These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 23, 2009.
Friday, 23 October 2009
Sunnis And Shi'ites In The Middle East
Read, from MEMRI:
Saudi Dailies: Iran Encourages Terrorism, Sectarian Strife in Arab Countries
Following the recent terrorist attack in Baluchistan, in eastern Iran, several articles appeared in the Saudi press harshly criticizing Iran's policy in the Middle East. Al-Sharq Al-Awsat editor Tareq Al-Homayed wrote that Iran has now tasted the same kind of terrorism and sectarian hostility that it has fostered for years in other countries. An editorial in the daily Al-Watan stated that Iran was working to destabilize the Arab countries by supporting organizations like Al-Qaeda, Hizbullah, and the Houthi rebels, and by stirring up strife between Sunnis and Shi'ites in the Arab world. An article in the 'Okaz daily said that Iran's actions might even prompt the Arab states to take similar steps and to try to destabilize Iran.
Following are excerpts from the articles:
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Editor: Iran Uses Extremist Groups in Our Region to Realize the Islamic Revolution’s Goals
The editor of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Tareq Al-Homayed, wrote in an editorial titled "Iran - Terrorism Returns Home":  "The Iranian regime raised its voice in condemnation of terrorism and cast accusations against the West following the suicide bombing that targeted Revolutionary Guards leaders and others in the Sistan-Baluchistan province, near Iran’s border with Pakistan. [But] we could say here that terrorism has returned home, i.e. to Iran...
"The Iranians [have] tried to use extremist groups in our region in order to realize the Islamic Revolution’s goals, whether [these groups] are Al-Qaeda or other similar groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. [Moreover,] Iran was a stopover [for fighters] on the way to joining Al-Qaeda, [as reported by] some members who surrendered themselves recently in Riyadh, such as Fawwaz Al-Otaibi. In fact some of those who [passed] through Iran to join Al-Qaeda in Pakistan or Afghanistan [have] admitted that people wearing [Iranian] security uniforms facilitated their journey through Iran!...
"The second lesson to be learned from this suicide operation, for which the Iranian group Jundallah [has] claimed responsibility, is the danger of tampering with the sectarian issue… [This] issue, which Iran has exploited and continues to exploit in our region, blew up in the face of the Mullah regime, and did so violently…
"Exploiting terrorism for political or security reasons, and tampering with sectarianism, is fire that burns the hands of all of those who play with it and exploit these issues. This is what we have seen with regards to all the conflicts in our region for [many] years.
"The [October 19, 2009] suicide operation that took place in Iran clearly involved two matters that usually please Iran - suicide operations and the sectarian dimension. These are two issues from which we have suffered a great deal in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and even in Lebanon, Yemen, and Egypt - and of course the list goes on!" 
Al-Watan Editorial: "Iran and Its Secret Organizations... Ignited Fitna Between the Arab Sunnis and Shi'ites"
An editorial in the Saudi daily Al-Watan accused Iran of destabilizing Arab countries by supporting Al-Qaeda and by instigating sectarian conflict: "...Whatever harms the Arabian Peninsula and the Arab Gulf has an impact on the rest of the countries of the region, [and] if a country like Iran thinks itself safe from [the dire effects of] the deterioration of stability in the region, then it is wrong. Hence, it must reassess its policy on the security of the Arabian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, and stop trying to destabilize the countries of the region. This is now clear to any reasonable person.
"Those who follow the events have identified Iranian intervention in some of the Gulf countries, as well as in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, and Yemen. [This intervention] is carried out by means of agents from [Iran's] Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Basij, and the Iranian intelligence apparatuses, who use their resources and abilities to destabilize the countries of the region. The internal war in Yemen [between the Houthis and the government] is nothing but the result of Iranian meddling, for Iran's political and media support of the rebellious and destructive Houthi forces has become as plain as day.
"Concurrently with these irresponsible Iranian moves, the Iranian propaganda [apparatuses] are not ashamed to cast accusations at the Saudi Kingdom. We would like to ask Iran, and its filthy writers and spokesmen, a few questions: Who is it that drives the Lebanese to argue and quarrel, and works day and night to delay the formation of their government? Who is it that supplies the suicide bombers and gunmen with ammunition and explosives? Who is it that poisons the minds of the Iraqis with sectarian [hatred], when they were once loving brothers?
"Who is it that has begun to divide the countries of the [Gulf] Cooperation Council along sectarian lines, encouraging certain sectarian parties and groups to clash with their governments? Who is supporting the Houthis in Yemen with weapons and money, and boosting their confidence so that they clash with their state, after brainwashing them with the revolutionary ideology of Qom? Who has occupied the UAE islands? Who is flaunting imperialist dreams and wants to annex Bahrain? Who has harassed the pilgrims in Mecca and the visitors in Medina with strident cries, marches, and the blocking of roads? Who is now supporting Al-Qaeda and sheltering its leaders? Who has conspired against Egypt, and honored its terrorists by naming streets in Tehran after them?  Last but not least, who has turned the region's security, stability and peace into a bargaining chip [in its maneuvers] vis-à-vis America and the West, as part of a political struggle whose slogan is 'the nuclear bomb may turn into an all-out war?'
"Clearly, it was the fingers of Iran and its secret organizations that ignited fitna [civil war] between the Arab Sunnis and Shi'ites. [It is the Iranians] who are currently working to undermine the political unity of some Arab states, and it is they who are spreading and supporting terrorism. The Iranian mouthpieces, which are intended to revive hatred, racism, sectarianism, and violence, must stop spreading their poison in our nation.
"Moreover, the capabilities that [Iran now] utilizes to generate fear and conflict within the Arab societies must [instead be channeled] to benefiting the Iranian people - which is bearing a serious economic burden. Though the Iranian propaganda and intelligence apparatuses attempt to create [various] farces to distract [the world] from the role [Iran] is playing in undermining the security, stability and peace [of the region], they will fail to insult the intelligence of the Arab and Islamic peoples - for [these peoples] know that Iran's fingers, [which are busy] reigniting dormant conflicts, can be seen as plain as day." 
"What If the Countries Harmed by Iran's Intervention... Did The Same in Iran?"
In a column titled "What if the Sunnis Supported Baluchistan?" Saudi columnist Khalaf Al-Harbi wrote in the daily 'Okaz: "Today, armed [attacks] are resuming in Baluchistan in eastern Iran, where many members of the persecuted Sunni sect are rebelling [against the Iranian authorities]... Think what Iran would have said if the Arab countries with a Sunni majority had supported the Baluchi organization Jundallah in retaliation for [Iran's] support of Hizbullah, which is [acting] openly in Lebanon and clandestinely in most [other] Arab countries.
"What if the countries that have been harmed by Iran's intervention - [the countries] in which it has provided rebels with weapons, funds and military advisors - did the same in Iran? Couldn't this be regarded as a kind of self-defense [on the part of these countries]?
"Does Iran think it [can] continue pelting its neighbors with the stones of sectarian [strife], while they look on and refrain from pelting its glass house with similar [weapons]? Iran knows better than anyone else that Jundallah is not a marginal organization, as evidenced by the fact that it has negotiated with it more than once. Moreover, the [Iranian] political regime is now experiencing a historic rift.
"Hence, [Iran] stands to be the greatest loser if its foreign policy, which is based on the fanning of sectarian strife in the Arab world, were to continue." 
 These excerpts are from the English edition of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat; the text has been lightly edited for clarity.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), October19, 2009.
 This refers, for example, to the naming of a street in Tehran after Sadat assassin Khaled Islambouli.
 Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), October 22, 2009.
 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), October 21, 2009.
Posted on 10/23/2009 8:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 23 October 2009
CO2 Levels Highest In 15 Million Years
Posted on 10/23/2009 8:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 23 October 2009
Priest found slain in rectory
CHATHAM, N.J. – A Roman Catholic priest was found slain Friday morning in his clerical robes in the rectory of his northern New Jersey parish, and authorities warned that a killer was on the loose.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi would not say how Rev. Ed Hinds, 61, was killed but said the body had wounds "consistent with a homicide."
No one has been arrested, and police said they would not discuss possible motives.
This murder just occurred today, so it is no surprise that it is unsolved. But it reminds me of another murder of a cleric in a church that occurred over the summer, this time in Anadarko, Oklahoma. I watched for any indication of who might have killed Rev. Carol Daniels or why, but unfortunately that case has also gone unsolved. And while similarly to today's case police initially refused to describe the method of murder; eventually it came out that she had been "nearly decapitated" with a knife. See that story at The SOP.
Posted on 10/23/2009 5:17 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 23 October 2009
Multicultural Interlude: Mozambiquans allegedly murder children to harvest their sexual organs
I came across this story from 2004. It's apparently an ideological prequel to this story and this story. From BBC:
A Brazilian nun has been found dead in Mozambique after some of her colleagues said they had exposed an organ trafficking network.
Doraci Edinger had reportedly been strangled and beaten in her home in the northern city of Nampula.
The traffickers are said to target the sex organs of children, which are sold to make magic charms.
The nuns from the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate said they had received death threats since their report.
On Tuesday, the authorities said they had found no evidence of a trade in human organs.
But the nuns say they have spoken to victims who managed to escape the ring and have photos of dead children with missing organs.
The BBC's Jose Tembe in the capital, Maputo, says that many people believe that a ring does exist and accuse the government of not doing enough to investigate it.
One nun told our correspondent that she was extremely angry at the news of the death in Nampula.
Ritual murders have been reported in many African countries, as some witchdoctors say using human organs in magic charms makes them more powerful.
These are believed by some to bring financial or sexual success to those who use them.
"Several countries are involved in this iniquitous game and the victims are the poor, those who have no voice or defence, or the strength to defend themselves, we are convinced that Nampula is part of an international ring," order spokeswoman Sister Juliana told Portuguese radio earlier this month.
She said there have been several attempts to abduct children from the orphanage they run in Nampula.
Mozambican, South African, Brazilian and Portuguese nationals were involved in the ring, she said.
The organs were reportedly being smuggled into neighbouring Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Again I ask, are all religions more or less equivalent? Would it be an international human rights violation to bar people entry to our nation for their religious beliefs, if their religious beliefs include the murder of children to harvest their sexual organs as magical amulets? Are those who criticise this practice "racist" and "child-sacrifice-ophobic"? Is this the sort of "religious freedom" that our nation's Forefathers wanted to protect with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution?
Posted on 10/23/2009 4:07 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 23 October 2009
A Musical Interlude: More Than You Know (Mildred Bailey)
Posted on 10/23/2009 6:28 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 23 October 2009
Creolization, Hegemony, And All That Predictable Jazz
"You taught me language...." Caliban
Call for Papers: Diasporic Acts of Identity: Dialogic Approaches to Translation and Creolization
* Seminar Organizers: Jorge Jimenez-Bellver, UMass Amherst; Antonia
Carcelen-Estrada, UMass Amherst
2010 Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
New Orleans, Louisiana
April 1-4, 2010
Deadline for Paper Proposals: November 13, 2009
From the perspective of Western epistemology, the notion of creolization may be
regarded as conceptually opposed to that of translation. Whereas translation is
assumed to represent and reinforce the identity of the languages involved,
creolization emerges as the failure to forge dominant language identities.
However, the intersections between creolization and translation are more than
meets the (hegemonic) eye. Creoles are commonly approached in terms of an
identity relationship to ancestral languages whereby the former are but corrupt
versions of the latter, hence disregarding the power of Creoles to articulate
identities of difference. Similarly, translation in the Western tradition has
been portrayed following a relationship of equivalence, leaving little, if any,
space to facets of translation that foster cultural self-definition and
This panel welcomes contributions that problematize the
epistemic antagonism of creolization and translation in the Western tradition
and explore their dialogic relationship as “acts of identity” (Nichols 2004).
Research questions include, but are not limited to: How does translation
participate in the construction, maintenance, and transformation of diasporic
cultural memories? What are the strengths and shortcomings of shifting from a
model of equivalence to a model of similarity as a means to underscore
difference in translation (Tymoczko 2005) and, by association, in cultural
configurations of diaspora? As an interdisciplinary “trading zone” (Chesterman
2002), how can translation studies contribute to rethink the notions of
creolization and cosmopolitan space? Conversely, how may creolization challenge
Western assumptions about the nature of translation and inform future
trajectories of research in translation studies?
Posted on 10/23/2009 8:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 23 October 2009
Columbia U. Muslim Student Association Op Ed : “freedom from fear” versus “free speech”
The student newspaper at my alma mater, The Columbia Spectator, printed an op ed by the Muslim Student Association (MSA) chapter graduate adviser. The op ed entitled, “ Wild, Wild Wilders,” by Adel Elsohly conveys a morally relativistic argument that “freedom from fear” is as important as “free speech." Columbia University College Republicans had invited Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to speak and according to Elsohly he engaged in “hate speech against Islam.” The subtext of “Wild, Wild Wilders” by Elsohly is:
Wilders’ speech, while beginning as a discussion of free discourse, soon devolved into little more than an open, vicious attack on Islam and Muslims, claiming that the ultimate goal of Islam is to conquer the world and forcibly impose itself on the conquered.
Of interest were the campus groups that endorsed her view including Hillel, a campus Jewish organization, the Hindu Students Association, and the Sikh Students Association. All three of these groups are targets of Islamic Qu’ranic hatred cited by Wilders in his Columbia speech. Groups that you would expect to support the MSA graduate adviser view included the African Students Association, Ahimsa, Club Bangla, Club Zamana, the Columbia University College Democrats, the Native American Council, the Organization of Pakistani Students, the SIPA Arab Student Association, and Turath.
Here is Elsohly's logic that seduced non-Muslim groups of kafirs-unbelievers to sign on to this act of campus Dhimmitude:
In addition to referring to Islam as a religion of violence and the “enemy of free speech,” Wilders called for an end to cultural relativism. In short, he would have us all give up not only our right to practice our religions but also our ability to see value in cultures that do not adhere to his perspective. In one fell swoop, Wilders called for Western culture to be the standard by which all other cultures measure themselves. By demanding that residents of Western societies simply assimilate, Wilders only contradicts his ultimate goal of providing civil liberties and freedoms to those who live under his jurisdiction.
Maintaining that he is a friend to Muslims, Wilders claimed during his speech that his central goal in demonizing Islam was to urge everyone to stand up against the religion and not the practitioner. However, by necessity, this can only mean standing up against the people, since without followers an ideology has no need to be opposed. It was at this point that the line between freedom of speech and hate speech intent on inciting fear of Islam and Muslims within the greater community was crossed.
Today we call on everyone, not as Muslims, members of a cultural group or a University, but as humans, to ask him- or herself with all sincerity: Don’t we all deserve freedom from fear?
So there it is ‘freedom from fear’ trumps “free speech,” according to Elsohly.
That is also dangerous as one commenter, “Menckenlite” made note:
It is illogical to say that Wilders "would have us all give up not only our right to practice our religions but also our ability to see value in cultures that do not adhere to his perspective." Criticizing religion is protected speech and does not deny free practice of religion. Opposing such speech is censorship.
Saying "the line between freedom of speech and hate speech intent on inciting fear of Islam and Muslims within the greater community was crossed," makes no sense. Hate speech is protected speech. How is Wilders' intent established? Denying hate speech is promoting censorship. Freedom from fear is not a right. People who give up their freedom for security deserve neither. Equating speech with suicide bombers, beheading nuns for criticizing religion shows how distorted the minds of liberal college students are these days. Passing a course in logic should be required for participation in public discourse.
Bravo to “Menckenlite.”
In a companion news story in today’s Columbia Spectator, “Dutch Leader Tests Free Speech,” the CU College Republicans defended bringing Wilders to speak at alma mater:
“CUCR invited Geert Wilders not because of his views, which the club does not in any way endorse, but rather because he is one of the more prominent victims of free speech limitation in Europe and in other parts of the world,” the Republicans wrote. “As anyone who has studied the history of free speech knows, its defense lies not where mainstream views are voiced but rather among those who hold unpopular, offensive, or extreme views.”
But the Spectator news piece erroneously reported Wilders being cut off in mid-speech at Temple University where he had spoken the previous day in Philadelphia:
Wilders’ appearance at Columbia came one day after he spoke at Temple University, where his speech was cut off midway through and his invitation officially rescinded due to student protests. At Columbia, few protesters stood outside the International Affairs Building, where several police officers guarded the doors. Only one poster could be seen, reading “No to racism, no to Islamophobia, stop Geert Wilders’ Euro-fascism.”
“Columbia students, passionate as they are, have an admirable respect for dialogue and CUCR believes that is exactly what took place last night,” the Republicans stated. “The students, instead of shouting down Wilders like those at Temple did on Tuesday, expressed their passionate views regarding Wilders through thoughtful questions and constructive inquiry.”
Colleague Lori Lowenthal Marcus who had witnessed Wilders’ appearances in Philadelphia including the Temple U event sent me an email noting the error:
Geert Wilders’ speech was not cut short at Temple. The Q and A section was truncated because one student insisted on giving a speech instead of asking a question and then the students got angry when the speaker was cut off.
It was left to “Menckenlite” in a comment on this Columbia Spectator news story to set the record straight about the threat posed by "freedom from fear,” promoted by the MSA op ed:
“We are fundamentally accepting of freedom of speech, which is not denied in Islam,” said Adel Elsohly, a graduate adviser to the MSA of Columbia. “What are denied are hateful and derisive comments.” The popular conception of support for free speech is to support speech that you like and to oppose speech that you do not like. Isn't that the standard which Elsohly promotes? That is not free speech but support for friendly speech. The idea of free speech is to protect speech that you hate. Elsohly opposes free speech by his own words.
"Elsohly argued that 'freedom from fear' is just as important as freedom of speech, but added that the MSA chose not to protest the event in order to underscore its commitment to First Amendment principles." Under what system is "freedom from fear just as important as freedom (sic) of speech?" Without free speech all other freedoms disappear. The First Amendment does not apply to Columbia as a private institution. Elsohly shows he is clueless about that distinction.
Sic Gloria transit Columbia in the wake of Wilders appearance there. Whoever “Menckenlite” is deserves accolades for their telling criticism of MSA sophistry at alma mater.
Apostate Mohammed Asghar, co-founder of Former Muslims United has the last word:
"Don’t we all deserve freedom from fear?"
I agree that all humans deserve freedom from fear, including the one that emanates from a religion, called Islam. It calls upon its adherents to kill all those who do not believe in Allah, Muhammad and the Day of Judgment. Consequently, most non-Muslims, who have understood Islam and its teaching, remain in constant fear of being executed by its followers, whenever the former find themselves among the latter.
To put into practice what Muslims preach and claim about the mankind's right to be free from fear, can we ask the Muslims to remove from the Quran those passages, which require them to kill the Non-Believers and to convert them to Islam by persuasion or force, or to eliminate them from the face of the earth?
Posted on 10/23/2009 4:24 PM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 23 October 2009
Three policemen injured as hundreds protest over BNP leader's Question Time showdown
Brandishing banners and holding scarlet flares, an angry mob of more than 1,000 protesters laid siege to the BBC last night.
Students, anti-fascist campaigners and office workers united in their opposition to the broadcaster's decision to allow the BNP leader to appear on Question Time.
Forty protesters surged into Television Centre when its gates opened to let in a car. 'Whose BBC?,' they cried. 'Our BBC.'
Defying a police cordon, they smashed down a barrier to get into the building. Minutes later, women were dragged back outside screaming insults at the security guards, saying they were 'protecting the Nazis'.
A police officer was treated by paramedics for a head injury while two others suffered minor injuries.
Other protesters who vaulted the barriers were trampled on after being pushed back by policemen. Later, wooden poles and bottles were thrown over the fence and riot police were called to the gates to ward off further trouble.
One protester defaced the sign on the front of the building, changing the BBC logo to 'fascist pigs'
Campaigners had gathered at 9am yesterday and tempers flared as their numbers grew.
Up to 300 police and 60 extra BBC security staff - at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of £100,000 - were deployed.
The chanting intensified as the crowd waited for Mr Griffin to leave. 'The BNP is a Nazi party - smash the BNP,' chanted some.
Lukas Kudic, a student studying English and drama at Kings College London, told the Guardian the protestors had got into the reception area of Television Centre where they chanted slogans. "We were in reception next to Piers Morgan," he said.
Morgan was at Television Centre to record an interview with Dannii Minogue for his ITV1 chatshow.
"Once they established that I wasn't Nick Griffin it was fine," he told MediaGuardian.co.uk.
If you read all the news reports you find that several of the students protesting turn out to be studying drama (and right little drama queens they must be) Others are studying philosophy and suchlike. None that agreed to give their names etc admit to studying history, engineering, a language (English as a second one possibly) or law.
By 3.30pm, about 150 protesters had gathered outside the main Television Centre reception on Wood Lane, west London, chanting slogans including: "Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put Nick Griffin on the top, put the Nazis in the middle and burn the fucking lot."
The protest broke up shortly after Mr Griffin and the other panellists left the building when filming finished.
It seems to me that it is only considered legitimate protest when it is a drama or philosophy student named Tarquin committing criminal damage, some sort of Public order offence or threats of violence outside the BBC.
When a van driver called Terry wearing a football shirt stands in Manchester or Birmingham town centre and sings Rule Britannia and 'No surrender to the Taliban' it is racism and a crime against humanity.
I don't admire Nick Griffin but I don't like this hypocrisy and double standard either.
Posted on 10/23/2009 3:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 23 October 2009
BBC commissions the Nick Griffin show
Cramner gives a useful review of last night's Question Time, arguing, as I did, that the BNP's rise is a consquence of the inadequacy of mainstream politicians. And I agree with him that the only intelligent panelist was the American, Bonnie Greer. Cramner writes that she has the "Obama" factor. If by that he means that she is charming, then yes. But she is not so shallow:
Cranmer* would like to say how poor the performances were of all three representatives of the main political parties. Jack Straw stammered his way through some ill-prepared tales from Blackburn; Sayeeda Warsi was purposely chosen for her skin colour and religion, yet simply repeated ad hominem attacks ad nauseam; and Chris Huhne, like all Liberal Democrats, had nothing specific to say about anything. All three gave distinctly unmemorable performances, and failed miserably either to expose Mr Griffin’s odious beliefs or the BNP’s sinister strategy.
[Bonnie Greer] alone held her cool, and (more importantly) exposed Nick Griffin’s intellectual inadequacies and the absurdities of the BNP. In fact, she came out with the most memorable challenge of the programme. On the subject of the BNP’s plans to change its constitution to permit ethnic minorities to join the party, she said to Nick Griffin: “You can laugh all you want, but if I was a BNP member, I'd be scared.”
She not only charmed, she did so intelligently, rising above the partisan bickering on immigration which beset the other three. While they were arguing among themselves about which party has the best policy and who voted for what, Bonnie Greer was eloquently upholding the right to freedom of speech, and telling Nick Griffin that she had brought books for him – to enlighten him on the true history of the British Isles; to challenge some of his beliefs and prejudices; in short, she offered to educate him.
Who else has offered to do that for the self-styled ‘most loathed man in Britain’?
And that was why she towered above the political posturing and the unseemly fringe behaviour of the politicians. Each time Mr Griffin tried to persuade the British people that he was thinking what they were thinking about Winston Churchill, patriotism, Islam, homosexuality and immigration, Jack Straw spoke about his Jewish antecedents, Sayeeda Warsi said he was ‘disgusting’, and Chris Huhne said... err, Cranmer cannot recall. But Bonnie Greer offered him an education.
How else can one enlighten the ignorant? How else should one challenge the bigot? How else may one inculcate values, develop maturity or instil morality?
And Mr Griffin should accept her kind offer, for he even admitted that he could not himself explain his own past views and actions, or why he believed what he believed. While he denigrated Islam, he lauded the Klu Klux Klan (in the presence of a black American). He contradicted himself over holocaust denial, and implied that ‘indigenous people of Britain’ were victims of genocide bit were not necessarily white because, to him, skin colour is irrelevant. He appeared not only not to know himself, but he could not explain how or why he knows what he claims to know.
(*Mary Jackson thinks it's pretentious to refer to oneself in the third person.)
Posted on 10/23/2009 4:19 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 23 October 2009
The clash of uncivilisations
This is Melanie Philips writing ahead of last night's Question Time. Read it all, not just the bits I picked out.
The frenzy over the participation of BNP leader Nick Griffin on Question Time this week has been a classic case of failing to identify the real elephant in the room. By fixating on the ‘far right’ as the supremely evil force in British public life, the mainstream political class has failed to grasp that a half-baked neo-Nazi rabble is not the main issue. There is another more lethal type of fascism on the march in the form of Islamic supremacism.
The Islamists, or jihadis, are intent upon snuffing out individual freedom and imposing a totalitarian regime of submission to religious dogma which erodes and then replaces British and Western values. Now these two types of fascism are doing battle with each other — and with the white working class and lower-middle classes caught between them. For it is the intense anger of these people with the fact that — as they see it — they are the ignored victims of the jihadis that is driving them into the arms of the BNP.
All around them they see the establishment responding to Islamist bullying with acts of appeasement. Jihadis parade on the streets threatening to behead infidels — but it is white objectors whose collars are felt by the police. The mainstream political parties are all petrified of saying anything about either the steady encroachment of Islam into Britain’s public space or the linked phenomenon of mass immigration.
So the BNP have been handed an extraordinary electoral advantage: it can tell voters that it is the only party prepared unequivocally to denounce such things.
So the BNP have been handed an extraordinary electoral advantage: it can tell voters that it is the only party prepared unequivocally to denounce such things. To those at the bottom, who live outside the bubbles of wealth or ideology, the face of intolerance is all too easy to recognise. They can see the churches of Britain being steadily replaced by mosques, can no longer find a local butcher selling pork, or are being regularly intimidated by local youths declaring ‘this is a Muslim area’. They are in no doubt that they are watching the takeover of their country and civilisation. Stories that attract little attention in the press loom large in the concerns of the BNP target voters. The priests in east London being beaten up by Muslim youths who shout racial and religious abuse. The councils that tear up the planning laws to accommodate the expansion of mosques or madrassas. These are the issues all but ignored by mainstream media and politicians. (I try to find these stories in the local press - I don't bring specialist knowledge and language skills but I have a nose like a ferret)
The left has a blind spot when it comes to defining ‘fascism’. In its Manichaean way, it views everything that is not ‘left’ as ‘right-wing’, everything that is ‘right-wing’ as evil and everything that is evil as ‘right-wing’. Fascists, therefore, are inescapably ‘the far right’. The left rest their own claim to moral virtue on their imagined historic role in fighting fascism. So they jump at any chance to wrap themselves in that heroic mantle.
Thus the Communities Secretary John Denham compared the EDL to Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts, who in 1936 were repulsed in the battle of Cable Street when they tried to take over London’s East End. ‘The tactic of trying to provoke a response in the hope of causing wider violence and mayhem is long established on the far right and among extremist groups,’ he said. This was as absurd as it was offensive. It was indeed offensive - and I speak as one of the many east Londoners whose father and uncle was there in 1936, and whose uncle is still alive to give a view.
The most alarming point was that Denham ignored the Islamist protests which inspired the EDL in the first place. This is the same John Denham who told a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference that there was a need for ‘critical engagement’ with lawful groups with whom one disagreed. Would Denham ‘critically engage’ with the BNP or EDL? Hardly. He’s apparently still fighting them at Cable Street.
But he would, it appears, engage with jihadis who endorse the Islamisation of Britain, death to gays and apostates, the destruction of Israel and the second-class status of women. It is this kind of cravenness and moral inversion that makes people despair of mainstream politicians and sends them towards the BNP.
There is already a huge fissure among anti-Islamists over whether or not to ally with European neo-fascists. Since liberals are either silent, or even aligning with the jihadis on the grounds that ‘we are all Hezbollah now’ and turning instead upon the pivotal victim in this civilisational war, Israel, some anti-Islamists say that allying with neo-fascist groups is a no-brainer, because ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’.
But this is a highly dangerous course. Islamic fascism must be fought to defend Western values of freedom, democracy and tolerance. This cannot be done in an alliance with white neo-fascists bent on their negation. Sometimes, my enemy’s enemy is also my enemy.
This is why all decent people must join in the fight against Islamic supremacism. Support for the BNP would plummet if the political mainstream were to limit immigration, denounce cultural Islamic imperialism and refuse to give one inch to sharia law, saying no to polygamy, sharia finance, sharia courts and all attempts to set up a parallel Islamic society in Britain.
Freedom can only be protected if its defenders are united. But with Britain’s collective brain turned to multicultural jelly, liberals are refusing to acknowledge the civilisational battle now under way and gathering pace. The obsession with the ‘far right’ has cemented progressive opinion into its current lethal state of cultural somnambulism. Liberals must raise their eyes, raise their game and ask where this is leading. For there is far worse on the horizon than a nasty man on Question Time.
Exactly so. I feel much better for having read that.
Posted on 10/23/2009 4:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 23 October 2009
The word oikophobia was used by Roger Scruton (h/t Gates of Vienna) to describe, as Baron Bodissey puts it, "the fear and loathing felt by modern multicultural progressives towards their own culture and ethnicity". It is the opposite of xenophobia, and literally means "aversion to home".
Casting etymology to the winds, it can be read as "fear of oiks". An oik - I don't know if classless America uses the term - is a pejorative word for a person of the lower orders, a prole or a pleb. And "modern multicultural progressives", in the Labour party, the BBC or at The Guardian, can't bear the lower orders unless they know their place.
The English Defence League and many BNP supporters - white (usually), working class and disaffected - are oiks. And they are refusing to know their place. They live in Bradford or Luton, not Hampstead, and have seen the streets they grew up in transformed to look like downtown Lahore. They loathe the sight of niqabs and resent being told what to think by their oikophobic betters.
Oikophobia - fear of England and its oiks - is real, unlike Islamophobia. And the oiks - I will reclaim the word to mean something like "yeomen" - are getting wise to it.
Posted on 10/23/2009 5:36 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 23 October 2009
Hate mail targets East End woman Muslim councillor
According to Ken Livingstone and Weyman Bennett allowing Nick Griffin on to Question Time will result in an increase in attacks on ethnic minorities.
So when I saw the headline above in the East London Advertiser about a Muslim councillor who caused a fuss last week by her ostentatiously delaying a council meeting so that she could pray I expected to hear something to justify their claim.
Quite the opposite - this hate mail is to diminish her standing in the Muslim community. I suspect because she is a woman.
A MUSLIM women councillor has been the target of hate mail using religion to “smear” her political career.
Rania Khan has complained to police after photographs showing her without her head scarf dancing with a belly dancer (at an Eid celebration) were being distributed.
The photos, were sent to mosques in London's East End and to other other council members at Tower Hamlets and the press, with an anonymous letter.
Cllr Khan, 26, who normally only takes off her headscarf when she is with other women or male family members, was unhappy about the photographs being taken.
Those behind the letter were trying to smear her political reputation by twisting things, she said, and making out she is setting a bad example in the community.
The letter asks: "Is this the new face of New Labour or New Danger!"
Cllr Khan said she had "never experienced the kind of dirty politics" seen in Tower Hamlets anywhere else.
She could try Lancashire where similar things have happened.
Posted on 10/23/2009 5:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 23 October 2009
Leanne Shepherd and Lucy Jarrett, both 32, are close friends. They work as police officers, but on different shifts. For a long time, they babysat for each other, an arrangement that suited them perfectly and enabled them to continue their careers. The authorities recently told them, however, that their arrangement was illegal. If they did not desist, they would face prosecution.
Why? Because they exceeded the permitted time to babysit without having received professional training in such matters as resuscitation and child psychology. Moreover, the state considers their mutual babysitting a potentially taxable economic benefit. It does not matter that the arrangement was entirely reciprocal and voluntary. British citizens may no longer make such private agreements among themselves.
One of the nastiest aspects of this little story is that the authorities were alerted to the two women’s terrible crime by one of their neighbors. An increasingly intrusive state engenders an increasingly nasty population of secret informers.
First posted at City Journal.
Posted on 10/23/2009 9:40 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 23 October 2009
'Strap it, or lose your livestock"
Hat tip to John Derbyshire for this:
In Ohio, officials designing a seat-belt campaign aimed at the state's large Somali refugee population wanted to adapt the popular "Click it or ticket" slogan but found that "ticket" doesn't translate.
"They don't have a government in Somalia, so 'ticket' doesn't mean anything to them," says Tina O'Grady, administrator of the state's Traffic Safety Office. "We ended up translating it as 'Strap it, or lose your livestock,' which also means your money or income or livelihood."
Posted on 10/23/2009 8:40 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 23 October 2009
A blow for grammar
Tim Teeman's review of last night's Curb Your Enthusiasm needs licking into shape. From The Times:
It takes a brave sitcom to make fellatio its theme, but last night's Curb Your Enthusiasm picked up the throbbing baton. First Larry heard that a woman he met at supper had given oral sex to her new boyfriend on the way to supper, so wouldn't kiss her; then he thought he saw a relationship therapist whom he hoped would advise his girlfriend Loretta to leave him give her husband fellatio in the car; then Loretta thought she saw a woman give Larry fellatio. After he had inadvertently wrecked a series of relationships (and crushed a cancer patient's glasses), he did manage to get rid of Loretta, so a result of sorts.
"A relationship therapist who he hoped would advise his girlfriend ..." not "whom". The relationship therapist is the subject of the subordinate clause and "he hoped" is in parenthesis. If your relative pronouns won't come up to scratch, what will?
Anyway, good that Larry got rid of Loretta - I imagine he's cock-a-hoop.
Posted on 10/23/2009 10:09 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 23 October 2009
Muslim student, 18, banned from college because she refuses to remove her burka
A burka-wearing student has been banned from enrolling at a college after staff claimed the Muslim garment was a barrier to ‘safety and communication’.
Shawana Bilqes, 18, was forced to abandon her learning plans after she refused to remove the head-to-toe gown which reveals only her eyes.
She had been asked to show her face as a check to avoid identity fraud in case she was posing as someone else.
But when she explained she could not due to her religious belief she was forced off her Access course for an HE Diploma at Burnley College, Lancashire.
Today Miss Bilqes said: ‘It is my choice to wear the veil. All choice involves loss. I live around the corner from the college in an area where there are so many practising Muslims. . . We are in the 21st century and we get people from all walks of life. I’m in the police cadets as well and yet it’s not a problem wearing the veil there.’ Perhaps it should be. Surely the Police must be easily identifiable.
Today College principle John Smith hit back at Miss Bilqes’s claims by saying all students and staff wear photo IDs for security - so common sense said they must see her face.
Mr Smith said: ‘We do require all students of Burnley College to have their faces visible when at the college.
‘There are three reasons for this requirement. We are determined to maintain the highest standards of teaching and learning in Burnley College.
‘To do this effectively requires unimpeded communication from the teacher to all students, from the students to the teacher and between student and student.
‘It is not possible to maintain this essential full communication of the face of any student is not fully visible.
‘We are committed also to maintain a fully inclusive college where students from all backgrounds integrate to the fullest possible extent.
‘This is essential to maintain a healthy college community. The basis of this inclusive and integrated community, where all play their part, is full communication.
‘We are also determined to provide a safe environment for all our students.
‘To do so, we have taken a range of measures - central to this is that all members of the college community should be identifiable at all times when in the college.
‘To this end we require students and staff to wear a security card which displays their photograph.
‘Where individuals are able to comply with these reasonable requirements, which apply to all students equally, we would be very pleased to admit them to Burnley College.
‘Where individuals decline to comply, then I am afraid that we cannot accommodate them.’
That sounds completely reasonable to me, and to all the commentators.
Posted on 10/23/2009 12:35 PM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
Friday, 23 October 2009
Mulberry bush and trees
Two years ago the family and I took a holiday in West Norfolk and visited Heacham, the village which Pocahontas is reputed to have visited during the year she spent in England.
One of the things she is said to have done while staying with her husband’s family whose home it was, is to have planted a mulberry tree. The petrified stump of this 400 year old tree still remains and we spent some time looking for it.
Thanks to officials of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk I now have a photo of the stump. It is kept on Council premises which are not generally open to the public.
I have since come across two more mulberry trees, still fruiting and considered old but not as old as that of the Heacham estate.
The first is in Rainham Hall, Rainham Essex. In August it was in fruit and we had to taste the berries. I found the berry rather strong and bitter, almost medicinal and not as sweet as a blackberry. It was much larger than a blackberry.
As all the old recipe books describe the fruit as sweet and juicy (but with a medicinal use for every part of the tree) I think I must have picked one past its best.
Rainham Hall is a merchant’s house build around 1720 and the garden has a lot of Victoria features. The guide said the mulberry was old but she didn’t know how old.
In Rainham it is kept more as a bush than a tree – you can see how the fruit hangs below the leaves and is bright red turning to dark.
Because the fruit is delicate and drops quickly the traditional method is to grow the bush in short grass.
Then a few weeks ago I discovered that there is also an old mulberry tree in Greatfields Park in Barking. I photographed it this week in early autumn. Greatfields Park has been a public park for 80 years. According to an elderly lady who has lived nearby most of her life the tree is where a farm kitchen garden was originally and bits of the garden wall are still visible.
The tree is missing one limb and, as is apparently a trait with mulberries, has a gnarled and twisted trunk. You can see what the stump of the Heacham tree would have looked like when it was alive.
There are nurseries selling young plants and a growing interest in old recipes and traditional foods.
I have met a medlar tree near Braintree but I really don’t fancy the half rotted requirement of the crop – it isn’t fruit as I think of it. In contrast the mulberries looked wholesome and fresh.
This is a recipe for Mulberry jelly sent from Gloucester to Delia Smith for her website.
1 lb mulberries 1/4 pt water 1 cooking apple (unpeeled)sugar
1. Cut up but do not peel or core apple.
2. Simmer with the mulberries and water until soft.
3. Strain through a jelly bag.
4. Measure juice, and allow 1lb sugar to each pint.
5. Stir together until sugar has dissolved.
6. Boil rapidly until set.
Posted on 10/23/2009 1:37 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax