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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 Friday, 20, 2007.
Friday, 20 July 2007
More from The Mirror on events within HMP Frankland.
BLUEWATER bomb plot terrorist Omar Khyam is living in fear after fellow prisoners threatened to kill him.
The 25-year-old al-Qaeda mastermind has been sent death threats at the same jail where dirty bomber Dhiren Barot was last week attacked with boiling oil and water.
Khyam's lawyer Imran Khan is pleading with officials to get the Crawley-born thug transferred away from Frankland prison in Co Durham. He said: "We have been pressing as a matter of urgency for him to be moved before something happens. Otherwise we will go to the High Court.  He already feared for his life but this attack on Barot is solid evidence of the manner of death threat my client faces."
Khyam was secretly transferred from Belmarsh jail in South East London for radicalising other prisoners.
A source said: "He and his followers were turning dozens of other inmates to radical Islamist ideas. He was moved before things got worse." The Crawley-born terrorist is now in a segregation wing at Frankland.
Posted on 07/20/2007 3:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 20 July 2007
Two men held in Bristol on suspicion of terror offences
From This is London the website of the London Evening Standard
Two men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act 2006, after the discovery of a suspicious substance in a flat, police said today.
Officers from Avon and Somerset Police arrested the two men, one of Afghan origin, on Wednesday evening after searching premises in the Easton area of Bristol. Police said that during the search a substance was found that led them to believe there may be a potential link to terrorist activity.
Police arrested a man in the Castle Park area of central Bristol at about 10pm on Wednesday evening on suspicion of drug related offences. Following the arrest police searched a flat in Stapleton Road in the Easton area of the city.
During that search officers found a suspicious substance, a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said. Following the search police arrested second man.
Both men, who have not been identified, are currently being questioned at undisclosed police stations in the Avon and Somerset area.
The Easton area, which lies several miles to the north of central Bristol, is home to a large Muslim population.
Police said they had been speaking to community leaders in the area to offer reassurance and information.
Abdul Malik, Liberal Democrat councillor for Easton, said the news of the arrests had been a shock to the Muslim community in the city.
He said: "At the moment it is very new to us. We were only told about the arrests yesterday. (Funny, when the east end gangs, of which the Kray Bros were the most well known, were being broken up in the late 1960s I don't remember the police coming in to reassure and inform the local community) We are not sure if it is associated with any event nationally or internationally. Of course we condemn any terrorist activity and we are hoping that this is nothing serious. We hope this will not undermine the wonderful relationship we have with all communities in Bristol."
He added, Our local drug dealers are all quiet religious (but not excessively so) boys who like nothing better than listening to Vera Lynn CDs and who wouldn’t hurt a fly. I can’t believe that any of them would be involved in anything like this. No, I’m making that up.
Update on this story.
police found two containers maked 'hydrogen peroxide', the chemical used in July 7 London bombings, at their flat.
"There is a heightened vigilance with the general terrorist threat and that has sparked our inquiry as to why someone would ostensibly be in possession of up to 50 litres of hydrogen peroxide," Steve Mortimore, Assistant Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, said.
"If it turns out to be 50 litres of industrial strength hydrogen peroxide, then clearly there are some questions to answer," he said.
The substance turns out to be vegetable oil. It might not have been.
Posted on 07/20/2007 4:48 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 20 July 2007
So I'm slow, am I? You just try walking with fins.

In their annual return, dozens of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) have been planting their eggs in deep nests up and down Folly Is., S.C. since June. Here's a July sighting.

Nest 18 July 17, 2007 by Judi B. and Betty T. More

Says one Folly Turtle Watcher,

"She nested in the trough (low area) between the sand fencing and existing dunes ... an area that has been over washed by spring high tides.  Cheryl probed the nest while Mike dug a new nest and 111 eggs were moved to a safer, higher location in the County Park."

Posted on 07/20/2007 7:26 AM by Robert Bove
Friday, 20 July 2007
Flying Imams, CAIR and Democrats Defeat Common Sense National Security

At least for now, the Democrats have killed Rep. Pete King's amendment which would have provided protection from being sued for people who report suspicious behavior — like the Flying Imams' simulated hijacking — in national security cases.  Michelle Malkin has the details.

Maybe it's me, but I just find this stunning.  Asking whether, in this era (or, frankly, any era), you should be able to tell the police you saw something troubling without having to worry about it is like asking whether you should be able to breathe.  It is common sense — if such a thing exists anymore in Reid/Pelosi America.

The Democrats' maneuver here is also an obnoxious assertion of state power over the individual:  If the state subpoenas you for information, you are compelled to provide it to the authorities whether you want to or not; but if you want to provide it voluntarily in order to protect your community, the Democrats say, "prepare to be sued."

What possible good reason is there to silence people who want to tell the police they saw suspicious behavior?  Under circumstances where we are under threat from covert terror networks which secretly embed themselves in our society to prepare and carry out WMD attacks?  Planet earth to the Democrats:  To execute such attacks, terrorists have to act suspiciously at some point.  There are only a few thousand federal agents in the country.  There are many more local police, but even they are relatively sparse in a country of 300 million.  If we are going to stop the people trying to kill us, we need ordinary citizens on their toes.  Again, this is just common sense.

Profiling?  Our war is against ISLAMIC radicals.  They think the KORAN is commanding them to murder us.  The guy who tried to bomb the airport in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago was yelling ALLAH! as he fought with the police.  We're supposed to ignore that?

Democrats killed the amendment in a very sneaky, technical, under-the-radar way in the House — so they can tell their insane fringe backers they pulled it off, yet no one's fingerprints are on it.  As far as I'm concerned, that just means we should blame "THE DEMOCRATS."  Period.  If they don't want personal accountability, we should see it this way:  When it comes to national security, this is who they are.

In the senate, the measure fell short by three votes of the 60 needed.  By the way:  Barack Obama and Sam Brownback, showing real leadership as they run for the White House, did not bother to vote.  Nor did Dianne Feinstein, though she is a member of the Judiciary Committee and frequently has lots to say on national security issues.  Three votes were needed on an issue that pitted the American people against the netroots, and those three were nowhere to be found.  Profiles in courage all.

All Republicans in the Senate except Brownback voted for the measure.  Hillary Clinton, who is running for president and obviously is not suicidal, broke with her party and voted with the Republicans.  So did Senators Bayh, Conrad, Dorgan, Landrieu, Lieberman, Nelson (of Nebraska), and Schumer. The remaining 39 Democrats were all nays.  Call them the "Death Wish Caucus," doing the bidding of CAIR, which is backing the Flying Imams and their alleged right to sue Americans for reporting potential terrorist activity.

Michelle advises us to take heart:  "This fight is not over. There still is a final conference report to be hashed out. Keep your phones lit. The Senate Dems need to hear from you."

Posted on 07/20/2007 8:12 AM by Andy McCarthy
Friday, 20 July 2007
Due Diligence

Even after the Doctors' Plot we hear that those conducting Jihad through violence are marginal figures in Muslim societies. Yet a recent book by Carmen bin Ladin [the way her ex-husband transliterated his name] makes clear that the Bin Laden family, far from being horrified by their famous scion, is quite proud of Osama Bin Laden, who from an early age expressed his disapproval of all things judged to be un-Islamic. And outside of the pillaging princelings of the House of al-Saud, the Bin Ladens arepossibly the most solvent family in all of Saudi Arabia. He, Bin Laden, was no marginal figure.

And this brings one to Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Doctor al-Zawahiri, the now much-more-visible Al-Qaeda leader. Ayman al-Zawahiri is the grand-nephew of Azzam Pasha, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, the same Secretary-General of the Arab League who, just as the five Arab armies attacked the nascent state of Israel, promised that it would be a "massacre" such as had not been seen since the time of the Mongols, and that the "booty" taken in this classic Jihad would be easily removed, once the Jews had been cast into the sea. For a lucid summary of what the Arabs at the time did, and said, see Battleground by Samuel Katz, pages 12-37. In other words, Ayman al-Zawahiri is Muslim Arab royalty: the reflected glory of one's relatives is a significant feature of Arab, and Muslim, life.

These are not marginal figures. They are from two of the most important dynasties -- political and economic -- in Arab life. And that dynastic aspect perdures: from Tariq Ramadan heroically carrying on Da'wa in the same sinister spirit as his grandfather Hassan al-Banna ("Islam must dominate and is not to be dominated"), the founder in Egypt of the murderous Muslim Brotherhood, to Moqtada al-Sadr, scion of a family of famous Shiite clergy -- the last, and least, of the line -- that Gertrude Bell managed to note in her letters from Baghdad back in the 1920s.

So little in the Arab Muslim world changes. What has changed is the presence of money from oil, and the technology to spread Islam with its "full message" of Jihad and hatred of Infidels. And of course there has been the colossal folly of permitting, without the slightest consideration of what this would inevitably mean for the lives and wellbeing of the indigenous Infidels, huge numbers of Muslims to move, unhindered and even welcomed, to the Bilad al-kufr, the Lands of the Infidels, where they arrive not as grateful refugees, but as people who, from Ramadan to Dyab Abou Jahjah in Belgium to the German imam who, at the opening of the Grenada mosque, called for the destruction of the Infidel economies of Europe, see Europe as, by right, the lands to which the people of Allah, and only they, are entitled. And all that is there is booty. It belongs to them for the righteous taking.

No one is being asked to join the Resistance in France in 1942. No one is being asked to be a hero. But one owes it to oneself, to other Infidels, to one's children, to at least fully inform oneself about Islam, its central tenets, and about the treatment of non-Muslims under Islamic rule, during the past 1350 years. That is an act of study, not of bravely being a courier, or hiding British airmen, or blowing up the oilfields of Rumania, or any such feat of derring-do.

This is the only feat of derring-do you are being asked to perform: study, study, study. Not all night, not all day. But enough so that you understand what Islam is all about, so that you cannot be fooled in conversation, and so that you may, through letters, through discussions, through phoning in to those PBS talk shows run by Lord Haw Haws and Tokyo Roses, get the truth through.

What should this duty be called? Let us say: the Duty of Due Diligence. We are being asked to accept a "merger" of our civilization with that of Islam, without knowing very much about Islam. And that "merger" is supposedly to take place through the unhindered, and supposedly irreversible, movement of Muslims to the Lands of the Infidels. Well, Due Diligence demands that we study this matter very carefully.

Go ahead. Perform that Due Diligence. It is the minimum that can be asked of you.

Posted on 07/20/2007 8:24 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
Nothing lackronym

What does bacronym stand for? See here. And if you still think that the derivation of "posh" is Port Out, Starboard Home, then you're a CWOT*.

I thought there were only acronyms and bacronyms, but - alackronym - I was wrong. Here's Ben Macintyre:

The opposite of [the bacronym] is the “anacronym” (from anachronism), an acronym so completely absorbed into the language as a word in its own right that its origin has been generally forgotten - scuba, for example, from Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, or laser from Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Who now remembers that JCB was once the proud marketing acronym of the unsung Joseph Cyril Bamford, pioneer of earth-moving equipment?

I doubt he was the first man with earth-moving equipment. Moving swiftly on:

Perhaps most annoying subset is what might be called a “hackronym”, formed by journalists desperate to spot a trend: YUPPIE (Young Urban Professional), or KIPPERS (Kids in Parental Property Eroding Retirement Savings).

Acronyms can cause more problems than they solve. When I was first working in the US, my friendly Irish-American banker asked if I wanted to open an IRA account. I was appalled at what I assumed was an invitation to bankroll terrorism, until he explained about the Independent Retirement Account.

US legislators are fond of contrived acronyms, the most excruciating being the 2001 Act Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terror: the USA PATRIOT Act. Pass the sic bag.

At the other end of the spectrum are those few brave organisations determined to carry on with a blithe disregard for the demands of simplicity. The founder of the Scottish Standing Committee for the Calculation of Residual Values of Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs (SSC-CRVFFS) was not seeking a place in the OED.

But the most impossible acronym of all is to be found in the Concise [yes] Dictionary of Soviet Terminology, which cites “The Laboratory for Shuttering, Reinforcement, Concrete and Ferroconcrete Operations for Composite-Monolithic and Monolithic Constructions of the Department of the Technology of Building-assembly Operations of the Scientific Research Institute of the Organisation for Building Mechanisation and Technical Aid of the Academy of Building and Architecture of the USSR.” Or N I I O M T P L A B O P A R M B E T Z H E L B E T R A B S B O M O N I M O N K O N O T D T E K H S T R O M O N T for short.

This is known as a heartattacronym.

*CWOT = Complete Waste Of Time. Why, what did you think it was? See you next Tuesday.

Posted on 07/20/2007 9:18 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 20 July 2007
An Obvious Misunderstanding

"Right on Hugh. And stay in Iraq, and keep killing Al Qaeda jihadis..." -- from a reader

Apparently the reader has chosen to offer general approval ("right on") with specific and total disapproval -- or a deliberate ignoring of -- what I think, have always thought, should happen in Iraq. And that is the exact opposite of his prescription that the American army "stay in Iraq, and keep killing Al Qaeda jihadists."

Let me repeat: Tarbaby Iraq can result in something like a victory for the United States, and for the common, but as yet unrecognized Camp of Infidels, if and only if the Camp of Islam is weakened. It will not be weakened if the American army is bogged down in Iraq. It will not be weakened if to the $880 billion already spent on this folly still more money is added.

The true cost -- financial cost -- of this war is not understood. Even the critics of the war, such as General MacCaffery, keep using the figure "$400 billion" as if they are permitted to count only what has officially already been spent, and not the costs of replacing desert-degraded or left-behind equipment, not the costs of exiting, not the costs of future lifetime care for ten or twenty thousand wounded, not the costs of now trying to recruit people to the regular and to the citizen army, not the costs.... -- well, if this were all factored in, it would come, as of right now, to $880 billion, exclusive of macroeconomic costs, and that is more than the cost of all the wars, save World War II, that the United States has ever fought. 

There is the human cost -- the cost in lives, the cost in severely wounded. There is the cost to army morale, a morale weakened because too many soldiers, in Iraq, can see for themselves that the problem is not merely "Al Qaeda" but the grasping, meretricious, treacherous "Iraqis" themselves, but the gap between what the soldiers experience (and this or that gunga-dinnish Iraqi officer, with winning ways, should not be confused with the great mass of "Iraqis"), even if they know nothing about Islam and nothing, really, about the history of Iraq's ethnic and sectarian divisions, and the official line of the Administration and the most dutiful unquestioning officers, is part of the problem -- is exactly what diminishes morale among the troops who do take in reality, and do sense that gap, and do realize that the "mission" -- whatever it is and at this point it seems still to be to bring "freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" in the Middle East, despite the long history of sectarian and ethnic conflict that -- I am certain -- will not be papered over, will not be resolved, will not come to an end no matter what heroic efforts continue to be asked of troops who are paying for the mistakes of the civilians, in all branches of government, unwilling or incapable of learning about Islam and about the history of Iraq.

Had you written "Right on Hugh" and then followed it with "and let's get out of Iraq, as you have been urging since very early in 2004 and thereby exploit the pre-existing fissures, including those between Sunnis and Shi'a, and different camps within each of those, and between the Arabs and non-Arab Kurds" -- then I might not have needed to reply. But you didn't. So I did.

Posted on 07/20/2007 10:14 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
Petronius's Onymicon

I blush -- see the crisrixian "Keats and Embarrassment" passim -- to admit that in my first year of prep school, at the age of fourteen, I would read, under the covers, after lights were supposed to be out, a book that I had been told about by the older boys at Exeter or Andover, at St. Paul's, or possibly even Winchester or Glenstal Abbey, or Appleforth (I can't remember, it's all a blur now), a book that I had carefully ordered from a catalogue and had had mailed to me in a brown paper wrapper. The book was "Petronius's Onymicon" and I remember devouring it from cover to cover, looking for the good parts.

Imagine my surprise, some decades later, to attend a reunion and find out from my aging classmates -- all of them had suffered from the ravages of time to which, strangely, only I in that entire class have remained immune --  that I had had it all wrong. The book they had recommended to me decades before, one of them laughingly told me (he had been famously thick-headed at school, and was now a spectacularly rich financial finagler) -- was in fact "Petronius's Satyricon," a book a sympathetic Latin master had recommended to the class one day. Well, you can imagine my embarrassment.

But never since have I been at a loss for nyms.

Posted on 07/20/2007 10:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
New Life for the King Amendment?

At the Washington Times, Audrey Hudson reports that senate Republicans scored a victory on parliamentary rules this morning which, potentially, revives the chance for enactment of an amendment providing protection against lawsuits for Americans who report suspicious activity.

Posted on 07/20/2007 10:48 AM by Andy McCarthy
Friday, 20 July 2007

This is a new word, invented by me - unless I'm googlethwarted as usual. It means Scottish version of a name or word. For example "raking" becomes McRaking, and "spreader" becomes McSpreader.

Which non-Scottish writer sometimes put Mac- or Mc- in front of words to make them into names?

Clue 1: He probably never wore a sporran in his life but his characters get more than their fair share of oats.

Clue 2: There's only ever one answer.

Posted on 07/20/2007 10:38 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 20 July 2007
Life for 'honour killing' father
From The BBC
A father who ordered the killing of his daughter after finding out she had a boyfriend has been jailed for life.
Banaz Mahmod, 20, was raped and tortured before being strangled and buried in a suitcase in Birmingham.
Her Iraqi Kurd father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, of Mitcham, south London, will serve at least 20 years.
Her uncle Ari Mahmod, 50, who helped arrange the murder, and killer Mohammed Hama, 30, got life terms and will serve at least 23 and 17 years respectively.
Her death had been ordered after her affair with fellow Kurd, Rahmat Sulemani, was discovered.
The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Brian Barker, said: "This was a barbaric and callous crime.
"You are hard and unswerving men to whom apparently the respect from the community is more important that your own flesh and blood."
They are indeed. This morning, in advance of sentencing the Daily Mirror reported that
A MURDERER kicked and stamped on an honour killing victim to "make her soul leave her body".
Mohamad Hama told how tragic Banaz Mahmod, 20, was also raped, strangled, stuffed in a suitcase then dumped in a shallow grave.
The gruesome details of how Iraqi Banaz met her death because she fell for a Kurdish boy were revealed in a secretly taped prison confession.
Hama, 30, said: "I was kicking or stamping on her neck to get her soul out. She was stark naked. The soul wouldn't just leave like that. The cord was round her neck."
Banaz's ordeal was revealed during a presentence hearing at the Old Bailey yesterday.
Posted on 07/20/2007 10:46 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 20 July 2007
Islam Is A Vehicle For Arab Supremacism

The mass-murders in Darfur (or Dar Fur, as Carl Geiger Pasha and everyone else used to write it) are not regarded with abhorrence by other Arabs. Nor do other Arab states wish the Arabs who rule Sudan to be taken to be prevented from continuing their genocidal activities -- and are doing everything they can, especially in the corridors and coulisses of power at the U.N. and the E.U. and through their extensive network of Western hirelings, collaborators, and fellow-travellers, to block any effective action to stop the Sudanese government until it is too late -- until, that is, enough of the black Africans have been killed, the women raped, the villages burned down, the remainder forced to straggle into Chad, and even in Chad the harrying by Arab tribesmen continues, and that country, too, has become unsettled with a million or more refugees.

Yet there has not been a single resolution by the Arab League, not a syllable of protest by Egypt --Sudan's political enemy, but certainly not a regime about to protest something as unremarkable and acceptable as the mass killing by Arabs of non-Arabs -- in this case black Africans. There has been no "cooperation" by Egypt with the West, nor by another Arab power.

And yet American campuses are full of people brightly demanding that China cease its cooperation with Sudan, that China is the main country to count on to pressure the Sudanese government and there is talk of boycotting the Beijing Olympics in order to force the Chinese government to stop its running of interference for Sudan at the U.N. But running interference, through the use of a veto at the Security Council, is not the same thing as giving the kind of endless behind-the-scenes support, as fellow Arab states do, to the Sudanese government. American campuses should be full of divestment movements aimed at the most effective collaborators with the Arabs of Sudan: the Arabs of the Arab League states, including "our ally" Egypt. But so far the Arab states have gotten off scot free.

The lone Arab, Nabil Kassem, who made this documentary, is akin to Kanan Makiya (Samir al-Khalil), who alone among the Arabs publicly denounced the mass-murder of the Kurds (some 182,000) by Saddam Hussein. Kanan Makiya called this "shameful" but could never quite understand why no other Arabs inside or outside Iraq Protested the killing of the Kurds. He is not alone in his failure to understand. The best people in the Muslim world, if they do not become apostates but out of filial piety remain Muslims, never can quite understand, much less analyze for others, what it is that explains certain kinds of behavior.

In the case of the complicity of the Arabs outside Sudan -- who have cleverly disguised their support for that regime, their efforts to hinder and delay -- very successfully -- actions that might have been taken by the U.N. against Sudan during its twenty-year campaign of mass-murder in the southern Sudan, or its several-year-long campaign in Darfur -- the explanation is simple: Islam is a vehicle for Arab supremacism. Islam is the national religion of the Arabs, evolving initially out of pagan Arab lore, and a mishmash of appropriated, and much distorted, figures and stories taken from Judaism and Christianity, the final result being a "faith" that could be used to both justify and promote the conquest, by comparatively primitive Arabs, of much larger numbers of non-Arabs, chiefly Christians and Jews and Zoroastrians. A non-Arab Muslim, until recently and still ideally, reads the Qur'an only in Arabic, and non-Arab Muslim children memorize as much of it as possible -- in Arabic. Non-Arab Muslims take as their model a group of seventh-century Arabs and above all, Muhammad, the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil. The Sunna itself consists essentially of the ways, the customs and manners, of seventh-century Arabs. Muslims turn Meccatropically five times a day for the canonical prayers; they perform hajj to Mecca; Arabia is the center of their being. It is as if all those who were part of the British Empire, five times a day, turned and prostrated themselves toward London, as if every Indian, every black African in a British colony, took an English name, and took some Englishman (possibly someone a bit more modern than a woad-painted Pict from 700 A.D.).

The black African Muslims of Darfur, like the black Africans of the southern Sudan, may be killed without arousing any indignation among all but the tiniest handful of Muslim Arabs, the same tiny handful that might have protested the killing, by Arabs, of the Muslim Kurds.

The reason is one that not even Kanan Makiya, nor Nabil Kassem, can likely face: Islam is the source of, the promoter and vehicle of, Arab supremacism. And Arab supremacism, whether it is of the linguistic and cultural kind, that attempts to ban the Berber language, or to convince Maronites and Copts, not always unsuccessfully, that because they are "users of Arabic" that makes them "Arabs," or of the murdering kind that simply wishes to eliminate non-Arabs if they happen to possess something -- oil, as in the Kurdish lands and in the southern Sudan, and possibly oil (and now water -- that vast underground lake discovered by American researchers who naively have said that if the waters were to be used for irrigation, this "might solve" the Darfur crisis when, if anything, it will only make Darfur that much more desirable to the Arabs, and their insensate desire to remove all the black Africans -- through murder -- that much greater.

Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism is a theme that must always and everywhere be noted, analyzed, stressed. It is a powerful weapon in dividing non-Arab Muslims, more and more of them no doubt recognizing the inattention to their own histories, their own pasts, once islamization, then followed by arabization of varying kinds, takes place. And the understanding of Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism has one other great virtue: it happens to be true.

Posted on 07/20/2007 10:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
Maybe We Could Move The Whole Building Over There
Posted on 07/20/2007 11:21 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 20 July 2007
Mother of militant Islam's dark past
From the Australian – With a dark past, a darker present and a future black as Newgate's knocker she sounds a right one, and the daughter a chip off the old block.
RABIYAH Hutchinson, known as the mother of militant Islam in Australia, was involved in a drug scandal and investigated by child welfare authorities before becoming aMuslim.
An investigation by The Weekend Australian can reveal that Hutchinson was born into a Sydney Presbyterian family before becoming a Baptist and then converting to Catholicism during her search for religious truth.
The 53-year-old's journey to conservative Islam took her to the mujaheddin camps of Afghanistan and into Osama bin Laden's inner circle, prompting intelligence sources to claim she was more highly connected to al-Qa'ida central than anyone else in Australia.
Her links to extremists, terrorists and terror suspects, as well as her string of marriages, including to highly ranked al-Qa'ida figure Mustafa Hamid, have made her the target of 24-hour surveillance by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. She has moved at least five times in the past few years.
In Sydney's southwestern Muslim heartland of Lakemba, she is believed to mentor a group of women following Wahabism, the sect behind extremist Islam.
In those early days Hutchinson wore a long, brightly coloured abaya and a hijab over her hair but she left her face uncovered. But friends say she became more hardline in her views and soon took off for Indonesia, where it is understood she married second husband Mohammed Pujo, a leader of the Solo Brun Islamic Defenders Front.
That marriage was short-lived and produced no children. In 1984 she married third husband Abdul Rahim Ayub, who was later sent to Australia to set up the JI terror cell known as Mantiqi 4.
They had three children together: Mohammed, Abdullah and a daughter, Aminah. They came back to Australia in 1985 and lived in Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne, becoming close to hardline clerics Feiz Mohamed and Mohammed Omran.
During their time living in Sydney's northern beaches they also got to know Jack Roche, who was released from jail this year after serving 4 1/2 years' jail for plotting with al-Qa'ida to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra.
She went to Afghanistan and remarried a couple of times, including in 2000 when she married the Egyptian-born Hamid, a confidant of bin Laden also known was Abu al Walid al-Masri.
She worked as a midwife and a teacher and with her top-level al-Qa'ida connections, Hutchinson became a key connection for Australians travelling to Afghanistan for military training.
Details of Hutchinson's activities in Kabul were revealed by Melbourne man Jack Thomas, during his interrogation by Australian and Pakistani police following his arrest in Pakistan in January 2003. Thomas told the AFP that when he arrived in Kabul, he made contact with Hutchinson, to whom he referred as "Umm Mohammed" meaning "mother of Mohammed".
Thomas knew Hutchinson from Sydney, where he had attended the wedding of her daughter Rahma to a man arrested in Sydney last year on terrorism-related charges. After his arrest Rahma went to Yemen to live with her brothers. She returned to Sydney earlier this year and was seen in court supporting her husband.
Rahma is dressed more conservatively than even her mother, covering every part of her body, including gloves for her hands and a veil over the niqab which obscures all of her face. Her driver's licence photo is covered by a yellow post-it note which she will only remove for identification to women. She spends a lot of time with her mother and has few very close associates.
Posted on 07/20/2007 12:49 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 20 July 2007
A tale of two mindsets

It was reported earlier this week that New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority is expanding it's familiar bus and subway public service campaign--"If you see something, say something"--and placing such warnings on TV. The following is an excerpt of a letter to the NY Sun today regarding the announcements. Keep in mind that, although there may be life in the King amendment protecting our right to "say something" without fear of being sued, we live in a society where the sacred aboriginal right to litigation takes precedence over personal and national security.

If you are underground in a train car and see a package, you must get out at the next stop. It is unlikely anyone will bother to do so or succeed in giving a warning.

If you are on a subway platform there is usually nobody to tell until the next train pulls into the station.

Most people upon seeing a suspect package simply get off at the next stop.

On my first trip to Israel 20 years ago, I sat on a bench at a bus stop. I was reprimanded by an elderly Israeli already sitting on the bench for not checking under the bench for a "suspect package" before I sat down. I just hope that the MTA figures out a method by which New Yorkers can call in reports in real time.

I hope it does not take a tragedy for the MTA to do more than offer slogans and a phone number.

Steven Mostofsky
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Posted on 07/20/2007 1:08 PM by Robert Bove
Friday, 20 July 2007
What Ernest Gellner Does With Words
Some of you might enjoy "Words and Things" -- from 1959 -- by Ernest Gellner. Or possibly more, the description of Gellner, Russell, Austin, Ayer, Ryle, and others in Ved Mehta's "The Fly and the Fly-Bottle."

Gellner wrote about, knew about, many things. One thinks of him taking on large topics, such as Logical Positiviism or Nationalism. But his doctoral thesis, I was surprised to learn, was on the "Organization and the Role of a Berber Zawiya." More the fox than the hedgehog at Houghton Street.
Posted on 07/20/2007 3:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
Radio Derb

This week's Radio Derb is up here.

Errata sheet:

(1) Yes, the Dow went over 14,000, not 1,400.

(2) A hijab is a headscarf, not a body covering.

The researchers responsible for these gaffes have been dismissed, and will never work in this town again.

Posted on 07/20/2007 3:26 PM by John Derbyshire
Friday, 20 July 2007
HCE, Or, The Rest Is Silence

"'Here comes everybody' as John Cage once said...."

Cage, the strong, famously silent type,  may have "once" said this, but someone else was there before him. Long before John Cage was in his crib, refusing to mewl, insisting on remaining silent, James Joyce was writing merrily about "Here Comes Everybody" or "Haveth Childers Everywhere" or "Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker."

Give everyone his due, as if every day were the Day of Doom. Neither more nor less.

Posted on 07/20/2007 3:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
Softly-Softly, Sabrina

I can imagine the fury of a well-educated, secular Turk as he reads this article by the young Sabrina Tavernise, so uncomprehending of Turkish history, and of all that it took to systematically constrain Islam so that the very possibility of some modicum of reasonableness, the very development of an educated secular class, the very class that Sabrina Tavernise and all other Westerners frequent and the only class with which they feel, quite rightly, fully comfortable, came about only because of Ataturk.

If Kemalism is on the ropes, it is not because the Kemalists have been too ruthless but because they have not been nearly ruthless enough. They did not push, relentlessly, their program after the first few decades, and some of those who followed were content to pocket the benefits of Kemalism without systematically trying to change the minds of the masses, and the masses remained largely unaffected.

Since, in any society, the primitives will always and everywhere outweigh the others, it was important that those to whom, thanks to Kemalism, the freedom to think was granted, should never have taken those freedoms for granted. Now it may be too late. Make no mistake; there is a program by those who want more and more Islam. Its proponents are patient: look at the statements about waiting for the right moment by the sweet-reasonably sinister Mr. Gulen, waiting in his Washington-area exile, for the results of the election.

While America dithered, and still does, in Iraq, Russia returned to KGB-shchina. While America dithered, and still does, in Iraq, China established economic colonies everywhere, from New York to Belize to West Africa to Italy, and is steadily driving whatever local competition remained, from the silk manufacturers of Como to the makers of pottery in Mexico, into non-existence, while the Administration keeps singing the praises of "free trade" and Nafta, as the free-market fundamentalists they are. While America dithered, and still does, in Iraq (spending $880 billion that China, just as dependent on Middle Eastern oil, for some reason didn't think it had to spend a penny in Iraq to keep being supplied with that oil at the market price -- is it possible the Chinese understand the workings of the oil market better than the Americans?) Turkey has been allowed to become ever-more thoroughly re-islamized. Softly-softly, Sabrina Tavernise seems to think. I'd rather the Times depended on intelligent and secular Turks, less readily fooled. Not fooled at all.

Posted on 07/20/2007 5:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
What Constitutes A Good Outcome In Iraq

"There was an address made recently to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (July 17). The speaker examined each of the other proposed options -- and concluded that none of the proposed options would weaken Islam -- in fact, the speaker suggests that it would probably do the exact opposite. Quote: "Each [of the proposed options] involves ceding ground to terrorists or to Iranian influence. Each also sends the message that, when faced with terrorism, America runs."-- from a reader

Yes, this was testimony by Michael Rubin. I thought every single one of its propositions was wrong. The refusal to contemplate a free-for-all in Iraq is prompted, in this and in other cases, not by an analysis of what the benefits would be to the Camp of Infidels, but by a mixture of embarrassment, refusal to see that one was wrong all along (this is paralyzing the Bush Administration and its most fervent loyalists), a queasiness about internecine warfare because of a perceived inability of the Americans not to take the blame -- but surely it is not beyond the wit of those who, for the right reasons, want to leave Iraq now (want to have left it three years ago) to exploit the extensive record of all those "Get Out of Iraq Now" (for the wrong reasons) campaigners, who will, if their wish is granted -- and I have argued that it should be, for quite different reasons -- not be able to then express a feigned horror at the result. Besides, it is unclear what the result will be, but it is clear that the Sunnis will never acquiesce in their loss of power, and the Shi'a will never give the Sunnis what they want, and that, finally, the attitudes of Islam -- the victor/vanquished view of the world -- will keep both sides from making those compromises that American policymakers keep thinking can and will and must be made.

In the end, the mess in Iraq merely expresses the Triumph of Islam - a triumph that will, if only we let it, lead as well to a dividing and demoralizing and therefore to a weakening, of the Camp of Islam.

Posted on 07/20/2007 5:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 20 July 2007
Obama On Record: Not A Good Enough Reason To Remain

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

"Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now - where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife - which we haven't done," Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a good idea," he said.

Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, said it's likely there would be increased bloodshed if U.S. forces left Iraq."

Posted on 07/20/2007 9:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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