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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 24, 2012.
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Where’s my wife?’ Electronic SMS tracker notifies Saudi husbands

From Al Arabia and AFP

As of last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

"The authorities are using technology to monitor women," said Saudi author and journalist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the "state of slavery under which women are held" in the kingdom. "This is technology used to serve backwardness in order to keep women imprisoned," she added.

Protests from ordinary Saudis soon appeared on Twitter mocking the decision.

"Hello Taliban, herewith some tips from the Saudi e-government!" read one post.

"Why don't you cuff your women with tracking ankle bracelets too?" wrote a woman identifying herself as "Israa".

"If I need an SMS to let me know my wife is leaving Saudi Arabia, then I'm either married to the wrong woman or need a psychiatrist," tweeted Hisham.

But what provoked the new control method? Local media has reported that controversy caused by the escape of a Saudi woman to Sweden in recent month triggered the move.

The Saudi woman was reported to have converted to Christianity and fled the country, but she denied earlier reports of her conversion and said she wants to return to Saudi Arabia, local daily Al-Yaum reported in July.

It isn't just the Saudi Arabian authorities that want to restrict women's movements. From Payvan Iran News

Lawmakers in Iran are preparing to consider legislation that may drastically alter an adult woman's ability to obtain a passport and travel outside the country.

The draft law, set to go before the 290-seat Majlis, stipulates that single women up to the age of 40 must receive official permission from their father or male guardian in order to obtain travel documents. Under current law, all Iranians under 18 years of age -- both male and female -- must receive paternal permission before receiving a passport. Married women must receive their husband's approval to receive the documents.

Critics say the draft law is the latest attack on women in a country whose Islamic leaders are eager to scale back a burgeoning rights movement.

Iran's civil code overwhelmingly favors fathers and husbands in all personal matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody.

Girls may be legally married as early as 13, and some lawmakers argue the age may, under Islamic interpretation, drop as low as 9. All women require permission from a male guardian to marry, regardless of their age.

Under Iranian law, women are also strictly compromised in terms of rights to compensation and giving legal testimony. The draft law on passports and travel comes just months after Iran announced it was closing dozens of university-level courses to women across the country.

Posted on 11/24/2012 3:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 24 November 2012
It's official: Hamas' political wing is a completely different organisation
There is nothing quite like a bit of decent black humour to introduce some badly needed perspective into a contentious debate. For a long time now, Western apologists for Palestinian extremism have insisted the political wing of Hamas is somehow a separate entity to its military wing. This idea has often been forwarded to remove Hamas from the proscriptions list of the EU, even by quite senior politicians such as Ireland's current President  Michael D. Higgins! It is such an absurd notion that it deserves ridicule, and in the mould of Yes Minister we now have an interview with an official of Hamas’ political wing:

Some good lines:
Hamas official: "If we don’t provoke the Israeli’s then there won’t be a war and that would be a real disaster for us."
Interviewer: You [Hamas] continued to fire rockets into Israel. Were you surprised by the Israeli reaction?

Hamas official: Surprised? We were shocked. We thought they [Israel] would react much sooner!

 Interviewer: Why should Israel negotiate with you?

Hamas official: Oh because in Gaza we're the moderates! 

The splitting of Hamas' political wing is a false dicotomy to suit an agenda. The political wing very much aids the military function as well as giving it a vital level of political currency and influence. Furthermore, all members of Hamas subscribe to the same charter which calls for the genocide of the Jewish populace the world over, and the destruction of Israel.
Hat Tip to Anne in PT

Posted on 11/24/2012 4:10 AM by Robert Harris
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Sunnis And Shiites In Lebanon
From The Daily Stary:
Army arrests 5 Syrians over Ashoura attack plot

SIDON, Lebanon: Lebanese Army Intelligence arrested Friday five Syrian nationals in the southern town of Nabatieh as they were preparing explosives to be used against mourners commemorating the occasion of Ashoura Sunday, security sources told The Daily Star.

The five Syrians were arrested in al-Maslakh neighborhood of Nabatieh.

Lebanese Shiites commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, Prophet Mohammad’s grandson, by holding mass rallies in Beirut’s southern suburbs, the Bekaa, and several towns in the south. The town of Nabatieh usually hosts the biggest such rally in the southern part of the country.

A statement posted on a website affiliated to Al-Qaeda had threatened earlier this year to target Shiites in Lebanon over the alleged role of Hezbollah in backing President Bashar Assad

Posted on 11/24/2012 5:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Thunder Out Of China

India Says China's New Passport Maps Unacceptable

ABC News  - ‎9 minutes ago‎
The new Chinese passports have also upset the Philippines and Vietnam because they show disputed parts of the South China Sea as belonging to China. In New Delhi, China is viewed with suspicion as a longtime ally and weapons supplier to Pakistan, ...

China angers neighbors with sea claims on new passports

Reuters  - ‎Nov 22, 2012‎
Stand-offs between Chinese vessels and the Philippine and Vietnamese navies in the South China Sea have become more common as China increases patrols in waters believed to hold vast reserves of oil and natural gas.

Asean's once united purpose appears adrift on South China Sea

South China Morning Post  - ‎Nov 22, 2012‎
Within hours of the meeting opening in Phnom Penh last Tuesday, though, it quickly became apparent that some members' disputes with China, over islands in the South China Sea, that were heatedly raised at annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations ...

China places disputed sea map on new e-passports  - ‎Nov 22, 2012‎
The Philippines has protested China's depiction of its claims over the entire West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) in an image of a map printed on newly issued Chinese electronic passports.
Posted on 11/24/2012 6:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Anti-Semitism at European Soccer Games

Daniel Halper writes at the Weekly Standard:

The World Jewish Congress is expressing concern about an anti-Semitic and racist outburst at a recent soccer game. The concern relates to a Europa League game between Italian team S.S. Lazio and the English the Tottenham Hotspur. The match took place Thursday night in Rome.

"The match was marred by anti-Semitic chanting, with Lazio fans chanting 'Juden Tottenham, Juden Tottenham' and unrolling a huge banner saying ‘Free Palestine’. Tottenham has a strong following from the Jewish community in North London," a press release from the World Jewish Congress says, describing the cause for concern.

"Prior to the match ten Tottenham supporters were injured, one of them seriously. One suffered injuries to an artery and is in a serious condition. They were attacked outside a pub in Rome by dozens of masked men. It remains unclear if the attackers were fans of Lazio or another Rome football club."

That's probably not the right question...

The Jewish group is pushing for action, should the anti-Semitism continue.

Posted on 11/24/2012 6:59 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Dalrymple in Intelligence Squared Debate: Legalize Drugs?

Posted on 11/24/2012 7:27 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Aunty BBC gibbers

At first I felt rather sorry for George Entwistle, the former Director General of the BBC. His job was not an easy one and unhappily for him he had a face so patently decent and weak that he could easily have been a modern Archbishop of Canterbury. Then I read the transcript of his interview with John Humphrys in the wake of the counter-revelations about the BBC’s supposed revelations about Lord McAlpine.

Again, I instinctively sympathised with Mr Entwistle because of John Humphreys’ relentlessly self-righteous questioning. But then I read his answer to the question, ‘So you heard about it the following day and then what did you do?’

I made inquiries as to find out why what had happened on Twitter had happened because it seemed to me that the events surrounding the film in terms of what happened on Twitter were an important part in understanding how this thing had achieved a scale and created a noise around potential identification that was clearly surprising.‘

Of course, impromptu speech rarely emerges in polished periods (unless you are Isaiah Berlin, whom Michael Oakeshott once memorably introduced to an audience as ‘the Paganini of thought,’ a backhanded compliment second only in brilliance to Disraeli’s exclamation on being served champagne at the end of a public banquet, ‘Thank God for something warm at last!’). But Mr Entwistle’s hideous verbiage was not a mere lapse: his masterfully inarticulate mangling of what I presume is his mother tongue was the explanation of his ascent as a manager in the BBC.

Contrary to what you might think, it is not at all easy to talk like Mr Entwistle; in fact it is a definite skill, the key to success in the modern British bureaucracy. Unless you can speak fluent gibberish like his you will get nowhere within it; you will remain on the lower rungs, collecting bins or sweeping the floors and saying things that people can understand.

If you think it is easy to talk like this, just try it! Yes, try to talk like Mr Entwistle! I think you will find that, however hard you try to prevent it, meaning will keep creeping back into your words. It is only by sitting through many ring-fenced meetings with blue-skies thinking that you eventually will get the hang of it.

I am sure there must be a vacancy for Mr Entwistle somewhere in the NHS, perhaps in Strategic Planning or in Equalities and Diversity.   

First published in Salisbury Review.

Posted on 11/24/2012 10:59 AM by Theodore Dalrymple

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