These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 22, 2010.
Friday, 22 January 2010
India security increased after airport terror alert
From The Times and the Hindustan Times
Home Ministry has put all Air India/Indian Airlines flights operating in South Asia on high security alert after intelligence inputs that Islamic fundamentalist groups aligned to the Al-Qaeda or Lashkar-e-Taiba plan to hijack one such flight
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued an advisory to all airlines to conduct a mandatory "100 per cent secondary ladder point check" until January 31 on all aircraft flying between these eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
It (the alert) comes as concerns increase that athletes face the risk of terror attacks during the Commonwealth Games later in the year.
Recently India's outgoing National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan told The Times the country could face attempted attacks during the Games. He suggested that Pakistan would be responsible for any such attack.
"We believe Pakistan's policy of using terror as a policy weapon remains," he said. "From Pakistan's point of view it's important to disrut the Games, so you can claim that India is not a safe place," he added.
A civil aviation ministry spokeswoman Moushumi Chakravarty confirmed the alert had been received.
Posted on 01/22/2010 1:25 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 22 January 2010
Sweden to tackle 'ticking time bomb' of Islamic violence
From The Local in Sweden:
Sweden needs to do more to help young “violence-affirming Islamists” turn their backs on extremist organizations, minister for integration Nyamko Sabuni said on Tuesday.
“Either society helps support their way back to a normal life, or we have a ticking bomb in our society,” Sabuni told Sveriges Radio (SR).
"...back to a normal life..." Here she assumes that these youths formerly led a "normal life," and can now come back to it. But the fact is that these youths have never assimilated to Swedish society, and never will. And if by "normal life" she means a life based on values shared by native Swedes, in other words Judaeo-Christian values, these youths have no intention of leading a "normal life." They have their own set of Islamic values, quite different from and incompatible with our own. They see their own way of life as "normal life," and ours as corrupt and against the wishes of their Allah.
She added that she has tasked the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs (Ungdomsstyrelsen) to survey the needs of people who need assistance quitting Islamic extremist groups.
Sweden has previously supported people’s efforts to leave neo-Nazi groups, but according to Sabuni, similar programmes need to be developed for young people who are drawn to violent Islamic extremism.
“We’ve identified a number of networks and organizations which primarily recruit young people who feel excluded from society,” Sabuni told SR.
Once again, the violent actions of the jihadis are the responsibility of the kuffars. If jihadis are violent, it's because we didn't sufficiently "include" them or "support" them. It is up to the kuffar to convince the jihadis to give up jihad - without imposing Western values on them, of course.
If you allow unfettered immigration of violent jihadis, then you should not act surprised when jihadis continue their violent jihad. With people like Nyamko Sabuni in charge, I fear the ticking time bomb of Islamic violence is not going to be defused anytime soon.
UPDATE: I see that Esmerelda published a biography of Nyamko Sabuni in 2007 here. Sabuni's mother was Muslim, she has in the past clearly identified Islam as the cause of Islamic violence, and she has been targeted by threats of Islamic violence. Perhaps I was too harsh on her, but this program still sounds misguided and naive to me.
Posted on 01/22/2010 1:12 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 22 January 2010
Death toll in Saudi Arabian fighting rises to 113
From Arab News:
JAZAN: The number of Saudi soldiers died fighting Yemeni infiltrators during the last three months has increased to 113, Al-Riyadh Arabic daily reported on Thursday, quoting Maj. Gen. Zaid Al-Khawaji, commander of the Saudi Armed Forces' Southern Region.
He said the enemies captured six Saudi soldiers alive.
"We have found the bodies of three missing soldiers in hilly areas," he said, identifying the dead as Saeed Al-Amri, Mufleh Al-Shahri and Ali Al-Haqawi.
In a previous statement, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, assistant minister of defense and aviation for military affairs, put the number of Saudi soldiers killed in the fighting at 82 with 39 injured and 21 missing. He said 90 percent of the 470 soldiers who sustained minor injuries during the fighting were discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment.
Posted on 01/22/2010 2:16 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 22 January 2010
The Nairobi rioters were rebels without a cause
An East African perspective from New Vision Online
Those were foreign radicals, rebels without a cause that came to Kenya to spread the culture of violence that they have perfected in that lawless Mogadishu.
Talking to many friends including my Somali friends, I got this impression that no sane person could condone, let alone support the senseless demonstration in support of an illegal alien, himself a confessed hate preacher that no country, including his own, wants to associate with.
That is why Kenyans are yet to come to terms with the likes of some Kenyan-born Muslims that masquerade as human rights activists and preachers that have gone on record to threaten the government following the Friday aftermath.
I am for all that crap called the right to association, assembly, and worship and even demonstrate for a cause. And I have taken part in many demonstrations in my life right from my university days . . . You therefore cannot hold an illegal demo, turn violent and even shoot at the police and expect to be compensated for a lost leg, arm or even life.
What happened in Nairobi was a shame to the people of Kenya and an embarrassment to the government. The security organs let Kenyans down big time. It was impossible to believe that just a handful of youths could paralyze Nairobi’s Central Business District for eight good hours without the police dispersing the crowd. It was even comical to see the police resorting to throwing stones at the rioters instead of using teargas, water cannons and good old rungus that Kenyatta era GSUs used to use on us during our university days.
Let us face it; Nairobi is East Africa’s most important commercial city. The whole region depends on it. International agencies depend on it even to reach lawless Somalia. Disrupting its operations and allowing terrorist insurgents to infiltrate it is an act of recklessness of the highest order. It is the kind of negligence that many governments have been punished for over and over in recent history.
A few discussions with Nairobi residents is revealing. Theories abound if such an incident had occurred in the centre of Kampala, Addis Ababa or Kigali. More importantly, can one imagine a group of Christian fundamentalists holding a demonstration in Tripoli, Baghdad or even lawless Mogadishu! For starters, Christians would not even think of demonstrating in Mogadishu because that would be suicide. There would be a massacre at the hands of religious zealots.
However, if the Nairobi incident occurred in the centre of Kampala, Addis Ababa or Kigali, that area would have been cordoned off within a radius of one kilometre and a military operation would have taken place with dire consequences for the demonstrators. More importantly, the Jamia Mosque would today be a security area or worse still; the mosque would have been brought down. All these ugly developments did not take place because this is Kenya where we value peace and human rights issues and only demonstrate when an alien priest is arrested. In this country, the Al-Shabab militias can kidnap our nuns, take our military vehicles into Somalia but we will never either demonstrate or threaten Somalis with dire consequences.
In this country, we behave as if the only people who matter are a certain tribe and a certain religion. Others can go to hell! In this country, a civilian militant like an Al-Shabab militant or a Mungiki thug can kill a policeman. When it happens, we the so-called human rights activists will never raise a finger or a voice. However, when some deranged priest smuggles himself on our shores, then all hell breaks loose.,
In Kenya, our citizens working in Arab countries have no rights. A poor girl can be thrown from the top floor, break her limbs and the remains brought to Nairobi without a protest either from our human rights activists or the government. I don't know which particular death he is referring to but the treatment meted out to this poor girl sounds like other incidents we know of here suffered by maidservants from Bangladesh or the Philippines working in Arab countries.
What are we showing the rest of East Africans with this open tolerance for violent groups that we don’t need? Why are we allowing terrorists, radicals and fundamentalists to buy property with abandon using illicit money? Aren’t we courting disaster in broad daylight?
In many countries, the Nairobi incident would have seen heads rolling if not a whole government coming down. But this is Kenya. Nothing moves us here, not even a senseless death of a good policeman!
Posted on 01/22/2010 3:05 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 22 January 2010
The thin blue line of jihad
Melanie Phillips in The Spectator understands the threat posed by NAMP.
To take their least serious point first: the idea that there is no Islamic threat and that the real threat to Britain comes from the ‘far right’ is demonstrably ludicrous. The ‘far right’ poses no threat to Britain other than some low-level thuggery. The Islamist threat to Britain is very great indeed. Dozens of Islamist plots aimed at murdering thousands of people have been thwarted, and the security service say between 2000 and 4000 British Muslims are radicalised to potential acts of terrorism. This terrorism is part of a global holy war being waged in the name of Islam. While many British Muslims support neither the aims nor the tactics of this holy war, an insupportable number do. For Muslim police officers to deny this is extremely disturbing. It means they have bought into the radical narrative of systematic denial and deceit.
But the NAMP went much, much further than this. They attacked government policy; worse, they attacked government policy aimed at protecting the lives and safety of British citizens; worse still, they suggested that British Muslims should resist that policy, and implicitly threatened disorder if it were not changed.
Let us pinch ourselves: these are British police officers, subject to the same disciplinary and professional codes as any other police officers. Yet their call for action to ‘check’ counter-terrorism policy, and the implicit threat of violence if it is not so checked, suggests that rather than helping form the line of defence against the Islamist threat, these police officers must be considered to be part of that threat.
Read it all here.
Posted on 01/22/2010 3:20 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 22 January 2010
Architect blames prejudice as mosque fails
From BD online, an architects' website:
The architect who drew up plans for a huge mosque next to the Olympic Park in east London has said the scheme fell through because of Islamophobia
Ali Mangera, co-founder of emerging Anglo-Spanish practice Mangera Yvars, also criticised religious group Tablighi Jamaat, which was due to use the planned 12,000-seat mosque, for failing to engage in the planning process.
Tablighi Jamaat controversially dropped Mangera Yvars as architect in 2007, replacing it with Allies & Morrison.
Mangera said he was “disappointed” for Allies & Morrison, and blamed anti-Muslim sentiment for the collapse of his scheme. “A lot of the people who are opposing the scheme have questionable motives,” he said. “There’s Islamophobia.”
Newham Council wrote to Tablighi Jamaat last week after it failed to meet a deadline to submit a masterplan for the 7.3ha site.
Mangera, a Muslim himself, said the group should have also appointed a project manager to handle relations with the council and opponents. “I’m not surprised by what’s happened,” he added. “There was no one to manage the project. A sensitive and complex site requires quite a sophisticated approach.
“Tablighi Jamaat need to be a lot better organised. They need someone sophisticated to appreciate the design process and engage with the council and opponents.”
This week the council told the group, whose temporary planning permission to operate a much smaller mosque expired three years ago, that it has to stop using the mosque or face potential eviction and compulsory purchase proceedings.
A Newham Council spokesman denied it had been influenced by Islamophobia and said Tablighi Jamaat could submit a new planning application if it wished.
Neither Tablighi Jamaat nor Allies & Morrison was available to comment.
Posted on 01/22/2010 7:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 22 January 2010
The Unlimited Gullibility of the American Government
Our new strategy, same as the old strategy, is we'll pay the Taliban to be nice. Only now, we'll set up an office in Kabul (next to Karzai's) to direct (and divert) the cash flow. All this for only $100 million a year! This is from the Pakistani paper Dawn (with thanks to Jeffrey Imm):
WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday announced plans to re-integrate Taliban insurgents back into the mainstream, with the process envisaged to achieve success by July 2011, a timeframe matching US plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
If the strategy goes according to US plans, a limited number of groups and individuals will be reintegrated by December 2010, reducing the size of the security problem.
The stabilization strategy as envisioned by the US, gives president Karzai’s government a lead role for appointing a committee of Afghanistan’s National Security Council to develop an Afghan government reintegration program.
The strategy plans giving guarantees to militant commanders that they will not be arrested or killed while negotiating re-integration.
By re-engaging the militant commanders, US believes that a number of key Afghan districts under Taliban control will decrease by July 2011.
While the US green-signalled back-channel talks through Saudi Arabia and Pakistan with the Taliban, they will now be officially re-integrated according to a statement issued from the office of special envoy Richard Holbrooke.
A cell will be set up in the US Embassy in Kabul to coordinate efforts, with a budgetary allocation of $100 million.
Additional funding support has also been promised by UK, Japan, Netherlands and other countries.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai also unveiled the plan on Friday where he spoke about offering money and jobs to tempt Taliban fighters to lay down their arms and return to civilian life.
His comments in an interview with the BBC came as US Defence Secretary Robert Gates described the Taliban as part of Afghanistan's “political fabric” but said any future role would depend on insurgents laying down their weapons.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also unveiled a long-term non-military strategy to stabilise Afghanistan and Pakistan that calls for sending in more civilian experts and bringing extremists back into mainstream society.
“We know as the Afghan people we must have peace at any cost,” Karzai said in the television interview aired Friday ahead of an international conference on Afghanistan in London next week...
Peace at any cost. I imagine that $100 million a year just won't turn out to be enough.
Posted on 01/22/2010 7:48 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 22 January 2010
Effacing History (And Our Selves) In The New All-Muslim Iraq
DESECRATION OF SACRED SITE PROMPTS LITTLE ATTENTION
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.
The Iraqi government plans to convert the Tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel, one of the most sacred sites for Christians and Jews, into a massive new mosque.
What’s more, the Iraqis intend to erase all Jewish markings from the tomb so that no indication of its historic significance will remain for future generations.
The plan to transform the ancient burial site into a mosque was reported this week by Ur News, the Iraqi news agency, and Shelomo Alfassa, Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries.
Mr. Alfassa says that Iraq’s Antiquities and Heritage Authority “has been pressured by Islamists to historically cleanse all evidence of a Jewish connection to Iraq – a land where Jews had lived for over a thousand years before the advent of Islam.”
The desecration of the tomb, Mr. Alfassa adds, is taking place under “the pretext of restoring the site.”
Similar confirmation comes from Professor Shmuel Moreh, Israel Prize Laureate in Arabic Literature and Professor Emeritus at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who says that he is aware that the Hebrew inscriptions have been erased and that the plans for the new mosque are well underway.
The ancient burial site of Ezekiel is located in Al-Kifl, a small town south of Baghdad.
Ezekiel, whose prophecies included the Valley of the Dry Bones and the return of the Jews to Israel, lived in the sixth century B.C., having accompanied the exiled Judeans to Babylon.
Throughout the centuries, thousands of pilgrims visited the site of his tomb annually before Iraqi Jewry came to an abrupt end in 1979 with the rise of the Islamic Revolution. Though well over 100,000 Jews lived in Iraq, this number has been decimated to no more than eight, Professor Moreh said. “There are others,” he added, “but they barely know that they are Jews; in many cases, their parents did not tell them.”
Now the remaining Christians are killed or forced into exile. Over the holiday season, increased attacks by Islamists have taken place on churches and convents and a dozen Iraqi Christians have been put to death.
The violence, according to Monsignor Louis Sako, Archbishop of Kirkuk, is part of a project of “ethnic cleansing” against the Iraqi Christians that is taking place with the covert blessing of the Iraqi government.
According to local sources, nearly 2,000 Christians have been killed in Iraq since 2003, the year of the fall of Saddam Hussein; thousands more have been driven into exile.
Iraq – the Biblical Mesopotamia -is almost as rich in Jewish history as the Land of Israel. It is the land where Abraham discovered monotheism, and where the prophets Ezra, Nehemiah, Nahum, Jonah and Daniel, along with Ezekiel, are also buried.
The plans for the mosque over the bones of the prophet have met with scant media attention and little outcry from Jewish and Christian communities.
Posted on 01/22/2010 9:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 22 January 2010
A Musical Interlude: These Foolish Things (Carroll Gibbons Orch., voc. Turner Layton)
Posted on 01/22/2010 10:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 22 January 2010
Dhimmitude in St. Cloud Minnesota: Somalis protesting home grown Mohammed Cartoons
Our colleague Ann Corcoran has an engrossing post at Refugee Resettlement Watch on ‘human rights’ protests by Somali students at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota: St. Cloud, MN Somalis turn up the stealth jihad heat, demand “human rights”. The triggering event for this ‘protest’ was the appearance on the campus of deprecatory, allegedly sexual suggestive Mohammed cartoons – shades of Kurt Westergaard, the Danish Mohammed cartoonist. I’ve actually been to St. Cloud and know that besides the state university there is a meat packing plant, “Gold n plump” that employs Somali émigré workers. St. Cloud is in the home district of conservative Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, who has become a lightening rod for ‘progressives’ in Minnesota, the home of the Farmer Democratic Labor party.
St. Cloud has also been the site of anti-Semitic episodes, the latest of which triggered a trip by a musical ensemble in 2008 to perform at Auschwitz and other Holocaust death camps. One wonders if those alleged anti-Semitic episodes somehow were a reflection of the deeply anti-Semitic Somalis.
Then there's the fact that this 60-minute oratorio, with music by Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus and text by poet Michael Dennis Browne, was premiered in 2005 at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, a city once described — rather famously — as "the most anti-Semitic city in America."
“From anti-Semitic hotbed to healing: St. Cloud area students to perform oratorio at Nazi death camps:”
Chief among them is the reputation that St. Cloud has earned in recent years for being a hotbed of anti-Semitism, given the much-reported drawings of Nazi swastikas observed in various public places and on campus.
The fact that the performances will occur on the sites of Nazi death camps, and that former inmates of those camps in France, Germany and Switzerland are expected to be in the audience, is just one of the strands of irony and coincidence encircling this work and its eloquent plea for tolerance.
Not to worry, the local university president, community leaders and an FDL gubernatorial candidate showed up in solidarity with the campus Somali Student Association decrying the ‘offending’ Mohammed cartoons and the implied ‘hate speech.’
Here are some excerpts from Corcoran RRW post:
Here is a story yesterday from the St. Cloud Times about Somali students demonstrating this past Wednesday at St. Cloud State University to protest cartoons of Mohammad that appeared around campus.
The recent posting of offensive anti-Islamic cartoons in St. Cloud was part of a pattern of hatred toward people of color in this area, some said Wednesday at a rally at St. Cloud State University.
The university’s Somali Student Association sponsored the rally, which drew comment from city and university leaders, students and one gubernatorial candidate.
The session was a response to last month’s cartoon incident, in which sexually explicit drawings of the Prophet Muhammad and a swastika were posted around St. Cloud, including near a mosque and a Somali-owned store.
St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III professed empathy for those hurt by the cartoons, while two professors took aim at what they called systemic racism in the St. Cloud area.
A professor throws in a gratuitous attack at Rep. Michele Bachmann (St. Cloud is the heart of her district), the conservative firebrand and outspoken critic of the Obama Administration, with a veiled suggestion that somehow she is the ringleader of the “racists.” These leftists’ reliance on the race card is getting old and most of us see through that despicable strategy.
Luke Tripp, a professor of community studies, said the same “conservative white” mind-set led to the election of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater.
Tripp cited a history of racially motivated high school fights as evidence of the animosity that Somalis encounter here.
There has been a series of hateful attacks against the growing Somali community since they began arriving here,” Tripp said.
Gold n’ Plump in St. Cloud, sued by Somali Muslims and the meatpacker lost. So you can bet that tensions are already high in St. Cloud when Somalis demanding special prayer accommodations won a lawsuit against the meatpacker. We reported the story here and here, Jihad Watch has it here, and the EEOC official version of the judgment is here.
What about that dog story? When I saw this St. Cloud article yesterday I wondered where besides the Gold n’ Plump settlement had I heard of St. Cloud before? Then I remembered! In May 2008 a handicapped student with a dog was taunted by Somali students at a technical school and he left the school fearing someone would hurt his dog.
Islamists consider dogs one of ten dirty things in the ‘religion’ right along with feces, urine and dead bodies, thus I guess they felt they could legitimately harass a dog.
Judy concluded her post on that story with this line:
Yes, we have to respect the Somalis’ right to taunt a dog. Why don’t they just tell the Muslim students that in America we do not tolerate mistreatment of dogs or of dog owners? Oh, that wouldn’t be sensitive.
So back to the St. Cloud protests this week. We want human rights (yes, theirs are more important than those of the service dog owner, or other workers at Gold n’ Plump) and a human rights office too (paid for by taxpayers of course).
Several speakers also criticized the lack of a fully funded city human rights office.
Mohamed Mohamed, president of the Somali Student Association, said he’s encountered discrimination in St. Cloud. But Mohamed added that Wednesday’s rally shouldn’t be about pitting one race of people against another.
“This issue is not white and black,” Mohamed said. “It’s human rights.”
Readers, this is the stealth jihad—we change to accommodate them. Learn more by visiting this post from 2008 where a commenter tells us how it is being accomplished first in Minnesota.
Corcoran may think this is an example of ‘stealth Jihad’. To us it is evidence of deepening dhimmitude in the American heartland where Somali émigrés are demanding virtual self governing ‘millets’ as their ‘human rights.’
Posted on 01/22/2010 11:28 AM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 22 January 2010
Thanks to regular reader Paul for alerting me to Annaqed:
"Annaqed", (An Arabic word for "the critic") established in June 2000 by Bassam Darwich an American of Syrian origin, is an independent site that does not represent any government or organization of any sorts nor is influenced by any.
There are a number of associated writers, each bringing their own prospective on a variety of issues.
Our articles are selective and inclusive. We publish what we see fit and do not leave out any aspect of life.
Annaqed’s main objective is to stand up for human rights all over the world but particularly in the Middle East, opposing all forms of oppression and exposing the roots of terrorism.
Although the topics are inclusive, Islam remains Annaqed’s primary focus, for we strongly believe that this ideology is the main source of terrorism and is the greatest threat to our civilization and to all mankind, including its "followers".
The Arabic section targets all Arabic speaking people, particularly the young generation, our future leaders whom we will count on to get rid of all backward regimes and ideologies for their own good as well for the welfare of the entire world.
The English section targets Americans and all Westerners, alerting them about the real teachings of Islam and the deadly mistake of considering it a religion. This section also deals with local social and political issues.
Our Guiding Slogan - "The Truth Shall Set You Free!"
I'll drink to that, and to the Counterjihad in general, and to the West and all who wish it well. Here's tae ye, wa's like ye, damn few, an' thir aw' deed!
Posted on 01/22/2010 1:45 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 22 January 2010
Dalia Mogahed of Gallup: Bias against Jews “linked” to bias against Muslims
Yesterday, Dalia Mogahed, the Gallup Muslim West Facts Project (MWFP) pollster released findings from a survey conducted last fall of 1,000 Americans concerning perceptions about major religions, Islam being prominent among them. Mogahed is on President Obama’s Faith – based initiatives advisory panel. She created controversy given her appearance on a UK program discussing the joys of Shari’a for Muslim women with representatives of the extremist anti-.Jewish Hizb ut -Tahrir. Swathed in a hijab, Mogahed uses polling to advance fiction about the integration of Muslims in the West and that Muslims in the ummah believe in equality between the sexes. She is the co-author with Prof. John Esposito of “Who Speaks for Islam: What a billion Muslims really Think.” Esposito is head of The Prince Alaweed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.
The contrast between the headlines for the AP story and the Washington Post version is telling: More bias in US against Muslims than other faiths “ versus “Americans' bias against Jews, Muslims linked, poll says”.
The Washington Post version noted:
In the Gallup poll, respondents who said they feel "a great deal" of prejudice toward Jews are very likely to report feeling the same level of bias toward Muslims.
Mogahed, who is on a board that advises President Obama on faith-based issues, said the Gallup poll was prompted partly by Obama's outreach to Muslim-majority societies and a desire to understand more about what shapes Americans' views on Islam.
In a note accompanying the poll results, Gallup makes the argument that Americans' prejudice against Muslims is at least partly fueled by misinformed beliefs. For example, people who believe Muslims worldwide oppose equal rights for men and women tend to be much more likely to report prejudice against Muslims.
Data from other Gallup interviews that were not part of the most recent poll show that majorities of Muslims in Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among other places, say that women and men should have equal legal rights.
Without seeing the survey questionnaire and sampling procedures, this sounds contrived to support the fiction of Islam being an inviting ‘faith’ supportive of human and civil rights. The evidence of hatred towards Jews and all unbelievers crenellating the Qu’ranic canon is reflected in Wahhabist doctrine and continually on view in MEMRI videos of Imams preaching hatred. For colleagues in Former Muslims United, these Gallup poll results mask the Shari’a death threats against their human and civil rights, even here in the west.
The AP report notes these findings from Gallup MWFP poll:
Americans are more than twice as likely to express prejudice against Muslims than they are against Christians, Jews or Buddhists, a new survey found. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they have little or no knowledge of Islam. Still, a majority dislike the faith.
In the poll, just over half of Americans said they felt no prejudice against Muslims. However, 43 percent acknowledged at least "a little" prejudice against Muslims, a significantly higher percentage than for the other four faiths in the survey.
About 18 percent of respondents said they had some level of prejudice against Christians, while the figure was 15 percent toward Jews and 14 percent toward Buddhists.
Asked about knowledge of Islam, 63 percent of Americans say they have "very little" or "none at all." A large majority of respondents believe most Muslims want peace. Yet, 53 percent of Americans say their opinion of the faith is "not too favorable" or "not favorable at all." By comparison, 25 percent of Americans say they have unfavorable views of Judaism, while 7 percent say they have "some" or "a great deal" of prejudice toward Jews.
Muslims want peace for themselves, and not for the unbelievers. Delving into the Qu’ranic canon should reveal that Mohammed was no exemplar of human kindness. Hence, these Gallup poll findings simply reveal vast resentment among Americans toward Islam as promoted by Muslim Brotherhood fronts preaching ‘da’wa.’ These survey findings will doubtless embolden members of the Jewish rabbinate and lay communal leaders to persist in furthering Muslim – Jewish dialogue that we chronicled in the NER article: “Chelm on the Charles River.” It is all part of the softening up process connected with stealth jihad and reflective of unquestioning reporting by wire services and mainstream newspapers like the Washington Post.
Notwithstanding this, Ms. Mogahed must be happy this week. President Obama lifted the ban against Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna. He was barred from entering the US because of a check he wrote to Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, Hamas in Gaza. Ramadan overcame that hurdle when the federal appellate court in Manhattan overturned the government’s case last July clearing the way for issuance of his Visa.
Posted on 01/22/2010 2:15 PM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 22 January 2010
Islamic space in London's East End
I was in the Spitalfields and Brick Lane area of East London today and went to take a look at the minaret shaped tower which has been erected very near to the Brick Lane mosque recently.
You might remember I posted these articles from the East London Advertiser and the Sunday Express last month.
Tower Hamlets Council have been given the largest ever payment of its type, £8.6 million from the developers of the Spitalfields fruit and vegetable market site adjacent to the City of London. The first thing they decide to spend it on is part of the Brick Lane regeneration scheme which is a minaret shaped tower next to the Brick Lane Jamme Masjid Mosque.
The Mosque itself is former Huguenot Church which was later a synagogue. It is a Grade II listed building so it can’t be touched or altered without special permission. Hence the minaret is freestanding on a stone plinth which says Brick Lane Jamme Masjid. It’s got a crescent on top. It might look like a pile of oil drums on a skewer but it can’t be anything but a minaret. Not with a crescent on top, out side a mosque, with the mosque’s name on it.
This is all part of the local regeneration scheme. Except from what I saw this morning all the work is being done on and around the Mosque. And that’s public money being spent on it. The Jamme Masjid is on the corner of brick Lane and Fournier Street. Note the Huguenot influence there. At the other end of Fournier Street is Christchurch Spitalfields designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, the architect ranked alongside Wren.
To quote their Friend’s website on the subject of restoration work “Tower Hamlets is one of the poorest boroughs in London. The Friends of Christ Church Spitalfields has had to raise the large sums to achieve this.”
Part of this work included a rehabilitation centre for homeless alcoholics in the crypt.
Going round the area it is noticeable that all the public signs under control of the council and some private ones (although not traffic signs, they come under London wide and national authority) are in Bengali and English. The police office is called Banglatown; efforts to have Aldgate Tube Station renamed Banglatown came to nothing, so far. Christchurch Church of England School has a sign in Bengali on it, which looks like a street name, but how would I know? I’m only an Englishwoman, visiting the street where her Great Aunt lived and died.
The Huguenots left a legacy socially and their names (Fournier Street, Brune Street, the names of family friends, like Neeport) as did the Jews 200 years later but they all assimilated.
I get the impression that the use of Bengali is not a courtesy to recent newcomers, until they get their bearings and fluency in English. This seems to be a community who intend to remain Bengali unto the seventh generation thereof. And I’m not comfortable with that. There are now a large number of Somalis. Will they clash in wanting road signs in their language?
However what they do share is Islam and we know that space once Islamic is Islamic forevermore.
As these photographs have a lot of detail in them I have uploaded the largest originals to the Flickr photoshare site. Please click on each photo to be taken there if you are interested and then chose the size which suits you best.
The first picture was taken in Commercial Street opposite Toynbee Hall.
The second is looking down Brick Lane, past the many ‘Indian’ restaurants, towards the mosque and minaret.
The third shows the detail of the top of the minaret in relation to the Mosque roof.
The fourth shows the steeple of Christchurch which is still a great deal taller than the minaret.
Posted on 01/22/2010 3:00 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 22 January 2010
Brussels Laid Bare, Or, What Marta Andreasen Discovered
The Rotten Heart Of The Union
By Henrik Raeder Clausen
There's a lot invested in the European Union. Not only money (to the tune of €100 billion a year), also massive amounts of confidence from Europeans towards the Union, assuming that it will protect citizens / consumers from the evils of dangerous products, exploitative business and the dangers of the independent nation-state, all while protecting democracy and citizens' rights. Former Chief Accountant Marta Andreasen has a discouraging tale to tell.
First, a bit of history. Marta Andreasen was hired in January 2002 as Chief Accountant responsible for the EU budget at large, with the specific additional task of initiating reform of an obviously deficient system of accounting that each year permitted billions of euros to vanish, pure and simple.
A case of corruption had in 1999 brought down the European Commission led by Jacques Santer, and the clear message from the European Union was that now it was time for zero tolerance of irregularities and waste. After all, it is taxpayer money we entrust the European Union, not money earned by the Union directly. We should expect that money to be spent responsibly, or not spent at all.
Marta Andreasen was hired to put the required reforms into effect. However, she was dismissed after less than five months in office, a dismissal that led to a lengthy legal process, but no reform. This book is her account of what happened.
For the benefit of those who do not want to read the complete essay, my opinion is:
Well worth reading, 4 of 6 stars.
The main upside of the book is that it provides a candid view of a world not frequently exposed to scrutiny or criticism, a view with a long sequence of disturbing events of neglect and miuse of power. This is not a healthy situation for the organisation that, more or less visibly, runs things throughout Europe. The downside is that the book is lacking in structure, has few references, and has the narrative laced with countless judgements, making it much more subjective than need be, and thus subtracting from its quotability and impact.
Then, for the book essay proper:
Accountants bring accountability
What Marta Andreasen was hired to do was a task of immense responsibility. Reforming the accounting system of an organisation with a € 100 billion budget is huge. The problem, of course, was that accountability was lacking throughout the union, which led to not only missing billions, but also to the embarrassing case of Édith Cresson that eventually brought down the Santer Commission.
Such cases are usually symptomatic of deeper problems, which were amply demonstrated by the fact that the EU accounts had not been properly approved since 1996. Paul van Buitenen had filed a report about the problems, stating in his conclusion:
I found strong indications that . . . auditors have been hindered in their investigations and that officials received instructions to obstruct the audit examinations . . . The commission is a closed culture and they want to keep it that way, and my objective is to open it up, to create more transparency and to put power where it belongs - and that's in the democratically-elected European Parliament.
Predictably, he was suspended from his position, for the offense of disclosing facts to the public.
After the fall of the Santer Commission, Romano Prodi made a public pledge that henceforth there would be zero tolerance of fraud. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was created, to make it visible that the European Union was taking effective measures against fraud, and to send a strong signal to the public of problems being addressed, that the Union would self-correct.
The problems run deeper than that.
Now, one of the problems in dealing with this material is that it contains severe allegations against public figures and the way the European Union is conducting its affairs. Many of the allegations made by Marta Andreasen cannot be independently verified, as employees of the European Union have a pledge of loyalty towards the organisation and will not publicly confirm or deny the problems indicated by Mrs. Andreasen.
However, the fact that a decade has not brought convincing progress towards fulfilling the promise of zero tolerance given by Romano Prodi, is a clear indication that the problems reported by Marta Andreasen are substantially correct. Not only that, it also proves that sufficient measures have still not been taken to eliminate fraud and waste in the Union.
There are those who say that the European Union should adhere to the same level of accountability as public companies. They are wrong, for a simple reason: Private companies are accountable for only their own money. If they waste them, they will eventually go out of business.
The European Union, on the other hand, is spending money of other people, the European citizens and taxpayers. Each EU citizen contributes an average of € 200 a year to keep the Union running. As citizens, we have every right to demand that the money is spent in a disciplined and transparent way, understandable to anyone interested.
A distinct, equally important reason to expect much more discipline and transparency than a private company is the fact that the European Union cannot go bankrupt. Wasting € 10 billion a year, 10 percent of the budget, would quickly kill off a business entity. This makes good accounting and accountability a must for a commercial business. The European Union is not subject to this market-induced responsibility, and must therefore provide that at its own initiative.
Honesty and flawless accounting, mercilessly transparent to the press and the public, should be expected from the Union.
Enter Marta Andreasen
It was a somewhat unclear hiring process that led Marta Andreasen to assume the office of Chief Accountant in January 2002. Her predecessor had resigned for somewhat unclear reasons, and Marta was expected to pick up the work in a speedy fashion. First and foremost she was to sign off the accounts from 2001, and launch a plan for throughout reform of the system. Seemingly a perfect match for a high-level accountant like her.
Now, a key feature of a professional accountant is accountability, that she will not sign off accounts or authorize payments without certainty that they are sound and well documented. The official numbers showed an impressive 'margin of error' of € 5 billion, yet her own investigations led her to conclude that the true figure was a staggering €15 billion unaccounted for. The Director General and the Commission expected her to take responsibility for this, which she refused, pointing out that not only could she not put her reputation on line for such massive deficits, but also that it was really the responsibility of her predecessor to sign off the accounts for the previous year.
About the relations between Director Generals and Commissioners a lot can be said, and Marta Andreasen does so. Power struggles play out between the DG's, who are in permanent positions, and the Commissioners, who are in theirs on 5-year terms. That gives the DG's unofficial power in the bureaucracy, which in a large, complex organisation is difficult to expose and rectify. While problematic, it's by no means a situation we should expect to improve.
A distinct problem quickly identified by Marta Andreasen sounds too simple to be true: The accounting software used was inadequate. While spreadsheets are great for calculations and analysis, they are not usable as accounting systems, for the simple reason that no user logging takes place. If desired, anyone can change figures in a spreadsheet without setting electronic trails. Thus, fraud can happen undetected to various degrees, as auditors will have little chance of figuring out who would have fudged the numbers. She received many reports of this taking place.
Simple problems sometimes do have simple solutions, and this one looked straightforward: If the accounting software is not providing the required accountability, change it to something that does. Better yet in this case: Appropriate software had already been purchased, licenses in sufficient numbers, and had been adopted to the purpose. Little was left to do than putting the program to use for its intended purpose. That would be at the heart of the accounting reform efforts.
Competence, meet Bureaucracy
A key problem of hiring a person of competence is that she may point out incompetence. While that is ideally the reason of hiring competence in the first place, if the incompetence is too widespread and honesty too scarce, competence and honesty does not automatically win. Powerful civil servants can obstruct progress in highly diverse and creative ways, and the dungeons of bureaucratic procedure are most certainly daunting for a newcomer with few, if any, friends inside.
When Marta Andreasen insisted that her predecessor either sign off the 2001 accounts or provide a formal transfer of the accounting to her, that didn't go down well. The Director General and the Commission would much rather that she simply signed off the accounts herself, lending her credibility to the System as it was, rather than undertake the Herculean efforts of bringing the accounts up to a reasonable level.
An alternative proposal was that she would sign off her responsibility to the Director General. But that would eliminate the whole idea of having a distinct, supposedly independent, position as Chief Accountant. It is a testament to the integrity of Marta Andreasen that she refused. But it sure didn't win her any friends in a system where everyone apparently were complicit in substandard conduct. Her basic choice was this:
Sign off the unsound accounts, which would constitute complicity to fraud, or face a charge of 'disloyalty'.
As if refusing to sacrifice personal integrity and professional honesty would somehow be ”detrimental to the honour of the persons” pressing for her signature on the books. As she phrases it:
This pretty well confirmed not simply the hopelessness of my case, but the near-impossibility of anyone effecting real change within an undemocratic and essentially lawless institution: The European Union.
The Chief Accountant should, in principle, be independent of the organisation she oversees, that she is free to field relevant criticism without fear of being suspended or fired. That is, in principle. In practice there is a kafkasque twist to this, in that everyone seems bendable and subject to various forms of pressure, in order that they do not forfeit their loyalty to the System and cause devastating public scandals.
Suspension is always an option, for one reason or another, and Marta Andreasen was suspended in May 2002 on grounds that she had not forwarded her reform proposals in a timely manner. That she had only been in office for slightly over four months, and had made her proposals for reforms clear to everyone involved, made no difference. There is always a rule to break – actually one of the main purposes of having too many rules is that some will inevitably be broken – and in spite of her being formally independent and employed for 2 years, she had her duties relieved on May 23rd 2002.
The Rotten Heart of the Union
What follows, the Byzantine proceedings of legal battles, is less interesting to most. It shows again how a great bureaucracy can deal with problematic persons with impunity, but is really less important than the core issue:
The system is not only corrupt, but corrupting.
That is a harsh statement. The evidence is simple, actually: That the books are still not in order, that the accounts are still not signed off without major reservations. The yearly loss of billions of euros to unknown purposes is sufficient proof. That does not lay the responsibility squarely on any specific person(s), it merely goes to show that the system is still not working properly.
What makes this not merely corrupt, but also corrupting, is the fact that this siphoning off of money is rewarding and encouraging fraud. The exact kind of fraud has great variety, be it Greek farmers overreporting their livestock or Luxembourg farmers reporting more land than physically exists. Significant and very rewarding opportunities exist in this system.
Money is the lifeblood of any large organisation, and the European Union is no exception. Responsible and transparent accounting is crucial to uphold public confidence in the system, yet something is still severely amiss. Dishonesty cannot be tolerated at such a deep place of the European Union.
Accounting in the Union is still billions of euros from perfect, but since the trials and tribulations of Marta Andreasen, no significant whistle-blower has stepped up to provoke the impetus to actually deliver on the promise of Romano Prodi: No tolerance for fraud.
One of the problems is that in a private company, incompetent staff would report lacklustre results or even deficits, leading to demotion to give way for persons of greater competence. No such mechanism exists in a publicly funded bureaucracy. The larger the system, the more individuals become complicit to malpractice and eventually sacrifice their integrity to the System, rendering it unreformable.
The back cover of the book has several endorsements, including this by Lord Pearson of Rannoch:
If you want to go on hoping that the EU can be ”reformed from within”, don't read this book.
Personally, I don't hope it is this bad. I would love to see a European Union back on the democratic track, respecting the sovereignty of the nation-states and – as a matter of cause – provide complete and transparent accounting of the money and the confidence we have in this grand institution. It is vital, for it rules our lives and our countries more than most people are aware.
Posted on 01/22/2010 5:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 22 January 2010
Reuters' Nidal Al-Mughrabi Has Some Trouble Reading The News
The lead paragraph in bold and oversized point type in a
by Reuters' Nidal al-Mughrabi shouts out:
GAZA (Reuters) - Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip not only restricts imports to the enclave but has also crushed traditional exports like fruit, flowers, furniture and ceramics.
Apparently, al-Mughrabi is so busy demonizing Israel, he doesn't have time to read the
As of Sunday, more than 1.3 million carnation and more than 41 tons of strawberries left Gaza to European markets.
Carry on Nidal.
Posted on 01/22/2010 6:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 22 January 2010
A Genteel Der-Stuermer, Antisemitic BBC Shamelessly Continues Its Anti-Israel Propaganda
Barbara Plett, weeping uncontrollably as she reported the death of Arafat. Orla Guerin, sharing and passing on the worldview of her "Palestinian" husband. Frank "Help Me I'm A Muslim" Gardner. Hard-voiced Lyse Doucet doing what she can to blacken Israel's image. John Simpson, formerly high up in the World Service, praising to the skies the antisemitic conspiracy theories of his friend Peter Hounam, in "The Cyanide Conspiracy."
And day after day, the steady drip-drip-drip about "occupied Arab lands" -- a most peculiar way to describe territiory to which Israel has a legal, historic, and moral claim superior to all others, a claim that does not depend on Israel having come into possession, through force of arms, of that territory in June 1967, a claim that would exist even as against the Jordanians who came into possession of those parts of Judea and Samaria (as they had appeared on Western maps or in the works of Western writers for 2000 years) that they renamed "the West Bank" and whose only claim was indeed that of an "occupying power."
Here's Robin Shepherd on a most recent outrage, a "documentary" on Jerusalem:
On Monday night, the BBC’s flagship documentary programme Panorama was devoted to Jerusalem. Rarely will you get a clearer insight into the flagrant institutional bias inside the world’s most powerful media outlet than this. The slipperiness of the tactics employed, the unabashed censorship of vital historical context, and the blatant pursuit of a political agenda constituted a lesson in the techniques of modern day propaganda. It was something to behold.
Entitled “A Walk in the Park” — a reference to the parkways which link settlements across East Jerusalem — the programme was introduced by veteran BBC reporter Jeremy Vine: “Palestinians are being thrown out of their homes; Israelis are moving in, even underground,” he tells us. The drama then shifts to Jerusalem itself where Jane Corbin, narrator and reporter on the ground, is ready to begin a demolition job all of her own.
Right away, the documentary cuts to the destruction of a Palestinian home: “…roads were sealed. The Israelis don’t make it easy to see what’s going on,” we are ominously told as she skips daringly down a dirt track to avoid the watchful eye of the dastardly Israelis.
So why, one wonders, would the Israelis be so keen to hide their dirty little secret? “Under international law,” she tells us earnestly, “East Jerusalem is occupied territory; its status shouldn’t be changed.”
Well, good to know that we haven’t wasted much time before she introduces her very own, and quite definitive, interpretation of international law. But objective versions of the law are soon complemented by a historical narrative which forms the backdrop to the entire programme:
“When the State of Israel was born in 1948, Jerusalem was divided,” says Corbin. “The West of the city became part of Israel and the East was controlled by Jordan. In 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem after seizing the West Bank following war with its Arab neighbours.”
And that’s it. That is the broad historical context offered to a prime time British audience on the BBC’s most prestigious weekly documentary programme. Is her version accurate? Well, yes, modern day Israel was formed in 1948 and Jerusalem was indeed divided — Jordan on the one side and Israel on the other. It is also true that “following war” with its Arab neighbours in 1967 East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel.
But as an instance of propagandist methodology in airbrushing out vital context, especially in a documentary about the status of Jews in Jerusalem and the underlying causes of the wider conflict, this really rather takes the biscuit.
Consider another way of phrasing that paragraph which, once again, is vital to the documentary since it serves as the key context for a largely uninitiated British audience. Try this, with the salient points in italics:
“When the State of Israel was born in 1948 — following Arab and Palestinian rejection of a peace agreement accepted by Israel which would have seen the internationalisation of the city — Jerusalem was divided. The West of the city became part of Israel and the East was controlled by Jordan — which expelled Jewish residents and forbade Jews from praying at all of the city’s holy sites. In 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem after seizing the West Bank following war with its Arab neighbours. That war was caused by Arab governments and the Palestinians who had the aim of eliminating the state of Israel in its entirety and expelling its Jewish residents.”
Well, that would really cast a different light on things wouldn’t it?
Next we come to Corbin’s “walk in the park” which starts in Sheikh Jarrah and winds its way through the Mount of Olives and Ras al Amoud to Silwan.
Stopping off in Ras al Amoud the documentary now introduces “an Israeli lawyer”, who serves throughout the programme as the objective analyst providing a neutral point of reference to enhance the credibility of the narration.
That Israeli lawyer is none other than, Danny Seidemann, a well known (but not to British viewers) left-wing lawyer-activist. No countervailing Israeli opinion from a similar kind of source is offered.
But the slippery and blatantly biased tactics of the programme makers are immediately revealed as the objective reference point offered by Seidemann is then counterbalanced by the opinion of an Israeli, Arieh King of the Israel Land Fund.
A purportedly neutral anti-settlement view is thus juxtaposed with the views of an interested party whose work we are told (to a background of darkly melancholic music), “is paid for by wealthy backers [ie Jews] in America and Europe.”
We have also been offered another piece of “context” for viewers to mull over as they watch the programme: “Peace deals proposed so far reckon on giving Arab areas in these eastern parts of the city to the Palestinians. Western areas, which are Jewish, would go to Israel.”
Hmm. I wonder what’s missing from that one then? Again, here’s another way of putting that point with my suggested additions in italics:
“Peace deals proposed so far — all of which were rejected by the Palestinians – reckon on giving Arab areas in these eastern parts of the city to the Palestinians. Western areas, which are Jewish, would go to Israel.”
The omission is so blatant it is almost laughable. In this desperate attempt to support the long-standing BBC narrative that Israeli “occupation” forms the root cause of the conflict, it has become necessary to mention peace deals without pointing out that such peace deals were offered by Israel but flatly rejected (in favour of violence, one might add) by the Palestinians. To raise that issue would clearly undermine the ideological edifice. It would suggest that the root cause of the conflict is Palestinian rejectionism and anti-Semitism — two concepts that the BBC is apparently unable to deal with.
The distortion is reinforced as we then move to a catalogue of instances of how settlement policy is making a two state solution difficult if not impossible.
Harrowing stories are told of Palestinians kicked out of their homes. The briefest of references is made to the claim of the settlers that they are taking back land and property which was seized from them by Jordan in 1948. But it is done in such a away that no lay audience could possibly see any real justification for the settlers’ position.
We are told of, and shown, instances of Palestinians being thrown out of homes they have “lived in for generations”. This is stated as fact by the narrator. When the counter argument, that the land they have lived on was stolen from Jews in the first place, this was ventured as the mere opinion of Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem.
Arriving in Silwan, the narrator just happens to drop in at the very moment a Palestinian house is being demolished. A Palestinian activist, Jawad Siyam, is given prominence as the articulate and reasoned voice of the oppressed. He cries out: “It’s the most racist state in the world, you see…” Pointing to Israeli policemen he adds: “You are the most racist people in the world.”
No voice from the Israeli side is offered to protest about terrorism, and Palestinian anti-Semitism is referred to so obliquely that practically no-one could pick up on it as a significant issue. With the historical context largely obliterated earlier in the programme, few uninitiated viewers could disagree with Siyam’s diatribe.
Fading in the melancholic music again, we are then told ominously that many of the settlers come from abroad as we are introduced to the Adlers, a family of American religious Jews who have settled in Silwan. (American, religious, Jewish and settlers? That’s the sort of combination that gives BBC reporters sleepless nights).
As a warning of how Israeli policy is leading to tensions, we are later introduced to a Palestinian man, Ahmed, (complete with close-up of crying son) who was shot in the right thigh by an Israeli following a scuffle. No instance of Palestinian violence is offered here for balance. Ahmed then tells of how the Israeli stepped over him and “shot a child”.
As the documentary draws to a close, the narrator once again interjects with her own tendentious opinions: “Those who know Jerusalem warn that this is a powder keg,” she says. “More than the city could be ignited if the Israelis persist in what they are doing.”
“Those who know Jerusalem?” Who might that be then? We cut back to Danny Siedermann, the BBC’s objective analyst of events. Widening the discussion and placing responsibility for the overall conflict squarely with Israel, he says: “This is the volcanic core of the conflict…what begins in Jerusalem doesn’t stay in Jerusalem.” He adds darkly that regimes could be destabilised from Pakistan to Morocco in the ensuing cataclysm.
Finally we move to the wider settlements outside Jerusalem and “The Wall”. Corbin concludes the documentary with the words: “The face of the city is changing and that makes the chances of peace even more remote.”
Well, you get the picture. Obviously the issue of Jerusalem excites passions inside Israel and outside it. Reasonable people can disagree on it. There are many shades of opinion to be assessed. And there is no reason why a BBC documentary should not reflect that. The problem is that the documentary does not reflect that reality at all.
Every Jewish step in East Jerusalam is presented as wrong and dangerous. All the important context has been removed. A clear ideological agenda has been pushed at the expense of basic standards of fair reporting.
Welcome to the world of the BBC. And welcome to yet another illustration of the slippery path to the deligitimisation of the world’s only Jewish state.
I watched this documentary so you don’t have to. But suckers for punishment (at least those resident in the UK) can see it in full at the following link:
Posted on 01/22/2010 6:35 PM by Hugfh Fitzgerald
Friday, 22 January 2010
Why Does Charles E. Phillips Deserve 19 Million Dollars A Year?
Charles E. Phillips has recently been brought to my attention by a series of billboards. Of keen interest to me is that Charles E. Philliips receives $19 million a year as the President of Oracle. I assumed he was a computer expert, someone essential to the development of its products.
But here's his potted biography:
"Charles E. Phillips is President of Oracle Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors. He joined Oracle in 2003. Before joining Oracle, Mr. Phillips was with Morgan Stanley, a global investment bank. Prior to Wall Street, Mr. Phillips served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps in the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines. Mr. Phillips holds a BS in Computer Science from the United States Air Force Academy, a JD from New York Law School, and an MBA from Hampton University. Mr. Phillips is on the boards of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, The American Museum of Natural History, New York Law School, Viacom Inc., and Morgan Stanley. In February 2009, Phillips was appointed as a member to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide President Barack Obama and his administration with advice and counsel regarding the economy."
A B.S. in Computer Sciences doesn't put on in the class of even the lowliest computer expert. He has a JD from New York Law School, not in the top 10, nor top 20, nor top 50 law schools. He has an MBA from Hampton University, which is in Virginia, connected to the Hampton Institute, and neither is known for its academic rigor.
Then he joined Morgan Stanley. So many people do. And somehow, he managed to become the President of Oracle. What explains this? And what could conceivably justify his $19 million a year in salary? Was Ellison trying to curry favor in an obvious -- and embarrassing --- way, with Barack Obama? What gives?
Malefactors of great wealth are always annoying, and grotesque sums received for little effort, and no discernible special abilities, can constitute the malefaction in the absence of anything else, and the whole thing maddens me.
Does it madden you? Or have you taught yourself not to pay attention to such things, because otherwise you would be too upset, and all the time?
Posted on 01/22/2010 6:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 22 January 2010
The Netherlands Is Submitting To Islam
It seems obvious that the Netherlands is submitting to Islam by having passed legislation to protect "religions" on the pretext of protecting believers from those who indulge in 'insulting of a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief,...." That legislation in Article 137c Dutch penal Code (See Note 1) is clearly aimed at protecting Islam.
The UN Is Submitting To Islam
The UN started submitting to Islam a long time ago - the Cairo Declaration is in fact a Proclamation of Jihad because it says nothing different than what Islam has been saying for 14 centuries - except it is all stated in comforting sounding, sophorific legalese.
So in the interests of what Mary Robinson, at that time of the UN, called "A greater need for an understanding of Islam..." the UN admitted the Cairo Declaration into its "Instruments" so affording acceptance and respectability effectively upon the right of Muslims to strive (jihad) with their wealth and their lives in Allah's path (Koran) - till all the world is ruled "in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah" because "God made" the "islamic ummah" the "best nation"(Cairo Declaration - parroting what Islam is all about).
Islam's Declaration on Human Rights
The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Adopted and Issued at the Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Cairo on 5 August 1990.
The Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,
Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which God made the best nation that has given mankind a universal and well-balanced civilization in which harmony is established between this life and the hereafter and knowledge is combined with faith; and the role that this Ummah should play to guide a humanity confused by competing trends and ideologies and to provide solutions to the chronic problems of this materialistic civilization.
Wishing to contribute to the efforts of mankind to assert human rights, to protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah
Article 24: All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah.
Article 25: The Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration.
So Islam Continues To Strive to Conquer and Rule The World with "Understanding" from the UN - Otherwise Believers Will Be Humiliated
So Islam can continue to strive with the UN's blessing to takeover and rule the world and strip "non-Muslims" of all legal rights and, if Allah so directs to the ruler of the day, plunder and steal property from "non-Muslims" because all the world is booty for the Islamic Ummah (see Islam and for instance Sura 9:29), all because this horror is Allah's will - and no one can criticise this because Islam's followers feelings will be hurt and the poor dears will be humiliated?
What About The Humiliation And Much, Much Worse of "Non-Muslims"?
What about the deliberate humbling and humiliation and persecution and murder and terror and rape and pillage of the victims of jihad, day in day out, year in year out, for fourteen hundred years?
What's going on in Holland is madness dressed up as sanity and Islam is being protected because the Sword of Islam demands that Islam be protected.
Geert Wilders Up Before A Semi-Shari'ah Court?
It appears that Geert Wilders is being hauled up before a Semi-Shari'ah Court of Semi-Islamic Shariah law in an Islamizing Netherlands, itself part of a rapidly Islamizing Eurabia, at present called the EU, otherwise known as Europe, on what seems to be the remote command of the World-Dictator-In-Waiting, the OIC.
It is that bad.
That is what we think.
We think that one day soon, the people of the Netherlands are going to pass extremely harsh judgement on those of their countrymen who are persecuting Geert Wilders, and that will include the judges if they convict him.
We think that the same kind of Tea Party Movement that unseated the Democrats in Massachusetts will turn against the hopeless government of the Netherlands except the Tea Party will not be so polite because the Islamization of the Netherlands and all of Europe has a growing number of people extremely concerned and upset.
Health Care is one thing. Terrorists another thing. An extreme left, it looks like, revolutionary government in the White House, is one thing.
But submission to the tender mercies of Islam is quite another.
If and when the people of Europe find out what their political leaders have done with their Political Correctness and their Crazed Multiculturalism and their willful disregard of what is after all the clearly stated law of Islam to conquer and rule the world, they are going to be very, very angry.
We believe they will find out.
Geert Wilders is fighting for freedom, freedom for everybody.
Geert Wilders is a wonderful human being. He is our hero.
Is Geert Wilders in the Dock — or Is It the Dutch and What It Means To Be a People?
David Yerushalmi Esq.
The two Dutch criminal laws at issue are:
Article 137c Dutch Penal Code
1. He who publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately expresses himself in an way insulting of a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief, or their hetero- or homosexual nature or their physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, will be punished with a prison sentence of at the most one year or a fine of third category.
2. If the offence is committed by a person who makes it his profession or habit, or by two or more people in association, a prison sentence of at the most two years or a fine of fourth category will be imposed.
Article 137d Dutch Penal Code
1. He who publicly, verbally or in writing or in an image, incites hatred against or discrimination of people or violent behaviour against person or property of people because of their race, their religion or belief, their gender or hetero- or homosexual nature or their physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, will be punished with a prison sentence of at the most one year or a fine of third category.
2. If the offence is committed by a person who makes it his profession or habit, or by two or more people in association, a prison sentence of at the most two years or a fine of fourth category will be imposed.
Posted on 01/22/2010 6:47 PM by The Law
Friday, 22 January 2010
Fluctuat Nec Mergitur
After, and Before, the Flood
The Great Paris Flood of 1910 will happen again—and it'll be even worse than last time.
The Great Paris Flood of 1910 began a century ago this week, but it never quite subsided. Indeed, as locals ponder surreal archival photographs on display now in Paris to mark that epic disaster, there is something patently eerie about commemorating the 100th anniversary of a so-called "centennial flood." In recent months, public authorities fretted about how to keep the Great War relevant on the 90th anniversary of the WWI armistice, now that its last French veteran has perished and a replay is so thankfully unlikely. But the Great Flood lingers without difficulty in the collective consciousness here—and these iconic photographs of a classical Paris submerged make it seem light, playful, and dreamlike. Soon enough, though, locals will see the surge firsthand, and it won't seem so poetic. Greater Paris has been bracing itself for another big flood for a century—and it isn't safe yet.
In January 1910 the Seine rose some 26 feet above normal, spilling over cut-stone banks and washing through the city. Paris became a reluctant Venice, gondolas and all, virtually overnight. Hundreds of streets and a full quarter of Paris's buildings—20,000—were flooded. Only one person died in central Paris, a soldier brought in for the relief effort, carried away by a quayside current. But several more would perish outside Paris proper, in the hard-hit banlieues. The Seine didn't fully "go back to its bed," in the colorful French phrase, until mid-March. In Paris and the surrounding area—essentially a basin at the confluence of three rivers—the flood caused an estimated €1.6 billion in damage in today's euros. Token reminders of the high-water mark still remain today—"1910" is hand-painted, engraved, or plaqued into building facades and along the Seine's stone banks.
The flood was one of the first great visual stories of the last century and the first disaster of its kind to get the full media treatment. Press-agency photographers and eager amateurs sloshed or rowed through Paris to document the event for the world. Paris's Galerie des Bibliothèques is hosting an extraordinary archival trove telling the flood's story through March 28. The exhibit, "Paris Inondé 1910," is so haunting because the central Paris quarters where the floodwaters rose look much the same today as they do in the photographs. A sepia-toned Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the medieval warrens of the fifth arrondissement and the posh boulevards of the eighth, the Gare de Lyon train station's clock tower, even the iconic white tiles of the métro—all familiar, save the rowboats.
It may look like art, but it's more like a public-service announcement. There's no Nostradamus-style prophecy in the appellation "centennial flood"—it just means that, every year, there is a one in 100 chance that a flood of similar magnitude will happen again. Experts like Louis Hubert, the environment director for the Île-de-France region in which Paris is located, say it's a matter of when, not if. And Paris is not fully girded for the eventuality. Over the past century, greater Paris has found ways to protect itself from flooding of 1910 proportions, but not completely—a centennial flood would still spell disaster within (and, to a greater extent, around) Paris. Even the four man-made catchment lakes built to siphon off nearly 30 billion cubic feet of overflow would reduce water levels only by 70 centimeters in central Paris at best. Other fixes from the past 100 years—like rebuilt bridges and quays in central Paris—might buy 30 centimeters' more relief in the city center. But authorities can't say with certainty, until a day or two before the next great flood, the effect the massive urbanization of surrounding floodplains over the past century will have on the rising waters. Indeed, even if protection has improved, the greater Paris basin is in some ways more vulnerable today than it was a century ago: 10 times more people live in the flood zones, and underground infrastructure (power, trains, Internet, phones) built since the flood supports modern lifestyles.
An exhibition that opens this week (and runs through April 17) at Paris's Pavillon de l’Eau concludes that, despite existing protective infrastructure like the catchment lakes and dikes, the Île-de-France region, which takes in the greater-Paris area, would suffer an estimated "minimum €17 billion in direct damage from flooding at a comparable level to that of 1910, without taking into account damage to transport, electricity, telecommunications, or urban-heating networks, etc., and without taking into account the long-term impact of economic paralysis." It would affect 850,000 people (about 300,000 in Paris alone) and 86,000 businesses directly—and between 4 and 5 million people and 170,000 businesses indirectly. Indeed, since the area around Paris accounts for about one quarter of France's GDP, several weeks' furlough would hurt the rest of the country, too. The Pavillon de l'Eau expo outlines new flood-abatement projects in the works, like a plan to pump water from the Seine into giant storage lockers if the adjoining Yonne River threatens to flood.
Modern-day Parisians, contemplating the photographs before spilling into identical streets, might well wonder how they would cope. There is the nagging feeling those women rafting about Paris in prim dresses and men, invariably hatted and mustachioed, were plenty tougher than we are. Modern conveniences were still new, and Parisians of the time had done without them most of their lives. Telephones were still scarce gadgets. Electricity was a new luxury that only a few "subscribers" enjoyed. Households had stashes of coal for heat. As they would today, public transit networks suffered—the métro, only 10 years old, was lost for three months. But in 1910, there were still 75,000 horses in Paris. They were pressed into service, pulling outdated horse-drawn buses out of storage. Yet even then, as Le Figaro reporter Georges Cain observed in an eyewitness account on display at the Galerie des Bibliothèques: "Here we are, gone back in time 20 years. No electricity, no elevators, no telephones and it seems unbearable to us." Imagine going back in time 120 years. Here, 1910 isn't water under the bridge—it's a barometer for the future.
Posted on 01/22/2010 7:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 22 January 2010
A Musical Interlude: Rockin' Chair (Mildred Bailey)
Posted on 01/22/2010 8:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald