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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
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Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
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edited by S.B. Kelly
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by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 22, 2009.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Torture And Strange Saints

The story of St. Nicholas Owen, an English Roman Catholic Saint, has always moved me. Just as Our Lord was when He moved amongst us, Nicholas was a carpenter and the Twenty-second of March is, for many Roman Catholics and most High Church Episcopalians, the Feast-day on which we remember him. He is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales who were canonised by Pope Paul VI, of blessed memory, on October the Twenty-fifth in the year of Our Lord 1970.

He is not particularly remarkable – he used his skills as a craftsman to construct many of England’s famed priest-holes, that’s all – nor particularly famous in Jesuit lore and memory. He wrote no great treatises, he preached no great sermons and he is not remembered as some great speaker, or writer, of deep theologoumenons. So why do we remember him and say Mass in his honour?
 
Let me tell you! He fell into Richard Topcliffe's hands and was tortured by that beast of Satan, that man marked by named evil, that sadistic, brute rapist of Anne Bellamy, that man who was described by Father Gerard as “old and hoary and a veteran in evil”(as, indeed, he undoubtedly was). We remember and honour St. Nicholas Owen SJ because he never wavered in his loyalty: he died from the effects of his terrible tortures having never betrayed anything or anybody. We Christians, both Roman Catholic and Anglican, honour the memory of Saint Nicholas in this Holy day not because some Pope or other said we should but because he died defending a concept of loyalty which all of us see as most valuable. What, you may ask, is that concept? It is the concept that a promise once made before God, a vow once sworn on the Sacrament, has to be kept and adhered to.
 
Saint Nicholas Owen cleaved to his vows most copiously and in the most extreme of circumstances. That is why we honour him in this coincidental Sunday.
 
Now imagine, if you will, what this Saint Nicholas would say were he to be alive today. Would he agree that we should make some accommodation with Muslims? Would he, in faith, say that we should compromise our beliefs and accept some strange version of our faith as true – a version wherein it was necessary that we believe that an unChristian, so-called prophet had some validity and had to be recognised and accepted as valid? No, he would not! Neither do I!
 
Of course, he would have had some great difficulty in accepting my belief in our current demarchies for he would have come from a different age, an age wherein democracy and all its theories about freedom and liberty would have been nothing more than tophaceous, teramorphous, and probably tetramorphous for him as well, speculation. However, he would have advised us to stick with our beliefs – to be faithful to that which we know to be right and to be faithful to our Judeo-Christian culture, and, if necessary, to die for that belief and faith.
 
That’s why we honour St. Nicholas Owen today – because he kept the promise he made and he betrayed no one when put to the question! He betrayed no one and he went home to God from this earthly pilgrimage with a clear conscience.
 
This Feast-day is about more than St. Nicholas – it’s about betrayal, something that the Saint resisted, but something that our political leaders seem hell-bent on consummating! President Obama’s overture to evil, his outreach to Iran and its devilish Muslim hordes, is just that – a betrayal of everything we stand for and about – a betrayal of the West and of our culture! That he is supported in his efforts by many other democratically elected leaders is nothing more than the token of evil, in my opinion.
 
Forgive me, but I do not rejoice, as so many do, in the new administration of the USA and its wilful blindness about Islam and it’s apparent rejection of the manifold spiritual values of the West. No, I recognise evil, and all its workings where ever I see it, and some stupid outreach to Islam in Iran, no matter how well intentioned, is evil!
 
There can be no compromise with that evil, no deal which can leave you, or me, or President Obama, clean and smelling of roses. When one contacts with filth one ends up stained.
 
That stain is not just a tainted body, it is also a soul steeped in the filth of false belief!
 
A filth which St. Nicholas would reject!
 
Again, forgive me, but this filth, the filth which the new USA administration seeks to come to some accommodation with, is not something I wish to be associated with. The filth that is Islam, the dirt of Islam which seeks our annihilation and the ending of our free societies, cannot be reasoned with and should not be reasoned with, for there is no reason in Islam.
 
This Sunday, today, I’ll celebrate the Mass for St. Nicholas Owen – and I’ll rejoice in the freedom which allows me to do so: a freedom denied to Christians in the minimifidian Muslim countries on this globe – and I’ll continue to support our free, liberal democracies here in the West; not because you enshrine my beliefs in law, I should be so lucky, but because you allow me, permit me, to believe, and you believe that I have the right to believe!
 
I think that Saint Nicholas would approve!
 
Thank-you.
Posted on 03/22/2009 6:55 AM by John M. Joyce
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Panem Et (Antisemitic) Circenses
Posted on 03/22/2009 7:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 22 March 2009
No, Not That Jose Padilla
Posted on 03/22/2009 7:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Sometimes You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover

Reliure plein veau brun marbre in-douze, dos 5 nerfs - entre-nerfs á double filets verticals or à fleuron au fer évidé reliure plein veau brun marbre in-douze, dos 5 nerfs - entre-nerfs à double filets verticals or à fleuron au fer évidé et rinceaux aux angles avec des petits fers en remplissage - pièce de titre sur fond grenat avec filet or, coins emoussées, filet sur les coupes - manque de dorure, tranches rouges décolorées - un cahier légèrement déboîté, pages de garde peignées à motif coquille sur fond caillouté: orné de bandeaux - lettrines et de culs-de-lampe, XLVIII+516 pages, 1749

 

Posted on 03/22/2009 7:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Thank God America Isn't Like Europe -- Yet

Charles Murray has an interesting article in the Washington Post in which he argues that the latest evidence from the biological sciences will work to uphold American exceptionalism:

Do we want the United States to be like Europe?

The European model has worked in many ways. I am delighted whenever I get a chance to go to Stockholm or Amsterdam, not to mention Rome or Paris. There's a lot to like -- a lot to love -- about day-to-day life in Europe. But I argue that the answer to this question is "no." Not for economic reasons. I want to focus on another problem with the European model: namely, that it drains too much of the life from life.

The stuff of life -- the elemental events surrounding birth, death, raising children, fulfilling one's personal potential, dealing with adversity, intimate relationships -- occurs within just four institutions: family, community, vocation and faith. Seen in this light, the goal of social policy is to ensure that those institutions are robust and vital. The European model doesn't do that. It enfeebles every single one of them.

Drive through rural Sweden, as I did a few years ago. In every town was a beautiful Lutheran church, freshly painted, on meticulously tended grounds, all subsidized by the Swedish government. And the churches are empty. Including on Sundays. The nations of Scandinavia and Western Europe pride themselves on their "child-friendly" policies, providing generous child allowances, free day-care centers and long maternity leaves. Those same countries have fertility rates far below replacement and plunging marriage rates. They are countries where jobs are most carefully protected by government regulation and mandated benefits are most lavish. And with only a few exceptions, they are countries where work is most often seen as a necessary evil, and where the proportions of people who say they love their jobs are the lowest.

Call it the Europe Syndrome. Last April I had occasion to speak in Zurich, where I made some of these same points. Afterward, a few of the 20-something members of the audience came up and said plainly that the phrase "a life well-lived" did not have meaning for them. They were having a great time with their current sex partner and new BMW and the vacation home in Majorca, and they saw no voids in their lives that needed filling.

It was fascinating to hear it said to my face, but not surprising. It conformed to both journalistic and scholarly accounts of a spreading European mentality that goes something like this: Human beings are a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate. The purpose of life is to while away the intervening time as pleasantly as possible.

If that's the purpose of life, then work is not a vocation, but something that interferes with the higher good of leisure. If that's the purpose of life, why have a child, when children are so much trouble? If that's the purpose of life, why spend it worrying about neighbors? If that's the purpose of life, what could possibly be the attraction of a religion that says otherwise?

I stand in awe of Europe's past. Which makes Europe's present all the more dispiriting. And should make it something that concentrates our minds wonderfully, for every element of the Europe Syndrome is infiltrating American life as well. The European model provides the intellectual framework for the social policies of the Democratic Party, and it faces no credible opposition from Republican politicians....

Keep reading here.

Posted on 03/22/2009 7:49 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 22 March 2009
A Bad Influence

Aid agencies in Pakistan seek to improve the lives of women. This is un-Islamic and forbidden. (thanks to Jeffrey Imm for this story):

KARACHI, 22 March 2009 (IRIN) - Insurgents in Pakistan’s volatile Swat Valley in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) who recently made a peace deal with the government now want all NGOs to leave the area.

“They come and tell us how to make latrines in mosques and homes. I’m sure we can do it ourselves. There is no need for foreigners to tell us this,” Muslim Khan, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told IRIN from Swat Valley.

“NGO is another name for vulgarity and obscenity. They don’t want us to remain Muslims and want to take away the veil from our women,” Khan claimed.

He said NGOs hire women who work alongside men in the field and in offices. “That is totally un-Islamic and unacceptable,” he said.

Maulana Fazalullah, the leader of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah-Mohammadi (TNSM), who has aligned himself with TTP (see the origins of violence in Swat Valley), said on an illegal FM radio station on 2 March: “All NGOs should leave Swat because they are creating problems for peace.” In an earlier interview Fazalullah said: “All Pakistanis working for them (NGOs) are enemies of the country.” ...
 

Posted on 03/22/2009 8:06 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Attack of the Drones

The development of drones may possibly lead the way in modern warfare due to the fact that putting ground troops into Muslim countries draws jihadis from all over the world. Targeted strikes from the air will probably be an important component in this war for many years to come. Greg Miller writes in the LATimes:

Reporting from Washington -- An intense, six-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has taken such a toll on Al Qaeda that militants have begun turning violently on one another out of confusion and distrust, U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism officials say.

The pace of the Predator attacks has accelerated dramatically since August, when the Bush administration made a previously undisclosed decision to abandon the practice of obtaining permission from the Pakistani government before launching missiles from the unmanned aircraft.

Since Aug. 31, the CIA has carried out at least 38 Predator strikes in northwest Pakistan, compared with 10 reported attacks in 2006 and 2007 combined, in what has become the CIA's most expansive targeted killing program since the Vietnam War.

Because of its success, the Obama administration is set to continue the accelerated campaign despite civilian casualties that have fueled anti-U.S. sentiment and prompted protests from the Pakistani government.

"This last year has been a very hard year for them," a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said of Al Qaeda militants, whose operations he tracks in northwest Pakistan. "They're losing a bunch of their better leaders. But more importantly, at this point they're wondering who's next."

 
U.S. intelligence officials said they see clear signs that the Predator strikes are sowing distrust within Al Qaeda. "They have started hunting down people who they think are responsible" for security breaches, the senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said, discussing intelligence assessments on condition of anonymity. "People are showing up dead or disappearing."...
Posted on 03/22/2009 8:29 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Muslim Council of Britain out in the cold

There have been further developments in the Daud Abdullah affair. From The Independent, via Harry's Place:

The Government has severed relations with the country’s leading Muslim organisation, saying a senior member is a supporter of Hamas, the Palestinian military organisation.

A letter leaked to The Independent on Sunday shows that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, wrote to the Muslim Council of Britain, calling for Dr Daud Abdullah to resign.

She alleges he was one of 90 Muslim leaders from around the world who signed a public declaration of support for Hamas, the elected government of the Gaza strip in Israel, and military action against Israel.

A spokeswoman for the department said: “We are concerned that the statement calls for direct support for acts of violence in the Middle East and beyond. We are also aware that a senior member of the MCB may have been a signatory to this statement. If it is proven that the individual concerned had been a signatory, we would expect the MCB to ask him to resign and to confirm its opposition to acts of violent extremism.”

The MCB responds as follows:

The MCB is appalled by the high handed and condescending action of the Secretary of State, Hazel Blears.

In response to recent media reports (IoS, 22nd March) about the Gaza Declaration in Istanbul, the Muslim Council of Britain wishes to make clear that it no way supports the targeting or killing of British soldiers anywhere in the world. This is the agreed position of all MCB Office Bearers without exception including the MCB’s Central Working Committee.

As an independent community organisation, the MCB is committed to faithfully representing the views of all our affiliates. As such we reaffirm the right under international law of the Palestinian people to resist the ongoing illegal and brutal occupation of their land.

So what happens if British armed forces, directly or indirectly, support Israel? Will the Muslim Council of – where was that again? – Britain, put loyalty to that country before its “Palestinian” brothers? Pigs – halal ones – might fly. David T of Harry’s Place comments:

Whether or not the MCB’s institutional position is to oppose attacks on British servicemen and women, it is crystal clear that Daud Abdullah signed a declaration that supported attacks on navies enforcing the Gaza ceasefire. He signed the statement, shortly after Britain had offered to contribute to such a response. The document also transparently threatened terrorism against countries and individuals who ’standing with’ Israel and in opposition to Hamas…..Daud Abdullah may have thought that nobody would know about his support of terrorist politics. After all, he was a long way from home, and the document was in Arabic. He was wrong.

The astonishing aspect of this story is not that the Government should now distance itself from the Muslim Council of Britain, but that it had such faith in them in the first place. The MCB is an umbrella foundation, with little control over the opinions and actions of its members. Accordingly, the true Islam was bound to slip out and break through the taqiyya barrier eventually. Ed Husain’s Quilliam Foundation, in contrast, is holding back at the moment and will not show its true colours until it has received a few more years’ worth of lavish funding.

Posted on 03/22/2009 8:58 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Dumb Britain (continued) - a lesson from Spinal Tap

I have posted many times about grade inflation and the dumbing down of our education system. I have also posted more than once, but not as many as eleven times, about Spinal Tap. But I never thought to bring the two themes together, as Michael Deacon has in today's Telegraph:

Last week I was reminded of the spoof rock documentary This Is Spinal Tap, in which Nigel Tufnel, the charmingly simple guitarist, boasts about how loud his amplifier is. The volume dials on most amps, he explains to an interviewer, go up to 10 – but his go up to 11. The interviewer is puzzled. "Why don't you just make 10 the top number," he asks, "and make that a little louder?" Tufnel struggles valiantly to comprehend this suggestion. He fails. "These go up to 11," he repeats.

Measurement increments are currently vexing our universities. They can't agree on what to make of the A* at A-level. Some universities, including Cambridge, are happy to recognise the new top grade. Others, including Oxford, aren't.

The A* was created because, as so many university applicants now score A grades, it's hard for admissions tutors to decide which are best. Under this government, our schools have achieved the remarkable feat of producing, year after year, pupils who do even better at exams than the pupils who preceded them. One wonders admiringly where this will end; whether, some glorious day, we shall be hailing a set of students who have scored 100 per cent in their exams, followed the next year by a set who score 101.

But the problem, I fear, is greater than we realise. As pupils become ever brighter, A* will become as inadequate a grade as A is now. We'll need A**, then A***. This will not do; for one thing, A*** looks like a bowdlerisation of a popular swearword, and no parent would want that on their wunderkind's A-level certificate.

Interesting, is it not, that Americans would need only two stars to create the same ambiguity? Perhaps one day, as standards get lower - sorry, students get cleverer, it will be possible to gain a A*** for writing f*** on the exam paper. Under today's punitively elitest system, this earns but a few marks.

Posted on 03/22/2009 9:37 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 22 March 2009
An IDF Soldier comments on the 'furor' about conduct during Operation Cast Lead

Yesterday, we posted an article about the 'furor' over allegations by IDF soldiers who participated in Operation Cast lead that comrades engaged in savage actions against Gaza civilians.  We note that the source of these allegations, Dani Zamir, was allied with Israeli leftists and was himself a reservist refusenik.  The Israeli and world press have piled on with more alleged revelations about IDF soldier actions under combat conditions in Gaza.

I received this comment from an IDF soldier who served in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead and for security reasons has chosen to remain anonymous. His comments strike at the heart of the context of what combat conditions were like in Gaza and the performance of both he and his comrades.  They are a dose of reality that Israel's critics, whether domestic or foreign, should bear in mind when a country has to defend itself.  US armed forces  engaged in Iraqi and Afghanistan against Jihadis know this only too well.

The world looks at Israel under a microscope. No matter what they do, right or wrong, their actions are dissected and discussed. When we are acting as a moral army, we are accused of war crimes. When we defend ourselves, we are called Nazis. When we have to shoot at what is deemed a threat, we do so to protect not only our soldiers but the land of Israel. Why are we singled out for doing our job, protecting our people?

During Gaza we were under great restraint and did what no other army does. We warned our enemies who housed weapons, rockets and launchers prior to entry. We then gave verbal warning. We then would enter the house with warnings. Then we would allow the people to exit. We then had to give another warning, and then we proceeded to do our commands to find the enemy and the weapons.

There are things that go wrong in war, and when you have young soldiers, at 18. 19. and 20 years of age doing things and going places they never thought they would be, facing death in the face, there are things that can happen. But this is war. War is hell,  so are 8,000 rockets fired into the South of Israel from Gaza hellish too. Amnesty International (AI) is not a consideration for us. We do not perform our jobs worrying about their "reports". They have done nothing to protect the lives of Jews or Israelis. They have put our soldiers at great risk of kidnapping and death by portraying us as the vile soldiers, while the Palestinians drug young children, strap remote control explosives on them and tell them to walk towards our troops, without even knowing they will be blown up or killed. Where is the Israeli and world press in exposing this issue?  This is how our enemy works. Haaretz, AI and other major Israeli news outlets  do not bother to tell this side of the story.

The IDF is composed of young men and women from all walks of life, no different than the US Marines or the US Army. There are heroes, there are ordinary men and women and there are bad eggs-just like in all military. We strive to rise above the fray, but when confronted with situations that no amount of training can prepare you for, human instinct can make you react. I would like to see the writer from Haaretz or AI stand in our shoes and see how they feel. We have been made to look weak in the Arab  world due to our response during  the Second Lebanese or Hezbollah War, and we are not going to repeat that again. We are highly trained to do our job, and we try to do the best we can without inflicting needless civilian casualties. But we have an enemy that is not identifiable. They wear street clothes, they mingle with families, they hide in hospital. This makes our job even more difficult.


We all would like peace, and would like to live with our neighbors. This cannot be a reality until the enemy acknowledges our right to exist and organizations like Amnesty International  recognize our right to self defense and self determination.

Posted on 03/22/2009 9:21 AM by Jerry Gordon
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Annoying Americanism of recent years

The UK generally adopts the worst aspects of America, linguistic, cultural or otherwise, and does them badly. The reverse doesn't hold true. Some wonderful Britishisms have made their way across the Atlantic, causing many a kerfuffle among the trendy chattering classes. I agree wholeheartedly with The Telegraph's Jemima Lewis about our latest ghastly import:

It is unfortunate that the worst elements of American culture are also the most exportable. It would be lovely, for instance, if the British suddenly became hospitable to strangers, or started addressing each other as "sir" and "ma'am". Instead, we have imported junk food, gansta glamour, fake breasts and – perhaps the most revolting of the lot – school proms.

I don't know exactly when the prom landed in Britain, except that it was long after my own sixth-form dance, at which the cool kids wore Reeboks to show they didn't care enough to dress up, the boys and girls glowered at each other from opposite sides of the gym, and absolutely no one danced. It wasn't much fun, I'll grant you, but at least it was over quickly.

A prom, on the other hand, is by definition a huge fandangle. A formal, mock-adult affair, more like a trial run for a mass wedding than a teenage party, it encourages the most unwholesome obsessions in everyone involved.

For the boys, it's all about turning up in a flashy car (whether or not they are old enough to drive). For the girls, looks are everything. Like miniature brides-to-be, they must hunt down the Perfect Dress, glamorous enough to eclipse every other dress in the room (except, of course, that all the other dresses have been chosen for the same reason). And, for both sexes, there is intense pressure to find a romantic mate, if only for the night.

My school leaving do was held in a pub. Boys and girls kept to themselves, apart from the odd post-pint snog. The girls nearly all wore  jeans - only stupid bimbos wore dresses and make up. How we sniggered at the American film Pretty in Pink, in which a supposedly "smart" girl from "the wrong side of the tracks" (with her own car and answerphone, nevertheless) applied her much vaunted intelligence to procuring the right dress for a prom. What an airhead.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that we pub-goers nearly all got decent A-levels, this in the days when good grades meant something. The extravagance of the leaving ceremony seems to be inversely proportional to the scholastic achievements of the leavers, whose inflated grades, fancy cars and fancy dresses block any understanding of their own mediocrity.

Posted on 03/22/2009 9:53 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 22 March 2009
New video proves British hostage in Iraq still alive

From The Sunday Times
A new video of one of five British men kidnapped in Baghdad almost two years ago has been handed to British officials, bringing their plight back into the spotlight after months of silence.
"We can confirm that we have received a video of one of the British hostages taken in 2007," a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said. "We continue to work actively for the safe release of all the hostages."
Peter Moore, a computer instructor, and his four bodyguards, were seized by militants disguised in official Iraqi security force uniform from a Finance Ministry building in May 2007 in an audacious midday raid.
A new video of one of five British men kidnapped in Baghdad almost two years ago has been handed to British officials, bringing their plight back into the spotlight after months of silence.
"We can confirm that we have received a video of one of the British hostages taken in 2007," a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said. "We continue to work actively for the safe release of all the hostages."
Peter Moore, a computer instructor, and his four bodyguards, were seized by militants disguised in official Iraqi security force uniform from a Finance Ministry building in May 2007 in an audacious midday raid.
A number of videos and demands have surfaced since the five Britons were taken, but until now there has been no trace of the captives, believed by some to be held in Iran.
The Foreign Office would not discuss the content of the latest video, or when and how it had been received.
Channel 4 News, citing an unidentified source, said the footage featured Mr Moore, who appeared healthy, and who said he and the other men were well. 
That must been good news for their families. Only Dr George Cary the former Archbishop of Canterbury and Canon Andrew White the Anglican vicar of Baghdad seem to be at all interested in the plight of these men.

Posted on 03/22/2009 11:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 22 March 2009
What is the opposite of antisemitic?

Is it semitic?  No, that's not right.  Prosemitic?  Antiantisemitic?

Why does "antisemitic" exist as a popular term, while its opposite does not?  How can the "anti" exist, without the thing of which it is "anti"?

Posted on 03/22/2009 11:19 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Sunday, 22 March 2009
CHINGFORD: Radical Muslims warn of violence

From The Waltham Forest Guardian
RADICAL Muslims warned of a “war of Islam” against the UK population in a backlash to the treatment of protesters during an anti-war protest in Luton.
A press conference was held in the Holiday Inn, Walthamstow Avenue, Chingford, in reaction to the arrests and widespread criticism of Islamist protesters who disrupted a home-coming parade for soldiers in Luton.  My understanding is that the only arrests made that day were of two non-musim men who objected to the muslim threats, and that CCTV footage was still being studied to see if the muslim protestors had comitted offences. I have not heard of any arrests yet, unfortunately.
Controversial cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri, a former member of the disbanded extremist al-Muhajiroun who is banned from the UK, spoke by telephone conference at the meeting about the “very big hole” that British people are digging themselves in and warned that ‘a war of Islam’ will be waged against those who try to silence Muslims.
Mr Bakri said that Muslims are being silenced in this country whenever they try to speak about against the “atrocities committed by British soldiers serving in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars".
He said: “When you say something they don’t like, they will use violence against you. They don’t want to hear the truth.
“You will always condemn Muslims who want to help their brothers and sisters abroad.”
He continued: “The 1.5billion Muslims around the world don’t accept the society of masters and slaves. We will not accept that you are our masters and we are your slaves. If we are subservient to God and living with you and you guarantee sanctity for life, we guarantee it back.
“But the minute you start to fight against us you are digging a hole, and it is going to be a very big hole.
“Be careful. The moment we hear you are touching our brothers and sisters in the name of freedom of speech and you declare war against us, we will declare Islam against you.”
At the meeting, Anjem Choudary, also a former member of anti-semetic group al-Muhajiroun, also condemned the Iraq and Afganastan invasions and said the reaction to the Luton protesters proves that “freedom of democracy does not apply when it comes to Muslims”.
He also used the opportunity to promote Sharia law, which his sect would like to see replace British law. This which would see men and women segregated, homosexuality and promiscuity punishable with violence, and alcohol banned.
He then declared that “Islam is the solution to the credit crunch”.
He said: “Think about a system where food and clothing is provided for people. That is surely a system you want to live under?
“We cut off the hand of thieves and punish those who drink alcohol, but if you look at Islamic states, there are few reports of rape and crime is low.
“It is a very dangerous thing to grow up in the UK. Under Sharia law, people will be educated about the harm and evils of alcohol, promiscuity, homosexuality.”
The Holiday Inn is a big chain and, on the occasions I have stayed in one of their hotels, seems to be very respectable. Readers will know that I do not have a high opinion of the BNP but they have never threatened violence. Individual members may have convictions but nothing on the scale of violence threatened here. Yet whenever the BNP try to book a hotel or hall for a meeting pressure is exerted on the owners of the venue to cancel that booking. Yet Islam4theUK are able to get a conference room from a reputable chain, openly and publicly for the local and national press to attend freely. There does seem to be a funny double standard.

Posted on 03/22/2009 12:05 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 22 March 2009
A Musical Interlude: And Then Your Lips Met Mine (Bert Lown Orch., voc. Elmer Feldkamp)
Posted on 03/22/2009 7:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Ayaan Hirsi Ali On Muslim Threat To Europe

Author, activist condemns Muslim faith at Palm Beach talk

Palm Beach Daily News

Saturday, March 21, 2009

PALM BEACH — Anyone who believes that Muslims can be assimilated into Western societies is in for a rude awakening, according to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Ali, who spoke at The Society of the Four Arts Tuesday, has reason to suspect Muslims' good will. She was born in Somalia, suffered genital mutilation as a child and was forced into an arranged marriage, according to her official biography. She rejected her Muslim faith and fled to The Netherlands, where she became a member of the Dutch parliament.

She's been under protection since 2004, when a death threat against her was found pinned to the murdered body of Theo van Gogh, who directed her short movie documenting the suffering of women under Islam.

Today she lives in the United States and is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. She's written a memoir, titled Infidel, and co-founded the AHA Foundation, which works to combat the oppression of women by fundamentalist Islamic regimes.

In his introduction to her talk, Winston Churchill, a Palm Beach resident and the British prime minister's grandson, called her "quite the most courageous woman it's ever been my privilege to meet."

Some aspects of her biography have been disputed, and her political views are controversial.

There are two schools of thought in the West regarding Islam, she said. One says that radicals have hijacked Islam and that peaceful co-existence is possible with adherents of the faith.

Ali subscribes to the second point of view.

"Islam is not a religion of peace," she said. "It's a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can."

In her opinion, European society is in danger of being hijacked by a rapidly growing population of Islamic immigrants, who lack the means or the inclination to assimilate and are supported by Muslim nations in their efforts to undermine their host countries.

Islamic thought and practice is incompatible with that of the West, because in Islamic societies, religious law is supreme, she said.

"All aspects of the life of a person in public and private, down to the most intimate details, are regulated," she said. "In liberal democracies, laws are not made by God."

According to the prophet Muhammad, whose example is one of the foundations of Islamic law, associating with infidels is a sin; women should not be allowed to leave the house without their husbands or a guardian; polygamy and sexual intercourse with a child are permitted, and homosexuals should be executed, she said.

"This is not my opinion," Ali said. "These are facts."

But John Ederer, imam of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida, said Ali is ascribing the teachings of fringe elements to all Muslims.

"... I can say with certainty that poor Ayaan is a victim of some men who call themselves Muslims but are not in accordance with our 14-century-old legacy of authentic scholarship," he said in a statement. "It is their lack of knowledge of the 'fundamentals' of Islam that would have them interpret a few texts to hold such unorthodox beliefs and practices.

"No doubt Ayaan and the people who affected her thinking can bring you a few verses of the Koran or sayings of the prophet Muhammad to prove their point. The Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups can do the same with the words of the Bible to convince a commoner of their ideology."

Many people believe that prejudice accounts for the high number of Muslims in Europe living on welfare, when the truth is that poorly educated Muslim women are ill-equipped to help their children succeed in school, and many Muslims use religious objections as an excuse not to work, Ali argued.

Negotiating with radical Muslims won't succeed, she said.

"Every accommodation of Muslim demands leads to a sense of euphoria and a conviction that Allah is on their side," she said. "They see every act of appeasement as an invitation to make fresh demands."

Ali warned that European societies are in danger of being subverted by Muslim immigrants as European populations age and decline and the number of young Muslim immigrants explodes.

"The most pressing question of our time is this: Is European society to be taken over by a radical invasion of Muslim immigrants?" she said.

Ali's views are disputed by many authorities, including Robert Rabil, director of graduate studies in the political science department at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Rabil teaches the school's Muslim studies courses.

There are Islamic extremists in Europe who are trying to radicalize the Muslim population, he said.

But "Islam is a monotheist religion embraced by 1.4 billion people," he said. "You don't lump all these people with the Islamic fundamentalists."

 
 
Posted on 03/22/2009 8:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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