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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
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
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 Friday, 23, 2012.
Friday, 23 March 2012
Nile Gardiner On The Unspeakable Ashton

Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator. He appears frequently on American and British television, including Fox News Channel, CNN, BBC, and Fox Business Network.

Baroness Ashton should resign over her appalling remarks equating Toulouse with Gaza

Baroness Ashton, who compared the Toulouse killings to attacks on Gaza

Baroness Ashton, who compared the Toulouse killings to attacks on Gaza

The Brussels spin machine has been in overdrive, trying to explain and defend Baroness Ashton’s remarks earlier this week at a UNRWA conference on “Palestine refugees in the changing Middle East”. In her controversial speech in Brussels on March 19, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy drew a comparison between the deaths of young people in Toulouse and Gaza. Here is what she said, according to the official (recently amended) transcript provided by the European Union:

We are gathered here because we have recognised the potential of the youth of Palestine. Against all the odds, they continue to learn, to work, to dream and aspire to a better future. And the days when we remember young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances – the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and Sderot and in different parts of the world – we remember young people and children who lose their lives. Here are young people who are asking not to be leaders of the future, but to be taken seriously as leaders of today. And it is to them that we should look and to them we should listen and it is to them that I pay tribute.

The comments drew an angry response from Israeli leaders. As The New York Times reported on Tuesday:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier that he was “infuriated” by what he called “the comparison between a deliberate massacre of children and the defensive, surgical actions” of the Israeli military that he said were “intended to hit terrorists who use children as a human shield.”

The interior minister, Eli Yishai, told Israel Radio that Ms. Ashton should not stay in her post and that her comments hurt the European Union’s ability to act as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, said, “The comparison made by Ashton between what is happening in Gaza to what happened in Toulouse, and what is going on in Syria every day, is outrageous and has absolutely no grounding in reality.”

So far there has been no reaction to Ashton’s comments from the Obama administration or from the British government. Considering the Obama presidency’s reckless and wrong-headed support for the European Project and its refusal to even countenance any criticism of EU leaders, this is hardly surprising. It is disappointing though to see both Downing Street and the Foreign Office remaining silent on the issue, especially considering that Ashton is claiming to speak on behalf of all EU member states, and is being subsidised by the British taxpayer.

The Israelis are right to be outraged by Ashton’s remarks, which clearly equate the  murderous actions of an Islamist, al-Qaeda-linked fanatic in the south of France deliberately gunning down Jews (as well as the brutal killing of thousands of people in Syria by President Assad), with the actions of the Israeli Defence Force in Gaza. Once again, a senior EU official is drawing moral equivalence between brutal atrocities committed by terrorists and dictatorial regimes, with the legitimate military operations of a fully democratic government in Israel which goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties while defending its people against an array of terrorist groups backed by Tehran and Damascus. Just last April Ashton issued a statement drawing a clear parallel between Israeli operations targeting Hamas in Gaza and terrorist attacks coming out of the Gaza strip targeting Israeli civilians, as though the two were the same thing:

I strongly condemn yesterday's mortar and rocket attacks out of the Gaza strip, which once again hit the innocent civilian population and which must stop immediately. I am deeply concerned by the current escalation of violence.

I also deplore the loss of civilian life in Gaza and call on Israel to show restraint. The lives of civilians must be spared everywhere and in all circumstances. Only an immediate cessation of all violence can bring back the calm necessary to allow for a lasting truce in the Gaza strip.

Baroness Ashton’s remarks this week were delivered as part of a carefully crafted speech designed to convey a politically charged message that specifically targeted Israel. It is hard to see how she can in any way be seen as a neutral, impartial figure when it comes to the EU’s role as part of the Quartet in supposedly brokering negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Ashton has zero credibility on Middle East issues, and her latest comments have made her position as the EU’s foreign policy spokesman even more untenable. It is time for European Union bureaucrats to be held to account for their actions and statements, instead of being given a free pass. Ashton should do the decent thing and resign from her post, returning to the obscurity from whence she came.

Posted on 03/23/2012 6:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 23 March 2012
Round And About Mohammad Merah, And Others In Posse And In Esse
  • AdTech Ad

Terrorisme : les mesures votées si Sarkozy est réélu

Réactions (3)

Nicolas Sarkozy a affirmé à Valenciennes que les mesures qu'il a annoncées pour lutter contre le terrorisme seraient "les premières qu'il fera passer si les Français (lui) font confiance" en le réélisant à la présidentielle.

» Sarkozy veut punir l'accès aux sites Internet terroristes
» OUI-NON - Faut-il punir l'accès aux sites internet terroristes ?

Toulouse : hommage aux victimes
place du Capitole

Réactions (3)

Toulouse : hommage aux victimes<br/>place du Capitole

Des centaines de personnes se sont rassemblées pour rendre hommage aux victimes de Mohamed Merah, vendredi. Sur une banderole déployée était inscrit : «Vivre ensemble: égalité, pluralité, dignité».

Selon un expert, Merah était psychologiquement «fragile»

Un expert qui a rencontré Mohamed Merah à la prison de Seysses analyse un caractère introverti, des troubles anxieux, évoque une composante dépressive et des relations difficiles avec sa mère.

Les gardes à vue de la famille Merah prolongées

Réactions (110)

La mère du tueur présumé, son frère et la compagne de celui-ci continuent d'être interrogés par la police judiciaire, qui cherche à établir d'éventuelles complicités.

Comment la France piste les djihadistes

Réactions (61)

Qu'ils soient détectés en France ou en Afghanistan, la surveillance des djihadistes est un vrai casse-tête.

Questions sur l'efficacité
des services de renseignements

Réactions (105)

La Direction de la protection et de la sécurité de la défense connaissait Mohamed Merah depuis novembre 2010.
» Cinq questions sur l'opération du Raid à Toulouse

Le chef du Raid livre
sa version de l'assaut

Réactions (289)

«C'est la première fois de ma vie que quelqu'un mène l'assaut contre nous», confie Amaury de Hauteclocque.

» Toulouse : le fondateur du GIGN critique l'opération du Raid

Fillon : «Aucun élément permettant d'arrêter Merah avant les tueries»

Réactions (273)

Le premier ministre a déclaré que la Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI), critiquée pour sa gestion de l'affaire Merah, avait «parfaitement fait son travail».
» La gauche critique Claude Guéant et le Raid après l'assaut

Posted on 03/23/2012 8:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 23 March 2012
Frida Ghitis On Europe's Blindness About Muslim Antisemitism
From CNN:

Europe's blind spot on anti-Semitism

By Frida Ghitis, Special to CNN
March 23, 2012
 Relatives and other mourners in Jerusalem carry the body of one of the four victims of the Toulouse, France, school shooting.
Relatives and other mourners in Jerusalem carry the body of one of the four victims of the Toulouse, France, school shooting.
  • Frida Ghitis: Toulouse shooting echoes the ravages of last century's anti-Semitism in Europe
  • She says it's time to examine enduring European blind spot when it comes to anti-Semitism
  • Examples abound that prejudice is given a pass if connected to Palestinian cause, she says
  • Ghitis: This adds to air of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish sentiment that falls on fertile ground in Europe

Editor's note: Frida Ghitis is a world affairs columnist for The Miami Herald and World Politics Review. A former CNN producer/correspondent, she is the author of "The End of Revolution: A Changing World in the Age of Live Television."

(CNN) -- What would prompt a 23-year-old man, born and raised in France, to chase a small, terrified Jewish girl into a school courtyard, look her in the eye and shoot her in the head?

The very idea brings back memories of the 1940s, of an era that many Europeans have worked diligently, with considerable success, to put behind them. But the echoes of history should not be silenced. The tragedy of Toulouse is a call to take another look at that crucial fight against the poisonous prejudice that ultimately devastated Europe in the middle of the 20th century.

I believe an honest examination will reveal a blind spot among those fighting prejudice that has allowed the ancient Jew hatred that infected Europe for centuries to survive. The blind spot is this: When the prejudice -- and even the call for murder -- is made in connection with the Palestinian cause, people look the other way and give it a pass.

Frida Ghitis
Frida Ghitis

Blood-chilling security camera video from the city of Toulouse on Monday shows a man we now believe was Mohammed Merah shooting 7-year-old Miriam Monsonego as her mother watched. The chase and murder came moments after he shot two other children -- 4-year-old Gabriel and 5-year-old Arieh -- and their father, Jonathan Sandler, a rabbi and teacher at the Jewish school. Days earlier, Merah had allegedly killed three French soldiers of Arab origin.

Initially, the fact that he had murdered both Arabs and Jews made people conclude that this was the work of a racist, right-wing extremist. In recent years, Europeans have been alarmed by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment. With a presidential election around the corner in France, the murders quickly took on political significance.

Could more have been done in Toulouse?
Timeline of Toulouse standoff
Gunfire heard as police carried out raid

But the trail led to Merah, a self-described jihadist. Merah apparently called a television station to explain his actions, saying he wanted to "take revenge on the law against the full Islamic veil (in France) and also on France's participation in the war in Afghanistan and to protest against the situation in Palestine."

The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, reacted indignantly to the familiar, phony link. "It is time for those criminals," he said, "to stop exploiting the name of Palestine through their terrorist actions."

It's not just the criminals and the terrorists who should stop.

It is time to stop excusing anti-Semitic calls for the murder of Jews as an acceptable outgrowth of the Palestinian cause.

A couple of years ago, I was in the Netherlands when a pro-Palestinian demonstration broke into a familiar chant: "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas." The "Jews to the gas" is a common cheer at Dutch soccer games. This was nothing new.

What was new is that this demonstration included a Dutch member of Parliament, Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party, who continued along as his comrades called for a repeat of the Holocaust.

Political leaders and government authorities often act dismissively when Jews are the target of violence, particularly from Arabs. When a Jewish girl was beaten at school by five Muslim girls who called her a "dirty Jew" and shouted that she should "return to your country," community leaders said they were "exasperated" by the endless attacks on Belgian Jews and asked the government to take action. Viviane Teitelbaum, a Jewish member of Parliament, condemned the failure of the Belgian media and the political establishment to speak out.

The earlier confusion in Toulouse is understandable. After all, when Jews are murdered, the killer could come from the left or from the right.

It's easy to blame the situation of the Arab-Israel conflict, but Jean-Yves Camus, a French expert in extremism, says today's prejudice includes the "new anti-Semitism" from radicalized Muslims and the old-fashioned hatred from the right, including neo-Nazis.

Often, when the Palestinian link is made, the prejudice comes from the left, couched as passion for human rights.

At times, human rights activists seem to have no problem with anti-Semitism -- even of the genocidal variety -- condemning it forcefully only if it is accompanied by anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim sentiment.

Just days before the Toulouse murders, on March 19, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva hosted an event featuring a high official from Hamas. That is a group whose easily obtainable charter calls not just for the creation of a Palestinian state, which is something I, like many other people, wholeheartedly support.

But Hamas' charter also declares: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it. ... The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews). ..." If a white supremacist organization advocated genocide as this one does, polite society would keep its distance, at the very least.

Instead, polite society contributes to a campaign to demonize Israel, fueling the hatred that is then unleashed against Jews in France and elsewhere. Last week, a U.N. official posted to Twitter a picture of a heartbreakingly injured Palestinian girl, tweeting "Another child killed by #Israel ..." Turns out it was a 2006 picture of a girl who died falling from a swing. Back in 2006, Reuters had sent out the same picture, saying she was the target of a military strike, but later retracted it, explaining that the girl was the victim of a playground accident. Portraying Israelis as baby killers fits neatly into the old anti-Semitic narrative that outrageously claims Jews kill Christian children to make Passover matzos.

These types of "errors" are all too common, and they contribute to an air of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment. In Europe, that falls on fertile ground.

At least 400 anti-Semitic (which means anti-Jewish, for those who will argue Arabs are also Semites) incidents are recorded yearly in France. French Jews have been killed in bombings. Belgian Jewish children are beaten, and Dutch Jews are afraid to wear their traditional head cover outside because it so often leads to pummelings.

A just-released survey in 10 European countries found that 24% of the French population holds anti-Jewish sentiment, up from 20% in 2009. In Hungary, Spain and Poland, anti-Semitic sentiment is "off the charts," according to Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League. Surveys show that 15% of Americans hold anti-Jewish views.

The sentiment is most common among European Muslims, some of whom have attended Islamic schools, whose Saudi-financed textbooks explained that Jews look like monkeys and pigs and seek "world domination."

Why would a man kill small Jewish children? The answer has intrigued historians and psychologists for many centuries. But the more urgent question is what we can do to stop it from happening again. And the answer is that the first requirement is telling the truth about anti-Jewish ideologies.

Posted on 03/23/2012 9:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 23 March 2012
French teacher seeks 'minute's silence for killer'

She is alleged to have mental health problems - if her illness has clouded her judgment to that extent should she not have been on sick leave already? From AFP    

ROUEN, France — A French teacher was suspended Friday for allegedly urging her class to observe a minute's silence for serial killer Mohamed Merah, the day after he was shot dead by police.

Education Minister Luc Chatel had called for the teacher to be suspended after her class reported she called Merah a "victim" and said his links to Al-Qaeda were invented by the media and "Sarko", referring to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"An immediate suspension has been decided along with a ban on entering the school," the local education authority's Florence Robine told journalists, adding that the suspension did not imply any guilt.

Student representatives in the final year class in the northern city of Rouen wrote to the principal to voice "shock" at being urged in an English lesson to pay respect to a self-declared Al-Qaeda militant who killed seven people.

Most of the class walked out, though some remained "to try to understand what she was talking about," their letter said.

This is not the political act of an extremist but the act of a colleague who has health concerns, who is fragile and who is receiving psychological treatment," the local head of the SGEN-CFDT union, Pascal Bossuyt, told AFP.

Posted on 03/23/2012 1:19 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 23 March 2012
Jury Selection Begins in Nashville Somali Sex Trafficking Case

Unless I'm mistaken, the Mann Act makes it a Federal crime to take a woman (or underage girls as in this case) across state lines for immoral purposes (in this case prostitution which is illegal as well). The defendants are in Federal custody and will be tried in Federal court in Nashville. This comes from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press (with thanks to Esmerelda Weatherwax). The Tennessean has done little more than pick up AP stories.

More than a dozen people accused in a sex trafficking ring run by Somali gangs that reached from Minnesota to Tennessee are facing trial in Nashville.

Out of the total 30 who were indicted, 15 are going to trial this week on charges of conspiracy to commit sexual trafficking of children by force, fraud or coercion and charges related to the sexual trafficking of two unidentified juvenile females, who prosecutors say were ages 14 or younger at the time of the offenses.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 20, and the trial is expected to last about two months.

The indictment, which was originally unsealed in 2010 and amended by a superseding indictment in 2011, says the defendants, many of them from the Somali immigrant communities in the Twin Cities and Nashville, were members or associates of three gangs called the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws The gang members are accused of forcing teenage girls into prostitution and operated in St. Paul; Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville. Four unidentified female victims are listed in the indictment.

The indictment accuses the gangs of finding and recruiting young girls, some also Somali, for the purpose of prostitution in exchange for money and drugs between 2000 and 2010. The indictment lists instances in which a young Somali girl, identified as Jane Doe #1, was taken from Minneapolis to Nashville and Columbus to have sex with gang members and others.

The indictment says that another young Somali girl, Jane Doe #2, was told that using her for prostitution was referred to as a "mission" and other gang members wouldn't be charged to have sex with her. Some of the victims are expected to testify during the trial.

Many of the defendants have remained in federal custody since their arrests in 2010 and all 15 are represented by separate defense attorneys. The defendants are Abdifatah Jama Adan, Ahmad Abdulnasir Ahmad, Musse Ahmed Ali, Hassan Ahmed Dahir, Faduma Mohamed Farah, Idris Ibrahim Fahra, Abdullahi Hashi, Fatah Haji Hashi, Abdirahman Abderazak Hersi, Dahir Nor Ibrahim, Abdifatah Bashir Jama, Andrew Kayachith, Fuad Faisal Nur, Yasin Abdirhaman Yusuf and Mohamed Ahmed Amalle.

The trial could involve about two hundred witnesses, including many who are being brought from Minnesota. U.S. District Court Judge William Haynes is allowing the defendants to take scheduled Muslim prayer breaks during the proceedings.

Most of the defense attorneys declined to comment before the trial, but some said they expected this to be a complicated trial for the attorneys and the jurors.

A proposed questionnaire for potential jurors includes questions about opinions about Somalis, immigrants and recent protests over the building of mosques in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and New York City.

Attorney David Cooper, who is representing Abdullahi Hashi, said the case involves hot-button issues and there was significant news coverage of the indictment and arrests. His client, who has been in jail since December 2010, maintains his innocence against the accusations, Cooper said.

Posted on 03/23/2012 1:11 PM by Rebecca Bynum

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