These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 21, 2012.
Friday, 21 September 2012
What The World's Muslims Have The Gall To Now Demand
Islamic states to reopen quest for global blasphemy law
By Robert Evans
GENEVA (Reuters) - A leading Islamic organization signaled on Wednesday that it will revive long-standing attempts to make insults against religions an international criminal offence.
The bid follows uproar across the Muslim world over a crude Internet video clip filmed in the United States and cartoons in a French satirical magazine that lampoon the Prophet Mohammad.
But it appears unlikely to win acceptance from Western countries determined to resist restrictions on freedom of speech and already concerned about the repressive effect of blasphemy laws in Muslim countries such as Pakistan.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the international community should "come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression", a reference to Western arguments against a universal blasphemy law that the OIC has sought for over a decade.
He said the "deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse of this freedom" were a danger to global security and stability.
Separately, the Human Rights Commission of the OIC, which has 57 members and is based in Saudi Arabia, said "growing intolerance towards Muslims" had to be checked and called for "an international code of conduct for media and social media to disallow the dissemination of incitement material".
Western countries have long argued that such measures would run counter to the U.N.'s core human rights declaration on freedom of expression and could even open the door to curbs on academic research.
As if to underline the point, a conference in Geneva of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which groups the world's major Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical churches, urged Pakistan to abolish its blasphemy law, which carries a possible death penalty.
Critics say the law is widely misused to persecute non-Muslims, and cite this month's case of a Muslim cleric detained on suspicion of planting evidence suggesting that a 14-year-old girl had burned Islamic religious texts.
Pakistani Christians and Hindus at the WCC gathering said a global law against blasphemy, or "defamation of religion", would only endorse on an international scale the religious intolerance seen in Pakistan and in other Islamic countries.
Posted on 09/21/2012 7:53 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
Assad, Of The "Civilized Northern Arabs," Expresses Contempt For The Uncivilized Bedu Parvenus Of The Arabian Peninsula
From Bloomberg Business Week:
Syria's Assad says rebels will be defeated
BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian president said in remarks published Friday that he is adamant his regime will not fall and he also lashed out at Gulf countries, which he accused of using their enormous oil wealth to try to drive him from power.
Bashar Assad's comments came as an opposition group, the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, accused the regime of being behind the disappearance of two of its leaders.
Abdul-Aziz al-Kheir and Ayas Ayyash were expected to take part in a conference Sunday in Damascus by some 20 Syrian groups that are calling for Assad to step down. But they disappeared Thursday along with a friend who had picked them up at Damascus International Airport, the group said.
The group's head, Hassan Abdul-Azim, told The Associated Press by telephone that the regime was believed to be behind the disappearance.
Syria's crisis began in March last year with anti-government demonstrations demanding reforms. The protests were met with a brutal crackdown by the regime. Syria later became embroiled in a civil war between forces fighting for Assad and those trying to topple him. The violence has killed more than 23,000 people so far, according to activists.
In the interview with the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, Assad said the rebels "will not succeed" and that a foreign military intervention such as the one that helped topple Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi will "not be repeated" in Syria.
Assad also launched one of his harshest attacks on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have been among his strongest critics and backers of the opposition, saying they are trying to influence the region with their money.
"They think their money can buy geography, history and a regional role," Assad said.
"They are giving terrorists weapons and money with hope of repeating the Libyan model," Assad added. "Instead of helping regional stability they are supplying armed elements with weapons and training in order to weaken the Syrian state."
The upheaval in Syria presents an opportunity for the Gulf's Sunni rulers to bolster their influence and possibly leave Shiite powerhouse Iran without its critical alliances that flow through Damascus. Assad's regime, which is allied strongly with Iran, is led by the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam
Syria's ties with the Gulf nations have been strained in the past — Assad once called Saudi King Abdullah and other Arab leaders "half men" for being critical of Hezbollah over the 34-day war between the Lebanese Shiite militant group and Israel in 2006.
In the interview, Assad added that the only way to solve the Syrian crisis is through "dialogue with the opposition" and that the "door for dialogue is open."
Most Syrian opposition groups reject any talks with the regime, saying they will not accept anything less than Assad's departure from power and the dissolving of his regime's security agencies.
Abdul-Azim, the opposition leader, repeated that stance and said the opposition wants a "new regime that represents the will of the people."
He added his group will go ahead with the plans for Sunday's opposition conference despite the disappearance of the two leaders. The gathering will invite European ambassadors, envoys from China and Russia, which back the regime.
Meanwhile, in Syria's northeastern town of Ein al-Arab, a gunman on a motorcycle shot dead a leading Kurdish opposition figure, Mahmoud Wali, also known as Abu Jandi, as he walked out of his office late Thursday, Kurdish activists Mustafa Osso and Ibrahim Issa said. Wali was a senior member of the Kurdish National Council, which includes several Kurdish groups.
Osso said it is still not clear who was behind what he said was a "political assassination."
On Friday, activists reported clashes and shelling in different areas around Syria, with the fighting being most intense in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial capital. The fighting there came a day after regime airstrikes hit a gas station in northern Syria, setting off a fiery explosion that killed at least 30 people and wounded dozens.
Posted on 09/21/2012 7:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me (Bebe Daniels)
English people will remember Bebe Daniels -- who lived in England for many years (and in London during the Blitz) --in her role, from 1951 to 1961, on "Life With The Lyons."
Posted on 09/21/2012 8:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
This 1921 Vanity Fair
caricature by Ralph Barton[
shows the famous people who, he imagined, left work each day in Hollywood.
Posted on 09/21/2012 8:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
A Scene -- A World -- Impossible In Islam
Watch, and listen, to Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda, in a movie by Preston Sturges, here.
Posted on 09/21/2012 8:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
Prince Bin Talal Lies And Lies And Lies
Very amusing to hear, on the BBC, an interview with Prince Walid Bin Talal, the best-knownof the tens of thousands of Al-Saud princes, princelings, and princelettes, The interview was occasioned by the opening of the Islamic galleries at the Louvre, which has learned the American museum-director's art of fundraising, and among the Gulf Arabs who contributed to this attempt to burnish the image of Islam (that image having suffered because of the hysteria and hate, and sheer craziness, displayed and deployed by so many Muslims, in so many places, over such a long period of time, against so many different kinds of non-Muslims), a verson of -- to borrow a theme from Chinese art -- bapo, or the "Eight Brokens/"
Moneytcan buy everything, except civilization. That was how a Franco-Armenian architect who had spent time in Saudi Arabia "building military cities," and had seen with his own eyes the re-painting of American tanks, to be delivered to Saddam Hussein for use against the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War, summed up Saudi Arabia.
And it goes, too, for Qatar, Kuwait, the Emirates, all of them awash in unmerited, undeserved hundreds of billions, and all trying to construct or re-construct or repair their own image, and that of Islam. The waddling emir of Qatar, one of the Al-Thani family, has the Qatar Foundation that has ads everywhere, on television, at airports, everywhere -- to make sure that the mere repetition of a soothing something -- a palm tree? I forget --will reassure everyone about the wonderfulness of Qatar. And of course we will also be led to overlook the fact Qatar's hundreds of billions are mainly used to support 200,000 spoiled-to-death Qataris, waited on hand and foot by 1.6 million foreigners, many of them miserably treated, and the Al-Thani family too, which has been buying up 17th and 18th century mansions in France, and a great many luxury-goods companies, as befits the family, as well.
And then there are the Emirates, with their airline, and that airline's tee-shirts that are given out everywhere, to advertise "The Emirates" and not merely the airline. They're all over the place, pretending to be a place not of the 1% of the 1% of the 1%, not mere cities on stilts, where no native has to work, and a class of foreign wage-slaves and slave-laborers does everything, and the money keeps rolling in, the result not of anything other than an accident of geology.
But where was I? Oh yes, Prince Talal. He was asked by the interviewer (who pronounced "laicite" as lay-sitty) about the French ban on the full niqab. He found nothing to object to, he said, surprising the interviewer (Razia Iqbal?), because such clothing strictures "had nothing to do with Islam." The obvious question, then, was why in Saudi Arabia, Prince Walid ibn Talal's country, women are required to be completely covered, with only an eyelet through which to see and be seen. But the probing interviewer did not bother to ask.
Prince Talal thought the exhibit was fine, great, because it would show "the peaceful" image of Islam, the impressive, true, real face of Islam, presumably through the eyelet of art.
But what is this Islamic art? It's mostly calligraphy, ceramics, Iznik tiles and tulips, the usual stuff. No painjtings of people, save for some Mughal miniatures which violate the Islamic prohibition against depicting human figures, though perhaps the figures were considered exempt as being taken from stories, mythologies about fabulous kings, or Laila and Majnoon. Not all of it is Islamic either, because some of what is on display was produced by those who, though not Muslims, were used to using Arabic, and did so, and there is, in these various galleries of soi-disant "Islamic" art springing up everywhere, plenty of stuff by Christian and Jewish artisans. When I saw, a few years ago, at the Art Institute of Chicago, what is reputed to be the finest collection of "Islamic" ceramics in the world, I saw a charger with the Christian fish-symbol. But there was no reference to this in the accompanying text, nor in the catalogue that accompanied the exhibition.
Prince Talal thinks, and the other rich Arabs behind these new "Islamic Art" wings no doubt think, that the viewers will not stop to ask: But how pitifully limited Islamic art turns out to be, with no paintings of people, and no statues,and no religious art at all -- take away statues, take away paintings with people in them, take away art with a religious -- Old or New Testament -- theme, and what would be left in the rich galleries of Western art? He thinks no one will stop to compare Arabic calligraphy with the much more sophisticated and developed calligraphy of the East, especially of China, where calligraphy has always been regarded as the supreme form of artistic expression.
And another thing Prince Talal and the various Al-Thani, Al-Maktoum, Al-Sabah, Al-Thisses and Al-Thats, not to mention the Olayan Foundation, and various Arab wheeler-dealers and sellers of influence and fixers and arms-deal middlemen, will hope that visitors to these art galleries will not ask themselves is: but what about all the art that existed, in those lands taken over by the Muslims -- the Christian, Buddhist, Hindu art, the temples, the stupas, the statutes, the churches, the frescoes, the paintings on wood and on canvas, the everything -- destroyed, quickly or, in some cases, as with the Bamiyan Buddhas, waiting for the technology of destruction to catch up with the Muslim desire to destroy, by those Muslim invaders and conquerors who have destroyed so much of the world's art, and would destroy a lot more were they ever, through demogrpahic conquest, to take over parts of Europe.
That's what you shouldn't forget, as you visit, and ooh and possibly aah, over the displays of "Islamic art," kept safe in, organized in, Western museums, and put on display in exhibits that are almost,entirely the work of Western curators and connoisseurs, exhibits that show examples of the handful of ways of artistic expression available to Muslims
And remind others of the same. Mustn't let Prince Talal and his associates continue to pull the wool, shoot the bull, do whatever it is they keep doing unless the well-prepared (which does not include that BBC interviewer) take them to task, rake them over the coals, make them 'fess up. .
Posted on 09/21/2012 8:58 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
The Obama Administration Can't Believe Muslims Think What They Think
September 20, 2012 - 11:12 am
The problem in the Middle East is not mass revolutionary Islamist movements seeking to mobilize the masses, seize state power, expel U.S. influence, overthrow all non-radical regimes, wipe Israel off the map, and transform their own societies through Sharia dictatorships, despite the fact that they have been working on this project for a very long time and discussed it openly in thousands of articles, speeches, rallies, terrorist attacks, and other actions.
Oh, no, the problem is that a guy in California made a video on YouTube that nobody ever saw. Therefore the main task is to apologize, explain, and keep trying to make friends with the ideologically determined revolutionary Islamists who take each concession as help toward their winning and see every American vacillation as a weakness that urges them toward more aggression. These are people who never lack an excuse to kill you.
Here’s how it looks from the Arab world on the specific issue of Libya: George W. Bush occupied Iraq; Barack H. Obama occupied Libya. Obama has added to the long list of complaints about a supposedly imperial America.
At this point, we have gone far beyond not being able to take the Obama administration and the media/intellectual ruling elite seriously. They act as if Middle East history began last week. They act as if Middle Easterners have no politics or ideology but are merely mirrors (what a racist concept!) reflecting back what the West does. They have no interest in examining the actual evidence. Certainly, there are those in this Western elite driven by their own ideology, hidden agenda, and interests to spout such nonsense. What can we say of those who believe them? Well, the latter have no direct experience with the region or its people; they still give credibility to what the mass media says. They have no memory because they are concerned about other things, closer to home.
Nevertheless, they might notice that it has been the proudest claim of President Barack Obama throughout his term that he made the United States popular again. That claim is now in tatters, though no one has pointed it out systematically in the mass media.
It has been an assertion that Obama’s show of respect for Islam from the Cairo speech, his courting of Turkey’s stealth Islamist regime, the assigning of NASA the job of soothing Muslim self-regard over science, and a hundred other things brought some result beneficial to the United States. One aspect of this strategy — as he openly told a visiting Jewish delegation to the White House — was his distancing America from Israel. This claim is also in tatters.
The claim of Obama’s great foreign policy success is in tatters.
Killing Osama bin Laden? A worthy action but one which made the jihadists — even those who never followed bin Laden — angry.
Putting the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt? Obama himself admitted that the most important Arab state is no longer a U.S. ally.
Changing the regime in Libya? But now terrorists and revolutionaries view the government there as an American puppet and so they must kill Americans — the ambassador being the very symbol of the U.S. “protectorate” over Libya — to boost themselves into power. Obama doesn’t get this and so will not be ready for the fact that there will now be endless attacks on Americans and U.S. institutions in Libya as the jihadists seek to overthrow the government. This is only the beginning of a new war and a new Arab grievance. George W. Bush occupied Iraq; Barack H. Obama occupied Libya.
Concessions and groveling, of course, were attributed to weakness, as speech after speech by Islamist leaders said in Arabic, but the U.S. government leaders didn’t understand and few journalists in the mass media explained.
And to overwhelm and make all of these collapsing pillars disappear, we are given some pitiful California criminal who made an unseen YouTube video as the cause of all America’s problems in the Middle East.
Do you know the real reason why these Middle East militants hate America? Because it stands in the way of their utopian dream of Sharia revolution in their own country and its spread to the whole region (or, for the wilder-thinking ones, the whole world). This parallels the hatred of the USSR, Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan for the United States: they want to conquer huge areas, and the United States is the only force that might stop them.
Nothing America does — except explicitly betray its local allies and put the Islamists into power — might conceivably slow down that hatred. And guess what? Egypt proves that even doing such a thing doesn’t work!
Why were Americans attacked in Libya, a fact that seemed to bewilder Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Because the United States, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, did not put revolutionary Islamists into power there. To get into power, the revolutionary Islamists must overthrow the U.S.-backed regime. That has long been a factor regarding Israel. It was the core issue for Osama bin Laden regarding Saudi Arabia. And of course it was the motivation of the Iranian revolution.
In other places, where Islamists are already in power (Iran, the Gaza Strip, Egypt, and — more subtly — Turkey), anti-Americanism gets the masses worked up to support the rulers, reject Western civilization, believe Islam is under threat from foreign conspiracies, and thus support the regime. The Arab nationalists were playing the exact same game since the mid-1950s.
These people aren’t film critics, they are revolutionaries. And, frankly, by this point, we are down to two possibilities. Either Obama will lose in November and a new president will have the difficult task of reversing all of this damage, or Obama will be reelected, in which case there will be nothing left of the U.S. position in the region by the end of his term.
Posted on 09/21/2012 10:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
15 feared killed as Pak burns
From the Hindustan Times of India
Pakistan descended into chaos on Friday as a government-sponsored strike day turned ugly with mobs taking control of many city streets and burning and looting property at will besides fighting pitched battles with policemen defending key government and diplomatic installations. There were reports of 15 casualties, (17 deaths according to Sky News) two of them policemen, as rioters ran amok on a day the government said it would protest the anti-Islam film which has caused much heartburn in the Muslim world. Reports also suggested an employee of a local TV company had also died in crossfire between police and demonstrators in Peshawar.
In most cities and towns across Pakistan, rallies were led by religious parties and banned organisations like the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Jamaat-ud-Dawah. Leaders urged their supporters to protest against the insult to Prophet Muhammad.
Most businesses remained shut on Friday and streets were deserted throughout the day in most city centres while random mobs attacked cars and burnt tyres.
While the protestors had mixed fortunes in terms of reaching foreign embassies or consulates, they did attack government property and also burnt a record number of shops and other buildings, including cinemas and banks. Two of Karachi’s main cinema houses and the main cinemas in Peshawar and Quetta were torched by protesters.
Many angry and frustrated Pakistanis called up newspaper and television offices to express their frustration at the absence of the police in most city areas. Police officials said that they had withdrawn many of their personnel from areas which were not considered sensitive.
Posted on 09/21/2012 1:44 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 21 September 2012
The Corrections 1
It is both encouraging and frustrating when a journalist writing on Islam is almost there but not quite. Christina MacIntosh found thisby Alan Howe (Near?) Australia's Herald Sun:
WHEN Victoria Police announced a series of raids of properties across Melbourne last week and the discovery of extremist terror-related documents, I imagine few thought of Buddhists.
Like most religions, Buddhist and terror don't go hand in hand. Neither does Catholic and terror, or Baha'i and terror, Taoism and terror, Confucianism and terror, Lutheran and terror, Shinto and terror, Hinduism and terror, Mormon and terror, or Anglican and terror.
What does fit together so regularly and almost automatically - like a hand in a glove - is Muslim and terror.
A search of the Herald Sun library over the past year for stories containing the words Buddhist and terror threw up two entries, neither to do with Buddhist terrorists.
The same search for the words Muslim and terror resulted in 44 entries - depressing reports of bombs, killings and plans for mass murder of Australians. Take the search back two years and 100 reports pop up.
Yet there are more Buddhists in Australia than Muslims. Last year's national census counted 528,997 Buddhists and 476,291 Muslims.
But Muslims make much more news; disproportionately so, and much of it very bad indeed. It worries those of us prepared to live in peace with all religions and races. You can only hope it disturbs those Muslims who wish for the same.
Globally, Islam is a religion putting on a growth spurt. By the time of the next Australian census it will have overtaken Buddhism. Christianity did the same years ago. It went from a minor cult to being the Roman Empire's designated religion in less than 300 years.
Eminent US researcher Rodney Stark, a professor of sociology and comparative religion, has shown that Christianity's astonishing success was due to several of its characteristics: Christians opposed abortion, and that will always get your numbers up; they also opposed female infanticide; they treated women almost equally, giving them more opportunities, not least of which is to marry non-believers and convert them; they loved their neighbours and cared for the sick and poor, meaning that in lean times more of them survived; and, crucially, the courage of their martyrs so impressed their enemies, many of them converted, too.
Islam also has "martyrs" -
Palestinian local Arab Muslim media boasts about them almost non-stop. But these are killers of the kind taught to fly - but not land - aircraft in the US in the early months of 2001.
The world's Muslim population is forecast to grow at twice the rate of the non-Muslim population by 2030. By then, there will be 2.2 billion Muslims on earth. That will be 26.4 per cent of the human race - 60 per cent of them in our region.
In 1990, Muslims were 19.9 per cent of humanity. This explosive population growth is little to do with Islam's treatment of women, or its concern for the health of others. It's mostly that Muslim women are having more babies.
None of these statistics need bother us, but for the number of Muslims who
attach themselves to the extremist intolerance of the Taliban, Al-Qaida or the Muslim Brotherhood take Islam to heart.
We are told Islamists are in the minority, that Islam is the religion of peace, and that overwhelmingly its adherents can live agreeably with the rest of us. That would be all very well, but time and time again the evidence is that there are more Islamic extremists than some are prepared to acknowledge.
And in the past few days we saw evidence that too many Muslims are homicidally intolerant of our Western democracy and freedoms.
First there was the mob in Libya chanting "God is great" as they attacked the US embassy murdering four Americans, including US ambassador Chris Stevens. He died at the hospital he was in negotiations to help extend.
The only reason the US ambassador to Egypt wasn't killed was because security forces kept Islamists away from the building.
THERE have been similar scenes in Sudan, Tunisia and Lebanon. It is almost impossible to see success stories emerging from the so-called Arab spring. Islamists will see to that. Inevitably, local Muslims also violently took to the streets.
Sydney's Muslim rioters bore placards insulting non-believers and threatening to kill people while they attacked and injured police.
Although we are told constantly that there is a tiny minority of Islamists among the local Muslim community, more than 1000 turned up at Sydney's Hyde Park. That's a lot of people from a small community, even dragging along at least one brainwashed child.
It's the sight of that child demanding the beheading of anyone who slights his religion that has me worried. As ASIO wrestles with the older versions of that little boy and the threat they pose to our safety, I wonder if Victoria Police needs a dedicated squad to monitor local Islamists' activities.
There's a precedent: We once had an Asian squad that focused on crime in that community. NSW still has its Asian Crime Squad, which develops "strategy, policy, intelligence products, good practice and the provision of specialist investigative services".
And now, as Christina puts it for the part where he falls flat on his face:
"As a start, we should recruit more officers from within the Islamic community.
Police Association secretary Greg Davies agrees: "It is very difficult to infiltrate a group when you look absolutely nothing like any of them."
Correction (h/t Christina):
As a start, we should recruit no more officers from within the Islamic community.
Police Association secretary Greg Davies agrees: "It is very difficult to infiltrate a group when you look absolutely nothing like any of them. But that means we should recruit Copts and Mizrahi Jews and Assyrian Christians, Lebanese Christians, Hindus and others, who look like the variious ethnicities of Muslims but do not share their belief system. There are people who are not Muslims, but who know the culture (because they lived there), speak the languages, and are smart and very motivated. De-dhimmified Copts, etc., are the best intelligence asset we've got.
It's official: Copts for Cops!
He is concerned young Muslims may be radicalised at local mosques. Davies says we need people "properly equipped, who not only speak the language, but can be unobtrusive when they infiltrate these groups".
The past week's events and the weekend's shameful scenes in Sydney suggest any such squad would be kept busy indeed.
Posted on 09/21/2012 2:12 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 September 2012
The Corrections 2
Douglas Murray's Spectator piece on Innocence of Muslims needs a quick application of red ink:
The fact is that it does not matter whether the film is funny or unfunny, badly or well made, sarcastic or scholarly. It doesn’t matter because the people we are talking about do not hate our films. They hate us. It is not that they disagree with this or that point being made: they think we should not be able to make certain points, among them anything deemed offensive by any
radical Muslim, any time, any place, anywhere. If the Obama administration thinks it can live with that, then good luck to them, but their successors will not be so lucky.
Posted on 09/21/2012 2:33 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 September 2012
Suspicion hangs over Jihad high school
From The Australian
TEN years on from the terror inflicted on Bali, the same school that produced some of the bombers is still clouded in suspicion, amid fresh accusations it is cultivating a new wave of extremists.
The teachers at Al-Mukmin - a "phesantren" or Islamic boarding school in the Central Java city of Solo - deny that it is a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism.
But the school, founded 40 years ago by radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, has infamous alumni including Bali bombers Muklas and Amrozi, who were both executed for their roles in the 2002 attack in Kuta.
That bombing of two nightclubs in Bali, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians, remains Indonesia's deadliest terrorist attack.
The school's undeniable legacy was reinforced again just three weeks ago when another graduate, a 19-year-old boy named Farhan, was killed in a shootout with officers from Indonesia's crack anti-terrorism squad Densus 88.The shooting, on a busy street in Solo, came after it was revealed just days earlier that three French nationals behind terror attacks in Paris and Toulouse in March this year had connections to Al-Mukmin.
Farhan was a member of Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), also founded by Bashir, and designated a terrorist organisation by the United States in February. The US government blames JAT for a number of attacks in Indonesia but the organisation remains active and has an office right across the road from Al-Mukmin.
It's not disguised or hidden. There is a sign on its wall advertising its presence and passers-by are welcomed.
"Sometimes our preachers, who are alumni of that school, do work in that school," a young man who helps run the Solo office says. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the school maintains there is nothing sinister going on behind its walls.
"They can be motivated from books they read or from the Koran recital they join, and many things that we don't know," Hamim, a teacher at Al-Mukmin, says of the former graduates turned terrorists. "We don't teach violence or radicalism or even terror."
However, on the walls around Al-Mukmin, there are other slightly more overt signs that there is also a different brand of learning going on at the school.
"What you took the picture of, that's a phrase in the Koran that's been translated," Hamim says, after we stop to inspect a bold yellow sign with images of what appears to be combatants carrying flags in a victorious pose.
The sign carries the words: Iman, Hijrah, Jihad. "Iman is faith, Hijrah is taking a journey and Jihad is a struggle. The struggle has wide interpretation. To make war during peaceful time is not allowed," he explains.
Other signs that hang on the walls have more ominous tones such as "Die as a noble man or die as a martyr" and "Jihad is our way".
Posted on 09/21/2012 5:01 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 21 September 2012
Erdogan's Purge Trials
From The Washington Post:
Turkey’s miscarriage of justice
By Dani Rodrik,
After a patently sham trial, a Turkish court on Friday handed down lengthy jail sentences to more than 300 military officers convicted of planning a coup, code-named Sledgehammer, in 2003.
Turkey’s courts have been working overtime to throw government opponents of all political stripes behind bars. Since 2007, the government has run a series of trials against an alleged ultra-nationalist terrorist organization called Ergenekon, charging lawyers, politicians, academics, journalists and military officers with plotting to overthrow the government. In separate cases, thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists are on trial — nearly 1,000 among them detained — for alleged links with terrorist activities. Turkey holds more journalists in jail than China and Iran combined.
In terms of sheer drama, few match the Sledgehammer case. In a trial that began in 2010, 365 serving and retired high-ranking military officials — including my father-in-law, Çetin Dogan — and two civilians are charged with planning the coup. Prosecutors allege that the plotters planned to bomb mosques, down a Turkish fighter jet in a false-flag operation, take over hospitals and pharmacies, close nongovernmental organizations, arrest journalists and politicians, and ultimately appoint a handpicked cabinet.
Yet the “incriminating documents” the court relied on to issue Thursday’s verdict were forged and have been used to frame the defendants. American, German and Turkish forensic analysts hired by the defense have independently confirmed the forgery.
The prosecution asserted that the coup was planned in 2003, citing unsigned documents on compact discs it claims were produced by the defendants at the time. However, even though the last-saved dates on these documents appear as 2002-2003, they were found to contain references to fonts and other attributes that were first introduced with Microsoft Office 2007. Hence the documents could not have been created before mid-2006, when the software was released. The handwriting on the CDs was similarly found to be forged. In addition, many defendants have proved that they were outside Turkey or hundreds of miles away from work at the time they are alleged to have prepared these documents or attended coup-planning meetings. The documents also contain countless anachronisms, such as names of organizations and places that didn’t yet exist in 2003 or were changed after that time.
All this evidence leaves room for only one conclusion: The alleged coup plot is fabricated.
This conclusion has long been obvious to the Turkish military. In response to the mass arrest of their colleagues, the chief of Turkey’s armed forces and the heads of Turkey’s army, navy and air force resigned together on one symbolic day last summer. The case is widely seen as the means by which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decapitated the military, a powerful institution that has long opposed Islamist forces in Turkish society.
Most alarming is the Turkish court’s evident complicity with the forgery. In violation of both Turkish and international law, the court rejected all defense requests for independent authentication of the evidence, ignoring the numerous anachronisms and other indications of forgery. It refused to allow the defense to call key witnesses, including the former commander of the land forces whom the prosecution credited with preventing the coup even though he has publicly denied any knowledge of it. It violated attorney-client confidentiality by installing microphones on courtroom ceilings. Of the 365 defendants, 250 were held in prison; most have been jailed since the trial started 20 months ago.
Beyond preventing defendants from establishing their innocence, the judges have lodged criminal complaints against defendants and their lawyers for statements they made during trial that the judges disliked, leading to additional indictments against several. The wives of two defendants have been indicted for a peaceful demonstration outside the prison compound where the trial has been held. And the Turkish government has publicly acknowledged its real motives by forcing 34 defendants to retire from the military before the judges reached a verdict.
Outraged at these abuses, family members of the defendants have filed a petition with the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, seeking a declaration that the 250 imprisoned defendants have been detained in violation of international law. Given the weight of the evidence, I believe the working group, composed of experts in international law, will conclude that the defendants have been detained illegally and will call for their release. As redress doesn’t seem possible in Turkey, the working group could provide the independent and impartial review that is urgently needed.
I hope that the world will more closely focus on the gross miscarriage of justice taking place in Turkey. While Turkey touts itself as a leader of democratic freedoms in the Middle East, its actions in this and similar cases indicate otherwise. Let us hope that shining a light on these flagrant manipulations will hasten the day that the rule of law becomes more firmly established in Turkey.
Posted on 09/21/2012 7:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
Studying The Sacred Books Of Saint Toni
The sacred Toni Morrison
HDS series probes aspects of religion in Nobelist author’s writings
Harvard Staff Writer
September 20, 2012
Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
A Harvard Divinity School working group, led by Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America Davíd Carrasco (pictured) and Stephanie Paulsell, Houghton Professor of the Practice of Ministry Studies, will convene on Fridays to discuss Toni Morrison's work in the lead-up to the author’s Ingersoll Lecture on Immortality on Dec. 6 in Sanders Theatre.
Toni Morrison’s complex style can prove challenging to some readers, but the celebrated writer makes no apologies for her prose. When media mogul Oprah Winfrey once remarked that she didn’t understand the author’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1987 novel “Beloved,” Morrison simply replied, “Read it again,” recounted Davíd Carrasco, Harvard’s Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America.
Happily, the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) community will receive some welcome help exploring Morrison’s work in the coming weeks. Carrasco, who acknowledged that “those of us who have spent time reading Morrison know how tough it is,” offered the Oprah anecdote last week during the first in a series of talks aimed at helping the HDS community delve into the religious dimensions of Morrison’s writing.
The working group, led by Carrasco and Stephanie Paulsell, Houghton Professor of the Practice of Ministry Studies, will convene on Fridays in the lead-up to the author’s Ingersoll Lecture on Immortality on Dec. 6 in Sanders Theatre.
During the discussion in Andover Hall’s Sperry Room, Carrasco described how he and Morrison, a longtime friend, had identified over several conversations three distinct ways that she portrays the sacred in her work: through traditional Christian rituals, sermons, and symbols; through African-influenced themes and characters; and through what Morrison called “just strange stuff.”
But a richer understanding of the religious themes and questions in her writing, said Carrasco, requires a deeper and more nuanced investigation. “We need multiple views, different disciplines, unusual takes, and conversations so that we can move forward in our understanding,” he said.
Those conversations will take shape during the next three months in collaboration with scholars from HDS and across the University, including historian Walter Johnson, Winthrop Professor of History and professor of African and African-American studies, whose most recent book is “Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market,” and Jonathan L. Walton, the new Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals. They will explore Morrison’s 1992 essay collection “Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination.”
Morrison’s interest in storytelling began in her youth, Carrasco said. As a child, the Ohio native and avid reader grew up on ghost stories. She eventually studied English at Howard University. She attended Cornell University, where she earned a master of arts degree in English in 1955, and wrote a thesis on the theme of suicide in the writings of Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner. Eventually, she turned to a career in publishing. It was in publishing, the author said at Radcliffe Yard in 2007, that “I finally followed the books to writing them.”
Themes of cultural identity, freedom, and loss figure prominently in her writing. Among her best-known works are her novels “The Bluest Eye,” about a young African-American girl’s desire for white skin and blue eyes; “Sula,” a tale of friendship and betrayal; and “Beloved,” based on the story of an African-American slave who briefly escaped to freedom in Ohio. Morrison won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. In May, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
As part of his opening talk, Carrasco examined the religious dimensions to Morrison’s 1977 novel “Song of Solomon,” about an African-American man who sets out on a quest to discover the truth about his family history and the story of a relative who escaped slavery by flying back to Africa.
In the book, said Carrasco, Morrison develops the notion of “the importance and power of magical flight as a way to help the characters deal with “profound racial suffering.”
“In my view,” added Carrasco, “Morrison has partially hidden in her narrative thread of magical flight the key religious theme of finding a spiritual ally who enables the seeker to transcend the terror of one’s historical condition.”
Posted on 09/21/2012 7:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Go Down Moses (Jess Lee Brooks)
Posted on 09/21/2012 7:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
Black African Slaves, Cruel Arab Masters: The Escape From A Four-Star Parisian Hotel
She received no money, she was repeatedly beaten, she worked from dawn to dusk, her body was full of bruises. When, with the help of four members of the staff of the Hotel Concorde Opera, she managed to escape, the hotel's management was furious, because they lost the rich Arab client. Each year we hear of one, or two, or three incidents, where some Saudi, or Kuwaiti, or Emirati, brings his slaves with him -- apparently the hotel staff is deemed insufficiently slavish -- on those annual villegiature in Paris, London, Monte Carlo. But how many cases do you think we never hear about, and the family quietly decamps, sometimes even managing to have that slave or slaves returned to them. And how many Western girls do you think disappear into the harems of Arabia -- you think it's all a myth, all nonsense? It isn't. Western girls who never returned, when taken home by some Saudi or other Gulf Arab student they had foolishly trusted, or Western girls kidnapped from their hotel rooms in southern Spain, and taken to waiting Arab yachts are not the stuff of legend and the subject, which has been entirely hushed up by Western governments, which for several decades have protected the Gulf Arabs, as long as they keep spending money and keep signing contracts, ought to be the subject of a thousand investigations. Why aren't they?
Here's the story, which was on the French television last night:
(Dessin Rémi Malingrëy pour Libération)
Récit Les employés du Concorde Opéra à Paris ont organisé la libération d’une femme asservie par une famille de Dubaï. La direction se retourne contre eux.
Elle est née dans la province du Gojjam, en Ethiopie. Z. a aujourd’hui 24 ans. Après la mort de sa mère, son oncle l’accueille à Addis-Abeba, la capitale. Il l’incite à s’inscrire dans une agence de travail. En janvier 2011, Z. est embauchée comme employée de maison par une famille des Emirats arabes unis. Basée à Dubaï, elle espère subvenir aux besoins de sa famille. Mais pendant dix-huit mois, elle ne touche aucun salaire. Son passeport est confisqué. Quotidiennement, elle subit des violences : coups de pied, gifles, insultes… Son calvaire a pris fin le 13 juillet à Paris.
La jeune Ethiopienne est alors en France depuis deux semaines. Elle loge à l’hôtel Concorde Opéra, un établissement quatre étoiles. L’épouse de son employeur et ses huit enfants, y ont réservé plusieurs chambres pour leurs vacances dans la capitale. Z. entrevoit enfin une possibilité d’échapper à sa condition d’esclave moderne, quand elle parvient à se confier à une femme de chambre de nationalité éthiopienne comme elle. Plusieurs syndicalistes de l’hôtel décident alors d’alerter le Comité contre l’esclavage moderne et l’association Femmes solidaires.
«Vagues». «Le 13 juillet, on est arrivé vers 17 heures devant l’hôtel. La famille était partie se promener et Z. les accompagnait. A 22 heures, personne n’était encore rentré. On a eu peur que le directeur de l’hôtel, qui craignait que cette affaire ne fasse des vagues, n’ait averti ses clients», se souvient Christine Laurent, membre de Femmes solidaires. Finalement, à 23 heures passées la petite troupe revient de sa balade. «Z. était la dernière, elle portait tous les paquets. Ce n’était pas dur de la repérer.» Les policiers, alertés en début d’après-midi, la «libèrent» et récupèrent son passeport.
La jeune femme porte des traces d’ecchymoses sur les avant-bras. Au commissariat du VIIIe arrondissement elle se confie. «Je travaillais tout au long de la journée et de la nuit, car même quand je voulais dormir, j’en étais empêchée par la famille», lit-on sur le procès-verbal de son audition, que Libération a pu consulter. «Les enfants de la famille, surtout une fille, me frappaient avec la bienveillance de la mère. Je reçois des gifles et des coups de pieds de leur part, sans raison apparente mais ils prennent plaisir à le faire. Les coups étaient réguliers.» Un des enfants la menace régulièrement au prétexte que le ménage est mal fait : «Tu ne pourras jamais retourner en Ethiopie, je te trancherai la gorge.» En France, «la mère faisait attention à ce que je ne sois pas violentée, car je pense qu’ils savaient qu’ici ces pratiques sont illégales», raconte encore sur procès-verbal la jeune femme.
Z. est désormais prise en charge par les associations. Faute d’une plainte déposée à temps, ses employeurs ont pu regagner Dubaï, le lendemain, le jour prévu de leur vol, comme si de rien n’était. Mais loin de féliciter ses employés pour avoir fait délivrer la jeune femme, la direction de l’hôtel va se retourner contre eux. Le directeur du Concorde Opéra, Claude Rath, reproche aux quatre salariés en pointe dans cette affaire de ne pas l’avoir prévenu de la situation. Il a été mis au courant quand la police l’a appelé le 13 juillet avant de débarquer dans l’établissement. Ce qui leur a valu «une lettre de mise en garde», re çue par chacunà la mi-août.
Crainte. Réaction outrée de Claude Lévy, délégué CGT des hôtels de prestige : «C’est volontairement que nos délégués n’ont pas averti le directeur de l’hôtel, car ils avaient déjà eu affaire à lui dans un conflit social sévère. Ils craignaient qu’il ne prévienne le client et lui dise de s’en aller.» Le syndicaliste affirme que la première réaction de Claude Rath a été de reprocher aux salariés d’avoir «fait perdre du chiffre d’affaires à l’entreprise» avec le départ de cette famille. «Procès d’intention», rétorque l’intéressé joint par Libération. «Je ne peux agir que si j’ai connaissance des faits, j’ai une responsabilité pénale dans ce genre d’affaires, dit-il. A aucun moment il n’a été question des intérêts économiques de l’hôtel !»
Deux mois après sa libération, Z. loge désormais dans un appartement du Comité contre l’esclavage moderne. «Elle essaie de sortir de ce cauchemar, ce qui peut être très long, car il faut raconter et donc revivre l’événement», confie Sylvie O’Dy, la présidente du comité. «A chaque fois qu’on est avec elle, elle porte nos sacs, débarrasse la table. C’est vous dire l’état de soumission dans lequel elle se trouvait», raconte Christine Laurent, de Femmes solidaires. Le dépôt d’une plainte contre ses anciens «employeurs», sur la base de la loi contre le trafic d’êtres humains est en préparation.
Posted on 09/21/2012 7:53 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
Gallia Watch: Islamization In Southern France
A contributor to Riposte Laïque, Caroline Corbières, has returned from short trips to four cities in France: Carpentras, Nantes, Angers, and Draveil and reports on what she has seen:
The population in the department of le Vaucluse in the cities of Avignon, Orange, Carpentras, but also in the small neighboring villages like Mormoiron is surprisingly diverse: the Maghreb is over-represented with its women in head scarves or veiled or dressed from head to foot in black, their bushels of children, old persons too - one wonders how long they have lived in the region. Arabic is heard exclusively if you lend an ear, and smiles are totally absent from the faces if you look at them. I watched, astonished, as an old man walked out of his house in traditional dress (a long white djellaba) and took a walk through the streets of the village (200 inhabitants).
A few weeks ago I witnessed a fight in an underground parking lot of the Carpentras supermarket between two couples: two Frenchmen from the Maghreb (I assume they had French nationality) and two Dutch tourists (their license plate indicated NL). The cause of the fight: a parking place sought by the first two, who got out of their car several times and on three occasions went to the car from The Netherlands and clearly said "F… your mother" in a hostile tone. The Dutch tourists, petrified, did not get out of their car. An everyday scene according to some residents of the region. Since I was behind the Dutch car I was afraid of what would happen if the anger of the two crazies increased a few degrees on the thermometer.
In Nantes I stayed with a friend who lives in a building forty meters from a block of subsidized housing with a pool for children and teens. I noticed two women covered from head to foot in a long black garment, no doubt terribly uncomfortable considering the intense heat. In Nantes, and in Angers, I walked by many African women (or women of African origin) dressed in their brightly-colored boubous. I love exotic styles, and this shocked me less than the scarves, the veils and the burkas, but really… Is this France? What surprises you is the number, not the colors.
As for Draveil, in the department of l'Essonne, at the boating center, there were many Muslim women in black outfits. Not a hair, not an ear was visible. I turned to my friend (whom I don't know very well) and prudently remarked: "I have the impression that we're seeing more and more veils in France". She exclaimed, furious: "Oh but they aren't even Arabs, if you only knew (and she cited a neighborhood); they are white women who taunt you with their veil!" Conversions?
But despite all these omens that are becoming more and more ostentatious, I heard: "I don't give a damn if there are more mosques, I am for the right to difference." When you provide massive arguments that Islam is not only a religion but actually a totalitarian and doctrinaire expansionist system that uses religion to affirm its warrior ideology and bring sharia to the secular Republic, no one has anything to say except of course a suspicion that you're a racist.
I don't understand how the word "racist" can still be used by our leaders when the word "race" is supposed to have disappeared from the Constitution!
Note: François Hollande said he would have the word removed from the Constitution.
In each and every European country a Resistance movement worthy of the name must arise and organize so that in twenty or thirty years we are not completely under the yoke of the madmen of Allah. Otherwise, I fear we must seriously consider emigrating to friendlier skies.
Note: Where would that be? Iceland? Russia? Slovenia? South America? Japan?
Let us fight, let us organize, before it is definitively too late.
No to totalitarian Islam, no to mental backwardness, no to the servitude of women, no to this religion of hatred and fear!
Note: I think her comment about the servitude of women is uncalled-for. The women she described in her article are voluntarily wearing the veil or the burka, and voluntarily converting. There is no need to pity them, only to pity France. Women's rights must not be the basis for anti-Islamic action. Rather the survival of Western civilization, men and women, must be the motivating force.
Posted on 09/21/2012 8:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 September 2012
Getting Acquainted With Gallia Watch
Posted on 09/21/2012 9:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald