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These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 19, 2009.
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Cambodia to deport Uighur asylum seekers

From Earth Times
Phnom Penh - The Cambodian government has decided to deport 20 Uighur asylum seekers back to China despite concerns from human rights groups about their safety, officials said Saturday. The decision to deport the 22 asylum seekers who came from the far western Xinjiang region and arrived in Cambodia last month came days before the arrival of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on an official visit.
"They are not real refugees," Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told the German Press Agency dpa. "They will have to leave Cambodia in no later than one week."
The Chinese Muslims from Xinjiang, the site of violent anti-Chinese protests in July, entered Cambodia last month and were given a "people of concern" status by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) before they were taken into police custody for violating immigration laws.
Phnom Penh - The Cambodian government has decided to deport 20 Uighur asylum seekers back to China despite concerns from human rights groups about their safety, officials said Saturday. The decision to deport the 22 asylum seekers who came from the far western Xinjiang region and arrived in Cambodia last month came days before the arrival of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on an official visit.
The Chinese Muslims from Xinjiang, the site of violent anti-Chinese protests in July, entered Cambodia last month and were given a "people of concern" status by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) before they were taken into police custody for violating immigration laws.
Earlier reports said 22 Uighurs, including three children, arrived in Cambodia overland, but Koy Kuong, spokesman for Cambodia's Foreign Affairs Ministry, said authorities had taken 20 into custody and have no knowledge of the two others.
He added that Phnom Penh had determined the Uighurs had entered the country illegally and would be returned to China.
"All 20 illegally entered Cambodia because they have no immigration papers, no visa," Koy Kuong said. "Therefore, they violated Cambodia's 1994 immigration law. They have to be deported because they are illegal immigrants."
Human rights groups said they fear the Uighurs would be mistreated if returned to China.
The Uighur American Association said some in the group had witnessed security forces killing and beating Uighur demonstrators and if returned to China, they could face persecution, including possible execution.

Posted on 12/19/2009 7:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Christmas Carols VI

There are today carols for many of the great Feasts of the Church but by far and away most often we use the word to refer to the songs about Christ’s Incarnation which we sing at Christmas in Church – or privately. The English word ‘Carol’ derives from the Old French verb ‘caroller’ which, at the time it came into English, meant to dance a circle dance whilst singing or being sung to (and that French word is traceable to Ancient Greek dramatic roots). Circle dances are a very ancient pagan tradition and refer to the idea of the circle of life and the turning of the seasons – “...singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day...” as Longfellow so eloquently put it in his Carol which I discussed in yesterday's post.

That’s a neat way of summing things up because, as we all know, the world turns and the world changes. Carols have changed, too: not in their ported meanings or their symbolism but in their language and their musical styles. The language has often been updated, as has the music, and in no era was that a more common occurrence than in the Victorian in the UK.
 
Many Christmas festivities, and consequently much Christmas music, were banned under the dead-handed rule of the religious bigot Oliver Cromwell, and despite his rule over Britain being short the damage he did to our ancient traditions took until Victorian times to remedy. However, our Victorian ancestors set to the task of restoring our traditions as best they could with much glee and gusto and the survival of many of the Christmas Carols which we know and love today is solely due to the efforts of the peoples of that era to collect and revive as much of our culture as they could before it died out completely.
 
The words of many of the ancient Carols were revised and updated in that great imperial epoch. The tunes to which they were set were also collected, revised and updated. Amongst the many of those surviving which were rewritten and are still popular today one can find such much-loved gems as ‘Good Christian Men Rejoice’, ‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’ and ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’ which are all ancient Carols rewritten by the Victorians so as to be more understandable in modern times. Much of the original words and melodies are lost to us but the Victorian scholars collected and popularised that which remained. Analysis of the tunes and the words so collected indicate to experts today that much of the content of these collections is very old indeed and that the tunes may be, probably are in their original form, much older than Christianity itself. Consider, if you will, that the tune of the official National Anthem of the United Kingdom (“God save our gracious Queen...”) is reckoned by many experts to be at least two thousand years old, probably much older in its original form, and that that tune has served as the anthem for many different States down through the ages.
 
‘The Wassail Song’, which doesn’t really celebrate Christmas but the New Year, having but one scant reference to Christmas in the fifth stanza, is a prime example of the Victorian rewriting of the Yuletide Carols. This song was certainly known in Shakespearean times and was already considered to be very old then:
 
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbours' children
Whom you have seen before
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Good master and good mistress,
As you sit beside the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who wander in the mire.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year

We have a little purse
Made of ratching leather skin;
We want some of your small change
To line it well within.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a cheese,
And of your Christmas loaf.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

God bless the master of this house,
Likewise the mistress too;
And all the little children
That round the table go.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.
 
The tune, judging by its intervals, is extremely ancient and the words refer to a tradition which I detailed here last year. It was collected and popularised by the Victorians but wassailing is a pagan tradition which was continued on these Islands by the Saxons who brought it from the European mainland and Heaven alone knows how old it, that tradition, might actually be: some experts reckon on three to five thousand years old.
 
However, let us return to the Christmas Carol. By the time Victoria ascended the Thrones of Britain in 1837AD the ancient Christmas Carols were only being sung in the more isolated rural parishes of Britain – and often in a much-debased form from the originals. We owe it to the great and painstaking Victorian collectors that we have today some semblance of our ancient Christmas Carols which we can still all sing and enjoy. Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840AD allowed the Prince Consort to re-energise the celebration of Christmas in Britain and inspired the great collectors of our ancient lore and lays to even greater efforts. Without the efforts of those Victorian scholars and collectors we would have lost such Christmas Carols as ‘The First Noel’, ‘The Cherry Tree’ and, of course, ‘My Dancing Day’, the Carol that the late Margiad Evans (Peggy Whistler) references in her great novel ‘Country Dance’ (the Welsh ‘Wuthering Heights’ as some term it); and we would have lost the ‘Sans Day’ Carol from Cornwall, as well.
 
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Victorian travelling, erudite scholars who made it their business to preserve our culture and to educate us all about our past. Without them our modern Christmas would be a small thing indeed for it would lack our traditional music and we would be even more susceptible than we are to the fell influences of pagan Islam. Those scholars and collectors not only preserved the words and the music, they also understood the ancient meanings and the symbolism and they did their best to pass all that on to us.
 
I cannot leave this discussion without mentioning some few, so very few, of the great Victorian collectors. There’s A.H. Bullen, who published his Carols and Poems in 1885; and W.H. Husk who’s Songs of the Nativity was printed in 1868. Then there’s E.F. Rimbault’s Little Book of Carols published in 1846 (and his further collections of 1863 and 1865). There’s also the great Dr. John Stainer’s (with H.R. Bramley) Christmas Carols New and Old from 1871; and, of course, R. Vaughan Williams’ Eight Traditional English Carols, Twelve Traditional Carols from Herefordshire. To these few, and many, many unsung others, we owe a huge debt of gratitude, for without them there would be no modern Christmas Carol and the Christmas celebration we know and love today would lack its rich music and many of our Christmas musical traditions.
 
However, as they collected from the past, our age was in gestation and we were about to add, as we were born and reformed the world, to the great tradition of Christmas Carolling.
Posted on 12/19/2009 9:14 AM by John M. Joyce
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Wiedl on Ramadan

From the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report:

[In] an article titled “Dawa and the Islamist Revival in the West” scholar Nina Wiedl explores the views of global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. In the same article, the author explores the work of global Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan. Of particular interest is her focus on Ramadan’s attempt to make common cause with the European Left. The author notes that Ramadan frequently cites ” the principle of ’social justice’ as one of these shared values between Europeans and Muslims”:

In his apologetic writings for a non-Muslim audience, Ramadan attempts to demonstrate this reconciliation between Islamic and European values by developing a Europeanized version of Islamic concepts. This appears to be a modern interpretation of Surat al-Imran, verse 64, extending the meaning of “common between us and you” from the religious sphere to the realm of general values. He frequently cites, for example, the principle of “social justice” as one of these shared values between Europeans and Muslims, and argues for greater cooperation among them in pursuit of these goals.[93] This constitutes an important element of his theory of dawa, which aims to mitigate western fears of Islam, attract new converts to the faith, and improve the image of Islam in Europe.

She writes later about Ramadan’s attempts to “reach out to leftists and self-described anti-imperialists, anti-globalists and Third-Worldist groups. “

Ramadan has been among the first Islamic thinkers to intentionally reach out to leftists and self-described anti-imperialists, anti-globalists and Third-Worldist groups. He presents Islam as a spiritual complement to these leftist ideologies and emphasizes similarities between them, claiming that his concept of “Islamic Socialism” combines “religious principles with anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist politics that go back to the time of the Russian Revolution.”[104] So far, these ideologies have been mostly regarded as incompatible; a main component of the Bolshevist Revolution in 1918 was the division of state and Church, which was accompanied by the abolishment of religious education in schools. Yet, as in his writings about an Islamic state and sharia, Ramadan avoids discussing contradictions between the classical and the Islamic comprehensions of socialism. For example, the concept of Islamic socialism (al-ishtirakiyya al-islamiyya), which was exemplified in the programs of the Syrian Brotherhood during the late 1940s and 1950s, rejects non-Islamic socialism as a concept that places man over Allah.

The author then describes how Ramadan tries to reinterpret the meaning of “Jihad” as “a liberation struggle against oppression.”:

While Ramadan tries to find common values between Islam and European political movements, at the same time he attempts to reinterpret the term jihad. In an apologetic attempt to improve the image of Islam against accusations that it is a religion of violence, he seeks to argue understanding of jihad as a liberation struggle against oppression. Yet even classical Islam defines military jihad as a struggle for liberation from non-Islamic rulers; a necessary means of ending oppression and preserving freedom of religion, albeit under Islamic rule.[105] This idea is similarly expressed in the writings of militant proponents of jihad like Said Qutb, who claims that fighting is necessary for the liberation of mankind from rulers who hinder them from embracing Islam. Qutb declares that real justice and freedom of all religions can only exist in the social, economic and political system of an Islamic state under sharia law.[106] But while militant salafists reduce jihad to warfare with the goal of establishing Islamist rule, Ramadan claims to adhere to a more genuine and comprehensive understanding of jihad, which holds that Islam’s expansion can also be achieved under certain circumstances through non-violent means such as dawa. Furthermore, Ramadan never explicitly claims that liberation from oppression has to ultimately end with creation of an Islamist order. The language he chooses deliberately allows for two readings, both Islamist and humanistic/universal. As he writes, “This jihad is a jihad for life in order to preserve for every human being the rights granted for him/her by the Creator,” which, according to classical understandings of Islam, includes only the Islamic version of human rights. He quotes Surat al-Hajj, verse 40, as proof that jihad struggles to defend the rights of every religion. He fails to mention, however, that this Sura is interpreted from a classical Islamic perspective to mean that the preservation of human rights, and the principle of coexistence, can only be achieved through properly Islamic rule.[107]

Earlier, the author noted that Ramadan’ supports a model for governance consistent with that of the Muslim Brotherhood and which does not include a separation of Church and State:

Another example is his disapproval of the idea of an Islamic state. The problematic term “Islamic state” is not meant to be paraphrased. Instead, Ramadan declares publicly that “there is no Islamic state. To imitate what was done in Medina in the 7th Century is not only a dream, it’s a lie. You can not do it now.”[94]This declaration and others like it are celebrated by some of Ramadan’s Muslim and non-Muslim followers as a radical reform, similar to the division between church and state that emerged during the European enlightenment. But Ramadan’s rejection of an Islamic state does not mean that he supports a division between state and religion, or for that matter, the liberal conception of freedom of religion. He opposes the liberal-reformist stream of Islam, which calls for a strict separation between religion and state, as primarily a product of Western colonialist thinking.[95] These statements may be understood as opposing a theocracy with all decision-making power in the hands of a religious elite, in favor of the shura concept of an “Islamic democracy.” This system grants the whole population a role in the decision-making process, restricted by the framework of sharia. This model also is favored by today’s Muslim Brotherhood. But many critics claim that with the sharia as a basis, there is no place for popular sovereignty and therefore the model does not properly deserve the title of “democracy.”

Tariq Ramadan is perhaps best described as an independent power center within the global Brotherhood with sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan, and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.” Ramadan is currently professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Theology and senior research fellow at St. Antony’s College (Oxford), Dohisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and at the Lokahi Foundation (London).

Posted on 12/19/2009 9:36 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Outrage! CAIR -supplied Counsel files 'contempt' complaint against Rifqa Bary in Ohio case

"Barbarossa" filed this latest Jawa Report concerning abuse by Rifqa Bary's parents and their CAIR-supplied counsel in the Franklin, Ohio custody battle.  They filed a complaint finding her in contempt for refusing to see a Muslim counselor and  denied her receipt of  Christmas cards and letters, thus, further isolating  her in a virtual 'prison' in the Court-ordered custody arrangement.  With a hearing on the motion in her defense to be held on Tuesday, December 22nd, there will be plenty of fireworks with this latest outrage.  As "Barbarossa" notes the Columbus Ohio Dispatch has yet to cover these outrages and violations of Rifqa Bary's civil rights  alleging  that her adopted Christian faith would be recognized. Apparently, this is not the case with this latest CAIR motion filed on behalf of her parents.  It is a further example of the abuse  that she has endured from her parents and their CAIR allies striving to have the juvenile court in Ohio rule in favor of Shariah custody compliance. This is to our mind a violation of her civil rights as an apostate from Islam.  Due notice should be taken by both the US Justice Department and the US Office of Civil Rights.  Perhaps Miss Bary's counsel will file rebuttal motions to that effect  when  the Ohio juvenile court hearing reopens.     Additionally, her counsel might consider inviting  as co- counsel  the American Center  for Law and Justice who have successful fought for apostate  rights  as evidenced by a recent decision  in a forced marriage case involving a Christian convert  in  Youngstown, Ohio - see here. Should the Franklin court order reconciliation with Rifqa's parents  as many fear, she  might be returned against her will to Sri Lanka where an outstanding death threat awaits her -see here.  We hope that the Franklin County court would rule in her favor in light of the death threat and these  latest absues by her parents and CAIR-supplied counsel.

Here is the JawaReport by "Barbarossa":

Parents of Rifqa Bary ask court to hold her in contempt to force her to attend counseling sessions with Muslim counselor (bumped, sticky)

...and the counselor they demand she attend filed an affidavit in support of Rifqa being held in contempt!

The next episode in the legal battle between Muslim-turned-Christian convert Rifqa Bary and her allegedly abusive parents will occur next Tuesday in an Ohio courtroom. As I reported last Friday, one of the issues that will be heard by the court is a motion by the CAIR-appointed attorney to the Bary parents demanding that all Christmas cards sent to Rifqa be banned, and any cards she has already received be seized. On Monday, we provided clear evidence of CAIR's backstage handling of the media in this case.

Another issue next week will be another motion filed by the Bary parents asking the court to hold Rifqa in contempt for refusing to attend counseling sessions with a Muslim counselor. Amazingly, the counselor that the Bary parents are attempting to force her to see filed a affidavit supporting the parents' motion to hold Rifqa in contempt of court. How could this counselor be remotely neutral?

But wait a second - haven't all the media stooges in this case, from Meredith "Hijab" Heagney of the Columbus Dispatch to Michael Kruse of the St. Petersburg Times, insisted that the Bary family intends to respect Rifqa's Christian faith? Haven't these media stooges repeated assurances from the Bary parents that Rifqa has nothing to fear from returning home?

Don't expect these damaging revelations about the parents' duplicity to be reported in the Columbus Dispatch, friends. Behind the veil of sealed court motions the true face of Mohamed and Aysha Bary is being revealed. Her parents have defamed Christians who have attempted to help their daughter flee their abuse; they have filed criminal charges against Rifqa accusing her of being a delinquent; and now they ask the Ohio courts to ban and seize Rifqa's Christmas cards and to force her to see a Muslim counselor that has demonstrated his own partiality. What this long sequence of events clearly shows is that Rifqa Bary has much to fear from being returned to her parents and that they have no intention to honor her personal religious choices.

Hopefully, the courts will recognize what's going on in this case and dispense justice, not political correctness.

 

 

Posted on 12/19/2009 2:11 PM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Iran Solidarity at Trafalgar Square

Family outing today to Trafalgar Square to sing carols round the Christmas tree and listen to one of the choirs.
Husband and teenager went ahead as there was a shop they wanted to visit while I had an errand to do first. Outside the National Gallery, on a piece of land which is not owned by Westminster Council and thus does not have the same restrictions that the actual square does, was a small demonstration against the Islamic regime by Iran Solidarity. Susan Sto Helit took these photographs.

Photographs Susan Sto Helit December 2009

Posted on 12/19/2009 3:30 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Don't mention the Muslims (cont)

Reader Alan draws attention to Nick Cohen's piece on the (rather daft) TV series Spooks. From Standpoint Magazine:

The real MI5 deals with radical Islam almost to the exclusion of all other threats. The BBC's fictional MI5 deals with every threat except radical Islam. I appreciate there are better ways to spend my time, but every week I am transfixed by the effort the corporation puts into steering clear of al-Qaeda. In 2005, when real Islamists were bombing London, Spooks seemed to be a truly contemporary drama. Alas, the terrorists it had plotting to destroy London weren't the followers of Sayyid Qutb but anti-technology Greens, who, say what you will about them, are on the whole a peaceful lot. In 2006, an Islamist cell was once again threatening to commit a crime against humanity. Inevitably, the writers could not confront the existence of actual terrorists and the Islamists turned out to be Mossad agents in disguise. For the BBC, as for the European and Arab far-Right, all Islamist atrocities were the work of the international Jewish conspiracy, that manipulates its dupes like a puppet-master jerking his strings. In the opening episode of the current series, the Sacred Army of Righteous Vengeance staged a mock execution of Harry Pearce, the head of MI5's Counter-Terrorism Department. But, initiates wondered, why would they want to kill him when the BBC has already made it clear that there are no Islamist terrorists for MI5 to counter? True to form, the Sacred Army of Righteous Vengeance turned out to be yet another front organisation attempting to besmirch the good name of al-Qaeda, this time run by Hindu extremists.

First the Greens, then the Jews, then the Hindus-baffled viewers will be expecting the English Quakers and Burmese Buddhists next. Maybe the BBC will get round to them, but as the eighth series of Spooks draws to its conclusion, we know that for the time being at least, the scriptwriters have identified the real enemy. Episode by episode, Harry and his team have learned about a conspiracy of awesome power. As with Bourne and Bond, it is a cabal that has established itself at the highest levels of Western intelligence services. Once again, the good guys must fight the real menace that comes from the enemy within.

We have been at war since 9/11. To judge from popular drama, we have been at war with ourselves.

The BBC can carry on not mentioning Muslims till the cows - or the chickens -  come home. The public is getting wise to the elephant in the room, the bee in the bonnet and the leopard that never changes its spots.

Posted on 12/19/2009 4:37 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 19 December 2009
A Musical Interlude: Stormy Weather (Ethel Waters)

Listen here.

Posted on 12/19/2009 6:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Carmen Herrera Still Painting, And Now Selling, At 94

Read here.

Posted on 12/19/2009 9:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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