The editor-in-chief of the Swiss magazine Weltwoche, Roger Köppel, has been indicted by Socialists in Zurich. The reason: he violated an anti-racism law. On talk shows, according to the Socialist thought-gestapo, Köppel “systematically denigrated and vilified members of the Islamic religion and thus crossed the borders of racism.”
The guardians of political correctness subsequently filed a criminal complaint with the Public Prosecutor in Zurich.
The Young Socialists (Jungsozialisten, Juso) in Canton Zurich have indicted the editor-in-chief of Weltwoche Roger Köppel due to violations of the anti-racism penalty statute. Köppel made racist statements in several articles and a television interview, the accusations asserts.
According to a statement of this on Thursday, it concerns the TV show “Talk Täglich” [Daily Talk] of the local broadcaster “Tele Züri” and comments in several editions of Weltwoche. Thus it was about the minaret-referendum and the Islam.
With such statements intentionally vague fears would be fueled, discrimination in Switzerland would be instigated, and the Muslims and Muslimas would be stigmatized. In their indictment, the Young Socialists want to send a signal against intolerance and exclusion.
To blame Roger Köppel for racism — who, unlike left-wing barkers, always knows how to behave and always argues with well-grounded reasoning — can hardly be surpassed in absurdity. In any case the leftists themselves inflame “vague fears” by trying to nip any criticism of Islam in the bud with the ultimate death-club of racism or fascism. Good for those people, who due to lack of arguments always show their undemocratic face and try to suffocate any opposing view.
Roger Köppel, editor and editor-in-chief of the Weltwoche, with numerous statements in the comments in the editions 43 and 47 of Weltwochehas made it clear that the people of the Islamic faith who live in Switzerland are a fundamental threat to security and order of the country due to their religion, from his perspective, and that one therefore would not need to be tolerant towards them. He ascribes to the Muslim women and Muslims in general an “unfulfilled nostalgia for the political coup”, because they “right up to today have not got over the loss of their empire.” The present Islam wants to be “a political domination system”, even a “political-religious ideology of conquest”, that is “hostile towards the current order” and seeks “extension, subversion and conquest.
In the above-mentioned television broadcast “Tele Züri” he made similar statements, and included the matching opinion that Muslim women and Muslim men living in Switzerland should be considered members of “a hostile army”.
With these statements Roger Köppel has clearly violated article 261bis of the Criminal Code, because he systematically denigrated and vilified the members of the Islamic religion.
Thereby Roger Köppel has exceeded the boundaries of racism. With such statements, deliberately vague fears are fueled, discrimination in Switzerland is instigated, and Muslims are stigmatized. This can and will not be accepted by the Young Socialists. With their indictment they want to give a signal against exclusion and intolerance, because for them it is clear: racism in Switzerland, no matter by whom and against whom, will not be tolerated.
Probably the lefties are just bad losers and can not forgive Roger Köppel for being on the side of the winners since the start of it. When they lose, democrats shows their true face…
The elites that Geert Wilders calls "sharia socialists" are swimming against the tide of the will of the people.
Anybody who is concerned for their freedom is a "racist."
Anybody who has studied "the religion of blood and war" (Winston Churchill) and who understands that it is primarily a political movement with an ideology of world rule and subjugation of all mankind, is an "Islamophobe."
The elites of any political persuasion who presume to lead but refuse to study what Islam is about, even "wilfully refuse," * are more than just fools. These people are being traitorous to their own people, their own countries. They are acting as agents of darkness and horror.
These elites are like reverse Moses's leading their people into slavery.
Many Swiss people have told us that the minaret vote was not really about minarets but is regarded in Switzerland as symbolic of widespread grave concern about Islam and about the Swiss people losing their identity and culture and freedom. We are told there is widespread discussion in many countries in Europe along the same lines.
A truly sad story about a 23-year-old Panama City man dying while being subdued by Bay County sheriff’s deputies has reawakened the debate about the legalization of marijuana. On December 11, 2009, Andrew Grande choked on a plastic bag full of marijuana as police attempted to arrest him on a violence charge. A video shows police valiantly trying to save his life once it became apparent that he was having difficulty breathing.
Mr. Grande is in line for the Darwin award. What kind of a fool tries to swallow a plastic bag?
Two talk show hosts in Panama City have been discussing the case in the early morning hours — and revealing a divide on the right. Burnie Thompson of WYOO, the libertarian, has called Grande “a casualty of the war on drugs” and contended that because marijuana is illegal, Grande felt “compelled” to swallow a bag of it to avoid punishment.
That's a bit of a stretch - plastic bag and all.
Nonsense, says Doc Washburn on station WFLF. He invited former Congressman Ernest Istook from the Heritage Foundation and Tina Trent, who blogs on crime, to speak about the dangers of marijuana to the user and to society. Trent indicated that Grande had faced probably only a misdemeanor charge; she pointed to studies showing that the illegal drug trade flourishes despite the legality of marijuana in certain states and other countries. And legalizing marijuana will remove the freedom employers now have to test for the judgment-impairing drug.
I'm not convinced that employers should be able to test you for what you do in your private time, which is what those tests amount to. That seems like an unreasonable intrusion, not a "freedom."
The position on the legalization of marijuana provides the point of departure from the traditional libertarianism of Barry Goldwater. In abandoning the duty to enforce social order, today’s libertarians have made a devil’s pact with the pro-drug forces of George Soros and company.
"[T]the duty to enforce social order"? Pact with the devil? Please.
My libertarian friends like to say, “I’m a libertarian, not a libertine.” But though many of the advocates of libertarianism lead socially conservative lives, their agendas promote libertinism — especially when it comes to legalizing drugs. They forget that the moral order they have inherited is put at even further risk as laws change to allow more destructive behavior.
Ah yes, I'm sure that smoking marijuana caused him to go into gay porn as a hobby. This is a case where a story not told in the media is appropriate because it is irrelevent. It's unfortunate that Mary Grabar felt the need to bring it up. The poor man is dead, after all.
To the libertarian, such a profession would also not present a problem, as prostitution does not. But the two — drug use and the self-debasement of prostitution and pornography — go hand in hand. Ask any strip club dancer how easy it is to get up on stage stone cold sober. Ask anyone who has been under the influence about the stupid things he did. Indeed, Grande probably started young, when he was impressionable. And recent reporting has shown that our “safe schools czar,” Kevin Jennings, was head of an organization that used the schools to promote homosexual sex between boys and men. Certainly the ability to engage in such destructive behavior is enhanced by the use of drugs.
Grabar is confusing the issue by tying the effort to legalize marijuana to prostitution and the promotion of homosexuality to young people.
And this is where the libertarian brings up the other “drug”: alcohol.
Libertarians are fond of pointing to the wreckage caused by the abuse of alcohol: deterioration of health, traffic deaths, and domestic violence. This is true, but it is an analogy that emerges from an abstraction. Libertarians argue that the only difference between the two is traditional: we have stamped alcohol consumption with a seal of social approval.
But I would argue that tradition should be a reason for its continued legal status and for denying legal status to marijuana.
Wrong again. Marijuana is an effective treatment for alcoholism and is far less damaging than alcohol. Only someone who has no experience with alcoholism could so blithely wave off its danger.
The sanction for alcohol use goes back to the Bible. In the New Testament, references to its use in ceremonies like the Last Supper and the wedding at Cana appear. But Jesus also warns about excessive use. In the Old Testament, alcohol is shown to cloud the judgment of Lot. The Bible, in this way, tells us when and how we can use alcohol.
Missing the point again. Not everyone can drink. It is NOT SAFE for alcoholics to have even one drink.
This means very little, though, in the arid moral climate of today’s libertarianism.
But I would argue that it should, not only from my position as a Christian, but from my position as a citizen of a country whose foundational values spring from the Judeo-Christian heritage. The sanction for alcohol use has lasted for millennia. It has become part of our rituals at meals, celebrations, and religious services. That is a large part of why Prohibition failed.
Marijuana, in contrast, has always been counter-cultural in the West. Every toke symbolizes a thumb in the eye of Western values. So it follows that in order to maintain our culture, we need to criminalize this drug.
"[A] thumb in the eye Western values? Oh please.
The prohibition against marijuana is one brick in the foundation of our society. On a practical level the use of marijuana also works to knock out other bricks, like the work ethic, emotional engagement, sexual inhibition, and the ability to reason. For example, when one of my college students leads off in defense of the legalization of marijuana, he invariably does so in a disjointed manner, unable to muster the resources of reason and conviction to his argument. (He also does this in his essays.) One caller, “Dave,” to the Doc Washburn program displayed the same apathetic, but friendly, attitude.
The reasons for prohibition of marijuana keep descending the scale of reasonableness. The last rung is the allegation that smoking marijuana will take away one's work ethic, whereas drinking won't. Right.
While one cannot come to class drunk without drawing attention, he can attend under the influence of marijuana, sitting in the back of the room with a glazed, though not unpleasant, expression.
Obviously written by someone with no experience of alcoholism.
But that’s exactly what the left wants: a nation of young zombies — indifferent, unengaged, and uncaring. They provide amenable subjects to indoctrination. Alcohol may fuel fights, but marijuana, as its advocates like to point out, makes the user mellow. The toker wants to make love, not war.
Removing the prohibition on marijuana is a leftist plot to make a nation of zombies! Who knew?
The libertarian maintains that values are the function of the private sphere: the family and church. But as Goldwater argued in the riot-plagued year of 1964, when safety and order are not maintained by the government, our freedoms are affected. In so many ways, the legalization of drugs will lead to the further breakdown of order.
It is still unclear how would the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana would lead to the breakdown of social order.
To give sanction to a drug that robs the individual of reason and conviction is to give up on our way of life. It is another surrender to the counter-culture. It sends a dangerous message to young people. A recent study shows that the creeping sanction through legalization of “medical” marijuana in certain states is giving young teenagers a sense of safety about marijuana use.
The hysteria mounts. Marijuana "robs the individual of reason and conviction!"
Marijuana killed Andrew Grande, not only in the literal sense, but in the sense that it abetted his descent into a very sad, counter-cultural lifestyle. Its legalization is supported by the same forces that promote Kevin Jennings, one-world government, Gaia worship, and legalized prostitution. All these elements work against the traditional libertarian values of initiative, freedom, and honor. Libertarians need to rethink their position on drug legalization.
Marijuana didn't kill Andrew Grande - it was the plastic bag that choked him. "Kevin Jennings, one-world government, Gaia worship, and legalized prostitution" are completely beside the point.
UPDATE: Comments at Pajamas are running 7 to 1 against Grabar and for some form of legalization.
I have endeavoured to point out in this short series of posts that the tradition of Christmas Carols is an ever-changing one in its details and that new Carols come into being all the time. Perhaps the most famous new Carol of our modern age is ‘Silent Night’:
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute Hoch Heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigen Haar,
Schlafe in Himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in Himmlischer Ruh!
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
G-ttes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem Göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
Jesum in Menschengestalt!
Jesum in Menschengestalt!
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
Jesus die Völker der Welt!
Jesus die Völker der Welt!
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß!
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß!
Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
"Jesus der Retter ist da!"
"Jesus der Retter ist da!"
The following is Bettina Klein’s lovely, inspired translation:
Silent Night! Holy Night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon G-dly tender pair.
Holy infant with curly hair,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent Night! Holy Night!
Son of G-d, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy Holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.
Silent Night! Holy Night!
Brought the world gracious light,
Down from Heaven's golden height
Comes to us the glorious sight:
Jesus, as one of mankind,
Jesus, as one of mankind.
Silent Night! Holy Night!
By his love, by his might
G-d our Father us has graced,
As a brother gently embraced,
Jesus, all nations on earth,
Jesus, all nations on earth.
Silent Night! Holy Night!
Long ago, minding our plight
G-d the world from misery freed,
In the dark age of our fathers decreed:
All the world redeemed,
All the world redeemed.
Silent Night! Holy Night!
Shepherds first saw the sight
Of angels singing alleluia
Calling clearly near and far:
Christ, the saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.
The original Austrian German words of this, probably the most popular, modern Carol of Christmastide were written by Father Joseph Mohr in AD1816 when as a young priest he was sent by his Diocese to serve the Altar at the Pilgrimage Church in Mariapfarr in Austria. The following year (AD1817) he was transferred to the St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf.
It is known that shortly before Christmas in AD1818 Fr. Mohr visited the home of musician and schoolteacher Franz Xavier Gruber who lived in an apartment over the schoolhouse in nearby Arnsdorf. Herr Gruber was also the Organist and Choirmaster at the Nicholas Kirche in Oberndorf. Fr. Joseph showed his poem to Herr Gruber and asked him to add a melody and guitar accompaniment so that it could be sung at the Midnight Service on Christmas Eve. His reason for wanting his poem set to music is unknown but the young priest is known to have really liked guitar music, so perhaps he merely wanted a simple tune which he could share with his parishioners at Christmas in a personal way.
At Midnight Mass that evening the two men, backed by the choir it seems by all accounts, stood in front of the High Altar in the St. Nicholas Kirche in Oberndorf and sang "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" for the first time with Father Mohr playing his guitar.
The story doesn’t end there, however, for Karl Mauracher, a master organ builder and repairman from the Ziller Valley in Austria, visited Oberndorf to work on the organ in the Nicholas Kirche several times in the years after this Carol was first sung. While doing his work in St. Nicholas, he obtained a copy of the composition and took it home with him and that’s how this lovely Carol got launched into the world.
Two travelling families of folk singers from the Ziller Valley incorporated the song into their repertoire after having seen Herr Mauracher’s copy. According to the Leipziger Tageblatt, the Strassers, one of the two families, sang the song in a concert in Leipzig in December 1832. It was during this period that a few of the notes were changed, and the Carol evolved into the easy melody we know and love today. On another occasion, according to an historical plaque, the Rainer family, the other singing family from the Ziller, sang this Christmas Carol before an audience which included Emperor Franz I and Tsar Alexander I. In AD1839, the Rainer family performed "Stille Nacht" for the first time in America, at the Alexander Hamilton Monument outside Trinity Church in New York City.
Joseph Bletzacher, a Court Opera singer from Hanover, reported that by the 1840s, this Carol was already well known in Lower Saxony. "In Berlin," he says, "the Royal Cathedral Choir has popularised it.” It became, according to many accounts, the favourite Christmas Carol of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who used to have his Cathedral Choir sing it for him during Christmas every year.
By the time the song became famous all across Europe Fr. Joseph Mohr had died and the composer of the melody had been forgotten. Although Franz Gruber wrote to many of the music authorities in Berlin stating that he was the composer many people assumed that the tune was the work of Haydn, or Mozart or Beethoven. The mystery of the composer was finally put to rest a few years ago when a long-lost arrangement of "Stille Nacht" penned in the hand of Fr. Mohr, was authenticated. In the upper right hand corner of the arrangement, Father Mohr has plainly written: "Melodie von Fr. Xav. Gruber."
During his lifetime, Franz Xavier Gruber produced a number of orchestral arrangements of his composition. The original guitar arrangement is missing, but five other Gruber manuscripts of this modern Carol exist. The manuscript by Fr. Joseph Mohr (circa 1820) is for a guitar accompaniment and is probably the closest to the arrangement of the melody sung at that Midnight Mass in 1818 in the St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf.
Later on Herr Gruber and his family moved to Hallein, now the home of the Franz Xavier Gruber Museum. It contains several rooms furnished from his former home along with some outstanding exhibits dealing with the history of "Silent Night" and amongst them is Father Joseph Mohr's guitar. Franz Gruber's grave is outside the house and is decorated with a tree every Christmas.
Father Joseph Mohr's final resting place is the tiny Alpine ski resort of Wagrain. He was born into poverty at 31 Steingasse in Salzburg in 1792 and he died penniless in Wagrain in 1848 (he’d been sent as Pastor to the Church and the faithful there). He had donated all of his earnings for the care of the elderly and for the education of the children in the area. His memorial from the townspeople of Wagrain is, appropriately, the Joseph Mohr School which is located a few tens of metres from his grave. The overseer of the St. Johann Church in Wagrain, in a report to the Bishop, described Fr. Mohr as "...a reliable friend of mankind, toward the poor, a gentle, helping father."
The simple and lovely words of this Carol were born from the imagination of a modest rural priest; the easily memorised tune was composed by a musician who was unknown outside his local area; and this great expression of joy and faith was first sung in a Church dedicated to St Nicholas whom I discussed in Part VIII, yesterday. If that’s not a significant coincidence, maybe even a minor miracle, then I don’t know what is.
Look here or. if in New York, go to 420 Lexington Avenue, hard by Grand Central, and look up. It's a big building, with all sorts of interesting Art Deco ornament, that might have caught the eye of Oleg, but not likely Mary, Grabar. It would have had to be big, and well-ornamented, in order to be noticed among all the imposing structures around that famous address at Lex and 42nd.
As the old New York saying puts it: De minimis non curat Lex.
When inanimate objects are being accused of racism, the term has lost all meaning. 40 years ago "racism" was a life-and-death issue. Now it's an unintentional joke, or I suspect, an attempt to get a new state-of-the-art (wouldn't you say, Wanda?) computer as a pre-Christmas gift from HP.
Qur'an 5:51: "Believers, take not Jews and Christians for your friends." From Compass Direct News:
A group of Muslims shot their Christian friend dead this month on the outskirts of this town after saying they would spare his life only if he recanted his faith, according to the young man’s father.
The friends of Patras Masih, who died from gunshot wounds on Dec. 3 in Karol village, Punjab Province, issued the ultimatum to him after accusing him of the murder of their friend Anees Mahammad. An autopsy reported showed Mahammad died from toxic alcohol earlier that day.
Patras Masih’s father, Gulzar Masih, said his son was at home on that day, had no contact with Mahammad, and that his friends accused him of the murder only because he refused to recant Christianity and embrace Islam.
On Dec. 1, Mahammad and three other Muslim friends of Patras Masih – Sohail Muhammad, Imran Muhammad and Amir Muhammad – had arrived with unknown Muslim men and asked Masih to help them find liquor, Gulzar Masih told Compass. Pakistani law forbids Muslims from buying or consuming alcohol. Locally brewed liquor in rural areas of Pakistan can be fatally toxic; this month 14 people died from locally brewed, toxic liquor in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, news website Express India reported today.
His voice full of grief, Gulzar Masih said that on Dec. 3, his son’s three Muslim friends arrived at their doorway yelling that he had killed Mahammad, and that they would spare his life only if he converted to Islam. They accused Patras Masih of serving Mahammad a toxic drink in their home the previous day.
When Patras Masih refused to recite the Islamic conversion creed, his father said, Sohail Muhammad, Imran Muhammad and Amir Muhammad sprayed bullets at his chest, killing him instantly.
A familiar story: Muslims blaming a Christian for the actions of a Muslim, in this case a Muslim who chose to drink home-brewed liquor.
King’s College of Management gets new licence after fake places scandal
A college exposed by The Timesfor providing fake places to more than 1,000 foreign nationals has been awarded a new government licence to bring hundreds of overseas students to Britain.
King’s College of Management (KCM), in Manchester, closed in the summer after The Times revealed that although it claimed to have only 67 students it had secretly enrolled more than 1,100 foreigners and offered places to a further 1,575.
After The Times handed the Home Office a dossier of evidence in May, KCM was temporarily shut down by its owner, Farah Anjum, a Pakistani businesswoman.
It has now reopened with a new director but using the same name and premises. The sole director of Universal Education Services Ltd, the new company running the college, says that he is a retired former officer of the Pakistani Army who came to Britain in 2001.
In a secret recording obtained by the newspaper, a woman confided that a KCM employee charged £1,000 last year to help her 18-year-old nephew to gain a student entry visa. He was told that he would be able to find a full-time job and would not need to attend any lectures. After a year, he would be given a false college certificate to confirm his impeccable attendance record. The college also kept a hidden list of 207 people already living in Britain who were sold fake diplomas.
KCM failed to win one of the licences under its previous ownership, but has now passed the second stage of the process, a Border Agency inspection that the Home Office described as unannounced and rigorous.
Mr Malik said that he was now entitled to enrol up to 500 international students but initially intended to keep the numbers down to “125 or 150”. KCM will charge annual tuition fees of up to £4,500 for its courses.
In May, The Times revealed close ties between 11 colleges in London, Manchester and Bradford, all formed in the past five years and linked to three Pakistani fraudsters who entered Britain on student visas. They exploited a gaping hole in the immigration system to help thousands of Pakistanis to enrol as students in the network of sham colleges.
A spokesman confirmed that the Home Office was still investigating some of the people previously involved with the running of KCM and those linked to a second college whose bogus operation was exposed by The Times, Manchester College of Professional Studies.
Eight of ten terror suspects arrested in April in Manchester and Liverpool over an alleged al-Qaeda bomb plot were enrolled at the college. The English Civil Service used to be absolutely incorruptible. For all the jokes about us being bowler-hatted and constantly tea drinking, bribes and graft never entered into the criticism. But the old school has been retired, early in many cases, and in the interests of "diversity" many of the new recruits originate from places where the attitude is, shall we say, different.
Sweden boasts record high population growth and Ethnic population increase predicted in Denmark
From the Swedish edition of The Local
The Swedish population grew more in 2009 than it has in any year since 1946, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån - SCB). The increase is attributed to high birth and immigration rates, as well as sharply reduced emigration and fewer deaths.
Immigration also contributed to the marked population growth. SCB estimates that 102,000 immigrants moved to Sweden in 2009. The largest group of immigrants are returning Swedish citizens, followed by Iraqis and Somalians. The number of Iraqi immigrants has dropped by about 30 percent compared to 2008, while the number of Somalian immigrants has increased by 50 percent.
Over the last decade, the number of births in Sweden has increased every year.
SCB also estimates that 14 percent of the Swedish population were born abroad. The largest group is made up of 173,000 people born in Finland, followed by 117,000 born in Iraq. Almost 400,000 individuals born in Sweden have two parents who were born abroad. The comments show concern that the large families of immigrants from outside Northern Europe and the lack of contribution made to Swedish society by some of the immigrant groups is changing Sweden "at the expense of permanently altering her historic and cultural fabric." Elsewhere inThe Local is an example of this sort of change and expense it causes. An increased police presence has led to a distinct reduction in crime figures for flashpoint Malmö suburb Rosengård, according to local media reports.
At the height of last year's troubles, police and fire rescue services were attacked with rocks and stones on a regular basis. Police were subsequently allocated more resources in a bid to get to grips with the problem, a move that led to the arrest over the course of 2009 of several leading crime figures in the predominantly immigrant neighbourhood.
Malmö city authorities have also pumped nine million kronor ($1.2) into improving living conditions in the area this year. From The Copenhagen Post
In 40 years, every sixth person in this country will be defined as ‘ethnic’, statistical study shows.
Approximately 21 percent of people living in Denmark in 2050 will be descendents of immigrant, suggests a report from Danmarks Statistik
Unfortunately, the statistical trend has also manifested itself negatively on the crime figures. Male descendants of immigrants are represented heavily in crime statistics as they commit 33 percent more crime than all other groups put together. Oh dear! This seems to be a trend.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – An attorney for the man charged in the deadly shootings at Fort Hood says the Army has prohibited his client from praying in Arabic with his family.
Attorney John P. Galligan said police stopped a phone conversation between Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan and his brother on Friday because it was not in English. Galligan told the San Antonio Express-News that police at Brooke Army Medical Center refused to let Hasan pray in Arabic.
Galligan says he thinks that's illegal and violation of Hasan's religious rights.
Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 attack.
The military has imposed restrictions requiring Hasan to speak only in English on the phone or with visitors unless an interpreter is present.
Meanwhile, 13 families prepare for the first of many Christmases without their loved one.
Few comedy writers can bring themselves to quit while they're ahead. And most comedy series keep chugging along, running on empty before they peter out with a phut. Fawlty Towers is an exception - each episode is a jewel. Perhaps they ran out of money - constraints, even financial, can be liberating for comedy.
Roseanne was funny once - hard to believe, I know. So was Friends, yet how feeble towards the end, when all the men got too fat and the girls too thin, and everyone had slept with everyone else a dozen times. Sacha Baron Cohen was so funny in Borat it is hard to believe he come up with such a limp sequel. And Curb Your Enthusiasm was so original and so quirky, who could imagine that it could go the way of the others? But it did. And the kiss of death? Celebrities. Just one "guest appearance" by a celebrity ruins a show. Larry David took this further and had the whole cast of Seinfeld, the show he wrote.
Last Thursday's episode of Curb had Larry David sitting on a sofa laughing at Seinfeld. Did he later sit on his real-life sofa laughing at himself sitting on a sofa laughing at Seinfeld? Between trips to the mirror?
Larry David, of all people, who could see the funny side of ordinary things, and the dangers of the ego, should have known better. Shame - damn good show in its day, and a cracking title.
Father jailed for encouraging his teenage son to rape and marry his cousin, 12
From The Daily Mail
The father of a teenager encouraged to marry and rape his 12-year-old cousin was jailed for three years today.
The 54-year-old man was arrested by Scotland Yard child abuse detectives over an arranged marriage at a house in Woolwich, south east London.
Investigators discovered a 16-year-old boy was told by several family members to illegally marry the young relative and have sex with her.
The sham Muslim ceremony took place at his parents' house in front of relatives in March last year.
The victim's mother alerted police and the teenage boy, his parents and the girl's 29-year-old father were arrested and questioned.
The Metropolitan Police said the boy, now aged 17, was sentenced to an 18-month supervision order at Wood Green Crown Court today.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register after a jury found him guilty of raping a girl aged under 13.
His parents, both aged 54, and the girl's father were convicted of inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity following an illegal marriage.
The teenage boy's mother received a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, and was ordered to undertake 200 hours' community service. The 12-year-old victim's father was jailed for three years and will be placed on the sex offenders' register for life. In a statement, the victim's mother said: 'What happened to my daughter was a nightmare. These convictions will help us move on.'
Mithal Al-Alousi Offers The View Of An Iraqi Secularist And Patriot
Mithal al-Alousi's dismissal of internal fissures in Iraq as exaggerated, that reference to (splits among) "Sunnis and Shi'a and Kurds and Turcomans" as if it were a fiction, is not something one may share -- I don't -- but one can recognize in Mithal al-Alousi a Iraqi patriot, a secularist, and possibly the most attractive political figure, among those known to the outside world, in Iraq today. And his allusion to the fragility of other regimes, in other countries -- Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia -- compared to the relative sturdiness, so far, of Iraq, is worth pondering. Soon enough Iraq may be the largest producer of oil in the world; its reserves may well be larger than those of Iran or Saudi Arabia (we will soon - within a few years -- find out), and if, because of the six years of the American presence, the class of rulers, in Iraq or in separate parts of iraq, turns out to consist of intelligent patriots at or near the level of Mithal al-Alousi, that will have been an achievement. But I suspect he is not representative but quite different from the others, and of course American policy cannot be made on the hope that in Iraq, or elsewhere, the Mithal al-Alousis will triumph. I suspect he has the support of at most 5% of the population -- the best 5%, but the problem is, numbers matter.
Could death transform the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri into the patron saint of the Iranian Opposition?
The passing of revered Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, 87 years old, this weekend sparked the massive protests at his funeral in the holy city of Qom yesterday. Hundreds of thousands turned out, despite heavy security arrangements, shouting “Death to the Dictators” and tearing up posters of Islamic republic founder Khomanei. Even today the protests continued in Qom. Watch these YouTube videos, here, and here.
Montazeri a co-founder of the Islamic Republic and original successor to Ayatollah Khomanei broke with his fellow mullahs at the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1989 when thousands of opponents were murdered by the regime. He has been in virtual imprisonment under house arrest in Qom for the last decade. Notwithstanding that, Montazeri had responded to thousands of messages concerning human rights and established a heterodox view of Islam, becoming in effect, a reformer. A reformer that the Mahdist Shia Mullahs and even the Wahhabi clerics of Sunni Saudi Arabia would consider an apostate to normative Islam. Amil Imani, an Iranian American writer, co-founder of Former Muslims United, involved in facilitating opposition communications here in the US said, “if the Mullahs consider Montazeri an apostate then 90% of Iranians must be apostates, too.” That may transform the late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri into something that the opposition needs, “a veritable patron saint.”
Can a deceased ayatollah offer in death what no one alive seems to be able to provide: a single, unifying figure for Iran's opposition?
That's the central question that emerges from the weekend death of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a towering figure in the history of Iran's revolutionary government. At the time of his death, he was perhaps the most credible face of the country's persistent opposition movement.
Indeed, one of the most serious shortcomings of the opposition movement, despite its resilience in the face of concerted government attempts to squelch it, has been the absence of a catalytic personality to serve as its heart and soul. The logical leader should be Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the presidential candidate who appeared to be robbed of his chance at victory in that June election. But he is too reserved and cautious by nature, and too vulnerable to pressure from the government, to have really stepped into that role.
Mehdi Karroubi, former speaker of the Iranian parliament, and Mohammad Khatami, the former Iranian president, both also have become champions of the reform movement. Yet they also are equally exposed to government pressure.
In death, though, Ayatollah Montazeri will be immune from government pressure and intimidation. His withering criticisms of the regime are on the record, and can't be compromised.
Michael Ledeen in his Pajamas media account, “Montazeri,” noted that the crowd at the funeral has developed an inner core of strength sufficient to ward off the depredations of the Basij, secret police and Revolutionary Guards:
We see several important things:
–First, the dimensions of the protest (enormous). There have been monster demonstrations against the regime for several months now, and they are not likely to stop;
–Second, the discipline of the crowd. This is extremely rare, especially when you consider that Iran is now in the annual period of mourning, and passions are very high. Add to that the political dimension (Montazeri was a symbol of resistance to the regime), and the fact that there were regime provocateurs in the demonstration, trying to disrupt their disciplined chants. This is an organized movement, not a group of wild-eyed protestors;
–Third, the regime is frightened. The supreme leader and his acolytes (Ahmadinejad is less and less visible. Somebody should tell Diane Sawyer) are groping for a way to survive. They seem not to realize that they died before Montazeri, and that nobody cares to mourn them. And so they stagger about, and find the worst possible gesture. As the indispensable Banafsheh tells us:
On Monday evening Saeed Montazeri announced that the Montazeri family was forced to cancel the post-funeral sacrament as the Islamic regime’s forces had invaded the A’zam mosque where the observance was to be held. Saeed Montazeri also added that the Montazeri residence has now been surrounded by various revolutionary guards, members of the Basij, intelligence agents, members of special force, etc.
As we shall see the massive protests at Monatzeri’s funeral may set the stage for a massive “Army of the People” who could turn out in the millions this weekend during the Ashoura holy day period. Note this from a report by Ken Timmerman of NewsMax.com, “Iranian Opposition Marshals 'Army of the People' Protest:”
A key leader of Iran’s green movement tells Newsmax that the opposition is gearing up for a massive protest this weekend that could see millions of people pour into a single street in Tehran, forming a green chain more than 15 miles long.
“We call it the army of the people,” says Mohsen Sazegara, a former government minister who has broken with the regime and works closely with the green movement leadership inside Iran.
The protests Saturday and Sunday are scheduled to coincide with Ashoura, the main Shiite Muslim religious commemoration and a national holiday in Iran. The green movement hopes to bring millions of people together on the north-south avenue traversing the center of Tehran, ending in Freedom Square.
“We want to show the world that this is the referendum of the people of Iran against the coup government of Ayatollah Khamenei,” Sazegara told Newsmax.
By all accounts, the funeral-cum-protest was a powerful demonstration of the opposition’s strength.
“Ayatollah Montazeri had great influence among Iranians, and was a big support for the opposition,” said Menashe Amir, the director of Radio Israel’s Persian language service, whose broadcasts are widely respected and listened to inside Iran.
During two days of programming devoted to Montazeri’s death, the Israeli radio played clips of mourners chanting slogans commemorating Ayatollah Montazeri’s long-standing rejection of the Islamic regime, and of large crowds shouting “Death to the Dictator,” now the trademark slogan of the pro-freedom movement.
Timmerman notes how much depth of support the opposition movement has from ethnic minorities like the Kurds and their motivation - transformation of Iran to a secular republic:
Rahman Haj Ahmadi, the leader of the outlawed Free Life Party of Iranian Kurdistan, told Newsmax in an interview in Europe last week that his party has pledged its support to the green movement as well, even though the Kurds have suffered extensively at the hands of successive Iranian governments, including the one Mir Hossein Mousavi led in the 1980s.
“The green movement comes in two colors: those who continue to push some form of political Islam, such as Mousavi and Karroubi; and the mass of the people who seek a secular government,” Haj Ahmadi told Newsmax.
“To transform the green movement into a secular democratic movement, we must prevent Mousavi and Karroubi from establishing another Islamic state, another dictatorship,” he said. Mousavi and former Majlis speaker Hojjat ol-Eslam Mehdi Karroubi were both candidates in the June 12 presidential elections.
The green movement is demanding the resignation of the “coup government” of Ahmadinejad and the installation of Mousavi, who they claim won the election by a large majority, as head of a provisional government whose main task will be to organize an internationally supervised referendum on the Constitution.
What has the Obama Administration done with the massive outpouring of protests – temporize. Note this from the NewsMax report:
Until now, the Obama administration has refused to recognize the green movement, and when President Obama sent a message of condolences after Ayatollah Montazeri’s death, he sent it to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who had placed Montazeri under house arrest.
“This is hard to understand,” said Radio Israel broadcaster Menashe Amir.
Sen. John McCain criticized Obama’s gesture and called on him on to support the pro-freedom movement.
"The president should stand up for the people who are demonstrating and risking their very lives on behalf of freedom on the streets of Tehran," McCain said on Sunday. "Let's make it very clear we are with these people who are struggling for freedom as we always have."
A senior U.S. government official explained in a written response to questions from Newsmax that the assessment of Iran’s domestic turmoil has been provided to the White House as a basis for forming policy.
“The protests to this point haven’t overwhelmed the Iranian government’s repressive apparatus,” the U.S. official said. “Their brutality has, at times, made things worse for the state, but they’ve managed to prevent a situation in which large demonstrations are constant. Their goal from the early days seemed to be to break the momentum of the protests, to restrain their growth and their spread. “
The protests have exposed “cleavages” within the regime, which the regime has not succeeded in resolving. Rather than address these problems, regime leaders “seem to be trying to ride it out, hoping, perhaps, that the passage of time will lessen their trouble."
With these fast breaking developments, not unlike what happened in the Carter Administration, the US may be caught backing the wrong horse –dialogue with the panicky Mullahs- who could disappear along with the hated Islamic Republic before the Persian New Year in March, 2010.
Much is being made, apparently, of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, because he had a falling-out with Khomeini (whose intended successor many say he was), and continued to look with dismay at some of the acts of Khomeini's successors. But was the real Montazeri, as opposed to the creature of hopeful fiction, the rose and expectancy of the fair (future) iranian state, or was it simply a case of "he may not be the best in town, but he's the best till the best comes round"? Was Montazeri Sakharov, or was he simply Lenin, following Khomeini and Ahmadinejad's Stalin?
There are simiilarities between those in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries that became disenchanted with Communist rule, but who could not bring themselves to admit the whole thing was awful, had always been awful, and instead manufactured and then clung to a myth of the Good Lenin, Ilyich the Good, and those Iranian dissidents who looked up to Montazeri, and now honor him, as part of their need to ask themselves the wrong question -- "where did the Islamic Revolution go wrong?" rather than insist on a forthright and grim recognition that "the Islamic Revolution was always wrong" because Islam itself needs to be checked, Islam itself is not an answer to anything in Iran. What is an answer is the secularizing spirit of those behind the 1906 Revolution, the first sign of liberalization and getting away from Islam in Iran, a country whose people, with their fierce pride in all the non-Arab (and non-Islamic) aspects of their history provides an alternative identity to that which Islam offers, and may yet save them.
Way back in 1919, Mark Aldanov wrote the first book-length study of Lenin, that monster, in French. See if you can find a copy of "Lenine," for if you do, you will discover that "wise, prim, charming Aldanov" had Lenin's number, and so did any number of other Russians in exile, way back when. And no doubt, aming the Iranians in exile, even those cheering the use of Montazeri by today's young and hopeful oppositionits, some of whom need to remember the "good Revolution" before it "went bad," while others, more cunning, merely pretend to think that, as they become ever more intelligently secular, ever more disgusted not merely with the Islamic Republic of Iran but, as they in the end must, with Islam itself and all the ways that, in encouraging the habit of mental submission, and in inculcating the idea that all loyalty must be owed to Islam itself (the object of worship in Islam is Islam), it is responsible for the despotism that naturally is to be seen wherever Islam dominates, and is taken most to heart.
Kudos to “Barbarossa” at the Jawa Report. He or she ought to be pleased with the results of today’s Rifqa Bary custody hearings in the Franklin County juvenile court before Magistrate Mary Goodrich . The Columbus Dispatch reported that the ‘Grinch-like” motion filed by CAIR-supplied counsel Tarazi was withdrawn. As you may recall we posted that compliant would have denied Miss Bary access to Christmas cards and other mail . Further, Magistrate Goodrich ruled that Rifqa need not be subjected to family mediation.
A new hearing date has been set for January 19th. That hearing would address two issues: wayward child and dependency petition. We understand that her Florida attorney John Stemberger will discuss today’s positive hearing results tomorrow morning on “Fox & Friends.”
There were several issues resolved today at the hearing in Franklin County Juvenile Court, including:
Mediation. Magistrate Mary Goodrich said issues now being discussed would best be resolved with individual counseling instead of group mediation.
Third-party messages. Bary's parents don't want her to receive any cards or letters directly, and had filed a motion that any messages first go to Franklin County Children Services. Omar Tarazi, the family's attorney, withdrew that motion today.
Rifqa's mental health. Assistant County Prosecutor Chris Julian said that a counselor was trying to determine whether 17-year-old, whose full name is Fathima Rifqa Bary, has post-traumatic stress disorder.
A case plan that Franklin County Children Services filed recently with the court says the family should try to work out its differences, with the goal of having Rifqa move back in with her parents. But only Children Services signed the plan, which is not binding unless it becomes a court order.
Let’s hope that in the New Year, sweet reason prevails and the Ohio court grants the dependency petition for Miss Bary under favorable terms. If that occurs it would frustrate the designs of the Noor Islamic Center and CAIR to get her back with her family and into the clutches of the Mosque leaders.
All of her friends and supporters feel great relief with today’s juvenile court rulings. While much remains to be done to achieve her personal liberty and freedom rest assured that ultimate victory be achieved. Merry Christmas Rifqa. Peace and joy be unto you.