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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
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
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 Wednesday, 19, 2008.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
The Grandmother Was Unnecessary -- Jeremiah Wright Can Be White As Well As Black

When Barack Obama was trying to find some white person to both deplore, and stand by, by way of balancing his proclamation of continued loyalty to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom he would nobly and bravely not "disown," (he didn't dare to do so because he knows that Rev. Wright, if he felt he had been sacrificed for the Barack-Obama cause, could certainly reveal all kinds of things about Barack Obama that Barack Obama would not wish to have revealed)  he needed to come up with an example of a white person who was also guilty of remarks that Obama could claim were  similar to those of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and yet, that someone had to be someone similarly close to Obama, someone he would not "disown."

The person he came up with was his own grandmother. For just as

"...I can no more disown him [Rev. Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him tha I can my white grandmother -- a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

As to confessing that "fear of black men" who "passed her by on the street," that is not an irrational fear,  not prejudice, but based on the same calculations, based on her own experience, and that of others, such as Jesse Jackson when he said "[t]here is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery—and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” And one learns that Obama's grandmother had at one point been worried about a particular black panhandler whom she was afraid to run into, while on her way, by bus, to work. Is that fear she expressed, based on a previous encounter with this aggressive panhandler, akin to the racist rantings and paranoia of Rev. Wright? If it is, then we are all Reverend Wrights now, aren't we?

In any case, it was unseemly, it was cruel, for the limitlessly ambitious Barack Obama, whom one can see limned by Shakespeare as the very type of smooth man, slither-frisking his way into one high office and then into another, right to the very top, to drag in his aging grandmother, and to have her enter history, for all the pains she took to raise him, as someone who "on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." He had to do it; he had to save himself. And nothing would stand in the way.

But he needn't have done so. Just look at Rev.Jeremiah Wright. He may be "black" for the purposes of his career. But he looks awfully white to me. And an amateur psychiatrist might even attribute his hysterical viciousness about "whites" to the need to prove his black bonafides. What better way to do it?

So Barack missed a trick. He could have said "we Americans are a bundle of things." Take the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He is black, and he is white. The black part of Rev. Jeremiah Wright makes "incendiary remarks" that "I utterly reject." And the white part of Rev. Jeremiah Wright makes "incendiary remarks" that "I utterly reject."

And he could have left his long-suffering grandmother, and his ridiculous analogy, out of it.

And then, he might still have overwhelmed or muffled with all kinds of vague talk about "race" in America the specific charges made against him --that he had taken as his spiritual adviser, mentor, friend, his surrogate father, a specialist in hysteria and hate, and had not once, in twenty years, not once apparently ever taken issue, publicly or privately, with anything Rev. Jeremiah Wright said or did. And we would even have overlooked what he, Obama, told Rev. Wright when the campaign began, which is that he, Obama, would have to "distance himself" from Rev. Wright, but that he knew the Rev. Wright would understand. And Rev. Wright did. Of course he did.  

Posted on 03/19/2008 2:28 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Cheney: Terrorism Caused By Lack Of "Freedom"

AP: ...Rallying troops after an overnight stay at an air base, Cheney said earlier Tuesday that as long as freedom is suppressed in the Mideast, the region will remain a place of "stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export."

"You and I know what it means to be free," Cheney told the troops at an outdoor rally at Balad Air Base.

"We wouldn't give such freedoms away and neither would the people of Iraq or Afghanistan, but in both of those countries, they're facing attack from violent extremists who want to end all democratic progress and pull them once again in the direction of tyranny.

"We're helping them fight back because it's the right thing to do and because it's important to our own long-term security," Cheney said. "As President Bush has said, the war on terror is an ideological struggle and as long as this part of the world remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export."

This is such a fundamental misunderstanding of the war, it would be laughable if it weren't costing so much in lives and treasure. It will remain forever true that in questions of war and peace, loyalty is the main issue, and Muslims will remain forever loyal to Islam and the ummah, (Sunni or Shi'a variety) then to tribe, then family. For the U.S. to base its policy on the expectation of loyalty in the form of an a lasting alliance with a Muslim nation state is the height of folly and reflects the administration's total ignorance of Islam.

Posted on 03/19/2008 8:20 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Turkish minority sect pushes for rights
From The BBC
In a suburb of Istanbul, hundreds of men and women worship side by side in a hexagonal wood-panelled hall. A preacher paces the polished floorboards before them clutching a microphone, more Christian evangelist than Imam. Cross-legged on the floor, the crowd sway and shout their response.
Several times during the weekly service, a musician strums on his wooden saz and sings.  It is a long way from the traditional image of Muslims at prayer.
This congregation are Alevis - an unorthodox, liberal branch of Islam. It is estimated that as many as one in five Turks worships this way, although there are no official figures.
But in a country where most Muslims are Sunni, many Alevis complain they feel like second-class citizens.
"We want recognition and legal status for our prayer houses," explains Kamil Aykanat, the head of Okmeydani Alevi community in Istanbul.
"Instead, the state builds Sunni mosques in Alevi villages and teaches Sunni Islam in our schools. Our children have even been beaten for not fasting when Sunnis do," he says.
Turkey is a strictly secular republic with no official religion.  But figures provided for the BBC by the Directorate for Religious Affairs show that the state spends $1.5bn of taxpayers' money each year funding 85,000 Sunni mosques and paying the wages of their Imams.
By contrast Alevi prayer houses - or Cemevi - can be registered only as cultural centres and are funded exclusively by private donations.
Christian children are automatically exempt from obligatory religious classes in Turkey. But as an Alevi, Ali (Ali Kenanoglu - an Alevi from Istanbul.) had to go to court to fight for the right to exclude his child.
"These books teach children how to be a good Sunni," Ali complains, flicking through the pages of his son's textbook which shows a young boy adopting the correct pose to pray.  "They show children how to do Namaz and they have to memorise prayers in Arabic. But Alevis don't pray like this. There is no proper teaching in here about our faith," Ali says.  
Under pressure from the EU, the textbooks were amended recently but remain highly Sunni-centric. The classes themselves are generally taught by Sunni graduates of religious Imam-Hatip schools.
Last year the European Court of Human Rights upheld the right of an Alevi child to opt out of religion classes. That ruling is still not being applied in Turkish schools - to the frustration of Alevi parents.
Religious equality and full religious freedom are key principles of the European Union, which Turkey is currently negotiating to join.
The EU regularly cites the situation of Muslim - as well as non-Muslim - minorities here as a concern, referring to the "major difficulties" they encounter.
The government has now indicated it understands that concern, a move welcomed in Brussels.  Made sceptical by long experience, most Alevis are waiting for concrete proof it is prepared to act on it.
Posted on 03/19/2008 2:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Depression is not a feminist issue

Cheer up - I'm in pyjamas. Pajamas Media, that is:

I bought a new mattress last month. Too much information, I know, but there is a point. With it came one of those “Care of your new …” leaflets. The leaflet advised me to turn the mattress over regularly, otherwise it would “develop depressions.” Well, we can’t have that, can we? I promised to keep my mattress happy, even if this turns me into one of those “women who juggle their lives.” And “women who juggle their lives” come to no good. more

Posted on 03/19/2008 3:23 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Easter threat to Indonesian Christians
Barnabas Fund has received credible reports that the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiyah has threatened to target Christians in Indonesia this Easter. Jemaah Islamiyah has been responsible for many attacks in the past - it is believed to have organised the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, and bomb attacks at churches on Christmas Eve in 2000.
Jemaah Islamiyah is dedicated to creating a single Islamic state throughout South-East Asia under shari`a law. It considers non-Muslims as legitimate targets and is active throughout the region. The organisation is closely linked to Al-Qaeda, and has shown that is it able to carry out devastating attacks, such as the Bali bombings in 2002 which killed 202 people. On Christmas Eve, 2000, Jemaah Islamiyah bombed several churches in Jakarta, Bandung and Riau, killing 18 people and injuring more than a hundred.
Threats to Christians on major celebrations such as Easter and Christmas are frequent in Indonesia, and security guards are often posted outside churches at this time. Some churches in Jakarta keep metal detectors near their entrances to try to thwart bomb attacks. This Easter will therefore be a time of great anxiety for Indonesia`s Christians.
 
1. Pray that Indonesian Christians will be able to worship in safety this Easter.
2. Pray that the authorities in Indonesia be active in protecting Christians from terrorist attacks and that that they will apprehend those who threaten to attack Christians.
Posted on 03/19/2008 3:44 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
What’s under your computer?
One of the cats had a mouse overnight and the trail of entrails led under the computer cupboard. So, mindful of the mummified muridiod I found under the old fridge when I had a new one delivered last summer I thought I had better do something more substantial than my usual prod with the vacuum hose. Actually move the cupboard and set to with dustpan and brush.
1 Several large used jiffy bags, saved in case I ever needed to send a parcel of that size. I have sent out book tokens these last two Christmases so if I have not sent a parcel that size in 2 years I am not likely to now. To the recycling bin with them!
2 Why am I keeping a Disney Calendar for 2004? Also put it in the recycling bin. Then take it out of the recycling bin as I remember that I was saving it to make posters for my room at the children’s Summer Holiday club at church.  Take it to the garage to keep with the rest of the holiday club paraphernalia.
3 Two cloth mice, one green, one grey, both stuffed with cat-nip, felines for the use of.
4 Small plastic ball with bells in, ditto.
5 An assortment of computer CDs, free connection to AOL and Freeserve (who became Wanadoo, then Orange, then not very good) one of which is Space Explorer, exclusive with What PC?
A virtual world of stars, planets, galaxies and heavenly bodies. Includes RealFire game – save our solar system from hostile asteroids. I’ll keep that one.  As for the others if the family have done without them for this long they can’t need them badly. The ones which look important I do keep.
6 Dust, fluff and crumbs.  Sweep up and wipe floor with floor wipe.
No dead real mouse or body parts thereof. Phew.
No money, buried treasure, missing earrings or missing links. Shame.
Posted on 03/19/2008 5:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
A Musical Interlude: If I Had You (Irving Aaronson And His Commanders)
Posted on 03/19/2008 9:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
A Television Interlude: The Clock (Sid Caesar)
Posted on 03/19/2008 9:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Sharia phone marriage of autistic man 'invalid'
Three senior appeal judges have refused to recognise a Muslim marriage that took place "over the telephone", even though the union is valid according to sharia law.
They said the union, between a 26-year-old autistic British man, identified only as IC, and a woman in Bangladesh was "potentially highly injurious".
The pair have never met and are unlikely ever to meet.
IC's parents, originating from Bangladesh but resident in England for many years, arranged for him to be married by telephone link to a bride chosen by them in Bangladesh with a view to his new wife, referred to as NK, obtaining a visa and joining him in this country.
The marriage was valid under sharia law and the law of Bangladesh and lawyers for the parents argued that it should therefore be recognised in English law.
But giving judgment in the case, which was brought by Westminster Social and Community Services Department, the Court of Appeal said IC was unable to give valid consent to marriage under English law.
The court heard he does not function above the level of a three-year-old and is said to be highly suggestible and vulnerable. He therefore lacked the capacity to marry and consent to sexual intercourse.
"The role of marriage in the life of one so handicapped is inconceivable in our society, and as a matter of law marriage is precluded," the judge said.  The judge said the marriage arranged by IC's parents was "potentially highly injurious".
I wonder how much that visa was worth?  Or how much care and housework NK was expected to perform?
Posted on 03/19/2008 10:24 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Lack Of Due Vigilance

Sharing their worldviews on Islam, Christianity and Judaism were renowned authors Bernard Lewis and Dennis Prager, a syndicated columnist whose work appears in The Bulletin.

In helping Penn students better understand the state of affairs between western civilization and the Arabic world, Mr. Lewis, who has been a key advisor to President George W. Bush, said, in order for Americans to better grasp the complexity of how Muslim jihadists are able to carry out terrorist attacks, they need to realize that for Muslims, Islam is that which defines them.

"As they see it, the world is divided into two houses - the house of Islam and the house of unbelievers," Mr. Lewis said.

"Throughout the middle ages, Christians and Muslims fought a great fight. This ongoing struggle, linked together by common beliefs, gave rise to this long succession of jihad and crusade, jihad and crusade."
--from this news article

By "common belief" Lewis meant, I presume, only that both are monotheistic faiths that make universalist claims. That is, unlike Hinduism and Judaism which, though both welcome converts are linked to specific peoples and make no claims to covering the globe -- both Islam and Christianity are faiths that make world-covering claims. However, in other respects they are completely different. Islam is a faith that is not merely a religion as we understand that word but a politics and a geopolitics, and offers a complete regulation of life. It is a Total Belief-System, and prompted by that Total Belief-System, its adherents have conquered lands and then, within those lands, established Muslim rule that makes it unpleasant and difficult for non-Muslims to practice their non-Muslim faiths, so that over time a great many of those non-Muslims, those of the Ahl al-kitab (Christians and Jews) -- for non-People of the Book suffered other fates -- submitted to Islam to escape from having to endure the humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity that the status of dhimmi signified. Christians are interested in saving individual souls for Christ; Muslims are interested in swelling the ranks of the army of Islam. One is individualist; the other collectivist. One tries to make the doctrine clear to those it wishes to convert, wants them to understand; the other is indifferent to their understanding and indeed, often withholds a full knowledge of Islam for fear that it will put off would-be “reverts” (this withholding of knowledge about Islam is discussed openly at Muslim websites dealing with how to handle potential “reverts”). They are very different, despite these “common beliefs” that Lewis so carelessly alludes to.

As for the phrase "a long succession of jihad and crusade, jihad and crusade" -- Lewis was careless in his phrasing, and he knows, or should, that his phrases have a way of being picked up, and used, and if they can be used in defense of Islam, they certainly will be. Lewis knows that "Jihad" and "the Crusades" are very different things, with the former unlimited in time and in space, and the latter limited in both.

But being treated as an oracle and World's Greatest Authority, with former students who are not merely admirers but have become acolytes who will defend his every word, has not been good for him, as it is not good for anyone. Carelessness with words, and how those words will be received, is a bad sign. Due diligence is what is required in the world of business and law and accountancy. In the world of words, an even higher calling, due vigilance is required at all times.

Jacques Barzun is now 100. His students, too, regard him with affection, admiration, even awe. But he has never let any of this diminish his vigilance with words. A model to emulate.

 

Posted on 03/19/2008 11:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Hello, Central!

Rawhi Fattuh, the advisor of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was caught Tuesday at the Allenby crossing in possession of 2,000 smuggled cellular phones.

Ynet has learned that the Palestinian security organizations arrested Fattuh's driver on suspicion of smuggling the phones in his car. According to them, Fattuh was unaware of the devices' presence in the vehicle.
--from this news article

Various possibilities:

1) Cellphones, possibly of a kind that cannot be so easily tracked by Israeli counter-terrorist squads, are being smuggled in so that they can be used by terrorists in the Fatah-controlled lands.

2) Ditto, but including conceivable transfer, piece by piece, to Gaza for use by terrorists there.

3) Simply a case of wanting to resell the phones only for the purpose of a little padding of someone's allowance -- by the use of a vehicle that he, the Abbas aide, or his driver or both (and certainly both knew about it) thought would be less subject to Israeli search, for they might have hoped it would be treated as a diplomatic pouch is treated (think of all those icons smuggled out of Russia in such diplomatic pouches by greedy Western diplomats). No such luck.

Posted on 03/19/2008 11:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
A Telling Moment For India And For Taslima

In a statement on Tuesday, [Taslima] Nasreen said Indian authorities had "constantly pressured me mentally to leave the country".

"I was determined I would not leave this country. When they saw it was pointless trying to destroy my mind, they attempted to destroy my body. In this they succeeded by ruining my health, which leaves me with no other alternative but to leave this country,' she said.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition, has accused the Congress-led Government of forcing Nasreen to leave India because it is worried about losing Muslim voter support with just over a year to go before national elections.
--from this news article

There are telling moments in the lives of nations. This is, in the life of modern post-partition India, one of them. But it is not only a telling moment in the life of India, which cannot guarantee the security of a Muslim apostate, in a country where Hindus make up 85% of the population, and Hindus rule. And in the same way, non-Muslims constitute 85% of the world's population, but seem hell-bent on running scared from Muslims, who threaten at every turn, and demand that free men, those who are not submissive to the will of Allah, deny themselves the exercise of their own freedoms.

What should happen is this: India's president, Abdul Kalam, is nominally a Muslim -- but a Muslim who proudly admits to having read the Bhagavad Gita, and is, in every known respect, a Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only Muslim. In a spirit of Muslim "tolerance" he should invite Taslima Nasreen to live, under his personal protection, in the Presidential compound. Let Abdul Kalam make it a test of his fellow Muslims, as they display, or fail too, that famous "peace and tolerance" we hear so much about.  

One hopes that in exile Taslima Nasreen will receive all kinds of attention. But considering how little attention was given to a beautiful, articulate, and what's more, fashionably black-African woman,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one wonders.

Posted on 03/19/2008 12:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
The Sub-prime Primer

A noddy guide to the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. Click here for a latter-day "Emperor's New Clothes".

To say that "sub-prime" is an understatement would be an understatement. Probably.

Posted on 03/19/2008 1:07 PM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
What Constitutes An Occupation

"Mubarak also warned Israeli that no occupation lasts forever and urged the Palestinians to give peace a chance."
- from this news article

By "occupation" he, Mubarak, means the possession, or taking control of, of any lands, from their rightful Musli possessors, by Infdiels. One kind of such re-taking is that achieved by the descendants of those who originally possessed such territory before it was conquered by Muslims, Examples of such "occupiers" include the Jews who rebuilt the ancient Jewish commonwealth in Israel, or Hindus who again rule in Kashmir, as they did before the British, and before the Muslim invaders, entered the country. These "occupations" of lands regarded by Muslims as "occupied" include, then, "Palestine" (under Muslim rule until 80 years ago), and much of India, "occupied" until the Hindus, and before them the British, started to encroach on Muslim rule in 1757, with the victory of Clive at P{lessy), and Spain, where until a little more than 500 years ago the last Moorish kingdom, Grenada, withstood the Reconquista by Christians, the final step of which was the retaking, from its Muslim masters, of Grenada in 1492. And Muslims also describe Iraq and Afghanistan as "occupied" even though Infidels arrived mainly to keep both countries intact, and to bring their peoples prosperity, so that the countries could remain intact, and have no plans to impose rule by non-Muslims.  That is what "occupation" means to Muslims such as Mubarak.

He, Hosni Mubarak, the military dictator who helps himself lavishly to American foreign aid (even as he grooms his Gucci-loafered, slicked-back haired son, for the job he has held for nearly thirty years), does not by the word "occupation" mean to indicate any lands that Muslims may have conquered, in many parts of the world, such as, inter alia, Spain and "Palestine" and Greece and Sicily and Serbia and Croatia and Rumania and Bulgaria and Hungary and much of Russia and most of India and so on. No, those areas were never "occupied." They belonged, by right, to their Muslim conquerors. Muslims do not "occupy" lands. They conquer and possess them, rightly, because they are the People of Allah, the Best of Peoples, and since the whole world ultimately belongs to Allah, and to his People, the Believers, it would be wrong, it would be foolish, ever to describe this as an "occupation."

And if, through deployment of the Money Weapon, through campaigns of Da'wa, and through the slow (well, not quite so slow) but inexorable workings of demographic conquest, all barriers to the spread, and dominance, of Islam are removed in Western Europe, and it too becomes islamized (through the negligence, foolishness, timidity of its own leaders and much of its own idiotized-by-hedonism population), that will not be "occupied" Europe. No, that will simply be a Europe that has submitted, as submit it should, to Islam, wonderful Islam.

As for that business of the "Palestinians" who should "give peace a chance" -- well, we all know what that phrase, with its comical echo of ill-kempt American peaceniks during the Vietnam War monotonously intoning "all we are saying/Is give peace a chance" -- means, don't we? It means the same thing as what Abbas means when he carefully says "we have chosen peace as a strategic option."

"Peace as a strategic option" makes some uncomfortable, even possibly some American diplomats, but they don't want to inquire further, for fear of what they might find out.

Well, I'm going to tell them, anyway, and they will just have to live with that knowledge. What Abbas means, and what Mubarak means, is this: the Muslim Arabs need to weaken Israel, for they cannot at this point go in for the kill. If they push it back, and push it back, and push it back, and at every step, keep making a new demand, that Israel will have to yield to, and others will pressure it to do so, for each demand, by itself, will be seen as somehow "reasonable" and not as part of an endless chain of demands, all designed to weaken Israel, to lessen its ability to patrol its own borders, to command the heights of Judea and the invasion routes from the east that, if used by a powerful force, could cut Israel in two overnight (at its 1949 armistice-line waist, the eight miles from Qalqilya to the sea), to deprive it of everything, including control of aquifers, that it needs to survive.

"Peace as a strategic option" merely means "a peace treaty" in order to obtain concessions and yieldings and surrenders otherwise unobtainable. It means a treaty that will be observed, by the Arab -- "Palestinian" -- side, in precisely the manner, with just as much good faith, as Muhammad observed his treaty made with the Meccans in 628 A.D. at Hudaibiyyah. And we all know how that one turned out. Don't we?

Posted on 03/19/2008 3:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Equal Opportunity Criticism

"My disagreement with this site is that it can seem as if the purpose is to elect Republicans rather than to just defeat the jihadists."
-- from a reader

Few websites can have offered criicism of the Bush Administration folly in Iraq, and in its generally ineffective, and certainly misnamed, "war on terror," than this one. The Bush Administration is Republican. Those who identify most closely with that Iraq folly that has at this website been the repeated object of unanswerable criticism, the kind that is deadliest of all, are Rebublicans. I see no evidence offered to support the assertion that "the purpose" of "this site" is "to elect Republicans."

Posted on 03/19/2008 3:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Furrowed-Brow Moral Concern

"His [Barack Obama's] comments about Wright being like an old uncle who says embarrassing things are not off the wall at all for anyone who comes from a real family. That was a very astute thing for him to say, and I suspect that most people will understand the underlying intent and sentiments behind this remark."
-- from a reader

You do not choose your uncles (though you are free not to attend family reunions, or if you go, to stay well away from any "crazy old uncle").

On the other hand, you are free to choose your pastor, and if you find that the one you have chosen over a very long period of time continues to make outrageous and morally unacceptable remarks, you are free to weigh the possible damage to your budding political career (by leaving a large and well-connected church in the district which is your political base), against that moral tug.

There is a difference. And it is no justification to say that we all have our good points and our bad points. Mussolini made the trains run on time; Hitler built the "people's car," the Volkswagen, and also the autobahnen for that car to travel on; both Hitler and Mussolini instituted paid holidays for workers. So what?

Rev. Wright may have been a practitioner of a "Black Liberation Theology" that appears to be less about up-by-your bootstraps Yes-We-Canism and a lot more about the perfidy of whites, including an American government that, he claimed, deliberately propagated the AIDS virus (presumably to kill blacks). That kind of charge, and many others, are simply unacceptable, intolerable. That Barack Obama found a way to justify his own pusillanimity, possibly prompted by political ambition, and to dress it all up in the finery of furrowed-brow moral concern, should not cut any ice with the rest of us.

Posted on 03/19/2008 3:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Obama, Axelrod And Patrick

"Does anyone here know who Obama's speech writer is?"
--from a reader

He, or his speechwriter, like to lift phrases from American history. And some of them, but not all, can be tracked down. The one he keeps re-using, and that he used early on in yesterday's speech -- that "improbable experiment" -- has a ring to it. I suspect that the well-turned phrase comes either from some figure in American history, or was said by a professor conducting a class at law school or even by an emeritus professor giving a talk. When did Paul Freund, who was good at quoting Mr. Justice Holmes, die? Or might it have been a subtitle used by Bernard Bailyn, or Michael Kammen? One never knows.

David Axelrod is known to be one of Obama's speechwriters. He has also been a speechwriter for another political figure, Deval Patrick, whom Barack Obama calls his "friend" and with whom he apparently shares his thoughts (and Deval Patrick shares his phrases, or at least phrases that he has used to good effect, that someone else may have written).

Deval Patrick became governor of Massachusetts with many expressing high hopes. He was very short on policies, on specifics. But he was content to rely on the vague slogan "Together We Can." What "we can" was never specified, but judging by his first two years in office, "together we can" not very much.

He spent the first month arranging for a new, much more expensive car than the Crown Victoria Romney had had, for new drapes and new other stuff for his office -- many tens of thousands of dollars -- and hiring a personal assistant, with a salary of $72,000 for his wife, even though she was going to continue her work as a partner with a major law firm. There was so much fury over all of this manic spending, that he had to pull back quickly.

Since then, Deval Patrick has made big plans based on the assumption that the state legislature will approve the building of three casinos in the state, and that somehow these three will not compete with each other, nor with pre-existing casinos in Rhode Island and Connecticut. He has plucked wild estimates of their future revenues out of the blue. But in any case, it is unlikely that the plan on which he has based so much of his plans for the state will in fact be approved. It almost certainly will not.

A guide to what Barack Obama might offer? I don't know. But we have so little to go on with Obama, that studying the performance in office of Deval Patrick, as smooth a talker as Barack Obama, might not be entirely irrelevant.

Posted on 03/19/2008 4:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Continued Degradation Of The Democratic Dogma

"Mark A. Siegel of American University, former Deputy Assistant to President Jimmy Carter and a former Bhutto lobbyist who says that he "helped Benazir research and write this book"
-- from this article

The way these things go these days, that means Mark Siegel wrote almost every word. Benazir Bhutto might have seen some of it. Or she might not. Those turgid tomes, the ones supposedly written by, say, Madeleine Albright or Colin Powell or Abba Eban or Bill Clinton, or Hillary Clinton, so very rarely are. They thank their "researchers." They thank their "editors." They thank those who may have "helped with the writing."

It's mostly a novakian crock.

Very few people today, among the Great and Good, can write more than a few pages at a time.

Don't expect more. Expect ever less, as things diminish further according to the iron laws that reflect the degradation of the democratic dogma. Read about the hours given over to, and attempts to re-create the contents of, the extemporaneous Lincoln-Douglas debates, and compare that to the latest whittling down of political debate to replies that should be "no more than a minute," is whittled down to answers, "of no more than a minute," on some televised stage where the reporters ask simplified often missing-the-point questions that, since responses are to be limited to that inflexible minute, become part of a "debate" worthy of fifth-graders earnestly discussing some matter not of national or civilization-threatening international significance, but rather of fifth-grade moment.

Posted on 03/19/2008 4:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Trinity Church Bulletins, Reverend Wright, And Mousa Abu Marzook

From  www.bizzyblog.com:

TUCC’s Church Bulletins from July 2007 Probably Make Whether Obama Was Present on July 22 Irrelevant

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias, Taxes & Government — TBlumer @ 4:57 pm

OVERVIEW: A thorough review of the anti-Bush, antiwar, anti-white, and pro-Palestinian “tenor and tone” of the “Pastor’s Pages” section of the weekly online bulletins published by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ during July 2007, and a more cursory look at nearly 100 other issues of that bulletin dating back to late 2004, show that the types of opinions and statements Barack Obama now characterizes as “unacceptable and inexcusable” — ones that he claims not to have been aware of until around the time he declared his presidential candidacy — have been a staple of the church’s overall Sunday presentation for at least several years, and would have been nearly impossible for an active church member to avoid hearing and/or seeing. The July 22, 2007 bulletin even gave two full pages of space to a known Hamas terrorist.

__________________________________________________

There appears to be some controversy about these paragraphs in a Newsmax report about a sermon given by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright (hmm — I wonder what would happen if I started calling him “Reverend JAWs”?).

The following excerpt contains the article’s first two paragraphs, followed by a passage from about halfway through:

Presidential candidate Barack Obama preaches on the campaign trail that America needs a new consensus based on faith and bipartisanship, yet he continues to attend a controversial Chicago church whose pastor routinely refers to “white arrogance” and “the United States of White America.”

In fact, Obama was in attendance at the church when these statements were made on July 22. …..

Bush’s Bulls–t

Wright’s strong sentiments were echoed in the Sunday morning service attended by NewsMax.

Wright laced into America’s establishment, blaming the “white arrogance” of America’s Caucasian majority for the woes of the world, especially the oppression suffered by blacks. To underscore the point he refers to the country as the “United States of White America.” Many in the congregation, including Obama, nodded in apparent agreement as these statements were made.

The sermon also addressed the Iraq war, a frequent area of Wright’s fulminations.

“Young African-American men,” Wright thundered, were “dying for nothing.” The “illegal war,” he shouted, was “based on Bush’s lies” and is being “fought for oil money.”

In a sermon filled with profanity, Wright also blamed the war on “Bush administration bulls–t.”

The Obama campaign now claims that the service NewsMax reporter Jim Davis attended was not the one that took place on July 22. The Democratic presidential candidate appeared in Miami on the afternoon of the 22nd (video here), had “an appearance” that morning in Chicago, and may not have had time to attend any of the Trinity United Church of Christ’s services that day.

But whether Obama was there on July 22 doesn’t really matter. Obama likely attended other services in July 2007 (in fact, I saw somewhere that the campaign has acknowledged as much; NewsMax insists that it’s so). I have also obtained all five of the TUCC’s online bulletins published in July 2007. Based on my review of them, I believe it’s more than likely that the Iraq War would have been a topic in a Wright sermon at least two and possibly more other times in that month alone.

Pages 10-11 of the “Pastor’s Page” section of the July 15 bulletin contains a two-page anti-Bush, screed by Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Ph.D. (pictured here), that was apparently originally published somewhere on June 20, 2007 (curiously, every “Pastor’s Page” page reads “Sermons copyrighted by Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.”). Here are a couple of Mr. Hendricks’s more choice comments:

§                        “(Bush is) a man who has shown a frightening disdain for the sanctity of human life for the entirety of his career in elective office.

§                        He …… sent thousands of Americans to their deaths based on lies and knowing deception …”

Clearly, this article by Mr. Obery could have been used as a starting point for the Rev. Wright in his live sermon that day.

Then there’s July 8. In his “Pastor’s Pages” at Page 9, the Rev. Wright helpfully introduces an article on “Progressive Muslims” by one Omid Safi by telling us (bold is mine; pictured here):

Most of our members do not know that my Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School was in the area of Islam in West Africa during the 19th Century — when the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was at its zenith. Islam has as many manifestations as Christianity and Judaism, but most Americans are only fed a media diet on Islam as it relates to the “war on terror” and the Palestinian muslim problem in the “state” of Israel.

The quote marks are the Rev. Wright’s, not mine.

After Safi’s article, there follows on Page 11 a “Pastoral Letter on the Iraq War,” introduced as follows (bold is mine):

This pastoral letter, written by the Presidents of the United Church of Christ Related Seminaries, the Officers of the United Church of Christ, and the 39 Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ was read in our Worship Service last Sunday, on the July 4 weekend.

That would mean it was read on the previous Sunday, July 1.

Here’s how it begins, followed by a couple of other excerpts:

The war in Iraq is now in its fifth year. Justified as a means to end oppression, this war has imposed the new oppression of terror on the people of Iraq.

….. Tens of thousands more innocent Iraqi lives are daily being offered on the altar of preemptive war and sectarian violence…. In our name human rights have been violated, abuse and torture sanctioned, civil liberties dismantled, Iraqi infrastructure and lives destroyed.

In sum (including Wright’s intro), the “war on terror,” carried in quotes, is the equivalent of John Edwards’s bumper sticker; the US military is the terrorist oppressor; and tens of thousands are being killed and injured daily.

(Lest anyone think that there is universal agreement in the national UCC about the contents of the letter, check out the comments at the page where the pastoral letter was initially published.)

More to the point, the fact that Iraq was a dominant issue in the bulletin, and the “significance” of the pastoral letter, make it pretty likely that the Rev. Wright discussed Iraq in his inimitable way on July 1, July 8, or both.

We could also visit the July 29 bulletin, in which the Rev. Wright bizarrely introduces an article (pictured here) about Paris Hilton’s alleged “conversion” (not …. kidding) as an example of “21st Century white distortions” and “arrogance.”

Oh, and what did Obama miss on the 22nd if he indeed didn’t attend TUCC that day, pick up its bulletin, or read the bulletin online? Why, in the “Pastor’s Pages” that day, there was a reprint of “A Fresh View of the Palestinian Struggle” (pictured here). This article’s original appearance in the Los Angeles Times provoked justifiable howls of outrage. You see, author Mousa Abu Marzook is the deputy of the political bureau of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement. That is, he is either a spokesman for terrorists and/or a terrorist himself. The Investigative Project goes with the latter conclusion, as does the government. The Rev. Wright apparently had no problem with reproducing the writings of a terrorist who, “during his tenure in the US ….. created an extensive network to support HAMAS’ terrorist activities.” Nice.

Now what was that Barack Obama said to Major Garrett on Friday? Oh, this:

And so you know, I think that the statements that have been strung together are compiled out of, you know, hundred of sermons that he delivered over the course of his lifetime. But, obviously, they are ones that are, from my perspective, completely unacceptable and inexcusable.

And if I had thought that that was the tenor or tone on an ongoing basis of his sermons, then, yes, I don’t think that it would have been reflective of my values or my faith experience.

So we’re supposed to believe that Barack Obama picked up none of the clearly objectionable July material described in this post — let alone what the Rev. Wright might have said.

And this is only from one month. I have in my possession almost 100 other TUCC online bulletins dating as far back as December 2004. Although I haven’t read every issue’s “Pastor’s Pages” word for word, I have seen enough to be confident that July 2007 was not an atypical month — and that Barack and Michelle Obama would have to have been deaf, dumb, and blind on an “ongoing basis” to not have picked up a continual stream of what is, and remains, in Barack Obama’s own words, “completely unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Yet they continued to attend. Draw your own conclusions.

 

Posted on 03/19/2008 4:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Priorities

"The inadmissibility of an Infidel nation-state within Dar al-Islam (and ultimately, anywhere in the world) is a doctrine that goes back not one hundred years, but 1350 years. It comes out of the texts and tenets of Islam." --HF

I've been struggling to locate the references in the Qur'an and sunnah but cannot. I don't doubt this is the doctrine but it sure would be useful to have a doctrinal reference of the irredentist nature of Islam. Can you direct me?

No, the statement is not based on a particular Qur'anic passage, nor anything in the Hadith. And this makes sense, for they are from the earlier, conquering period of Islamic history. Nothing had yet "been lost" that had been conquered. It is only later on, when territory formerly possessed by Muslims has been lost to the Infidels, that the focus is on those territories. After all, they would be, in every case, territories first won, and then lost, by war. And so they would be circumjacent to the lands still possessed by Islam, the Dar al-Islam. In other words, the situation one has today, where demographic conquest might lead to the islamization of a particular country in Western Europe not contiguous with the Muslim lands, would never have been possible in the past.

Why do I say that territories that were once part of Dar al-Islam take pride of place on the To-Do list? Because Muslims themselves harp on these. It is they who, again and again, every day, week, month, year, talk about "Palestine" and "Iraq" and "Afghanistan" (both seen as having now allowed rule by non-Muslims, even if we know the non-Muslim soldiers have entered only to keep these countries, as Muslim countries, going, not least by lavishing aid on them and suppressing internecine warfare) and "Kashmir" and "Chechnya" and, in the more extensive lists, often in Arabic or Urdu, "Spain" and "India" and "Russia" and "[placenames for the Balkans]." In other words, they single out those places where Muslims ruled, for the history-haunted of Islam insist that that rule, no matter how long or how short, means that a particular land must, simply must, revert to Muslim rule. It is a constant and deep humiliation, to have the "rightness" of Islamic conquest undone, a humiliation that is not felt in the same way when lands never conquered (Great Britain, or the United States) resist accommodation to what Muslims demand for removals of things -- such as the First Amendment as we understand it -- that are seen as obstacles to the spread of Islam.

And Israel is particularly galling for two reasons. One is that it is an Infidel nation-state run by Jews, who were always, in Islamic history, seen as relatively weak, without the implied support of Western Christendom that Christians impliedly enjoyed, and as some Muslims may think they called on such support during the Crusades. It is therefore humiliating to be thwarted in attempts to re-take territory that is held by the despised, and in Muslim theology, especially hated, Jews.

But the other is that Israel stands smack in the middle of Dar al-Islam, separating in fact the two parts of what the Arabs constantly refer to an one uninterrupted Arab sea "from the Atlantic to the Gulf" (the formulation is used all the time, and Arafat especially liked it, in the days when he was declaiming to Arab audiences that "Palestine alone does not interest us." ). That is what I meant by a land "within" Dar al-Islam. Save for the sea to its east, Israel is surrounded by territory regarded as Muslim. That includes Lebanon because, even though Lebanon was for the last century or more, especially under the French, a place dominated by the Christians, and a Christian preserve in the "mount" or upper elevations of what is called "Mont Liban" (Mount Lebanon),  the position of "Christians has been steadily eroded, demographically and politically.

Of course, there is always an implied further conquest to be made. Not every Muslim list of toponymic grievances provides the single word "India." Usually it is the word "Kashmir." For the Muslims in Pakistan see that as the immediate goal and, once that goal is achieved, it is on -- inevitably -- to reconquer, from within if not directly from without -- "India." Not every Muslim list of toponymic grievances offers -- and those for Western ears never do -- "Spain" and "Sicily" and "Greece" and "Bulgaria" and so on, but such names do come up, or the place-names that represent them, in the lists of the more outspoken Muslims. And all over the Arab world, the place-names "Palestine" and "Al-Andaluz" and other lost "provinces" of Islam are in evidence. One wonders if those who work in the American consulate in Jiddah, placed on the corner of Palestine Street and Al-Andaluz, have ever thought about the significance of those street names. Perhaps they think it is nothing to take seriously, just a big joke. They are wrong.

The fact that Muslims feel more keenly the need to reconquer territories, whether those territories had been lost by Islam within the last century  ("Palestine"), or more than a century ago (Bulgaria, Rumania, the rest of the Balkans) or two hundred fifty years ago (India, if we date the British conquest from Plessy in 1757), or five hundred years ago ("Al-Andaluz" -- that is, not "Andalucia" but all of Spain save for a small strip at the top, the loss of which we can date from the final surrender by the Moors, and conquest by the reconquering Christians, of Grenada, in 1492), does not mean that the rest of the world does not belong to Allah and to his people, and that all obstacles to the spread, and dominance, of Islam must be removed.

It merely means that what sticks most in the Muslim craw, what haunts so many, is the idea that it makes no sense, it is against Islam, and contra naturam, to allow any land -- the emphasis is always on land, territory, and not on the people who live in those lands, who can be disposed of, or replaced, if they cannot be converted -- to come under the sway of non-Muslims. This appears to call into question the role and might of Islam, and what should be its inevitable series of triumphs.

But to notice this prioritizing is not the same thing as to ignore, even for a minute, that Muslims are perfectly willing to accept the fruits of other kinds of conquest -- demographic conquest --  in countries that were never part of Dar al-Islam, that is never conquered by the armies of Islam, but can now be won for  the camp of Islam more slowly, and less obviously though still relentlessly, by deployment of the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest.

If Great Britain were to have a 30% Muslim population, the ideological coherence, and militancy, and ability to vote as a powerful bloc of that one-third of the population that was Muslim, would lead to effective control even before an absolute majority was obtained. Right now Muslims constitute far less than 5% of the population, and just look at how they are everywhere unsettling the people of Britain, and the British polity. Double that figure, double it again, and again and you see the problem that, if measures some deride as drastic and hysterical are not taken, will inevitably occur.

And if Great Britain were to be taken over, before, say, Spain -- or even, say, Israel -- would this be wrong? Would Muslims be less likely to press for this conquest, simply because Great Britain, never having been part of Dar al-Islam, was lower down on that To-Do List?

Who knows the answer to that? You know the answer to that.

Posted on 03/19/2008 4:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Intellectual magpie quiz - second chance

Obviously no intellectual magpies read New English Review. At any rate, none of them ventured to have a go at yesterday's quiz.. Here, in case you missed it, is a repeat of the quiz. If nobody gets it right, I'll just have to give the answer, or something:

The man described below by Ben MacIntyre was something of a polymath, or an "intellectual magpie". With his finger in so many pies, so many irons in his fire and such a well-strung fiddle, however did he keep his balls in the air?

A doctor by training, and an intellectual magpie by inclination, his work on the persistence of vision (the way an image briefly lasts on the retina) would lead, eventually, to the invention of cinema. He studied Dante, water purification, dinosaur bones, phrenology and insects. He worked, lucky man, at the Pneumatic Institution for Inhalation Gas Therapy, where Coleridge came to breathe nitrous oxide. He helped to create the slide rule and London's sewerage system. He invented the first travel chess set.

No word of a Google - who was he?

By the way, if you look up "polymath" on Wikipedia, you will find at No. 70 in the notes:

"a...polymath".Omar Khyam, The Iconoclast, New English Review, 1 May 2007

Don't mention it.

Posted on 03/19/2008 5:04 PM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Reforming Islam

" I too notice that whenever Muslims condemn terrorism and preach a peaceful and tolerant version of Islam, they are - quite simply - ignored. In the blogosphere we have Ali Eteraz. A ‘moderate Muslim’ who writes about Islam almost constantly. Yet, conservative bloggers constantly ask “where are the so-called moderates?”"
--from this opinion article

There is a difference between "taking the right step" and pretending that such a step is being taken by tens of millions, or millions, or at least hundreds, or even tens, of thousands, because in that pretense that "reform of Islam" is an on-going project, enthusiastically participated in by so many, and not facing obstacles that some would deem insuperable (I call the immutability of the Qur'an, and its status outside of history, as the uncreated and literal Word of God, an insuperable obstacle to the kind of reform of Islam that is necessary, for the sake not of Muslim women, or Muslim homosexuals, or Muslim this or Muslim that, but for the sake of those whose well-being most concerns me -- the sake of Infidels).

Those who deliberately, or out of ignorance rather than malice, encourage Infidels to be optimistic about "reforming" Islam, and as part of that optimism to deliberately refrain from warning others about the current (pre-reform) meaning, and therefore menace, of Islam, are not people whom I wish to entrust with my well-being, or allow others to trust, for their understanding of Islam.

Posted on 03/19/2008 5:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Roget didn't like newfangled words

But he fangled "Thesaurus" for the first time. Ben MacIntyre on Peter Mark Roget, the subject of my "intellectual magpie" quiz, won by Rebecca:

Let us now praise, admire, commend, extol, honour, eulogize, congratulate and applaud Peter Mark Roget, the patron saint of synonyms.

But let us first tackle the 150-year-old debate over whether Roget's Thesaurus, which first appeared in May 1852, is the most useful book ever written or, conversely, a blight on the language that has enabled countless lazy writers to bulk up their prose with words they barely understand and immediately forget.

A thesaurus may be both these things. At its worst, it is a crutch, for crossword enthusiasts, students desperate to imply a little learning in an essay crisis, headline writers, nervous after-dinner speakers and, yes, journalists. At its best, a thesaurus can jog out of the memory a word that would otherwise remain lost.

Critics sniffed at Roget's Thesaurus from the start. “Its practical utility, we think, is overrated,” declared Harper's Magazine. The London Critic agreed, insisting that the vast compilation of words and their close relations was “not likely to be so practically useful as the care, and toil, and thought bestowed upon it might have deserved”. How wrong they were: Roget's Thesaurus has sold upwards of 35 million copies; every edition sells more than the last.

[...]

Roget had no time for writers who “indulge in the habit of arbitrarily fabricating new words and newfangled phraseology...in the illegal mint of their own fancy.” Yet his thesaurus (a word he invented) is today at least 20 times as long as the one he published, thanks to the never-ending evolution of words and phrases.

The word-gatherer made no claim to be a great writer. He was merely fascinated by the interconnectedness of words, and brilliantly realised that the more words available, the broader the possibilities of language. Some people are lucky enough to be able to find the mot juste without ever needing to consult those parallel words. For the rest of us, who find that the right word is sometimes lurking just out of reach, there is Roget and his thesaurus.

Of course, some use the thesaurus as a cheap supermarket, simply whipping off the shelves the first halfway decent substitute word they see. One can usually spot the thesaurus-abusers, for they tend to reverse George Orwell's rules in Politics and the English Language: using two words where one will do, (one syllable bad, many syllables good), and deploying a £5 word when an honest and serviceable penny word is to hand.

But, well used, Roget is a synonym for lucidity. At its best, his thesaurus is a reminder of what words can do, a testament to the rich density of the language itself.

There is something refreshingly honest about Roget, a man who knew so much about so much, yet whose greatest contribution to literature was the understanding that no one can hold an entire dictionary head in his head. Roget's Thesaurus should be used as a memory refresher, to keep the language forever young.

That, perhaps, is what Peter Pan means in J.M.Barrie's classic, when he remarks of Captain Hook: “The man is not wholly evil - he has a Thesaurus in his cabin.”

Posted on 03/19/2008 5:32 PM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Sleepy Cornish village kept awake by 700-strong party of Muslims broadcasting 5am call to prayer by loudspeaker
Residents living in a sleepy Cornish village say they face a rude awakening every day because hundreds of Muslims are using a loudspeaker system to broadcast the call to prayer.
A large group of Iranian Muslims have gathered to celebrate the Persian New Year at the Trevelgue Holiday Park in Porth.
Every day at sunrise, noon and sunset the group use a loudspeaker system to broadcast their prayers - known as Adhan.
But some local residents have complained about the noise - claiming it is shattering the idyll of the quiet village near Newquay.
Neighbour Emma Brewer, 35, said "the novelty soon wore off" after the group arrived at the camp last weekend.  She said: "It lasts about 20 to 30 minutes and it is rather loud. I'm a bit naffed off by it, to be honest”.
Another resident added: "We are going to have to put up with this all week. It's going off in the morning, at 5am."
But Mike Finnegan, park manager, said prayers were sounded at a lower volume in the morning to avoid upsetting the neighbours.
A district councillor for Porth says more than 700 Muslims are staying at the park - but denied the call-to-prayers was a noise nuisance.
Cllr Harry Heywood, of Restormel District Council, said . . . "I haven't heard anything - only a very few people seem to be annoyed. It really isn't a problem. We get thousands of youngsters here every year when GCSEs finish and they make more noise.  It's only a call to prayer and better than the 'thump thump thump' we get from teenage parties”.
But one resident, from nearby St Columb Minor, says he was offended because he could hear the chanting as he made his way back from church.
He said: "Why was this broadcast at such a high level of volume so as to be heard miles away?  Do the Christian church bells ring out in amplified volumes on Fridays in areas where they are at prayer? I feel that this was totally unnecessary especially on such an important day in our Christian calendar."
Posted on 03/19/2008 6:16 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
What's Wrong With Anderson Cooper?
I finally figured out what is wrong with Anderson Cooper. It's his name. He doesn't sound like a man. He sounds like an accounting firm.
Posted on 03/19/2008 7:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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