These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 23, 2008.
Monday, 23 June 2008
Muslim cop drops race case
The Mirror calls this a race case but that is wrong. How often do we have to point out that Islam is an ideology and it is the ideology that threatens.
Pc Amjad Farooq halted his employment tribunal action against the Met after two weeks of secret hearings.
Mr Farooq, 40, and Scotland Yard agreed he should work for the National Association of Muslim Police at the Met's expense. He got no compo.
Mr Farooq, from Gloucester, was removed from the Diplomatic Protection Group in 2003 after links between a terror group and a mosque his children studied at emerged.
Posted on 06/23/2008 3:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 23 June 2008
Nigeria: What a Father Did to His 2-Yr-Old Girl
From All Africa, the story of how one grandmother saved her infant grandchildren from life threatening beatings in Kano Nigeria in a climate of increasing child abuse.
Saturday Vanguard visited the scene of the incident in Kano.
Narrating the incident to Saturday Vanguard was her grandmother who described the harrowing ordeal suffered by the two-year-old girl.
According to the grandmother 'I am the grandmother of the little girl. The father divorced my daughter over a year ago and demanded that his two children be given back to him. So after weaning the girl, we had no choice than to oblige because in Islam when a father asks for his children after a divorce the mother cannot deny him.
About five days ago, we got information that my grand daughter was being maltreated by her father. I became very disturbed and went to the house the next day to see the welfare of the little girl. I was shocked to see wounds all over the body of my little two-year- old grand daughter, with deep wounds on her buttocks, a big open sore on her head. Her brother who is four years old had wounds all over his body too, but not as bad as the little girl.
Immediately, I asked the man's new wife who is heavily pregnant, to call her husband for me. She said he was not around. So I told her am taking the children along. But she refused, saying her husband would be mad at her if she allowed me to take away the children.
I asked what offence the children committed. She said her husband always beat them up with cable wire each time they excreted in the house. She said the boy has less wound because the beating has forced him to start using toilet at times. She said the little girl is still unwise and each time she wakes up in the morning and passes excreta in any part of the compound, her father quarrels at her and angrily beats her up with the cable wire.
So realising that leaving the children is dangerous, I rushed outside the compound and raised an alarm calling on their neighbour to come and see how my former in-law maltreats his children because my daughter was no longer in the house.
When the neighbours came, I forcefully brought out the girl from the house and the people were moved with what has become of my grandchildren. Some of them said they hear the long cries of the children everyday, but don't know what was happening to them in the house. Since their stepmother refused to release them, some of the neighbours rushed to the nearest police station at Rijiyar Zaki and informed them of the plight of the two little children.
When the police arrived, they demanded that the children be given to me. They instructed their stepmother to tell her husband to report at the station. I guess he was there because I learnt he is now at the police custody, while the children are her in Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital receiving medical attention”.
Confirming the story, the state spokesman of Kano Police Command, DSP Baba Mohammed, said the matter is still under investigation, adding that the father of the girl does not have any mental problem.
Executive director of Global Improvement of Persons Initiative, Malam Mohammed Ali Mashi who was also at the hospital where the children are receiving treatment, called on the NAPTIP to persecute the father of the little children. (I think the writer means prosecute, although persecution of those who hurt children has merit)
Mashi who expressed concern on the increasing rate of child abuse in Kano State, said the state government must come up with a legislation to protect the right of innocent children in the state.
According to him, if a father can beat his two year- old daughter to the point of death, a 60 year- old grandfather rapes a 10 year- old grand daughter ( AllAfrica ran that story earlier this month) because she asked for N20.00 naira, the situation is getting out of hand. To put it mildly.
Posted on 06/23/2008 4:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 23 June 2008
Some fine writers like a fine wine - this should surprise nobody. More surprising is the claim that alcohol makes them write better. We are all familiar with the pub bore. Surely the truth is that it makes the writer think he writes better, but really he would write even better if he were sober? Deliberately impairing one's brain can only result in an inferior product.
Perhaps, but not necessarily. Churchill drank a prodigious amount, and yet he claimed that he had taken more out of alcohol than alcohol had taken out of him. Churchill was not reckless and irresponsible. He must have genuinely believed that alcohol made him think better. Was he right, and if so, how?
Today (after only a cup of coffee) I had an idea. It is sure to be either wrong or unoriginal, like all my ideas, but what the hell. I think it is not that alcohol (or other drug) makes the brain function better, but rather that it blots out distractions so that the writer (or thinker) concentrates on the task in hand. He cannot, in fashionable parlance, "multitask". And "multitasking", as I read today, makes you stupid. Christine Rosen writes in The New Atlantis, presumably while feeding her cat/child, whipping up a soufflé and learning Spanish:
In one of the many letters he wrote to his son in the 1740s, Lord Chesterfield offered the following advice: “There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.” To Chesterfield, singular focus was not merely a practical way to structure one’s time; it was a mark of intelligence. “This steady and undissipated attention to one object, is a sure mark of a superior genius; as hurry, bustle, and agitation, are the never-failing symptoms of a weak and frivolous mind.”
In modern times, hurry, bustle, and agitation have become a regular way of life for many people—so much so that we have embraced a word to describe our efforts to respond to the many pressing demands on our time: multitasking. Used for decades to describe the parallel processing abilities of computers, multitasking is now shorthand for the human attempt to do simultaneously as many things as possible, as quickly as possible, preferably marshalling the power of as many technologies as possible.
But more recently, challenges to the ethos of multitasking have begun to emerge. Numerous studies have shown the sometimes-fatal danger of using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, for example, and several states have now made that particular form of multitasking illegal. In the business world, where concerns about time-management are perennial, warnings about workplace distractions spawned by a multitasking culture are on the rise. In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”
There you are - smoke pot or drink wine (but not both, obviously) and do just one other thing - well.
When we talk about multitasking, we are really talking about attention: the art of paying attention, the ability to shift our attention, and, more broadly, to exercise judgment about what objects are worthy of our attention. People who have achieved great things often credit for their success a finely honed skill for paying attention. When asked about his particular genius, Isaac Newton responded that if he had made any discoveries, it was “owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.”
William James, the great psychologist, wrote at length about the varieties of human attention. In The Principles of Psychology (1890), he outlined the differences among “sensorial attention,” “intellectual attention,” “passive attention,” and the like, and noted the “gray chaotic indiscriminateness” of the minds of people who were incapable of paying attention.
Stop fidgeting at the back - this means you.
Posted on 06/23/2008 4:05 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 23 June 2008
A Musical Interlude: (The One I Love) Just Can't Be Bothered With Me (Bert Lown Orch., voc. Smith Ballew)
Posted on 06/23/2008 6:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 23 June 2008
Sunday's Quiz - The Solution
On Sunday my quiz had only five very easy questions – difficult quizzes like Mary's had just one extremely erudite question, which I couldn’t answer even though I had fun, and far too much to drink, trying to do so.
I’ll go through my Questions one by one and give you the answer(s) to each.
1) If I give you an inch and you take a mile exactly how many points will you end up with? Stick with it!
A printer loads type from his cases, upper and lower, to his stick. There are seventy-two printers points, near as d—n it, to an inch (six picas). Therefore the answer is either 72x36x1,760 (=4,561,920) if you take a mile literally, or 72x36 (=2,592) if you know the origin of the phrase. I would have accepted either answer.
2) Given that Russia now has a President whom nobody has heard of, what is the chemical formula, or a common name, for a colourless Muscovite? (No bad language, please!)
Hugh gave the correct answer here.
3) A German village became musically important some years after 1943 and many of us wished that we could be back home again in 1974. What’s his first name?
Again, Hugh gave the correct answer here.
4) Give the area of the prince which is superior to Victoria’s!
The fictional prince in question is Caspian – the creation of C.S. Lewis. The Caspian Sea, Lake Superior and Lake Victoria are the three most massive inland bodies of water. The area of the Caspian is 371,000 sq.km. or 143,240 sq.miles.
Esmerelda gave the correct answer here.
5) Hill-walking is a very affirmative sport in Britain. How high is it?
I’ll grant you that this Question was a little cryptic. The answer is simple, however. It’s Yes Tor on Dartmoor which is 619 metres (meters) high or, if you prefer (and I do), 2,031ft. high.
Again, Esmerelda gave the correct answer here.
With full acknowledgement to http://www.richkni.co.uk/dartmoor/yestor.htm for this magnificent winter photograph. Follow the link to see more of Dartmoor in winter – it’s worth it!
However, there was a bonus question. So...
Bonus Question) Jean-Pascal, Arnold, Flavio and Ruth have all had an appointment in the Alps. When was Arnold’s?
Once more, Hugh (clever, that Fitzgerald chappie, isn’t he) gave the correct answer here.
I hope that you enjoyed my little, easy quiz.
Perhaps I’ll set another one on some Sunday soon – if you’re lucky there might even be a prize!
Posted on 06/23/2008 7:01 AM by John Joyce
Monday, 23 June 2008
Obama: America No Longer A Christian Nation
I believe this statement will hurt Obama's chances deeply if it gets picked up by the MSM.
WND: JERUSALEM – Some have been taking issue with largely unnoticed comments made last year by Sen. Barack Obama declaring the U.S. is "no longer a Christian nation" but is also a nation of others, including Muslims and nonbelievers.
The comments have been recently recirculating on Internet blogs.
"Whatever we once were, we're no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers," Obama said during a June 2007 speech available on YouTube.
At the speech, Obama also seemingly blasted the "Christian Right" for hijacking religion and using it to divide the nation:
"Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us," he said.
Asked last year to clarify his remarks, Obama repeated them to the Christian Broadcast Network:
"I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism. Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers," Obama wrote in an e-mail to CBN News senior national correspondent David Brody.
"We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community," wrote Obama.
Obama did clarify his statement about the "Christian Right."
"My intention was to contrast the heated partisan rhetoric of a distinct minority of Christian leaders with the vast majority of Evangelical Christians – conservatives included – who believe that hate has no place in our politics.
"When you have pastors and television pundits who appear to explicitly coordinate with one political party; when you're implying that your fellow Americans are traitors, terrorist sympathizers or akin to the devil himself; then I think you're attempting to hijack the faith of those who follow you for your own personal or political ends," wrote Obama...
Posted on 06/23/2008 8:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 June 2008
The Rising Tide Of Islam
Here is a fairly good story about the resurgence of Islam in Algeria. These kinds of stories capture the newfound fervency of the young for Islam, but without exploring the consequences. Their parents led a much freer existence and were generally better educated under the French system. If current trends continue, the next generation will be hopelessly trapped in Islam and ignorance and Algeria wil look increasingly like Afghanistan.
Posted on 06/23/2008 10:33 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 June 2008
Big Court Test of Material Support to Terrorism Laws
In 2004, in the case of Boim v. Holy Land Foundation, a federal court in Chicago found Hamas supporters liable to the tune of $156 million in damages in connection with the death of an American who was killed in a Hamas terror attack. Last December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned the verdict, reasoning that the supporters had not been proved to have contributed directly (or even indirectly) to the murder.
Now, the Seventh Circuit has reversed itself and granted rehearing en banc (i.e., before all judges of the Seventh Circuit, not just the three judges on the first panel) to consider the question whether a donor who contributes to an organization the donor knows to be a terrorist organization may properly be prosecuted for providing material support to terrorism absent proof that the donor intended to advance the violent component of the organization's activities.
The answer to that question has to be a resounding YES. If it is not, every person is a law unto himself and our laws barring material support to terrorist organizations have effectively been repealed.
The idea behind the material support laws is that once an organization has been branded a terrorist organization through the process Congress has provided for that determination, a person may not contribute anything of value to it. That's because contributions to such an organization make it a more able, attractive organization, and consequently benefit all its operations — including the execution of terror attacks. It doesn't matter whether one who contributes to Hamas hopes to help it build a hospital or learn how to use peaceful political processes to press its grievances; first, you have no control over how Hamas spends the money once it has the money; second, even if it really does spend the money on a hospital or improve its political apparatus, that improves its standing in the community, which helps it mightily to raise funds, build bombs, and recruit terrorists for its violent operations.
Defendants are more than adequately protected from wrongful conviction by a requirement that the government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a contributor knew the organization was a terrorist organization. No one is convicted due to a mistaken understanding. Once you know it's a terrorist organization, you don't get to rationalize that you personally know better than Congress how best to reform a terrorist group. We have democratically decided as a society, through our lawmakers, that the best way to deal with terrorist groups is to starve them until they either die or convincingly renounce terrorism (and get themselves removed from the list of designated terrorist organizations). Individuals, however well intentioned they may be, should not get to second-guess that democratic determination by contributing to a terror group's "political" or "social welfare" component in the vain hope of mending its ways (usually rationalized by the claim that such contributions are protected by First Amendment free-expression).
If the latter is permissible, then the material support laws are a dead letter. Those laws, it bears emphasizing, are the main legal tool on which we rely to prevent terrorist attacks from taking place as opposed to prosecuting after people have been killed.
Posted on 06/23/2008 10:51 AM by Andy McCarthy
Monday, 23 June 2008
A Sentence By Fouad Ajami
In an article in the Wall Street Journal this week, Fouad Ajami includes this sentence:
'No Turkish malady is caused by America, and no cure can come courtesy of the Americans. "
Ajami has been a tireless supporter of the Light-Unto-the-Muslim Nations Project in Iraq, one which he no doubt sees as "empowering" the Shi'a and Al-Sistani, who has so impressed him with his sanity and his nobility. He even wrote a book -- "The Foreigner's Gift" (a book that should have more accurately been called "The Infidel's Gift") -- about the Iraq venture.
One wonders if Ajami would object to rewriting the sentence above, with the word "Turkish" replaced by the word "Iraqi" or by the word "Arab" or by the word "Muslim," and then to publish it, urbi et orbi.
And if he would object, one would like to have him explain exactly the reasons why.
Posted on 06/23/2008 3:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 23 June 2008
Noah Feldman And The Ghost Of Joseph Schacht
There is a lot to say about Noah Feldman, a thrusting young academic, a sammy-glick who has managed to ride his one-shtick pony all the way to a tenured post at Harvard Law School, a position he managed to achieve because a sufficient number of the faculty, knowing little or nothing either about Islam or about "Islamic law" (which should be taught, just like canon law, if it is to be taught anywhere, in a school of theology, and constitutes an awkward presence at a school devoted to man-made -- by judges or by legislatures -- law) were greatly impressed with the idea that this man, raised -- as he is so careful to proclaim on every occasion -- as an Orthodox Jew, has become -- tiens! -- an "expert" on "Islamic law." No, he has not become such an expert, and the warm endorsements of him by the likes of John Esposito, and Roy Mottahedeh, should have raised eyebrows rather than expectations. Others -- including Bernard Lewis, but also scholars in places that have yet to yield, such as the Universities of Leiden and Aix-en-Provence -- ought to have been consulted on the works and days of Noah Feldman, but they were not. His appointment is an insult to the memory of Joseph Schacht, about whom a very nice appreciation, written by his assistant Jeanette Wakin, can be obtained from the Harvard Islamic Legal Studies Program. And if the ghost of Joseph Schacht -- a single paragraph of whose writing is of greater value than the collected works of Noah Feldman -- happened to have been present, uninvited, at a recent meeting of the Joseph Schacht Society or Working Group or whatever it calls itself, when it had a dinner on the second floor (Room B, I think) of the Harvard Faculty Club -- that ghost would have been uneasy indeed.
Among Feldman's careerist clevernesses has been his ability to inveigle extra-academic audiences to be impressed with him, and then, in turn, to use whatever his "achievements" in this world may be said to impress those who, in academic life, are feeling a bit unsure of themselves, and their supposedly high calling, and now more deeply respectful and envious of, those who get their Op/Eds publish or -- mirabile dictu! -- even advise governments. So Feldman went off to Iraq, where to hear him tell it, in the version he used to put out, he practically wrote the Iraqi Constitution (for more on this, see what Ali Allawi has written about Feldman in his memoir), and that must have greatly impressed some at HLS. And he has a gig with the New York Times Sunday Magazine section, writing mostly about Islam, each article more mischievously misleading than the next.
Take, for example, this piece. In it, Feldman attempts to suggest that it is those who in Europe are distrustful of Muslims need to look into their own hearts and their own pasts. Indeed, they do, insofar as there has been not only an incomplete reckoning with antisemitism, the curse of Western Christendom, but also a nauseating ability, in failing to make that reckoning, to accept -- even eagerly to accept --a kind of Black Legend about Israel that is psychologically consoling. For if the Israelis can be depicted to be monsters, as so often happens in the press and radio and television, if their legal and historic and moral claims are ignored, if the history of the Jihad against them is not only ignored but goes unrecognized as a Jihad and instead is treated as a "national liberation" blahblah, with the apotheosis of this being the equation some delight in, between the Jews struggling to survive against an unassuagable and vicious and implacable enemy, and the mass-murdering Nazis.
Feldman is not like that. But he is someone whose most inadequate knowledge of, and understanding of, Islam, together with a peculiar hostility to his own, orthodox Jewish upbringing (he has in the past made all kinds of exaggerated charges -- clearly his own little psychic desarroi on this score is being played out, in obscure ways, in his apologetics for Islam and, furthermore, the absurd equivalence he makes between the unjustified suspicion and hatred of Jews, that remains an undercurrent of Western existence and is now finding its socially acceptable outlet in anti-Israel views, and that, which is entirely justified, and which is not against "the Other" -- because all kinds of immigrants, come to Western Europe from all over, from China and India and sub-Saharan Africa, but do not pose the same threat or are not regarded in the same way, -- but directed, for reasons that are rooted in apprehension of the behavior of Muslims, the attitudes of Muslims, the texts and tenets of Islam with which Muslims are inculcated. And if Muslims and Muslims alone are, among all the varied populations of immigrants, the only ones to arouse this permanent mistrust, not because of but despite the best efforts of elites to downplay the danger, to explain it all away, to distract people from learning about Islam. It is also true that Muslims have aroused such suspicions, and such dislike, not only in one or two countries, but in every country in which they have arrived, and been allowed to settle in, in large numbers. Whether the country is Germany (presumably a "harder" land) or soft-hearted Italy, or Denmark and The Netherlands, two countries that have elevated tolerance to a state religion, the response, growing pari passu with growing familiarity with the contents of Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, has been the same.
Now if Muslim, and only Muslim immigrants, evoke a certain response, while others are sooner or later sufficiently integrated, and if they do so not in one place, or another place, but in all the Infidel lands, even in those most famously, programmatically tolerant, then one has to begin to look at those texts, those tenets, those attitudes, those atmospherics, of Islam.
This is something Noah Feldman is incapable of doing. I mentioned the ghost of Joseph Schacht. I might also have mentioned other ghosts of those who are not happy with the kind of uncultivated and limited minds possessed by too many of those now striding across the same shrinking greensward as did, once, the men whom those ghosts represent. These were people of a completely different mental makeup: Paul Freund, Arthur Sutherland, Mark DeWolfe Howe, Samuel Thorne. Those who have succeeded them have not always, have very rarely, been up to their level. And with the appointment of Noah Feldman, who will now have a large say in who comes to deliver lectures on subjects related to Islam, who even comes to teach, for a term or a year, from other places, and will do so for decades to come -- something like rock bottom has been hit.
Posted on 06/23/2008 4:26 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 23 June 2008
Algeria And Islam
“'The foundation of religion, I learned in school,' said Mr. Bou Bekeur’s son, Abdel Rahman, 25. 'We pray more than them and we know religion better than them,' he said of his father’s generation. 'We are more religious. My father used to drink. I never drank. My father asked me if it was O.K. to take a car loan. I told him, no, it is haram,' forbidden in Islam.
So his father did not take the loan. His father is a quiet man in a house of strong-willed people. He can barely help his children with their homework, because his Arabic is poor. And he worries about their future, and the future of his country."
-- from this news article
And the new generation in Algeria, raised in a society suffused with Islam, told that the highest aim, for a Believer, is to become a "slave of Allah" and to fulfill all of the duties of a "slave of Allah," will gradually unlearn to think, as the older generation, the one that had some exposure to French schools and French non-Muslim ways of thought (which also came, of course, from contact with the more than a million non-Muslims who once lived in Algeria, and gave it what civilizational advances it at one time enjoyed), managed, in some small degree, to do. The secular classes, those who studied in the French-language schools, or who travel back and forth to France, or the Berbers, a special case as they always have been in Algeria (that non-Arab identity offering a conceivable way out of Islam, and that resentment of Arab cultural and linguistic imperialism, that has been felt most strongly since the protecting French left, helps to make Berbers, in Algeria and in France, more accessible to the message of proselytizers, or of other forms of quiet apostasy.
Notice, in the excerpt from the article just above, how the father simply asks the son what the rule on loans is in Islam. He does not think for himself, he does not question the rule: "My father used to drink. I never drank. My father asked me if it was O.K. to take a car loan. I told him, no, it is haram,' forbidden in Islam.
So his father did not take the loan."
End of story. His not to reason why, his but to do and sigh. This is Prohibited, This is Commanded. That's Islam. A society suffused with that kind of attitude will end up as torment for those capable of thought, a society living on lies, conspiracy theories, inculcated and permanent hatred of Infidels, incuriosity about the world, limited means of artistic expression, no free and skeptical inquiry without which the enterprise of science, and indeed all progress, becomes impossible. In short, a nightmare that, if the secular class, to which the stratokleptocrats of the regime belong, properly apprehend and are, for all of their misdeeds, nonetheless willing to ruthlessly suppress the enemies of mental freedom (more dangerous to Algeria's future than is the thievery of the rulers), something might be salvaged from what Algeria has, in the last forty-six years since the French left, steadily become.
Posted on 06/23/2008 4:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 23 June 2008
Iraqi City Councilman Murders US Soldiers
From CNN (thanks to Jeffrey Imm):
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A member of an Iraqi city council shot at U.S. forces Monday outside Baghdad, killing at least three soldiers, two Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said.
But the U.S. military said one coalition soldier and an "enemy" were killed and five others were wounded. The military said it is investigating.
The Iraqi official fired an AK-47 at U.S. troops after they entered the City Council building in al-Madaen, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, according to one Interior Ministry official. The councilman killed at least three people and wounded four, a ministry official said.
U.S. forces returned fire, killing the councilman, according to two Interior Ministry officials.
The shooting happened after U.S. soldiers and local officials had attended a ceremony to open a park in al-Madaen, also known as Salman Pak, an Interior Ministry official said.
"The attacker came out of his car with an AK-47 rifle in his hand and started firing on the American soldiers until he was killed by the return fire," said Hussein al-Dulaimi, 37, who owns an agricultural machine shop across the street, according to The Associated Press...
Posted on 06/23/2008 8:36 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 June 2008
A Musical Interlude: When We Get Together In The Moonlight (Belle Mann)
Posted on 06/23/2008 11:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald