requires that to claim a minority status, you must be at least 1/8 of the descriptor, but for the sake of this article, I've converted it to a decimal fraction for easier comprehension. You must be at least 12.5% of the racial component you claim for minority status. Mr. Obama, claiming to be African-American, is half the legal threshold.
Again, to let it sink in: Mr. Obama is not legally African-American. It is impossible for him to be, in truth, America's first African-American president.
Yet claiming to be African-American is the soul and substance of his claim to fame. It is what he has used throughout his adult life to distinguish himself from other competitors. It is the ethnic identity he proclaims, and it is the ethnic identity he craves. Without it, he is just another mixed race Caucasian Arab with an African influence playing on his skin’s pigmentation.
But no matter what he craves, no matter what he has used to propel himself through life, no matter the racist presumption of seeing his skin and without question calling him black, the hard, cold, genetically inarguable reality remains: he is not an African-American.
Mr. Obama is 50% Caucasian, that from his mother. What those who want Mr. Obama to write history by becoming "America's first African-American president" ignore is that his father was ethnically Arabic, with only 1 relative ethnically African Negro - a maternal great-grandparent (Sen. Obama's great-great grandparent, thus the 6.25% ethnic contribution to the senator's ethnic composition.).
That means that Mr. Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side. He is 43.75% Arabic, and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side.
Put another way, his father could honestly claim African-American ethnic classification. He was the last generation able to do so.
Sen. Obama could honestly say, "My father was African-American." Racist presumptions led an Ivy League admissions committee, and lazy "newspapers of record" factcheckers, to presume that if his father is African-American, then Sen. Obama must be African-American also.
But it doesn't work that way. Racist presumptions coupled with sloppy vetting don't turn a lie into the truth...
Researching his roots reveal that on his father's side, he is descended from Arab slave traders. They operated under an extended grant from Queen Victoria, who gave them the right to continue the slave trade in exchange for helping the British defeat the Madhi Army in southern Sudan and the Upper Nile region. Funny how circular is history; now the British again face the Madhi Army, albeit this time Shiite, not Sunni, as in nineteenth century Sudan...
Posted on 02/17/2008 7:49 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Voting with their feet?
Once again there is good news from North Korea, a country famous for its great Juche literature and art, and for its Chollima-driven factories that produce "pink shoes to make the people happy". It seems that the winged-horse of Chollima has been working overtime, and there are now so many shoes that President Kim Jong Il, five foot two in heels, has been giving them away to his lucky people. From The Telegraph:
North Korea celebrated the 66th birthday yesterday of its leader, Kim Jong-Il, with rallies, flower shows and an appeal to its impoverished people to unite behind the diminutive strongman.
Streets were festooned with banners and citizens enjoyed special rations of sweets and shoes during the two-day holiday.
Some showed their reverence by organising exhibitions of "kimjongilia", a hybrid begonia named after the reclusive leader.
Posted on 02/17/2008 8:17 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 17 February 2008
A Church In Qatar?
"Having 'places of worship for various religions is a fundamental human right guaranteed by Islam,' former dean of the Shari`ah Faculty at Qatar University Abdul Hamid al-Ansari told Agence France Presse (AFP) Saturday, February 16.
Ansari attributed the opposition to 'a fanatic culture resulting from religious teaching (stipulating) hatred for the other and from social norms that denied non-Muslims their rights on the basis of old political and security considerations that have become obsolete.'
Let's all welcome the presence of churches in Qatar... as a demonstration of Islamic tolerance and human brotherhood,' he said.'
-- from this news article
It is raison d'etat that explains this. It has not escaped notice, in the Muslim lands, especially where so many of the elites spend so much time in Europe, that there are now thousands of mosques all over Western Europe. And at the same time, they cannot have failed to notice that Westerners, Christians and Jews and those who have no religion but, like Oriana Fallaci, or like Pim Fortuyn, are vigilant about Islam, that the failure to permit even one church in the entire Arabian peninsula, though there are millions of Christian wage-slaves on whom the economies, and Arab overlords, depend in Saudi Arabia and in the sheikdoms.
That is why it was, no doubt, decided by some -- in order to stifle criticism ("See, we just built a church, and on land donated so generously by the Emir of Qatar -- so let's not here any more complaints about lack of reciprocity, shall we, from you Christians?")-- that Qatar would be just the place to build such a church or, put better, a place for collective prayer since it will not have crosses outside or most likely inside, will not be a full-fledged church.
Why Qatar? you ask.
Here's why. Muhammad said that no non-Muslims should be allowed to reside in the Jazirat al-Arab, the Arabian peninsula. Temporarily, workers are allowed, as are American servicemen -- regarded contemptuously by the Saudis as merely hired help, the help in question being physical protection from enemies foreign (Saddam Hussein) and domestic (those opposed to the rule of the Al-Saud). But if there is to be a church, let it be built off-shore, not right on the peninsula itself.
Qatar is a promontory, a peninsula, almost an island. And thus this church, in a sense, is not being built smack dab on the Arabian peninsula, but off to one side, on a spit of land on the opposite side of the Hejaz, with Mecca and Medina, and indeed extending out into the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf. The spirit of Muhammad's prohibition (no Jews or Christians in the Arabian peninsula) thus is being upheld.
The comments by Ansari, who is trying to make the Muslims of Qatar take a teeny-tiny step in the direction of semi-civilization, of course has to allude to certain things while being carefully always to offer Aesopian language.
Ansari is quoted as saying that:
"religious teaching (stipulating) hatred for the other and from social norms that denied non-Muslims their rights on the basis of old political and security considerations that have become obsolete.'"
He is attempting to convince Muslims that the hatred for non-Muslims inculcated in the immutable texts of Islam is in fact merely the reflection of historical circumstances, of "political and security considerations that have become obsolete." But this is, for a Muslim, an astounding claim. Islam is supposed to be outside history. The Qur'an is "uncreated" (it always was, it never "came into existence"), and immutable. For someone -- for Ansari -- to claim that Islam is within history, its texts, and the fixed meaning of those texts, are not outside of history but to be located, just like the Bible and the Talmud and the Gitas, within history, and his claim that such hatred toward non-Muslims merely reflects "old political and security considerations" that "have become obsolete" -- well, the idea amazes. Perhaps he will be able to convince other Muslims -- the intelligent, well-off, westernized ones who may sense that Islam itself, if it continues on its present course unchanged, threatens them, threatens their futures and that of their children, and somehow manage to put Islam back "into history." The same thing is being accomplished by those Western students of the Qur'an who are subjecting that text to what the Christian and Jewish texts were subjected to with the Higher Criticism. They are simply scholars, interested in the truth. People such as Abdul Hamid al-Ansari are trying, for non-scholarly reasons, to de-mystify the development of Islam, in the hopes, by placing its texts (and therefore its tenets) into their historical context, to provide a way for Muslims to get out of the straitjacket of seemingly immutable, and permanently dangerous, texts. One can wish the ansaris of this world well, as long as one does not for one minute count on such an effort, or ever fall for the mantra that "moderate Muslims are the solution." We can't wait 500 years, or 100 years, or fifty years, for more than a billion Muslims to re-interpret their religion, and the modern example of "moderate Muslims" attempting to tie down Islam -- the example of Kemalism -- is not comforting, given the Return to Islam in Turkey.
And let's be charitable about Ansari's other remark: "[l]et's all welcome the presence of churches in Qatar... as a demonstration of Islamic tolerance and human brotherhood" though as a statement can be taken in two ways -- "we in Islam practice tolerance and human brotherhood" and "we in Islam should show that we can practice, or demonstrate, tolerance and human brotherhood."
After all, only the first of these statements is false.
Posted on 02/17/2008 8:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
The Abington Arrangement
"But then a lot of senior people have been taken in by the retirement scam that Saudi Arabia has for senior civil servants."
-- from a reader
It's much worse than that, and not limited to what the Saudis can provide. There are those in the State Department, past and present, who have a direct financial interest in making sure that American aid to the "Palestinians" is increased, and that nothing -- including judgments in American courts arrived at through the workings of the American legal system -- is done to diminish those amounts.
This can be called the Abington Arrangement, after Edward Abington, who served as the American consul in the Arab-occupied parts of Jerusalem, and who became well-known not for representing the United States to the local Arabs, but for representing the local Arabs (i.e., "Palestinians") to the American government. He, Edward Abington, worked to get an extra $400 million in aid for the "Palestinians" (that aid disappeared, along with other billions, when Arafat died), just before he, Abington, suddenly retired and then re-appeared, as a foreign agent, working for the same "Palestinians" and being paid $700,000 a year for five years -- not a bad salary increase for someone who had never even risen to the rank of Ambassador.
The Abington Arrangement:
1. Work in secret to increase the sums of American money made available, by bureaucrats in the State Department, far from prying taxpayer eyes, to an unsavory group or state that would not, if the public been properly informed and ever had a say in the matter, have been granted such amounts of aid.
2. Make sure that that aid is not decreased to satisfy judgments against victims of terrorism, judgments that are the result of the workings of the American judicial system, whose decisions must not be allowed to interfere with the sums allotted to that unsavory group or state.
3. Retire, take job as "consultant" or lobbyist or founder of some group with a nice-sounding name (e.g., Council on the National Interest) and end up just as Edward Abington did, with $700,000 a year for five years, with not a person in official Washington doing a thing about it.
Posted on 02/17/2008 8:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Islam gets up his nose
I admire Geert Wilders for his bravery in confronting Islam. I hope he succeeds in politics, but if he does, it won't be because of his looks:
Islamophobia Watch has found this particularly unflattering picture of him. People like to catch their political opponents at their ugliest. I wonder if anyone has caught the unreasonably handsome Barack Obama in an ugly moment:
I also wonder if Geert Wilders will turn out to be just as black as Obama isn't, and, if so, whether he would still be called a racist.
Posted on 02/17/2008 8:55 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Let me first address the “racism” remarks and the accusation of me being “racist” [“Adult film star’s remarks spark debate,” Feb. 14]. I was disappointed (but not very surprised) by the reaction that I got from some of the students at Stanford (as I’ve been wrongly accused of racism before).
Speaking of racism in relation to religion, not to a race, is a big disservice to language and to intelligence. I never in my life said or wrote a bad word about Arabs — go read any of my articles. My criticism was always addressed towards the religion and ideology of Islam. So I would like to ask Stanford students not to exploit the word ‘racism’ at their own convenience. It’s shocking to me that some students do not know what that term means but handle it with such wanton impudence. Maybe such a hole in the education should be brought to the attention of the teaching faculty of your university.
In fact, some of my role models are Arabs for whom I have tremendous admiration. I’m talking about the likes of Wafa Sultan, who has confronted and condemned Islam on many occasions and for whose lectures I will travel across the country, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose book “Infidel” also helped me to shape my opinions. Both of these women secularized, as Islam in their opinion is the ideology of backwardness and hate. They rightly point out that Islam hasn’t changed, or evolved, for 1,400 years; it has always suppressed every progressive thought. Needless to say, these women were forced to live in exile in the United States and live with hired security 24 hours a day. As I hope you know, Islam does not forgive. It forbids any criticism. Think Salman Rushdie. Think Theo Van Gogh, for his portrayal of the misery of women in Muslim countries. Think of the Danish cartoonists who are hiding in safe houses. The list is long.
-- Mike Lucas writing in the Stanford Daily
Some of the comments at the Stanford Daily site are acute. The least acute, and the most idiotic, come from those who suggest that Michael Lucas, because he is not a Stanford student therefore is lacking in "credentials" and should not be given the time of day.
That this can be said, in a world where Cornel West is a "University Professor" at Princeton, and where Ward Churchill was a tenured professor, and where --- oh, fill in the names yourself, do -- that anyone thinks "credentials" are either necessary, or sufficient, not only legitimately, in such fields as medicine, but illegitimately, when it comes to finding out what the texts and tenets of Islam are all about, and how the history of Islam shows what Muslims have, over 1350 years, made of those texts and tenets, shows the absurdity of things.
The statement by Michael Lucas is one of the clearest and most intelligent things written on the subject of Islam for a mass audience. Clearly he has studied and thought about the matter. What else can one ask for? That he be given a chair just like Cornel West at Princeton, or like Tariq Ramadan underwritten by the Arabs in order to provide Brother Tariq with a fake-academic sheen?
Posted on 02/17/2008 9:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
How Tariq Ramadan Got His Degree
Speaking of credentials, Hugh Fitzgerald has written about how Tariq Ramadan got his chair at Leiden. The following description of Ramadan's thesis is from Caroline Fourest's book, Brother Tariq (page 12):
[H]is biased view, nakedly propagandist, might have gone unnoticed by novices in the field, but it did not escape the University of Fribourg's thesis jury, to whom he had initially submitted his manuscript. Presided over by Charles Genequand, a specialist on the Arab world, and made up of scholars of Muslim reformism, the jury was simply dumbfounded by the exceedingly partisan nature of the thesis. According to the jury's president, it "was intended as an apologetic" for Hassan al-Banna -- an opinion shared by the other members of the jury. They unanimously refused to accept it as scientific in character. Tariq Ramadan was furious: he threatened to bring the jury and the university to trial, but without success, since a jury has a perfect right to refuse to accept work that it does not consider to be scholarly. Ramadan was obliged to convoke in extremis a second jury, which included Bruno Etienne, to have his diploma granted -- without honors -- by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Geneva.
Posted on 02/17/2008 9:30 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 17 February 2008
The Pepsi Challenge
A condition in a photo contest run by Pepsi stating that photos with people wearing a headscarf will not be accepted has triggered numerous protests.
Calls to boycott the company's products are becoming widespread, despite the fact that Pepsi removed this condition following earlier complaints. After a similar move by the Consumers Association, the Craftsmen and Artisans Association (ESDER) has announced that they will boycott Pepsi products until the company issues a public apology. "ESDER President Mahmut Çelikus emphasized that saying 'those wearing headscarves cannot participate in the contest' is discrimination based on people's beliefs."
-- from this news article
Yes, of course it is. Pepsi is in Turkey, and the accepted range of people's "beliefs" can range from Kemalism to those who want Islam triumphant yet again. Kemalism consisted of both a recognition, and an attempt. The recognition was that by Ataturk, and by those who supported him in his efforts, that Islam was a retrograde force, and that for Turks, or a sufficient number of Turks, to enter, mentally, the great world, Islam itself would have to be constrained as a political and social force, while it could remain as a system of private ritual and belief. It was a way to recognize the effects and danger of Islam in the only way -- an oblique way -- that could be done in a land dominated by Muslims. The attempt was that of systematically erecting a system to banish Islam, its outward signs and symbols, from the public sphere, and to make those who insisted on aggressively promoting Islam pay for it in certain ways -- not to be admitted to government institutions of higher learning, nor to the officer corps in the army.
As a system, it worked -- though the heirs of Ataturk were not sufficiently vigilant to keep on pressing, for Islam, like Rasputin, kept coming back, and now, those who want to undo Kemalism altogether -- Erdogan, all outwardly sweet reason, but his insidiousness is clear to secular, threatened Turks (who are keen to detect what is really going on in each new demand, no matter how it is presented), even if it is not to naive outsiders, who do not understand the significance of each new demand, or each new way to undercut the forces of Kemalism.
The outrage against Pepsi is one example. It seems so trivial. The company seems, or can be made to seem, so unbending. But far more is at stake here. The Kemalists know it. And so do those who are trying to undo everything that Ataturk did, and that helped to create whatever, in modern Turkey, makes at least some of its citizens -- perhaps one-quarter of the population, people we recognize, people who inhabit the same universe, with the same logic, and something like the same grasp of things, as Non-Muslim Man.
Posted on 02/17/2008 9:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Wilders And The Homeric Epithet
'My allies are not Le Pen or Haider,' he [Geert Wilders] emphasises. 'We'll never join up with the fascists and Mussolinis of Italy. I'm very afraid of being linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups.' Dutch iconoclasm, Scandinavian insistence on free expression, the right to provoke are what drive him, he says.
-- from this news article
It is good that "The Observer" kept this statement by Wilders in its piece. He has, after all, been the victim of the media which always affixes to him (as to others, even to the famous anticlerical anti-Vietnam War leftist Oriana Fallaci) the Homeric epithet "far-right."
Even calling him "right-wing" has to be understood in the Dutch context, where "right-wing" is nothing more than being a McCain Republican. His stated admiration of Margaret Thatcher, means, in the Dutch context, simply an intelligent fed-up-ness with a system that now has nearly one-third of the population on a kind of permanent and extraordinarily generous dole, supported -- maddeningly -- by the other two-thirds. The welfare state set up by Dutch, after World War II, so that they could take care of those Dutch people who needed help, a system entirely paid for by the Dutch taxpayers, has now become a way for Dutch non-Muslims to transfer wealth to Muslims who have managed to settle, and then to reproduce, at terrifying rates, and in other ways increase their numbers within the Netherlands (15,000 in 1970, more than a million today), even while posing a greater and greater threat to free speech, free thought, and all that comes from those freedoms whose development is so closely associated with the Enlightenment, and therefore with The Netherlands. Neither Rembrandt, nor Spinoza, nor any of the other figures famous in Dutch history, could ever have been produced within, or would last one minute under, Islam.
Posted on 02/17/2008 10:10 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Annals Of Academe: Tariq Ramadan
And now, Tariq Ramadan is a temporary lecturer at what was, during his lifetime, Albert Hourani's former fiefdom (and a useful diploma-mill for such people as Rashid Khalidi and other "constructors of Palestinian identity" getting their D.Phil, and avoiding the rigors of classwork and a Ph.D. examination with real, i.e., non-fellow-apologists-for-Islam, examiners), that is St. Antony's College (Middle Eastern wing), he prances about the world describing himself as "a professor at Oxford." Yes, I suppose the lowliest lecturer can describe himself as a "professor at X or Y" but ordinarily the press does not simply accept such a self-description. In the case of Tariq Ramadan, they do.
His pseudo-scholarly credentials do help him -- better not to be described as a full-time propagandist and sweet singer of the Muslim Brotherhood (founded by his grandfather, the very subject of his thesis that was turned down) -- present himself to the world. And that is why the rich Arabs got together, and decided to fund a special chair, after not merely a "nation-wide search" but a "world-wide search," just for Tariq Ramadan, one to be placed, notionally, at the University of Leiden, and thus to bask in the reflected glory of a legitimate Western institution. The actual donor was the more respectable Sultan of Oman (the Saudis stayed well in the background). Thus it is that Tariq Ramadan, the fake, will now become that appetizing thing, a full professor.
Does anyone care to guess how he will be described in the world's press? What about "Tariq Ramadan, a professor at the University of Leiden"? Yes, that sounds about right.
Posted on 02/17/2008 10:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Sohrawardy's Practice To Deceive
Licia Corbella writes about Syed Soharwardy [the Imam who brought charges against Ezra Levant] in the Calgary Herald.
On his antisemitism:
"As for the allegation he's anti-Semitic, in 2000 he wrote in his newsletter: 'Presently, what Israeli forces are doing to Palestinians is worse than the Holocaust of World War II.' Comparing Israel's attempts to defend itself to the carting of millions of Jews in cattle cars to gas chambers is obscene.'
In our meeting, he said the above quote was taken out of context, that he has numerous Jewish friends and holds a Hanukkah celebration at his mosque, the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Centre."
On the Tsunami in southeast Asia, and Christian aid to Muslims:
"Some of Soharwardy's most vile words came after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that killed more than 280,000 people.
While Christians from around the world were emptying their wallets to help the victims of this natural disaster, Muslim leaders were blaming the disaster on immoral Christian tourists in their countries.
Soharwardy seemingly got swept up in the wave of anti-Christian rhetoric and sent out a news release accusing Christians of kidnapping Muslim orphans in Indonesia. Again, he denied his own written words.
'I don't believe that, I just quoted what was in the newspaper and asked where are the wealthy Muslim governments, why are they not helping.'
But here's what his Jan. 23, 2005, news release actually said: "ISCC . . . strongly condemns the exploitation of tsunami victims by the Christian missionaries. There have been several reports that the Christian missionaries are kidnapping Muslim children in Indonesia. . . . It is now proven that the Christian missionaries do not help people on humanitarian grounds. They help people in order to exploit their needs and convert them to Christianity."
Even though it was mostly "Christian" countries and organizations that came to the aid of these devastated people, these kinds of news releases caused many Indonesian Christians to be attacked and killed, including three Christian school girls who were beheaded by Muslim men.
Soharwardy explained: "I wanted to use that news to send a message to Muslim governments." In other words, he knew his news release would find its way overseas. Perhaps he was hoping to join the lecture circuit there, too."
And here is the summing-up by Licia Corbella of Sohrawardy -- who, note, has lived in Canada since 1980, and suddenly,discovered that there is a guarantee in that same Canada of the "right of free speech" of which, for 27 years, he had been entirely unaware:
"Soharwardy is a charmer. [Yes, how many charmers have we all run across, among smiling imams at Mosque Outreach Nights, and all kinds of Muslm spokesmen.] He convinced me that I must have misread his columns. But relistening to the tape of our meeting and rereading his original texts, one thing is clear: he cannot be believed.
To us, he said he lodged his complaint with the AHRC because he felt Muslim "youth were getting alienated" not because the cartoons subjected him to hatred.
This man with two master's degrees in engineering, who has lived in North America since 1980, now says he has just realized how important free speech is. For a fella who practises outrageous forms of it -- you would hope so.
To the CBC's The National on Wednesday, however, Soharwardy gave a different reason for dropping his complaint against Levant, who has spent two years and $100,000 in legal fees fighting this Orwellian battle: "People were looking at Ezra Levant as a martyr of freedom of his speech . . . taking this into a different direction that I did not want."
Soharwardy wanted to be the hero and martyr in his campaign against Levant.
It backfired on him.
Now he's the subject of a human rights complaint by women claiming sex discrimination at his mosque, Levant is planning an abuse of process lawsuit against him and he's being scrutinized on CNN and across Canada.
Soharwardy fell into his own trap. Changing his words, as is his way, won't likely be the salve to his reputation that he's looking for this time."
Posted on 02/17/2008 10:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Making A Collective Cost Clear
WASHINGTON -- The FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent a bulletin Friday to state and local law enforcement authorities advising them to watch for potential retaliatory strikes by Hezbollah, one day after the Lebanese militia group vowed to avenge the death of a top commander by attacking Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.
"While retaliation in the U.S. homeland is unlikely, Hezbollah has demonstrated a capability to respond outside the Middle East to similar events in the past," said the intelligence bulletin sent to about 18,000 state and local law enforcement officials late Friday afternoon.
--from this news article
Surely a pre-emptive sweep of Dearborn and other such areas is both necessary and legitimate, given the perceived threat. The reaction to such a sweep by the Presidential candidates will be telling, and should be known now, and not after the election. By "sweep" I mean a determined effort to locate all non-citizens in such areas likely to harbor Hezbollah supporters or admirers (and supporters and admirers of other groups conducting the same kind of violent Jihad), and to remove them from this country. And other measures can be taken to make sure that it is well understood that any attacks in this country will lead to a steady deterioration in the position of those who share the ideology of the attackers. That ideology is, of course, that of Jihad. In other words, all those who believe in the duty, and necessity, either of participating in, or supporting in any way those who participate in, the "Jihad" or struggle to remove all obstacles, anywhere, to the spread, and then dominance, of Islam, pose a permanent danger to the legal and political institutions of this country, to free expression in art and free inquiry necessary to science, and furthermore, pose a physical threat to Americans that cannot and will not be tolerated.
Those Muslims who claim to be completely opposed to the idea of "Jihad" as it has been widely understood, and acted on wherever possible, over the past 1350 years, should understand why those familiar with Islam look upon assertions with a skeptical eye (and those who are the defectors from Islam, such as Wafa Sultan and Ibn Warraq, are the most skeptical of all), given that by continuing to describe themselves as adherents of a Total Belief-System that makes "Jihad" a central duty, they hold themselves out as Believers in every respect, including the acceptance of the central duty to spread Islam, and to work for its dominance.
Those Muslims who do not agree with such a duty, and whose Islam is more a matter of not ideological but cultural baggage, are free to act in such ways -- by stating the uncomfortable truths about the ideology of Islam, even as they distance themselves from it, and do what they can to undermine -- that may relieve some non-Muslims of justifiable, perfectly reasonable assumptions and suspicions.
For anyone who continues today to call himself a Muslim (not a "cultural Muslim" and not a "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslim), can be held to know the contents of the texts (Qur'an, Hadith, Sira), and therefore the tenets of Islam, and the attitudes and atmospherics of states, societies, families suffused with Islam (many Infidels have been educating themselves, and it is getting harder and harder to hide the truth from, at least, that ever-expanding number of people in the West), and has an affirmative duty, as the lawyers say, to distance himself, not by denying what Islam teaches (and especially the manner in which the world is divided, in Islam, between Believer and Infidel), but by acknowledging what it teaches and insisting that this particular "Muslim" is entirely opposed to such teaching.
That is the kind of thing that will have to be done, for those who think they can continue to live within the Infidel lands, where our way of life -- of taking planes or trains or busses, for example -- has already been altered, for the worse, by the threat that comes from Muslims, acting according to unambiguous Muslim texts, attempting to participate in Jihad, not by using non-violent instruments -- Da'wa, demographic conquest, the Money Weapon (which have the same goal, and in the end are even more dangerous to Infidels)-- but rather, violence, the violence of qitaal, or combat, now held by many Muslims to legitimately describe what we non-Muslims have no difficulty describing as "terrorism."
Let it be understood that with every act of attempted or completed terrorism in this country, the position of Muslims becomes ever more tenuous. Collective punishment, you say? No, not any more so than the treatment of enemy aliens during any war. If one wishes to disassociate clearly and convincingly from the ideology of the enemy, there are many obvious ways to do so. One is to work to help the authorities locate, and investigate, and prosecute, all those who are likely to be dangerous, or to encourage others to engage in violence. It isn't hard to work with, rather than to work against, those attempting to protect the people of this country. Failure to do so, when one is well-placed to do so, will be carefully noted, carefully taken in.
Posted on 02/17/2008 10:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
A Forlorn Hope
"The people of Muslim background are never going to leave my country, they are here to stay. This means that the threat of Islam has to be defused in a gradual way, by a change of mentality in the migrant population."
-- from a reader
Why do you insist on this? Why not at least modify it a bit, by writing, for example, that "unless things become absolutely intolerable, the people of Muslim background are never going to leave my country, they are here to stay." It is precisely such a statement that gives Muslims the o'erweening assurance that they can get away with all kinds of mayhem, even murder, or that "moderate" Muslims can simply remain silent, and not actively question, and work against, all those Muslims who, unlike them, take the texts and tenets of Islam to heart. You are being too easy on Muslims, and too hard on the Netherlands, and by extension the rest of the advanced, civilized, Western world.
Do you agree, or disagree, with the notion of halting all Muslim migration? Would you, if you could turn the clock back thirty or forty years, knowing what you now know about the behavior of Muslims and, presumably, the Total Belief-System of Islam, have opposed at the time the free entry into the Netherlands of so many Muslims?
Do you agree, or disagree, that what makes the Netherlands the Netherlands, its art, its science, its solicitousness for the freedom of the individual, is all of it flatly contradicted by the spirit and letter of Islam? Do you agree, or disagree, with the following statement, that I post frequently here:
"The large-scale presence of Muslims in the lands of Western Europe has led to a situation that is far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous both for the indigenous non-Muslims, and for other, non-Muslim immigrant groups, than would be the case without that large-scale Muslim presence."
If you agree with that statement, and if you further recognize the durability, and immutability of the doctrines of Islam, and if you have studied the behavior of Muslims toward non-Muslims over the past 1350 years, in places where the Muslims started out as a tiny minority, and gradually increased in numbers, and if you further examine the tenuousness of the 20th-century attempt, in Turkey, to systematically constrain Islam as a political and social force, and relegate it to the realm of private ritual, and if you keep constantly in mind the immutable texts, and the tenets that arise from those texts, of Islam, then your placing of "hope" in the possibility of permanently changing the beliefs of Muslims in The Netherlands -- those whom you stoutly insist "are never going to leave my country, they are here to stay" (is this an observation, made neutrally, or in despair, or is it an affirmation of your belief that it would be immoral or unacceptable to create the conditions in which the conduct of a Muslim life is so difficult, and the whisperings of Shaytan so continuous, that Muslims will decide to leave and lead their Muslim lives in Muslim lands?) is entirely misplaced.
Yes, your expressed "hope" is prompted by a wish not to consider other possibilities, as too painful, or too out of what has been within the realm of possibilities in nice, tolerant, easygoing Netherlands. But nice, tolerant, advanced Czechoslovakia, back in 1946, with Germany in ruins, nonetheless decided that its people did not have to live, indefinitely, with the internal threat that the Sudeten Germans -- so many of whom had collaborated with the Nazi invaders -- and that the problem would be resolved by expellling those Sudeten Germans, even though in some cases their ancestors had lived in the area for hundreds of years. And not a single Czech of note then or since, has ever taken major issue with the acts of Jan Masaryk and Eduard Benes, nor did any Western statesmen --not Churchill, not Truman, not De Gasperi, no one -- at the time, found moral or other fault with what came to be known as the Benes Decree. You might profitably look into it, and how it came to be passed, and whether or not today you think the Czechs did something terrible, or something that was, under the circumstances, entirely understandable and justifiable.
The "hope" that you express is of the kind we call in English a "forlorn hope." And I am as aware as you are that the phrase, so appropriate in this case, comes from the Dutch. Of course, it comes by way of an inaccurate folk etymology, for in Dutch the phrase “verloren hoop” means a group of soldiers, or troop, undertaking a nearly-suicidal mission: they are the “lost troop” or “verloren hoop.” You choose to believe in a “forlorn hope.” I do not. I prefer hard heads to soft hearts, when so much of overwhelming value is in the balance, and prefer the intelligent readiness to take extraordinary measures in defense of the West, faced with a subtle, slow-moving, many-faceted, but quite clearly unappeasable and immutable enemy, that goes from strength to strength not through open combat, but through a combination of historical events: the trillions of OPEC dollars, that show no signs of stopping, the millions of Muslims allowed, through near-criminal negligence on the part of Western elites, into Western countries paralyzed by the totem of a diseased understanding of “tolerance,” and last, the inexorable workings of both much higher birth rates for Muslims within that West (their families, sometimes polygamous, supported by the incredible, nearly suicidal generosity of Infidel governments and taxpayers), and the well-financed campaigns of Da’wa that target the economically and psychically marginal groups and individuals within that West, both contributing to an inexorable demographic conquest that the Infidels seem able to recognize but believe themselves unable to do anything about – as your comment indicates.
You are, I hope – and my hope is not forlorn – quite wrong.
Posted on 02/17/2008 10:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Chinese New Year in Docklands.
This afternoon we went tp the Museum in Docklands for their Chinese New Year celebrations. It is a 14 day festival and at Gerard Street in the west end, which is the area currently known as Chinatown the celebrations were last weekend. But before the Chinese restaurants and shops opened in the west end the Limehouse area of the East End was London’s Chinatown.
The celebrations opened with the Lion Dance, from Jimmy Lee’s Lion Dance Troup of the Pak Mei school.
Inside there was karaoke, arts and crafts, storytelling, music and dance from the touring Shen Yun spectacular.
Happy New Year to Year of the Rat.
Posted on 02/17/2008 2:03 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Not Trying Very Hard
"in the past 30 years, Israel has been trying to expand its territory, and to eliminate the enemy entirely."
-- from a Muslim apologist
If during the past 30 years Israel "has been trying to expand its territory," then surrendering the entire Sinai, to Egypt, for worthless promises -- a vast and useful buffer area, making up more than 90% of the territory Israel won in the Six-Day War, a war of self-defense imposed on it by Gamal Abdel Nasser, and then removing Jewish villagers from their villages in Gaza, until not a single Jew was left in territory that had been originally been assigned to the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine (set up for the express, and sole, purposes of creating the Jewish National Home), is not exactly the way to go about it.
And if during those same 30 years Israel, as you claim, has been "trying to eliminate the enemy entirely" then the negotiations and Oslo Accords it signed, and the way in which successive Israeli governments have not only not protested against, but actively encouraged use of the idiotic and loaded phrase "Palestinian people," and Israeli ministers traveled the globe (see Shimon Peres) raising funds for those same "Palestinians," and supplying those same "Palestinians" with medical supplies, often free medical care (just look at the charity wards of Israeli hospitals, especially in Jerusalem), and all kinds of other benefits does not, in my book, constitute "trying to eliminate the enemy entirely."
No, I'm afraid that if "Israel has been trying to expand its territory, and to eliminate the enemy entirely" then it has not been trying very hard.
Posted on 02/17/2008 3:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
A Presqu'isle Is Not An Isle
"Qatar is not an island, Hugh."
-- from a reader responding to this post
I stand not only corrected, but utterly abashed and publicly humiliated. Yes, Qatar is on a peninsula, and a peninsula is not an island. Therefore my theory, that Qatar could be considered outside the Jazirat al-Arab, crumbles into dust. And another kind reader reminds me that this would not be the first church existing in the Arabian Peninsula, and that others exist in the U.A.E. I knew that there existed, outside of Saudi Arabia, a few very modest places, but I had always thought they were there from the time when the British kept the peace in what were called the "Trucial States" (where British ships kept the "truce" between constantly-warring tribes), and thus called many of the shots -- that is, were not built in a spirit of friendly accommodation to the faith of guest-workers. That was my way of distinguishing, to my own satisfaction, their existence from this new structure to be built on Qatar.
A peninsula or promontory or presqu'isle is not an isle. As they say in the British West Indies, when you ask someone if his little land is connected to the mainland, and he replies, echoing Donne, "no mon, is an island." Repeat that lesson 100 times to self. "Presqu'isle" as in "presque." Almost, but not quite. A geography lesson I will remember not to forget.
Posted on 02/17/2008 3:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Which State Department?
"I think a US military invasion of the State Department and the subsequent shipping of everyone therein to Gitmo would be a major first step in securing America's borders."
--from a reader
The idea has its points. But remember, inside the very same State Department there are people, especially those who deal with Europe and its current tribulations, who may not be quite in sync with some of those who are traditionally described as "State Department Arabists" or their helpful adjuncts, those peace-processing Indyks and Hasses and Rosses and Millers, all of whom have spent their professional lives dedicated to the proposition that Islam hardly matters, or can be safely ignored, not least in "finding a solution" to the "Arab-Israeli" "conflict" --- that is, the Lesser Jihad against Israel, for a while (roughly, from 1967-2001), presented successfully as a "nationalist struggle" of the "Palestinian people" etc. etc.
Those whose task it is, for example, to follow events in Denmark or The Netherlands, those who know about what is happening in France, or Italy, or Spain, or the United Kingdom, may be as alarmed -- to the degree that they are informed --about what is happening in Western Europe, and may have begun to recognize instruments of Jihad other than qitaal, or combat, combined with terrorism, in southern Thailand and southern Philippines and southern Sudan and southern Nigeria, such as the well-financed carefully-targetted campaigns of Da'wa conducted in British, French, and American prisons (and among the psychically and economically marginal outside of prison), and to the demographic conquest, that some believe, for some reason, they can do nothing to halt or diminish, all over Western Europe.
There is not "one" State Department. There are people who are wise, and people who are fools. Charles Bohlen, David K. E. Bruce, George Kennan -- these were no fools. On the other hand, too many of those who have made the Arab world their specialty either did so because they had a predisposition toward certain mental pathologies, or they were children of missionaries (the "Arabists" in the book by Robert Kaplan), and too many, in the last four decades, have seen how much money could be made after they left government service if, while still in it, they did nothing to offend, and everything to curry favor with, future Arab employers and subsidizers.
I'll let you decide which, among the possibilities I have just listed, best help explain the careers of Edward Abington, John C. West, James Akins, Eugene Bird, and such former C.I.A. agents as Edwin Wilson and Raymond Close.
Posted on 02/17/2008 3:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Impossible To Comprehend?
Is it strange, is it inexplicable, is it difficult to comprehend, why, when one now sees a hijabbed woman, with her bearded husband beside her, and a half-dozen or dozen children whom, one knows with a certainty, are being paid for in large part by the Dutch or British or French or Danish taxpayers, to react with inner distaste, dislike, even fury at the situation? Is that humanly impossible to comprehend, given all that that beard, that hijab, those half-dozen children may mean for you, for your one or two children, for the future of your too-generous, too-open, too-vulnerable country or countries, done in by the very thing that makes them admirable, but that, alas, does not make them better able to resist an unprecedented -- in its scope, in its resilience, in its permanence -- threat to the civilization developed, over so long, and capable of being undone not by a superior civilization, but by mere numbers, the numbers of those who adhere to a Total Belief-System that remains unimpressed by, and permanently hostile to, everything that makes the West the West.
Why should one not react with dislike, or even intense dislike, to those who subscribe to such views? I am not talking about the Muslim who is not a Muslim, not a Believer, but is merely what I call a Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only Muslim. But those who are not such -- those who take their Islam seriously, and the beard, and the hijab, are sufficient indication -- such a person represents a threat to all that the West represents and offers, all that you, and I, and almost everyone who visits this website, should love and wish to see protected, defended.
Why should you react otherwise?
Posted on 02/17/2008 3:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Re: gut reaction
Is it strange, is it inexplicable, is it difficult to comprehend, why, when one now sees a hijabbed woman, with her bearded husband beside her, and a half-dozen or dozen children whom, one knows with a certainty, are being paid for in large part by the Dutch or British or French or Danish taxpayers, to react with inner distaste, dislike, even fury at the situation? (From Hugh's post)
Indeed it isn't. It is all too explicable. But how much more of a gut reaction - a gut wrenching reaction - do we have when we see a not merely hijabbed but niqabbed woman, and her co-wives, trailing like black ghosts after a not even bearded but totally western-looking husband swaggering along in designer jeans? Distaste, dislike, even fury don't begin to cover it.
And don't think American taxpayers get off lightly. In the UK we have tabloids that shriek and scoff at stuff like this. The American newspapers seem to be more decorous, but is this a good thing?
Posted on 02/17/2008 4:48 PM by Mary Jackson