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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
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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
Farewell Fear
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
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
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 Tuesday, 18, 2012.
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Boko Haram: Northern Christians may mark Xmas, New Year indoors

As required under sharia law. No bells, no pork, no celebrating the 'evangel' openly. From the Nigerian Tribune and the Osun Defender

CHRISTIANS in some parts of the North may celebrate the forthcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations indoors, in view of the persistent security challenges facing in the region.

A source, who preferred anonymity, told Sunday Tribune, in Kano, that various Christian leaders in states, like Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Yobe, Borno and others, had advised their fellow brothers and sisters to celebrate indoors, so as to prevent unscrupulous people from using the festive period to foment trouble.

The source hinted that people, who had formed the habit of celebrating at drinking joints and relaxation centers, should be wary of the happenings in the region; he also urged them to be moderate while celebrating.

“Nobody can say what is going to happen precisely, but recent happenings and our past experiences have taught us that Islamic fundamentalists, otherwise known as Boko Haram, may attack Christians during the festive period. . . While celebrating, it is important they watch their backs, and be careful about what they do during the period,”

The president of Christ Apostolic Mission Church, CAMC, Pastor Adesoji Ajayi has said that the continuous attacks on churches in the Northern part of the country was aimed at pursuing Christians out of the region. The cleric gave this observation while speaking at the ongoing church’s Diamond Jubilee Convention on Sunday.

The cleric warned that the Boko Haram menace may wipe out the entire nation if care is not take. “Activities of Boko Haram in some Northern states are meant to harass the Christians out of these states. One may, therefore, say that the fate of the Christians in the North hangs in the balance,”

Posted on 12/18/2012 2:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Islamic jihackers – coming soon to a bank near you

From the Telegraph blogs

While our fumbling politicians and toothless regulators aren't having much success at dealing with out-of-control, too-big-to fail-banks, it seems that online cyber-jihadis are having some success in damaging them.

Last week, a group calling itself the "Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters" (named for an islamic militant killed by British Troops in Palestine in the 1930s) issued a warning on Pastebin that it would target US banks, in protest over YouTube not removing the film The Innocence of Muslims. Since then, they've made good on their threat. Institutions including Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group, and SunTrust have seen large-scale denial of service attacks on their websites, which successfully brought down online banking services this week.

While many of the critical systems aren't online, and thus vulnerable to typical hacktivist tricks, it's all too easy to imagine a dedicated hacker taking a job within a bank IT department and wreaking havoc.

It's a clear and present danger. I hope banks have a response plan in place, but the evidence of American banks' vulnerability suggests that they don't. Might be best to keep some cash under the mattress, just in case.

Posted on 12/18/2012 3:41 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
A shot of narcissism

Telegraph blogger Brendan O'Neill has some sensible comments on the school shooting in Conneticut:

There is one question that the pious critics of America's so-called gun culture cannot answer. If mass school shootings like that in Connecticut really are a product of the apparently mad Second Amendment, of the fact that guns are widely available in the US, then why did such shootings only take off in the late 1970s and early 1980s? Guns have been available in the US for more than two centuries, but multiple-victim shootings in schools, of the sort that rocked Connecticut and Columbine before it, are a very modern phenomenon. It cannot be simply the availability of guns that leads people to massacre children or their fellow students, or else there would have been horrors like this throughout American history.

If you look at this long and comprehensive list of shootings in American schools, one thing becomes clear very quickly: between the 1760s and the late 1970s, with a few exceptions, most shootings in schools were just a continuation of criminal activity in general. They involved the killing of one or two or maybe three persons, as gang clashes spilled into the classroom, or spurned teenage lovers exacted revenge on the object of their affection, or students lashed out at teachers they hated. It isn't until the 1960s, and then much more notably in the 1980s and 90s, that the phenomenon of *mass* school shootings emerges, where the aim is to kill as many young people as possible for no obvious, discernible or even old-fashioned criminal reason. There must be some modern culture shaping these outrages, something far newer than the Second Amendment or America's longstanding "gun culture".

The critics of America's gun culture casually point the finger of blame at the more backward elements in American society, particularly at rifle-toting rednecks. As one East Coast commentator puts it, the gun has become "America's Moloch", its pagan god that devours innocent children, and it is all the fault of those communities that are given to "religious fundamentalism" and which are known to "deny global warming or evolution". These gun worshippers apparently revere "the great god gun", and their capacity for logic and reason has been destroyed as a result. We know who he means: Southerners, the ill-educated, the sort who support the NRA,  who speak in a drawl and probably chew tobacco, whose insane gun love is now apparently poisoning all of America.

But look at the photo of Adam Lanza. Or better still watch the videos and manifestos made by the Columbine killers or the Virginia Tech shooter and other recent school shooters. Do you really see Southern-style gun culture in these videos and words and images, or do you see a different, more modern culture at work? I see youngsters raised to consider themselves little gods, who see their self-esteem as king and who believe their angst must always be taken seriously. I see youth brought up in a world where we are increasingly encouraged to cultivate a persona, preferably a dangerous, edgy one, through media like YouTube and Twitter. I see young people so imbued with the narcissistic creed of the politics of identity, where how you feel and what you want must take precedence over any social or communal considerations, that they have been absolutely wrenched from both their own communities and from even basic moral codes.

I see the culture of narcissism, taken to its extreme, not the culture of gun worship. Which rather suggests that the supposedly liberal politicians currently wringing their hands over the availability of guns in the US might want to shine the spotlight on themselves instead, and on the dislocated, atomised, self-regarding modern world they have had a hand in creating.

Victimhood is the other side of narcissism. Theodore Dalrymple has a slightly different emphasis in today's Times, from which I will quote selectively as it is behind the Apartheid Paywall:

A sense of victimhood seems to be common to mass killers (and, after all, no one is so lacking in compassion that he is unable to feel sorry for himself). Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass killer, was of this type.

But the killers also have difficulty in distinguishing their personal grievances, frustration or difficulties from what is wrong with the world. For them, the personal is political; it is only right, then, that they should punish the world. It is no coincidence that this slogan — that the personal is political — should have been coined at about the same time as mass shootings started.

If the personal is political, genuine self-examination and therefore acceptance that you are at least sometimes largely the author of your own fate declines. You project your woes outwards on to the world; and then you try to take it with you when you go.

Islam is the narcissism of its "prophet" Mohammed writ large, and victimhood its default setting. In Islam, the personal is always political, as there is no private sphere. Muslims are victims of resistance to Islam, whatever form that takes, from pubs to jokes to Shakespeare (and his pubs and his jokes). Unlike Adam Lanza or Anders Brevik, Muslims have divine sanction for their murders, and so it is not surprising that they commit more of them.

Posted on 12/18/2012 6:23 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Institute For Mummies And The Iceman?

King Ramesses III's throat was slit, analysis reveals

Mummy of Ramesses III The mummy of Ramesses III had a deep slit in the throat

Conspirators murdered Egyptian King Ramesses III by slitting his throat, experts now believe, based on a new forensic analysis.

The first CT scans to examine the king's mummy reveal a cut to the neck deep enough to be fatal.

The secret has been hidden for centuries by the bandages covering the mummy's throat that could not be removed for preservation's sake.

The work may end at least one of the controversies surrounding his death.

Precisely how he died has been hotly debated by historians.

Ancient documents including the Judicial Papyrus of Turin say that in 1155BC members of his harem attempted to kill him as part of a palace coup.

But it is less clear whether the assassination was successful. Some say it was, while other accounts at the time imply the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty survived the attack, at least for a short while.

Shrouded in mystery

The Judicial Papyrus tells of four separate trials and lists the punishments dished out to those involved in the plot, which included one of the king's two known wives, called Tiye, and her son Prince Pentawere - potential heir to the throne.

It says Pentawere, the only one of Ramesses III many sons to revolt against him, was involved in the conspiracy, found guilty at trial and then took his own life.

To find out more, Dr Albert Zink, a paleopathologist at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Italy, and colleagues set out to examine the mummy of Ramesses III and the unidentified remains of another body found in a royal tomb near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt that was believed to be the king's son Pentawere.

Working out of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where the bodies are now housed, the team ran some CT scans and DNA tests on the mummies.

Scans of Ramesses III revealed a deep, 2.7in (7cm) wide wound to the throat just under the larynx, which the medical scientists say was probably caused by a sharp blade and could have caused immediate death.

Amulet discovery

Dr Zink said: "Before now we knew more or less nothing about the destiny of Ramesses III. People had examined his body before and had done radiographs but they didn't notice any trauma. They did not have access to the CT scans that we do.

Mummy believed to be Prince Pentawere The mummy believed to be Prince Pentawere has unusual marks around the neck

"We were very surprised by what we found. We still cannot be sure that the cut killed him, but we think it did.

"It might have been made by the embalmers but this is very unlikely. I'm not aware of any other examples of this."

They could see a Horus eye amulet embedded in the wound - a charm most probably inserted by the ancient Egyptian embalmers during the mummification process to promote healing.

The DNA tests showed that the unidentified body of the young man, who was aged about 18 when he died, was a blood relative of Ramesses III, and in all probability the king's son Pentawere.

Dr Zink said: "From our genetic analysis we could really prove the two were closely related. They share the same Y chromosome and 50% of their genetic material, which is typical of a father-son relationship."

When they examined the body of the young man, they found he had unusual compressed skin folds and wrinkles around his neck as well as an inflated chest.

Although these changes might have occurred post-mortem in the mummy, it could indicate that the man was strangled to death, says Dr Zink.

The body was not mummified in the usual way - and was covered with a "ritually impure" goatskin - which might have been an ancient punishment in the form of a non-royal burial procedure.

"He was badly treated for a mummy," said Dr Zink.

A full report of their findings is published in the British Medical Journal.

Posted on 12/18/2012 6:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Various Kinds Of Syrian Arabs Fight With, Or Against, Various Kinds Of "Palestinian" Arabs

From Reuters:

Syrian Rebels Battle Palestinian Fighters in Damascus

Syrian rebels and Palestinian fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad battled for control of a Damascus refugee camp days after government airstrikes against the area.

There was heavy firing as the two sides fought in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in south Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in an e-mailed statement today. The clashes have forced refugees to flee the area, the U.K.-based group said. Al Arabiya reported today that the camp was under rebel control.

Syrian forces had massed near Yarmouk yesterday as the government tried to reassert control over the area in a campaign that included weekend airstrikes that left at least eight people dead. The opposition has made gains against Assad’s forces and controls mainly Sunni Muslim areas stretching from the northeastern outskirts of the capital to areas in the southwest.

There are 525,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria and a “significant number” have been killed, wounded or forced to flee during the 21-month conflict, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said on its website. Almost 44,000 people have died since the anti-Assad uprising began, according to the Syrian Observatory.

Fighting killed 158 civilians yesterday, including 50 in Damascus and its suburbs, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said in an e-mailed statement. Some 35 soldiers died in the fighting yesterday, and 13 people were killed in Yarmouk, the Syrian Observatory said.

‘War Criminals’

Hamas, a Palestinian movement that runs the Gaza Strip and is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., Israel and the European Union, condemned the Dec. 16 attacks by Assad’s forces and called those responsible “war criminals,” according to an e-mailed statement.

Hamas was formerly allied to the Assad government and many of its leaders were Damascus-based. The last member of the organization’s politburo was reported by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper to have left Syria in February as the Syrian civil conflict intensified.

The Syrian government was trying to restore basic needs to the citizens of Aleppo, Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi was cited as saying by the Syrian Arab News Agency yesterday during a trip to the country’s largest city. Al-Halaqi blamed the disruption of water, electricity and communications services on “armed terrorist” attacks, the news service said.

Food Shortages

The UN’s World Food Programme warned earlier this month that the escalation of violence in Syria is making it more difficult to reach the country’s hardest-hit areas. The food- security situation has “rapidly” deteriorated, with bread and fuel shortages and infrastructure damage caused by the fighting, the WFP said.

Assad’s troops have lost a series of battles for barracks, airfields, power plants, oilfields and roads across the country against rebels in the second half of this year. Syrian rebels overran two military bases outside of Aleppo this month with support from Islamic militants.

Syria’s civil war is destined for stalemate, with neither the rebels nor the military able to prevail in the conflict, Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa told Al-Akhbar newspaper. His comments were posted on its English-language website on Dec. 16.

Figures including North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius have said during the past week that Assad’s days may be numbered.

Posted on 12/18/2012 6:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Worker's Comp, Or, Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters

From AP:

Sex mishap an eligible event for worker's comp: Australian court

The Australian judge who approved compensation to a bureaucrat injured during sex on a government trip likened the incident to being hurt while playing cards.

CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian court has ruled that a bureaucrat who was injured while having sex on a business trip is eligible for worker's compensation benefits.

The Full Bench of the Federal Court ruled Dec. 13 in favor of the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and rejecting the appeal of the federal government's insurer.

The woman was hospitalized after being injured in 2007 during sex with a male friend while staying in a motel in the town of Nowra,100 miles south of her hometown of Sydney.

During the sex, a glass light fitting was torn from its mount above the bed and landed on her face, injuring her nose and mouth. She later suffered depression and was unable to continue working for the government.

Her claim for worker's compensation for her physical and psychological injuries was initially approved by government insurer Comcare, then rejected after further investigation.

An administrative tribunal agreed with Comcare that her injuries were not suffered in the course of her employment, saying the government had not induced or encouraged the woman's sexual conduct. The tribunal also found the sex was "not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay," as showering, sleeping and eating are.

That ruling was overturned in the Federal Court in 2012, when Judge John Nicholas rejected the tribunal's findings that the sex had to be condoned by the government if she were to qualify for compensation.

"If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room, she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced her to engage in such activity," Nicholas wrote in his judgment in favor of the woman receiving compensation.

In the Full Bench decision upholding Nicholas' decision, Judges Patrick Keane, Robert Buchanan and Mordy Bromberg agreed last week that the government's views on the woman having sex in her motel room were irrelevant.

"No approval, express or implied, of the respondent's conduct was required," they said.

It is not yet clear how much compensation the woman will receive. She was in her 30s at the time of the accident.

Comcare was considering an appeal Monday to the High Court, Australia's highest legal authority, Comcare spokesman Russ Street said.

"The issue is a significant one," Street said in a statement. "Workers need to be clear about their entitlements and employers should have an understanding of their responsibilities and how to support their staff."

Posted on 12/18/2012 6:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Hezbollah Hoist By Its Own Petard Episode #237

Hezbollah weapons depot reportedly blows up

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- An explosion in southern Lebanon on the border with Israel is reported to be a Hezbollah weapons depot.

The blast seriously damaged the building that the weapons were housed in and killed nearby farm animals, but there were no reports of people being injured, according to Reuters. 

Members of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, were investigating the cause of the explosion.

Hezbollah reportedly sealed off the area, preventing the entrance of the UNIFIL observers, and claimed that the explosion was caused by an Israeli shell that was fired on southern Lebanon during the 2006 war and did not explode at the time.
Posted on 12/18/2012 6:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
A Musical Interlude: Oh Look At Me Now (Lee Wiley)
Listen here.
Posted on 12/18/2012 6:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Chuck Hagel, And The Paul-Findleyism That Blinds Him To Dealing With The Threat Of Jihad

You can read a previous post about Chuck Hagel, provided by NER's Early-Warning-System,  here.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Chuck Hagel's Jewish Problem

Bret Stephens

The would-be secretary of defense has some curious views.

Prejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here," the odor is especially ripe.

Ripe because a "Jewish lobby," as far as I'm aware, doesn't exist. No lesser authorities on the subject than John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of "The Israel Lobby," have insisted the term Jewish lobby is "inaccurate and misleading, both because the [Israel] lobby includes non-Jews like Christian Zionists and because many Jewish Americans do not support the hard-line policies favored by its most powerful elements."

Ripe because, whatever other political pressures Mr. Hagel might have had to endure during his years representing the Cornhusker state, winning over the state's Jewish voters—there are an estimated 6,100 Jewish Nebraskans in a state of 1.8 million people—was probably not a major political concern for Mr. Hagel compared to, say, the ethanol lobby.

image
Reuters

A United States senator, not an Israeli one. In case there was any doubt.

Ripe because the word "intimidates" ascribes to the so-called Jewish lobby powers that are at once vast, invisible and malevolent; and because it suggests that legislators who adopt positions friendly to that lobby are doing so not from political conviction but out of personal fear. Just what does that Jewish Lobby have on them?

Ripe, finally, because Mr. Hagel's Jewish lobby remark was well in keeping with the broader pattern of his thinking. "I'm a United States Senator, not an Israeli Senator," Mr. Hagel told retired U.S. diplomat Aaron David Miller in 2006. "I'm a United States Senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States. Not to a president. Not a party. Not to Israel. If I go run for Senate in Israel, I'll do that."

Read these staccato utterances again to better appreciate their insipid and insinuating qualities, all combining to cast the usual slur on Jewish-Americans: Dual loyalty. Nobody questions Mr. Hagel's loyalty. He is only making those assertions to question the loyalty of others.

Still, Mr. Hagel managed to say "I support Israel." This is the sort of thing one often hears from people who treat Israel as the Mideast equivalent of a neighborhood drunk who, for his own good, needs to be put in the clink to sober him up.

In 2002, a year in which 457 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks (a figure proportionately equivalent to more than 20,000 fatalities in the U.S., or seven 9/11s), Mr. Hagel weighed in with the advice that "Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace." This was two years after Yasser Arafat had been offered a state by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David.

In 2006, Mr. Hagel described Israel's war against Hezbollah as "the systematic destruction of an American friend, the country and people of Lebanon." He later refused to sign a letter calling on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In 2007, he voted against designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, and also urged President Bush to open "direct, unconditional" talks with Iran to create "a historic new dynamic in U.S.-Iran relations." In 2009, Mr. Hagel urged the Obama administration to open direct talks with Hamas.

In fairness to Mr. Hagel, all these positions emerge from his belief in the power of diplomatic engagement and talking with adversaries. The record of that kind of engagement—in 2008, Mr. Hagel and John Kerry co-authored an op-ed in this newspaper titled "It's Time to Talk to Syria"—hasn't been stellar, but at least it was borne of earnest motives.

Yet it's worth noting that while Mr. Hagel is eager to engage the world's rogues without preconditions, his attitude toward Israel tends, at best, to the paternalistic.

"The United States and Israel must understand that it is not in their long-term interests to allow themselves to become isolated in the Middle East and the world," he said in a 2006 Senate speech. It's a political Deep Thought worthy of Saturday Night Live's Jack Handey. Does Mr. Hagel reckon any other nation to be quite so blind to its own supposed self-interest as Israel?

Now President Obama may nominate Mr. Hagel to take Leon Panetta's place at the Pentagon. As a purely score-settling matter, I almost hope he does. It would confirm a point I made in a column earlier this year, which is that Mr. Obama is not a friend of Israel. Perhaps the 63% of Jewish-Americans who cast their votes for Mr. Obama last month might belatedly take notice.

Alternatively, maybe some of these voters could speak up now, before a nomination is announced, about the insult that a Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel would be. Jewish Democrats like to fancy their voice carries weight in their party. The prospect of this nomination is their chance to prove it.

Posted on 12/18/2012 6:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Five polio workers shot dead in Pakistan

From The Telegraph and the Daily Mail

Gunmen on motorbikes shot dead five female Pakistani polio vaccination workers on Tuesday, police said, highlighting resistance to the country's immunisation campaign.

Four were killed in three different incidents in the sprawling port city and the fifth in the northwestern city of Peshawar, on the second day of a nationwide three-day drive against the disease, which is endemic in Pakistan.

Sagheer Ahmed, the health minister for Sindh province, of which Karachi is capital, said he had ordered a halt to the anti-polio drive in the city in the wake of the shootings. Senior Karachi police officer Shahid Hayat said another polio worker was shot dead in the city on Monday, but the circumstances of his death only became clear on Tuesday.

In Peshawar, which lies close to the restive tribal areas, a haven for militants and hotspot for polio, two attackers on a motorbike fired on two sisters working on vaccination, killing one. The Taliban have banned immunisations in the northwest, condemning the campaign as a cover for espionage

Tuesday's killings in Karachi took place in parts of the city dominated by Pashtuns, Hayat said. Pashtuns are the dominant ethnic group in northwest Pakistan and have a sizeable migrant population in Karachi.

The attacks in Karachi were coordinated and occurred within 15 minutes in three different areas of the city that are far apart. In each case, the gunmen used 9mm pistols. The victims were shot in the head at close range . . . Two of the women were 18 and 19, and the other two were in their 40s. Two of the women were killed while they were in a house giving children polio drops. The other two were travelling between houses when they were attacked,

WHO, a partner in government efforts to eradicate the disease, suspended vaccination activities in part of Pakistan's largest city in July after a spate of bloody shootings. A UN doctor from Ghana working on polio eradication and his driver were shot in part of Karachi and three days later a local community worker who was part of the same campaign was shot dead in the same area.

Posted on 12/18/2012 2:30 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Danish Muslim group supports Syrian hate preacher

From the Copenhagen Post

Imprisoned in Lebanon, Omar Bakri uses technology to get his message out – an increasing trend used to radicalise young Danish Muslims, according to PET. TV2 News reports that a radical Muslim group called ‘Kaldet til Islam’ (The Call to Islam) are being taught by Omar Bakri, a notorious anti-Western preacher.

Bakri may be serving a life sentence In Lebanon for inciting murder, theft and possession of weapons and explosives, but he was still able to speak to a demonstration organised by Kaldet til Islam this September on Kongens Nytorv through a mobile telephone attached to a megaphone.

“Those that make films, pictures or caricatures of the prophet should watch out! Islam promises death to anyone that insults the prophet’s honour,” he told the demonstration according to TV2 News. “Anyone that insults the prophet should be killed.”

Bakri, originally from Syria, lived in the UK between 1986 and 2005. During that time he established the organisation Al-Muhajiroun. According to UK newspaper The Times, Bakri praised the 19 men responsible for the 9/11 attacks against the US, while “a dozen members" of Al-Muhajiroun "have taken part in suicide bombings or have become close to al-Qaeda and its support network.” Bakri was refused re-entry to the UK from Lebanon after travelling there on a trip in 2005.

The fact that Bakri maintains supporters in Denmark despite being jailed in Lebanon has elicited strong statements from Danish politicians.

Legal spokesperson for the Socialdemokraterne, Ole Hækkerup, found it hypocritical that Danish Islamists were using free speech to call for the death of people that use their freedom of speech. “What’s most important is that the authorities keep a close eye on these people,” Hækkerup said. “If there is any chance to take them down we should. If they can be charged, they should be brought before a judge.”

Posted on 12/18/2012 3:33 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Iran's Press TV Explains Sandy Hook

From The Washington Post:

Iran’s state-run news network blames ‘Israeli death squads’ for Sandy Hook shooting

By Max Fisher , Updated:

Iran’s state-run media outlet PressTV, which broadcasts in English, on Tuesday carried a story blaming Israel for the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. PressTV has a well-earned reputation for incendiary anti-Israel stories and for wild conspiracy theories, but even this seems a far stretch for the organization, which maintains a bureau office in the District.

PressTV portrays Adam Lanza as a “patsy” – their word – who is taking the fall for an Israeli special forces squad sent to punish President Obama for not better supporting Israel. The ongoing investigation is in fact, they argue, a concerted U.S. government “cover-up.” It’s not clear why the United States would cover-up an attack against the U.S. government, but if you think that’s the most glaring inconsistency in this story then I have bad news for you: it gets a lot worse.

The outlandish theory is not very clear, but it appears to argue that the attack would have been retribution for Obama’s diplomacy during Israel’s recent clashes with Gaza and for his potential selection of former Senator Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, a move opposed by some pro-Israel groups. The story’s evidence largely relies on an interview with an Arizona one-time gubernatorial candidate named Mike Harris who publicly associates with neo-Nazi groups, a series of fatuous questions (i.e., implying that the school was filled with Israeli troops, “Why were so many children told to close their eyes while leaving the building?”), and, I am not making this up, anonymous e-mail forwards.

The story is very long and can be frustrating to read for its obvious logical fallacies, but here is a representative sample:

After Harris’ broadcast, key members of the military and law enforcement community contacted Veterans Today in full support of Harris’ analysis.

One three star general is quoted as saying, “Harris hit the nail right on the head and it is about time someone spoke up.”

As days have passed, key issues involving the Sandy Hook terror attack have been cited as “debunking” the “lone gunman” cover story: From a viral email that is growing every hour with more reasons to doubt the official story: According to the official story, Adam Lanza was found with his older brother’s ID, and it was not stolen. However, older brother Ryan – whom officials say is very cooperative – claims not to have even seen his brother since 2010. Where would Adam get this ID? And why does such use not qualify as a theft?

According to the official story, Adam Lanza was wearing a black outfit with a mask and bulletproof vest. Why would he want to hide his identity, and why would he wear a bulletproof vest if he planned to kill himself?

The PressTV story is sad and upsetting, mostly for its incredible insensitivity but also, to a lesser degree, for the obvious bankruptcy of Iranian propaganda. Who, exactly, is this story supposed to convince? Iran is not North Korea; information flows in and out of the country much more freely, and though public attitudes toward the United States are not exactly warm, nor are they so twisted by hatred or ignorance that such an outlandish story as this would seem likely to convince many readers. And, beyond the Mike Harrisses of the world (he also blames last year’s Norway shooting on Israel), it doesn’t seem likely to exactly turn American opinion away from Israel or toward Iran. And yet here it is, outrageous, offensive, and clearly counterproductive, for all the world to see.

Posted on 12/18/2012 3:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
How The Hezbollah Grinch Stole Christmas

From Ya Libnan:

Hezbollah allies disrupt Christmas party of LF Students

A Lebanese University student affiliated with the Marada Movement, a close ally of Hezbollah and Syria  disrupted  a Christmas party that was being  held by Lebanese Forces students in the Faculty of Literature and Human Science when he   fired  his  pump-action shotgun over the heads of the students ,  the Lebanese Forces website reported  on Tuesday.

The student, who was  identified by the LF website as Wael Khalil, drove his BMW X5  SUV towards the students and almost hit them as he entered the premises of the faculty and as  he was leaving the faculty, he fired more shots   into the air with his  shotgun and fled, the report added.

The incident was followed by another disruption, this time by  a group of men affiliated with the Free Patriotic Movement, another close ally of Hezbollah and Syria

“A group of [FPM-affiliated] men, spearheaded by so-called Paul Abu Haidar, who is in his forties and is notorious for causing feuds in Lebanese University faculties, clashed with the LF-affiliated students and started a fight that resulted in several injuries,” the  LF report said

Posted on 12/18/2012 4:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
That Mess In Libya

Libya flexes muscle to seal off problematic south

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Plagued by violence, drugs, weapons trafficking and an influx of illegal immigrants, Libya's new rulers are seeking to clamp down on lawlessness in the vast desert south by closing the region's porous borders.

Since the end of the war that ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi last year, Libya's southern regions have struggled with smuggling, lingering unrest and insecurity.

Aiming to soothe local discontent over Tripoli's perceived inaction in countering the chaos, the General National Congress on Sunday ordered the temporary closure of Libya's borders with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria.

Days after Prime Minister Ali Zeidan concluded a regional tour to those countries, the national assembly also declared seven southern areas restricted military areas.

While the decree may allay regional worries over Libya's lingering insecurity, the lack of a strong army or border force raises questions of what effect it will have on the ground.

"The aim is to improve security, stem the smuggling of weapons, illegal immigration," a congressman, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters.

"How the decree is implemented is for the government and army chief to see. At least we are taking steps."

In the south, where tribal ties are more powerful than on the Mediterranean coast, porous borders, discontent and the availability of arms make the region one of the biggest potential problems for the government.

Weak security forces have exercised little control as tribal battles over power and lucrative trade routes have exacerbated instability.

Earlier this month, several southern congress members boycotted sessions in protest, citing increased violence by armed groups there as well as drug trafficking - just as around 200 prisoners escaped from a jail in the desert city of Sabha.

Much of Libya's southern border is guarded by autonomous local brigades. In the absence of an effective national army, the state often relies on former rebel fighters for security.

"The degree to which borders are actually sealed will depend on the degree to which it has incorporated the different militias that operate along those borders and the degree to which it will try to formalize their control over those borders," Geoff Porter, of North Africa Risk Consulting, said.

Restoring order in the south is important to the stability of the wider region, where concerns over Libya's precarious security have been exacerbated by the resurgent threat of Islamist militancy stemming from northern Mali.

In the chaos since Gaddafi's fall, the south has become a smuggling route for weapons which have reached al Qaeda militants deeper in the Sahara.

It is also used for trafficking legal and contraband goods. In Niger's Agadez region, a transit point to Sabha, Tuareg and Tibu gunmen clash regularly to slough off ill-gotten gains in Libya, including vehicles and weapons, a security source said.

The decree allows the defense ministry to appoint a military governor with the authority to arrest fugitives from justice and deport illegal immigrants.

"It is a huge job and depends if the army has the force to do it," an official in Sabha said. Little details have been given about how security forces will go about the plan. Col Ali al-Amari said a border force would be integrated into the army.

Zeidan has said agreement was made in principle with the countries he visited to secure Libya's borders.

"Libya is worried about Gaddafi supporters outside, especially since the deterioration of the situation in Mali," Anis Rahmani, security expert and editor of Algeria's Ennahar daily, said. "Coordination between Algeria and Libya is good."

Niger, where Gaddafi's son Saadi fled to last year, welcomed the decision provided the authorities could implement it well.

"What we want is that the Libyan authorities have the capacity to ensure that this measure is effectively implemented and that we benefit from the expected effects," Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum told Reuters.

"Since February 2011, the border had become very porous and very conducive to trafficking and crimes which have a very negative impact on our region and the security of the Sahel-Saharan region."

In Khartoum, Foreign Ministry spokesman El-Obeid Morawah said: "Libya's step was not a surprise to us. There was total mutual coordination."

"Sudan is harmed by the leakage of arms from remnants of Gaddafi's regime across the border to rebel movements in Sudan."

Libyan congressman Hassan al-Amine said such a decree should have come sooner. "We hope this will secure the south," he said.

Posted on 12/18/2012 4:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Israeli Embassy In Ireland Apologizes, Quite Unnecessarily, For Making Its Point

Frpm The Times Of Israel: December 19, 20

Israeli Embassy’s ‘lynching Jesus’ Facebook post sparks Irish ire

‘Problematic’ Christmas message claiming Palestinians would kill Jesus and Mary if they were living in today’s Bethlehem removed after outcry

December 17, 2012,

The Israeli Embassy in Ireland caused a storm of protest Monday when it posted on Facebook an image of Jesus and Mary and suggested that if the Biblical figures were alive today they would have likely been murdered by a mob of Palestinians.

The controversial post was removed a few hours after it first appeared and the embassy issued an apology, saying the image had been uploaded to the social network site by mistake.

On Monday afternoon, the following post appeared on the embassy’s official Facebook feed:

“A thought for Christmas… If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians. Just a thought…….

Many outraged surfers criticized the post as offensive and demanded the embassy remove it and apologize to Palestinians and Christians worldwide. Some people demanded the ambassador in Dublin be fired; others sarcastically commented that if Jesus and Mary were alive today, they would probably be harassed by the Israeli military while wandering the Holy Land.

After more and more critical comments reached the embassy in Dublin and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, the image and the accompanying text were removed from Facebook and the following text was posted on the embassy’s profile site:

“To whom it may concern: An image of Jesus and Mary with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page. We have removed the post in question immediately. Apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Merry Christmas!”

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said the embassy in Dublin did the right thing in swiftly removing the controversial post.

“We will of course conduct an internal investigation to determine how such a post could have been uploaded,” a ministry spokesman told The Times of Israel. “But as I said, this is an internal matter to make sure something like this does not happen again.”

Facebook is a very informal and “essentially undiplomatic” platform where people often post informal statements, the spokesman added. “However, it is clear that when someone feels hurt, it is proper to apologize and erase the problematic post.”

Monday’s episode was not the first time the embassy in Dublin made negative headlines. In June, Channel 10 published a letter in which Deputy Head of Mission Nurit Tinari Modai suggested to fight the growing delegitimization of Israel by going after expatriate Israelis who are critical of the government in Jerusalem. In that letter, she also wrote that those Israelis dislike Israel partly because they are “sexually confused.”

The Foreign Ministry distanced itself from her letter at the time, saying her suggestions were the wrong way to fight delegitimization.

Posted on 12/18/2012 4:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
How The Israeli Embassy In Dublin Might Have Dilated On The Theme

A Thought For Christmas Causes “Outrage?”

by sheikyermami on December 18, 2012

Flashback:

Hugh Fitzgerald ina post a few years ago:

“What would happen if the Virgin Mary came to Bethlehem today?” — asks a local “Palestinian” Arab in this article.

That’s easy.

Mary, Joseph, and the baby they are about to have are all, of course, Jewish. And if the Virgin Mary (presumably with Joseph) were to arrive in Bethlehem today, and arrived without the IDF around them, in a place now controlled by the kind of Palestinian Muslim Arabs who are there now, they would be killed on the spot.

Someone among the killers would think to cut the baby out of Mary, and raise him, the baby Jesus, as a Palestinian Arab and good Muslim. And come to think of it, that is exactly what Islam does when it appropriates, and changes, the Jesus of Christianity for the Jesus of Islam, about which Karen Armstrong is such an enthusiast.

That’s what would happen if a Jewish girl, the Virgin Mary, arrived nine months pregnant, and with labor pains beginning, anywhere that “Palestinian Arabs” were free to do what they do to any Israeli who happens to wander or stumble or arrive, unprotected, in their midst today. And if you need evidence for that, start with any number of Israeli hitchhikers picked up and murdered, or those two Israeli boys beaten to death in a cave, or those two Israeli reservists who took a wrong turn into Ramallah and were lynched, as those who killed them and gouged out their eyes held up their bloody hands to a crowd below hysterical with its own happiness and hate, or those four little Jewish girls sitting in their car, methodically shot to death, one by one, by one more brave hero — hailed as a hero, held up as a model — of the “Palestinian resistance.”

Despicable Cartoon: No Outrage.

 Truth on Facebook: Outrage!

We have come full circle: in the eyes of Western leftists, Jesus was a Palestinian Arab and the Jews are the occupying Roman legions.

Posted on 12/18/2012 4:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Erdogan Re-Islamizing Turkish Universities

From lefigaro.fr:

Les étudiants devront répondre à cinq question sur l’islam lors de l’examen d’entrée obligatoire à partir de 2013.

Les universités de Turquie vont introduire l’année prochaine des questions sur la religion dans deux de leurs examens d’entrée, une nouvelle entorse au principe de laïcité dans ce pays à majorité musulmane.

Désormais, les étudiants qui souhaitent intégrer une université devront répondre à cinq questions sur la religion lors de l’examen obligatoire d’entrée (YGS), a expliqué un responsable du Centre de sélection et de placement des étudiants (OSYM), qui dépend du ministère de l’Education.

Une série de huit questions portant sur la religion seront également posées aux étudiants en sciences sociales lors d’un autre examen d’Etat (LYS) .

Le gouvernement souhaite éduquer une «jeunesse religieuse»

Si les cours de religion sont obligatoires dans les écoles publiques turques. «C’est la première fois que des étudiants vont répondre à des questions sur la religion dans un examen d’entrée à une université turque», a commenté le responsable.

En février dernier le Premier ministre turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan, diplômé d’une école religieuse, a déclaré que son gouvernement islamo-conservateur souhaitait «éduquer une jeunesse religieuse», suscitant une levée de boucliers de la part des Turcs attachés au principe de laïcité introduit par le fondateur de la Turquie moderne Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

L’opposition à l’AKP reproche régulièrement au chef du gouvernement de vouloir islamiser la société turque ,citant en exemple les restrictions à la vente d’alcool mises en place dans certaines villes et de nombreux restaurants.

Dans une précédente réforme introduite cette année, le gouvernement turc a autorisé les diplômes d’écoles religieuses à se présenter à tous les examens universitaires alors qu’ils étaient auparavant limités aux seules études de théologie.

(Avec AFP)

Posted on 12/18/2012 10:41 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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