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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
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Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
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edited by S.B. Kelly
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by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
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Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
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Anything Goes
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Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
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Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
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by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
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Jihad and Genocide
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Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 19, 2008.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Department told 'bring more Christians'

From The Weekend Australian the magazine of The Australian
FORMER immigration minister Kevin Andrews instructed his department to lift the intake of Christian refugees from the Middle East in response to what he saw as a pro-Muslim bias created by corrupt local case officers.
The Weekend Australian says Mr Andrews was so concerned about the extent of corruption in Middle Eastern posts - despite the allegations being investigated and dismissed by his own department - that he wrote to then prime minister John Howard advocating a $200 million plan to replace local employees with Australian staff in 10 "sensitive" countries, including Jordan, Iran and Egypt.
Opposition immigration spokesman Chris Ellison said yesterday this remains Coalition policy.
"We do not want discrimination or bias occurring ... and that's why I believe it is appropriate that our sensitive overseas posts, such as those in the Middle East, are staffed by Australians," Senator Ellison said.
A Department of Immigration spokesman said there were no substantiated cases of anti-Christian discrimination in Australian embassies and no plans to replace "Islamic locally engaged staff" with Australian officials.
An investigation by The Weekend Australian has discovered Mr Andrews was petitioned by the Australian Christian Lobby to address alleged religious discrimination against Iraqis. Before losing office in the November 2007 election, he ordered the number of Christian Iraqi refugees to be increased by 1400 for 2007-08.
In the letter, seen by The Weekend Australian, Mr Andrews accused the case workers in Australian embassies of fraud and bribery when processing migration applications.
Such posts are predominantly staffed by local workers. He said this raised "considerable security risks".
Mr Andrews named 10 countries - Pakistan, India, United Arab Emirates, China, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Kenya, Russia and Egypt - in which the posts should be staffed exclusively with Australian departmental officers.
The non-Muslim countries named by Mr Andrews are understood to be less riddled by religious discrimination and more so by corruption.

Posted on 07/19/2008 2:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Seven years for Yorkshire bus bomb hoaxer

From The Telegraph and the Yorkshire Post
A follower of Islamic militancy who wanted to be a terrorist was today jailed for seven years after he left a hoax bomb on a Yorkshire bus and collected materials to make explosive devices.
Nicholas Roddis, 23, of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was given consecutive jail sentences at Leeds Crown Court of five years for engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism, and two years for placing the hoax bomb on the bus with intent.
Roddis was charged with the offences after police found information about making an explosive device, chemicals, including acetone and hydrogen peroxide, fuse wire and a quantity of nails at his home.
Sentencing him today, Judge John Milford QC said: "You intended to make a bomb."
The three-week trial heard how Roddis boarded the Maltby to Rotherham bus service on May 8 last year wearing a false beard, and left the hoax bomb, which consisted of a bag of sugar, a clock and wires, in a plastic bag on the vehicle when he got off.
After passengers noticed the package, the bus and neighbouring houses were evacuated and an Army bomb disposal team blew up the device.
A note was found with the hoax bomb which said, in badly written Arabic: "There is no God but Allah. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah. Allah the Greatest. Allah the Greatest. Allah the Greatest." The note went on to say: "Britain must be punished" and was signed "The al Qaida organisation in Iraq".
When police raided Roddis's bedsit they found, bomb-making instructions, nails, fuse wire and chemicals including bottles of hydrogen peroxide and acetone, some of the ingredients used in the July 7 bombs.
Leeds Crown Court heard Roddis had learned about Islam in a move to convert and had recorded sermons by the radical preacher Abu Hamza. He had been fired from his job at a loans company in Sheffield, where he hung around with Muslim workers, showed them recordings of Allied soldiers being tortured and beheaded and spoke about US policy in Iraq.  "He was heard once saying that it was terrible how so many of his 'brothers and sisters' were being killed, and viewed the US soldiers as the real terrorists," said Mr Brown.
In a statement, Detective Chief Superintendent John Parkinson, head of the Counter Terrorism Unit in Leeds, said: "Nicholas Roddis is a disaffected, yet dangerous individual.  While he may not have progressed as far as carrying out an act of violence, he had already performed an elaborate bomb hoax, causing disruption and unnecessary fear to bus passengers. Furthermore, Roddis demonstrated an intent to carry out acts which could have caused harm to innocent people. He had also researched explosives and purchased potential components. In this respect, the threat he posed was real".

Posted on 07/19/2008 3:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Today in the Religion of Peace (tm)
On this day, July 19th, in the year 711, North African Muslim troops (the Moors) under the command of Tariq Ibn Ziyad defeated and killed the Visigoth King Roderic of Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal) in the Battle of Guadalete.  Most of the Visigoth nobles were also killed in the fighting, which greatly weakened the resistance as the Muslims conquered the entire Iberian peninsula.  The military invasion was directed by the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I.(*)
 
Tariq Ibn Ziyad, who was also known as "Tariq the One Eyed", was given recognition in modern times for his successful offensive warfare against the non-believers when the Tariq Ibn Ziyad Academy was named in his honor in Blaine, MN in 2003.  The school has been at the center of several controversies, for teaching religion in violation of the Constitution, for refusing to fly the American flag, and for the assault on a local television news crew who were filming at the school.
 
(*) Note that Caliph Al-Walid I did not know his number.
Posted on 07/19/2008 7:20 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Cartoon Rage

From Creeping Sharia (with thanks to Alan):

Posted on 07/19/2008 7:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 19 July 2008
A Musical Interlude: Forgetting You (Annette Hanshaw)
Posted on 07/19/2008 10:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Dumb Britain

The relentless dumbing-down of British education has meant, as I predicted here, that a generation of nominally educated people cannot distinguish good and bad. From Yahoo News:

Marking of national curriculum tests has been condemned as "abysmal" and "erratic" by a primary school head.

Janis Burdin, of Moss Side Primary School, in Leyland, Lancs, said children were betrayed by a failing scheme that has reportedly used inexperienced graduates as markers.

"Inexperienced" though a graduate might be, at one time possession of a university degree guaranteed that he was functionally literate. No longer.

Ms Burdin, who is demanding some papers be remarked, released two examples of 11-year-olds' Key Stage 2 tests in English.

A talented pupil was given fewer marks than another, who wrote of Pip Davenport, a fairground inventor: "If he wasent doing enthing els heel help his uncle Herry at the funfair during the day.

"And hed stoody at nigh on other thing he did was invent new rides."

The pupil who scored a lower mark wrote: "Quickly, it became apparent that Pip was a fantastic rider: a complete natural.

"But it was his love of horses that led to a tragic accident. An accident that would change his life forever.

"At the age of 7 he was training for a local competition when his horse, Mandy, swerved sideways unexpectedly, throwing Pip on to the ground, paralysed."

Ms Burdin said both youngsters were awarded five out of eight for sentence structure.

The first was given eight from 12 for composition and effect but the second child just seven marks.

If the bright eleven-year-old becomes disaffected, he may rebel altogether when he reaches sixteen, and write "f*** off" on his exam paper. Then where will he be?

Posted on 07/19/2008 11:47 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 19 July 2008
No laughing at lesbians

Humour is aggressive. It imposes on people, and can offend. Even the purest of wordplay will offend somebody, somewhere. Once the joker steps out of pure wordplay, he takes a risk, but the risk is necessary: nothing ventured, nothing gained. The biggest risk is to the joker himself - people may not find his joke funny. Another risk is disapproval. He should develop a thick skin and shrug off both impostors.

If you're offended by certain types of jokes, there are steps you can take: do not befriend people likely to make such jokes, do not read newspapers, magazines or blogs that are likely to contain such material, and do not go to an "edgy" comedy club. Above all, do not go to an edgy comedy club and heckle; you may receive what comedienne Jo Brand calls a "nuclear put-down". Talking of jokes, have you heard the one about the lesbians, the heckle and the Human Rights Commission? Kathy Shaidle in Pajamas Media:

[Guy] Earle takes his comedy seriously. He explains to Pajamas Media:

Stand-up is an art form. I like the guys that live this rule. Traditional “Lenny Bruce” school of comedy is my bread and butter. It must contain social commentary and have “a message” — not Carrot Top or prop acts.

He claims it was his dedication to his art that led to the events at Vancouver’s Zesty’s Restaurant on May 22, 2007; he wanted some hecklers to give the evening’s final open mic comic a break. He told Pajamas Media it’s something he’s done countless times before as an MC:

I’ve said some awfully derogatory remarks to people who show no respect to a live stage show. My remarks are meant to shock and silence an unruly, disruptive group or person. I have generally offended a few people over the years but I never regret it because it is a function of being in a live and dynamic show and my jabs never come unsolicited. I can be accused of acting in poor taste but I cannot be accused of hating.

The Vancouver Sun tried to sort out the “he saids” and “she saids” of the booze-fueled event, but only Earle agreed to speak on the record:

Earle said he was the show’s MC when [Lorna] Pardy and two of her friends walked in, sat in the booth closest to the stage, and began heckling him and other comics.

“Two of them started making out, flipping me the bird, and saying I hated lesbians,” he said.

Earle said Pardy misconstrued some of his remarks and took others out of context.

“They were drunk, they were being jerks, and I was very rude and visceral to them because, like I said, if you have a heckler, what you want to do is put them in their place by offending them, so I tried to hit them where it hurts and the only thing I had to key on was the fact that they were lesbians.”

Earle says the women threw drinks in his face, and he admits he broke Pardy’s sunglasses. It wasn’t pretty and it sure wasn’t comedy. The sorry situation sounds like a matter for the management, or maybe the police. But the British Columbia Human Rights Commission?

[...]

One would think that Canada’s HRCs would be too busy to deal with a drunken, juvenile encounter at a late night comedy club. After all, when they aren’t taking author Mark Steyn to court for “blatant Islamophobia” or prosecuting publisher Ezra Levant for reprinting the Danish Mohammed cartoons, they’re banning a Christian pastor for life from ever quoting portions of the Bible — and that’s just this year alone.

But charging a comedian with “hate speech” and “homophobia” for heckling some hecklers is a made-to-order case for the Human Rights Commissions.

Perhaps it's wrong to laugh at lesbians.  Perhaps it's only wrong to laugh at lesbians qua lesbians. I'm inclined to think it's OK to laugh at anything qua anything. Either way, it shouldn't be illegal. What next? No laughing at Muslims?

Posted on 07/19/2008 12:01 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 19 July 2008
A novel in every pouffe

And I'm not talking about The Picture of Dorian Gray. Jane Shilling laments the decline of love letters in an age of texting:

Ted Howard is an 82-year-old retired farm worker and machinery demonstrator from Cambridgeshire. One day in the summer of 1948 he was at a village fair when a girl jumped off a carousel and ran into him. Her name was Mollie and he knew her by sight. She was a farmer's daughter and he used to wave to her from his tractor when he drove past the field in which she was cleaning mangelwurzels.

After she ran into him at the fair they started courting, and for the next seven years, as his work took him travelling through England, Ireland, France and Holland, he wrote her almost 100 love letters. One day, in a fit of pique, she tore them into tiny pieces and stuffed the shreds into a cushion from which, 40 years later, Ted retrieved them. He spent 15 years, on and off, sorting the fragments, sticking them back together and photocopying the restored originals. Now he plans to write a book based on the letters, to be called A Week at Stanton, as a tribute to Mollie - who became his wife, and died three years ago after 50 years of marriage.

[...]

[T]his is the second time in a couple of months that I have read of letters being shredded and stuffed into a cushion. In his memoir, Nothing to be Frightened of, Julian Barnes describes an object brought home by his father from India. It was “a circular leather pouffe...I used to drop my full adolescent weight down on to it, with a kind of aggressive affection...eventually, the seams began to give way...and I made the sort of discovery psychoanalysts might relish.” The pouffe, it turned out, was stuffed with the torn-up letters of his parents' courtship and early married years. “How could they have taken their love letters...torn them into tiny pieces, and then watched other people's fat arses hunker down on top?” Barnes wonders. Then a further thought strikes him: “Here's a haunting would-you-rather. Would you rather tear up your own expressions of love, or the ones you had received?”

So this is what they mean by a billet-doux? I'm not sure I buy this story. It's pretty obvious Barnes' parents wanted the letters to be discovered, or why stuff them in a pouffe, where the rustling would be a dead giveaway? I haven't sat on a pouffe since I was a child, never being able to see the point of them, but it would take a lot of love letters to stuff one, and they'd surely be squashed flat in no time. I don't know if there's a novel in my sofa, but it may have a story to tell.

Common language division update: Regular reader Paul has alerted me to the double entendre potential of a number of words in this post. I was shocked, shocked to read his muckamucky interpretations. Honi soit qui mal y pense, as always.

Posted on 07/19/2008 12:50 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Something for the gentlemen.

This is for Enoch and Dan who both expressed interest in Nora Batty, as played by Kathy Staff in Last of the Summer Wine.
This is quite an old episode from the days when Compo Simmonite (played by Bill Owen who died in 2000) who adored her, lived in the flat below.
A little broomstick action on a Saturday night in the beginning of the episode entitled "Was that Nora Batty Singing?".

 

Posted on 07/19/2008 1:15 PM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Russia's Muslims Protest Islamic Book Ban

The Peninsula: MOSCOW • Russia’s highest Muslim council yesterday issued a protest against a ban on some Islamic publications considered by the authorities to be “extremist.” The Council of Muftis “has taken a decision to request that the relevant institutions of the Russian Federation carry out a repeat analysis of the books,” the council said in a statement. Starting last year, the authorities have compiled a regularly updated list of publications seen as breaking sweeping new laws against extremism. Most of the banned books are linked to Islam.

The council said it was “seriously concerned” that there was no official committee to analyse the literature and accused the experts who compiled the list of doing so “tendentiously and subjectively.” The Council of Muftis, which represents Russia’s 20 million Muslims, yesterday also called for a “balanced” approach in a criminal inquiry against a Moscow editor accused of publishing one of the banned books.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bush missed an important opportunity to create a Western alliance with Russia when he failed to travel to Beslan after the massacre. Russia, America, Britain and Europe need a joint strategy to deal with the spread of Islam. The Chinese too, who have their problems with the Uighurs, could be persuaded, if not to join, at least to understand.

Posted on 07/19/2008 6:26 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Pakistan: Boy Tortured, Killed For Courting Muslim Girl

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- The body of a Christian teenager has been hauled out of a canal in Pakistan's second largest city Lahore after he was beaten to death there for courting a Muslim girl, BosNewsLife learned Friday, July 18.

The 19-year-old boy, whose name was changed into Peter for security reasons, was murdered by the girl's father and two uncles in what they described as an 'honour killing', Christian family members and investigators said.

Peter and the 19-year-old girl apparently began their relationship through mobile phone chatting, an increasingly popular way of communicating among youngsters across Asia.

Interfaith contacts and marriages between Christians and Muslims are allowed under Islamic law, but such relationships are often opposed by Islamic clerics and hard-line Muslims, according to religious rights investigators.

Not quite true. Muslim men may marry non-Muslim women, but a non-Muslim man must convert to Islam in order to marry a Muslim woman.

The troubles for Peter apparently began when the girl's family forced her to call him and invite the boy  to a secluded  location. Peter reportedly immediately hired a motorbike to reach the area, but he would not find his girlfriend. Instead, her father and two uncles awaited the boy and allegedly beat him to death. 

"They took Peter by force. They trussed him and tortured him for almost two days. Peter could not bear the severity of the torture and died eventually," said Joseph Francis, who leads rights group Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), which gives legal support to reportedly persecuted Christians in Pakistan. The Muslim family could not be reached for comment. 

CLAAS lawyers say police have so far rejected to register the case as murder and are describing it as suicide. "The police were prejudiced, because it was a matter of religion," Francis added. CLAAS made clear it would try to seek justice for Peter's family in a local court.   

Murder as a matter of religion - nothing for the police to be concerned about.

"Sadly, all too often, Christians in Pakistan are treated as substandard citizens with few civil liberties under the law,” the group said in a statement. "That prejudice is [reflected] by the obvious negative response by police. [We want] to see that [they are] impartial, regardless of religion." The group said it had urged supporters to "pray for Peter's family" and for "awareness" among to end "dividing human beings in different classes."...

Posted on 07/19/2008 6:43 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 19 July 2008
A Musical Interlude: Long Ago And Far Away (Jo Stafford)
Posted on 07/19/2008 8:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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