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These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 2, 2007.
Friday, 2 February 2007
The Times on the subject of the kidnap plot.
There is plenty in The Times this morning on the plot to kidnap and behead a British serviceman.
There is analysis by David Canter on the charge of tactic from bombing to kidnapping here.
This. Defence chiefs have launched an urgent investigation into how a gang of suspected Islamic terrorists obtained a list of names and addresses for 25 serving British Muslim soldiers as part of an alleged plot to kidnap and behead a serviceman. Senior officers are alarmed that the hitlist includes home addresses as far apart as Glasgow and the West Country. A priority will be to ensure that no Ministry of Defence “mole” provided the suspected terror cell with such top-secret personal information. My money is on a MOD mole. Such a nice young woman, worked hard, kept herself to herself, so quiet and pleasant under her hijab.
And this. From the safety of their training camps abroad, al-Qaeda and its affiliates decided that Britain was to be the testing ground in the West for their terrorist initiatives, using homegrown recruits to carry out their attacks.
Some of the alleged kidnap gang who planned to behead a Muslim British soldier are suspected of being groomed by militant groups in Pakistan.
At least two may have attended a camp directly linked to al-Qaeda.
Police are investigating whether it is the same network that trained the leader of the July 7 suicide bombers, Mohammed Siddique Khan, and other British extremists involved in terrorist operations.  British-born recruits, using valid British passports, can easily pass through security checks. Most of them have family links in Pakistan, so their reasons for travel are rarely questioned.  Time to start I think. In almost every major plot uncovered in Britain, the key figures involved had spent time at an extremist camp abroad.
Many Britons who went through Pakistan to volunteer as jihadi fighters in wars in Kashmir, Chechnya and Afghanistan were told by their al-Qaeda handlers that they would be of more value taking the fight to their own communities in British cities.
After the 9/11 attacks, America was regarded as too difficult a target to reach, so Britain was chosen as the place to test new types of explosives and import terrorist tactics seen before only in the streets of Baghdad and Kabul.
Will Geddes, a security specialist and managing director of International Corporate Protection (ICP), said: “Britain is the collateral target for al-Qaeda and its supporters. Border controls are weaker here than in the US and there is an ample pool of radicalised young men willing to attack their own homeland. The brains behind these plots are invariably safely outside this country.”
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, the Muslim community continue to assert that the arrests were meant to demonise Muslims.
Many ordinary Muslims did not believe that Wednesday’s arrests were an act to foil a terrorist plot aiming to visit unspeakable barbarity on a young British soldier.
Rather the entire operation was a giant con trick. This fits a growing perception of a post-9/11 world in which innocent Muslims are demonised, and the terror threat manufactured to suit the dark designs of the West’s Judaeo-Christian elite.
That article also gives details of the 9 men arrested.
Posted on 02/02/2007 1:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 2 February 2007
Revealed, Monet's first impressions

Something nice to leaven the gloom, and remind us of what we have to retain.

Monet was a master with the paintbrush. That much is well known. But what we now learn, from previously unseen drawings and pastels published in The Times today before their first public exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, is that he was also a master at self-promotion. 

Read the rest for yourselves. Seven unseen works , including the pastel "Cat on a bed" are to go on display at The Royal Academy. The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings, at the academy from March 17 to June 10.

Posted on 02/02/2007 1:50 AM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
Friday, 2 February 2007
Not good enough, Telegraph

The Telegraph is a very good newspaper in many ways. When it comes to Islam it is far better than most, but not consistent. Charles Moore gets it. Boris Johnson sometimes gets it. Will Cummins certainly got it, but he was a guest columnist who later lost his job at the British Council.

Today's leader is disappointing. The first sentence sounds promising, but the rest misses the point:

It is a measure of the gap between the Muslim community and the rest of the population that the police should think it necessary to distribute explanatory leaflets following the latest flurry of arrests. From the point of view of the West Midlands constabulary, this exercise doubtless makes sense. It will, they will argue, counter further alienation of a community ready to believe that the criminal justice system is Islamophobic. And a restoration of confidence in that system holds out the hope that the Muslim community will tip off the police about suspected terrorist plots within its ranks, something that to date has been a rare occurrence.

Yet these arguments underline the extent to which the doctrine of multiculturalism has led many British Muslims, particularly among the young, to feel no obligation to integrate into wider British society; indeed, in extreme cases they wish to destroy the values on which that society rests. Distributing leaflets following the arrests of nine terror suspects in Birmingham on Wednesday may seem to West Midlands police to be simple prudence. But it also labels Muslims as deserving treatment distinct from that which might be meted out to, say, the black or Chinese communities in a similar situation.

It is not the "doctrine of multiculturalism", although this has not helped, but the doctrine of jihad.

When the emotive overtones of jihadism have been stripped from the present investigation, what we are faced with in Birmingham is a possible criminal plot to kidnap, torture and behead a British Muslim soldier. Threatened with such an atrocity, the state must pursue the suspects with impartial rigour. And the community from which they come should not expect special treatment as the investigation proceeds. The distribution of leaflets is doubtless well-meaning but it reinforces a cultural divide that is already dangerously wide.

No. This is not merely a criminal act. It is an act of war. Criminals kidnap for all sorts of reasons, mainly personal gain. The Muslim soldier was targeted because we are in a war and he was, from the Muslim point of view, a traitor.

Try again, Telegraph.

Posted on 02/02/2007 5:22 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 2 February 2007
Bug-eyed games of global BOO!

From a recent underpublicized debate (h/t: ESR) debate on Larry King Live:

RICHARD S. LINDZEN, MIT PROFESSOR OF ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE- On Global Warming Fears: I think it's mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves.

And there's a lot of confusion in this and, you know, at the heart of it, we're talking of a few tenths of a degree change in temperature. None of it in the last eight years, by the way. And if we had warming, it should be accomplished by less storminess. But because the temperature itself is so unspectacular, we have developed all sorts of fear of prospect scenarios -- of flooding, of plague, of increased storminess when the physics says we should see less.

There's more.  Read it here.  (I do recommend purchasing land in the Virginia Piedmont, though, just to be on the safe side.)

FYI:  If you keep the Weather Channel on more than eight hours a day, seek help immediately.

Posted on 02/02/2007 5:40 AM by Robert Bove
Friday, 2 February 2007
Infidel Fury

"Muslim fury over arrests..."

Oh?

"Muslim fury"?

What should count is this:

"Infidel fury over Muslims who were arrested"

and as well:

"Infidel fury over Muslims who are furious about the arrests of Muslims."

leading finally to the necessary and indispensable result:

"Infidel fury over Muslims."

Posted on 02/02/2007 6:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 2 February 2007
Re: Bug-eyed games (and storks)

S. Peter Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service on the politics of global warmingism:

This morning the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its "Fourth Assessment Report," but just in the form of a 12-page "Summary for Policymakers." The report itself, about 1,600 pages, will be available only in May. The IPCC explains it needs time to "adjust" the scientific report to make it consistent with its summary.

The summary actually is a semipolitical document negotiated by delegates from 150 governments. Evidently, the IPCC, which prides itself on being strictly scientific and policy-neutral, wants to make its report politically correct.

This raises legitimate doubts about the scientific credibility of the IPCC's conclusions. The "cleansing" of the report — and the attendant delay in publication — is also feeding wild speculation about climate catastrophes, with many leaks to compliant newspapers.

Compared to earlier reports, the "Fourth Assessment" is really quite sober, perhaps because a real scientist less given to ideology heads the effort. The summary projects slightly lower temperature increases than previous reports, for example. Also, the last report, in 2001, featured the Hockeystick, a graph that purportedly illustrated that the 20th century was "unusually warm." Its underlying science was flawed by incorrect statistics, and apparently the IPCC now implicitly agrees, for the Hockeystick does not appear in the summary.

The IPCC's estimates for sea-level rise are about half of previous values given. The IPCC is under attack by extremist scientists who think it is too optimistic and that the numbers should be more catastrophic. NASA scientist Jim Hansen's sea-level value is about 20 times higher than that of the IPCC. I suppose that makes him, as well as Al Gore, a climate "contrarian."

Notwithstanding these more restrained points, the IPCC fails to provide any real support for its key conclusion: "It is very likely that anthropogenic greenhouse-gas increases caused most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century." The IPCC ignores contrary evidence.

The whole question of anthropogenic, or human-caused, global warming is central to setting any policy of climate mitigation and therefore warrants closer examination.

Read the rest here.

Posted on 02/02/2007 6:56 AM by Robert Bove
Friday, 2 February 2007
Global Warning

New Duranty: PARIS (AP) -- Scientists from 113 countries issued a landmark report Friday saying they have little doubt global warming is caused by man, and predicting that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level will 'continue for centuries' no matter how much humans control their pollution.

A top U.S. government scientist, Susan Solomon, said 'there can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities.'

Environmental campaigners urged the United States and other industrial nations to significantly cut their emissions of greenhouse gases in response to the long-awaited report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

'It is critical that we look at this report ... as a moment where the focus of attention will shift from whether climate change is linked to human activity, whether the science is sufficient, to what on earth are we going to do about it,' said Achim Steiner, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program.

'The public should not sit back and say 'There's nothing we can do',' Steiner said. 'Anyone who would continue to risk inaction on the basis of the evidence presented here will one day in the history books be considered irresponsible.'

Posted on 02/02/2007 8:36 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 2 February 2007
Tribalism, Culture and the Nation-State

Rebecca Bynum welcomes your comments on:

Tribalism, Culture and the Nation-State

Posted on 02/02/2007 9:41 AM by NER
Friday, 2 February 2007
I'll take a duck whistle, a box of buck-shot, oh, and a case of hand grenades

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (h/t: JW):

A St. Charles man obtained fully automatic weapons and tried to buy as many explosives as possible in preparation for what an associate called "war," the FBI says in court documents.

He bought three rifles and a Claymore anti-personnel mine and negotiated for a case of hand grenades, documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch show.

Mousa M. Abuelawi, 22, of Franjoe Court, was arrested Dec. 29 and charged on complaints accusing him of three counts of illegal possession or distribution of a machine gun and conspiracy to violate machine gun statutes.

Abuelawi, a Palestinian immigrant free on $50,000 bond, could not be reached. His brother declined to comment on his behalf. His lawyers, Scott Rosenblum and Gil Sison, did not return calls.

The context of the word "war" was not explained in court filings; the FBI declined to comment.

The man to whom the word was attributed, Thaer Abde Sumad, said in an interview Thursday that the purchases were not intended for terrorism but to make money supplying street gangs in a St. Louis turf war.

Posted on 02/02/2007 9:57 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 2 February 2007
Re: I'll take a duck whistle...

Yes, street warfare. Of course.

500 hand grenades. How often we see hand grenades being used by the Bloods against the Crips, or by the Crips against the Bloods.

Actually we do, but not in this country. In Gaza, with the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, who want all the Jizyah for themselves, and are prepared to lie a little in order to keep it going, against the Fast Jihadists of Hamas. Or in Baghdad and the rest of Iraq, where the Sunni Bloods fight the Shi'a Crips for money, for power, and for "respect."

Let those Crips and Bloods -- in Gaza, in Baghdad -- alone. Wait it out. If necessary, from time to time, a little bombing from high up, a few missiles from afar, just to make sure things are going the way you want them, might be necessary. Otherwise: Infidels, keep your distance. And save your Jizyah, so as to spend it on all kinds of alternative energy projects, and the new expenses you have incurred to monitor Muslim populations that were foolishly allowed to settle deep within the Bilad al-kufr.

Posted on 02/02/2007 10:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 2 February 2007
Worry Every Which Way

Several points:

1. The fact that some Muslims say it is alright to "join the army" should not be a source of Infidel satisfaction, but worry. "Joining the army" in order to find out about how the enemy (that is, the Infidels whose Infidel army it is) operates, or to learn certain skills that be applied against Infidels, or even to commit acts of sabotage and betrayal while in the army, might be the motivation.

We have every evidence of this, from the American Muslim soldier who threw a grenade into a tent of sleeping American soldiers, killing two; and the Marine who slipped away, apparently to Lebanon (but who knows exactly what he was doing, or what information he gave out, or secrets he betrayed?), was caught, in America gave a press conference in which he declared his complete innocence, ending "Semper Fi" (quite a performance it was, like so many Muslim performances), just before somehow eluding capture and making it out of the country, presumably back to Dar al-Islam, and still the American government has been unable to locate him or bring him back, or perhaps isn't really trying. There are other stories, less-publicized, of a Muslim sailor, on a ship in the Persian Gulf, through an intercepted communication offering to reveal secrets about the ship to make it more vulnerable.

Then there is the evidence of a lack of patriotism of an identifiable group that, one would think, under all these circumstances, would be moving heaven and earth to prove itself, and has done nothing of the kind. A few years ago, while happening to be at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, I visited its military museum, and on the desk at the entrance there are bound volumes of World-War-Two era copies of "Stars and Stripes." I opened one volume at random and read all about the unit we all know about --the 442nd Regiment, the one in which Senator Inouye served, during World War II, and about its exploits. The contrast struck me then, and has struck me since: where are the Muslims clamoring in the United States, in Western Europe, to prove themselves? If, despite the constant efforts to recruit, the British government can only come up with 330 Muslims out of 180,000 people in the armed forces, that is approximately 1/500th of the force, while Muslims make up 1/30th of the population, then this tells us something.

But it shouldn't surprise us. Islam teaches that loyalty is owed only to Islam and to fellow Believers. The danger is twofold, for Infidels. One is the absence of any feeling of loyalty to the Infidel nation-state, and a belief that the land on which Muslims live by right, by Allah's divine right, belongs in the end to them, and the Infidels are merely temporarily in charge, sojourners who have no permanent right to any part of the world, which belongs to Allah and therefore to the best of people. The refusal to take Muslim ideology seriously, the refusal to study it in depth and to accept the most transparent and flimsy of apologetic versions, whether offered by Muslims or by the non-Muslim apologists who are all about us, is unconscionable. Muslim apologists are full-time practitioners of every kind of evasion and lies and half-lies and half-truths, of taqiyya and tu-quoque, and we can see examples of this every day, on talk shows, and in the press, all over the Infidel lands. It takes a while, it takes experience and practice, to detect and then to be able to see through, and then to be able to piercingly reveal and at the same time answer, such a fog and pettifog of nonsense and semi-nonsense.

Why is there so much of it? Many reasons. Some do it it out of some blend of leftist hatred of The System, of the West, of the White West, of Amerika, of Kapitalism, and find that Islam is now the vehicle of choice to express resentment. Some, like Karen Armstrong, resentful of Christianity, and suffering long-term mental desarroi and of course from terminal stupidity, find not the reality of Islam -- she hasn't a clue about the reality of Islam --soothing. Many are apologists out of cupidity (so many are on the Arab take, so many academics are supported directly or indirectly by Arab money for their "centers" and their "chairs" and so many want to ensure that they do nothing to antagonize their Muslim colleagues, who are eternally vigilant in monitoring their work, and can cause them all kinds of trouble. And others are ignorant, willfully or lazily ignorant, and do not want to think for themselves, do not want to connect the dots of observable Muslim behavior by abandoning their false model, their Ptolemaic model of a "few extremists" for the true, Copernican theory that can both explain all the data, in Bangladesh, Sudan, Nigeria, Thailand, and also Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Beslan, and have predictive value: can predict, for example, what would happen, necessarily, in Iraq, and what will happen, necessarily, in Iraq if the Americans withdraw (hint: it won't be good for the Camp of Islam, and will give America that "victory" about which Bush and Cheney prate without ever understanding, or recognizing, in what such a true "victory" for the West would consist -- nor do any of their critics).

Muslims and Western Armed Forces: what a paradox. What do we want? We know Muslims are taught not to offer any loyalty to the legal and political institutions of the Infidel nation-state. Don't expect it. Don't squander resources trying to make Muslims forget, or never know, what Islam is all about because it will not work. They will find out. The Infidel states -- England, France (Sarkozy is disastrously intent on "affirmative action" for Muslims in the organs of the state --he is not nearly well-versed enough in Islam, even if he appears, by optical illusion, to be sufficiently comprehending of the matter, and appropriately sober in his supposed "hard line" that is not nearly hard enough) -- have to give up pious hopes for "integration" that rely on a shared game of Let's Pretend: Let's Pretend that Islam does not inculcate what Islam inculcates. Let's Pretend that Islam is not Islam.

The numbers of Muslims in the British Armed Forces are telling. They tell us what, if we knew about Islam, would come as no surprise.

But what if the British government manages to increase the number of Muslims in the army, and the police, say five-fold or ten-fold or twenty-fold? Would that be good? Would that be considered a "success"? Not if one understood Islam. Not if one understood the reasons why people were joining up at this point -- not out of a sudden loyalty (the time for that was five, four, three, two years ago) but out of something which those with long experience of the problem (J. B. Kelly, for example, to me just a week ago), have worried about: the slow and steady infiltration into the army, security services, and police, all over Europe, of Muslims intent on what, by their Total System, they should be intent on.

Worry, every which way.

Posted on 02/02/2007 10:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 2 February 2007
Je me vautre dans mon lit de plaisir

"Je me vautre dans mon lit de plaisir, comme un saint se vautre dans son sainteté

Thus Baudelaire.

It means:

"I wallow in my bed of pleasure, as a saint wallows in his saintliness."

And now we have before us the Slaves of Allah, prostrating themselves on the streets of European cities, and permanently ready to submit fully to the will of Allah as all good Muslims must. And they want Shari'a, the code which enshrines the gross mistreatment of women and of non-Muslims.

These protesters, these Slaves of Allah who want the Shari'ah, are Qur'an-and-Sunnah drugged muslimahs, that is female slaves of Allah, who are, by their acts and words, apparently eager to embrace the Shari'a which has always meant for them a kind of permanent status beneath that of men, not as awful as what both male and female non-Muslims must endure in Muslim societies, but bad by the standards of the advanced world. Give us our chains, give us our slavery. Describe those burqas as a kind of portable purdah that we willingly embrace. Of course we do: we are brainwashed, and we are ignorant, and we are told we are Muslims so we must be for the Shari'a, we must want whatever Islam teaches. Allah knows best.

These willing slaves wallow, like Baudelaire wallowing in his lussuria or those saints wallowing in their saintliness, in their own slavishness.

A world of willing slaves, to a seventh-century ideology concocted out of pagan Arab lore, bits and pieces of misunderstood or distorted Jewish and Christian dogma, personalities, and stories. And now, by mere force of numbers, and by mere force of the ten trillion dollars (and counting) received by Muslim states not from any effort on the part of any Muslims but only as a result of an accident of geology, the entire civilized world is tying itself in knots, spending fortunes, falling into every kind of silliness and expense and fear and mental disarray, because the clear-headed are not allowed to speak, or allowed to be heard, and fools rule, not least among those whose duty it is to study, to make sense of threats, to figure out how most effectively, and at the least conceivable cost, one can deal with those threats before it is too late.

Islam is, right now, an entirely manageable problem. But it requires that those who are now marginalized be listened to when they make sense. And I will remind you that the principals at this website, for example, have an unbroken record of making perfect sense and thus are entitled to a hearing.

Posted on 02/02/2007 11:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 2 February 2007
Fox Poll: 88% of Americans Take Islamic Threat Seriously

From Fox News with thanks to John M.

The roar of “Death to America” chants from thousands of militants eager to cause destruction in the U.S. has become a staple of television in Islamic countries — and the vast majority of Americans think Washington should take that threat seriously.

That’s the finding of a new FOX News Poll, which asked Americans to rate the threats emanating from broadcasts in the Arab world.

In a sample of 900 registered voters nationwide, 64% said the threats should be taken “very seriously” and another 24% thought they should be taken “somewhat seriously.”

The poll was conducted for a FOX News documentary, “Radical Islam: Terror in Its Own Words,” which premieres Saturday Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. EST and at midnight on the FOX News Channel....

Posted on 02/02/2007 11:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 2 February 2007
Anecdotal Evidence or, An Army of One

"not even a small word about that Muslim who died in Afghanistan Hugh?

Unbelievably and sadly, the Muslim soldiers are despised and seen as traitors by both the JW crowd AND the extremist muslims." -- from a reader commenting on this posting

Don't be idiotic. I was listing problems, including the known traitorous behavior (including desertion, and the murder of sleeping fellow soldiers), with Muslims in the American army. Furthermore, it is absurd to think that I must simultaneously list any example of any Muslim soldier either who served, or who died, in Iraq and Afghanistan. The soldier you mention is Jabron Hashmi, who was killed by the Taliban, and he has received a huge amount of media attention in Great Britain, as you know perfectly well. Indeed his brother Zeeshan Hashmi, who also served in the army, was interviewed at length yesterday on the BBC. By the way, outside of his family, how many Muslims supported him -- really supported him? Here's a comment from some fellow Muslims:

"In Birmingham, near the Hashmi family's home in Bordesley Green, some young Muslim men also spoke out.
'I don't see how any Muslim can be in the British army, not with all the shit that's happening in Muslim countries. It doesn't make sense. It's not right. There's no space for Muslims in the army,' said a 25-year-old who would only give his name as Saleem. 'Of course it's a tragedy and I feel for them [his family]. But what was he doing over there? He was an Asian dude fighting a white man's war. Basically, we can't be like the goreh [white people] and they can't be like us.'"

One must draw conclusions, and make policy, not on the basis of one or two or even ten or a hundred exceptions, but on the basis of the the clear doctrines of Islam, and of the observable behavior and attitudes, express and implied, of Muslims.

And this is what is now, at long last, being done by thinking people all over the Infidel West. They are beginning to observe. They are beginning to read, with understanding, not only the Qur'an, but the Qur'an with the doctrine of naskh in mind, and not only the Qur'an with the doctrine of naksh kept firmly in mind, but with the realization that in English and French the Qur'an is far more mild than it is in the Arabic version -- and some have begun to study that matter. And they have not limited themselves to the Qur'an, but just like Muslims, have begun to understand the significance of Muhammad, as the Guid to Conduct, uswa hasana, as the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, and are less gullible, less ready to swallow the nonsense peddled by apologists for Islam, the assorted armstrongs, espositios, sellses, ernsts, and all the rest.

One cannot simultaneously make the texts of Islam -- Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira -- available to Muslims world-wide, and not expect the Infidels to listen in, to read over the shoulder of Muslims. One cannot permanently prevent Infidels from finding out about Islam. It can't be done.

Not everyone will remain as willfully misunderstanding of Islam as, at least in the first year or two after the 9/11/2001 attacks, Bush and Blair did and, judging by their wishing to remain in Iraq, still do.

Others, many others, have come to their senses. And many more will be forced to do so.

Your comment is ludicrous.

Posted on 02/02/2007 11:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 2 February 2007
We've got it all wrong

All the posts here about Islam are wrong. Sharia's not nasty at all; it's sweet and fluffy.

Who says? Dozy bint Loon of The Guardian, AKA Madeleine Bunting

Stoning, hand chopping: that just about sums up the widely held view of what sharia is all about.

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people refer to sharia in this way - as a barbaric ancient set of laws with horrific punishments. But such a definition would horrify many of the young Muslims who were polled. The problem about David Cameron and many, many others is that they have only a Taliban understanding of sharia.

It is a dangerous ignorance because the most crucial debates within Islam worldwide are often around sharia - that huge body of Islamic jurisprudence with wide variations in interpretation from west Africa to Indonesia. Sharia's basic meaning is "path to God"; it is a set of spiritual disciplines, which any serious Muslim abides by. The basics are such things as prayer, fasting and the Haj. But it also covers such instructions as no gambling, no backbiting, no alcohol and no cheating. Any devout Muslim is attempting to follow sharia.

But that doesn't mean they want to impose sharia on anyone who is not a Muslim, nor does it mean they agree with the most extreme interpretations of sharia law. Every faith has its laws - churches have canon law, Orthodox Jews have rabbinical courts - and no one argues that this represents separatism as Cameron did of Muslims this week. David Cameron (and there are plenty of others) and the Policy Exchange are feeding the fantasy fear of Muslims as fifth columnists trying to bring about an Islamic state.

Don't get me wrong, there are some exceptionally horrible elements of how sharia has been interpreted - and still is, in some parts of the world - but reducing this vast body of thought to the barbaric practices of the Taliban is a gross simplification, which will do nothing to assist our understanding of the attitudes of Muslims in this country.

Can somebody put a burkha over this blithering idiot to see if it shuts her up like a parrot?

Fortunately, even though she is writing in the Guardian, hardly anybody in the comments agrees with her.

Posted on 02/02/2007 11:39 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 2 February 2007
Radio Derb
This week's Radio Derb is up.
Posted on 02/02/2007 12:19 PM by John Derbyshire
Friday, 2 February 2007
A Call for Still Lifes...

New Duranty: ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 31 — In this land of big ambition and deep pockets, planners on Wednesday unveiled designs for an audacious multibillion-dollar cultural district whose like has never been seen in the Arab world.

The designs presented here in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the world’s top oil producers, are to be built on an island just off the coast and include three museums designed by the celebrity architects Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Tadao Ando, as well as a sprawling, spaceshiplike performing arts center designed by Zaha Hadid.

Mr. Gehry’s building is intended for an Adu Dhabi branch of the Guggenheim Museum featuring contemporary art and Mr. Nouvel’s for a classical museum, possibly an outpost of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Mr. Ando’s is to house a maritime museum reflecting the history of the Arabian gulf.

The project also calls for a national museum and a biennial exhibition space composed of 19 pavilions designed by smaller names and snaking along a canal that cuts through the island. Art schools and an art college are also planned. ..

For the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Mr. Gehry envisions a 320,000-square-foot structure with 130,000 square feet of exhibition space built around a cluster of galleries, a space far larger than his Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain, which cost about $100 million. A jumble of blocks, glass awnings and open spaces, the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim would be centered on a core of galleries of varying height atop one another and forming a courtyard. A second ring of larger galleries is followed by a third ring of galleries housing raw industrial-looking spaces with exposed lighting and mechanical systems.

The big question is what will it house given the Muslim proscription on the depiction of human beings and most living things?

Posted on 02/02/2007 12:49 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 2 February 2007
Who, Who, Who?

"He [83-year-old Mohammed Naseem, "a past champion of interfaith dialogue who was for many years regarded as a voice of Islamic moderation. A year ago, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Birmingham"].went on to compare Tony Blair’s Britain to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin. People were beginning to realise, he said, that the Government had embarked on 'a campaign to strike terror in the hearts of the Muslim people.'"
-- from this news item

This shows the depth and immutability of the problem. Not a wild-eyed youth. An 83-year-old. Not an obvious fire-breathing Hamza at the Finsbury Mosque, but "Mohammad Nasseem" a "past champion of interfaith dialogue" [oh, you know the type, the transparent type, and you know exactly what that "interfaith dialogue" turned out to be, and what it was always, by Muslims participating in it, intended to be]. He compares Great Britain to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. He talks of a "campaign to strike terror."

Really? Who is engaged in a "campaign to strike terror"? Who burns down 3,000 churches and beheads little Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia? Who kills 200,000 people, one-third of the Christians of East Timor? Who puts a bomb in Bali to kill Westerners and the local Hindus, and then gets off nearly scot-free, or even scot-free? Who beheads Buddhist schoolteachers and monks and farmers, merely going about their business, in southern Thailand? Who kills Hindus as they happen to be passing a mosque as Friday Prayers are letting out, in Bangladesh? Who puts bombs in Mumbai? Who attacks India's Parliament building in New Delhi? Who puts bombs in Christian schools and hospitals in Pakistan? Who kills Assyrians and Chaldeans in Iraq? Who terrorizes Christian nurses and all others who dare to sing, behind closed doors, Christmas carols, or dare to read the Bible, and are seized and tortured as a result, in Saudi Arabia? Who attacks the Copts, the descendants of the original Egyptians, in their own country of Egypt, and kidnaps Coptic girls, and throws bombs into churches, and kills Coptic villagers and Coptic priests? Who slits the throats of the last French priests, and Italian monks, there only on a vocation of charity, in Algeria? Who seizes schools, and massacres schoolchildren, and blows up busses, and kills hitchhikers, and puts bombs that blow up pizzerias, cafés, Passover ceremonies, and bus after bus after bus, and kills, kills, kills, in Israel? Who kills the Maronites in Damour, and Jounieh, and elsewhere, cutting open the stomachs of pregnant Maronite women, and visits every conceivable atrocity on thousands upon thousands of Maronites and, indeed, other Christians? Who murders or starves to death the black African Christians of the southern Sudan, over twenty years of uninterrupted genocide, and seizes and enslaves black Africans for Arab masters? Who massacred the Christians in Kano and the rest of northern Nigeria, overnight, and then proceeded to conduct a "jihad" (as Colonel Ojukwu called it) against the Christians of southern Nigeria? Who is it who put the bombs in the Atocha station in Madrid? Who killed Theo van Gogh? Who helped to arrange the killing of Pim Fortuyn? Who applauded both killings? Who seized the school in Beslan resulting the deaths of hundreds of schoolchildren? Who seized that theater in Moscow, where the play "North" was being shown? Who killed elderly Jewish people in an Old Age home in Munich? Who killed elderly Jewish people who stopped in Vienna on their way from Russia to, at long last, Israel? Who plotted to poison the water supply in Milan? Who threatened to kill the journalist for the Rai and Corriere della Sera Magdi Allam, who now must go about with several armed guards? Who threatened to kill Oriana Fallaci? Who threatens to kill Geert Wilders in The Netherlands? Who threatens to kill Carl Hagen, leader of a Christian party in Norway? Who threatened to kill every journalist connected to the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten, and extended that threat to include every Dane found in the lands of Islam? Who threatened the life of Robert Redeker, after he published a single article analyzing and criticizing Islam, and threatened as well the life of his family? Who threatened whom in order to obtain the firing of Will Cummins from the British Council after he published a few articles critical of Islam? Who got Riley-Smith fired from his television job for making remarks deemed critical of Islam? Who organized demonstrations in the middle of Paris where people shouted death to France? Who organized demonstrations in the middle of London where people shouted "death to the English" and "death to Infidels" and "England is ours"? Who killed Jews on the street in Antwerp, and Toronto, and attacks them so often that they cannot wear any outward sign of being Jews, in Paris, in London, in god-knows-where? Who prevents speakers from speaking, shouting them down, threatening them with physical attacks, in Montreal at Concordia University, at San Francisco, at Georgetown, in Ottawa churches, and everywhere they can?

Who, who, who?

Posted on 02/02/2007 1:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 2 February 2007
Hirsi Ali: My life as an infidel

Penny Wark interviews Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the TimesOnline:

In fear for her life, anti-Islam Somali Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells our correspondent she regrets writing the film that led to the killing of director Theo Van Gogh

The girl at the other end of a long room says she is cold. Shy and nervous too, I note. She’s going to get some socks, and disappears. She’s slender, understated, almost childlike in her physical uncertainty. When she returns she is wearing well-worn slippers beneath her jeans and she curls her feet under her on a sofa.

This is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the world-famous human rights campaigner, or preposterous critic of Islam, depending on your point of view. Time magazine named her as one of itsr 100 most influential people in 2005, recognising that her demands for reform of the faith in which she was brought up had placed the issue on the international agenda. In 2004 she had written the screenplay for Submission Part 1, a short film designed to expose the subjugation of women within the Muslim faith. Two months after it was shown, her fellow film-maker, Theo Van Gogh, was shot dead by an Islamic extremist. The assailant used a knife to pin a note to his chest saying that Hirsi Ali would be next.

 
Subsequent publicity has painted Hirsi Ali as a formidably strong woman, fearless, uncompromising and almost one-dimensional: a designer-clad cipher who repeats her mantra ad infinitum without apparent emotion. She is against injustice done in the name of Islam, whether it is honour killings or circumcision and other forms of brutalisation to women. She is intolerant of Muslim fundamentalism. So it is curious to meet her and see that there is vulnerability beneath the public persona, or to use her language, to find that the reality does not entirely match the image.

The restricted view of her has come about for several reasons. Since 2002, when she first received death threats, she has been guarded by security teams, and until now we have known only the outline of her life: her migratory upbringing as a Muslim in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya, her circumcision at the age of 5, her flight from an arranged marriage to Holland where she sought asylum, her rejection of Islam, her emerging campaigning which led her to become a Dutch MP, the controversy around Submission and her subsequent rejection by the Dutch authorities.

Now she has filled in the gaps by writing Infidel, her autobiography, in which we learn of the forces that made her. I ask her to summarise them in a few words and this is what she says: “Moving — a true nomad. Bigotry between the clans and the Somalis and non-Somalis, the Muslims and non-Muslims. Resilience — no sulking, no pouting, giddy up, get going. No emotions or showing emotions. You are required to behave in a certain way and as soon as the door closes and you’re in a private sphere, you relax...

The middle of three children, she grew up with her mother, an austere and depressed woman whose moods were not helped by the almost constant absence of her husband, a rebel leader. Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia, where aggression was regarded as a survival tactic and your identity revolved around your clan and family. As a Muslim, she learnt too that it was her duty to submit to men, and to Allah.

At the same time, Allah was a mysterious force to which she never entirely related, partly perhaps because of her family’s habit of never explaining things to children. When she was circumcised, at 5 with scissors and no anaesthetic, she was told only that this would keep her pure, and in adolescence she came to believe that submitting to God involved the suppression of her sexuality and the self. She asked questions and argued; this theme is always there and would affect her relationships in adult life. Books, from Jane Austen to crime thrillers, told her of a world of freedom, adventure, individuality and romance and she wanted to fall head over heels in love, but when she was 22 and her father arranged her marriage to a man she regarded as a peabrain, running away was a logical step...

In the past few years I was in Holland I transgress,” she says. “I have a boyfriend with whom I sleep without being married to him. I engage and become good friends, intimate friends, with unbelievers. I become good friends with Jews, who are a certain sort of unbeliever. Every time a little voice in my head tells me I’m sinning, I succeed in pushing it behind me until the eleventh of September. And it’s like a day of judgment when you’re pushed into this. You have to make a choice. That gap between self image and reality, it’s too wide and it’s bound to crack.” ...

A wonderful interview - keep reading here.

The book is available here.

Posted on 02/02/2007 1:37 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 2 February 2007
Muslims 'being persecuted' in Brum

From The Birmingham Post

Muslim communities in Birmingham are feeling picked on and persecuted following the latest high-profile anti-terror raids in the city.

That was the view of residents, traders and community leaders who fear that if the arrests made during Wednesday's raids at Alum Rock, Edgbaston, Kingstanding and Sparkbrook do not result in successful prosecutions, they will be "tainted forever."

Yesterday Councillor Salma Yaqoob (Respect Sparkbrook) said speculation over an Iraq-style kidnap and execution only served to heighten tensions between the police and Muslim community.

Ms Yaqoob said: "The reality is that people are asking why are we being picked on, why are we being persecuted, because that's what it feels like when all they want to do is get on with their day-to-day lives.  The reason people are so fed up and cynical of the whole process is because the raids are so high profile. The area was full of reporters and television crews yesterday, but they will disappear quickly and when charges are dropped they'll be nowhere to be seen. That said I think there would be a huge public outcry if these latest raids fail to turn up anything that results in a successful prosecution"

Mrs Yaqoob was Ken Livingstone's second in the Clash of Civilisations debate last month. The one who said (two weeks later I paraphrase from memory) on the subject of the London Transport bombs, that "if you attack us in Iraq, you must not be surprised if we retaliate"  

Adam Mussa, a regional spokesman for the Muslim Association . . . said . . . “This is a form of victimisation and your average 'Mo Public' is feeling very cynical”

In relation to claims that the arrests were made over an alleged plot to kidnap and torture a Muslim soldier, Mr Mussa explained that "in the eyes of Islam" killing innocent people "is utterly wrong".  He added: "So for a Muslim to kill another Muslim is much worse, it's like killing a member of your own family, because they share the same beliefs as you.  From that perspective it can be seen as wrong for a Muslim man to become a soldier, as they may be asked to do things they do not agree with."

Posted on 02/02/2007 2:11 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 2 February 2007
Unpardonable (cont.)
My outrage of the month for December was the refusal of George W. Bush to grant pardons to the two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting at a Mexican drug smuggler, who was granted immunity by the U.S. court so that he could testify against the agents.

Our own Andy McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor himself (and fellow member of my gents’ dinner club), weighed in on the side of the feds in a lengthy piece on NRO the other day. You can read Andy’s piece here.

Now, there is a great deal to be said about this casemore than I can fit into a diary paragraph, and in any case most of it pretty well covered in outlets like WorldNetDaily. Probably the main thing to be said is, that for all Andy’s harping on the “facts of the case,” we poor mortals don’t know the facts of the case, because the federal government won’t release the court transcripts. Why is that, if the feds are so confident they have the facts on their side? It’s been two years since the court case, and there are still no transcripts. How usual is that?

Andy’s piece raises questions by itself. He says, for example, that: “The propaganda version holds that Aldrete-Davila [the Mexican drug trafficker the two agents were chasing] got off scot-free, while our brave ‘heroes,’ agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, are serving heavy-duty jail-time for just doing their jobs.”

But Aldrete-Davila did get off scot-free. And then some — he’s going to get a big fat settlement from the U.S. government, via a lawsuit he’s launched…

Oh, wait a minute — Andy actually says all this himself, later in his piece! Thus: “The alien narcotics smuggler, to the contrary, gets off scot-free, plus, thanks to another congressional statute, he can actually sue the United States — and is reportedly seeking $5 million in damages.”

So I guess, Andy, that the “the propaganda version” is, um, true.

Again: If Ramos and Compean are “two rogues who had no business wearing badges and carrying guns,” how come they survived 5 and 10 years, respectively, in the Patrol? Doesn’t the Patrol have any procedures for weeding our bad apples? (I believe, though I can’t find the reference, that one of them got a commendation for his work — Agent of the Year, or some such. “Rogues”?)

Another point: “Once Aldrete-Davila was down from Ramos’s shot to the backside, [the agents] decided, for a second time, not to grab him so he could face justice for his crimes...”

How does Andy know that’s what they decided? Has he seen the court transcripts? How, since they have not yet been released? And even if he has seen them, on what is this supposition about the decision processes of Compean and Ramos based? On the testimony of the drug trafficker? Presumably it’s not on Compean’s and Ramos’s own testimony.

One more: “Okay, you say. But did the indictment really have to be this severe? After all, the sentences are extremely harsh. Here, the agents have mainly themselves to blame. The government offered them very generous plea deals. Compean and Ramos spurned them.”

Yep — just as your or I or any person of honor would do if we felt we’d been unjustly charged. If Compean and Ramos had transgressed as egregiously as Andy makes out, then presumably, with their aggregate 15 years in the service, they knew it, and would have jumped on the prosecutor’s generous plea deal. Contrariwise, they opted to go to trial on the full charges. Do people who know that they are in deep doo-doo normally take that course?

I’ll allow Andy’s point that federal employees, like these border agents — and like all other public employees nowadays — have a union armed with thermonuclear warheads, which puts up mighty resistance to any of its members getting fired.

There’s a similar point that travels with that one, though. Federal prosecutors, and federal ex-prosecutors like Andy, have a solidarity among themselves, and are going to see each other’s point of view far, far more easily than they will see yours, mine, Compean’s or Ramos’s. Heck, federal prosecutors are federal employees too, aren’t they? Halfway into Andy’s piece the thought popped into my mind: This is guild work you’re doing here, Andy. The thought stayed.

I’d better say that I hold Andy’s legal knowledge in the highest esteem. In so far as his column dealt with points of law, I’ll take his word on those points. Then I’ll say what the beadle said in Oliver Twist: “If the law supposes that, the law is a ass — a idiot.”

And setting aside the matter of legal idiocy, there is political idiocy here of a very deep dye — not a thing that federal prosecutors (or at any rate their superiors) should be unmindful of, surely. For the federal government to engage in a high-profile prosecution like this, and follow it through so relentlessly, when tens of millions of Americans are spitting furious at the dismal state of immigration law enforcement — to throw such massive federal resources into prosecuting border agents on any grounds at all, when the gaping, glaring lack of federal resources given over to enforcement of the people’s laws on immigration and nationality is so infuriatingly obvious — is the crassest, stupidest kind of misjudgment. It is further confirmation, as if we needed it, that this administration is blind and deaf on immigration issues, issues of crucial importance to the future of our nation.

Finally, if our government would like us to judge fairly of this matter, rather than take the words of Compean or Ramos, or Mr. Aldrete-Davila, or U.S. Attorney Sutton, or Andy — if they would like us to judge the rights and wrongs of the matter for ourselves, as competent citizens in a free Republic — why, let them release the court transcripts. Why won’t they?
Posted on 02/02/2007 2:41 PM by John Derbyshire
Friday, 2 February 2007
America's Answer to William MacGonagall
Before there was Maya Angelou to give us toe-curlingly bad poetry, there was of course Allen Ginsburg
Posted on 02/02/2007 2:53 PM by John Derbyshire
Friday, 2 February 2007
Happy Birthday, Brave New World
Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" was published (in Britain) 75 years ago today.  I'm doing up a piece for the print NR.  In the meantime, here is a long essay I wrote about Huxley on the publication of his Collected Essays a while back.
Posted on 02/02/2007 3:00 PM by John Derbyshire
Friday, 2 February 2007
A Lesson For Everyone

As participants in "Behind the Veil," 28 non-Muslim female students learned about life as Muslim women as they wore head dresses, or hijabs, on Wednesday.

"Behind the Veil," an event Sara Yasin, a junior in textile and apparel management, said she thought up last summer, invited students to experience firsthand the life of Muslim women by mirroring their attire for a day, which includes covering their hair and entire bodies minus their faces and hands. --from this news item

Yes, payment of the Jizyah would have been fun.

And the way it should have been conducted is this. First, have only the real Muslim students demanding the payment of Jizyah from the real non-Muslim students. Make it as large a payment as would have been the real Jizyah, one that inflicts a real burden. Say, make students hand over cash from their parents, or several months' rent, or the title to their car. (All in good fun, of course, all for the purposes of pedagogy). Have students role-play as Muslims and dhimmis: let a Muslim take something from a non-Muslim student, or push him down on the ground, or start pawing at his girlfriend. Something small, just to give a taste. Now inform the non-Muslim student that he has simply no right to retaliate, no right, either, to sue the offending Muslim student. Make sure, by the way, that non-Muslim students always give way to Muslims, as they walk down the hall, standing aside, meekly. Do everything to provide equivalents to the real behavior forced upon non-Muslims in a Muslim-dominated society. Read aloud from the Muslim texts, or from the texts of Western scholars of the dhimmi condition,such as Antoine Fattal's study of the legal condition of non-Muslims under Islam (and what samaritan will pay to have that book translated?).

Then offer to the non-Muslim students the possibility of "becoming Muslims," and instead of paying the Jizyah, to receive the Jizyah, instead of being the object of Muslim bullying, being able to bully, without any repercussions, those who are non-Muslims, instead of having to stand meekly aside, or to endure a dozen other ways of being humiliated and degraded (ask the students to come up with ways to do that -- they'll be quite creative), they now have the chance not to take it any longer. And some may actually find that they will also want to dish it out. Yes, there will be plenty of "voluntary reversions" to Islam among the students after they have role-played the parts of Muslims and non-Muslims for a day or two. And that should be instructive.

Yes, indeed, that will teach them something of how lands once entirely non-Muslim, and conquered by a very small group of Muslims -- in Mesopotamia, and Syria, and Judea, and Egypt, and the rest of North Africa, and in Persia, and Anatolia, and beyond to Hindustan and East Asia -- nonetheless, over time, became in many cases almost totally Muslim (with holdouts here and there: the Maronites, the Copts, the Maronites, the Jews who spread out in Dar al-Islam or more distantly, in certain parts of Dar al-Harb) in-gathered in modern Israel), or where the number of non-Muslims was too great (as in Hindustan), despite mass killings, the Muslims always remained a minority of slave-masters (the same people who, at the Mughal Court, became the object of such upscale but still recognizably Barbara-Cartlandish treatment at the hands of such romance-novellette historians as William Dalrymple).

A lesson. A lesson for everyone.

Posted on 02/02/2007 3:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 2 February 2007
National Service

"I am all for the reintroduction of National Service."-- from a reader

Universal military service needs to be introduced in the countries of Western Europe so that a minimum familiarity with discipline, and the use of weapons, and a new less hedonistic attitude, can be instilled in those who, if they wish to hold on to their own countries, have to learn certain skills, and see the world, see themselves, a bit differently. Army service, not for a long time -- a year will do -- which includes American-style basic training -- would do it.

Posted on 02/02/2007 3:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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