Bigger than wresting back power from Brussels bureaucrats, better than seceding from Europe, with its smelly drains and peculiar ideas about what constitutes a proper breakfast, the resignation of Lord Pearson of Rannoch because he “wasn’t very good” at party politics represents a milestone that must surely irrevocably alter the political landscape.
Mousy Estelle Morris, the education secretary, surrendered her brief back in 2002 with a statement including the admission that: “I have not felt I have been as effective as I should be, or as effective as you need me to be.” But her air of a particularly depressed supply teacher out of her depth made it more tragicomic rout than heroic hari-kari.
So, Lord Pearson, we salute you and, following your glorious example, We The People hereby call on all MPs who are a bit rubbish at their jobs to stand up, fall upon their Mont Blanc fountain pens bought on expenses, and do the Right Honourable thing.
I agree that people who are "a bit rubbish at their jobs" should resign. Most people who are rubbish at their jobs - or anything else - are also rubbish at seeing how rubbish they are. Lord Pearson had the sense and integrity to invite Geert Wilders to the House of Lords, which means he is a great deal better than the rest of the rubbish.
Apart from Fernet Branca, whisky is the only alcoholic drink that I've tried and didn't like. I must take it on trust that a single malt is as different from a blend as Château Talbot is from Blue Nun - to me it is all one. But what if it tastes of forbidden fruit? From The Telegraph:
People sometimes say they’d give anything for a glass of whisky, yet it still seems strange to pay £1,800 for a bottle as a curiosity never to be drunk. That is the price expected to be fetched at auction by a bottle from the shipwreck that inspired Compton Mackenzie to write Whisky Galore. Of the 264,000 bottles in the SS Politician when the vessel foundered off Eriskay, islanders managed to rescue 24,000, before jealous authority blew up the wreck rather than let them salvage more.
Some even more historic bottles of whisky have been discovered recently – 11 of them, perfectly preserved under the floor of Shackleton’s Antarctic base. These will be examined scientifically, but not even be sipped, let alone auctioned, before being returned to their natural deep-freeze. The world seems suddenly to be afflicted by the punishment of Tantalus.
Incidentally, Cooking with Fernet Branca is a funny book by James Hamilton-Paterson, who sounds as if he'd put a plum in it. I read it in Tuscany last year, along with A Death in Tuscany, and was inspired to try a glass. The waitress sniffed and said it was for old men. I wonder if they were old before they drank it.
William "Okkidental" Dalrymple defends Faisal Abdul Rauf on the grounds that he claims to be a Sufi in the pages of the New York Times. Those of us who have been watching the American Muslim scene closely find it remarkable how so many Muslim American leaders have suddenly seen the Sufi light. Alyssa Lappen shows how Rauf has in fact walked down the middle of the Brotherhood road all his life. The NYPost picks up on the story of Rauf the elder, who founded a mosque on the upper East side also funded by the Gulf states abroad. Then there are reports that Governor Paterson is offering Rauf public land to move.
According to Haaretz, "Sources in New York said on Monday that Muslim religious and business leaders will announce plans to abandon the project in the next few days."
Biased as the BBC generally is when it comes to Israel, the occasional documentary departs from the norm. I missed this particular Panorama documentary, but will watch it later on BBC i-player and hope to find it as Harry's Place reports:
On 16 August 2010 BBC Panorama broadcast ‘Death in the Med’, a carefully detailed investigation into Israel’s raid of the Mavi Marmara, the only ship of the Free Gaza flotilla that became the site of a deadly confrontation between passengers and naval commandos. Presented by Jane Corbin, the half-hour programme included a raft of new video and radio footage of the event, taken from both the Israeli Navy and from confiscated passenger tapes, most of which were recorded by members of a website called CulturesOfResistance.org. This new footage enabled Corbin to piece together the most comprehensive sequence of events of the night of May 31. (See below for both a full transcript of the programme and the broadcast itself.)
During the programme, Corbin expanded on three key points:
1. That the IDF had faced a violent assault from activists;
2. That the attack had been pre-meditated by a ‘hardcore’ group of activists;
3. That this core was organised by the Turkish Islamist charity, the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH).
Just Journalism Executive Director Michael Weiss issued a statement this morning:
‘I can scarcely think of a better piece of journalism on the flotilla raid than Jane Corbin’s in-depth investigation, which drew from eyewitness testimony from both passengers and commandos aboard the Mavi Marmara. Notable in this report was an unwillingness to gloss over crucial video footage showing the upper deck of the ship laying siege to abseiling Israeli forces, or to take the word of IHH officials at face value. The only thing missing, really, was IHH’s well-publicised role as both a fundraiser and ideological helpmeet of Hamas.’
Panorama exhibited footage taken from the Mavi Marmara showing IHH head Bulent Yildirim saying the following:
‘We’re going to defeat the Israeli commandos –we’re declaring it now. If you bring your soldiers here, we will throw you off the ship and you’ll be humiliated in front of the whole world.’
Corbin then asks Yildirim: ‘You said that if they board the ship you would throw them into the sea. Isn’t that a provocation, saying that to your supporters on the ship?’
Yildirim’s response: ‘I spoke correctly there. I spoke beautifully. I watched it again afterwards. Israel stole these images from us, but we’re not denying it. If we organised another boat, and Israel attempted invaded, we’d use our right to passive resistance. We’d throw them into the sea.’ (Emphasis added.)
The damage done by the wall to wall tendentious reporting of this incident by the BBC and others at the time, has already been done. A documentary with fairly low viewing figures 3 months later will hardly redress this.
And David Cameron has fallen hook, line and sinker for the lies.
Local media is reporting on neighborhood opposition to a proposed new mosque in the southwest suburbs of Chicago to be constructed by the Muslim Educational Center of America (MECCA). According to one report:
Dr. Talal Sunbulli, an executive committee member of the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America, said Thursday night the religious group would be good neighbors if it is allowed to open a mosque near Willowbrook. But many area residents spoke out against the plan at a DuPage County Zoning Board meeting. The group is proposing to build a three-story mosque, gymnasium and eventually a school on 4.7 acres near 91st Street and Illinois Route 83 in unincorporated DuPage County. “I would like to invite you and your family to our picnics (at the mosque),” said Sunbulli to about 40 neighborhood residents who came out to oppose the mosque development at the meeting in Wheaton. “We want you to know that we will continue to listen to you and try to be as attentive as possible to your needs because that’s what neighbors do.” But residents, many who live in the adjacent Jamie Lane subdivision, said they have concerns about flooding and traffic issues that may occur from the proposed development. “I have nothing against the mosque; it’s a beautiful development,” said Jamie Lane resident Larry Senters, 52, at the three-hour zoning meeting. “But we have a flooding problem from four (retention) ponds in the neighborhood. There is no way these ponds will be able to hold more water from runoff (of the proposed development).”….The elevation of Jamie Lane is apparently lower than other surrounding land and may have been a floodplain, according to residents. Traffic in the area was another concern for residents. MECCA officials said the mosque and buildings can house a maximum of 600 people. But the group stressed that full capacity would only occur several times a year during Muslim religious holidays. The mosque will hold five daily prayers, bringing about 30 people for each prayer service. MECCA officials said the largest number of members during a typical week would come to the location for Friday prayer between 1-1:30 p.m. The site will contain over 200 parking spots, but most members carpool, they said. In addition, the school, which would have an estimated 250 students, isn’t expected to be built for another five years, according to MECCA officials….MECCA officials noted that there are three other religious institutions near their proposed site.Officials also said they have outgrown their current location at 720 E. Plainfield Road in Willowbrook and decided several years ago to search for another site for a new facility….Several DuPage County officials, including seven zoning board members, are currently named in a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by a group that proposed an educational center and place of worship near Naperville that would serve about 30 Shia Muslim families.The county rejected the plan earlier this year after neighbors had objected to plans for the center, citing concerns about parking and late-night services.
They seem to be playing down the size of the mosque - the square footage isn't given.
According to the MECCA website, one of the members of the MECCA Executive Committee is Basman Osman, likely the same individual identified by a Hudson Institute report as a US Muslim Brotherhood leader and a representative of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) who is known to have a home located approximately 2 kilometers northwest of the proposed new MECCA mosque. NAIT is an affiliate of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and a document released in 2007 by the prosecution in the Holy Land Terrorism financing case names NAIT as one of the entities that is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A research report on ISNA explains that NAIT is the custodian of a large number of U.S. mosques and Islamic centers:
The NAIT website states that it “holds the title of approximately 300 properties” a figure consistent with a LEXIS/NEXIS search showing 332 properties in the real-estate related database and with a report by the Council on American Islamic Relations which says that NAIT owns about 27 percent of the estimated 1200 mosques in the United States. In a hearing before the United States Senate, witness testimony shows that NAIT holds the deeds to between 50% and 79% of American mosques.
The report also describes examples of how NAIT played a role in the ideological takeover of two U.S. mosques, driving out moderate leaders and replacing them with those close to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. One of those mosques was the Bridgeview mosque in Bridgeview, a suburb nearby the location of the proposed MECCA mosque.
Bassam Osman is also listed on the one the website of the Universal School, also located in Bridgeview, as a director and as a “Representative of NAIT.” ISNA President Ingrid Mattson, another NAIT Trustee, also served on the Board of Directors of the Universal School where she also taught Islamic Studies at the high school level and ISNA Secretary-General Saffa Zazour is also a Universal School board member and former principal. A Time Magazine article reports that although the Universal School is located next door to the Bridgeview Mosque, the school asserts its independence from the mosque which a 2004 Chicago Tribune investigative report had associated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the Tribune investigation showed clear links from the Bridgeview mosque to organizations associated with Universal School board members: ·
The Tribune reported that the mosque had been deeded to NAIT in 1981 by Islamic fundamentalists who had taken over the mosque from its former leaders. As noted above, NAIT is part of ISNA and another school board member is also an ISNA board member.
The Tribune investigation went on to report that in 1985, Jordanian Sheikh Jamal Said became the new mosque prayer leader, replacing Ahmed Zaki Hammad who later became the President of ISNA. Sheikh Said was reported to have been inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, educated at a Saudi Arabian University, and noted for his sermons espousing strict Islamic fundamentalist views and critical of America as “a land of disbelievers.”
Mosque leaders were also leaders of the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI), and the Islamic Association for Palestine, the predecessor of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Universal school board members are also affiliated or had been tied to the QLI and CAIR.
As much as $1 million a year was raised from mosque members which was then sent to overseas Muslim charities. The mosque donated money to three Islamic charities that have since been identified as involved in financing terrorism—the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International, and the Global Relief Foundation. One of the mosque’s eight-member executive committee was Muhammad Salah, a Muslim Brotherhood member who was arrested in Israel in 1993 and has since been identified as a Hamas military commander.
ISNA itself has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Nancy Pelosi Wishes The New York Mosque Question Had Not Become "Political"
"There is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some," Nancy Pelosi told KCBS radio in San Francisco on Tuesday."
Nancy Pelosi believes that it was wrong to make the mosque in New York a "political" issue. Why is that? It is because Nancy Pelosi does not realize that everything having to do with Islam, that most political of faiths, and its appearance, and settlement deep within, and spread throughout, the Western world is properly agitating people of sense in every country in that Western world, from Australia to Denmark, from New Zealand to France, from Canada to Italy. And while in the United States, because of the inattention or ignorance or refusal to see things as they are, on the part of many such nancy-pelosis, the field has been left to those who are associated with the right of the political spectrum, and whose appeal is distinctly limited because of the way other issues and attitudes and modes of presentation have been thrown into the mix, and everything is confused.
Just keep in mind, steadily and whole, images of Oriana Fallaci and Pim Fortuyn, the next time you are told by someone self-assuredly that it is only shrill right-wingers who are making a fuss.
It isn't. A great many others are alarmed by the hundred billion dollars Saudi Arabia has spent, over the last few decades, much of it in the Western world, to spread Islam through the building of mosques and mega-mosques and madrasas.
And those pigeonholed as "shrill right-wingers" are not even the most convincing or attractive or plausible of those who think not only that the mosque in New York is a bad idea, but that first issues need to be addressed, such as whether or not the phrase, so easily flung about, of a "house of worship" in fact adequately describes these mosques or, especaily, the ten mega-mosques currently in the works all over the United States. And furthermore, we have a right not to meekly accept the idea that Islam is a "religion" for First Amendment purposes, but to study carefully what Islam is, and then to decide whether or not we think it fully meets the criteria of a "religion" as those who wrote the First Amendment took that word to mean.