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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 2, 2011.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
More 5-star Amazon Reviews of The Left is Seldom Right
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional perspectives of great insight, August 1, 2011
 
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Left is Seldom Right (Perfect Paperback)
This exceptional book is directed, the author writes, "primarily to reach all those ... who grew up in an ultra liberal environment assuming that 'the left is is always right.'" Thus the book's title. The extremes of Left and Right, both often wrong, actually meet on many issues.
Several of the 25 chapters describe examples of European conservatives and right-wingers fighting the Nazis.
During Spain's civil war (1930s), Gen. Franco's military forces were supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Berdichevsky reminds the reader that Franco went on to keep "right-wing" Spain neutral during WWII, making possible British naval operations in the Med, and that "right-wing" Franco also provided refuge to Jews escaping occupied France.
The book describes George Orwell's conversion to anti-Commnism while in Spain as a volunteer with the International Brigade in the late 1930s. Orwell wrote about the corrosive murderousness of communists and anarchists who grew to dominate the Republican alliance. The brave idealism of the volunteers to Spain and their horrendous casualties are described, while Berdichevsky suggests the side on which they fought, as it developed, may not have deserved their heroic contributions.
Another story is told of a far less-known volunteer movement, which aided Finland when it was attacked in 1939 by the USSR, just after Germany and the USSR as allies crushed Poland.
Berdichevsky shows "anti-Semitism was not inherently a part of many nationalist 'right-wing' movements and that it is generated today overwhelmingly from the Far Left encouraged by the wealth and power of militant Islam."
The author counters Arab claims that Western democracies helped Israel in its 1948-49 independence war, explaining the primary Arab invaders -- from Transjordan and Egypt -- were armed by the British, with the eastern Palestine forces led by Brit officers. The USA actually prohibited arms shipments to the Mideast cutting off Israel, which was supplied by the USSR for a critical short period.
This book by Norman Berdichevsky is a welcome addtion to the political commentary of recent and current times, with perspectives of great insight.
 
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned that my definition "left" or "Right" was inadequate, July 30, 2011
This review is from: The Left is Seldom Right (Perfect Paperback)
This is a highly original and provocative work that succeeds in making us all aware how casually and often wrongly we bandy about the terms of Left and Right. I found it a real page turner with much food for thought and revision of long held ideas and misperceptions. A must read!

 
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Political Labels Are Not Accurate, July 13, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Left is Seldom Right (Perfect Paperback)

Finally a book that clarifies the ambiguity of the two sides of political thinking -- Right vs. Left -- for people who think they need to take sides in the first place. After reading Dr. Berdichevsky's well-written and compelling examples from history, we learn why one need not be categorized as being right or wrong depending on an outdated description of their political leaning. It's time to redefine our political selves in the 21st century by learning from Dr. Berdichevsky's assessment of past events from the inception of the terms 'Right' and 'Left', to what we are experiencing in current times.

Get your copy here. The Kindle version is coming soon.

Posted on 08/02/2011 5:33 AM by NER
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Muslim Boys gang are 'planning massive attack' at Belmarsh prison

From The Mirror

GOVERNORS at Britain’s top terror jail believe al-Qaeda extremists are planning a major attack as payback for Osama bin Laden’s death.

Security has been stepped up to “unprecedented” levels at Belmarsh prison after warnings that the Muslim Boys gang is plotting a revenge mission. A 15-strong riot squad in stab-proof vests has hidden around the jail’s chapel during Muslim prayers on Fridays in case of an attack. Another team of officers has been on standby ready to assist.

Prisoners on House Block One, which includes 39 terror suspects, added to the tension by staging a mass show of defiance on Friday. Inmates refused to return to their cells and a source says “staff very nearly lost control of the jail”.The standoff was only ended when officers brandished batons and demanded a retreat as they marched towards the prisoners.

The source said: “It’s a powder keg waiting to go off. There are concerns it will take an officer’s death (even that wouldn't be enough - 52 innocent commuters, police officers, an MP, numerous members of the public killed or seriously injured has not been enough so a prison officer won't make much difference to the authorities attitude)  before the Muslim Boys are tackled seriously. The levels of security being employed are unprecedented.Management are worried the Muslim Boys are planning an incident in Bin Laden’s honour on a scale never seen before. Security around the past three Friday prayers has been massive.”

The prayers at the Category A prison in South-East London are attended by high profile terror figures including hook-handed preacher of hate Abu Hamza.

Posted on 08/02/2011 2:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Muslims burn Churches and seize Christian cemeteries in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Muslim extremists on Saturday (July 30) burned down a church building on Zanzibar island off the coast of Tanzania, church leaders said, just three days after another congregation’s facility on the island was reduced to ashes.

In Fuoni on the south coast of Zanzibar (known locally as Unguja), Islamic extremists torched the building of the Evangelical Assemblies of God-Tanzania (EAGT) at around 2 p.m., said Pastor Leonard Massasa, who oversees Zanzibar’s EAGT churches. The assailants were shouting, “Away with the church – we do not want infidels to spoil our community, especially our children,” Pastor Massasa said.

“Tomorrow is Sunday, and my members numbering 40 will not have any place to worship,” Pastor Paulo Magungu of the Fuoni EAGT church said. With fear in his voice, the pastor added, “We have reported the case to the police station. I hope justice will be done.”

In Kianga, about 10 kilometers (six miles) from Zanzibar town, another church building was burned down on Wednesday (July 27) at about 2 a.m., said Pastor George Frank Dunia of Free Evangelical Pentecostal Church in Africa.  “I have 36 members, and it will be very difficult for them to congregate tomorrow,” the pastor said on Saturday (July 30). “The members are afraid, not knowing what other plans the Muslims are out to do. We request prayers at this trying moment.”

On neighboring Pemba island, suspected Muslim extremists in Konde on June 17 razed a Seventh-day Adventist Church building . . . “If we do not stop the growth of the churches here in Pemba, then soon we are going to lose our people to Christianity, especially the children,” Sheikh Ibrahim Abdalla of Chake-Chake Mosque reportedly said. He obviously realises that islam is not so beautiful and that the children are hungering for something better.

Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG) Pastor Yohana Ari Mfundo said he has witnessed a series of attacks on Christians on Pemba island. “It is even becoming extremely difficult for Christians to exercise their faith like praying or singing in a Muslim-owned rental house . . . We are here in Pemba because God wants us to be. But Muslims always point a finger at us – especially at my house, and we have been receiving several threats. But great is our God who is always ready to protect us.” He added that Muslims have openly vowed in their meetings not to make friendship with “infidels.”

It isn't just churches and living Christians who are in danger in Zanzibar. This is from the Christian Post.

Influential Muslims on this East African island have begun building what appears to be a hotel on a 100-year-old burial site owned by an Anglican church, Christian leaders said.

“We see that the government is partisan and would not like to see the church grow in Zanzibar,” the Rev. Canon Emmanuel John Masoud told Compass. “The retired Chief Justice Augustino Ramadani, who is a member of the Anglican church, was appointed to be a link between the church and the government to facilitate the negotiation process, but it seems that nothing is bearing fruits. Hence the church is not supported in any way.”

Masoud led church members from nearby Mbueni to the site to offer prayers on Dec. 29, 2010, two days after the daughter of former Zanzibar President Amani Abeid Karume placed boundary markers and a metal storage container full of belongings on the land, indicating the take-over. Karume, who erected a fence on the property to indicate it was now included in his residential area, is the vice chairman of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi, a political party of which Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete is chairman.

After the prayers, the Christians removed the boundary markers, and church leaders reported the attempted seizure to the Mazizini police station, Masoud said. They also drew attention to the case to Second Vice-President Seif Ali Iddi. Church leaders said they were promised that the government would take steps to resolve the issue, and that the rights of the church were protected, but construction on the site that began at the beginning of the year continues after seven months, Masoud said. “It has been even very difficult for us to visit the site, because it is always under police guard,”.

The church had planned to continue using the two-acre site as a Christian burial ground or build a Christian school as a memorial to those buried there, collecting the bones and burying them in one place, he said.

“It is quite uncalled for to see the government using force to take away the church’s premises. . .  Freedom of worship given in Chapter 3 of the constitution seems not to apply here in Zanzibar"
The church will continue to raise its voice in spite of the hostile environment, he said.

Near the city of Wete in Pemba, the archipelago’s second largest island, authorities refused to help Christians who also suffered the seizure of their land at the hands of Muslims, church leaders said.

Wete’s Anglican church purchased a burial site worth 1 million Tanzanian shillings (US$630) in 2007 in Finya village, about five kilometers (nearly three miles) from Wete, but in November 2010 the Rev. Stephen Aaron Kamwendo received word that an unnamed Muslim forestry worker had begun planting trees on the site as a boundary marker and claim of ownership. The forestry worker had unofficial backing from the island government, which supports opposition to Christian activity, Kamwendo said.

Kamwendo, who has ownership papers for the land, reported the case to the authorities in Wete and was told that the unnamed forestry worker had been given permission to buy the site.

“We are being cheated like some children,” Kamwendo said. “Our rights are not respected. We see no commitment from the government. We shall continue demanding our constitutional rights, which are provided by the 1984 constitution and revised in 1995, which gives freedom of expression and freedom to change one’s religion as a personal choice and to share one’s faith freely.”

He added that there are many cases in Pemba of Muslims deciding to sell their land to Christians, only to face opposition from family members who threaten to call down curses on them.

“It is sad that Christians are not represented as far as their religious rights are concerned,” Kamwenda said. “Instead, all religious issues in Zanzibar are channeled through a Muslim mufti. We feel that our rights will not be presented, because the church is not represented.”

His church was originally located in the central business area of Wete, near a police station, but city planners decided to build a road through the property in 1989. By 1993, the church was forced to relocate its worship site to the present burial site, where the buildings erected are cracking because the ground there is still loose and unstable, he said.

The relocation of the church worship site resulted in the loss of a burial place for its members, prompting the Finya purchase. Kamwenda said church leaders had no choice but to relocate to their burial place, as it is difficult to get government officials to grant land for church purposes, and Muslims refuse to rent property for churches or even sell land to Christians, he said.

Posted on 08/02/2011 2:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Result happiness?

Obama saves the day. From Newsbiscuit:

The US breathed a collective sigh of relief today following President Obama’s announcement that the nation’s application for a loan from online lender Wonga.com had been approved.

‘The site was really user-friendly and made getting out of debt by getting into even more debt a doddle,’ said Obama. ‘The green undulating fields and cartoon butterflies at the top of their homepage made me feel immediately at ease, plus they had this cool slider thing that went all the way up to $2,400,000,000,000 – which was handy. They didn’t even seem bothered about our credit history.’

The deal comes after a night of fraught discussions between Democrats and Republicans around the White House kitchen table. ‘Hillary Clinton was writing down ‘what we’ve got coming in’ and ‘what we’ve got going out’ on the back of a manila envelope, but we quickly ran out space for all the noughts,’ continued Obama. ‘Then we went online and found Wonga.com. Their guaranteed instant decision and 15-minute payout was just what we were after. I’d certainly recommend their service to any other struggling superpower.’

Wonga are delighted by the deal. ‘We usually specialise in small-time borrowers who need that little bit extra to help make ends meet until payday. But anyone can experience cashflow problems, and it’s just good to be able to do our bit for the world’s largest economy.’

However, many in Congress and the House of Representatives are said to be furious after checking the smallprint and finding that Wonga is charging a typical APR of 4,214% on the $2.4 trillion loan. ‘The main thing is that we now have the money to stop us defaulting on our debts,’ said Obama. ‘Our credibility would have been in tatters if we couldn’t keep up our repayments to cash4u.com.’

Don't worry - if Plan A fails, I had a very moving email from a Nigerian doctor only today. All Obama needs to do is provide his bank account details ...

Posted on 08/02/2011 4:30 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Amr Bargisi: The Myth Of The Ikhwan's "Moderation"

From Hudson NY:

The Myth of Brotherhood Moderation
U.S. State Department "Realism" Is Not Realistic

by Amr Bargisi
August 2, 2011

 

Although in the early days of Egypt's revolution, the predominant narrative in American media and decision-making circles insisted that the revolution had been brought about by essentially secular people --- that Egypt was on the verge of becoming a true liberal democracy -- later, the involvement of Islamist groups in the revolution became too obvious to overlook.

At first, everyone was hearing about schisms among the Islamists, how their "new generation," particularly those seceding from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), were completely different from their predecessors. The "new generation," it was said, was worldly, open-minded and embraced the Western values of tolerance and diversity. With these new leaders in charge, it was further said, Egypt was on the verge of becoming a true liberal democracy.

Today, as acknowledging the ascent of Islamism seems unavoidable, the newest trend is to "engage" the more "moderate" Islamist groups, primarily the Muslim Brotherhood, who, according to the NY Times webpage on the Muslim Brotherhood, are "not necessarily intent on establishing an Islamic state." This policy can probably be seen most piercingly just a few weeks ago in the official invitation to dialogue extended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Muslim Brotherhood. Since then, the rhetoric in Washington DC has changed. No one is talking about liberal democracy any more; the conversation now is all about being "realistic." This approach will be even more relevant after the Islamist-only million-man march for "defending identity and popular will," which most likely will deal the final blow to any claim to power by the secular parties.

Although it is probably already too late for US foreign policy to influence the course of events in Egypt, the United States' level of official engagement with the MB would do well to be minimal, otherwise, to borrow from Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the administration will be simply "defining deviancy down": increasing American tolerance for legitimizing Islamism. Discussing whether the MB is truly "moderate" is irrelevant, as the very concept of "moderate Islamism is oxymoronic. The term "moderate" has been used, fallaciously, only to clarify the distinction between Muslims (referred to as moderates) and Islamists (referred to as radicals). To flesh out this distinction a bit, Islam is a religion: a set of metaphysical and ethical beliefs, equivalent in the West to Christianity or Judaism. Islamism is a political Ideology: prescribing how governments, societies and individuals should act, and equivalent in the West to, say, Marxism. A devout Muslim, for example, will not drink alcohol and he may indeed believe that no one should; an Islamist, by contrast, seeks to establish a government that bans alcohol entirely.

Many in the West believe that Islamism is equivalent to strict adherence to the teachings of Islam, which is why they apply the term "moderate" to those who are not so strict. The fact is that the core tenets of Islamism are not derived from the religion, but are instead based on theories of mostly modern origins, Those who reject these tenets are not "moderate" Muslims, they are just not Islamist.

An Islamist cannot be "moderate" about these tenets, particularly the Sovereignty of Shari'a Law (Hakimiya) and Superiority of the (early) Islamic Civilization. While definitions of Shari'a Law and the Islamic civilization may vary, the historical predominance of orthodoxy, particularly in Sunni Islam, has kept variations at a minimum. Nonetheless these two maxims -- imposing Shari'a Law and the superiority of Islam -- are in direct opposition to Western Liberalism as we know it. Shari'a Law is opposed to the notion of universal and individual Human Rights; and the Islamic Civilization is solely based on the concept of "Justice": whatever is inside Shari'a Law is just, whatever is outside Shari'a Law is unjust, with no interest at all in the concept of "freedom of choice."

Islamist "moderation" is, in fact, nothing but pragmatism misconstrued. Islamists may, for example, embrace democracy as means of imposing Shari'a Law, or they may renounce violence as a means to prove the Superiority of Islam, but the ends – imposing Shari'a Law and the Superiority of Islam -- remain the same. In this light, it is undeniable that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is among the most pragmatic -- but not always benign. Consider this fatwa from the official MB website, responding to a query on whether working for a bank is forbidden because of the practice of usury: "Usury is no longer related to a bank employee or a company clerk, it is part of our entire economic and financial system (…), a situation will not be changed or mitigated by one employee's refraining from working for a bank or a company, and if we forbade every Muslim from working in banks, the result would be that non-Muslims, Jews and others, would control the affairs of banks".

Pragmatism, however, is double-edged. While the necessities of modern life, or an authoritarian regime, may force pragmatic Islamists such as the MB to pursue courses they deem incompatible with Islam, such as working for banks, pressure from moiré ideologically committed and less pragmatic groups such as the Salafis, in a democratic Egypt, could have the MB embrace a stricter line to win their votes.

This dynamic -- well understood and anticipated by every Islamist -- undermines all optimistic analyses about secessions and differences within the Islamist spectrum. Ahmed El-Naqib, for instance, one of the most respected Salafi authorities, responded to the question if Salafis would support the MB in the elections by saying: "If the MB could, through our help, come to power, what is the problem? We help them. They are not infidels (kafirs). The shoe of one member of the MB is closer to us than a nation of those infidels." When one of the listeners raised the objection that "[the MB's] statements are scary [meaning too soft]," Al-Naqib reassured him: "It is because they are being watched. Nazarenes [the Salafist term for Christians] are watching them. America is watching them. The secular parties are watching them. They try to come with arguments that do not scare people off. But we should remain barefaced. We should remain the scarecrows. These have to be scared as well. Thus a hand taps the shoulder, and a hand slaps the neck."

Leaders of the MB are not even being that subtle about hiding their convictions. In an interview with Michael J. Totten and Armin Rosen earlier this month, Essam El-Erian, one of three leaders of the MB's newly established political party, and who is considered the "moderate" face of the MB, gave a long anti-American diatribe, saying that Qaddafi was an American agent and implying some conspiracy to the 9/11 attacks.

Another issue that will never be touched by "moderation" is the unflinching animosity towards Israel. The political program of the MB's Freedom and Justice Party states on page 24 that: "The issue of Palestine is the most important issues of Egyptian national security, in addition to being an Arab or Muslim cause, because the Zionist Entity is a racist colonizing expansionist entity, possessing weapons of mass destruction, which has caused the outbreak of many wars in the region, affecting the geographical, political, social and economic situation, disrupting development programs and displacing people from their homes, in addition to the acquisition of Islamic and Christian holy places in Palestine. Therefore the party sees the need to make all efforts to resolve this issue and ensure the rights of Palestinian self-determination and the return of refugees to their homes, establish their state and its capital Jerusalem, restore all the holy places of Muslims and Christians in Palestine and the evacuation of the entire region (Middle East) of weapons of mass destruction." Of course, this sounds very "moderate" when compared to the frequent calls from the MB leadership, including the Supreme Guide, to nullify the Egyptian-Israeli treaty, as well as literally thousands of Anti-Semitic articles and statements by its members. Google-searching the term "[the] Zionists" in Arabic on the official MB official website renders an impressive 70,500 results; you can guess how many of those are favorable.

The newly-discovered "realism" of the State Department will be as inept and counter-productive as its preceding Idealism. While Egypt's Islamists may not end up taking complete control over the country in the near future, they are certainly on the right track for the farther future. The generation of the Arab Spring, and their fans in the West, will most likely be facing an enemy they never thought existed: Democratic Tyranny – despotic Islamist rule imposed by the majority through the ballot box – the worst of all.

Posted on 08/02/2011 5:58 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Duty-To-Protect, Or Mr. Buttinsky, Or Something

Elliott Abrams, who through every vicissitude believed, and apparently continues to believe, in the Iraq venture, and in the Afghan venture, and in the Pakistan venture, and in the Libyan venture, believes it important to present a prescription for "Preventing Civil War in Syria," here.

Why?

Posted on 08/02/2011 4:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
A Musical Interlude: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (Ruth Etting)

Listen here.

Posted on 08/02/2011 4:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Web Headlines

TS Emily a little stronger, but still not well organized

 

And as for T. S. Eliot -- he needs to pull up his socks as well.

 

Posted on 08/02/2011 4:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
In Libya, The Obaidi Tribe Is Still Not Happy

From Reuters:

Slain Libyan commander's tribe warns rebels over probe

 Aug 2, 2011

By Rania El Gamal

BENGHAZI, Libya Aug 2 (Reuters) - The powerful tribe of the Libyan rebels' slain military commander vowed on Tuesday to find justice themselves for his suspicious killing last week if rebel leaders failed to investigate it fully.

General Abdel Fattah Younes's death, apparently while in the custody of fellow rebels bringing him back from the front line for unspecified questioning, raised fears of deep divisions in the rebel camp, something the tribal ultimatum only underlined.

"The way he was killed looks like a betrayal, so until now we are trying to calm and control the youth of the tribe, but we don't know what could happen," one of Younes's sons told foreign reporters when asked if rifts could turn violent.

He declined to be named but was speaking on behalf of the family gathered around him, following a crisis summit of 90 leaders from Younes's Ubaideyat tribe, one of Libya's biggest, at the family ranch in the rebel stronghold Benghazi.

After two days of confusion, rebel leaders said on Saturday the assailants were militiamen allied to the rebels in their struggle to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Few details have been revealed -- even, the family says, to them.

"They (the tribal committee) will investigate who issued the arrest warrant and who sent whom to arrest him, how was he lost. They said he was dead but they couldn't find the body, so how did they know he was dead if there was no body?" the son said.

The family complained to Reuters on Monday that the rebel leadership was dragging its feet over its own investigation into the murder, which they said smacked of conspiracy and treason.

They said they would if needed turn for help to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which has issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi over alleged crimes against humanity.

"A HAND IN IT"

Younes was shot dead with two aides at some point after he was summoned to Benghazi by the Transitional National Council (TNC), the rebel leadership now recognised diplomatically by many Western states.

"If the council (TNC) doesn't bring us justice, and if the (international) judiciary don't bring us justice, then we will leave it to the tribe to bring us justice," the son said.

Tribes have a huge influence in Libyan society. Younes's tribe, from the rebel-held east, numbers about 400,000.

Family members say the TNC has not yet formed its announced investigation committee nor named any of its members.

On Tuesday the son said the tribe had refused to let TNC officials attend mourning days where people pay condolences to the family "because the tribe was upset, they feel that either the council had a hand in it or they are neglecting it".

For years Younes was in Gaddafi's inner circle before defecting in February at the start of the rebels' uprising to become their military chief.

Muatsem Abdel Fattah Younes, one of his sons, said on Monday he only found out his father was dead from watching television.

He said he had talked to Younes on Thursday at 2 a.m. after he heard that armed men had surrounded his father's headquarters in the town of Ajdabiya.

INTENT TO BETRAY

Bodyguards who accompanied him on the way to Benghazi were stopped by armed men and stripped of their weapons. Younes's body was found on Friday in the suburbs of Benghazi, burnt and with gunshot wounds. Two officers with him were also killed.

Officials say a militiaman was arrested and confessed his subordinates had killed them, but have not given details.

Younes's nephew said on Monday it seemed there had never been any plan to question him in Benghazi.

"If there was an intention to investigate him, they could have called him and he would have followed orders, but there was no intention of that," Mohammed Hamed Younes told Reuters.

"From the start, there was an intention of betrayal and treason."

Posted on 08/02/2011 4:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
English As She Is Spoke

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 08/02/2011 8:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Italian Panel Approves Draft Law Banning Burqas

From The Associated Press:

Italian Panel Passes Draft Law Banning Veils

A young woman wearing a burqa near Paris, France. Like Italy,  France banned the burqa last year and its law took effect in April 2011.
Joel Robine/AFP/Getty Images

A young woman wearing a burqa near Paris, France. Like Italy, France banned the burqa last year and its law took effect in April 2011.

An Italian parliamentary commission on Tuesday approved a draft law banning women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public.

The draft passed by the constitutional affairs commission would prohibit women from wearing a burqa, naqib or any other garb that covers the face in such circumstances.

Third parties who force women to cover their faces in public would be fined 30,000 euros ($43,000) and face up to 12 months in jail, the news agency ANSA said.

The law was sponsored by Souad Sbai, a Moroccan-born member of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservative Freedom People party.

ANSA said the opposition voted against the law.

The draft will be forwarded to parliament after the summer recess.

The preliminary approval was welcomed by lawmaker Barbara Saltamartini, vice president of the Freedom People party caucus in the lower house.

"Final approval will put an end to the suffering of many women who are often forced to wear the burqa or niqab, which annihilates their dignity and gets in the way of integration," Saltamartini said in a statement.

Posted on 08/02/2011 9:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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