These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 21, 2010.
Friday, 21 May 2010
Is NER Blocked in China?
We received the following email this morning:
I am in Nanjing at the moment and just tried to open your recent article on the New English Review web site but the Great Firewall of China put a quick stop to that and immediately after the page appeared it became frozen (and I had to restart my computer). I was curious if the web site was the actual cause, so I just went to their home page and the same thing happened.
- Did you know your article was blocked in China?
- Does the New English Review know their site is blocked in China?
No, we didn't know we were being blocked in China. That must be why we have so few Chinese readers, though. That and the language problem. Recently our first article was translated into Chinese, "Bachelorhood and Its Discontents" by Christopher Orlet NER July 2008. And we don't normally make fun of the Chinese, we make fun of the Japanese instead, so what the hey?
On second thought, maybe being blocked in China will become like being banned in Boston - just the ticket.
Posted on 05/21/2010 6:05 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 21 May 2010
Brace yourself, O drawers, for a "teeth-shattering" response from the Gummah:
In response to this provocative action by US-based Facebook Hizb ut-Tahrir has organized demonstrations in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to protest against this. The demos were held outside press clubs and offices of the media outlets. The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans such as: "O Pak Army! Rise and deliver a teeth-shattering response to the blasphemers by establishing the Khilafah", and "The blasphemous kuffar only dared to do this because of the treacherous Muslim rulers".
The speakers said that as far as the Western ideal of "freedom" is concerned; it is just a facade to lash the back of Islam.
We ask does a Muslim woman have "freedom" in a French school where she is not even allowed to wear a head-scarf!?
Do hundreds of Muslims incarcerated for the past 8 years in the dungeons of Guantanamo Bay enjoy any level of "freedom", who don't even know the allegations for which they have been abducted?
Does any individual in the West have the "freedom" to criticize the holocaust?
Er ... the Holocaust was a Bad Thing. See, I just criticised it. Of course those cartoons in Der Stürmer were far worse.
And what about those who have no teeth to shatter? Perhaps Allah will take a leaf out of Revd Ian Paisley's book:
Ian Paisley was preaching fire and brimstone one day and bellowed that in hell there would be a gnashing of teeth.
"What about me?" nervously enquired a toothless little old lady.
"Teeth will be provided!" roared Paisley
Posted on 05/21/2010 7:04 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 May 2010
Meet Suad Joseph, President-Elect Of MESA NOSTRA
An article by Reut Cohen:
On May 7, 2010, UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies co-sponsored the lecture, “Rethinking Arab Women as ‘Subjects.’” The talk was delivered by Suad Joseph, a Lebanese-born professor of anthropology and women’s studies at UC Davis, and president-elect of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the principal professional organization for scholars of the region. Joseph, who has co-edited a book with CNES director Susan Slyomovics, is considered a pioneer in the field of Middle East women’s studies, accolades which—as is, sadly, often the case—translates into apologetics for the oppression of Middle Eastern women.
Joseph announced she was perturbed about the title of her lecture; she couldn’t decide whether “Arab” was an appropriate term to use for identification purposes. Yet, she contradicted herself (and followed the Arabist practice of her discipline) by referring to the Middle East exclusively as the “Arab world” and by questioning the identities of Jews, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and other distinctive, regional minorities. She wondered why these groups perceive themselves as separate from Arabs when the answer is readily apparent both in the distinctive histories of theses peoples and in their persecution at the hands of Arab Muslim majorities. The very term “Arab”—often used arbitrarily to describe anything Middle Eastern—is loaded with a perilous and extreme nationalism that has made ethnic minorities such as Mizrahi Jews and Assyrians victims of the majority.
Joseph questioned, and at times denounced, studies examining the status quo of women in the Middle East. She argued that the representation of Arab women as subjects is a “problematic category and necessary one,” and that there is serious fault with characterizations—particularly in Western research and media—of Arab women as the victims of patriarchy, culture, politics, and religion. Instead, Joseph contended, notions of self are changing and malleable.
Predictably for contemporary Middle East studies, Joseph paid tribute to Edward Said’s deeply flawed book Orientalism, which helps explain her rejection of any implied Western superiority regarding women’s rights. In asserting that Westerners shouldn’t assume women in the Middle East wish to imitate secular, Westernized women, she encapsulated the ideology widespread on college campuses: multiculturalism, a form of cultural relativism that denies the ability to judge non-Western cultures on their merits, and which, in practice, judges all non-Western cultures as superior. She made no reference to universal human rights or to the possible reasons for rising Arab immigration to secular European nations and to North America.
Joseph asserted that Arab women are the “most relationship-driven” of any with which she has worked. She described Americans, in contrast, as less “relationship-driven” and American women as having fewer expectations than their Arab counterparts. Joseph offered no factual evidence for either of these preposterous claims. Given the grave circumstances under which many Arab women live, one would think it is they who are forced to have fewer expectations and not, as Joseph contended, Western women.
Incredibly, Joseph theorized that Arab women want to be claimed by men, and therefore have no objection to being subjects of a patriarchal and theocratic society in which their individual rights are abridged. The audience, which appeared to consist mostly of Center for Near Eastern Studies and Women’s Studies faculty, nodded their heads in agreement with this troubling statement. In fact, those gathered reacted favorably to the lecture overall and asked no challenging questions of the speaker. Overwhelming (if understated) evidence of the systematic and institutionalized abuse of Middle Eastern women didn’t seem to factor into the equation.
In many regions of the Middle East, the basic standing of women and the attitude of men towards them are pre-modern. Were this not so, there would be no honor killings, female genital mutilation, child marriage, or legitimized wife-beating. Moreover, the West should consider the disturbing social implications for its societies as these barbaric customs are imported through Muslim immigration.
If I may end on a personal note: As a woman of Middle Eastern origin, the situation of women in the Middle East has always fascinated and troubled me. Although I come from a very traditional Middle Eastern family—albeit Jewish—the women in my family have always been empowered and independent. Therefore, I find it extremely difficult to come to terms with the theory that Middle Eastern women are a different breed who welcome abuse for some twisted concept of maintaining a “relationship-driven” society.
If one believes, as I do, in fundamental human rights, there are moral principles that define our basic freedoms. Middle Eastern women’s rights activists such as Shirin Ebadi and Ayaan Hirsi Ali do not excuse the misogynistic and theocratic elements in their native countries. Instead, they demand freedom, even in the face of their abusers and of Western apologists.
Unfortunately, Joseph’s lecture belongs in the latter category, demonstrating yet again that Middle Eastern women who seek intellectual and moral support from Western professors of Middle East studies will come away disappointed.
Reut Cohen is a journalist, researcher, and the publisher of ReutRCohen.com. She wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
Posted on 05/21/2010 9:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 May 2010
Why I Won't Be Participating in 'Draw M******* Day' (PBUH)
We've all had our fun, but Iowahawk is right - we shouldn't mock the Prophet of One of the World's Great Religions:
One of the most frustrating things that comes with being one of Eastern Iowa's top 500 political satire bloggers is dealing with readers who presume to know where I stand on the issues. Worse yet, some even seem to think they can dictate the content of my posts. Like this recent disturbing email from a reader in Crown Point, IN:
Long time reader and fan! I trust you are planning to contribute something special for the upcoming 'Everybody Draw [redacted] Day' on May 20. Let's stand up for free speech and let the [redacted]ofascists know they can't push us around!
or this concerned message that came from an anonymous IP address in Yemen:
Dnt thikning u r to b draw cartooms the Prophet (pbuh) u fukin kaffir
Inshallah i m jihad to behed u and feed ur blood to pigs!!!!!
u r warnd
roast in hell!!!!
What bothers me is the shared assumption of these two readers that I would even consider participation in a cheap provocative stunt like this so-called "Draw M******* Day." Because if "humor" today means mocking the founder of one of the world's great religions -- one with a proud 1400 year history of art, science, scholarship, and beheadings -- well mister, you can count this humble internet funnyman out.
Why I have opted out of this event? It depresses me that our culture has reached such a level of debasement that I feel compelled to list the reasons. Firstly, it is a well known codicil of Islamic law that visual depictions of their holy prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) are strictly prohibited. Like all religions we should respect their views, and the cartoons (which incidentally I have proudly refused to even glance at) seem only to cause hurt. Yes, they hurt the feeling of millions of Muslims. But, ultimately, they also hurt the misguided cartoonists who produce them. Because let's face it: having a rusty scimitar hack through your neck can't be a walk in the park.
As a responsible humorist I will not, indeed cannot, sanction this disgusting and nihilistic 'Draw M*******' (PBUH) sideshow. Yes, we still have Freedom of Speech in this country. But there comes a time when a man must look deep inside himself and muster the courage to exercise his Freedom of Not Speech. And if having that courage also means not having his house firebombed, hey, win-win!
Posted on 05/21/2010 10:23 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 May 2010
Beware of the siesta states
Whatever Germany does, writes Jeff Randall in The Telegraph, the Euro as we know it is dead:
The euro has many flaws, but its weakest link is Greece, whose fundamental problem is that for years it spent too much, earned too little and plugged the gap by borrowing in order to enjoy a rich man's lifestyle. It flouted EU rules on the limits to budget deficits; its national accounts were a moussaka of minced statistics, topped with a cheesy sauce of jiggery-pokery.
The game is up for a monetary union that was meant to bolt together work-and-save citizens in northern Europe with the party animals of Club Med.
This blunt, though accurate, analysis, echoes Rod Liddle in a Sunday Times piece on 2 May that I never got around to posting:
Those recent furious protests on the streets of Athens had a rather wonderful whiff of the 1970s about them, both in the angry placards and indeed the beards and moustaches, especially the women.
It made me nostalgic for a time when we thought of the Greeks, with their colonels and their poverty, and the Spanish and the Portuguese with their puffed-up Roman Catholic fascists and their poverty, as being a semi-exotic, halfway house between the safety and stuffiness of proper Europe and the hysterical mystery and perpetual mayhem of the Third World. Strange, hot-tempered places which had absolutely nothing to do with us and were run by thoroughly nasty bastards with a liking for uniforms: Salazar, Franco, Papadopolous.
We know these countries a little better now — and lower-class people enjoy spending holidays in them, on account of the cheap flights and cheap alcohol, searing climates and recent availability of deep-fried chipped potatoes. But, if we’re honest, nothing much else has changed, has it?
The Greeks are not merely broke but reduced, officially, to junk status; the Spanish and the Portuguese are not far behind. And the Italians are waiting in the wings with their debts, their bad credit ratings, their mopeds, their ice creams and their chaos. Not so much the north of Italy, it ought to be said, but the scary south.
You wonder if southern Europe should have joined a different economic cartel, rather than being corralled into the relentlessly expansionist European Union, or EEC as it was back in 1981 when Greece joined, having offered vague promises of economic prudence with its fingers firmly crossed behind its back and a come-hither look in its eyes, like a waiter in some Faliraki restaurant approaching a 45-year-old German divorcee. A trading bloc called something like the SESSZ (Southern European Siesta and Subsidy Zone), for countries which go to sleep at 11 in the morning and unhappily rouse themselves five hours later having demanded a few billion quid just before supper for not having produced tobacco or cotton — you suspect that they might be more comfortable there, more culturally attuned.
There has been no concerted attempt by Greece to wean itself off the most enormous subsidies paid for by the grim and grey-faced denizens of the north in recent years. It was fingered by the EU back in 2004 as being guilty of sloppy and imprudent economic management — an understatement if ever there was one — but nothing was actually done about it, of course.
Quite clearly, to judge from the public mood in Greece — and later, just watch, in Spain and Portugal — nothing should be done about it now either. Its feckless and uneconomic farmers should continue to soak up the hard-earned wealth of the north, while it lives the life of Riley, or at least the life of a Swede, with a welfare state which its economy cannot even dream of supporting.
From where do the Greek people think the money should come, if not from their own pockets? And why do they think that they have a right to it? Because they live somewhere prettier than the rest of us, and it’s hotter?
There is not much of a cultural meeting of minds between the south and north of Europe and it does make you wonder why geographical proximity is assumed to be the most effective means of allocating membership of trading blocs. We are happier bedfellows, by far, with the new Europe from the jettisoned satellites of the former Soviet Union — the likes of Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Poland — than we are with our neighbours to the south. Much as we may enjoy visiting them from time to time.
And if it is wrong for us to subsidise the idleness, profligacy and corruption of Greeks or Spaniards, why on earth should we subsidise that of "Palestinians" or Pakistanis, who don't even produce decent music.
By the way, if the Greeks are reverting to type, England should certainly hang onto the Elgin marbles.
Posted on 05/21/2010 12:41 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 May 2010
Tea Party Says No To CAIR, Won't Drop Geller
AP via The Tennessean:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tea party organizers will not drop a speaker from a Tennessee convention this weekend despite calls from a national Muslim rights group that considers her anti-Islamic.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations had urged that Pamela Geller be cut from the Tennessee Tea Party Convention in Gatlinburg over her views on Muslims. Washington-based CAIR said in a release Thursday that it objects to Pamela Geller’s presentation titled “The Threat of Islam.”
Convention organizer Anthony Shreeve said in an e-mail Friday that Geller will speak despite those concerns.
“We will not follow any request from CAIR,” Shreeve said. “We also believe in the right to freedom of speech as given to us by our U.S. Constitution.”...
Posted on 05/21/2010 12:57 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 21 May 2010
Pouring In Through Our Southern Border
Posted on 05/21/2010 6:41 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 21 May 2010
Blitz Against Antisemitic Plotters In Rome (In Italian)
From the Corriere della Sera May 22, 2010:
Attacchi agli ebrei, blitz contro Militia
quattro indagati per apologia del fascismo
Operazione dei Ros: coinvolto Maurizio Boccacci e altri esponenti di estrema destra. Tra il materiale sequestrato anche machete e una divisa dell'esercito israeliano
ROMA - L'appuntamento era per domani, alla «Palestra popolare Primo Carnera», nel quartiere romano di Montesacro. Lì si sarebbe dovuta tenere una «adunanza nazionale» che avrebbe consentito a Militia di fare il salto: non più una piccola «organizzazione politica di stampo Nazional-Rivoluzionario», ma una struttura più ampia, che avrebbe aggregato attorno a sé numerosi altri movimenti di estrema destra, «proiettata a compiere azioni violente anche di natura xenofoba». Ma l' adunanza non ci sarà. I carabinieri del Ros di Roma al termine di alcuni mesi di indagine (un'indagine in cui è stato fondamentale il contributo delle intercettazioni telefoniche) e un blitz scattato all'alba hanno indagato quattro persone accusate di apologia del fascismo, diffusione di idee fondate sull'odio razziale e violazione della Legge Mancino, avendo messo in atto - attraverso Militia - azioni contro la comunità ebraica romana e in particolare il suo presidente, Riccardo Pacifici, i cittadini rumeni e il sindaco della capitale Gianni Alemanno. Uno degli indagati sarebbe un ex esponente di Ordine Nuovo.
PALESTRA E MACHETE - I militari dell'anticrimine, coordinati dal pool antiterrorismo della procura romana, hanno perquisito la palestra «Primo Carnera» occupata da cinque anni e sede di Militia, la discoteca Kinky club e le abitazioni degli indagati, tutti «radicati negli ambienti dell'estremismo di destra». Ad Albano Laziale, così, i carabinieri sono andati a casa di Maurizio Boccacci, 53 anni, un personaggio molto noto nel giro dell'estrema destra; ad Appignano del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno) hanno perquisito l'abitazione di Giuseppe Pieristè, pure lui di 53 anni, che gli investigatori definiscono vicino in passato ad Ordine Nuovo; a Roma quelle di Massimo De Simone, 42 anni, e di Stefano Schiavulli, il più giovane, 25 anni, ma ritenuto uno dei più «motivati». Le perquisizioni hanno portato al sequestro di machete, mazze da baseball e bastoni; documentazione ideologica di estrema destra; manifesti e strumenti per scritte murarie e striscioni, materiale informatico e perfino una divisa dell'Esercito israeliano.
I REATI CONTESTATI - Nello specifico, agli indagati viene contestato di aver «prospettato azioni violente» contro Riccardo Pacifici («trasformo un porco in un bell'angelo», dice Boccacci a Schiavulli in una delle tante intercettazioni su cui si fonda l'inchiesta); di aver annerito le 'pietre di inciampò, poste in Piazza Rosolino Pilo 17 in memoria delle vittime della persecuzione nazista a Roma; di aver affisso striscioni e realizzato scritte sui muri dal contenuto minaccioso, denigratorio e xenofobo. Qualche esempio? «Alemanno con l'A.N.P.I.??? Il più infame di tutti quanti». «25 aprile non ho tradito. Onore R.S.I.»; «Piombo ai rumeni» o, a scelta, «Olocausto romeno»; «Lode e gloria ai fascisti. Morte ai partigiani».
Schiavulli - svastica tatuata sul braccio, istruttore di pugilato e gestore della palestra che è anche centro sociale - si difende. «Le mazze servono solo per sciogliere i muscoli, la divisa israeliana è una mimetica comprata al mercato. Non siamo dei violenti e non stavamo organizzando nessun attacco né a Pacifici né ad Alemanno. Boccacci? Per me è come un padre».
PACIFICI- «Nulla mi sorprende», ha commentato Pacifici. «A nome della comunità ebraica e a nome mio personale voglio fare un plauso ai Ros per il coraggioso e determinato blitz. Attendiamo fiduciosi che i capi di accusa mossi e le prove presentate si trasformino in condanne certe e senza alcuna attenuante». Solidarietà alla comunità ebraica e a Pacifici è stata espressa dal sindaco Alemanno, secondo cui «queste minacce, questa specie di ombra scura che c'era sulla città, era veramente molto negativa. Spero si faccia chiarezza e si attribuiscano tutte le responsabilità».
IL PRECEDENTE - Il blitz dei carabinieri segue di poche settimane quello effettuato dagli investigatori della Digos romana, che a febbraio - nell'ambito delle indagini scaturite dalle scritte antisemite apparse a Roma e siglate dal movimento di estrema destra Militia - sequestrarono, nel corso di perquisizioni in una decina di appartamenti, materiale informatico, fotografico e alcuni telefoni cellulari.
SCRITTE ANTISEMITE - A fine gennaio, presunti esponenti di Militia avevano imbrattato i muri della città con scritte contro Israele, eppoi quelli del Museo di via Tasso con scritte antisemite del tenore di «Olocausto = propaganda sionista» e «27-01, ho perso la memoria», ma erano stati ripresi dalle telecamere di sorveglianza: tre ragazzi sui 20-25 anni; uno di loro aveva anche tracciato uan croce celtica con lo spray e danneggiato a colpi d'ascia la targa del museo. A giugno dell'anno scorso, invece, aderenti a Militia avevano esposto striscioni pro Ahmadinejad sulla Tangenziale Est, «contro il porco sionista».
Posted on 05/21/2010 9:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 May 2010
A Musical Interlude: I'll Never Be The Same (Mildred Bailey)
Posted on 05/21/2010 10:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald