For our donors from the UK:
|Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
||The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
||The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
||Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
||Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
||The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
||Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
by Theodore Dalrymple
||The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
||The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
||Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
||Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
by Theodore Dalrymple
De Nidra Poller
||The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
||Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
||Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
||An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
||The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
||Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
||Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky
These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 17, 2011.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
What Does The West Do About Muslims Killing Non-Muslim Civilians In Sudan?
European Parliament condemns Sudanese army killings
STRASBOURG — The European Parliament condemned Thursday the Sudanese military "invasion" of South Kordofan and Blue Nile where it says summary executions are being waged.
Sudan on Monday approved military action over the embattled state of Blue Nile bordering the newly-independent South Sudan, the site in recent weeks of fighting between the Sudanese army and former rebel forces.
Members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) have meanwhile been battling the Sudanese military in the fellow border state of South Kordofan since early June.
Passing a resolution in Strasbourg, parliament members said they "strongly condemn the invasion of the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile by the Sudanese armed forces."
"The attacks perpetrated in South Kordofan against civilians have given rise to summary executions ... mainly of alleged supporters" of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), now the party of power in the south.
"Despite the ceasefire, the Sudanese armed forces continue to attack civilian areas in the Nuba mountains region and prevent aid from reaching displaced people," the resolution stated.
The United Nations has previously signalled that crimes against humanity may have been committed during fighting in South Kordofan.
Both states are located north of Sudan's new international border, but have large numbers of SPLM-North supporters and troops loyal to Sudan's main opposition party.
Posted on 09/17/2011 7:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 17 September 2011
A Musical Interlude: You Took Advantage Of Me (Paul Whiteman's Orch.)
Posted on 09/17/2011 12:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Muslims defy outdoor prayer ban in France
From two American newspapers, the New York Post and the New York Times. According to Le Parisien the police are happy that no traffic was blocked and that the worshipers have promised to attend the new premises opened for them in good time next Friday.
Hundreds of Muslims defied a French ban on outdoor prayer -- which came into force Friday --and took to the streets and sidewalks of Paris to pray. . . But 200 Muslims ignored the ban and prayed on the streets in the neighborhood of La Goutte d'Or, Le Parisien newspaper reported.
Although officials would persuade people to pray in mosques, Muslims who continued to pray in the street would be arrested, French Interior Minister Gueant warned. The ban angered French Muslim leaders who said Muslims only prayed outdoors because of a lack of space in mosques in France.
“It’s Marine Le Pen who started all this,” a woman who gave her name as Assya said on her way into the former barracks (a fire station given over to the Muslims for prayer use) on the outskirts of Paris.
. . . the Friday Prayer in northern Paris drew a small but angry protest. An hour before the first prayer, young men with beards, green headbands and banners gathered on Rue Myrha to discourage worshipers from moving to the new site.
“No system in the universe can control us aside from Allah!” shouted one young man. Another said, “There is more dignity in praying in the grass than in their false mosque.”
As the prayers began, dozens of young men belonging to a group called Forsane Alizza disrupted the service and jostled with security officers.
I get the impression that the French government are quite willing to use force if the Muslims do not comply within a reasonable time.
Posted on 09/17/2011 2:53 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Salafists to turn Tunis Christian site into mosque
From The Daily Star of Lebanon
TUNIS: A group of Salafist Muslims took over a Christian basilica in the Tunisian town of Kef with the aim of transforming it into a mosque, media reported Friday.
The daily La Presse newspaper said police dispersed about 20 people from the Roman site, who argued that it was a place of Muslim worship before it reverted to a basilica in 1966.
“Muslims went into the basilica to prepare the place for Friday prayers,” interior ministry spokesman Hichem Meddeb told AFP, adding that he was not able to confirm they were Salafists.
“Police dispersed them without any trouble, talks took place with the governor and they have been invited to make an official request to the faith ministry,” he said. “As things stand, the monument remains a basilica.”
The basilica dates back to the sixth century and was converted into a mosque in the 1700s before reverting back. Now it is a popular cultural and tourist site.
Posted on 09/17/2011 3:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Martin Sherman On The "Anti-Nation" Pushed By The "Palestinian" Arabs
UN-nation; un-nation; non-nation; anti-nation
By MARTIN SHERMAN
I do not think there is a Palestinian nation. I think it’s a colonialist invention - Palestinian nation. When were there any Palestinians? [not "colonialist" -- it was invented AFTER the Six-Day War, by the Arabs, with some help from Western
“Of all the Palestinian lies there is no lie greater or more crushing than that which calls for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank... Not since the time of Dr. Goebbels has there been a case in which continual repetition of a lie has borne such great fruits....”
– From “Palestinian Lies” in Haaretz, July 1976.
Nothing could better underscore just how emaciated Israeli foreign policy has become than the penetrating observation by former Meretz minister of education Prof. Amnon Rubinstein articulated above.
Nothing could better underscore just how detached from the reality the discourse on “Palestine” has become than the avowal of the timeless and unconditional rejection of Israel, articulated in ensuing excerpt.
The partition of Palestine, in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the passage of time... The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history or with true conception of what constitutes statehood.
– Articles 17 and 18 of the original Palestinian National Covenant (1964). (The same clauses appear almost verbatim as Clauses 19 and 20 in the current version. Both are posted at the website of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine at the UN.) This declaration, made long before any “occupation” or “settlements,” highlights that Arab enmity towards Israel is fueled by its being – not by its borders. It proves irrefutably that the establishment of a Palestinian state and the eradication of Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria will do nothing to attenuate the refusal to acknowledge the right of the Jews to a nation-state, whatever its frontiers – if any further proof was necessary after the 2005 Gaza debacle.
All of this should be borne in mind as September 23 approaches. For what we are about to witness at the UN is nothing less an endeavor at political alchemy – the conjuring up of a substantive political construct out of mere political myth; an attempt to produce a nation where the elements of nationhood do not exist; an effort to construct a state when the components of statehood are absent.
(Please note that in the ensuing essay, I will not refer to any Israeli sources. Those employed are exclusively Palestinian or Arab. Consequently the analysis – and the consequent conclusions – are exclusively derivative of these Palestinians/Arab sources.) While no real consensus exists among political scientists as to the exact definition of “nation” and “nationalism,” there is broad agreement as to what constitutes its sine qua non. Whatever other details one scholar or another might wish to add to his/her preferred definition, there would be almost no disagreement that: a “nation” is an identifiably differentiated segment of humanity that desires to exercise political sovereignty in a defined territory; and that “nationalism” is the pursuit, by identifiably differentiated segments of humanity, of the exercise of political sovereignty in a defined territory.
The most cursory analysis of historical events in this region will quickly reveal that in the case of the Palestinians, neither of these two elements exists: neither an identifiably differentiated people desiring exercise of political sovereignty, nor a defined territory in which that sovereignty is to be exercised.
One need only examine the declarations/documents of Palestinians themselves to verify this – and to discover that they do not conceive of themselves as a discernibly discrete people with a defined homeland.
Accordingly, little effort is required to demonstrate that the Palestinian “narrative” – the notional fuel driving the demands for statehood – is a motley mixture of myths, which although they overlap and interlock, are nevertheless easily identifiable and readily refutable.
The inescapable conclusion is that the entire edifice of Palestinian national aspirations is a political hoax, a massive sleight of political hand designed to serve a far more sinister – and thinly disguised – motive. So what are these myths; and why are they so easily identifiable?
The myth of Palestinian peoplehood
Senior Palestinian leaders have admitted – openly, consistently and continually – that Palestinians are not a discrete people identifiably different from others in the Arab world.
For example, on March 14, 1977, Farouk Kadoumi, head of the PLO Political Department, told Newsweek: “Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people.”
This statement parallels almost exactly the position expressed two weeks later by the former head of the PLO’s Military Department and Executive Council member Zuheir Muhsin, who declared: “There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation.”
It was Jordan’s King Hussein who underscored that the emergence of collective Palestinian identity was merely a ploy to counter Jewish claims to territory considered Arab.
At the Arab League meeting in Amman in November 1987, he said: “The appearance of the Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.”
This of course necessarily implies that the “Palestinian personality” is devoid of an independent existence, and is a fictional derivative, fabricated only to counteract Jewish territorial claims. Indeed, without Jewish claims there would be no Palestinian personality.
The myth of Palestinian nationhood
Not only do the Palestinians admit that they are not a discrete sociological entity, i.e., a people.
They also concede that as a political unit, i.e., a nation, their demands and aspirations as are neither genuine nor permanent.
Thus Muhsin candidly confessed: “It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel [sic].”
Doesn’t get much more explicit than that! Indeed the Palestinians not only affirm that their national demands are bogus, but that they are only a temporary instrumental ruse.
In the current National Covenant they declare: “The Palestinian people are a part of the Arab Nation... [and] believe in Arab unity... however, they must, at the present stage of their struggle, safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity.”
So how are we to avoid concluding that at a later stage there will be no need to preserve their identity or develop consciousness thereof? How are we to avoid concluding that Palestinian identity is merely a short-term ruse to achieve a political goal of annulling the “illegal 1947 partition of Palestine,” (i.e. Israel).
As King Hussein said: “The appearance of the Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.”
The myth of a Palestinian homeland
Article 16 of the original version of the Palestinian National sets out the desire of the people of Palestine, “who look forward to... restoring the legitimate situation to Palestine, establishing peace and security in its territory, and enabling its people to exercise national sovereignty...”
However, since the Covenant was adopted in 1964, well before Israel “occupied” a square inch of the “West Bank” or Gaza, the question is precisely what is meant by “its territory” in which the Palestinians were “looking forward...
to exercise national sovereignty.” Indeed in Article 24, they state specifically what this territory did not include, and where they were not seeking to exercise “national sovereignty.”
In it they explicitly proclaim that they do not desire to “exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, [or] on the Gaza Strip.”
From this we learn two stunning facts. Not only did the Palestinians not claim the “West Bank” and Gaza as part of their homeland, but they specifically excluded them from it. Moreover, they explicitly acknowledged – and accepted –that the “West Bank” belonged to another sovereign entity, the Hashemite Kingdom.
There is thus not the slightest resemblance – indeed not even one square inch of overlap – between the territory claimed by the Palestinians as their “homeland” when they first formulated their national aspirations and the “homeland” allegedly envisaged/claimed today.
Indeed, the two visions of “homeland” territories are mutually exclusive.
Accordingly, it would seem that Jewish rule is far more central in defining the location of the Palestinian “homeland” than any “collective historical memory.”
For the Palestinians only incorporated the “West Bank” (and Gaza) in their territorial claims when they came under Israeli control – clearly vindicating the view that the concept of “Palestinian-ness” is a fabricated construct, conjured up to further the Arab quest to repudiate “Jewishness.”
The Palestinians as a non-nation
One could hardly find more resounding renunciation of Palestinian nationhood than the one provided by former Arab MK Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel to avoid investigation of alleged acts of treason during the 2006 Lebanon War. On a 1994 Channel 2 program, he astounded his Israeli co-participants with the following assertion: “Well, I don’t think there is a Palestinian nation at all. I think there is an Arab nation. I always thought so...
I do not think there is a Palestinian nation. I think it’s a colonialist invention – Palestinian nation. When were there any Palestinians? Where did it come from? Indeed when? Indeed where?” Not only do the Palestinian lack the fundamental elements to qualify them as a “nation,” they exhibit qualities that make them the antithesis of a “nation.” Their efforts as a collective are being channeled far less towards achieving national sovereignty for themselves, and far more towards annulling the national sovereignty of others.
In this regard the Palestinian can not only be dubbed a non-nation but an anti-nation.
The troubling afterthought
In light of all these readily available facts, the troubling question Israelis must ask themselves and their leaders is, why have they been totally ignored in the formulation of Israel’s foreign policy. Why has Israel been so inarticulate and so impotent in presenting it case and in rebuffing the diplomatic assault against it? This dereliction of duty has put the nation in mortal peril.
True, very recently there have been some welcome – but sorely belated – signs of stiffening resolve, but with the crucial session of the UN General Assembly ominously near, one can only hope this is not much too little, much too late.
Posted on 09/17/2011 7:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Thoughts on the British Riots
I suppose by now just about everything that can be said about the British riots has been said. Every culpable feature of modern Western society – from consumerism to the welfare state – has been implicated in the devastation, with much truth on all sides. The violence is barely behind us, and yet I am already late to this topic. Still, I think there are a number of points about these events which bear mentioning, and which I have not yet encountered in the press.
The general reaction to the riots strikes me as a very curious admixture of over-reaction and under-reaction. In and of itself, a riot is no symptom of general societal decay; it indicates next to nothing about the historical trajectory of a people. There is no period and no nation which has not witnessed the occasional outbreak of mob-perpetrated violence. London itself, where the recent rioting originated, has seen such things throughout its history, even during eras we might regard as the most illustrious in English history. For instance, I hold an unabashedly romantic notion of London life in the second half of the eighteenth century, the “Age of Johnson,” a time when one could sit sipping claret in the Turk’s Head with luminaries like Burke, and Joshua Reynolds, and Edward Gibbon. Yet that generation saw the eruption of the Gordon Riots in 1780, a convulsion of rioting which, in its ferocity and the extent of its destruction, vastly overshadowed what we have just seen. So there is no reason to rush to fatalistic prognoses about the future of English society just because of a riot.
And yet, such prognoses do seem in order, not because of the riots per se, but because of the character of the rising generation which the riots evinced, a character aptly summed up by Max Hastings, writing in the Daily Mail, thus: “They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so. They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.” The inarticulate purposelessness of the rioters, their evident relish of destruction for the sake of destruction, is something that has not been seen in the Western world for many centuries. If we speak candidly about what we saw, we must say that it was barbarism in one of its purest forms. But the barbarism of Western youth has been there to be seen for quite some time; that is why Theodore Dalrymple wrote that: “To have spotted it (ie, the criminality of the English population) required no great perspicacity on my part; rather, it took a peculiar cowardly blindness, one regularly displayed by the British intelligentsia and political class, not to see it and not to realize its significance.” Western peoples, and their ridiculously labeled “elites” most especially, have deliberately closed their eyes to the barbarizing effects of modern culture upon its youth for decades. The riots did not reveal anything not perfectly obvious to an intelligent person for years now, but they have shoved reality into everybody’s faces, and there is no ignoring the facts anymore.
Confronted with the brutality of our youth, the conclusion reached by many observers is that we are in store for a future of riots. This is what I call a dramatic under-reaction. To be sure, the kind of mass devastation which we observed in London is soon to become commonplace throughout the West, once we all finally tumble over the precipice of financial ruin (currently being forestalled for a year or two by the central banks’ accounting tricks). But that is the least of our worries. Indeed, the least destructive activity in which most of our young people can engage is rioting. The really horrible thing to contemplate when you listen to interviews with those nihilistic cretins who smashed into electronics boutiques to show those in power “they could do what they want” is what kind of polity they will create when the smashing is over, when time goes by and they grow up and assume control of their country. What kind of leaders will they appoint? What kind of laws will they enforce? What kind of pleasures will they consume their spare time in? The picture forming in your mind should be something like the war-camp of Attila. The raw energy of mob violence will recurrently surface and dissipate, without greatly affecting the overall tenure of society, but the steady influence of the rising generation’s incivility upon every aspect of life threatens to render Western societies, in no very great span of time, places that no decent, sensible person can inhabit comfortably.
I have taken for granted that the rioters were representative of their generation. In their aggression, their capacity for demolition, perhaps they are unique specimens, but in their brainlessness and vulgarity, they are undoubtedly fine representatives of their peers. I do not buy for one minute – and neither should you – the notion that these untoward traits are limited to the under-classes, what Hastings refers to as those “at the bottom of our society.” The barbarism of the youth transcends economic status. Having some acquaintance with young persons placed in affluent circumstances, I am quite certain that they are every bit as stupid, amoral, and crudely materialistic as the less fortunate. Their aspirations do not rise any higher than the inhabitants of the projects; they too “look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.” They simply have, for the time being, better means to satisfy their impulses than the others. They do not smash shop windows to get their hands on plasma televisions, because their parents’ wealth makes such toys readily available to them, but they really have no greater desire in life than to have a plasma television. And when their parents’ wealth vanishes, as it shortly will, I have no doubt that many of these formerly comfortable children will find criminal enterprises quite as palatable an avenue to their wishes as slogging through a greatly constricted job market.
Along these lines, I have also obviously assumed that the character of the adolescents burning and looting in Tottenham and Birmingham more or less mirrors the character of adolescents here in America. This is really understating the matter. The fact is that the adolescents burning and looting in Tottenham and Birmingham are Americanized adolescents, the creatures of an Americanized culture. The thugs swaggering around in hoodies and mimicking gangster mannerisms have gone to school on the rancid culture excreted out of America’s urban centers for decades. What does it tell us when the British authorities are now turning to American law enforcement specialists because of their experience dealing with this vile subculture? As explained in a recent AP article:
“analysts of gang culture say it seems logical to seek American assistance, because today’s British gangs consciously ape American gang ambitions and style, from the bling to the lingo. They talk in a street patois shaped by U.S. rap lyrics, use noms de guerre lifted straight from American gangster films and crime dramas, and choose such icons as Don Corleone, Al Pacino’s Scarface or Baltimore ganglord Stringer Bell of “The Wire” TV series as their avatars on social-networking sites. ‘These teenage gangsters are creating their own criminal worlds, and in their minds it’s very much an Americanized world…” said Carl Fellstrom, an expert on England’s gangs.”
Such words should be a source of unending shame to every decent American. When, during the Quattrocento, the Italian peoples led the cultural vanguard of the West, the result was a renewed enthusiasm throughout Europe for the literature and art-work of antiquity. When, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the British Empire transmitted the fruit of England’s cultural heritage around the world, Shakespeare was taught in Mumbai, and Blackstone studied in Melbourne. When, since the latter portion of the twentieth century, America has become the dominant cultural force in the Western world, the upshot is a bunch of sub-literate hooligans in Manchester, yanking on their scrotums and howling about how many ho’s they be gettin’ wit. This is our legacy, the legacy of American cultural priority. This is the hideous truth which needs to be digested by that certain kind of conservative still among us – call him a “neo-con,” or “movement conservative,” or what have you – who belligerently asserts that America is the greatest country in the history of the world, that she has a divine mission to spread democracy all over the globe, etc., etc. Such persons should be compelled to reconcile their jingoism with the fact that, over the last fifty years, wherever American influence has gone in the world, cultural degradation has followed after.
Throughout the Cold War, various reports would emerge out of the Eastern bloc nations concerning the demoralized conditions of those populations living under the thumb of the Politburo. In the contest between American-style democracy and Russian-style communism, there can be no doubt about which was the more repressive, more bloodthirsty, more wicked system. There can be no serious doubt about which system an honest man would wish to live under. I am not proposing an equivalence of the two things, not by a long shot. By what I would suggest, by way of analogy, is that we are beginning to see, in rather unmistakable forms, the demoralizing and dehumanizing effects of our own system, on all the peoples who have fallen within the cultural ambit of America, including ourselves. The children tell the whole story; a culture which produces the sort of generation which rampaged through the streets of England is, by definition, a failed culture.
I think this is the important point to grasp, because what we are witnessing at this stage of history is a crisis of the first order, and it is imperative to understand what kind of crisis it is. It is not fundamentally the crisis of the welfare state, or the crisis of consumer capitalism, or the crisis of multiculturalism (though it is the crisis of all these things to a lesser extent). Fundamentally, it is the crisis of liberal democracy – American-style democracy – by which I mean something much more than a strictly political arrangement. I mean the sum of those prejudices concerning man and society which Americans receive as a birth-right, and which themselves give shape to their political character – the belief that liberty is just doing what you want, and that the sole end of government should be to magnify such liberty to its greatest extent possible; the conviction that the “will of the people” ought to be a controlling concept in all public deliberation; the certainty that one’s rights against society infinitely outnumber one’s duties to society; the faith in progress, defined as the improvement of technology and the accumulation of material goods; the sanguine reliance on the rectitude of the “common-man,” and the corresponding exaltation of commonality – otherwise known as mediocrity – as the standard in all things; the suspicion of intellectual cultivation; the substitution of market value for artistic criteria; the unshakeable assurance that society and all of its resources exist solely for the satisfaction of each individual, who is also the final arbiter on what such satisfaction ought to entail. There is not one of these suppositions which does not lie at the heart of the “American experiment,” and there is not one of them which is not a screaming falsehood. These are the lies which make possible things like the “nanny-state” (which rests on a series of rights-claims against the state) or consumer capitalism (which recognizes no other legitimate source of desire but market value). Most pertinently, they are the assumptions which motivate the ugly behavior of our young people. Say what you want about the slack-jawed, baggy-panted, iPod-deafened teenager, prowling around the mall for his next hook-up, but he is not being untrue to his cultural inheritance. Now the cultural assumptions of America have traveled around the world, and the ugly behavior has gone right along with it. What we need to face is the possibility that the modern West is being corroded by the most cherished, most characteristic beliefs of the American people. What we need to face is the possibility that liberal democracy is no longer a salvageable thing. That is what the riots were telling us, and what nearly every other looming crisis in the news – the sovereign debt crisis, the “war on terror,” the failure of our schools – is telling us too.
I have no expectation that we will ever be able to come to grips with such hard truths. We do not as a people possess even a minimal capacity for self-reflection and self-criticism. I think this is because we are used to being addressed almost exclusively by two sorts of people: politicians seeking our votes, and advertisers seeking our money, both of whom have the most evident motives to flatter us. So liberal society will remain undiagnosed and untreated, lapsing ever further into the terminal stages of her disease. The best that the rest of us can hope for is to get clear of her death-bed convulsions. Then, perhaps, we can start all over again.
First published in Front Porch Republic.
Posted on 09/17/2011 8:13 AM by Mark Anthony Signorelli
Saturday, 17 September 2011
The perversity of diversity
From the silly to the serious -- Graeme Archer in The Telegraph: on the perversity of Britain's diversity:
About a decade ago, I sat round a management team table with my colleagues: a Chinese woman, a Jewish-American man, a female Australian, a male Russian, an Indian woman, and at least one gay white Scotsman called Graeme. We were summoned to hear a lecture from a human resources specialist on the importance of being visibly “diverse”. It was the first time we’d heard the word in this business context, and we actually laughed, and asked the HR guy how we could possibly be any more diverse, given that we were such a small team. “Well,” he said. “There aren’t any black people here.” That stopped the laughter. Diversity policy thrives on such insidious insinuations of guilt: who would dare be accused of racism? The Chinese, Australian, Russian, Indian, American and British heritage of our gender-mixed team was of no consequence. An external body could measure us, and rate us deficient with regard to an arbitrary category of minority.
I have on record from a friend that his American organisation’s most senior HR leader recently contacted the entire workforce, regarding annual awards for consumer relations. These are peer-nominated awards, not selected by management: a true exercise in highlighting and rewarding talent. It had come to the HR supremo’s notice, however, that while the nominations were all excellent, there was an “under representation” of African-Americans, and women. Could everyone have another think, and try again?
Imagine I worked for you, along with Jane, a young mother, and Dave, a single man. The economic downturn begins, and lasts as long as a Virginia Woolf novel feels. If your company is to survive, you’re going to have to let me, or Jane, or Dave go.
How easy do you think it would be to select either Jane or myself for redundancy, over Dave? What do you think HR would advise, either implicitly or explicitly? What do you fear Jane or I, protected minorities both, might do, if forced out?
Now imagine Dave is actually called Mohammed. Who wins then? The gay bloke or the Muslim?
Doesn't Graeme Archer know the rules -- Muslims always trump women and gays in the victimhood stakes. Besides, who is more likely to blow the office up?
To borrow the words of John McEnroe, I cannot be serious for long, so I'm going to be silly for short. A boss has to lose one of his employees, Jack or Jill. He is scratching his head and frowning when Jill comes into the room and asks what the matter is."I don't know whether to lay you or Jack off," confesses the boss. Jill replies, "Well jack off -- I've got a headache."
Posted on 09/17/2011 8:44 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Shi'a Proselytism Among The Tribes In Syria
Ever since the establishment of modern iraq, the Shi'a Arabs have been outbreeding the Sunni Arabs. And now there are more than three times as many Shi'a as Sunni Arabs.
In Syria, Shi'a proselytization is now taking place, according to the authors of the article posted below, for that activity, in which Iranians are also involved as financiers,, receives protection from an Alawite dictatorship that 1) would like the Alawites to be regarded as Muslims, Shi'a Muslims, rather than as a renegade sect. 2) would like, therefore, to increase, among the non-Alawite Muslim population, the percentage of those who call themselves Shi'a rather than Sunni.
Here's that story about it:
Shiite Proselytizing in Northeastern Syria Will Destabilize a Post-Assad Syria
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 9 Issue: 35
September 15, 2011 02:24 PM Age: 2 days
Ahmadinejad and Assad
Iran’s ties to Syria go beyond the geo-politics of the "Axis of Resistance." This is evident in the remote, volatile, and oil-rich al-Jazirah region of northeastern Syria, where there has been a noticeable increase in Iranian investment in religious and cultural centers over the last decade. Information gathered from interviews with Arab shaykhs, tribal youth, Kurds and Assyrians from the region suggest that Iranian financed Shi'a proselytizing, including cash handouts for conversion, is having an impact on conversion rates in the region. Arab shaykhs representing the six largest tribes in the region assert that the Assad government covertly supports a missionary effort that has affected both the Sunni (Arab and Kurd) and Christian (Assyrian) communities. 
The Jazirah region encompasses the areas including and surrounding the cities of Hasakah, Raqqah, Qamishli, Deir al-Zawr, Mayadin and Abu Kamal. This region includes the Euphrates River and its major tributary, the Khabour River. Al-Jazirah is considered to be the agricultural “breadbasket” of Syria. It is also the locus of Syria’s oil industry and a major transit point for the entry, whether legal or illegal, of goods and livestock.  Arab tribal society is strongest in this region of Syria, which is comprised of tribal and mixed ethnic communities. Approximately 60% of Syria’s Arab tribal population resides in this complex ethno-linguistic zone, which also includes significant numbers of “politically sensitive” (non-Arab) communities of Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians and Turkomans.
Lingering ethnic conflicts and Kurdish nationalism have resulted in an extremely heavy security presence in al-Jazirah. The Syrian government has historically employed a divide-and-conquer approach that has negatively impacted civil society and social cohesion in the communities of this region. Scores of individuals from al-Jazirah interviewed by the authors assert that the Syrian government is trying to create a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, especially between the Kurds on the one hand, and Arabs and Christians on the other. In addition to the intelligence and informant networks deployed by the regime in the northeast, other tactics to inhibit local level authority and autonomy are also utilized. These include land nationalization, restrictions on farming and grazing rights and even forced relocation of whole groups of people (e.g. tribal Arabs and Kurds). The Syrian government’s attempts to assert total control over this oil-rich region have included blocking outside aid agencies from bringing relief to the area during the multi-year drought and subsequent famine that began in 2003.
The economic situation in al-Jazirah is dire. The Hasakah Governorate in particular has been fiercely impacted by the economic crisis, precipitated by a multi-year drought that crippled the local agricultural economy and forced 36,000 families to leave the land they once farmed. Over 1.3 million people have been affected by the drought, and more than 803,000 Syrians have lost their work because of its impact on successive harvests (Executive [Beirut], November 2009). Even the more wealthy shaykhs of northeastern Syria are feeling the economic effects of the drought. Many of them are in debt to either the Ba’ath Party (through government-controlled banks) or to private lenders who cooperate with the Ba’ath Party. Shaykhs who refused to pay the exorbitant fees of the loan sharks were forced to leave thousands of acres of their land uncultivated for the 2009 planting season. 
While there are no generally accepted figures for conversion rates to Shi’ism in Syria, information provided to us by local shaykhs is informative. Shaykhs representing the six largest tribes in the region stated repeatedly that Shi’a missionaries were having an impact on Sunni to Shi’a conversion in the region, especially among the economically vulnerable young men forced to seek work outside of al-Jazirah. A Baggara shaykh reported that a Shi’a religious center near Aleppo, for example, sustains young tribesmen who leave al-Jazirah in search of jobs with financial support, information on safe housing and a place of refuge where they can interact with other youth from their home region. When questioned about the financing of the mosques, one local shaykh from the Jabbour tribe became uneasy, and would only state that the mosques were financed by “outsiders,” although he would not state who these outsiders were.
In a 2009 discussion with two tribal leaders, the Baggara shaykh (whose community is based both in al-Jazirah and south of Aleppo) stated that fully 25% of his tribe had converted to Shi’ism. While the second shaykh from the Shammar tribe (whose community is based in Hasakah) concurred with this figure regarding Baggara conversion, he stated that for his own tribe the conversion rate was less than one percent. He added that the reason the Shammar are largely immune to religious conversion is their very strong adherence to what he termed “traditional Bedu values.” He went on to explain that the Baggara were never historically “noble” camel herders and thus were “weak” in terms of adhering to traditional Arab tribal or “Bedu” norms. In an interview that took place in June 2011, a local contact of one of the authors stated that the entire population of Qahtaania (a Baggara village between Qamishli and Malakiyya) has converted to Shi’ism, praying in the Ali ibn Abu Talib mosque built there in 2007. 
Conversion to Shi’ism is a contested phenomenon in the region. According to our interview data, the majority of converted Shi’a in al-Jazirah are secretive about their practices, preferring to practice their faith with fellow converts in husseiniya-like study groups in private homes. The main reason for this secrecy is the disapproval of the converts’ families and/or tribes. A contact of one of the authors, a young convert to Shi’ism from the Walde tribe that live near Raqqah, stated in September 2010 that: “There is a problem between the tribes and the Iranians, but between the leader [Bashar Al-Assad] and the Iranians, there is no problem.” Influential Sunni Syrians such as Ali Sadr al-Din al-Bayanouni of the Muslim Brotherhood have warned against “Shia-ization” in Syria. In a May 2008 interview, al-Bayanouni stated that: “on the cultural level, the Shi’ite school of Islam is spreading in Syria, funded by Iran and supported by the Iranian regime… This situation is exploited by people who give financial incentives, and pay the salaries of some tribal leaders, imams, and shaykhs, in order to convert these influential people to the Shi’ite school of Islam” (al-Arabiya, May 2, 2008).
The spread of Shi’ism in al-Jazirah, a majority Arab Sunni tribal region, adds another element of complexity to the dynamics of identity politics and organization of resistance to the regime there. Tribal, ethnic and sectarian differences exacerbated by decades of oppression and years of economic decay and out-migration, now coupled with Iranian cultural penetration through Shi’a missionary work, have destabilized the region and will have an impact on any attempt to form a post-Assad government in Syria. It is the view of the authors that Iran has “soft” tools or resources in place that it can draw upon in a post- Assad Syria that reach beyond military and political power politics into the sociocultural realm.
Posted on 09/17/2011 4:45 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Chateaubriand's Observations On Islam And The Threat To Europe
Chateaubriand, l’Europe et la menace islamique
Courrier - 16 septembre 2011
Chateaubriand a été un des plus grands esprits de l’histoire française et donc de l’histoire moderne. La conclusion des mémoires d’outre-tombe est tout bonnement prodigieuse d’intuitions, de constatations, de prévisions justes : il a vu le monde dans lequel nous allions tomber.
Le grand homme aura aussi été un très grand diplomate, ambassadeur d’ailleurs en Prusse, en Angleterre, à Rome ; sa carrière aura été tronquée par les jalousies et par la satanée monarchie de Juillet, prélude à toutes nos avanies, alors qu’il était en train de rendre à la France, c est le cas de le dire, ses lettres de noblesse. Son livre sur le traité de Vérone est remarquable, comme son intervention dans l’affaire d’Espagne en 1823 est éblouissante.
Quelques années plus tard, il rédige dans son style magistral ces notes diplomatiques que peu de lecteurs lurent alors (Mémoires, 3 L29 Chapitre 13). Elles concernent l’Angleterre, notre amitié avec la Russie et l’incontournable problème de l’islamisme et de la Turquie, toujours soutenue par l’Angleterre. L’auteur de René estime justement que l’histoire du monde eût été différente si on avait laissé les russes orthodoxes récupérer Constantinople quand il était encore temps.
Politiquement incorrect s’il en fut, le grand homme écrit que :
En principe de grande civilisation, l'espèce humaine ne peut que gagner à la destruction de l'empire ottoman : mieux vaut mille fois pour les peuples la domination de la Croix à Constantinople que celle du Croissant. Tous les éléments de la morale et de la société politique sont au fond du christianisme, tous les germes de la destruction sociale sont dans la religion de Mahomet.
On lui vante la modernisation économique et technique de ces contrées barbares : il la redoute…
C'est une faute énorme, c'est presqu'un crime d'avoir initié les Turcs dans la science de notre tactique : il faut baptiser les soldats qu'on discipline, à moins qu'on ne veuille élever à dessein des destructeurs de la société.
Je bois du petit lait quand je lis ces lignes sur l’amitié franco-russe. Alliance franco-russe, seul moyen de gagner les guerres et de retrouver notre rang :
Il y a sympathie entre la Russie et la France ; la dernière a presque civilisé la première dans les classes élevées de la société ; elle lui a donné sa langue et ses mœurs. Placées aux deux extrémités de l'Europe, la France et la Russie ne se touchent point par leurs frontières, elles n'ont point de champ de bataille où elles puissent se rencontrer ; elles n'ont aucune rivalité de commerce, et les ennemis naturels de la Russie (les Anglais et les Autrichiens) sont aussi les ennemis naturels de la France. En temps de paix, que le cabinet des Tuileries reste l'allié du cabinet de Saint-Pétersbourg, et rien ne peut bouger en Europe. En temps de guerre, l'union des deux cabinets dictera des lois au monde.
Ancien réfugié puis ambassadeur en Angleterre (son histoire d’amour avec Charlotte Ives est un des grands passages d’amours classiques des mémoires), Chateaubriand ne se prive pourtant pas de remettre d’équerre (si j’ose dire) l’ordre anglo-saxon.
L'Angleterre, d'ailleurs, a toujours fait bon marché des rois et de la liberté des peuples ; elle est toujours prête à sacrifier sans remords monarchie ou république à ses intérêts particuliers… vouée tour à tour au despotisme ou à la démocratie selon le vent qui amenait dans ses ports les vaisseaux des marchands de la cité.
Inquiet sur l’affaire turque, parce qu’il lui appert que l’occident préfère la Sublime Porte à la Russie, Chateaubriand revient à la charge ; prophète là encore, il voit que la mondialisation des techniques et de la science militaire peut déboucher sur de nouvelles menaces.
Prétendre civiliser la Turquie en lui donnant des bateaux à vapeur et des chemins de fer, en disciplinant ses armées, en lui apprenant à manœuvrer ses flottes, ce n'est pas étendre la civilisation en Orient, c'est introduire la barbarie en Occident.
Enfin, comme s’il annonçait notre maître et ami Jean Raspail :
Vous ne voulez pas planter la Croix sur Sainte-Sophie : continuez de discipliner des hordes de Turcs, d'Albanais, de Nègres et d'Arabes, et avant vingt ans peut-être le Croissant brillera sur le dôme de Saint-Pierre.
On n’y est pas tout à fait, mais quand même… Erdogan et quelques autres se frottent les mains.
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Posted on 09/17/2011 6:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Geert Wilders, Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, and Yet More Dhimmitude Down Under
In this instalment of the saga, I offer two items - another Sydney Morning Herald piece, Dylan Welch reporting, in which the plot thickens as we discover that Senator Bernardi is capable of asking Muslims some hard questions and is also not inclined to unquestioningly swallow such answers as he is given; and an excerpt from the transcript of an interview with the current Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, in which Minister Bowen - as so many of our politicians have, embarrassingly, done, in the past couple of weeks - reveals that he knows almost nothing about Mr Wilders and certainly does not know enough about Islam to be able to see whether Mr Wilders' criticism, and Mr Bernardi's misgivings, are fact-based or not.
'Senator strikes sour note with demand for Muslim denunciation'
'The Liberal senator accused of supporting a self-confessed Islamophobic Dutch politician (there's that horrid non-word again, 'Islamophobic' - CM) had asked a Sydney Muslim to "publicly denounce" fundamentalist Islam before he would correspond with him.
'The arch-conservative South Australian senator Cory Bernardi has been under fire from moderates in his party for extending an invitation to visit Australia to the Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
'Mr Wilders, whose party holds the balance of power in the Dutch parliament, is Europe's most famously anti-Islamic politician.
And what is wrong with being against Islam? Given that there is not one majority-Muslim or Muslim-ruled country anywhere in the world within which it could be said that non-Muslims - and especially those who were born to Muslim parents but chose to leave the Ummah - are entirely free or safe, and given that the reasons why such people are neither free nor safe, are to be found plainly set down in the Sharia of Islam. - CM
'Yesterday more evidence of Senator Bernardi's anti-Islamic views (that is, of Senator Bernardi's willingness to question and criticise Islam - CM) were revealed when Australia's largest online Muslim forum, muslimvillage.com, published a letter from the Senator to a Sydney Muslim.
Note that Dylan Welch is writing as if to be 'anti-Islamic' in any way at all is a crime. 'Evidence', 'revealed'.- CM
'Senator Bernardi was responding to concerns expressed by the man about his negative comments regarding Islam.
'In the letter, Senator Bernardi declared Islam had been linked with hate speech (for examples of which, just peruse the translations of the many, many ferociously antisemitic sermons produced by Arab Muslim 'clerics' and broadcast regularly on on mainstream TV channels in places like Egypt - CM), terrorism (fresh examples appear every day in the world news - CM), gang rapes (several truly dreadful cases of same, carried out by Lebanese Arab Muslim men, and by Pakistani Muslim men, against non-Muslim Australian girls - some of the victims being under-age - in Sydney not so many years ago, during which the victims were reviled for being Aussie non-Muslims and deliberately, violently humiliated - CM), racism (as we see in Libya and in Sudan today, where 'Arab' Muslims are busy killing black Muslims and black non-Muslims - CM), segregation and isolationism, and even false reports of assault to NSW police (this last being a reference to the be-burqa'd Carnita Matthews - CM).
'Then Senator Bernardi stated: "You have identified yourself as an Australian Muslim. I would be interested to know if you subscribe to fundamentalist Islamic practices".
'Fundamentalist Islamic practices'. Not specific enough. Senator Bernardi should have asked him whether he adhered to the sharia, and then given specific examples of practices specifically prescribed and/ or condoned by sharia - for example, the killing of apostates and 'blasphemers', slavery, wife-beating, marital rape, polygyny, and the wedding and bedding of girls as young as nine - and asked his interlocutor whether he approved of each of these or not. - CM
"If not, I ask then for evidence that you have publicly denounced the above-mentioned practices and the preachers who advocate for non-engagement of Muslims and 'infidels'."
'The Sydne y man replied and listed extremists associated with other religions.
In other words, the Muslim avoided answering Senator Bernardi's question, instead resorting to Tu Quoque. - CM
'On August 12, Senator Bernardi wrote a letter stating the man was "incapable of critically analysing the actions of Islamic fundamentalists".
"In the absence of your condemnation, one can only conclude you agree with their conduct".
Hmmm. Has he figured out that 'silence implies consent'? It appears Senator Bernardi is beginning to learn how to 'read between the lines' of the utterances of Mohammedan snake-oil salesmen and spin-doctors. I wonder whether he has yet read Raymond Ibrahim's essay on Islamic deception, Taqiyya and Kitman, "How Deception Alters Islam's Rules of War"? If not, he should, and soon. - CM
'The letters will only add fuel to the fire burning in the Liberal Party regarding Senator Bernardi's increasingly vituperative anti-Islamic comments.
I would say, 'increasingly bold and truthful criticisms of aspects of Islam'. - CM'
'The issue has also given Labor, struggling with its own problems, a chance to direct media scrutiny to the opposition.
'The man who would have the final say on letting Mr Wilders into Australia, the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, criticised Mr Wilders and Senator Bernardi on ABC television yesterday.
"Mr Bernardi is a serial offender when it comes to matters of inappropriate commentary on other people's religion and he is Tony Abbott's right-hand man...clearly his front-bench position and his position as a key advisor to Tony Abbott really needs to be brought into question."...
Now, here is the link that will take you to a transcript of that ABC TV program, in which one Lyndal Curtis interviews Minister Bowen.
'Interview with Lyndal Curtis, ABC 24'.
Most of the interview had to do with the subject of illegal immigrants / asylum seekers (most of whom, at present, appear to be young Muslim men of military age, from places like Afghanistan), which is another whole story by itself; the part that had to do with Wilders and Bernardi is toward the end. Here it is.
'CURTIS: The Acting Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, has called for Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi to be sacked from his front-bench duties for apparently helping a controversial Dutch politician visit Australia.
'Senator Bernardi has been quoted today as clarifying [inaudible] saying neither he nor the Coalition is organising any visit by Geert Wilders. Isn't that enough?
BOWEN: Well, the trouble is that Cory Bernardi's a serial offender when it comes to inappropriate commentary on multiculturalism, on matters of religion.
Question for Minister Bowen. All four schools of Islamic law - which are not a dead letter, but very much alive within the Islamic Ummah worldwide - hold that those who apostasise from Islam ought to be killed. You can find a very thorough discussion of this subject - and real-world, contemporary examples of people who have suffered as a result - in ex-Muslim Dr Patrick Sookhdeo's book 'Freedom to Believe: Challenging Islam's Apostasy Law'; as well as an older, equally scholarly overview in Samuel Zwemer's "The Law of Apostasy in Islam". A Muslim cleric resident in Sweden has called for the death of those who leave Islam - not in Somalia, but in Sweden. In Sweden. My dear Minister Bowen: if a 'religion', or 'cult', or - well, let's just call it an Organisation - has a plainly-stated and frequently-enforced rule that anyone born into it or who joins it cannot and must not leave on pain of death, what would you regard as appropriate or inappropriate comment upon such a belief system and Organisation? And what if that Organisation also decrees - citing the example of its founder, who approved of the assassination of non-members who had criticised and made fun of himself and his ideas and his followers - that anyone, member or non-member, who mocks, questions or criticises the Organisation, must also be killed? For a contemporary example, see Theo Van Gogh; and we are likely to see another, when the Muslims execute Asia Bibi in Pakistan, as punishment for her 'blaspheming' of Islam (she, being a Christian, refused her co-workers' 'invitation' to become a Muslim, saying she preferred Jesus to Mohammed). What comments upon that practice would you, Minister Bowen, regard as appropriate or inappropriate? - CM
"If Mr Bernardi says he's clarified, well, that's a matter for Mr Bernardi.
"But it's been widely reported that he's been involved in bringing out this individual ('this individual' - such contempt, Minister Bowen, for a man who is risking his life every day, ill becomes you - CM) and, frankly, it fits with his form and his behaviour.
'He makes inappropriate comments about other people's religions and it's I think high time that Mr Abbott dealt with him".
Minister Bowen needs to be told that Islam sees nothing wrong with an adult man's wedding - and bedding - a girl as young as nine. He needs to be told that this is done today in places like Yemen, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, and when it is done, it is justified on the basis of the Sunnah - the example - of Mohammed. And he must be asked: are you or are you not willing to condemn this practice? Would you permit a Muslim man, in Australia, to act in conformity with the teachings of his belief-system, and the example of the one whom he reveres as 'the perfect man, an excellent example of conduct', and take to his bed a nine-year-old girl? Was it 'inappropriate' of ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, citing Mohammed's marriage to nine-year-old Aisha, to call Mohammed 'a pervert' and 'a pedophile'? - CM
'CURTIS: If Mr Wilders did want to come to Australia, would you grant him a visa?
'BOWEN: Well, look, I'm not aware that he's applied for a visa, and we have a process in place for people with issues of character (for heaven's sake, this is insane - I would have thought that a man who is prepared to risk his life, day after day, merely for the 'crime' of telling uncomfortable truths, has no 'issues of character' - on the contrary, I would see such risk-taking for the sake of truth as a proof of character - CM) who've had criminal convictions against them (my dear Minister Bowen, you seem to have forgotten that although Wilders was accused of 'hate speech' he was subsequently acquitted? - CM) they get considered, it's elevated to me as minister in appropriate circumstances; that's not occurred in this case yet. As I say, I'm not even aware that he's applied for a visa.
'If he has, then it would go through the processes and would be brought to my attention at an appropriate time, and I as minister would weigh up the countervailing arguments, the seriousness of the offences that he's conducted
Yet again, Minister: he has committed no offence. He was acquitted of all charges against him. - CM
'and the matters that go to his character...
'CURTIS. Given that the Labor Party has been under pressure for some time over allegations being faced by one of your MPs, Craig Thomson, is it a little hypocritical to call for the sacking of a Liberal Senator when it's not entirely clear on what he is and isn't doing in relation to this Dutch politician?"
'BOWEN: Well, Mr Bernardi is a member of the Liberal Party front-bench. Last time I looked, I think he was Tony Abbott's Parliamentary Secretary, his right-hand man.
'Craig Thomson is a backbench Member of the Parliament. He was a chair of a parliamentary committee; he has resigned from that position. Mr Thomson hasn't been charged with anything.
'There's been no charges brought against him, whereas Mr Bernardi is a serial offender when it comes to matters of inappropriate commentary on other people's religion (so when was Mr Bernardi's blasphemy/ 'hate speech'/ thoughtcrime trial? I think I must have missed it - CM) and he is Tony Abbott's right-hand man.
"I don't think anybody's calling for Mr Bernardi necessarily to leave the Parliament (though doubtless there are quite a few Muslims in Australia, and catspaws of Muslims, who would like to see him out of Parliament at the very least, if not dead - CM), but clearly his front-bench position, and his position as a key adviser to Tony Abbott really needs to be brought into question.
CURTIS - Chris Bowen, thank you very much for your time.
BOWEN - Thanks, Lyndal".
IN a website discussing this interview, one of the commenters offers certain Quran passages, under the sarcastic rubric "Some "appropriate commentary" on other people's religion, from allah" -
'Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax (i.e. the jizya, the 'protection' money or 'ransom' paid by dhimmis to Muslims - CM) in acknowledgment of superiority (i.e. of the superiority of Muslims over them - CM) and they are in a state of subjectiion." - Sura 9: 29.
"And the Jews say Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the sayings of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!" - Sura 9: 30.
I wonder whether Immigration Minister Chris Bowen even knows that such texts exist, or that they are central to Islam's view of the world and its attitude toward non-Muslims, and are very much alive in the contemporary practice of many Muslims throughout the world?
Posted on 09/17/2011 7:54 PM by Christina McIntosh
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Geert Wilders, Cory Bernardi, and the Dhimmis Down Under, Part Three
Here is yet another instalment in a set of postings giving samplings of and commentary upon the hysterical reactions in Australia, from portions of our press and from certain politicians, to the mere idea that Dutch politician Geert Wilders, critic of Islam, might visit us, and to the news that one of our politicians, Federal Senator Cory Bernardi, a member of the Liberal Party, dined with Mr Wilders during a recent visit to Europe, and may have offered reciprocal hospitality should the brave Dutchman visit our shores.
From the Sydney Morning Herald, one of our more heavily dhimmified rags, Dylan Welch, Phillip Coorey and Kirsty Needham reporting -
'Senator under fire for ties to Wilders'.
"Ties". He dined with him. He conversed with him. He has expressed mild approval. This does not constitute 'ties'. - CM
'The ultra-conservative MP Cory Bernardi has provoked outrage in his party (I think this is a slight exaggeration; some, though not all by any means, have expressed disapproval - CM) by offering to assist an Islamaphobic (and with this - even though they can't spell it properly - the SMH wins the buzzword bingo prize of the day - CM) Dutch politician who is planning on visiting Australia.
'Geert Wilders, who holds the balance of power in the Dutch parliament, likened the Koran to Mein Kampf (a perfectly valid comparison, and one that Mr Wilders is not the first to have made - CM) and called the Prophet Muhammad ('the Prophet Muhammad'?? - whose 'Prophet'? Not mine. Suggested alternative wording - "Muhammad, whom Muslims revere as a 'prophet'" - CM) a paedophile.
As I pointed out in a previous posting on this affaire, ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali is also on record as having called Mohammed a pervert and a tyrant; she explained to her then parliamentary colleagues in Holland, who were somewhat shocked by what she had said, that if Mohammed had sex with a nine-year-old girl, Aisha, as all devout Muslims firmly believe he did, "then according to Dutch law he is a paedophile". - CM
'Senator Bernardi met Mr Wilders on a recent trip to the Netherlands...
'The revelation has angered moderate members of the Liberal Party and renewed calls for the senator, parliamentary secretary to the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, to be dumped from the front-bench.
'The Herald understands some senior Liberal front-benchers were intending yesterday to raise Senator Bernardi's behaviour with Mr Abbott.
I observe that the names of these 'senior Liberal front-benchers' are not given, presumably at their own request (I wonder why?); I would like to know who they are, and how many is 'some', and I would also like to know how many Mohammedans reside in their electorates. - CM
'Mr Wilders, who was banned from entering Britain in 2009 after he was found to be an "undesirable person" (note that the SMH primly refrains from informing its readers that that ban - which was imposed out of craven fear of Muslim riots in the streets of London, such riots having been brazenly threatened by a Muslim member of the House of Lords - was overturned, and that Mr Wilders was later admitted into the UK, having been invited by two Peers, Baroness Caroline Cox who is best known for her work with the Anti-Slavery Society, and Malcolm Lord Pearson, Earl of Rannoch - CM) may struggle to pass the character test to be allowed into Australia.
If we allow members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir to come here and address conferences calling for the overthrow and destruction of western civilization and for a global Islamic caliphate, I fail to see why we should exclude Mr Wilders, whose main crime is that he opposes that grand Islamic project.
And more hysteria from the Sydney Morning Herald, here - Lisa Martin reporting.
'Calls for Bernardi's Scalp Over Wilders'
'Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi is facing an angry backlash and calls for his scalp after he promised (supposedly promised - CM) to help controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders visit Australia.
'Controversial'. I would have said - 'courageous'. Does our SMH reporter, Ms Lisa Martin, for even one second pause to imagine what it might be like to live with daily death threats, as Mr Wilders does? Death threats that are intended to frighten him into ceasing his critique of the many patently objectionable aspects of classical Islamic doctrine and practice; but which threats, so far, he has defied. - CM
'Mr Wilders, 48, has faced accusations of racial vilification for his hostile views on Islam.
'Accusations of racial vilification'. Islam is a religion, not a race. And this is not a question of 'hostile views'. This is about a man's right to engage in fact-based rational public critique of a set of ideas. Notice that Ms Martin does not tell her readers that Mr Wilders was acquitted of the charge that he had committed 'hate speech', and was set free. - CM
'He provoked outrage among the Netherlands' Muslim community after branding Islam a violent religion (he is not the first to have done that . Jacques Ellul in his foreword on 'Jihad', written for Bat Yeor's "The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam", says of Islam that "it is fundamentally warlike"; and Winston Churchill, in his account of war in what are now Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 19th century, "The Story of the Malakand Field Force", calls Islam "the religion of blood and war". - CM), likening the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf and calling the Prophet Mohammed a pedophile.
I wonder whether Ms Martin has ever heard the Muslim story of Mohammed's bedding of his nine-year-old child 'bride', Aisha? - CM
'Senator Bernardi has admitted extending an invitation to assist Mr Wilders with his "schedule or arranging appropriate meetings" in Australia.
'But has since moved to distance himself from the visit.
Which is a shame. He was showing some promise in the area of resistance to Sharia Creep. - CM
'Senator Bernardi is the shadow parliamentary secretary for families and assisting the opposition leader.
'Treasurer Wayne Swan said Senator Bernardi had a history of indiscretions espousing right-wing extremist views (and with this statement Wayne Swan reveals to us that he must not have bothered to seek out and read even one speech by Mr Wilders, for if he had, he would know that Wilders does not have a fascist bone in his body; I think I shall bring to Mr Swan's attention, for example, the very moving speech that Mr Wilders gave at the 'Facing Jihad' conference in Jerusalem in 2008, in which Mr Wilders spoke beautifully of the great debt that Western Civilization owes to the Jews, and I will also point out to him that it is Dutch Jews - coming under constant and escalating attack from Muslims - who comprise one of the groups within Dutch society for whose well-being and safety Mr Wilders is rightly concerned - CM) and the issue would be a test for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's integrity.
It is indeed. But not in the way that Mr Swan is imagining. If Mr Abbott bows to the screams of the lynch mob, and sacks Mr Bernardi, I will conclude that Mr Abbott has no integrity whatsoever. - CM
'He said if Mr Abbott failed to act, it would be telling of his own views.
It would. It would reveal that he is prepared to back his man rather than throw him to the wolves. - CM
"It will just demonstrate Mr Abbott is someone who can't be believed and is someone who also sides with extremists", he told ABC TV.
No, it is those who are calling for Mr Bernardi's political 'death' as punishment for his having associated with a known public critic of Islam - that is, with a 'blasphemer', as Muslims would define it - who are siding with the extremists, who are aligning themselves with, for example, the Muslim mobs who in Pakistan have been howling for the execution for 'blasphemy' of a poor Christian day-labourer whose only crime was to tell her Muslim co-workers that she preferred Jesus to Mohammed. - CM
'Labor front-bencher Peter Garrett echoed the call, saying Mr Wilders had dangerous views, "which are completely at odds with Australian culture and Australian values".
No, Mr Garrett. Mr Wilders is sticking up for what I always thought were principles that Australians respected and sought to practise. Mr Wilders affirms freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and human rights, and is therefore criticising an ideology - Islam - which in all places where it dominates actively suppresses freedom of speech and of conscience and promotes gross abuses of the human rights of women and of non-Muslims. And Mr Garrett thinks that to oppose and criticise that ideology - Islam - is to have 'dangerous views'. Actually, it is dangerous, in that as soon as Wilders began publicly criticising Islam he began to receive multiple death threats from Muslims, and continues to be thus threatened, today. But Mr Garrett doesn't want to think about that. I would have thought that any red-blooded Australian would be in awe of a human being like Mr Wilders who, though threatened with death for speaking out, ignores the threats and soldiers on. Mr Wilders is a whistle-blower. I thought Australians respected whistle-blowers, people who risk all to warn of dangers and abuses. - CM
"Mr Abbott should show some leadership, discipline this senator, remove him from his portfolio responsibilities", he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.
Such vindictiveness, Mr Garrett. Why don't you go to Pakistan and join those allahu-akbaring mobs demanding the death of Aasia Bibi for her 'blasphemy' against Islam? You'd fit right in. - CM
'Mr Garrett declined to say if he believed Mr Abbott should have Senator Bernardi expelled from the Liberal Party, in the way John Howard had Pauline Hanson disendorsed as a candidate.
Pauline Hanson really was a racist. Mr Bernardi is not a racist; he has, rather (though much less trenchantly than Mr Wilders) expressed opposition to aspects of an ideology - Islam - that has an appalling historical track record. - CM
'Opposition Leader Tony Abbott denied Senator Bernardi ws trying to bring Mr Wilders to Australia.
"That's not the positiion, he's not", the Liberal leader told reporters in Brisbane. "The Coalition has nothing to do with the organisation of any trip".
'Senator Bernardi has previously called for the burqa to be banned (an eminently sensible proposal, on security grounds alone - CM) although this view is not endorsed by his coalition colleagues (more fools they - CM).
'The British initially banned Mr Wilders from visiting their shores in early 2009, because of fears he would threaten community harmony and public security.
Because of fears that Muslim mobs would rampage through the streets of London. And whose fault would it be if they had? It would have been the fault of the Muslims, not of Mr Wilders. In any event, Mr Wilders did visit, and the Muslims did not, in fact, riot; everything passed off peacefully. So much for the hysteria about threats to 'community harmony' and 'public security'. - CM
'Labor senator Kate Lundy would not say whether Australia should ban Mr Wilders visit.
If he is banned, then I will personally visit my parliamentary representative to condemn the unconscionable suppression of free speech in Australia. I would be prepared to march - peacefully - in the streets to call for such a ban to be lifted. - CM
"Mr Wilders will have to go through the normal processes for applying for a visa", she told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
'She said Senator Bernardi was sponsoring Mr Wilders' visit "like he was some sort of rock star".
You exaggerate, my dear lady. - CM
"Mr Wilders' views are very hurtful and offensive to Muslims and, I think, to many Australians", she said.
Ms Lundy, you do not speak for me. I find Mr Wilders' critique of Islam to be rational and accurate. I observe you do not seem even to have bothered to ask yourself this question: what if what Mr Wilders says about Islam, and about Mohammed, happened to be...true? Sometimes truth hurts. Should the truth be suppressed, if it makes some people uncomfortable? Should we only ever say what pleases and flatters other people, even if it is manifestly false? - CM
'Australian Greens senator Richard Di Natale condemned Senator Bernardi's associations with the Dutch hardliner.
Not 'Dutch hardliner'. 'Brave Dutchman'. 'Truth-telling Dutchman'. 'Dutchman who values truth more than his own life and more than other people's theatrical pantomimes of victimhood'. - CM.
"Multiculturalism is one of this country's great successes, and it must be defended", he said.
It is precisely because I like social and cultural variety that I resist the Islamisation of my society; for wherever it prevails, Islam tends to erase diversity (as witness the merciless suppression of the religions and languages of the non-Arab and/ or non-Muslim peoples - e.g. the forcible Islamisation and Arabisation of black Africans that is well underway in North Sudan - throughout what is called 'the Arab world' and in the wider Muslim world). For more on the way in which Islam demands a sort of self-annihilation of those it forces to 'convert', see V S Naipaul, 'Among the Believers' and 'Beyond Belief' - CM
"The question is whether Tony Abbott is prepared to defend it ('it' being 'multiculturalism', but at the moment, 'multiculturalism' seems to be code for 'Islamisation' - CM) from those in his ranks.
'Speaking to reporters in Sydney, senior coalition front-bencher Joe Hockey said Wilders was an unpleasant character who should be avoided.
And thus Mr Hockey, MP, exposes his refusal to do any independent research on the subject, and his willingness to allow others to tell him what to think. - CM
'Mr Hockey declined to say if he believed Senator Bernardi should be disciplined for supporting Wilders...
"I'm not going to speculate on those matters, he said.
"Mr Hockey said he was sure Mr Abbott was telling the truth when the opposition leader said he did not offer to organise Mr Wilders' visit to Australia.
"I'm sure that Tony Abbott is telling the truth", Mr Hockey said.
And that is a very great pity. I would very much like to see the Opposition muster the courage to invite Mr Wilders to come to Australia to explain his ideas and share his experience and insights. I would like to see Mr Wilders address the National Press Club in Canberra. I would like to watch when those reporters and politicians who are busy trying to represent Mr Wilders as some kind of Nazi, have to come to terms with the sight of Mr Wilders cheerfully drinking a nice cup of hot chocolate in Max Brenners' in Sydney or in Melbourne and giving a speech declaring his wholehearted support for Jews and for Israel and his contempt for the Jihad-inspired antisemitic shenanigans of the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign against Israel.
In all of this it is probably the Greens who have been the most grovellingly dhimmified.
On 14 September it was reported that they intended to ask Parliament to condemn Senator Bernardi. From 'The Age', which is part of the Fairfax press, and Melbourne's equivalent of the 'Sydney Morning Herald':
"The Greens today will ask Parliament to condemn Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi for offering to help controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders in his trip to Australia.
'Mr Wilders has compared the Koran to Mein Kampf, called the prophet Muhammad (let us be grateful for small mercies - it is 'prophet Muhammad' rather than 'Prophet Muhammad' - CM) and said Islam was not a religion, rather it was a totalitarian ideology.
'Last week it was reported that Senator Bernardi met Mr Wilders and offered to help him when he visited Australia, prompting calls for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to dump him from the front bench.
'The Age understands some Labor MPs have inquired about meeting Mr Wilders should he visit Australia.
Hmmm. I would like to know the names of those enterprising fellows ...I would like to encourage them in this heartening hint of an inclination toward independent thought and Finding Out For Oneself. - CM
'Greens spokesman for multiculturalism Richard di Natale will move that the Senate condemn the invitation by Senator Bernardi to Mr Wilders and call on the Senator to withdraw that invitation; and if not for Mr Abbott to intervene.
"Senator Bernardi has expressed similar views in the past and there should be no room for extremists like Bernardi on Tony Abbott's front bench", Senator di Natale said."
I do not yet know what transpired in the Senate; when I know, I will report back.
But now for a counterpoint to this depressing catalogue of dismal official dhimmitude Down Under. You will find it if you click on the following link. The article offers much the same stuff we have seen already, but unlike the others it permitted Comments. It is those Comments which I encourage you to read.
Many of those comments showed that there are ordinary Australians who are capable of thinking for themselves, who have been doing their own research into what Islam teaches and what Muslims do and have done, and who would be only too happy to welcome Mr Wilders to Australia.
A sampling of those comments. It is worth noting that these are comments to an article that appeared in an Adelaide paper, and that many of those commenting are from South Australia, people whom Cory Bernardi represents in the Federal Senate.
'Abediddie' remarked: "Good. I hope Wilders comes here and highlights what could happen to Australia if we are not careful. This guy is not advocating violence, sharia will never ever have a place in Australia. But Islams (sic) want it to eventually. If people want to come to Australia they need to abide by our laws and not try and turn it into a mini middle east complete with subjugation of women and sharia law".
'Pedro' of 'The Hills' (Adelaide suburb - CM), said - 'Let's hear what he [Wilders - CM] has to say. I for one am sick to death of hearing nothing but the bleating of the mob who call everything that they may disagree with "Racism". People are entitled to their opinion. That is what democracy is all about. I am not a Sheeple. I am quite capable of making judgments on my own behalf."
'Fed Up Tax Payer of Adelaide' said - "Islam is without doubt the greatest threat to freedom the Western World has faced. Europe is starting to recognise the danger, will Australia do so before we become a minority in a Sharia-controlled country? Sometimes I wonder".
'Fed up with crap', of Mount Gambier (another part of South Australia - CM), said - ""Bernardi has courted controversy for campaigning against shariah law, the burqa, and shariah banking" - Can somebody tell me why that is perceived as wrong? - I am sure that the last time I looked we still lived in a democracy".
'Christian' said, among other things, that "Both Mr Wilders and Mr Bernardi are good men trying to protect their countries. Only the PC brigade are upset. If you actually read the two books mentioned (i.e. the Koran and Mein Kampf - CM) there are several parallel passages...".
'C F Haim' pointed out, acerbly, that "Wilders is a friend of Israel. It is Antisemitic to call him a Nazi and prevent his entry into Australia".
'Steve' warned another commenter (one 'Charles of Gold Coast' who had accused Wilders of 'racism, bullying, and discrimination') that "when [and] not if Islam gets more power in this country, they will advocate the 3 things you are accusing Bernardi and Wilders of doing - 'racism, bullying and discrimination'. Do your research and stop being ignorant about the threat Islam poses to our nation."
And another 'Steve', from the USA, stepped in toward the end of the Comments to deliver some blazing home truths - mostly aimed at those Australian media and politicians who have been throwing fits about Wilders and about Bernardi's association with him, and at those among the commenters who were silly enough to believe the fit-throwers:
"OPEN LETTER TO AUSTRALIA: GROW UP!!! Why are you so negative about Wilders? Is it because you really understand him or because you have an attitude and a pre-conceived opinion whether you know about the guy or not? What you have is a knee-jerk reaction that stems from a lot of ignorant ideas you have on him that you picked up from unreliable sources.
'Why don't you think for yourself?
"Geert Wilders is neither a racist, a bigot or far-right...What he is, is a brave man who risks his life every day and spoke for millions of people who think the same as he does but have been intimidated by a lot of morons so they are afraid to speak.
'They might get sued by some "offended" Muslim for criticising his religion.
Not just 'sued' - killed, as Theo Van Gogh was - CM
'Admire a man like Wilders who has the guts to speak out against those who would rob us of our freedom and impose a backward 7th-century barbaric 'religion' on us and our societies.
'We don't need a fanatical religious lifestyle in our lives, and Sharia law is TOXIC to all humanity.
'Wilders is [a] man to respect because he takes hell for telling the truth.
"You have more to gain from hearing him than you do from howling about him coming".
Well said, 'Steve of USA'. Nothing to add. - CM
Posted on 09/17/2011 9:52 PM by Christina McIntosh
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