These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 23, 2010.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Zut alors! "Traditional" French nudists in a town on the Languedoc coast are locked in battle with a new wave of naturists who advocate free sex and partner-swapping. From The Telegraph:
Tensions in the town of Cap d'Agde, which is known as France's "Naked City" thanks to its large nudist population, have risen after locals complained that the nudist quarter had been overrun by raunchy hotels and that children had been confronted with people indulging in sexual acts in public, according to the Independent.
The exhibitionist behaviour has been blamed on the "libertines", a group of swingers who have descended on the town in recent years.
To make matters worse, the group has been accused of walking about in their clothes and mocking the "real" nudists, the paper said.
AN EAST Lancashire college has banned visitors from wearing veils. Burnley College, which takes pupils from Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, has placed a printed notice in reception advising anyone coming onto the site to remove items of clothing which cover their face.
As well as banning the Muslim full veil, the move, introduced for security reasons, also prevents anything which covers a person's face, such as helmets. It is the only college in the area to bring in the move with Blackburn College, St. Mary's College and Accrington and Rossendale College having no such ban.
Daneshouse with Stoneyholme ward councillor Wajid Khan, who also works is a course leader in Community Leadership at the University of Central Lancashire, said people should wear what they want. He said: "Here at the University of Central Lancashire we don't have that policy. Everybody should be entitled to their individual freedom. Personally I don't agree with the policy in the college. It could affect parents coming to parents evening but the college should let parents know of the policies and students should make sure they know the policies before they join.
"Any student in the University of Central Lancashire area can chose what they wear. But university students who wear the veil and walk through the college area must identify themselves to the security guards. There are only male security guards on the premises."
Former Lancashire Council of Mosques chair Abdul Hamid Qureshi, who is still heavily involved with community cohesion work in Burnley, said the policy was 'a little excessive'. He said: "There are human rights issues, people have the right to wear what they want. . . I think it is a little excessive. There should be a compromise. If security is an issue the person coming in the burka should show their face to the security guard."
Burnley College had previously sparked controversy when a prospective student was asked to remove her veil for an interview.
From the comments
chris283, nelson says... 9:47am Thu 23 Sep 10 about time they banned this facial wear your not allowed to wear a crash helmet to go in the bank so wat makes this facial wear any different
Parly, Whalley says... 10:05am Thu 23 Sep 10
It's not about ethnic minority pupils and staff Abdul you bloody idiot! (in case you had not guessed Abdul thinks Asians are not given equal rights and that islamic colleges are the answer. Abdul is now outraged at such 'abuse'. EW) It's a request for ALL - ALL visitors to remove anything that covers the face. You and others like you do more damage than anyone else with your crackpot claims of blatant "Muslim-bashing", when it's nothing of the sort.
your granny, Blackburn says... 9:20am Thu 23 Sep 10
The college is right. The need for security is paramount. And if some women are so afraid of their husbands or prefer to hide their face to the extent that they can't leave the home without hiding it, then there is something wrong with them and not the college/Lancashire/UK/Europe/Civilised world.
The UN has been called upon to condemn stoning. Don't hold your breath - it's too busy passing resolutions against Israel and "Islamophobia". From The Telegraph:
The sharply critical report found there was "clear evidence to support prosecutions" against Israel for "wilful killing" and torture committed in the raid on the flotilla on May 31. Nine activists on a Turkish ship were killed as they attempted to breach the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.
"The circumstances of the killing of at least six of the passengers were in a manner consistent with an extralegal, arbitrary and summary execution," it added.
The Human Rights Council, a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly, has courted controversy for its excessive focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
While it has passed over a dozen resolutions condemning Israel since it was created in 2006, the council has been more reluctant to censure states such as Sudan, which has been accused of serious human rights violations in Darfur.
Moves to outlaw full Muslim veil in Catholic schools
I get the impression when reading the Irish press that the Irish know what is happening in England and now that they are getting a larger number of Musim immigrants and converts they will not make the same mistakes.
The full face veil used by Muslim girls should not be worn in Catholic secondary school, according to new guidelines.Schools have been given fresh guidelines on dealing with pupils of other faiths -- including those who wish to wear the Muslim veil.
Now the Joint Managerial Body, the representative body for Catholic secondary schools, has provided its 'Guidelines on the Inclusion of Students from other Faiths in Catholic Secondary Schools'. They were drawn up by Aiveen Mullally, an expert on religion and culture.
Schools have been told that a clear admissions policy, stating that it is a Catholic school and explaining to parents prior to enrolment what that means, avoids a lot of difficulty. According to the guidelines, any problems, such as uniform or religious education, should be discussed and resolved before the student is admitted.
Uniform is a potential area of conflict and no pupil or staff member should be prevented from wearing a religious symbol or garment, such as a turban for Sikh boys or a hijab for Muslim girls. However, the guidelines draw a distinction between the hijab and the niqab, the full veil worn over a Muslim girl's face.
Though a rare occurence, it would be unsatisfactory for a teacher not to be able to see and engage properly with a pupil whose face is covered. Similarly, the guidelines state that it is reasonable to ask a pupil, or her mother, to uncover their face for a meeting.
The guidelines also recommend the recognition of other religious festivals, provided the festivals and seasons of the Christian calendar are prominently acknowledged and celebrated.
Pupils and staff of any tradition should be welcome to the school's prayer room. Prayer mats, small cushions and chairs could be provided to cater for different styles of praying. If some religions want images or icons removed from the room, it should be explained that this would be equally offensive to the Catholic tradition.
G. Murphy Donovan Making Sense About The Distractions Of Iraq And Afghanistan
"We might also rethink our strategy and tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every measure of effectiveness; force to force, force to population, and strategy to strategy metrics suggests that ground war can not possibly result in anything that approximates victory or even stability in Iraq or Afghanistan (see appendix below). Contrary to White House claims, save technology, the war plan for South Asia is little different from our strategy in Vietnam or the Soviet strategy in their Afghan war. Making forays against terrorists or insurgents from defensive cantonments, with extended lines of communication, then as now, cedes most of the initiative to the enemy. The imperative is to move from defense to offense and let the Ummah (Islamic world) do the nation building and stabilize their insurgents.
To this end we should gift the so called "war on terror" to Islam; their problem tosolve - or else. Jihad doctrine, fighters, finances, and moral support all originate within Muslim world. All Muslims are not terrorists, but just as surely nearly all terrorists and their supporters are Muslims. If Islamism is a greater threat to Muslims, then Muslims should carry the burden of fighting.
Instead of wasting precious lives and expensive munitions on remote mountain roads, we might contemplate the occasional shot across the bow, or more if necessary, over Tehran, Damascus, Cairo, Riyadh, Karachi, or Tripoli. Surely such offensive initiatives put our energy sources and debt service in play, but Muslim autocrats have even more to lose; and we might make that clear.
If our cities are at risk, then their cities must suffer the same anxiety until the madness ends. The alternative is an endless, one-sided, war of attrition against the West by Islamist rules, on their turf - all of which is designed to bleed Dar al Harb (literally "house of war" or we infidels) into submission.
Recent arguments have parsed the Afghan front into two options; a war on terror (specifically against al Qaeda) or a war on insurgency (aka "nation building"). Choices here are distinguished by troop requirements; the Biden option argued for less troops and the McChrystal option called for more. Unfortunately, after nearly a decade, neither strategy offers a clear path to victory or stability.
Afghanistan not only represents another potential graveyard for Western empire, but it is a tactical distraction from a larger strategic question. We need to ask ourselves why European and American troops need to die in any political desert to save the Islamic world from itself. If Iraq was a distraction from Afghanistan, we should ask also why Afghanistan is not a distraction from the existential threat from Iran."
A girl walks past a wall with graffiti about the al-Qaida network in a Muslim area of the northern city of Kano, Nigeria. (AP File Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
(CNSNews.com) - The United States faces a growing threat from terrorists drawn from "immigrant and indigenous Muslims as well as converts to Islam," a new report finds. These new sources of radical Islamic terrorism defy attempts at profiling because they come from all walks of American life.
The report, Assessing the Terrorist Threat, was written by terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman and veteran journalist Peter Bergen and published by the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group, which is headed by 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton.
Kean is a former Republican governor of New Jersey and Hamilton is a former Democratic representative of Indiana.
The report's main conclusion is that the United States faces a new and growing threat from Islamic extremists radicalized in America. The conventional wisdom - that America could avoid the problem of increased domestic radicalization plaguing Europe - is wrong, according to the report.
"The conventional wisdom has long been that America was immune to the heady currents of radicalization affecting both immigrant and indigenous Muslim communities elsewhere in the West," the report says. "That has now been shattered by the succession of cases that have recently come to light of terrorist radicalization and recruitment occurring in the United States."
Those incidents, including the failed Times Square bombing attempt, the shooting rampage of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, and the shooting of two Army recruiters in Arkansas, show that America is "little different from Europe" when it comes to the domestic threat of Islamic radicalization.
"Given this list of incidents involving homegrown radicals, lone wolves, and trained terrorist recruits, the U.S. is arguably now little different from Europe in terms of having a domestic terrorist problem involving immigrant and indigenous Muslims, as well as converts to Islam," Hoffman and Bergen conclude.
While this growing threat is "embryonic" in the authors' opinion, it is deadly nonetheless and poses grave problems for U.S. domestic counter-terrorism efforts because the terrorists coming from within the United States defy attempts to categorize or otherwise profile them, making finding and thwarting them increasingly difficult.
"The diversity of these latest foot soldiers in the wars of terrorism being waged against the U.S. underscores how much the terrorist threat has changed since the September 11, 2001, attacks," reads the report.
"The only common denominator appears to be a newfound hatred for their native or adopted country, a degree of dangerous malleability, and a religious fervor justifying or legitimizing violence that impels these very impressionable and perhaps easily influenced individuals toward potentially lethal acts of violence," Hoffman and Bergen state.
These new terrorists, like Times Square bomber Faizal Shazhad, may still be connected to known international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and its affiliates but may also turn into terrorists "in the comfort of" their own bedrooms. This presents U.S. authorities with a uniquely complex threat that resists all previously known efforts to counter it, as authorities can no longer assume they know who to look for or even how to look for them, according to the report.
"There seems no longer any clear profile of a terrorist," states the report. "Moreover, the means through which many of these persons were radicalized -- over the Internet -- suggests that these days you can aspire to become a terrorist in the comfort of your own bedroom."
The types of attacks these new Islamic radicals are attempting to carry out have also evolved. Previously, al-Qaeda and its allies were focused on large-scale attacks on high-profile targets that resulted in mass casualties. However, due largely to the success of current and past counter-terrorism efforts, the new breed of terrorists radicalized inside the United States seek to carry out smaller, less-deadly attacks that intend to stress the capabilities of authorities and first responders.
"Now it is clear that terrorist groups see operational value in conducting more frequent and less sophisticated attacks that can place severe stress on finite intelligence and law enforcement resources," state Bergen and Hoffman.
Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have realized that such low-scale attacks are valuable because they are harder to disrupt, cost less to organize, and still result in a similar level of confusion and fear as high-profile attacks. In addition to their low-cost nature, al-Qaeda and other groups understand that low-scale terrorists "only have to get lucky once," meaning that it is highly cost-effective for them to plan multiple low-cost attacks, even if some of them fail, according to the report.
This April 1998 picture shows al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. (AP Photo)
This is because as U.S. counter-terrorism has evolved, authorities have learned how to prevent and disrupt high-cost, complex terror plots. With low-rent terrorism however, the operational and financial links that are often the undoing of complex plots are minimal, making them substantially more difficult for authorities to detect and disrupt, states the rpeport's authors.
Additionally, low-rent terrorists can remain under the radar and better avoid detection: a benefit that al-Qaeda and other groups realize outweighs the low-rent operatives' lack of training.
Hoffman and Bergen advise that instead of adding additional layers to the domestic counter-terrorism bureaucracy, greater coordination is needed. Above all, they say, authorities must encourage a greater maturity among citizens when it comes to terrorist attacks. Denying this new breed of terrorists the publicity and coverage they crave is perhaps the only thing that ultimately will defeat them.
"When the U.S. demonstrates its national resilience in the face of terrorism, terrorist groups will have little to gain by attacking the American homeland," reads the report. "When federal agencies work well with one another and their counterparts at the state and local levels, and reach out to everyday Americans, the United States will be far better able to detect and prevent future attacks."
"Only then can America succeed at maintaining the upper hand in the face of an adversary who continues to demonstrate the ability to learn and adapt," state Hoffman and Bergen.
Not only are they not in jail, they have their own reality show. Apparently TLC producers searched the polygamist Mormon community to find the most white bread looking and inoffensive sounding people they could in order to bring us a reality show on polygamy to mirror "Big Love." This cannot continue. Apparently it's not enough to have laws on the books against this. We have to press for enforcement. We cannot allow polygamy to be practised in America - period. The penalty is five years - both the man and the women should be in jail with the kids put in foster care. There has to be a public example made. Are there any men in law enforcement willing to stand up and protect their daughters? Have we gone insane?
Americans Apparently Think They Are Free To Meddle In France's Domestic Affairs
Feeling Slighted by France, and Respected by U.S.
Corentin Fohlen for The New York Times
A mural outside a school in Bondy was created as part of an artistic exchange with the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia.
By SCOTT SAYARE
Published: September 22, 201
BONDY, France - The residents of this poor, multiracial Paris suburb say they have been abandoned. For 30 years, they say, the French authorities have written off Bondy and neighborhoods like it, treating their inhabitants as terminal delinquents and ignoring their potential.
The actor Samuel L. Jackson met students in Bondy in April. The meeting was organized by the United States Embassy.
This, residents note, is not [sic] the approach taken by the United States Department of State.
"We're waiting for the president of the Republic, for his ministers," said Gilbert Roger, the mayor of Bondy. "And we see the ambassador of the United States."
The United States Embassy in Paris has formed a network of partnerships with local governments, advocacy groups, entrepreneurs, students and cultural leaders in the troubled immigrant enclaves outside France's major cities.
Begun in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks as part of an effort to bolster the image of the United States within Muslim communities across the globe, American outreach in these hard neighborhoods - often referred to collectively as the "banlieues," or suburbs - has grown in scale and visibility since the election of Barack Obama.
France is home to five million to six million Muslims, Europe's largest Muslim population, and the banlieues have long been considered potential incubators for religious extremism. But anti-American sentiment, once pervasive in these neighborhoods, seems to have been all but erased since the election of Mr. Obama, who has proved to be a powerful symbol of hope here and a powerful diplomatic tool.
Many suggest the Americans' warm reception is a measure of these communities' sense of abandonment. Others say it is the presence of Mr. Obama in the White House. Whatever the case, the United States is now more popular in the banlieues than at any other time in recent memory, say French and American officials.
Much of the embassy's outreach is meant to dispel "mistruths" about the United States, the ambassador, Charles H. Rivkin, said in an interview, adding, "It's easier to hate something you don't understand."
With an annual public affairs budget of about $3 million, the Paris embassy has sponsored urban renewal projects, music festivals and conferences. Since Mr. Obama's election, the Americans have helped organize seminars for minority politicians, coaching them in electoral strategy, fund-raising and communications.
The International Visitor Leadership Program, which sends 20 to 30 promising French entrepreneurs and politicians to America for several weeks each year, now includes more minority participants, and Muslims in particular. The embassy began a similar program for French teenagers.
Mr. Rivkin, 48, an entertainment executive and the youngest American ambassador to France in nearly 60 years, has taken a strong personal interest in the banlieues. Earlier this year, he thrilled a group of students in Bondy when he arrived with the actor Samuel L. Jackson, one of several entertainment industry contacts he has called upon in France. In Los Angeles, Mr. Rivkin cultivated ties between the family media and hip-hop worlds; in Paris, he has hosted local rappers at the Hôtel Rothschild, his official residence.
Officials insist the outreach is not meant solely to curry favor for the United States; the Americans also see an emerging group of political and business elites in these neighborhoods. The embassy is "trying to connect with the next generation of leaders in France," Mr. Rivkin said. "That includes the banlieues."
Few French leaders speak in such hopeful terms.
Residents "have the sense that the United States looks upon our areas with much more deference and respect," said Mr. Roger, the Bondy mayor. For electoral reasons, he said,[lying through his teeth] French politicians exaggerate the violence and criminality here.
Ministerial excursions to the banlieues often entail a crushing police presence and vows to crack down on crime. President Nicolas Sarkozy, who as interior minister famously pledged to clean up one of these cities with a "Kärcher" - a brand of high-pressure hose - typically spends his time here consulting with law enforcement officials.
Though often criticized as not serious about stemming the violence, poverty and unemployment that plague the banlieues, the French government commits $5 billion annually to these cities, according to Fadela Amara, the secretary of state for urban policy. Since 2003, she said, the state has pledged more than $16 billion to a nationwide urban reconstruction program.
Residents and local politicians say this is nowhere near enough, though they add that money alone will not solve the problems.[the problem is Islam, which stunts mental and moral growth, and prevents -- permanently -- true integration into, or support for, any Infidel nation-state]
"Do you know what it means to give recognition in the suburbs?" asked Aziz Senni, 34, the founder of a taxi service and an investment fund dedicated to spurring economic development in the banlieues, where he was raised. "It's worth as much as gold."
A Moroccan-born Muslim, Mr. Senni traveled to the United States in 2006 as a participant in the visitor program. He was effusive in his praise for the outreach and the optimism it has spread. "Never has France had this type of approach," he said.
Mr. Senni spoke of feeling "stigmatized" by French leaders. A law banning the full facial veil, a government-led "debate on national identity" and a recent proposal to revoke French nationality from certain criminals "of foreign origin" have been widely felt as attacks on immigrants and Muslims here.
"The emerging elite in the suburbs doesn't see itself in the way it's being treated by French society," said Nordine Nabili, 43, who directs the new Bondy branch of a journalism school, E.S.J. Lille; he hosted Mr. Rivkin and Mr. Jackson there in April.
"You're the future," Mr. Jackson told the students.
Mr. Nabili said, "I don't think people tell them that enough." But he worries that the Americans may be raising hopes too high. Beyond good feelings, he said, "there really needs to be a true policy."
Mr. Rivkin called such concerns unfounded. "From my vantage point, this embassy has not been peddling false dreams," he said. "Anything is possible, if you put your mind to it and work hard enough."
Widad Ketfi, 25, was among the students who met Mr. Rivkin and Mr. Jackson earlier this year. "We won't be disappointed," she insisted. The American attention is proof that "these young people are succeeding," and that "we're not invisible," she said.
A Muslim born to French-Algerian parents, she acknowledged the likelihood that the Americans had reached out to her, at least in part, because of her background.
Asked if that reality left her uneasy, Ms. Ketfi replied, "What bothers me is being the target of the French state."
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A 49-year-old Jackson man has been arrested in Ann Arbor following a fight with the pet parrot he carried in his backpack.
Police said 911 calls started coming in around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday with witnesses reporting that a man on South Main Street was violently shaking the bird.
Officers who responded to the call said the bird's feathers were scattered everywhere, and that the bird was limping. However, police said, the bird did bite the man several times on his hands, drawing blood.
The man told police he had been trying to train the bird, and when it didn't listen, he shook it.
The man is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail pending charges. [Throw away the key! - Tolstoy]
The bird was given to an animal rescue organization.
That parrot hasn't yet mastered the art of soothing the savage human beast. Unlike this one:
A few months ago, in a cafe in St. Louis, I met a man named Jim Eggers, who uses an assistance parrot, Sadie, to help control his psychotic tendencies. Eggers looks like a man who has been fighting his whole life. He is muscular, with a buzz cut, several knocked-out teeth and many scars, including one that runs ear-to-chin from surgery to repair a broken jaw. Eggers avoids eye contact in public - he walks fast down streets and through stores staring at the ground, jaw clenched. "I have bipolar disorder with psychotic tendencies," he told me as he sucked down a green-apple smoothie. "Homicidal feelings too."
Eggers's condition has landed him in court several times: a disturbing-the-peace charge for pouring scalding coffee onto a man under his apartment window who annoyed him; one-year probation for threatening to kill the archbishop of St. Louis because of news reports about church money and molestations by priests in other cities (which the archbishop had nothing to do with). In describing his condition, Eggers says it's like when the Incredible Hulk changes from man to monster. His vision blurs, his body tingles and he can barely hear. According to his friend Larry Gower, who often serves as a public liaison for him, in those moments, Eggers gets extremely loud. They both agree that Sadie is one of the few things keeping Eggers from snapping.
Sadie rides around town on Eggers's back in a bright purple backpack specially designed to hold her cage. When he gets upset, she talks him down, saying: "It's O.K., Jim. Calm down, Jim. You're all right, Jim. I'm here, Jim." She somehow senses when he is getting agitated before he even knows it's happening. "I still go off on people sometimes, but she makes sure it never escalates into a big problem," he told me, grinning bashfully at Sadie. "Now when people make me mad I just give them the bird," he said, pulling up his sleeve and flexing his biceps, which is covered with a large tattoo of Sadie.
Soon after what he calls "the Archbishop Incident," Eggers got Sadie from a friend who owned a pet store. She'd been neglected by a previous owner and had torn out all her feathers, so Eggers nursed her back to health. He didn't initially train her as a service animal, he says; she did that herself. When Eggers had episodes at home, he'd pace, holding his head and yelling: "It's O.K., Jim! You're all right, Jim! Calm down, Jim!" One day, Sadie started doing it, too. He soon realized that she calmed him better than he calmed himself. So he started rewarding her each time it happened. And he has had only one incident since: he dented a woman's car with his fist on a day when he'd left Sadie at home...
Now that's what I call handling a human - Tolstoy.
Charles H. Rivkin And Other American Buttinskys Meddle In France With "Outreach" To The Banlieues
The Obama Administration is apparently content to continue to squander, by continuiing the policies of the Bush Administration, American resources -- -- men, money, materiel, morale -- in mad policies based on the dreamy notion that Islam is not a threat, that only "violent extremists" or "Islamist radicals" are a threat,. Thus it makes sense, to those who cling to this nonsense, to try to "win Muslim hearts and minds" by working to ensure that Iraq, Afghanistan, and all other Muslim states 1) remain unified despite the many fissures within and 2) become prosperous despite the fact that inshallah-fatalism prevents sustainable and deep prosperity in any Muslim state which has not benefitted from systematic constraints placed on Islam (as in, for different reasons, in Turkey, Tunisia, and Kazakhstan).
But in Western Europe, too, the folly of voiding any analysis of, or understanding of, the ideology of the Total Belief-System of Islam, can be seen working itself out in mad American policies. In Western Europe, the Obama Administration continues to believe or to pretend to believe that Turkey under Erdogan and Gul and those working night and day to undo Kemalism by slyly using the "requirements of the E.U." to limit the power of the Kemalist bastions, that is the army and the judiciary, is the same as Turkey in 1960 or 1970, when Kemalism was riding high, and everyone assumed that Turkey would become ever more, rather than less, secularist and secularizing. But Kemalism was temporary, and needed guardians willing to be ruthless; Islam was forever.
The Obama Administration insists that Turkey should be admitted to the E.U., when all sensible people in Western Europe have come, grimly, to the recognition that such an outcome would bring not only a re-islamizing Turkey into the E.U. as its most populous member, with Muslim Turks allowed to live and settle anywhere in the member states of the E.U., but what's more, so would other Muslims who might well be given -- it has already been explicitly suggested by members of the Erdogan regime -- Turkish citizenship and then given entree into Western Europe. It is true that this was also the policy of the Bush Administration, but now, given how the Erdgoan regime has behaved, and what it has said, a continuation of this support for Turkish admission is now no longer even minimially acceptable.
And, still worse, the story in today's Times about the Obama Administration, and Charles H. Rivkin, the American ambassador to France, an Obama fundraiser and former California media executive who is apparently proud of his excruciating French, which is that of a schoolboy (a schoolboy who puts on his resume a few childhood years in Senegal, which perhaps made someone think it would be appropriate to grant him his heart's desire and send him to Paris), a French he carefully rehearses in order then to "deliver a speech in French" (this is considered quite a feat at the State Department), one that conveys the usual bland banalities and the idiotic references to Great Frenchmen from Descartes to Jean Moulin (see here to watch the show). According to the New York Times report here, Rivkin has demonstrated a willingness to go behind the back of the French government, and the French themselves, to conduct a policy to encourage Muslijms in the banlieues - a policy that not only constitutes an intolerable meddling in French domestic politics, but is worse than a crime, it is a mistake, for it should be the goal of the American government never to take the Muslim side, never to show any interest, much less such grotesque sympathy for, Muslims in France or in any othber Infidel nation-state in Western Europe or elsewhere, that faces Muslim danger from within, a danger that comes mainly from the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest.
People of the low cultural level of Charles H. Rivkin, who appears to be well-pleased with himself for delivering speeches full of the most excruciating banalities delivered in a French that needs work, cannot be expected to understand France or why pride in the French language, literature, history, is so important in helping to strengthen French resistance to the forces preaching surrender, slow or fast, to the demands of Muslims, nor be expected to understand why wooing the banlieues is such a dangerous idea -- but what fun it must have been for Rivkin to invite in, from sunny California, Samuel Jackson, as an unofficial ambassador to those who, some may think, are victims of French bigotry when, in fact, they have been given the great chance to settle within a superior civilization and to accept all of its many advantages, but offer only aggression, violence, and this baseless sense of victimhood that should always and everywhere be rejected.
There's a lot one could say about the life and times, the worldview, of such a person as Charles H. Rivkin, Media Mogul and "the youngest American ambassador" ever to be sent to France. One wonders if, since he's obviously taken time from his busy schedule, the one where he flits from a reception for some American businessmen at Le Crillon to one for some third-world tyrant at the Hotel Raphael, just down the street from the Avenue Kleber, to visit the banlieues, if he will ever get a chance to read Tocqueville on Islam, or Jacques Ellul.
Thus you can enjoy, to your heart's content, clean-cut media mogul and Obama contribgutor Charles H. Rivkin, who left sunny California to become what he so ardently desired as his privatye payoff, that is Ambassador of the United Statesto France, practicing his French as he unconvincingly recites a list of All The Great Frenchmen My State Department Speechwriters Could Think Of -- Descartes, Tocqueillve, Cartier-Bresson -- as if that were a demonstration of deep knowledge and love of the Perfected Civilization. Chamfort, by the way, was not on the list. It was a schoolboy's list, delivered in schoolboy French, and designed to impress -- whom? Well-educated French people.
It makes Rivkiin, and by metonymy the United States, into laughing-stocks. I don't like being made into a laughing-stock by some media mogul who was a dab hand at bundling contributions for Obama. If David K. E. Bruce or his equivalent cannot be found, then find someone who is a reasonable facsimile thereof. Ask Marc Fumaroli for suggestions. Possibly Robert Darnton would do. Someone who knows France and French history, well enough, and how the West was culturally won, and who, as a direct consequence of such knowledge, is alarmed about the very banlieues that Charles H. Rivkin thinks he has a perfect right to pay attention to, to court "future leaders" of France, and to express sympathy for their inhabitants, rather than for the people and civilisation of France diluted, weakened, threatened, by the large-scale presence of those consigned, by their own beliefs, to a state of permanent alienation and primitiveness in a society they do not understand nor appreciation, but ot whose goods and services they wish to lay demanding and resentful claim, now and forever.
Top Israeli officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Soviet dissident turned Israeli parliamentarian Natan Sharansky, reacted with disappointment Wednesday to comments by former President Bill Clinton casting Israel's Russian immigrant population as an obstacle to the Middle East peace process. Sharansky even accused Clinton of inappropriately trafficking in ethnic stereotypes about Israelis.
"If the reports of President Clinton's comments are accurate, I am particularly disappointed by the president's casual use of inappropriate stereotypes about Israelis, dividing their views on peace based on ethnic origins. I must add that these are uncharacteristic comments from a man who has always been a sensitive and thoughtful listener and conversation partner," said Sharansky, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
As reported first by The Cable, Clinton identified the Russian community as the ethnic group inside Israel least amenable to a land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians. The former president, speaking in a roundtable with reporters Monday in New York, also suggested that because Russian and settlers' offspring comprised an increasing proportion of the Israel Defense Forces, forcibly removing settlers from the West Bank as part of a peace deal might be more difficult.
"An increasing number of the young people in the IDF are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem," Clinton said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also reacted strongly Wednesday, calling Clinton's comments "distressing," according to the Israeli news wire Ynet.
"As a friend of Israel, Clinton should know that the immigrants from the former Soviet Union have contributed and are making a great contribution to the advancement, development and strengthening of the IDF and the State of Israel. Only a strong Israel can establish solid and safe peace," Netanyahu reportedly said.
Sharansky also denied that he participated in a conversation with Clinton years ago where he used his Russian identity as a reason to oppose a land-for-peace deal with the Palestinians.
On Monday, Clinton recalled a conversation, telling reporters that Sharansky said, "I can't vote for this, I'm Russian... I come from one of the biggest countries in the world to one of the smallest. You want me to cut it in half. No, thank you."
Sharansky responded Wednesday: "I was never at Camp David and never had the opportunity to discuss the negotiations there with President Clinton. It may be that he had in mind our conversations at Wye Plantation years before, where I expressed my serious doubts, given the dictatorial nature of the PA regime, whether Mr. Arafat would be willing to bring freedom to his people, an essential element of a sustainable peace," said Sharansky. "History has shown that these concerns were justified."
The Cable reported that Clinton was referring to Sharansky's opposition to the 2000 Camp David accords but, after reviewing the transcript, it was clear that Clinton was referring to discussions he had with Sharansky during negotiations over the 1998 Wye River Memorandum.
Yisrael Beitenu, an Israeli political party whose supporters are made up of mostly Russian immigrants, called Clinton's comments "crude generalizations." Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, one of the leaders of the party, said that nobody should attempt to divide Israeli groups in such a way.
"The immigrants of Russia contributed to the development of the state of Israel in every field, including science, culture, sports, economy and defense. This year, the entire country is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Russian aliyah. This shows that the Israeli people are united," the Jerusalem Post reported her saying.
Not all Israeli leaders were upset. Coalition Chairman and Russian immigrant Zeev Elken praised Clinton's remarks. "I am proud of former President Clinton's distinctions. He made the right distinction that the Russian speakers and settlers have been carrying the Zionism banner in the State of Israel in recent years," he told Ynet.
Clinton's staff did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
A Little More On The One-Hundred-Million Dollar Man, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton apparently wants us to believe, and does himself believe, that opposition by Israelis to the "peace-processing" which was such an obsessive feature of his own Adminstration -- he entertianed Yassir Arafat more than he did any other foreign leader or ruler -- has nothing to do with the merits of such doubts, but to the existence of large numbers of what he calls "Russian Israelis" who, he believes, having moved from the largest country in the world to one of the tiniest (so small its outline can hardly be discerned on a world map), find it difficult to contemplate making their tiny country tinier still.
But you don't have to have grown up in Russia to find it absurd that Israel should be asked to give up still more territory, when the entire history of Israel's "peace-processing" has been one of giving up[ tangible assets to the Muslim Arabs who then proceed just as before, unwilling to grant Israel the right to exist as an Infidel nation-state, and determined, by war and by "peace" processing such as Clinton so deeply believes or pretends to believe in (because he lacks the wit and intelligence to imagine another way to analyze, understand, and deal with the Muslim Arab war on Israel) but perfectly willing, indeed determined, to win through wiles and feigned temporary smiles (just enough for the Rose Garden ceremonies) what they cannot win -- for now -- by direct warfare.
You need only be an Israeli from France, or Poland, or Ethiopia, or Italy, or South Africa, or Argentina, or Australia, or India, or the United States (the last three are not exactly small countries, though admittedly not quite as big asRussia with its many time zones), who exhibits a certain common sense, who is aware that the nearly 200 agreements the "Palestinian" Arabs made with Israel were -- every single one -- broken by the Arab Muslim side. Why, you could even be an Israeli who came from tiny Panama, or Denmark, and if you have that common sense, see exactly what is wrong with all this "peace-processing."
And if you are not an Israeli, you should -- if you haven't allowed yourself to have swallowed the Arab propaganda, or the anti-Israel venom that drip by drip has entered the bloodstream of so many in the West, a poison constantly replenished by the Western press -- the BBC, The Guardian, Le Monde, Agence France Presse are among the names to remember -- be perfectly capable of seeing through such a comical idea as the "Two-State Solution" -- which, I never will tire of observing, is called a "Solution" so of course it must be, otherwise the people who called it a "solution" would not, now would they, have called it a "solution" in the first place?
Bill Clinton's carelessness, his deep casual ignorance about men and things, as reflected especially in his nauseating attention to Arafat, and his inability, even now, to show any signs of having learned about the Islamic worldview, about the final cause of the implacable hostility of Arab Muslims to Israel and to Jews, and about what all this peace-processing is truly about,in Arab eyes, and why it can only lead, in the end, to disaster for one side -- the Israeli side -- all this is beyond him. He could not be bothered to learn about islam when he was President, until 2000. And he's not had a moment free, in the last ten years, to learn about the ideology of Islam, and about the meaning, and menace, for Infidels everywhere, but right now especially in Israel and in the countries of Western Europe, of Islam.
He wasn't up to the task when President. He hasn't been up to it since. And his wife, who fancies herself, even describes herself, as a "policy wonk," can't be bothered to learn about Islam any more than he could.
And the farce continues.
And the false charges -- against Sharansky (who was never at Camp David when Clinton "remembers" a conversation with him -- and against "Russian Israelis" provide some who are ready to push the Jews of Israel around still further, and to blame them for not being enthusiastic participants in their own surrender of land they must continue to hold if, in the long run, they are to survive (this is both a military matter and a matter of national morale) but should, for the rest of us, only disgust.
Aafia Siddiqui, Described On BBC News As A "Pakistani Scientist," Gets 86 Years
And here is how Aafia Siddiqui's family reacts, with predictable hysteria and self-pity:
Government didn't play its role, says Aafia's family
KARACHI: The government did not play its role for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and did not even bother to write a single letter to the US court for waiving terrorism charges, said the family of the doctor, who was sentenced to 86 years imprisonment in the US on Thursday.
Dr Fouzia Siddiqui, a sister of Aafia, blamed Pakistani rulers for the sentence. "They (Pakistani rulers) failed to honour their promises to bring Dr. Afia back to Pakistan. "I was alone when I started an initiative and people joined me in this. Finally it converted into a national cause-to get Aafia released," said Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, a sister of Aafia.
Asmat Siddiqui, mother of Afia said, "The rulers of Muslim world have shown more barbarity than Ghengez Khan and other dictators in the world's history by maintaining silence over the issue."She further said, "But I cannot say anything to anyone, if my country rulers did nothing. For six months the US court kept seeking a letter for the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from the Pakistani government but not a single word or letter was written."
"One of the most sophisticated pieces of malware ever detected was probably targeting "high value" infrastructure in Iran"
BBC NEWS, 23 September 2010
Stuxnet worm 'targeted high-value Iranian assets'
By Jonathan FildesTechnology reporter, BBC News
Some have speculated the intended target was Iran's nuclear power plant
One of the most sophisticated pieces of malware ever detected was probably targeting "high value" infrastructure in Iran, experts have told the BBC.
Stuxnet's complexity suggests it could only have been written by a "nation state", some researchers have claimed.
It is believed to be the first-known worm designed to target real-world infrastructure such as power stations, water plants and industrial units.
It was first detected in June and has been intensely studied ever since.
"The fact that we see so many more infections in Iran than anywhere else in the world makes us think this threat was targeted at Iran and that there was something in Iran that was of very, very high value to whomever wrote it," Liam O'Murchu of security firm Symantec, who has tracked the worm since it was first detected, told BBC News.
Some have speculated that it could have been aimed at disrupting Iran's delayed Bushehr nuclear power plant or the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.
Stuxnet was first detected in June by a security firm based in Belarus, but may have been circulating since 2009.
Unlike most viruses, the worm targets systems that are traditionally not connected to the internet for security reasons.
Instead it infects Windows machines via USB keys - commonly used to move files around - infected with malware.
Once it has infected a machine on a firm's internal network, it seeks out a specific configuration of industrial control software made by Siemens.
The worm searches out industrial systems made by Siemens
Once hijacked, the code can reprogram so-called PLC (programmable logic control) software to give attached industrial machinery new instructions.
"[PLCs] turn on and off motors, monitor temperature, turn on coolers if a gauge goes over a certain temperature," said Mr O'Murchu.
"Those have never been attacked before that we have seen."
If it does not find the specific configuration, the virus remains relatively benign.
However, the worm has also raised eyebrows because of the complexity of the code used and the fact that it bundled so many different techniques into one payload.
"There are a lot of new, unknown techniques being used that we have never seen before," he said These include tricks to hide itself on PLCs and USB sticks as well as up to six different methods that allowed it to spread.
In addition, it exploited several previously unknown and unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows, known as zero-day exploits.
"It is rare to see an attack using one zero-day exploit," Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, told BBC News. "Stuxnet used not one, not two, but four."
He said cybercriminals and "everyday hackers" valued zero-day exploits and would not "waste" them by bundling so many together.
Microsoft has so far patched two of the flaws.
Mr O'Murchu agreed and said that his analysis suggested that whoever had created the worm had put a "huge effort" into it.
"It is a very big project, it is very well planned, it is very well funded," he said. "It has an incredible amount of code just to infect those machines."
His analysis is backed up by other research done by security firms and computer experts.
"We are not familiar with what configurations are used in different industries," he said.
Instead, he hopes that other experts will be able to pore over their research and pinpoint the exact configuration needed and where that is used.
A spokesperson for Siemens, the maker of the targeted systems, said it would not comment on "speculations about the target of the virus".
He said that Iran's nuclear power plant had been built with help from a Russian contractor and that Siemens was not involved.
"Siemens was neither involved in the reconstruction of Bushehr or any nuclear plant construction in Iran, nor delivered any software or control system," he said. "Siemens left the country nearly 30 years ago."
Siemens said that it was only aware of 15 infections that had made their way on to control systems in factories, mostly in Germany. Symantec's geographical analysis of the worm's spread also looked at infected PCs.
"There have been no instances where production operations have been influenced or where a plant has failed," the Siemens spokesperson said. "The virus has been removed in all the cases known to us."
He also said that according to global security standards, Microsoft software "may not be used to operate critical processes in plants".
It is not the first time that malware has been found that affects critical infrastructure, although most incidents occur accidentally, said Mr O'Murchu, when a virus intended to infect another system accidently wreaked havoc with real-world systems.
In 2009 the US government admitted that software had been found that could shut down the nation's power grid.
And Mr Hypponen said that he was aware of an attack - launched by infected USB sticks - against the military systems of a Nato country.
"Whether the attacker was successful, we don't know," he said.
Rael Isaac: The Scam Artist At The Ground Zero Mosque
The Scam Artist at the Ground Zero Mosque
September 22, 2010 - Rael Jean Isaac
While there has been much emotion and argument over the proposed mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, it has largely swirled over issues that miss the nature and significance of the issues involved. Thus we hear endless variations on the theme "How can a moderate imam whose stated goal is to promote healing in the wake of 9/11 be so insensitive to the feelings of those who lost those they loved at the hands of Islamic fanatics?"
But, as the public is slowly learning, Imam Rauf is no moderate and bridge-building is not his agenda. The project with which Rauf has been most closely associated is the "Sharia Index Project" which measures how closely each country approaches the ideal of complete conformity to sharia law. The ideal is replacing Western law with Islamic law, i.e. achieving worldwide Islamic supremacy.
How did the issue of the Ground Zero mosque come to be framed so poorly? It's because Imam Rauf is an expert at gaming the system, exploiting every economic, political and psychological vulnerability of this society. How does he scam us? Let me count the ways.
1 In a burst of investigative journalism, The Bergen Record has documented how, thanks to his connections with powerful politicians (including Robert Janiszewski, the county's disgraced former county executive), Rauf managed to obtain over $2 million in public financing for purchasing and rehabilitating low income apartments in Hudson County, New Jersey. Maintaining the buildings was another matter. Page after page of municipal health records, the Record reports, chronicle a barrage of tenant complaints from failure to pick up garbage to rat infestation to no heat or hot water. Union City has now brought suit, seeking receivership on two buildings, charging Rauf with ignoring orders by the city to address violations.
2 Rauf obtained church status for the American Sufi Muslim Association, giving it exemption from taxes, from filing tax returns and from revealing its sources of funding. The Association gave a one bedroom apartment on the tenth floor of a high rise at 251 West 85th street (elsewhere listed as his wife's residence) as its place of worship. In petitioning for church status, Rauf claimed as many as 500 people prayed there daily, five times a day. Steve Emerson's Investigative Project, which dug up this scam, points out that there is no way this small apartment could have functioned as Rauf claimed it did. (Emerson's group has also revealed that Faiz Khan, one of the Association's three directors, is a "truther," insisting at a 2006 conference of these U.S.-hating fantasists that the "most logical explanation" for 9/11 was that the hijackers were "working for corporate America.")
3 Rauf claims his mission, in his own words, is "to strengthen relations between the Western and Muslim worlds and to help counter radical ideology." On the strength of this persona the State Department sends him off on junkets to the Middle East, most recently this summer.
But how can the State Department possibly believe a man openly dedicated to instituting sharia worldwide will counter Islamic radicalism when implementing sharia is the central demand of Islamic radicals?
If the relation of sharia to Islamic radicalism is beyond the comprehension of our State Department, there is the interview Rauf gave to Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. He told Bradley "U.S. policies were an accessory to the crime."
Today Rauf tries to explain this away. On CNN (September 8th) Rauf said he meant to say that the U.S. had empowered Islamist militants like bin Laden while fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Only trouble is that in the original interview a startled Bradley had a follow up question:"How?" And Rauf replied "Because we have been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA." Rauf was clearly claiming that the U.S. had brought 9/11 upon itself (was "accessory to the crime") by its brutality to Muslims. If that wasn't clear enough, in 2005 Rauf told a Moslem audience in Australia "the U.S. has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims."
Apparently for the State Department, it's enough to say 9/11 was a "crime" to pass muster as a Muslim moderate-it doesn't matter to whom you attribute it.
4 Rauf exploits the ill-advised Jewish passion for interfaith dialogue (no matter how disingenuous the other side) to line up Jewish-especially rabbinic-support for the Ground Zero mosque. There are the familiar far-leftists like Arthur Waskow (formerly of the radical left-wing Institute for Policy Studies, now reincarnated as a rabbi), Rolando Matalon of the trendy B'nai Jeshurun congregation and, inevitably, the Union for Reform Judaism. But there are also the Orthodox Rabbis Schneier, father and son, and David Harris of the American Jewish Committee to whom Rauf's position on Israel should be of some concern.
So where does Rauf stand on Israel? Challenged to condemn Hamas in a radio interview, Rauf replied "Terrorism is a very complex question." As National Review editor Rich Lowry has observed, that's the stock answer for anyone excusing terrorism.
But the most significant insight into Rauf's views on Israel comes from a letter from Rauf published in The New York Times that The Wall Street Journal unearthed. Elsewhere ("Taiba at Ground Zero?" Family Security Matters, August 20) I have compared Rauf to Tariq Ramadan, the urbane and articulate Swiss born academic, grandson of of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan-al-Banna, whose role as an alleged moderate has made him a fixture of the "commentariat" on Islam on European television and even secured him an invitation from the British Prime Minister to serve on the government's task force on preventing extremism. As French journalist Caroline Fourest documents extensively in her book Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan, Ramadan is adept at saying one thing to his Islamic followers, another to his Western audience.Rauf outdoes Ramadan at this game: he manages to address both audiences with opposing messages at the same time!
Let's look at Rauf's letter to The New York Times of Nov. 27, 1977, in which he comments on Sadat's then ground breaking trip to Jerusalem. Rauf encourages his fellow Muslims to "give peace a chance." So much for making a Western audience happy. He goes on to address specifically "my fellow Arabs." To them he says "Learn from the example of the Prophet Mohammed, your greatest historical personality. After a state of war with the Meccan unbelievers that lasted for many years, he acceded in the Treaty of Hudabiya, to demands that his closest companions considered utterly humiliating. Yet peace turned out to be a most effective weapon against the unbelievers." As The Wall Street Journal points out, Rauf is referring to the treaty that established a ten year truce during which Mohammed built up his forces to conquer Mecca. Rauf is telling the Arabs that Sadat is doing the same thing, offering a time-out before the ultimate conquest. In case they missed the point, he adds "In a true peace it is impossible that a purely Jewish state of Palestine can endure....In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority."
Asked by The Wall Street Journal if his views had changed since the 1970s (when he also celebrated the Iranian revolution as "inspired by the very principles of individual rights and freedom that Americans ardently believe in") Rauf professed himself "amused" that the Journal would dredge up letters he wrote as a young man. But he stood by his original views.
"As I reread those letters now, I see that they express the same concerns-a desire for peaceful solutions in Israel and for a humane understanding of Iran-that I have maintained, and worked hard on, in the years since those letters were published." "Peaceful solutions" in the case of Israel," as Rauf made crystal clear, meant Israel's extinction.
5 Rauf claims that the mosque "sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11." But as Amir Taheri has pointed out, the structure will be a rabat, the creation of which was ordered by Mohammed at the heart of infidel territory that had been successfully raided-and where the next raid would be prepared. As Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, director general of Al-Arabiya TV, put it in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, the mosque "will become an arena for the promoters of hatred, and a monument to those who committed the crime."
This is more than well-informed speculation by individuals who understand the Moslem world. In August, as Die Zeit editor Josef Joffe wrote in The Wall Street Journal, the German authorities shut down the Taiba mosque and cultural center in Hamburg after it became a magnet drawing enthusiasts for jihad-along with actual practitioners-from around the world. It was a magnet, as Manfred Murck, deputy chief of Germany's domestic security agency, explained "because it has the aura of the 9/11 assassins." This was the mosque where Mohammed Atta and several other 9/11 hijackers had hung out, and Murck reported that "devotees of the 9/11 killers have come from all over on a tour of jihadism that starts in Hamburg, then proceeds to Madrid, then to London, where dozens were murdered in the tube in 2005."
If the mere "aura" of Mohammed Atta proved so powerful in Hamburg, imagine what a magnet a mosque at the site of the greatest triumph over the infidels would be? In the imagination of the jihadists it will be almost as good as a mosque in the actual footprint of the towers, for the Burlington Coat factory was badly damaged when landing gear from one of the planes crashed through the roof.
And this is precisely the reason why Imam Rauf and his associates are so reluctant to accept the alternative site New York Governor Patterson has offered them, on the surface an easy way to put the controversy to rest. At any other site Imam Rauf would be unlikely to raise anything like the $100 million he can plausibly hope to obtain for a mosque in the shadow of what were once the World Trade Center towers. Moreover, it is important to note the title of Rauf's book. The abridged English version is a comforting What's Right with Islam is What's Right with America. But it was published earlier in Malaysia under the very different title A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post 9-11. Dawa means proselytizing. Rauf is set on spreading the message of Islam from the heart of Ground Zero-and the Burlington coat factory is as close as you get.
There is another backstory, not yet uncovered, as to why the Pomerantz family, owners of the site, sold it to Rauf's group for $4.8 million, when they had turned down multiple offers, including one by developer Kevin Glodek for $18 million. Why did Kukiko Mitani, Pomerantz's widow, claim that there were no other offers?
6Rauf games the system by claiming he seeks reconciliation while demonizing the mosque's opponents. He claims his life's work is "peace-making" even as he issues dire warnings of worldwide violence if his Ground Zero mosque is blocked.
Speaking in a forum in Doha on his recent taxpayer funded tour, Rauf declared: "The battlefront is not between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is between moderates [and] extremists-radicals of all faith traditions." Rauf treats those who are offended by a mosque at Ground Zero as the moral equivalent of jihadists. Not to be outdone, on August 22 Rauf's wife Daisy Khan announced on national TV that America was a place "beyond Islamophobia."
Even more outrageously, Rauf now claims he only insists on the present mosque site out of concern for American lives! Rauf used an hour long interview on Larry King Live (conducted by Soledad O'Brien) to claim that he would not have embarked on the project had he anticipated the outcry, but it now must go forward to save American lives: "If we move from that location...the headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack." Rauf warns that the 2006 riots in the wake of the Mohammed cartoons could pale in comparison, for anger will likely "explode in the Muslim world" leading to "something which could really become very, very, very dangerous indeed." But as Claudia Rosett points out on Forbes.com, it is Rauf himself who created and now stokes the "crisis."
There is a strong parallel to the Danish cartoons incident but not the one Rauf draws. Those cartoons aroused no reaction whatever in the Muslim world until, months after their publication, a group of imams toured the Middle East to incite murderous rage among ever-so-easily outraged Muslims. Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed of Al-Arabiya, quoted earlier, insists that most of the world's Muslims couldn't care less about Rauf's mosque and most don't want it at a place "that tomorrow may become a source of pride for the terrorists and their Muslim followers." If that changes it's because Rauf succeeds in persuading Muslims "they are under attack."
Moreover, our naïve State Department encourages Rauf's dangerous game. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that Rauf could talk about the mosque (but not raise funds for it) during his Middle East tour. Crowley said "he wouldn't be surprised" if Rauf was talking of the ongoing debate "as an example of our religious tolerance and resolving questions that come up within the rule of law." This is a good example of what Charles Jacobs calls "our ruling delusional elites" in action.
7 To hear Imam Rauf, his 13 story mosque plus cultural center is designed "to cultivate understanding among all religions and cultures." He promises (in his New York Times op-ed of September 7th) "a multifaith memorial dedicated to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks," "separate prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and men and women of other faiths" and to promote "a culture of forging personal bonds across religious traditions."
But Christine Brim of the Center for Security Policy has come closer to uncovering some of the planned activities of the center. On the basis of copious since-deleted pages on Rauf's website (which she has managed to preserve for readers on www.bigpeace.com) Brim concludes that up to six floors of the 13 floor edifice are to be devoted to the Sharia Index Project, designed to benchmark sharia compliance, to distribute sharia propaganda and to enforce sharia law in America and worldwide." The first now-hidden website reveals that the Sharia Index Project had its initial meeting, convened and chaired by Rauf, in Malaysia in August 2006 and the first four participants Rauf recruited were international leaders affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (the fount of today's radical Islam). The group was subsequently expanded to include "the Shi'a perspective" with one of the new recruits (identified by Anne Bayefsky on the basis of a photograph) Iran's Mohammad Javad Larijani, who has justified torture of Iranian dissidents as legal punishments under sharia.
There is of course not a hint of "recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship," the American values Rauf claims to pursue, in the Moslem Brotherhood or in sharia. Imposing sharia is what the Taliban is all about. On September 20 The Wall Street Journal described how Karzai's reaching out to the Taliban is dividing Afghans. The Journal quotes Khwaja Mir, head of the provincial council in the majority-Tajik provincial council in the Panjshir Valley: "If we had accepted the Taliban's ideology during Shah Masood's time [the Northern Alliance leader murdered by Taliban before the American invasion] there wouldn't have been any problem between us. But we didn't because we wanted to live a free life."
Rauf practices a consummate con. But a con needs a mark. The mark is someone who finds the surface story so appealing he is reluctant to dig down and check out the con's claims. Rauf has found an unlimited supply of marks-our entire political and cultural elite. Perhaps stupidest of the lot is California Rabbi Haim Bialik (one of 71 religious leaders in California signing a pro-mosque petition) who declaimed: "The loneliness and isolation that Jews felt in the 1930s is palpable but now it's directed to the Moslems." Mayor Bloomberg is a close second. With the Statue of Liberty as backdrop, a gaggle of religious leaders at his side, Bloomberg declaimed: "I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state, as important a test as we may see in our lifetime." Later Bloomberg said the mosque's opponents "should be ashamed of themselves."
The mosque at Ground Zero may never be built. Under the stress of all the opposition and embarrassing disclosures, Rauf and his partner, developer Sharif El-Gamal, already show signs of falling out. (El-Gamal, it turns out, has just been evicted from his SoHo offices for non-payment of rent and has had at least seven run-ins with the law, most recently for assaulting a barber.) One or both could decide to take the money and run. Donald Trump has already offered a 25% premium on the purchase price.
But while the future of the mosque remains uncertain, one thing is for sure: because of his skill in playing our elites for fools, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf is a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous man indeed.