These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 2, 2009.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
'Whip me if you dare' says Lubna Hussein, Sudan's defiant trouser woman
The Sunday Telegraph has an interview with Lubna Hussein, the Christian Sudanese woman who is daring Islamic judges to have her whipped for the "crime" of wearing trousers. We have not done enough for the Christians of the south of Sudan in their trouble. Many of them are Anglicans and while Dr Carey visited to give moral support I don’t recall hearing any such concern from Dr Williams. My father-in-law was stationed in Khartoum for a spell and spent some of his spare time helping at the leper colony in Omburman. He confirmed his vocation to ordination watching the care and devotion of the Sudanese Christian women who worked there or were treated there. Years later I decided it was time I joined the Mother’s Union, the organisation to support Christian family life, after borrowing Mum’s MU magazine and reading of the Sudanese MU members who were put under house arrest for daring to consider travel to Kenya for an MU conference. They were threefold anathema to the Islamic regime. Women, Christians, organised.
As the morality police crowded around her table in a Khartoum restaurant, leering at her to see what she was wearing, Lubna Hussein had no idea she was about to become the best-known woman in Sudan.
She had arrived at the Kawkab Elsharq Hall on a Friday night to book a cousin's wedding party, and while she waited she watched an Egyptian singer and sipped a coke.
She left less than an hour later under arrest as a "trouser girl" - humiliated in front of hundreds of people, then beaten around the head in a police van before being hauled before a court to face a likely sentence of 40 lashes for the "sin" of not wearing traditional Islamic dress.
The officials who tried to humiliate her expected her to beg for mercy, as most of their victims do.
Instead she turned the tables on them – and in court on Tuesday Mrs Hussein will dare judges to have her flogged, as she makes a brave stand for women's rights in one of Africa's most conservative nations.
She has become an overnight heroine for thousands of women in Africa and the Middle East, who are flooding her inbox with supportive emails. To the men who feel threatened by her she is an enemy of public morals, to be denounced in the letters pages of newspapers and in mosques.
As she recounted her ordeal in Khartoum yesterday Mrs Hussein, a widow in her late thirties who works as a journalist and United Nations' press officer, managed cheerfully to crack jokes - despite the real prospect that in a couple of days she will be flogged with a camel-hair whip in a public courtyard where anyone who chooses may watch the spectacle.
Her interview with The Sunday Telegraph was her first with a Western newspaper.
"Flogging is a terrible thing – very painful and a humiliation for the victim," she said. "But I am not afraid of being flogged. I will not back down. I want to stand up for the rights of women, and now the eyes of the world are on this case I have a chance to draw attention to the plight of women in Sudan."
She could easily have escaped punishment by simply claiming immunity as a UN worker, as she is entitled to under Sudanese law. Instead, she is resigning from the UN – to the confusion of judges who last Wednesday adjourned the case because they did not know what to do with her.
Like many other women in the capital, Mrs Hussein fell foul of Sudan's Public Order Police, hated groups of young puritans employed by the government to crack down on illegal drinkers of alcohol and women who, in their view, are insufficiently demure.
Despite their claims of moral superiority, they have a reputation for dishonesty and for demanding sexual favours from women they arrest.
The police had difficulty seeing what Mrs Hussein was wearing under her loose, flowing Sudanese clothes. She was wearing green trousers, not the jeans that she said she sometimes wears, and wore a headscarf, as usual.
"They were very rude," she said. "A girl at a table near mine was told to stand up and told to take a few steps and then turn around, in a very humiliating way. She was let off when they 'discovered' she was not wearing trousers."
After her arrest, on the way to a police station, she tried to calm the younger girls. "So I began to try to calm the girls, telling them this wasn't very serious. The response of the policeman was to snatch my mobile phone, and he hit me hard on the head with his open hand.”
Christian women visiting from the south of Sudan were among the 10 women who admitted their error and were summarily flogged with 10 lashes each. But Mrs Hussein declined to admit her guilt and insisted on her right to go before a judge.
While waiting for her first court appearance, she said she was surprised to find herself held in a single cramped detention cell with other prisoners of both sexes. "How Islamic is that?" she asked.
Mrs Hussein is a long-standing critic of Sudan's government, headed by President Omar al-Bashir, the first head of state to face an international arrest warrant for war crimes. Sudan has been accused of committing atrocities in the Darfur region.
Before her arrest she had written several articles criticising the regime, although she believes she was picked at random by the morality police.
The government is dominated by Islamists, although only the northern part of the nation is Muslim. Young women are frequently harassed and arrested by the regime's morality police.
"These laws were made by this current regime which uses it to humiliate the people and especially women. These tyrants are here to distort the real image of Islam." I suppose she has to believe that as she and the other Christians have to live with their neighbours.
She is not only in trouble with police and judges. A day after her court appearance she was threatened by a motorcyclist, who did not remove his helmet. He told her that she would end up like an Egyptian woman who was murdered in a notorious recent case.
Since then she has not slept at home, moving between the houses of relatives. She believes her mobile telephone has been listened to by the security services using scanners.
But she has pledged to keep up her fight. "I hope the situation of women improves in Sudan. Whatever happens I will continue to fight for women's rights." Prayer is about the only help I can give her at the moment.But we know how powerful that can be.
There is a fair amount of excitement, especially on the Left, at the prospect of China ruling the world and eclipsing the decadent West. Why the prospect is not viewed with horror, I can't imagine, but again and again, China, surely the cruellest of nations, gets a pass where Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were rightly condemned. There is much to fear and nothing at all to wish for in the idea of China as a superpower. It is simply not civilised.
Martin Jaques, sometime editor of Marxism Today - with all the idiocy and moral bankruptcy that such a job requires - relishes the thought, and has written a book called When China Rules the World. Jonathan Mirsky reviews it scathingly in The Spectator:
This long and repetitive book is exactly about what it says on the cover. Unlike Martin Jacques I hesitate to say the same thing again and again, but his point is that the Chinese have a very long, tenacious, unified, and enduring culture that is overtaking the ‘West’ — he means the United States, a country of recent origin compared to the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilisation-state. Some time in the mid-term future the Chinese will be global masters.
As for Mao himself, here Jacques finds an ally in Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone, who recently noted in a Times interview that Hitler ‘got things done’, but went wrong when he got into bad company. Jacques notes that ‘notwithstanding his colossal abuses of power, which resulted in the deaths of millions’, Mao founded the unified and independent state, ‘and is still widely venerated’. Having used ‘notwithstanding’, he slides over to another weasel-word: ‘Despite the calamities of the Great Leap Forward [30 to 50 million dead] and the Cultural Revolution, [more dead millions] both of which Mao has been responsible for…’. In a book of well over 500 pages, this is the only mention of these particular Maoist horrors, neither of which appears in the index. He notes that Mao’s portrait still hangs over Tiananmen Square. Of course: in May 1989 three men hurled paint at it and were jailed for many years. It is not veneration that keeps others from taking it down.
Jacques asserts that no one wants Party rule to end, or democracy. But I heard hundreds of thousands in Tiananmen Square shouting ‘Down with the Party’ in May 1989. Many of them were soon murdered. And one of the founders of the Chinese Democratic Party, Xu Wenli, recently completed a 16-year prison sentence. The heirs of Mao have taken great care to crush opposition.
Jacques disparages those who regard ‘Communist regimes as the devil incarnate’. None of the significant works of scholarship that reveal this devil and all his works, by Roderick MacFarquhar, Michael Schoenhals, Edward Friedman, Paul Picowicz, Mark Selden, Merle Goldman, Robin Munro, and Ralph Thaxton to name but a few, occur in Jacques’ suggestions for further reading or his bibliography, nor do the many volumes on Mao by Stuart Schram.
According to Jacques, ever since Confucius’s disciple Mencius (551-479 BC) said so, Chinese peasants have had the heaven-granted right to rebel. Official historians, however, granted this ‘right’ only after a dynasty fell, and in any event most Chinese have never heard of Mencius. Rebellion against the dynasty was number one in the list of Ten Abominations that led to execution. Jacques then dives over the top — perhaps assisted by the devil incarnate — when he says that this traditional right of rebellion took the form in the ‘Communist era’ of the ‘right of the proletariat to resist and defeat the bourgeoisie’. Bourgeoisie was the term applied to the tens of thousands of writers, artists, scientists, academics, Party members and leaders, and many others deemed to be worthy of torment and death in the Mao years. Now Jacques is optimistic: China he says, ‘is possessed of a 5,000-year history and an extremely long memory … it is blessed with the virtue of patience, confident in the belief that history is on its side … in the 21st century [China’s mentality] will come to fruition’. Lucky Martin Jacques. He is a ‘bourgeois’. If he had been a Chinese in those not so distant terrible years, he would have been a victim.
"A Chinese"? This, surely, is something to eat rather than a person. What Mirsky should have said is "a Chinaman".
So much for sex equality. From The Times (h/t Alan):
HARRIET HARMAN has demanded that one of Labour’s two top posts should always be held by a woman — because she believes men cannot be trusted to run organisations on their own.
Labour’s deputy leader secretly tried to change party rules two years ago to ensure that it could never again be led by an all-male team, but she was foiled.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Harman reiterates her belief in the principle and says her role as Gordon Brown’s second-in-command has changed for ever the way the party will be run.
“I don’t agree with all-male leaderships,” she said. “Men cannot be left to run things on their own. I think it’s a thoroughly bad thing to have a men-only leadership.”
Harman tried to change the party’s rules shortly after winning the deputy leadership contest. An insider who was involved said it was rejected out of hand by the party hierarchy.
Harman said it was put on the backburner because Labour was busy “getting on with the job” of running the country. She insisted she had been right to press for the change.
“In a country where women regard themselves as equal, they are not prepared to see men running the show themselves,” she said.
“I think a balanced team of men and women makes better decisions. That’s one of the reasons why I was prepared to run for deputy leader.”
So, if no women of the right calibre apply, they appoint a mediocrity such as the preposterous Jacqui Smith, or indeed Harman herself? Harman, who stupidly wants to saddle struggling small businesses with "equality audits", lives in a bubble, cushioned from reality by the forced largesse of the taxpayer. Diversity, whether of race or sex, simply means employing people who aren't good enough.
Unlike Harriet Harperson, I am an equal opportunities mistruster - I do not trust any member of this Government: male, female or transgendered; black, white or sky blue pink; gay, straight or polysexual.
Posters advertising Lars von Trier's film Antichrist describe it as "a punch in the face of respectability". How dated, how quaint that sounds. The "transgressive" film directors, writers, artists and academics, those who "dare" to challenge traditions, are the new respectable, as it is they who have the grants, the book deals, and the professorships. And how selective is that challenge, consisting of safe targets who won't fight back: Christians, Jews or critics of Islam.
Charles Moore has a brief note on the film in this week's Spectator:
Charlotte Gainsbourg, the star who attacks her own genitals with rusty scissors in the latest attention-grabbing revolting film, Antichrist, is the daughter of Jane Birkin. Jane Birkin, most famous for the rude song ‘Je t’aime ...moi non plus’, is the daughter of Judy Campbell. Judy Campbell, who first made herself famous by her rendering of ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’ during the war, was the daughter of J.A. and Mary Campbell. Mr and Mrs Campbell ran the Picture House in Grantham, and were so respectable that they persuaded the stern, unbending Alderman Alfred Roberts to let his daughter Margaret (later better known as Margaret Thatcher) go to their cinema. This genealogy is an eloquent microcosm of cultural change.
Gainsbourg probably thinks she is being terribly daring and shocking. Truly shocking is the fact that little girls' genitals are hacked off by force throughout the Muslim world, on the recommendation of Mohammed. And the mothers and aunts who do it are not mentally ill, but devout and obedient Muslims. This is not a subject that the "daring" Gainsbourg or her "transgressive" director would touch with a barge pole.
By the way, did anyone think Je t'aime...moi non plus was erotic, as opposed to comical?
Transgressive Serge Gainsbourg used to practice his songs on the piano in the chic bar of the very expensive Hotel Raphael, on Avenue Kleber, the same place where Tracy and Hepburn would meet, and where latterly visitng Arab bigshotrs have so often been put up and paid for by the French governmentbecause of the proximity to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building right next door. (One Lebanese bigshot lived in the fanciest suite for years on end – I forget who paid the bill). For Serge and for Jane it was always the right side, the swankiest side, of the tracks, as for so many other of our millionaire transgressors. I’ll bet the same champagne tastes are exhibited by Charlotte too, doing her own obvious transgressing.
Everyone now knows how vieux jeu are these “punches in the face of respectability.” The violence implied by the “punch” may be contrasted with the mere “slap” of yesteryear, as in Mayakovsky’s “A Slap In The Face Of Public Taste.” Back further still, when there was a self-satisfied bourgeoisie from which to transgress, the theme was not a punch, nor even a slap, but merely a vague unviolent promise implicit in the verb “epater” – “to shock.” But there’s no respectability, and there are so few ways to shock.
One way is to discuss, calmly and no-nonsensically, the legitimacy, and heritability, of I.Q.When J. D. Watson did it, it became, briefly (no one wished to linger, for it was all too embarrassing) the modern equivalent of the Trial of Galileo, with the New York Times – and an anxiously bullying interviewer named Henry Louis Gates – playing the role of grand inquisitors in the Catholic Church, making war, in our own age, on the mental freedom of uncompromising science.
And yet another way to shock would be to discuss, fully, openly, candidly, unapologetically, relentlessly, the meaning and menace of Islam. Doing it, that is, while pulling no punches.
An Iranian plane crash two weeks ago – which left 168 people dead – was caused by the explosion of sophisticated fuses slated to be delivered to Hezbollah, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Saturday, quoting sources in the Middle East.
According to the report, the pilot of the Tupolev plane, which was making its way from Tehran to Armenia, sent an emergency warning 16 minutes after takeoff. Shortly afterwards, the plane crashed in northwest Iran.
According to the sources, the aircraft was carrying a large number of modern fuses composed of 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of explosives and electrical instrumentation.
The report is in line with testimonies on explosion sounds heard before the crash. According to the sources, the plane was meant to transfer the fuses from Iran to Armenia, and from there to Syria through Turkey, and then on the ground to Lebanon. This route was chosen, according to exiled opposition sources, so as not to draw attention.
According to the report, the transfer of arms was a special operation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and some of its members were among the crash victims. It was also reported that the presence of security forces at the site of the crash was not a coincidence.
According to information received from Lebanon, the weapon was to be hidden in one of the shelters built by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. However following an explosion which destroyed such a facility on July 14, the Iranian decided to hide the fuses north of the Litani River.
Hizb'Allah is stockpiling weapons in violation of UN Resolution 1701, which was an agreement to disarm Hizb'Allah in return for the withdrawal of Israeli troops (who were themselves attempting to disarm Hizb'Allah and stop their attacks on unarmed Israeli citizens)? Yet another example of the role that the Treaty of Hudaibiya plays in all past, present, and future Muslim negotiations?
Surely the UN is drafting a harsh Resolution as we speak, condemning this incident.
Not since Braveheart has there been such a threat to Anglo-Scottish relations. A cookery writer (and a Scottish one at that) claims that haggis was invented by the English. It was first mentioned in an English recipe book of 1615, says Catherine Brown, but no mention was made of Scottish haggis until 1747. Yet 39 years later Robert Burns hailed it as the national dish.
How must Scotland feel this morning? It must be like waking up in England to discover that bowler hats, morris dancing and Thora Hird were all invented by a Glaswegian. Yet doesn’t it make sense when you think about it?
Imagine you are the wily neighbour of a fierce, proud race: how do you get one over on them? First, you find a sheep’s stomach.You stuff it with offal and, keeping a straight face at all times, you hail it as a delicacy. Naturally, the Scots — wishing to outsmart the English despite reservations about the actual taste of haggis — move quickly and claim it as their own. Return to England, Agent Burns; your work is done.
GOJRA: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the violence in the country's Punjab province in which nine people, including six women, were killed and dozens injured after two rival groups fought with guns and sticks, media reports said Sunday.
The violence erupted Saturday in the Gojra tehsil in Toba Tek Singh district of the province over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran by one of the groups.
Fierce clashes broke out when a mob marched towards a village of the rival community to settle scores after the news spread. The authorities Sunday booked nearly 800 people for rioting and killing people, Geo TV said.
If they arrested 800, one can imagine how large these riots were.
Meanwhile, on the orders of President Zardari a heavy contingent of police was immediately dispatched to the troubled area to bring the situation under control. The police had to open fire to stop the rampaging mobs, the Nation newspaper reported on its website.
Officials said 40 houses and a church were torched by one of the rival groups. Tension has been running high between the Muslims and Christians in the area over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran.
Television footage showed burning of houses, streets strewn with blackened furniture and people firing at one another from their rooftops. Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti alleged a mob "misled by extremists" attacked a Christian neighbourhood and torched dozens of houses...
Two killed and many injured in fight between two Mosques in Sri Lanka.
This unedifying tale is from The Sunday Times and the Sunday Leader of Sri Lanka. A history of violent clashes between an old established mosque and a more recently established Wahabi Mosque.
For years Sri Lanka’s Muslims like other Muslims in South and South East Asia have subscribed to what to outsiders appeared to be a liberal interpretation of what is often portrayed as a harsh and austere faith. Surrounded by Buddhists, Hindus and Christians and isolated for hundreds of years Sri Lankan Muslims seemed to have softened some of Islam’s traditional puritanism.
Traditionally Sri Lankan Muslim women did not wear the veil, and Muslim places of pilgrimage such as Adams Peak, Kataragama existed along side the holy sites of the island’s other religions.
This almost idyllic brand of tolerant Islam, a world a way from the restrictive, fundamentalism now prevalent in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, has succeeded in coexisting with the island’s other religions for almost a 1000 years.
However this traditional brand of Islam – the ancient practices of this island’s Muslim community, now finds itself under attack. Not from adherents of other religions but from within the Muslim community.
The last decades have seen Sri Lanka’s Muslims travel widely and migrate in great numbers to the Middle East where they have been exposed to the Islam practiced nearer the birth place of the religion in the Arabian Desert. Here they discover that some Sri Lankan Muslim practices differ from the rituals endorsed by orthodox Middle Eastern Sunnis.
It was the holy war of Muslims last week in the coastal town of Beruwala. Signs of growing divisive battles loom large in this coastal town, once a bustling port for Arab traders of yore, from whom indigenous Sri Lankan Muslims trace their origins.
Divisiveness is not a new phenomenon to Beruwala. On the left of the road lies China Fort, the area where some of the wealthiest among Sri Lankans Muslims live. On the right side of the road, however, it is abject poverty. Every year, during the fasting month of Ramazan, the bond of brotherhood is revived. The rich provide zakath or alms to the poor. They come in the form of not only cash donations but also in kind -- like dates, rice and other essential commodities. Over the years, it had become a tradition.
One such poor village in the outskirts of the Beruwala town is Maligahena, home of Quadiriyyathul Nabaviyah or better known as the Bukhari Thakkiya or mosque. Muslims there had just ended the 130th anniversary feast. The ten-acre precincts of the mosque premises assume a festive air during this period. Traders build stalls to sell their wares to more than 100,000 devotees who come from all parts of Sri Lanka. On Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, ending religious ceremonies, they sat on mats for dinner and lunch in groups of six to share together in one Savan (or a large dish) a rice meal with mutton and other curries. Then follows a very good explanation of how the Sunni and Shia separation came about. At the side is a timeline of other Muslim v Muslim violence.
The remarks of a Moulavi (cleric) who conducted Jumma prayers a day later, (on Friday), in another relatively new mosque, Masjidur Rahman, some 200 metres away, was cause for concern. In a sermon heard through loud-hailers to a good part of the village, the Moulavi had made some provocative remarks, alleged Abdul Latif, a lawyer for the organisers of the Bukhari feast. "He had branded those taking part in the feast as kafirs (or infidels),"
"We have been tolerant for the past eight years. Since the Masjidur Rahman mosque was built, they have been calling us kafirs (infidels). They always criticise our tradition of feeding people in the mosque," a young man who prays at the Bukhari mosque said.
Past midnight Friday, events took a bad turn. Rizvi Zain, trustee of the Masjidur Rahman mosque told the Sunday Times that crowds armed with swords, knives and clubs attacked their mosque after causing an electricity blackout .They chanted slogans calling for the Moulavi to come out. Two of the devotees, he said, were beaten to death and 40 others were injured. Nine of them are still in hospital. Mohideen, a 37-year-old gem merchant and Mahir, a 30-year-old lapidarist, were killed in the violence that lasted an hour and set the mosque on fire.
Parts of the mosque were covered with black soot, glass from shattered windows had rained on the ashes of burnt wooden cupboards on the walls, broken knives and edges of swords carelessly lay on the floor, flies squatted on stains of blood which was yet to darken. Bicycles and motorcycles parked outside the prayer area were destroyed. A night curfew had to be imposed in the area after the incident.
A medical centre within the premises of the mosque was also attacked. "Equipment worth many thousands of rupees was destroyed. All the machines were either burnt or broken," Ashraf, a devotee in the Masjidur Rahman mosque, said. The healthcare wing of the mosque was built after the main building was constructed in 2002. Plenty of Saudi money to use to tempt people in. According to Ashraf, who described himself as a caretaker of the mosque, "affordable" healthcare services were provided to the people of Mahagoda and surrounding areas 24 hours a day.
Ashraf alleged hand grenades had been hurled at people gathered to witness the opening of the Masjidur Rahman mosque in 2002. "That's the culprits' headquarters," said Mohammed Fazli, another devotee, pointing towards the Bukhari mosque.
As Muslims in Beruwala recover from one of the darkest days in their history, some serious questions are coming to the fore. Devotees of the Masjidur Rahman mosque belong to a group called Thawheed, followers of Wahhabism or a puritan form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia.
Strict Wahabis believe that all those who do not practise their form of religion are heathens and enemies. There are others who say Wahabism's rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort Islam, pointing to the Taliban as well as Osama bin Laden. Mohamed Fazly, a devotee of the Thawheed group said, "We are trying to ensure Islam is followed in its proper way and in the purest form. We will deal with those who carried out the savage attacks." The remarks reflect the disturbed mood in a coastal town where there had been unity amongst Muslims within their diversities.
"This is a very unfortunate incident because Islam preaches brotherhood and peace. People must be educated on what Islam really stands for," said a Muslim intellectual very familiar with the community's workings in Beruwala. He did not wish to be identified. Back to The Sunday Leader
The Thawjeed claim that the religious practices of most Sri Lankan Muslims are impure, tinged with superstition and mystical rituals and they are determined to make Sri Lanka’s Muslim community conform to more orthodox strictures and they are clearly prepared to use violence to achieve their ends. For weeks before the Buhari festival they had issued threats to the Rahuman mosque urging community leaders to call off the festival.
“When I was young perhaps 20 or 30 years ago – you never saw Muslim women wearing the veil. At most some women draped their saris over their heads – certainly the black abaya was unknown — it is completely alien to Sri Lankan Muslims, but today more and more women are wearing not only the veil but even the abaya,” said Faraz, a Muslim from Colombo.
“When we were younger we went to mosque feasts, the tombs of saints and attended ceremonies at the Dematagoda mosque but later we were told this was wrong and against Islam. Some of my family stopped going but others still do. Those who have stopped put pressure on those who continue to attend feasts and visit tombs saying that those who do attend are bad Muslims,” claimed Fathima, a young Muslim from Colombo.
The tension that is now tearing apart Muslim communities across Sri Lanka centers on that single question who is and who is not a ‘good Muslim.’
Shifting attitudes among the Muslim population will affect the country as a whole. With Muslims constituting as much as 10% of the country’s population the rise of fundamentalist Islam may radically alter the way the country’s Muslims interact with members of other communities.
The traditional Islam practiced by Muslims in Sri Lanka, ‘impure’ as it may have been, succeeded in the community living in relative harmony with the country’s three other major religions for centuries. It is unlikely that the more fundamentalist schools will coexist as successfully with the island’s other religions; in fact the Thawjeed doesn’t even seem to be able to coexist peacefully with other Muslims. For all that the older mosque is said to practice a more harmonious school of Islam violence still comes easily to them. Although in a war torn country that may not be so very surprising.
The Ahavath Torah Congregation Brotherhood will sponsor a Sunday Brunch, August 23 at 9:45 AM featuring panelist Rebecca Bynum, Hugh Fitzgerald and Jerry Gordon speaking about “Islam as Religion and the Strategies of Denial and Delusion.”
What Sergeant Leon K. Lashley Wanted His Colleague Jim Crowley To Convey To President Obama
This letter was written by the black poice sergeant, a colleague of Jim Crowley, who arrived quickly at Ware Street and who appears in the photographs of a shrieking, and handcuffed, Henry Louis Gates:
Would you be so kind as to mention the following to Mr. Gates and President Obama during your meeting with them:One of the major problems stemming from the events of July 16 is that I, now known as 'the black Sergeant', have had my image plastered all over the Internet, television and newspapers. Subsequently, I have also become known, at least to some, as an 'Uncle Tom.'I'm forced to ponder the notion that as a result of speaking the truth and coming to the defense of a friend and colleague, who just happens to be white, that I have somehow betrayed my heritage.Please convey my concerns to the President that Mr. Gates' actions may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony in this country and perhaps throughout the world
.In closing, I would simply like to ask that Mr. Gates deeply reflect on the events that have unfolded since July 16 and ask himself the following questions:'What can I do to help heal the rift caused by some of my actions?; What responsibility do I bear for what occurred on July 16, 2009? Is there anything I can do to mitigate the damage done to the reputations of two respected Police Officers?'
This kind of thing should be going on round-the-clock, and with expulsions en masse of all those who, in identifying themselves as Muslims, refuse to distance themselves from the Jihad-verses of the Qur'an, such as 9.5 and 9.29, and who can, therefore, legitimately be held to take such things as the literal word of God and hence, their unavoidable and immutable duty. Why bother to wait for enough evidence to prove a link, in this case, to terrorist groups or to illegal immigration rings? Why is that necessary? Isn't taking the Qur'an as the literal word of God, with all that it contains, quite enough? No? Why not?
ROMA - Un tunisino accusato di appartenere ad una cellula italiana collegata all'organizzazione "Ansar Al Islam" e di aver svolto attivita' di proselitismo in favore della Jihad e' stato espulso questa sera dall'Italia su disposizione del ministero dell'Interno. L'uomo, il 43enne Toumi Ali Ben Sassi, era gia' stato condannato dalla corte di Assise di Appello di Milano a sei anni di reclusione per associazione a delinquere con finalita' di terrorismo e favoreggiamento dell'immigrazione clandestina. (RCD)