These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 19, 2010.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Gothenburg man arrested over Somali terror plot
From the Swedish edition of the Local
A man has been arrested in Gothenburg on suspicion of planning terror attacks in Somalia, the Swedish Security Service (Säpo) has said.The man, a Swedish citizen, was arrested on Tuesday morning in the Gothenburg area, Göteborgs Posten reports. A warrant for his arrest had been issued some time ago, according to police.
He was originally arrested on suspicion of ‘crimes against national security’, but police later said he was now being held pn suspicion of 'conspiracy to commit acts of terror'. Police must either charge or release the man by Friday.
Prosecutors were on Tuesday giving little information about the man or the nature of the accusations against him.
Posted on 05/19/2010 2:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Steyn: UK Confidential
Mark Steyn writes (with thanks to DA):
The British election campaign didn’t do much to catch the attention of Americans (at least not until after the vote), but one little item feels pertinent – although it attracted remarkably little attention even across the pond. In Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, a lady called Phyllis Delik received a postcard from Gordon Brown’s Labour Party. On one side, there was a photograph of a woman suffering from breast cancer saying “It’s the sort of thing you think will never happen to you.” On the reverse, there was a question: “Are the Tories a change you can afford?” – followed by a warning that the Conservatives would scrap a Labour guarantee that any woman diagnosed with breast cancer is entitled to see a specialist within two weeks.
(Yes, yes, I know that lingo still sounds a little strange to Americans: Government bureaucrats announce “targets” for the length of time between seeing your family doctor and seeing your specialist, or between getting your MRI and getting your operation. But don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to it.)
As it turned out, Mrs Delik is a breast cancer survivor herself, so the postcard was very relevant to her. She brought it up among a group of her girlfriends – seven of them. Six had not received the Labour election card. The seventh had – and, by a remarkable coincidence, Shirley Foreman had had surgery for breast cancer. So in a group of eight women the only ones to receive the government’s breast-cancer warning were the two breast-cancer patients themselves. “When I received the breast cancer card at first I thought it was from the hospital,” said another Sherwood resident, Janet Arslan. “I did not think Labour would be that crass to deliberately target a terminal cancer patient like me.”
The party’s official position is that, well, they sent out 250,000 of their Vote-Labour-Or-Die postcards, so it’s not surprising that a few of them should have wound up going to women who happen to have breast cancer. In this case, however, everybody who’s come forward to say she received the card has been either diagnosed with, treated for, survived or, in at least one case, died of breast cancer (it was her widower who came forward). A 44-year old TV producer in Poplar and Limehouse, a marginal constituency in East London, canvassed 50 of her neighbors and discovered that she was the only to get the card. Like all the others, it was personally addressed to her. She’d recently been told she had a lump in her breast.
So a quantum leap in targeted marketing has just been made: The governing party of a free society was able to identify women with breast cancer in swing constituencies and send them a postcard warning that if you vote for the opposition they’ll cut off your chemo and kill you...
Continue reading here.
Posted on 05/19/2010 6:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Iraq's Normal State of Affairs
Regarding the Iraqi civil war between Sunni and Shia (whether or not we want to call it that), there is no end in sight nor will there be after the last American soldier leaves. This is a frank assessment of how little the rest of the world actually cares about the continuing atrocities and barbarism that characterize Muslim societies when left to their own devices. From MEMRI: "Lebanese Journalist Criticizes Indifference to Terror Attacks in Iraq"
Following the May 10, 2010 terror attacks in Iraq that killed approximately 120 people and wounded approximately 350 others, Sat'e Nur Al-Din, a columnist for the Lebanese daily Al-Safir, published a scathing article criticizing the indifference of the Arab world, the West, and even the Iraqis themselves towards the acts of terror in this country, which, he said, are becoming an everyday occurrence.
The following are excerpts:
"The dead, reaching 120 in number, have been buried, and the injured, numbering over 350, have been hospitalized for treatment. All the body parts and blood have been cleaned up from the streets. Were it not for some fresh craters here and there, a few fences destroyed, doors split open, and cars and motorcycles wrecked, it would be impossible to tell that a massacre of Iraqis ever occurred [here]. One might claim it was merely a natural disaster – an earthquake, gale, or sandstorm – that hit the area and caused this record number of deaths. It's as if nothing happened yesterday in Iraq...
"The Iraqi discourse heard [yesterday] in official and public circles reflects reconciliation to this fate, anticipating more blood, and wavering between cries for vengeance and willingness to forgive. The language [used] does not place blame on anyone, either in Iraq or elsewhere...
"After all, it's just another ordinary day in the life of Iraq, one that has hardly changed the pace of life and the beat of politics, or influenced the positions of anyone in the coalition or the opposition, or of any neighboring Arab or Muslim country. [This day] will not tip the internal power balance [in Iraq] or elsewhere, nor will it affect the timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. It will not impact a single regional matter, neither the Iranian nuclear dossier, nor the Iran-Arab tensions, nor the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. It is [however] likely to deepen the Sunni-Shi'ite rift which exists in all Arabs and Muslim regions...
"It's just another day in Iraq. [These events] can reoccur tomorrow, or in a week, a month, or a year, and may well become commonplace over the next 10, 20, or 30 years. [This scene] is likely to repeat itself over the current decade, without [causing] a ripple in the political process, the elections, or the vote counts and recounts, without disrupting the doings of governments or institutions, and without one American who served in Iraq or is still there batting an eyelid.
"It is not inconceivable that American-Iranian rapprochement will be achieved, followed by reconciliation between the Arab states and Iran. It is likewise not inconceivable that Israel will launch a full-scale war in the Arab East – and all this without pause to the carnage in Iraq, which has become a recurring pattern, a tradition, an authentic heritage, and a national sport of sorts that piques public interest for a mere few hours, like any other big sports event.
"The Iraqi carnage will not cease, as it has become a blood sport that no element in [Iraq] can prevent, and which no foreign power wants to stop. Until the Iraqis wake up and bring themselves [to stop the carnage], the number of their dead and wounded will continue to rise, along with the indifference toward this gruesome sport which they have deliberately chosen as their pastime."
 Al-Safir (Lebanon), May 12, 2010.
Posted on 05/19/2010 6:37 AM by Norman Berdichevsky
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Times Square Bomber Was Fan Of Ibn Taymiyyah & Mawdudi
But it remains a mystery what his motivation could have been. From the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report:
The New York Times is reporting that Times Square attempted bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad was a “fan” of the writings of Abul Ala Mawdudi (aka Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, an Islamist intellectual who was a major influence on the Global Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:
His 2006 e-mail message echoed the same arguments found on militant Internet forums: that the West is at war with Islam, and Muslims are suffering humiliation because they have strayed from their religious duty to fight back. “The crusade has already started against Islam and Muslims with cartoons of our beloved Prophet,” wrote Mr. Shahzad, who went on to quote verses from the Koran as proof of what “Allah commands about fighting for Islam.” During casual conversations with friends, Mr. Shahzad had taken to citing Islamic theology. He was a fan of Ibn Taymiyyah, a 14th-century scholar who inspired a puritanical following, and Abul Ala Mawdudi, a chief architect of the Islamic revival and founder of Pakistan’s largest Islamic political party, Jamaat-e-Islami.
The JEI was founded in 1941 and is Pakistan’s oldest religious party. The party had its origins in the thought of Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi (1903-79), the most important Islamist intellectual in the history of Southeast Asia. Maududi was also a major influence on the global Muslim Brotherhood with whom the JEI has long enjoyed close relations. In the United States, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is generally considered to represent the JEI. ICNA has a particularly close relationship with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the U.S. Brotherhood, and the two organizations have been holding joint conferences in recent years. In addition, many past and present leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), also part of the U.S. Brotherhood, have backgrounds that are strongly associated with JEI. One notable example is India-born Muzammil Siddiqi, a past ISNA president and leader of the Fiqh Council of North America. A previous post has discussed a recent speaking invitation by ISNA to another JEI leader.
Posted on 05/19/2010 7:14 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
The Provisional New York Times
Two days ago, on Monday May 17th, there appeared in The New York Times a story on jockeyings for position within the British Labour Party, that was written by one of the paper's most experienced reporters, John F. Burns. It contained this paragraph:
'Ed Miliband, 40, a former environment minister and David's brother, has entered the race as a possible compromise candidate, with he and his brother both saying that "brotherly love" would carry them through the strains their political rivalry might engender. While Ed Miliband has a Brownite background, many in Labour see his candidacy as a possible effort to divide the votes that wing of the party will draw in the leadership contest, ultimately helping David Miliband."
Today, in a column by Tom Friedman, a Times columnist who is said to charge $75,000 a lecture, so perceptive and valuable are his insights, his keen understanding of the world, there was this:
"Obama has assembled a great team that could help him make his case — John Holdren, science adviser; Carol Browner, energy adviser; Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winner; and Lisa Jackson, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency. But they have been badly underutilized by the White House. I know endangered species that are seen by the public more often than them."
Last Friday, in the print edition of The New York Times, Ion p. C14 (I note this because the error has been corrected on-line -- I found in an article on the film festival in Cannes, written by the much by-lined Manohla Dargis -- the following paragraph:
"Even by the second day Cannes had given festivalgoers two reasons to look forward to the next 10 days: “Tournée” (“On Tour”), directed by the French actor Mathieu Amalric, and “The Strange Case of Angelica,” from the Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira. In “Tournée” Mr. Amalric plays a grubbing impresario who’s shuttling a ramshackle troupe of new burlesque performers on a tour around provisional France. Although the film’s naturalistic dialogue, casual beauty and shifts between onstage and offstage performance initially suggest that Mr. Amalric sought to create a homage to John Cassavetes’s 1976 masterpiece “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie,” it quickly proves to have its own rhythms and purpose. As the formidably fleshy women peel off their clothes, Mr. Amalric reveals layers of depth."
What shall I say? Do New York Times reporters no longer think that grammar matters? Does the New York Times still employ copy-editors who can spot such glaring solecisms? And do the reporters "phone things in" -- for that is the only way I can imagine the word "provincial" being misheard as "provisional."
But there is, I admit, a certain sinister appeal to that phrase "provisional France."
And for all of its pretend urbanity, linked as it is to one of the world's most famous cities, isn't The New York Tiimes, in its predictable positions about everything, and its limited worldview, as "provincial" as they come, and isn't it, as well, starting to deserve the word "provisional" as modifying adjective?
The sloppy and provincial New York Times. The sloppy and provisional New York Times.
The New York Times is being weighed in the balance, and found wanting.
Posted on 05/19/2010 8:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Wafa Sultan On The Meaning Of A Mosque Near Ground Zero
May 19, 2010
by Wafa Sultan
A Mosque at Ground Zero Equals Victory
A new mosque is now being planned in New York near "Ground Zero," two blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be. This mosque is headed by an Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the Cordoba Initiative, who proposes to convert the now-shuttered Burlington Coat Factory on Park Place into an Islamic Cultural Center which would contain a mosque.
It is crucial to study the supremacist ideology of Islam and to recognize, for example, that the building of a mosque especially at Ground Zero is viewed by Muslims as a decisive victory over the infidels in Islam's march to establish its ultimate goal: the submission of all others to Islam and to Sharia Law.
On a daily bases, in so many parts of the world, deadly attacks are perpetrated by Jihadists either against non Muslims or, frequently, against Muslims -- especially Muslim women. The terror type of Jihad, however, is only one way for Islamists to accomplish their mission of making the "Kafir," or infidels, submit to Sharia Law. Another method is, as the author Robert Spencer calls it, an insidious, creeping "Stealth Jihad."
While Mr. Shahzad is the impatient Jihadist who attempts to destroy the West through terror, there is also the second type of Jihadist, who is much more patient, and who employs the "Stealth Jihad." The Stealth Jihadis are subtle in their approach and take their time to accomplish the same objective of submitting us all under Islam and under Sharia Law.
Recently, two separate episodes highlight this gloomy reality. The first is the attempted bombing of Times Square by the Pakistani terrorist, Faisal Shahzad, called by Leon de Winter "The Foreclosure Terrorist" from an anchor at CNN who said, "It can be confirmed that his house has been foreclosed in recent years. I mean, one would have to imagine, that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family."
To someone who grew up in a Muslim country, as I did, this can only be seen as ludicrous. Perhaps there should be a formal Fatwa, or religious edict called the "Foreclosure Jihad." No doubt, those at Al Azhar University in Cairo - the epicenter of Islamic jurisprudence -- might like this idea: It is an effective way to conceal the true narrative of Islam.
According to the Center of the study of Political Islam (www.politicalislam.com), over the last 1400 years, Muslims have murdered roughly 270 million kafirs [non-Muslims]; 60 million Christians, 80 million Hindus, 10 million Buddhists and around 120 million African slaves. Until today, as far as we know, there has not been any official acknowledgement or official apology by any official Islamic organization for these atrocities. This calamity is not a modern day phenomenon. It has been taking place since Islam's inception 1400 years ago.
This is what Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a few years ago, said at the Chautauqua Institution in New York:
"Seven centuries before the Declaration of Independence was written Shari'a Law was intended to protect life, religion, property, family and mental well being. This is why I assert that America is in fact a Shari'a compliant state".
The Imam avoids mentioning that Islamic Sharia allows, among other ruthless practices, to beat women to discipline them, and that Sharia also still sanctions slavery. Is that not a bit different from American set of laws? Does the Imam recommend that the US implement the previous two practices into our system to be a more "Sharia compliant state"?
The Imam also said, in Sydney, Australia, that "The US and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end."
The declaration of war on the West -- as Bin Laden declared initially -- was not, bear in mind, based on this "harm" allegedly done to Muslins, but on Hadith, [reports on the sayings and activities of Mohammaed and his companiois] of Mohammed in Al-Buchary:
"I have been ordered to fight and kill all mankind until they say no God except Allah and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah."
This Hadith declares war on non-Muslims -- to subjugate them under Islam irrespective of their deeds. If terrorism is caused by the "harm by the West to Muslims," why then do Sunni Muslims burn Shi'ite mosques in countries like Pakistan and Iraq? Why is it that Islamists have been throwing acid on the faces of women in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria and Iran? Are these brutalities also committed because the West harms Muslims?
Further, we all know that while Muslims can build mosques and practice their religion freely in the West, non-Muslims are forbidden to do the same in Islamic countries. How harmful to them is that?
This Imam also stated:
"The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets."
As for women, the Imam says that, with regard to the role of women, and the education of women in most Muslim countries, that women are very active and involved, and that misogyny exists primarily in the tribal countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
This is a shameful and deceitful portrayal. The status of women in the Muslim countries is a misfortune that the world has overlooked for centuries, and for which it is now paying a high price for having ignored.
"A God Who Hates," the book I wrote last year, is dedicated to the memory of my niece Mayyada, who cut her life short by committing suicide to escape the hellish marriage imposed upon her under Islamic Sharia Law. There are currently millions of women who experience similar unimaginable suffering, all sanctioned under the tacit approval of Sharia. Their accounts are untold stories of unthinkable oppression and misery.
Now we have a Muslim Imam, who aspires to implement Sharia in the West, and who is a slick and eloquent speaker disguised as a "moderate" Muslim. He uses Taqiyya, the Islamic concept which calls for Muslims to lie to the enemy and deceive him based on Quran 3:28, to fool non-Muslims and those who are gullible or ignorant, and who play right into his hands.
While Feisal Rauf opposes Faisal Shahzas's terror strategy, both share the same objective of subjugating the West under Islam and under Sharia Law - both Faisals are two sides of the same coin.
As for the majority of our U.S. population, they are basically being kept in the dark as words like "Islamic terror" and "Jihad" are not anymore considered by the establishment to be acceptable.To inform the public of the perils of the Jihadists' doctrine is politically incorrect.
So here is their formula: Muslims try to kill or subvert non-Muslims through treason, while the infidels avoid naming the doctrine and the theology from which Muslims' worldview emanates. By these means, non-Muslims permit radical Muslims to carry their agenda into the advanced stage of coercing us to capitulate.
The so called "progressives" and proponents of interfaith dialogue in the media, in academia, and in our government cannot accept that in Islam's supremacist ideology, there is no moral relativism. They cannot accept that when it comes to Islam, multiculturalism is a one-way street that serves Islam -- and the interests of Islam alone. There is no inclusion of other "ways," or cultures supported in the Quran. Even to allow or accommodate other viewpoints can cost a Muslim his or her life.
Under freedom of expression, Muslims, like any other group, have the right to criticize others. But where is the line drawn between freedom of expression and an act of sedition? Where is the acknowledgment that Islam teaches that Sharia Law supersedes all other laws - including the U.S. Constitution?
Here in the U.S., we are not learning a single lesson from the Islamization of Europe: as of now, we are moving in the same direction by the same "Stealth" tactics being used all over Europe -- infiltration into the highest levels of government; indoctrination of the public through misinformation; double standards provided by media outlets; intimidation, and threats, both veiled and public.
Thomas Mann, a German writer once said: "Tolerance is a crime when applied to evil." At the time, Mr. Mann was referring to the rise of Nazism in Germany. His statement is a wake-up call to us today, it speaks the truth. We must have the courage and commitment to act against these encroachments if freedom is to survive.
Dr. Wafa Sultan is a Syrian-certified psychiatrist and author of the book, "The God That Hates."
Posted on 05/19/2010 8:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Dozy bint of the week
As soon as I heard that two Jihadis had been rewarded for plotting to kill us with the right to leach off us, I expected that the useless, ubiquitous, sanctimonious and seriously slappable Shami Chakrabarti would jump in to defend them. And sure enough, there she is in The Times:
Abid Naseer and Ahmed Faraz Khan, along with eight other men, were arrested last year — but never charged — after a large counter-terrorism swoop.
Some pundits and politicians will no doubt renew their cries to rip up the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention that was Churchill’s postwar legacy. Interesting man, Churchill — not least for standing up to tyranny and having been a Liberal and Conservative MP.
Like house arrest, deportation is no substitute for fair criminal trials. If the two men from yesterday’s hearings are truly dangerous, then bring them before a jury and, if convicted, jail them. Simply expelling a dangerous suspect from our jurisdiction is hardly a smart security move in an age of aircraft and e-mails. And if we deport him with a view to his being met off the plane by less “human-rights-friendly authorities” it’s called “extraordinary rendition”. Both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat front benches called for an independent inquiry into this shameful practice while in opposition — they have also both publicly opposed the control order regime.
There simply is no shortcut, no substitute for charges, evidence and proof in these cases. We need to return to core values and the law, not the War on Terror. Even the special commission acknowledges that its decision that these men were a security risk to Britain was “based substantially or, in some instances determinatively” on “closed material” — that’s secret intelligence, unseen by the suspects and their lawyers.
I am very proud to be a national of a country that can count free speech, fair trials and the rule against torture among its finer exports. But nationality isn’t everything. In this shrinking world, we are all foreigners somewhere. A retreat from human rights towards “citizens’ privileges” is the road to Guantánamo Bay. This is not the moment in our history to repeat such a misguided journey. I urge David Cameron and Nick Clegg away from that path — not because it’s unlawful, not because it would surely destroy their optimistic coalition. Because it’s wrong.
So, just to recap, in this "shrinking world" we must make sure we remember our "core values" - it's what Churchill would have wanted. And let's not go "privileging" citizens. (I deplore the use of "privilege" as a verb, but Ms Chakrabarti probably doesn't.) We can't go putting our own people before foreigners who have no legal right to be here, who want to kill us and who adhere to an ideology that demands that they do so. Perish the thought.
Readers of the article do not seem to share her views:
Ms Chakrabarti would come down on the side of these people wouldn't she? After all, being their apologist keeps her (and people like her) in well-paid jobs while all the time they can set themselves up as 'champions of freedom'. Trouble is, it seems to be the freedom to plot to maim and kill anybody who doesn't agree with the idiots they seek to defend.
Posted on 05/19/2010 8:54 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
I Love Everything About This, With So Many Oxes Gored At The Same Time
Posted on 05/19/2010 9:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
When Frauds Collide
From the second page of the Resume of Adam Wheeler, listing his publications including books:
Mappings, Unmappings, and Remappings – In progress 2009-2010
Critical work that has attempted to explain the experience of geographical and textual space in modern writing has
focused predominantly on the map as an analytical tool of orientation that makes formal writing structures legible. My
dissertation, however, articulates a positive and generative potential in the experience of getting lost. Disorientation,
then, allows us to come to terms with the difficulty of modernist literature from the ground level—to view these works
not as an abstraction seen from the “God’s eye” perspective that is implicit in most maps, nor a teleological outcome of
the Enlightenment seen from retrospect. By restoring the experience of disorientation, I argue that getting lost becomes
a radical discourse that reflects back to us how we orient ourselves—what we pay attention to as we move through
physical space and how we construe meaning as we move through a text from page to page.
The Mapping of an Ideological Demesne – Under review with Harvard University Press 2008-2009
The massive proliferation, from the fifteenth through the seventeenth century, of technologies for measuring, projecting,
and organizing geographical and social space produced in the European cultural imaginary an intense and widespread
interest in visualizing this world and alternative worlds. As the new century and the Stuart era developed, poets and
dramatists mediated this transformation in the form of spatial tropes and models of the nation. I examine the
geographical tropes by which Tudor and Stuart writers created poetic landscapes as a mode of engagement with the
structures of power, kingship, property, and the market. Accordingly, each of the texts that I examine betrays an
awareness of writing as a spatial activity and space as a scripted category. The critical topographies that these writers
created are maps of ideology, figural territories within which social conflict and political antagonism are put into play.
The Last Class | with Marc Shell | Under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press
Grand Manan; or, A Short History of North America | with Marc Shell | Under review with McGill-Queen’s UP
Wampum and the Origins of American Money | with Marc Shell | Under contract with University of Illinois Press
Talking the Walk and Walking the Talk | with Marc Shell | Under contract with Princeton University Press
Posted on 05/19/2010 9:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
A Musical Interlude: I've Got A Feelin' You're Foolin' (Archie Bleyer Orch, voc. Durelle Alexander)
Posted on 05/19/2010 10:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
A Dance Interlude: Let Yourself Go (Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers)
Posted on 05/19/2010 10:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Now Why Would Iran Express Such Gratitude To El Baradei?
"According to the daily Al-Siyassa, known for its opposition to the Iranian regime, a senior Iranian official delivered a check in the sum of seven million dollars to a businessman close to Mohamed ElBaradei. The transaction, it was reported, took place in Bucharest, and was intended to fund the latter's campaign in the Egyptian presidential elections. The daily said that the Iranian official had promised to provide ElBaradei with any assistance necessary to ensure that he win the elections, including information to be used against the incumbent, President Mubarak."
Source: Al-Siyassa (Kuwait), May 15, 2010
Posted on 05/19/2010 12:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Saudi Columnist Happy To Discover That Brussels Is Coming To Look Like Any Middle Eastern City
|May 19, 2010
Special Dispatch No.2964
Saudi Columnist: Brussels Increasingly Looks Like Any Great Middle East City; 'In Years to Come, [Muslims in Europe] Could Only Grow In Numbers, Coming... In Droves'
In a column titled "The Muslims Are Coming!" in the Saudi Arab News daily, Aijaz Zaka Syed, a Dubai-based journalist and commentator, wrote that "no matter what Europeans think of Muslims and other recent arrivals, the continent badly needs new blood and ideas." He adds that "Europe's past is catching up with its present and future."
The following is his column, in the original English1]
Brussels "Increasingly Looks Like Beirut, Istanbul, or Any Other Great City of the Middle East"
"Step out of Brussels South and you step back in time – into a different world that looks exotic in this part of the world but not out of place. This is the main train station that connects Belgium's capital with Paris, London – thanks to Eurorail – and the rest of Europe.
"During a visit to the European Union headquarters a couple of years back, one was pleasantly surprised to see all those restaurants offering 'halal' food, and elderly Arab and Turkish gentlemen enjoying their cuppa of heady Turkish coffee and even an occasional shisha by the roadside cafe.
"This is the heart of Europe, the seat of the European Parliament, and perhaps the capital of the coming United States of Europe. With Arabs and Muslims living and working in this quintessentially European city, Brussels increasingly looks like Beirut, Istanbul, or any other great city of the Middle East.
"With its rich multicultural society and growing Arab and Muslim population – most arrived in the 1950s and 60s to work in its mines – Brussels is perhaps one of the finest examples of European multiculturalism and tolerance for diversity.
"And it is not just Brussels. Scenes like these are increasingly familiar all across Europe – from London to Paris and from Berlin to Copenhagen to Amsterdam."
"Whatever Is Happening to the Continent That Swears By Human Rights, Religious Freedom, and An Individual's Right To... Live As He Or She Pleases?"
"Lately, things are changing though, and changing fast. Belgian lawmakers recently voted to ban the Islamic veil, even as their counterparts in neighboring France and Italy are working on their own measures to 'tackle Islam.'
"Sarkozy's France already has a ban on the scarf schools in place, and is now threatening to detain and punish those who 'make women' wear hijab. Some months ago, Switzerland, the Alpine paradise that Hemingway chose as the backdrop of his achingly beautiful love story 'A Farewell to Arms,' stunned the world by imposing a blanket ban on minarets that some groups vilified as 'missiles.' What is going on? Whatever is happening to the continent that swears by human rights, religious freedom and an individual's right to do his/her own thing and live as he or she pleases?
"Three years ago, when those cheap caricatures appeared in Denmark, we persuaded ourselves that this is just a crazy cartoonist taking his creative license too far. We told ourselves this is not how the rest of liberal and all-embracing multicultural Europe thinks and conducts itself. But there are growing signs that it's not just a tiny, lunatic fringe that is obsessing over the coming threat of Eurabia.
"The Hypocrisy of This Whole Veil Debate Is Breathtaking"
"The hypocrisy of this whole veil debate is breathtaking. While the highbrow pundits of the establishment and media shrug off the stark nudity on the streets and sex on the beach in the name of art and individual freedom, a woman is condemned as a 'clear and present danger' to society if she decides to cover her head or face.
"Some years ago, the Australian women's soccer team, the Matildas, created their own imaginative calendar that left nothing to the imagination, selling it like hot cakes for $20 each. It was of course taken in 'true sporting spirit' by the magnanimous Aussies and rest of the world.
"Every now and then, some of Europe's most celebrated photographers and artists take time off to shoot and paint crowds of men and women in their birthday suits, all in the name of some social cause or the other. All across the continent you can buy and sell sex like candy – across the counter without raising any sensitive eyebrows.
"This is why one finds these growing European restrictions and 'dress code' for Muslim women a little hard to digest and reeking of duplicity. But more than cultural imperialism – which is what this is – I believe this phenomenon has more to do with the growing Islamophobia in the West and bigotry of Eurabia-mongers, as Pankaj Mishra called them in an incisive essay in The Guardian last year.
"Of late, the European media has been buzzing with the talk of 'the Muslims are coming' and the 'demographic time-bomb' that could turn Europe into Arabia or Eurabia.
"In Years to Come, [Muslims in Europe] Could Only Grow In Numbers, Coming As They Do In Droves From Around the World"
"In the past couple of years, there has been a flood of books howling about the coming 'specter of Islam' which they claim will change Europe into an Islamic caliphate. Some of them even suggest the solution: Keep Muslims out of Europe – at any cost!
"Check out this chilling suggestion from Canadian author Mark Steyn in his book, 'America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It': 'In a democratic age, you can't buck demography – except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out – as other Continentals will in the years ahead; if you can't outbreed the enemy, cull 'em.'
"U.S. conservative pundit Christopher Caldwell in his 'Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Can Europe be the Same with Different People In It?' likens the Muslim threat to Europe to the situation in Russia on the eve of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. 'If anything, there were probably fewer Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917 than there are Islamists in Europe today,' Caldwell writes, warning Europe against losing out to Muslims in what he terms 'a clash of civilizations.'
"What is truly alarming is the fact that this toxic, anti-Muslim vitriol is not just the brew offered by the neocon and white supremacist fruitcakes anymore, but is fast becoming the view and discourse of the mainstream on both sides of the Atlantic.
"This worldview sees every Arab and Muslim as a 'terrorist enemy' or potential terrorist enemy. The U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan-Pakistan and the persecution of Palestinians fuelling Muslim anger around the world aren't helping either.
"But no matter what wonks like Mark Steyn, Christopher Caldwell, and Bruce Bawer, whose new book 'Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom' has been recommended by The New York Times as the essential 'wake-up call' for the West, might like to do with Europe's 53 million Muslims, or those of the United States, they aren't going to go away anytime soon.
"In fact, in years to come they could only grow in numbers, coming as they do in droves from around the world from the impoverished parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
"Like Them or Hate Them, Europe Has To Learn To Live With Its Muslims... Europe's Past Is Catching Up With Its Present And Future"
"Like them or hate them, Europe has to learn to live with its Muslims. Ditto for Muslims who must present the real, humane face of their faith before the world.
However European leaders wish, they cannot wish their immigrants and new arrivals away. Especially when the aging continent with its dwindling population badly needs new blood, new skills and ideas.
"In fact, Europe needs, and is attracting, young bodies with young minds from everywhere, to renew and rejuvenate itself. Else the continent that has dominated the world for the past five or six centuries faces a bleak and uncertain future. Besides, there's some sort of poetic justice or delicious irony of history, if you will, in all of this.
"Most of those invading or coming to invade Europe, transforming its profile forever, are from the lands and countries that had been colonized, plundered and brutalized by colonial powers till the last century. Clearly, the empire's chickens have come home to roost. Europe's past is catching up with its present and future."
 Arab News (Saudi Arabia), May 7, 2010.
Posted on 05/19/2010 12:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Was Hamid Mir The One Who Had Khalid Khawaja Killed?
Prominent Pakistani Journalist Accused Of Link To Taliban
According to Pakistani media reports, senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir may have hired a Taliban militant to kill a former officer of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) who was abducted by the Taliban along with two others in March.
Former ISI official Khalid Khwaja was killed, while another former ISI official, Colonel Imam, and a British journalist are believed to still be in the hands of the kidnappers, who call themselves the Asian Tigers.
According to a May 16 report in the Lahore-based Daily Times, an audiotape conversation between top Pakistani television anchor Hamid Mir and a man linked to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan "has revealed that negative information that Mir passed on to the Taliban could have led to the execution of Khalid Khawaja, the retired Air Force official."
The kidnappers had demanded the release of several top Taliban leaders, including Mullah Baradar, the recently-captured deputy of Taliban chief Mullah Omar.
According to the report, in the audio tape "Mir goes on to detail what he knows about Khwaja's background, linking him to the CIA, an international network of Qadianis [Ahmadi Muslims], and an American named Mansur Ejaz, who, Mir claims, even offered to solve the Kashmir issue."
The report also notes that "Hamid Mir's disparaging attitude toward Qadianis (in his own words, he considers them worse than Kafirs [Ahmadi Muslims]); his nonchalance when suicide bombings or the looting of NATO trucks are mentioned; Mir's repeated references to occasions where Khawaja has personally 'betrayed' him; the high degree of reverence with which Mir refers to Ghazi Rasheed, Javed Paracha, and other terrorists, including Abdul Rehman Kennedy."
The Daily Times also produced a transcript of the conversation between Hamid Mir and the alleged militant, which took place before Khalid Khwaja was killed. Following is the transcript:
Hamid Mir: "I Personally Know that Khalid Khawaja has Links ... with CIA"
Hamid Mir: "Many bombings are being carried out."
Unidentified man: "Let's see. There will be more of them. There are some in the pipeline. What do they (government) say about the operation in [the tribal district of] Orakzai? Will they stop it or not?"
HM: "No, they say it would not be stopped, rather they say they will also start an operation in North Waziristan and 40,000 troops will leave in a couple of days."
UM: "In North Waziristan?"
UM: "Do you have any report on Khalid Khawaja etc."
HM: "They say Khalid Khawaja Saab is in custody of one [militant leader] Azam Afridi in Darrakhel."
UM: "Yes, yes Tariq Afridi (correcting HM)."
HM: "They are in Tariq Afridi's custody."
UM: "So, are they men of the government or ISI?"
UM: "These, Khalid Khawaja and Colonel Imam."
HM: "Khalid Khawaja, according to my opinion, is not an ISI man, rather he is a CIA agent, an American CIA agent and he has links with the Taliban leadership."
UM: "Yes, he met with [Taliban chief] Hakimullah [Mehsud] and others when he came here last time."
HM: "I personally know that Khalid Khawaja has links not only with CIA but he is also a front man of Mansoor Ijaz who belongs to a very big international network of Qadiyanis [Ahmadi Muslims]. Once he came to me along with Mansoor, who had a briefcase with him, and Khalid Saab told me that Mansoor is a key representative of the U.S. government, so arrange his meeting with Syed Salahuddin, who is a mujahideen leader, and he along with him would resolve the Kashmir issue. [Note: Syed Salahuddin is chairman of Muttahida Jihad Council, a network of Pakistani militant groups, and is based in Pakistani Kashmir.]"
UM: "All right."
HM: "But I asked him what charm or magic lamp does he possess for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He said he had links with the Indian government and (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee Jee [former Indian Prime Minister], which surprised me. I didn't arrange the meeting, but I asked Mr Salahuddin who said Khalid Khawaja is sending messages that you should directly talk to India and the U.S. on the issue and exclude Pakistan from it."
UM: "All right, all right."
HM: "After that, Mansoor Ijaz also asked me: 'Are you with us or not?' I said, 'I am not with you.' Then he conspired against me and got me sacked from the [right-wing newspaper] Daily Ausaf when I was its editor. So, I think Khalid Khawaja not only has links with the CIA but he is also an agent of the Qadiyanis, and I am very sad that he used to go to the Tribal Areas and meet leaders there."
UM: "But now, I think, the Taliban have caught him and have demanded $10 million for the journalist."
HM: "Do you know what part his (Khalid Khawaja's) wife played in Lal Masjid [the site of 2007 military operation in Islamabad's Red Mosque]?"
UM: "No, but it was something negative."
HM: "It was that Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi Saab – may Allah bless him with a place in heavens. What he told me in his last days was, do you know that he did not completely agree with Maulana Aziz [cleric of Red Mosque, along with brother Abdul Rashid Ghazi who was killed in the 2007 operation]."
UM: "Yes, yes."
HM: "Mr Abdul Rashid Ghazi wanted to save the students inside the mosque and for that he showed flexibility and said, 'I am ready to surrender on the condition that those who are with me will not be arrested and will be released.' But Khalid Khawaja's wife was pressurised so much by Ume Hassaan that Maulana Abdul Aziz, without asking his brother, came out in a burqa, and Khalid Khawaja was involved in it (call disconnected)."
UM: "The call got disconnected."
UM: "So, what were you saying about his wife?"
HM: "Yes, I was telling you that his wife pressurised him so much that Ghazi Saab said, 'She says we have to fight, just fight for martyrdom.' After that Mr Khalid Khawaja came out of the mosque and his wife also fled, Khalid Khawaja's wife."
UM: "Yes, we heard that she had fled after that."
HM: "Yes, she ran away and then Maulana Abdul Aziz also came out in the burqa."
UM: "I think, he insisted for that."
HM: "Yes, he had done all this. After that Maulana Abdul Aziz was arrested and Mr Abdul Rashid Ghazi telephoned me and said, 'Now, I don't have any option. Now, my family and ulema have been defamed as my brother was arrested in a burqa and presented on Pakistan Television. This is a large stain which can only be removed with my blood.' So, he lived up to his words and sacrificed. So, Khalid Khawaja and his wife, anyone may know or not, they will have to answer before Allah Almighty."
"Do Whatever You Want to with the [U.S.] Containers, Burn Them or Rob Them"
UM: "He, recently, came here and met my companions. He was saying, 'You can work in Pakistan as we say, if you want to. I can arrange your 'setting' with an admiral in [the town of] Mianwali. So, you should not burn US containers in Pakistan, you can rob them and sell them to a person recommended by us.' He was saying, 'We would provide you everything for carrying out activities in Pakistan.'"
HM: "Do whatever you want to with the containers, burn them or rob them, I have nothing to do with it. But ask him what relationship he has with Mansoor Ijaz and William Casey? William Casey was the chief of CIA."
UM: "Right, right."
"I Personally Believe that Qadiyanis are Worse than Infidels"
HM: "He (Khawaja) himself has confessed in front me that he had links with William Casey. Ok! Leave William, ask him about the Qadiyanis, because I personally believe that Qadiyanis are worse than infidels, what kind of links does he have with Qadiyanis? What relationship does he have with Mansoor Ijaz? Why does he use his money? Why does he go everywhere with him when he comes to Pakistan? Why does he bring him to the mujahideen?"
UM: "Yes, he has a son in al Qaeda."
HM: "Yes, his son would also be a spy like him."
UM: "Yes, I talked to the shaikhs about him. They said they were keeping him on the sidelines."
HM: "His biggest betrayal to me was that there was a mujahid, Abdul Rehman Al Canady."
UM: "Yes, there was one Canady."
HM: "He was martyred in North Waziristan. He came to me with Canady's wife and a daughter, saying Canady's son, Karim, is at Rawalpindi's CMH and is injured and the army had arrested him. He asked me to arrange a meeting between the injured and his mother. I said this is very difficult for me and I can't do this because already they are all against me. But, he said all that you need to do is to arrange a meeting between a mother and her son. So, I arranged it with a lot of difficulties and sent the woman to Rawalpindi CMH [hospital], but when she reached there she took a camera out of her burqa and asked her son to record a message that he is innocent, has no links with anyone and has been kept here illegally. She was arrested there because a nurse saw her and seized the camera from her. But I was held responsible for all of it as they told me that I had sent this woman. It was revealed after her arrest that the woman had a Canadian passport and had visited Canada two months ago. After that I faced a lot of difficulties. The Canadian government released the woman and her daughter and then she went back to Canada. In Toronto, she held a press conference and admitted that she worked for the CIA. Now Khalid Khawaja has a long beard and his wife wears a full veil so people like us, who are involved in worldly affairs and have committed sins, believe that if we will help them, we might be forgotten for our sins. When these kinds of people betray us, we lose confidence on the religion itself."
UM: "Absolutely, neither we are wrong nor is the army, but people like him have created the difficulties."
HM: "However, if he is somewhere, ask him at least that you used the name of Abdul Rehman Canady, you worked with Mansoor Ijaz, you have worked William Casey. And there is one [pro-Taliban politician] Javaid Ibrahim Piracha, who has a very big seminary in [the town of] Kohat."
UM: "Yes, yes."
HM: "You all know the services of Piracha Saab. So, he fraudulently invited Piracha Saab in Islamabad and told him he wanted to arrange his meeting with a prominent personality. He took him to the U.S. deputy foreign minister at Serena Hotel and said, 'He is Mr Piracha and he can arrange your talks with the al Qaeda and Taliban.' Piracha Saab is a well-educated person. I observed that he was betrayed and came out of the room and escaped from there. Then he called me and said, 'You were right about him (Khalid Khawaja).'"
UM: "Right, right. He went to him last time."
HM: "Yes, Piracha Saab told me about that. He said, 'He came to me and Col Imam was also here and told Col Imam that don't go anywhere with this guy.' He (Piracha) said, 'What can I do if he comes here and I can't force him out of my house, but you don't go anywhere with him.' Mr Piracha said Col Imam didn't want to go with Khalid Khawaja, but he forced him to go with him."
UM: "Right, maybe to use as human shield. But Shah Abdul Aziz, that MNA of Kirk, is supporting him a lot. He was meeting everyone here and asking for his release."
HM: "He would have fooled Shah Abdul Aziz."
UM: "Yes, he was asking people to release him and said you may keep the journalist, whose ransom will be paid to you by him."
Hamid Mir Instructs On Three Questions to Ask the Captured Hostages
HM: "Ok! His release depends on them who have kept him, but convey them these three questions that what is your link with Mansoor Ijaz, whose father fled [to the U.S.] with the atomic secrets of Pakistan. Mansoor Ijaz's father was an atomic scientist and he fled to the US with the atomic secrets of Pakistan. Once he (Ijaz) offered Benazir Bhutto a quid pro quo deal in 1995 that all the debts of the country will be forgiven, if she recognised Israel. That means he was also an agent of Israel."
UM: "Yes, he used to ask my companions to work in Pakistan 'as we say.' Actually, the killings of brigadiers in Rawalpindi might have been arranged by him, I think."
HM: "It might be possible, but I have been watching this guy for the last 13 or 14 years and he is a suspected man."
UM: "OK. Inshallah, I will meet Hakimullah in two or three days and talk to him about all this."
HM: "All right."
UM: "Thank you so much."
Taliban Issue Statement Denying the Conversation
According to another report in the Daily Times newspaper on May 18, the Taliban came to the defense of Hamid Mir and issued a statement denying that the conversation took place.
Following is the unedited Taliban statement, published by The Daily Times:
"This is a press release from the Taliban Media Centre commenting on the fake audio tape issued by some secret agency of Pakistan. We are actively condumn the reliability of this tape since there was no conversatin like that in between us and Mr Hamid Mir. Althoug we have talked with many different persons of media. It is very often and there is no doubt that they are not involved with us. This is seems to be a conspiracy to destroy the reputation of Mujahideen and the brave people of this country who want to bring truth in front while revealing the dark faces of this nation.
"Suppose, this audion tape can be accepted as a true one than it is also demanded that the video tapes of Shery Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Salman Taseer should also be treated as the same degree. Since sexy pictures of Salman Taseer's daughter and sons are on media so can anyone tell the nation how a loose characterd person can be a governor of a province. What action should government agencies took? Why they are delaying?
"Unfortunately the secret agenceis of Pakistan are directly opposing the nations benefits and try to sabotash the well repudiated personalities and institutions for the greater interst of their own."
 Daily Times, Pakistan, May 16 & 18, 2010; The text of the quotes in Hamid Mir's conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.
Posted on 05/19/2010 12:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
The Saudi Columnist's Discussion Is Something Far Beyond Mere Hypocrisy
A Saudi columnist reports with evident pleasure on the islamization of Brussels, which is fast becoming just like a great "Midde Eastern city -- Beirut or Istanbul." Yes, we all remember how peaceful Beirut has been in the last few decades, as its Muslims and its Christians got along so very well, and how well those Christians have adopted to the swaggering Shi'a army of Hezbollah, armed to the death and ready to pull down the columns of the state on top of themselves, and the Sunni Arabs, and the Druse, and the Christians. And we all remember how Istanbul, which was 50% non-Muslim in 1914, gradually became emptied out of its Christians, and perhaps the Saudi columnist has forgotten -- or does not think it important enough to remember -- but some may recall what happened in September 1955 when there was an organized pogrom against the Greek community of Istanbul.
But there is one thing that bothers this Saudi columnist, who comes from a country where Christians cannot become citizens of the Saudi state, or remain permanently on Saudi soil, though their skills are so relied on by the Saudis that they may, as wage-slaves carefully put in their place -- and putting them in their place means forbidding any outward and visible sign, no matter how small, of Christian belief, and even British nurses have been punished for singing Christmas carols in what they thought was the privacy of their own rooms. And that one thing is the recent passage, by the Parliament in Belgium, of a law banning the burqa. That, writes the Saudi columnist, is intolerable.
And what was the headline above his discussion of this burqa-banning law?
It was, and is The Hypocrisy of This Whole Veil Debate Is Breathtaking.
Posted on 05/19/2010 1:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Labour's Scorched Earth Policy
I have to agree with Brian Micklethwaite of Samizdata:
Those of us who lived through the previous end of Labour rule, in 1979, recall how that moment was remembered as the time when rubbish was lying in the road uncollected, thanks to strikes by the bin men. That little story summed it all up, and ushered in an age of union bashing. And Labour Party bashing, for several general elections.
Will this story be the abiding memory of the end of Labour rule now?
Civil servants came under increasing pressure from ministers in the dying months of the Labour government to carry out expensive orders that they disagreed with and responded by submitting an unprecedented number of formal protests in the run-up to the general election.
The five separate protests came in the form of written ministerial directions - requested by the most senior civil servant in a department when they disagree with a minister's decision so strongly that they refuse to be accountable for it.
For me that perfectly captures the public squalour that is always unleashed by dead-on-their-feet Labour governments, as they madly pursued that last ounce of private affluence for their various client groups, and damn the consequences for the country.
Labourites are now pinning their hopes for an early return to office on the notion that the government that now has to clean up their mess will get most of the blame for that mess.
This is partly why Labour sorched all that earth. It wasn't only tribal greed. It was deliberate political calculation. But if it becomes firmly established that the current mess is indeed a Labour mess, and that all the grief that followed immediately after their time in government was Labour grief, then Labour could be out of business for far longer than they now calculate.
Personally, I hope Labour are out of business for ever. And see also this posting I did for here a couple of years ago, which also had "scorched earth" in its title. This holds up quite well now, I think, especially the final sentence, as do many of the comments.
Michael Jennings then argued, from the behaviour of idiot Australian voters in similar circumstances, that as soon as the mess is cleared up, Labour spendthrifts will be back to create more mess, to scorch more earth. I really hope he's wrong. But then, two years ago, I also hoped that the above kind of behaviour would itself cause a Labour electoral wipe-out, and that didn't really happen, did it?
Maybe the Conservatives will now decide that the mess must never be cleared up, that the earth must remain permanently scorched, so that the country never feels able to afford a Labour government ever again. This certainly seems to be their current policy. Which might be great for the Conservatives. Shame about the country.
Posted on 05/19/2010 2:44 PM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
A Little Doodle Is All We Ask
Tomorrow is Everybody Draw Muhammad Day. Pakistan has officially banned facebook from the country over this.
LAHORE, Pakistan – Pakistan's government ordered Internet service providers to block Facebook on Wednesday amid anger over a page that encourages users to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
The page on the social networking site has generated criticism in Pakistan and elsewhere because Islam prohibits any images of the prophet. The government took action after a group of Islamic lawyers won a court order Wednesday requiring officials to block Facebook until May 31.
By Wednesday evening, access to the site was sporadic, apparently because Internet providers were implementing the order.
The Facebook page at the center of the dispute — "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" — encourages users to post images of the prophet on May 20 to protest threats made by a radical Muslim group against the creators of "South Park" for depicting Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode earlier this year.
In the southern city of Karachi, about 2,000 female students rallied demanding that Facebook be banned for tolerating the page. Several dozen male students held a rally nearby, with some holding signs urging Islamic holy war against those who blaspheme the prophet.
"We are not trying to slander the average Muslim," said the information section of the Facebook page, which was still accessible Wednesday morning. "We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Mohammad depictions that we're not afraid of them. That they can't take away our right to freedom of speech by trying to scare us into silence."
Here is the facebook page in question. They have 67,463 members as of this hour.
Posted on 05/19/2010 9:42 PM by Rebecca Bynum