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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 Monday, 21, 2009.
Monday, 21 September 2009
Despite ban thousands of Muslims gather in Rome's Piazza Vittoria

From  New England Cable News
Rome, Italy - Thousands of Muslim faithful disobeyed a city ban and gathered in a central Roman piazza to pray as part of the festivities for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Mayor's office had denied a request by members of Rome's Muslim community to pray in the piazza, saying that all prayers should be conducted at Rome's only mosque. Thirty-thousand Muslims were expected at the mosque on Sunday.
Despite the ban thousands of Muslims also gathered in Rome's Piazza Vittoria , left their shoes by the side of the road, lay down their prayer rugs and participated in the Eid al-Fitr ceremonies.
See how many we are! See how many we are and we all need mosques! Give us those mosques! See how many we are to demand those mosques! It is not just London, and  
Newport, and Dudley. It is everywhere in Europe..
I would value the opinion of someone who knows Rome on the video attached to this article. Is it the Piazza Vittoria? And I getting muddled up with the square with the 'Wedding Cake' memorial to Victor Emmanuel?

Posted on 09/21/2009 3:48 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 21 September 2009
Muslims reserve Six Flags for holiday

From Hometown Annapolis
UPPER MARLBORO - For the first time, Maryland Muslims will be able to end their month-long Ramadan fast with exclusive access to the spins, turns and dives aboard the Mind Eraser and Tower of Doom thrill rides at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro.
The private use of Six Flags will coincide with Eid ul-Fitr, one of two yearly Muslim holidays.
"The purpose is to gather Muslims in one place for some good, clean, Islamic fun," said volunteer organizer Salman Sheikh. There is a joke in there, somewhere.
About 6,000 people attended a similar event at Six Flags America last year, but the park was still open to the public according to Erica Hussey, an event coordinator at Six Flags America. This year, increased ticket sales enabled the Muslim community to book the entire park for themselves.
"We like to treat the kids around Eid with some fun stuff," said Safeer Shamim, who attended Muslim Family Day 2008 with his family. "The kids think this is their treat for being good all year."
Shamim's son, Sharif, has fasted all but three days this Ramadan even though Islamic law says he is not required to until puberty.  "I like the scary rides," the 11-year-old said. "It's going to be really fun."
Muslim Family Day 2009 will feature a bazaar with local vendors and a prayer pavilion to create a distinctly Muslim atmosphere for all thrill-seekers. All food will be Halal, a word that means lawful in Arabic, and will be served in place of ordinary park food that is off-limits to Muslims. Swine, alcohol and animals improperly slaughtered are not allowed according to Islamic law.
The day will also be an opportunity for Muslim children to experience their religion in a different atmosphere.
Maryland's will not be the only Six Flags site in the country hosting a Muslim Family Day.
"They have been doing this in New Jersey for several years but last year they expanded to seven cities," said Mahmood Kijazi, a D.C. representative of the Islamic Circle of North America.
This year, ICNA raised the number of participating theme parks to nine with only some, like the one in Maryland, being exclusive to Muslims. Organizers expect Muslims in less-populated areas to use the event as an opportunity to celebrate the holiday with the broader Islamic community.

Posted on 09/21/2009 5:04 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 21 September 2009
Maltese press keeps close interest in Libya

I know that there was a period when Libya was working hard on its links with Malta, the Tripoli to  Valletta ferry  increased its timetable and ran a rather swish looking ship for example, and that there are Maltese who considered this cause for concern.
This is The Times of Malta weighing up the struggle for sucession between the two Gadaffi sons, with particular reference to the release of Al-Megrahi the convicted Locherbie bomber.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's reformist son is trying to use the homecoming of the Lockerbie bomber to boost his waning prestige but is being rebuffed by powerful conservatives close to his father.
The Western-leaning Saif al-Islam has sought to rebuild his profile after a year during which he faded from public view and his brother Mutassim, viewed by some observers as a rival for power, grew in influence.
"My hunch is Saif is trying to curry favour with a group which he thought in the past he could bypass," said Dirk Vandewalle, a Libya expert and professor at Dartmouth College in the United States. "He might have found out that he is not as powerful as he expected."
Islam played an important role in bringing oil producer Libya out of international isolation when it gave up banned weapons and paid compensation to the Lockerbie victims.
He has been portrayed in Western media as a rising star who can shake up Libya's ossified elite, champion transparency and press freedom, and one day step into his father's shoes.
That optimism appears to ignore the reality of the desert country's murky politics.
"There are concentric circles of power that emanate from Gaddafi and I don't sense that an enormous amount has changed around here," said Vandewalle.
Libya still has powerful forces which stand to lose from the liberalisation that Saif al-Islam represents.
Read the rest here.
I find this piece significant, not for the editorial conclusions, but because of the need for this island with a proud history for fighting for freedom, to keep a close eye on her neighbours.

Posted on 09/21/2009 5:55 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 21 September 2009
Apostasy and the Islamic Nations

Andrew Bostom writes at the American Thinker:

The 1990 Cairo Declaration, or so-called "Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam", was drafted and subsequently ratified by all the Muslim member nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Now a 57 state collective which includes every Islamic nation on earth, the OIC, currently headed by Turkey's Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, thus represents the entire Muslim umma (or global community of individual Muslims), and is the largest single voting bloc in the United Nations (UN). 

Both the preamble and concluding articles (24 and 25) make plain that the OIC's Cairo Declaration is designed to supersede Western conceptions of human rights as enunciated, for example, in the US Bill of Rights, and the UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The opening of the preamble to the Cairo Declaration repeats a Koranic injunction affirming Islamic supremacism, (Koran 3:110; "You are the best nation ever brought forth to believe in Allah"), and states,

"Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which Allah made the best nation..."

Continue reading here.

Posted on 09/21/2009 7:24 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 21 September 2009
Newspaper Bailout?

Michael O'Brien writes at The Hill blog:

The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.

"I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them," Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called "Newspaper Revitalization Act," that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin's Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had played down the possibility of government assistance for news organizations, which have been hit by an economic downturn and dwindling ad revenue.

In early May, Gibbs said that while he hadn't asked the president specifically about bailout options for newspapers, "I don't know what, in all honesty, government can do about it."

Obama said that good journalism is "critical to the health of our democracy," but expressed concern toward growing tends in reporting -- especially on political blogs, from which a groundswell of support for his campaign emerged during the presidential election.

"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," he said.

I think our President has it backward. It is usually the blog writers who find factual errors in the newspapers and who put the stories into context. And it is usually the newspapers' shoddy opinion writers who wind up on television making up in volume what they lack in understanding.

Posted on 09/21/2009 7:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 21 September 2009
For the ladies

Some eligible bachelors from Video Mate, circa 1983, h/t David Thompson.

Bagsy the Viking. (Do Americans say bagsy?)


Posted on 09/21/2009 7:54 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 21 September 2009
Rubbish hadith of the day

Thawban [Arabo-babble] relates that the Messenger of Allah [Arabo-babble] said, "Whoever fasts Ramadan, and then six days after Eid, it is [like fasting] an entire year.

No it isn't.

Posted on 09/21/2009 8:06 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 21 September 2009
Muslims In Milan Assault Anti-Burqa Protestor Daniela Santanchè (In Italian)

ma la comunita' islamica smentisce: ha strappato un velo e si è buttata a terra

Santanchè contro il burqa: aggredita

Milano, la leader del Movimento dell'Italia manifestava nel luogo dove si svolgeva la cerimonia di fine Ramadan

Daniela Santanchè davanti al  teatro Ciak di Milano  (De Grandis)
Daniela Santanchè davanti al teatro Ciak di Milano (De Grandis)
MILANO- «Sono stata aggredita, colpita da un uomo con un braccio ingessato e gettata a terra». Daniela Santanchè, leader del Movimento dell'Italia aveva deciso di manifestare domenica mattina, contro l'uso del burqa davanti al Teatro Ciak, alla Fabbrica del Vapore di Milano, dove si stava svolgendo la festa islamica per la fine del Ramadan. All'improvviso un uomo le si è scagliato contro. Poi gli insulti e le minacce. La Santanchè finirà poi al pronto soccorso del Fatebenefratelli uscendone con un referto nel quale risultano contusioni toraciche estese con una prognosi di venti giorni. «Sono stata aggredita, colpita da un uomo con un braccio ingessato, gettata a terra e dopo andrò in ospedale per vedere se ho una costola rotta- racconta all'Ansa -. Verso le 9 mi hanno aggredita e mi hanno detto che sono una puttana, che domani sarò morta, che faccio schifo. Ma chi mi ha colpito, mi hanno spiegato le forze dell'ordine, è stato individuato. Un altro voleva usare contro di me un cartello stradale divelto».

LA VICENDA- L'uomo sarebbe stato individuato dalle forze dell'ordine. L'ex parlamentare, però, ha ottenuto di entrare nel teatro in un clima di grande tensione, affermando che «qui siamo in Italia e non in un califfato». È stata scortata dalla polizia con l'intenzione di parlare con alcune donne. Esponenti della comunità musulmana hanno stigmatizzato l'aggressione e gli insulti verso la Santanchè ma hanno anche rivendicato il diritto delle loro donne ad indossare il burqa.

LA REPLICA- La comunità islamica nega l'ahhressione. E gli esponenti sostengono che sia stata la Santanchè «ad aggredire,strappando il velo alle donne e a gettarsi a terra» aggiungendo che «comunque la festa non è stata assolutamente rovinata». Il presidente dell'Istituto culturale islamico di viale Jenner, Abdel Hamid Shaari, molto sereno, ha affermato: «Se la signora Santanchè ritiene che qualcuno l'ha aggredita faccia la sua denuncia e poi ci sono organi preposti ad accertare la verità. Comunque nessuno l'ha aggredita o minacciata, cosa impossibile visto che c'era un cordone delle forze dell'ordine che ringraziamo. Oggi siamo in festa e lei ha cercato con un manipolo di persone di strappare il velo alle donne velate. Una provocazione vera e propria». Ma la risposta è pronta: «Non è vero. Non ho mai tolto il velo a nessuno. La nostra era una manifestazione a difesa delle donne musulmane e dei loro diritti.». E parla di vere e proprie «falsificazioni dei fondamentalisti» nella ricostruzione di quanto è successo alla Fabbrica del vapore.

LA BATTAGLIA- L'ex parlamentare ha scelto di protestare contro il volto coperto delle donne musulmane chiedendo il rispetto della legge 152 del 1975 che vieta di nascondere la testa. « Non ce l'ho con queste povere donne ma con chi le manda e le soggioga. Il burqa è un umiliazione per le donne. Non a caso anche in Francia stanno approvando una legge per impedirne l'uso. Il burqa è come l'infibulazione perchè sono strumenti per annullare la sua identità più profonda», ha spiegato la Santanchè. Solidarietà per l'episodio è arrivata dal ministro dell'Istruzione Mariastella Gelmini e dal presidente Udc, Rocco Buttiglione. Per il titolare della Farnesina, Franco Frattini, questo e l'omicidio di Sanna, «sono segnali pericolosi e preoccupanti di un'immigrazione che fatica a riconoscere i diritti umani e l'uguaglianza di genere».

Posted on 09/21/2009 8:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
More On The Muslim Presence In Rome (in Italian)

Grazie Alemanno. Detto dai musulmani «de Roma» non è omaggio da poco per il primo sindaco di destra del dopoguerra della capitale. Abdellah Redouane, segretario generale del Centro islamico culturale d'Italia, che gestisce la moschea di Roma, ha voluto esprimere il «proprio apprezzamento nei confronti dell'operato del sindaco di Roma Gianni Alemanno per il sostegno offerto alla comunità in occasione della festa della fine del Ramadan celebrata oggi in città». Una festa che ha portato nella più grande moschea d'Europa, quella di Monte Antenne, oltre 30mila fedeli senza nessun problema di ordine pubblico. «Per questo sosteniamo la politica del sindaco ed esprimiamo la nostra vicinanza a lui alla luce della polemica registrata nei giorni scorsi con una associazione di immigrati di Piazza Vittorio, nei confronti della quale siamo disponibili al dialogo nella speranza di poterci coordinare in futuro per ospitarli in occasione delle prossime festività». Redouane si riferisce all'associazione bengalese Dhuumcatu, che nei giorni scorsi aveva denunciato la mancata autorizzazione del Comune alla celebrazione di una preghiera pubblica a Villa De Santis e nei giardini di Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II in occasione della fine del Ramadan. Preghiere che, sebbene non autorizzate, si sono svolte lo stesso con la partecipazione di circa 5mila persone, per lo più bengalesi,che hanno ascoltato l'imam Nasjeed e-Rome recitare la «kutwa» e parlare di fratellanza e convivenza civile non solo in lingua bengalese ma anche in italiano. L'associazione Dhuumcatu ha lamentato l'assenza di vigili urbani, del resto prevedibile vista la mancata autorizzazione. Nel corso della celebrazione sono stati anche ricordati «i sei militari italiani morti a Kabul, ma anche gli altri civili afgani colpiti dall'attentato e tutte le vittime delle guerre, che andranno in paradiso», ha detto Bachcu, esponente dell'associazione. Sul posto anche dei consiglieri municipali di centrodestra della I circoscrizione, presenti in segno di protesta contro la recitazione delle preghiera in piazza. Altri gruppi di musulmani della capitale hanno pregato anche nella sede della X circoscrizione messa a disposizione dal municipio e a Villa De Santis.

Infine una polemica lanciata dal Sulpm, un sindacato di polizia locale: «Con la fine del Ramadan si riproporrà il problema del mercato abusivo del venerdì alla Moschea di Roma, che pare si deve fingere di ignorare. Intanto fioccano le denuncie dei consiglieri municipali alla Corte dei Conti o alla Giustizia penale e alla fine c'è il rischio che a pagare siano come sempre le ultime ruote del carro, cioè i Vigili Urbani», ha detto Alessandro Marchetti, segretario generale aggiunto del sindacato, che ha anche ricordato come «giorni fa un senegalese ha detto a un nostro agente che sequestriamo solo agli africani, ma dai musulmani non andiamo. La situazione rischia di degenerare, ognuno pensa di essere vittima del razzismo o di potenti lobby di potere. La soluzione sarebbe semplice e c'è: invitiamo l'Imam a chiedere gli spazi pubblici necessari, ogni volta che lo ritiene opportuno, al Comune per tenere la festività religiosa del venerdì e questo, un po' come avviene per le feste private paesane, di quartiere o le sagre, eliminerebbe almeno il problema dell'esistenza del mercato abusivo e gli operatori di mercato, in possesso dei requisiti, sarebbero individuati direttamente dallo stesso Imam. Addirittura Moschea e Comune di Roma potrebbero persino firmare un protocollo in tal senso. Invitiamo entrambi le parti a risolvere con il buon senso e in fretta questo problema e a non ignorare che nel mezzo ci sono dei lavoratori, quelli della Polizia Municipale, che rischiano di essere denunciati di omissioni e nel contempo di eliminere la disparità di trattamento fra commercianti che altrove vengono invece sanzionati».

Posted on 09/21/2009 8:15 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
Christian hoteliers prosecuted for calling Pope 'Catholic'

James Delingpole in The Telegraph:

Perhaps you’ve read the shocking story. A couple of Christian hoteliers in Liverpool have been prosecuted by the police for a “religiously aggravated public order offence”, after one of their Muslim guests complained they had told her that the founder of her religion was a “warlord” and that Muslim dress was a form of “bondage for women”.

I wonder what prosecutions Merseyside police are planning on next.

Liverpool elocution teacher brought to trial for alleging that in Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen?

Scouse astronomer prosecuted for declaring that night is best time to look at stars?

Liverpool zookeeper arrested after bear takes offence at outrageous suggestion that ursine species only defecate outdoors?

Even if the statements were not true, this is not a matter for the law. The police are a disgrace. If, as is likely, the case is dropped, the Christian couple should sue the backside off this Muslim witch for loss of earnings. If the witch can afford to stay in the hotel, she must have money.

I believe the witch was being treated at a nearby hospital at the infidel taxpayers' expense. I hope it's nothing trivial.

Update: Is the British taxpayer paying her hotel bill too? All I've got so far is this, from The Telegraph:

Friends said that they had seen bookings fall by up to 80 per cent after a local hospital stopped an arrangement in which it recommended the hotel to people attending courses there after hearing that the owners were facing criminal charges.

Perhaps not, given that the hospital was only recommending the hotel, but as Hugh points out, Muslims are good at fiddling the system. If anyone finds out any more information, please let me know.

Posted on 09/21/2009 8:17 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 21 September 2009
Cliché corner

St Ethelburga's - do you want fries with that? - is holding an "Interfaiths Facilitators Forum". Thanks to Damian Thompson for showcasing the highest concentration of interfaith clichés I've seen in a long while. Notice that "interfaith" is plural and "story" is singular with no article, like "Carnival". Perhaps this is part of the narrativities of shared space:

When you create opportunities for people to share their stories in a receptive environment, barriers can be broken down and new relationships formed that go beyond prejudice and projection. For several years, St Ethelburga’s has been exploring the many applications of personal narrative in inter-religious or inter-cultural relationship building, and the healing of conflict. This day of experiential exercises and discussion will share some of our learning. Aimed at those working in peace-making, community-building, education, and inter-faith dialogue, or anyone who enjoys sharing and hearing the stories of others. With Justine Huxley

Will include some of the following:

• An exploration of the power of narrative approaches

• The human experience – why story is fundamental to our existence

• Changing the contract – how story enables listeners to respond differently from everyday conversation

• Lots of tools and exercises for creating story sharing possibilities

• Effective story triggers

• Making space safe

• Hearing our own stories back / changes in teller perspectives

• An experience of the ‘bead workshop’ – a method of sharing stories of loss

• Hearing the stories of our ‘enemies’

• Faith and story

• Story telling skills – the importance of communicating our narratives effectively

• Traditional story structure and its relevance for personal narrative work

• Story and identity - changing our relationship with our own stories, offering our stories as gifts, making a contribution to the collective ‘human story’.

So next time a jihadist comes at you with a hand grenade, just get out your story tool and change the structure. I spy a flaw in the story: Islam is not so keen on shared space. Every story has a floor, but that's another storey.

Posted on 09/21/2009 8:50 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 21 September 2009
The Pentagon Held an Iftar Dinner Too

Details and pictures here.

When I first came to this city (Washington DC), over 30 years ago, there were no Iftars, nor was there any formal recognition of Ramadan or the Eids by anyone, anywhere. I can recall going to the Reagan White House to propose a Presidential Eid message and being asked to write it. And then reminding them each year after that. The practice was broadened and institutionalized during the Clinton years, with President Bush adding an Iftar dinner, which he hosted each year of his Presidency.

At this point, there are Iftars all over this city-the White House, State Department, Congress, National Security Agency, and more.

                  ---James Zogby

Posted on 09/21/2009 9:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 21 September 2009
Imam, Supposedly A Trusted Informer For The Police, Betrays Them
From The New York Times:
September 21, 2009

Lawyer Defends Imam Arrested in Terror Inquiry

Ahmad Wais Afzali had for years been a popular imam in Queens. First at one mosque, and then at others, he had become known for his moving sermons. He also ran a funeral home, and won praise for helping families deal with their grief.

He was also a source of information for local and federal authorities on the alert for any criminal activity. A good citizen, his lawyer called him.

And so this month, Mr. Afzali was approached by law enforcement officials concerned that a terror suspect had unexpectedly driven to Queens from Colorado. Over time, Mr. Afzali had phone conversations with the suspect, Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old former food-cart vendor who had grown up in Queens.

Those phone calls and others, court records show, included talk of the interest in Mr. Zazi among law enforcement officials and the possibility that he might be picked up by the authorities. They included mentions of what was happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One conversation involved talk of “evidence.”

The imam’s lawyer said he was merely trying to help the authorities. But on Saturday night, federal officials arrested Mr. Afzali, 37, effectively claiming that their onetime source of assistance had betrayed them by tipping off Mr. Zazi, and then lying to them about it.

Mr. Zazi, who had abruptly returned to Colorado after the phone calls with Mr. Afzali and after he was stopped and questioned by the police at the George Washington Bridge on his way into the city, was also arrested Saturday night. Federal authorities said he had admitted receiving explosives training at a terrorist camp in Pakistan, and had notes on his laptop computer on making bombs. And it was clear he was the central focus of a federal investigation aimed at heading off a possible attack in the United States

The series of phone calls between Mr. Zazi and Mr. Afzali was recorded, and excerpts were disclosed by federal authorities when the men were arrested. Mr. Afzali knew they were being recorded, and they could be open to varying interpretations.

But the authorities clearly believe they were pivotal in provoking Mr. Zazi to leave New York, leading them to hurriedly conduct raids in a number of apartments in Queens last week because they believed Mr. Zazi was aware he was under suspicion and might destroy evidence.

If the conversations prove to be incriminating, they would be an uncommon instance in the annals of American terror investigations: a person who had worked with the authorities suddenly turning on them.

Mr. Afzali’s lawyer, Ronald L. Kuby, said the authorities came to his client and “wanted to know everything they could about Najibullah Zazi, and he agreed to help them.” Mr. Kuby added: “He had always been helpful and candid and useful to them; that’s why they trusted him.”

In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Afzali’s wife, Fatimah, said he was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. He left with his parents at age 6 or 7, arriving in Queens, where he went to school.

She described her husband as an accommodating man, a father of two children from a previous marriage and an imam who leads prayers in mosques around the city. A businessman, he also runs an Islamic burial and shipping service, where he brings comfort to the bereaved, Ms. Afzali said.

Mr. Afzali’s father was also successful in business, according to Ahmad Weish, the president of Masjid-al-Saaliheen, a mosque in Queens where Mr. Afzali had, in the past, delivered the Friday sermon. Mr. Weish said that Mr. Afzali’s father used to own pizzerias in Queens.

In a 2003 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Afzali gave voice to the optimism his fellow Afghans were expressing at the time about the prospects for finding stability and business prospects in their native country after years in New York.

“It’s been a great opportunity for us financially,” Mr. Afzali said at the time.

Though it was unclear if Mr. Afzali had rediscovered Afghanistan of late, his neighbors described his passion for cars.

“He always had fresh, expensive cars,” said Messia Ben Yosef, 23, a pharmacy student who said Mr. Afzali lived on his street for at least 15 years. He said Mr. Afzali drove a white Jaguar XJ8.

Mr. Afzali’s wife said her husband was a Muslim “from the inside out.” Her parents were raised as Muslims after her grandparents, who moved from Puerto Rico, converted to Islam, she said. She married Mr. Afzali three years ago; she said her father introduced them when Mr. Afzali “buried my grandpa.”

Ms. Afzali said her husband’s sermons “usually inspire tears.”

“He’s very good at being responsive to human needs,” she said. She said he met Najibullah Zazi, “when they were at the same mosque for some period of time. When Ahmad was the imam, those guys used to come in and take classes.”

It is hard to say precisely when Mr. Afzali became a source of information or insight for law enforcement. Mr. Kuby said his client had been “responsive to government requests for at least a year and I think several years,” and said he was trusted by police officers and federal agents on the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Mr. Kuby stressed that Mr. Afzali was not a confidential informant; he did not take money or infiltrate any groups as part of an undercover operation, and he was not working to escape any criminal charges. Rather, he provided information. So, when Mr. Zazi — who government officials have said first came to the attention of American intelligence months ago — got in a rental car on Sept. 9, headed for New York, the authorities went to the imam. They showed him photographs of Mr. Zazi and others.

“They said, ‘Find out everything you can about what these guys are doing,’ ” said Mr. Kuby. “ ‘What they are up to? Find out everything.’ ”

The court records submitted by the government reveal some parts of the conversations Mr. Afzali subsequently had.

At one point, according to the records, Mr. Afzali told Mr. Zazi not to get nervous because “all this stuff is going on.” He asked for a meeting. “You probably know why I’m calling you for this meeting,” Mr. Afzali told Mr. Zazi, according to the records. “I was exposed to something yesterday from the authorities.”

He added that the authorities needed to know “who they are ... what they’re all about.” And he then said, “I told them that they are innocent, law-abiding.”

In one conversation on Sept. 11, Mr. Zazi said his rented car had been stolen from outside the Flushing residence where he had spent the previous night and expressed fears he was being “watched,” the court papers said. Mr. Afzali asked Mr. Zazi if there was any “evidence in his car,” and Mr. Zazi said there was not, the papers said.

On Sept. 12, Mr. Zazi flew back to Denver, opting not to return his rental car in New York on Sept. 14 as planned.

Under questioning days later by agents and prosecutors, Mr. Afzali said he had not asked Mr. Zazi whether he had any “evidence” in his car. Also, when he was asked by investigators whether he told Mr. Zazi or his father that authorities had approached him to ask about the younger Mr. Zazi, Mr. Afzali said he had not. On Saturday night he was charged with lying to federal agents about aspects of the conversations.

Mr. Kuby said his client was trying to help the F.B.I. in carrying out the phone calls — that was the calls’ aim. He criticized the government for arresting his client “for providing the assistance that the F.B.I. begged him to provide.”

“They used his willingness to be a good member of the community to set a trap for him,” Mr. Kuby said.

More specifically, Mr. Kuby said the snippets of conversations laid out in the court papers made no sense to him.

“Why would he intentionally, falsely tell the F.B.I. about a conversation that he knows was recorded?” Mr. Kuby said.

Posted on 09/21/2009 10:29 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
A Musical Interlude: Hello Central, Give Me No Man's Land (Al Jolson)

Listen here.

Posted on 09/21/2009 10:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
Was It Money From The Police That Paid For Ahmad Afzali's White Jaguar?

Excerpts from The Times story: 

"Ahmad Wais Afzali had for years been a popular imam in Queens. First at one mosque, and then at others, he had become known for his moving sermons. He also ran a funeral home, and won praise for helping families deal with their grief."


"But on Saturday night, federal officials arrested Mr. Afzali, 37, effectively claiming that their onetime source of assistance had betrayed them by tipping off Mr. Zazi, and then lying to them about it."


"Though it was unclear if Mr. Afzali had rediscovered Afghanistan of late, his neighbors described his passion for cars."

“He always had fresh, expensive cars,” said Messia Ben Yosef, 23, a pharmacy student who said Mr. Afzali lived on his street for at least 15 years. He said Mr. Afzali drove a white Jaguar XJ8."


"Mr. Afzali’s wife said her husband was a Muslim 'from the inside out.'"

Posted on 09/21/2009 10:38 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
According To Le Monde Only The "Extreme Right" Opposes A Mosque In Copenhagen


Malgré la pression de l'extrême droite danoise, la ville de Copenhague construira une mosquée
LE MONDE | 21.09.09 | 15h21  •  Mis à jour le 21.09.09 | 15h21
Stockholm Correspondance

a future grande mosquée de Copenhague pourra voir le jour. C'est ce qu'a décidé, jeudi 17 septembre, le conseil municipal de Copenhague, dominé par les sociaux-démocrates, en dépit des protestations de l'extrême droite, qui continue à faire monter la pression à deux mois des élections municipales.


Ces derniers jours, le Parti du peuple danois (DF, extrême droite) a placardé dans la capitale une affiche appelant à un référendum sur la construction de cet édifice religieux. L'affiche représente un photomontage de la Mosquée bleue d'Istanbul, au sommet de laquelle ont été rajoutés des sabres croisés. Le texte dit : "Si tu veux être sûr d'une résistance contre les citadelles islamistes, vote DF aux municipales."

Le conseil municipal de Copenhague avait déjà voté, fin août, en faveur d'une mosquée dans le quartier nord-ouest de la capitale, estimant, comme les autres partis, que les musulmans danois avaient droit à un lieu de culte digne de ce nom, à l'égal des pratiquants des autres religions. Seule l'extrême droite avait voté contre la résolution. Le projet de la mosquée Imam Ali coûterait entre 5,3 et 6,7 millions d'euros, financés par des fonds privés. Il sera implanté sur un terrain qui aurait été acheté, selon la presse, en 2001 par l'ambassade d'Iran.

Financement iranien

Début septembre, DF était revenu à la charge en arguant que la mosquée serait financée par le régime iranien. Le Parti populaire danois s'est déclaré très inquiet "qu'une puissance étrangère puisse utiliser une mosquée à Copenhague afin de radicaliser les musulmans dans la société danoise". L'architecte Bijan Eskandani a assuré que l'argent venant d'Iran n'était pas d'origine officielle mais provenait de deux riches entrepreneurs.

L'idée d'une mosquée est née début 2006, quand le monde musulman s'enflammait contre les caricatures de Mahomet publiées en septembre 2005 par le quotidien danois Jyllands-Posten. Herbert Pundik, l'ancien rédacteur en chef d'un autre journal danois, Politiken, avait suggéré qu'une grande mosquée soit construite afin de venir à bout des protestations. Pour donner une portée symbolique à cette action, M. Pundik suggérait de lancer une collecte afin que l'édifice soit "un don des citoyens danois à leurs concitoyens musulmans".

Depuis l'affaire des caricatures, le Danemark s'est trouvé partagé. Le climat de méfiance vis-à-vis des immigrés demeure élevé, avec une extrême droite qui impose souvent son agenda. Le Parti du peuple danois n'entend d'ailleurs pas lâcher le sujet : début octobre, il déposera au Parlement une proposition de loi visant à interdire le port de la burqa dans l'espace public, mesure initialement envisagée par le Parti conservateur au pouvoir, puis abandonnée pour des raisons juridiques.

Depuis 2001 et l'arrivée au pouvoir de l'actuelle coalition gouvernementale minoritaire libérale-conservatrice, DF (15,7 % aux élections législatives de 2007) s'est posé en allié tout autant fidèle - votant les budgets année après année - que turbulent, négociant chèrement son soutien au prix d'un durcissement très notable de la politique d'immigration. "Leur agenda et leur opinion sur l'immigration sont désormais largement acceptés par la majorité des Danois et des partis politiques, même à gauche. De cette façon, DF a gagné", constate Ove K. Pedersen, professeur au Centre International de commerce et de politique.

Le Danemark a tenté de redorer son image dans le monde musulman à l'aide de programmes d'aide. En 2008, DF avait protesté contre le financement, par des fonds publics, de la rénovation de 13 mosquées en Afghanistan. Le gouvernement avait rétorqué que ces constructions renforçaient la confiance envers les soldats danois sur place et donc leur sécurité.

Olivier Truc

L'islam au Danemark

La communauté. Le Danemark compte environ 200 000 musulmans, soit 3,5 % de la population. Ils sont en majorité originaires de Turquie, du Pakistan, du Maroc et de Bosnie-Herzégovine. Les premiers sont arrivés comme travailleurs à la fin des années 1960. Dans les années 1980, Palestiniens et Iraniens sont venus comme réfugiés. Plus récemment, des musulmans de diverses origines se sont installés au titre du regroupement familial.

Les lieux de culte. Leur nombre varie, selon les sources, entre 60 et 130. La plupart de ces lieux sont installés dans des appartements ou des caves. Aucune mosquée officielle n'a encore été construite jusqu'à présent, faute de financement.

Posted on 09/21/2009 1:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
What Exactly Does Najibullah Zazi "Love" About America?

"In public comments before his arrest, he [Naijbullah Zazi[ said he was a hard-working and devout Muslim who loved America."

Being a "devout Muslim," one would have thought, is not a description that inspires trust; being "hard-working" -- that is, behaving like most Americans rather than like most people in Muslim countries, by getting up and doing a job  ever day, during regular working hours, is hardly impressive.

As for his having "loved America" I'd like to see a list of all the reasons Najibullah Zazi "loved America." Do they include his gratitude for the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment? The Due Process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments? The scientific advances? The art? Was it perhaps the jazz, or the gospel music? Could it have been Melville, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau? Wallace Stevens and Robert Frost? Was it the Cult of Rugged Individualism? Manifest Destiny? Perhaps Yankee can-do inventiveness? What was it? Was it, perhaps, the inspiring examples of all those refugees from the Bolsheviks (Stravinsky, Balanchine, Nabokov) and the Fascists (Enrico Ferme, Cesare Segre, Arturo Toscanini, Luigi Gorini) and the Nazis (Erwin Panofsky, Ernst Kitzinger, Hans Bethe, Konrad Bloch, Otto Loewi, John von Neumann, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller) and tens of thousands of others who found safe haven, and flourished, in the United States, and helped the Americans to fight those Nazis, those Fascist, those Communists, those Bolsheviks? Was Najibullah Zazi here to alert us to the menace of the Taliban and of all those who take Islam most to heart? Was that it -- he wanted to help America? What exactly  does Najibullah Zazi mean when he says, or his lawyer says he says, that he  "loves" America? 

Youth Wants To Know.

Posted on 09/21/2009 2:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
Fifth 1330AMWEBY - NER International Middle East Radio Panels on Israel, US and Iran, September 22nd

WEBY1330AM in Pensacola, Florida is hosting the fifth in a series of discussion panels on recent developments in the Middle East with the New English Review (NER).  Among topics to be addressed by the international panel are:

  • Do the UN sessions between Obama, Netanyahu and Abbas vis a vis the new Middle East Peace plan look like a mere formality achieving next to nothing following the recent unproductive Jerusalem discussions with Special envoy Mitchell-meaning freeze on settlements, division of Jerusalem, etc.? What does the panel believe will be the likely shape of the American proposals and the reactions of the Netanyahu government?
  • What is behind the Obama sudden ‘u-turn ‘on Missile Defense vis a vis Iranian threat? Was it triggered by another misleading NIE against the backdrop of the looming production nuclear weapons and development of satellites by Iran?   What is really behind the forthcoming US-Israel joint missile defense exercise, Juniper Cobra? Would that lead to the US deploying THAAD, AEGIS and PAC-3 anti-Missile Defense systems in Israel?
  • There has been rampant speculation about the ‘surprise’ Netanyahu trip to Russia, given Russian President Medvedev recent interview comments about 'no Israel attack" scenario versus former Israeli UN Amb. Dore Gold's and former US UN Amb. John Bolton's comments. What are the realities about the stopping Iran’s Mullahs and their quest for a nuclear threat as diplomatic engagements and adoption of tough sanctions by the EU, the UN and US don’t appear to stop them? What did Obama adviser Zbig Brzezinski have in mind when he said during an interview that the US might shoot down Israeli aircraft on their way to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities?
  • What is behind the heavily criticized Goldstone Commission report on alleged violations of human rights by Hamas and Israel during Operation Cast Lead?  We note that Obama will lead the UNSC during the upcoming meetings in New York.  Could this matter come up during the President’s leadership at the UN Security Council for referral to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague?  If referred to the ICJ at the Hague could the Goldstone Report be rejected under lawful grounds and the proceedings stopped?
  • Israeli polls show deep distrust with Obama vis a vis friendship towards Israel, while Americans have shown increasing  support for Israel in recent polls in the US. Do the new left radical Jewish Lobby groups,   favored by Obama,  led by J Street who trumpet a "Pro Peace Pro Israel" line really have Israel's security interests given documented support from Israel opponents like George Soros and Arab advocacy groups?
  • US Sourcing of Israel front-line aircraft like the F-35 to replace aging F-15's and F-16's is looking very murky, despite comments to the contrary from both American and Israeli security officials.   What alternatives does Israel have if the US pulls back on supply of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; i.e., France's Rafael, India's new stealth fighter and even Russia's Mig-31? 

The program can be heard September 22nd at 6:00 PM EDST (5:00PM CDST and 2:00PM PDST). The panel discussion will be recorded and archived on the Jewish Policy Council (JPC) website.

The WEBY1330AM panel will be co-hosted by Mike Bates, “Your Turn” moderator and station general manager and Jerry Gordon, senior editor, The New English Review.You can listen live via the WEBY1330AM website, by clicking here.

The WEBY1330AM panel will include:

  • Jerry Gordon. Co-host and frequent WEBY1330AM “Your Turn” guest on Middle East Affairs,  senior editor  at the New English Review and its blog, The Iconoclast.   



Dan Diker will be speaking from Jerusalem.

Be sure to listen to this engrossing discussion on Israel, the Middle East, and implications for the Obama Administration in Washington.

WEBY1330AM has previously broadcast “Your Turn” programs featuring the panel. You may listen to previous WEBY1330AM panel discussions at the JPC website, here.

Posted on 09/21/2009 3:44 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 21 September 2009
Will Danish Cartoonist Westergaard and Cartoon Book Author Klausen meet at Yale?

Danish Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard arrives in Manhattan next week for a series of events commemorating the fifth anniversary of the publication of his controversial Mohammed Cartoon. Westergaard will be appearing at private events in  New York, Princeton University and Yale University.  Coincidentally,  the author of the controversial book, “The Cartoons that Shook the World,” Brandeis Professor Jytte Klausen, will also be at Yale. The Yale Press has succumbed to possible intimidation issues and published Klausen’s book sans Mr. Westergaard’s Mohammed ‘turban bomb’ cartoon and eleven others published five years ago on the front page of the Danish newspaper Jylland-Posten.  Yale Press suggested that readers might look up the Danish Mohammed Cartoons on the internet. The Jylland-Posten exercise in free speech lead to outrage, death, destruction and mayhem across the Muslim umma and threats against the life of Mr. Westergaard that required 24/7 Danish police protection.  There were also misguided human rights investigations based on complaints from Muslim advocacy groups in the West  about ‘hate speech’ violations involving publishers like Ezra Levant in Canada. He was courageous than the Yale Press.

The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA)  announced that Klausen would appear at an event sponsored by YIISA coincident with the appearance by Westergaard at Yale.

Brandeis Professor Klausen's appearance at a YIISA forum on the publication  of  her Yale Press book, "The Cartoons that Shook the World,"  coincides with  the appearance of Westergaard who will be appearing at Yale on the same day.  Klausen may have a different message to convey to the YIISA audience than Westergaard regarding intimidation of free speech.  I note her response in a recent interview with Helen Epstein in Culture Vulture about the controversy surrounding the publication of her book by Yale Press sans cartoons:

HE: Do you think Yale came under pressure from anyone or was just motivated by fear?

JK: No, Yale University was not pressured. Fear perhaps in the case of the cartoons, but the argument about security risk gradually shifted to the terrain of less tangible concerns about offending or being seen as anti-Arab. My book is not anti-Muslim, and I find the assumption that Muslims “out there” may be ready to erupt into primordial anger at bad pictures offensive.

Westergaard, who has been threatened with death in a plot by Muslims against his life, said in interviews on Danish TV that he would do it again if given the opportunity.  Perhaps the two of them should meet?

Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute had this comment in a post at the NRO Corner, “Cartoons that Shook Yale.

Yale [Press] cited a fear of stoking Muslim violence as its reason for censoring the depictions of Muhammad.  But the seriousness of that threat now is being thrown into question, given the on-campus speaking engagement of the most prominent of the cartoon “blasphemers.” It would appear that, in its decision to remove the cartoons from the book, Yale [Press] traded off freedom very lightly … Here is an insight into why the West is losing the contest of ideas with Islamic extremism.


Now with Westergaard and Klausen together at Yale we’ll see how the Yale Daily News and the mainstream press reports the separate discussions and whether an encounter between the two occurs.


Posted on 09/21/2009 9:51 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 21 September 2009
Talking of Vera Lynn

Bleedin' Yanks coming over 'ere with their nylons and their chocolate. It wasn't all fun, you know. Remember Vera Lynn's song about rationing?

Whale meat again.....

Posted on 09/21/2009 5:43 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 21 September 2009
White Cliffs of Dover Quiz

What is wrong with this song? 

Posted on 09/21/2009 6:04 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 21 September 2009
Fitzgerald: Is Present-Day Jihad Caused By Spontaneous Combustion?
A Czech translation of an article that first appeared in Jihad Watch here.
Read below (not all Czech letters apparently can be easily reproduced) or click here.
Je sou?asný džihád výsledkem samovznícení?
Autor: Hugh Fitzgerald | Publikováno: 21.9.2009 | Rubrika: Islám


“Islámské ambice, které po pádu Osmánského kalifátu n?jakou dobu spaly, prod?laly samovznícení neoislámskách snah o sv?tový kalifát ve stylu Al Kajdy, íránských ajatoláh?, Saudské nadvlády atd. ” - komentoval ?tená? jeden m?j ?lánek.

Sou?asný návrat džihádu v jeho mohutné a nebezpe?né podob?, jeho rozší?ení za jeho tradi?ní povále?né ob?ti jako Izrael a Indii, není výsledkem“samovznícení”. Sou?asný džihád je zam??en na nemuslimy po celé Zemi, tedy v muslimských státech, kde jsou zbývající nemuslimové stále systemati?t?ji pronásledováni a ponižováni, což se projevuje v poklesu jejich po?t?, i v zemích nemuslimských, v takzvaném Dom? války (Dar-al-Harb), jejichž vlády, nevinn? a nedbale, dovolily usídlení po?etným muslimským komunitám a otev?ely jim p?ístup ke všem výhodám moderního civilizovaného života. Ty zahrnují vzd?lání a léka?skou pé?i v mí?e v muslimských zemích nemyslitelné. Mohou též využít velkolepou stavbu našich zaru?ených lidských práv, kterou však nepodepírají, ale naopak podkopávají, ?ímž oslabují naše právní a politické instituce, z nichž se tato práva zrodila a které je pomáhaly udržovat a rozši?ovat.

Probíhající návrat džihádu je dán skute?ností, že muslimové posílili, a uv?domují svou sílu, v ší?ení islámu mezi své souv?rce – a ohledn? schopnosti znepokojovat, demoralizovat, mást a dokonce i tyranizovat nemuslimské oblasti a národy, p?estože tyto z?staly mocn?jší po vojenské stránce.

Posílení islámu má t?i p?í?iny. Hovo?il a psal jsem o nich mnohokrát, ale toto téma si zaslouží neustále opakovat, jinak zapadne.

Prvou p?í?inou je gigantický p?esun bohatství do ropou bohatých muslimských zemí, p?evážn? zemí arabských – jen v roce 1973 se jednalo o dvanáct bilion? dolar?. Tato finan?ní zbra?, umož?ující džihád bohatstvím, umožnila výstavbu nových mešit a madrás, misijní kampan? Da’wa, odm?ny západním omluva??m najatým na ochranu muslimských zájm?, a pomlouva?né kampan? jak proti tradi?ním džihádistickým cíl?m (op?t nap?íklad Izraeli), tak proti state?ným jedinc?m, kte?í najdou odvahu proti sílícímu džihádu promluvit  (nap?. Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali).

Tytéž kampan? též udržují moc arabských ropných stát? skrze zpochyb?ování veškerých snah o zásadní omezení spot?eby ropy. Saúdové nenávid?jí výraz „energetická nezávislost“ – politicky pr?chodné heslo t?ch, kte?í se snaží prosazovat jiné energetické zdroje než ropu, jakož i úspory energií – a tu?n? platí každému, kdo p?ijde s rozborem ?i úvodníkem na téma „vzájemné energetické závislosti“.  Toto heslo je vychytralým prost?edkem, jak v nás udržovat p?edstavy, že 1) závislosti na rop? se nikdy nezbavíme, 2) ani bychom to nem?li zkoušet, a 3) Saudská Arábie je spojenecká zem? a opovažte se ?íkat n?co jiného, jinak budete platit jako mourovatí.

Je to bezzubá hrozba, nebo? Saudové jsou na prodeji ropy beznad?jn? závislí, a stejn? beznad?jn? pot?ebují Západ k zajišt?ní základních funkcí své ekonomiky, jakož i ke svému politickému p?ežití. Opak není pravdou, a? nám jejich prodejní slouhové ?íkají cokoli – p?estože mezi p?áteli Saud? najdeme bývalé americké diplomaty a agenty CIA (vybavují se jména jako Raymond Close nebo James Akins). A Saudské finance nesponzorují jen stavbu tisíc? mešit a platy imám? s nejextrémn?jším wahabbistickým sv?tonázorem, ale i muslimské školy a týmy právník?, kte?í protla?ují tuto expanzi navzdory odporu komisí pro územní plánování a znepokojení domorodc?.

Sponzorují i krotké žurnalisty a zmijovité akademiky Espositova typu, a universitní stolice pojmenované po králi Abdulazízovi, a celé katedry a dokonce i ústavy „Islámských studií“, ve kterých se studium jen p?edstírá. A to ve velkém stylu, jen se podívejte na Espositovo akademické impérium, ostudn? napojené na Georgetown University. Nebo na „Ústavy“ britských universit v Exeteru a Durhamu.

V citliv?jších otázkách se Saudové postupn? nau?ili držet se v ústraní a vysílat do p?ední linie p?ijateln?jší arabské zem?, zajiš?ovat finan?ní podporu jejich prost?ednictvím. Ilustruje to p?ípad Taríqa Ramadána. Tento advokát islamist? na plný úvazek nás podle sladkým zp?sobem p?esv?d?uje, že existuje jakýsi zcela nový, nevídaný-neslýchaný „evropský“ islám, který se n?jak záhadn? vyvine v evropské muslimské komunit?. O jeho obsahu, ani o rozdílech v??i pravému islámu, však neslyšíme nic hmatatelného, protože žádné rozdíly neexistují. Tento „euroislám“ by m?l rozptýlit neklid a pochybnosti Evropan? v??i muslim?m, neklid vyvolaný muslimy, jejichž chování ?ím dál víc p?ipomíná invazi.

Když mu neobnovili pracovní smlouvu v Ženev?, a ve Francii i Švýcarsku vypukla mela vyvolaná texty jako „Free Tariq“ od Caroline Fourestové,  Ramadán pochopil, že je ?as zm?nit vzduch, skrýt se p?ed zbyte?nou pozorností nev??ících. Zkusil se p?esunout do Ameriky a p?esv?d?oval tamní mezináboženské vyd?ra?e, apoštoly Míru a tolerance, zastánce multikulturalismu jako Scott Appelby, a neváhal utrácet napravo nalevo, jen aby mu zajistili akademické k?eslo. Byla to kupodivu americká vláda, která mu ve vzácném záchvatu informovanosti znemožnila p?íjezd. A tak se p?esunul hned na dva posty. N?jak p?esv?d?il dobré nizozemské m?š?any, aby mu p?iznali m?sí?ní plat, a zárove? se vet?el na oxfordskou St. Antony College – kolej nabízející jen doktorská studia a chlubící se perfektn? funk?ními katedrami východoevropských studií a rusistiky, i zcela nefunk?ní katedrou Blízkého východu, jejíž zesnulý šéf Albert Hourani ji vedl bez výuky i bez požadavk? na studenty. 

Takto vznikají tituly „Dr.Phil.“, které si nesmíme plést s americkými ?i kontinentálními Ph.D. Spousty arabských student?, graduujících s fascinujícími disertacemi jako „Konstrukce palestinské identity“ – koukn?te t?eba na Rašída Khalidiho – promovali v této velkovýrobn? diplom? degradující školu, z níž i magisterský titul míval ve sv?t? zvuk.

Pamatujme, že na obrovském bohatství z ropy a zemního plynu, jemuž se dnes t?ší arabští muslimové, není ani zbla jejich zásluh. Nebýt geologické náhody, nebýt objev? ropných ložisek a vynález? technologií nutných k t?žb? a doprav? a distribuci – to vše díky nev??ícím zápa?an?m – by arabské muslimské zem? z?staly chudé. Nebo? chudoba je jejich normální stav, zap?í?in?ný islámem. Zbohatly jen díky ropné bonanze.

Nebo? islám samotný, nebýt bohatství p?írodních zdroj? jako je ropa, zaru?uje muslimskou zaostalost. Existuje hrstka výjimek, neropných muslimských stát? které se ekonomicky rozvíjejí. Tyto státy nemají ropu, ale mají po?etné nemuslimské menšiny – ?í?any a hinduisty v Malajsii, ?í?any v Indonésii, arabské k?es?any v Libanonu – jež slouží jako katalyzátor a motor rozvoje a umož?ují místním muslim?m fungovat a žít na úrovni, na níž by se sami nikdy nedostali. Protože islám opovrhuje tvrdou prací. Zejména Arabové si zvykli žít z nájezdu, razií (arabsky razzia), a pokud nebyli k dispozici žádní nev??ící v sousedství, z dan? z hlavy uvalené na nemuslimy, jizzyah. V islámu neexistuje žádná pracovní morálka jednak kv?li tradi?nímu spoléhání se na lupi?ství – na úkor jiných muslim? nebo, muslimové spole?n?, na úkor nev??ících – a jednak vinou inšalláh fatalismu, který odrazuje od práce.

Druhou p?í?inou, která se tou první nemá moc spole?ného, ale p?ekrývá se s ní v ?ase, byla obrovská chyba západoevropských zemí jež, z r?zných d?vod?, pozvaly na svou p?du po?etné muslimské populace. Jednalo se, v západním N?mecku, o Turky, kte?í m?li p?ijít, vyd?lat si, posílat výd?lky dom? a postupn? se dobrovoln? vrátit do Turecka. V Británii koncem 40. let p?ijali zákon, podle n?hož se mohli ob?asné Britského spole?enství národ? snáze st?hovat na Britské ostrovy. V 50. letech za?ala p?itékat tenká stružka Pákistánc?, a ta sílila a sílila, a výsledky známe všichni. Ve Francii to souviselo s ukon?ením Alžírské války v roce 1962, kdy Francie nabídla azyl statisíc?m takzvaných harkis, Arab?, kte?í bojovali po boku Francouz? a kterým hrozil ukrutný osud pod novou revolu?ní vládou. Jenže Francouzi zpo?átku p?ijímali jen alžírské muže, a to ze stejných d?vod?, pro? N?mci najímali na práci jen turecké muže. Jenže N?mci postupn? dovolili p?íchod i manželkám (což n?kdy znamenalo „vícero manželkám“), a Francouzi je následovali, když za prezidentství Giscarda d’Estaing rozhodli, že import manželek a celých rodin sníží kriminalitu a antisociální chování mladých Alží?an?. A tak p?išly manželky a d?ti a druhé manželky. Zbytek je historie.

Ve Špan?lsku to byli p?evážn? Maro?ané, v Nizozemí Maro?ané a Turci, ve Skandinávii Arabové a Kurdové, v Itálii Somálci, Egyp?ané a všechny druhy severoafri?an?, atd. atd. A všude se opakoval stejný p?íb?h, stejná nemožnost integrace, stejná hluboko zako?en?ná nechu? k novým zemím ze strany muslim?, nezávisle na tom, kolik se jim ?inilo ústupk? a kolik se jim dostávalo výhod. A? m?li sebelepší p?ístup k výhodám pokro?ilejší, velkorysejší, spravedliv?jší a lépe uspo?ádané spole?nosti, nedali najevo sebemenší vd?k v??i nev??ícím a jejich stát?m – protože žádný vd?k necítili. Spíše cítili záš? – záš? za to že oni, muslimové, „nejlepší ze všech lidí“, nebyli na špici svých nových zemí, že se jim, „vyvoleným“, nedostalo role, kterou jim Alláh jednozna?n? p?islíbil, že jim v jejich nových vlastech neplnili všechny požadavky, neplnili všechna jejich p?ání, nedodržovali jejich zákazy.

Jestliže první generace p?evážn? negramotných a možná ješt? dost vystrašených imigrant? ob?as pracovala, do?asn? nabyté pracovní návyky se velmi rychle vytrácely. Nar?stala muslimská nezam?stnanost. Nebylo to diskriminací, ale tím, že muslimové brzy zjistili, jak žít ze západních sociálních dávek a využívat bezplatného vzd?lání, bezplatné léka?ské pé?e, bezplatného nebo dotovaného bydlení. Kde dávky nesta?í, tam je doplní zisky z kriminality. Skoro 60 % uv?zn?ných ve Francii jsou muslimové a podobná ?i v?tší ?ísla se týkají dalších západoevropských zemí. N?které zlo?iny jsou muslimskou specialitou – t?eba ve Skandinávii, kde tvo?í jen 2-3 % populace, spáchají muslimové 70-80 % všech znásiln?ní.

A vznášejí požadavky, a budou vznášet další a další požadavky, ohledn? nejr?zn?jších oblastí života. Jednou to jsou m?stské plovárny s odd?lenými bazény pro muže a ženy. Jindy cht?jí modlitebny ve školách a na letištích, a bazénky na mytí nohou, nebo záruku p?estávek na modlení na pracovištích. Nebo stavbu nových a stále v?tších mešit a madrás, stejn? jako instalaci reproduktor?, z nichž by muezzinové svolávali k modlitb?. Nebo cht?jí zm?nit školní osnovy, aby muslimská dítka nemusela trp?t p?i výkladu o nev??ících francouzských králích, o d?jinách evropského k?es?anství, o evropském antisemitismu a holocaustu. Nebo necht?jí ?íst díla našich významných literát?, t?eba Victora Huga nebo Voltaira. A samoz?ejm? se snaží ovlivnit zahrani?ní politiku svých zemí, vzdálit ji od Ameriky, rozkmot?it s Izraelem a u?init ji vst?ícn?jší k muslimským ?i arabským zemím.

T?etí významnou zm?nou, jež umožnila obnovit džihád, je nástup nových technologií, plod? vysp?lých nemuslimských zemí Východu i Západu, které se muslimové nau?ili využívat k ší?ení islámské v?ci. Když se negramotný venkovan v zapadlém kout? Afgánistánu dostane k rádiu, uslyší více o islámu a jeho náplni a cílích, a m?že být o to siln?ji poštván proti nev??ícím. Berte to jako p?íklad. Venkovan – nebo i m?stský obyvatel – žijící v šáhov? Íránu mohl poslouchat audionahrávky Ajatolláha Chomeiního, nahrávané v exilu ve francouzském Neauphle-le-Chateau. Jeho loajální následovníci vyrobili stovky kopií, které distribuovali po celém Iránu. Stejný p?ípad jsou verbovací nahrávky Al Kajdy, chlubící se popravami Nicka Berga, Daniea Perla, nebo britských, italských a amerických voják?. Existují nahrávky ukazující, s nemalým nadšením a za zvuku monotónních verš? z Koránu, americké vojáky v tancích a bojových vozidlech, postupující iráckým ?i afgánským územím, když v tom vozidlo najede na minu a následné scény zkázy a smrti jsou zachyceny n?kým, kdo vy?kává na míst?, p?ipraven nafilmovat celou scénu. Pak je videonahrávka, a mnohé další, p?ehrána na diskety nebo vystavena na internetu, a sledují ji ?etní další muslimové a ti nejsou dot?eni ?i uraženi, ale naopak nadšeni a inspirováni slavnými záb?ry nev??ících trpících z rukou „svatých bojovník?“ – v?etn? „bojovník?“ kte?í pod?ezávají krky bezbranným nevinným zajatc?m, jakým byl Nick Berg.

Berg se do Iráku vypravil veden naivitou, kterou mu vdechl nevylé?iteln? idealistický otec, a v níž ho utvrdila nesmyslná víra ve skv?lý „irácký lid“, jak ji vytrubovala do sv?ta americká vláda, nechápající nic o pravé povaze skute?ných obyvatel Iráku (žádného „iráckého lidu“).

Všechny ty vymoženosti – audiokazety, videokazety, internet, satelitní televize (koukn?te na Al-Manar nebo Al-Jazeeru) – vznikly ve vysp?lém nemuslimském sv?t?. Ale zaostalý muslimský sv?t má peníze, k nimž mu pomohla geologická náhoda, a t?mi sponzoruje všechny, kdo se nep?ímo nebo p?ímo ú?astní násilného džihádu, jakož i všechny, kdo vedou džihád nenásilnými, ?asto však o to ú?inn?jšími prost?edky.

Taková je tedy odpov??.

Žádné „samovznícení“ – což je jen líná výmluva, jak se zbavit povinnosti u?it se, studovat a porozum?t. Takové fráze pat?í mezi výrazy, jimiž skrýváme naši frustraci z nepochopení a neochoty poznat a pochopit pravou p?í?inu v?cí,  výrazy jako „Arabové se s Židy mordovali po staletí, a nejspíš nikdy nep?estanou“, nebo „blízkovýchodním problém?m nelze porozum?t, a tak je nejlepší je ignorovat“, p?ípadn? „jsem z izraelsko-arabských spor? otráven a unaven“. Nebo se zamyslete nad známým a populárním komentátorem, který ovšem upadá do nezodpov?dné lenosti pokaždé, když téma vyžaduje o n?co více studia a pochopení islámu, než je on ochoten a schopen vynaložit, a jehož výrok výmluvn? prozrazuje to frustrované znechucení kohosi, kdo se d?sí práce nad inteligentní analýzou a smysluplnými záv?ry: „Necítíte snad spolu se mnou tu únavu všemohoucího z Levanty, z jejích nepochopitelných problém?, nesmrtelných záští, barbarských rivalit a nesmi?itelných k?ivd?“ (Op?t ani zmínka o islámu který by, pokud bychom k n?mu p?istupovali s rozumem, jako jediný vysv?tlil  všechny ty „nepochopitelné problémy“, „nesmrtelnou záš?“, „barbarské rivality“ i „nesmi?itelné k?ivdy“). Sami si jist? dokážete najít váš Oblíbený Vlastní P?íklad.

Nechme“samovznícení” právníkovi a bytnému z Dickensova “Ponurého domu,” nevylé?itelnému opilci panu Krookovi, který je jednou z postav zapojených do nekone?ného soudního sporu v Chancery, sporu Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, který pokra?uje, dokud není poslední p?tník z jejich d?dictví použit na krytí soudních výdaj?. Dickensova poetická nadsázka – obnovována každý rok po jeho smrti – mu takové v?ci, v zájmu p?íb?hu, dovoluje.

My ostatní si poetickou nadsázku nesmíme dovolit, jsme jinými postavami jiných román?, a pot?ebujeme jiné než básnické vid?ní sv?ta. Pot?ebujeme pochopit, co pohání obrovské masy lidí jsoucích v podru?í primitivní ideologie. Musíme odhalit, jaké hrozby pro nás plynou z jejich víry, kombinované s jejich nov? získanou mocí, a to mocí finan?ní, vojenskou a demografickou, a jaké alternativy se nám nabízejí pro zadržení – a nikoli n?jaké nezpochybnitelné „?ešení“, to není správná cesta, jak se na v?c dívat – zadržení a oslabení islámské hrozby a oslabení síly islámu v západním sv?t?, ?i nejen v západním, ale spíše v celém nemuslimském sv?t?.

Pokud sou?asné celosv?tové nebezpe?í ?íslo jedna, sílení islámu a oživení džihádu, svedeme na n?co tak neuchopitelného jako „samovznícení“, nikam naše porozum?ní neposuneme. Nechejme tu frázi Dickensovi. On ji zvládne. Najde pro ni literární využití. My ostatní, my smrtelníci ohrožení tady a te?, my si to nem?žeme dovolit.


Pro p?eložil „M.“

autor je vlivný esejista blízký serveru

Posted on 09/21/2009 7:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
A Cartoon, But Not From Jyllands-Posten

See here.

Posted on 09/21/2009 4:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
Why Vera Lynn Is At The Top Of the British Hit Parade

Others may not, but you and I know why.

It's all about Islam, and a longing for what seems to have gone missing.

Listen here.

Posted on 09/21/2009 4:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 21 September 2009
A Musical Interlude: Exactly Like You (Ruth Etting)

Listen here.

Posted on 09/21/2009 4:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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