These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 24, 2010.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Muslim mob burns Christian shops and eight churches in Nigeria
From International Christian Concern. My précis of their report here.
On 21 February a Muslim mob burnt down Christian shops and eight churches in the northern Nigerian town of Kazaure.
The police stopped a Muslim tractor driver for a traffic violation and during his arrest he was injured and died later in hospital. A mob attacked the police station but after being chased away by the police they decided to turn their attention to the most vulnerable targets in the area – Christian establishments. It is very common in Northern Nigeria for Muslims to attack Christians with no provocation.
They burned the Deeper Life Bible Church, the Catholic Church, ECWA Church, the Apostolic Church, the Redeem Christian Church, The Anglican Church, Word of faith and Assemblies of God Church.
The Emir of Kazaure, the police authorities and the Authorities of the Jigawa State have all condemned the attack.
We are asked to contact the Nigerian Embassy of our own country to ask that the attack be fully investigated and the perpetrators be brought to justice.
JAKARTA: A self-styled jihadist boasted that the terrorist network led by Noordin Mohammad Top was planning the biggest attack since the one in New York on September 11, 2001, documents presented in a south Jakarta court yesterday said.
According to the indictment, Mohamad Jibril, who is facing trial for his role in bombings at Jakarta hotels last July, sent an email to his brother detailing the plot by Noordin, the terrorist mastermind who was gunned down late last year by Indonesian police.
"Cleric N needs 100 million [rupiah or $12,000]. Please pray for me," the email, sent a year before the twin hotel blasts, said. "It's really crazy. It's the biggest after WTC [World Trade Centre]. It's a secret, OK."
Mr Jibril's brother, Ahmad Isrofil Mardhotillah, was studying in Mecca in Saudi Arabia at the time and was visited by Mr Jibril and Saefuddin Jaelani, the field commander of the Jakarta bombings. It is unclear if the men raised the money on the trip as Mr Jibril is not charged with financing the bombings. Instead he is accused of hiding information in the lead-up to the bombings, document forgery and using a fake passport.
Mr Jibril – who denies any involvement in the hotel bombings – has the online handle "prince of jihad". His father is Abu Jibril, a long-time friend of the radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir and an influential figure in radical Islamist circles in Indonesia.
PUTRAJAYA: Only a handful have been “slow” to accept the caning sentence against Muslim women by the Syariah court despite the “hue and cry” over the issue, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said.
Wan Mohamad said the majority has accepted caning as part of syariah punishment following Jakim’s “successful engagement with various stakeholders including non-governmental organisations (NGOs)” over the issue last year.
“Jakim held a seminar to discuss caning long before it became an issue among Malaysians. The outcome was encouraging because the participants understood the whys and hows of it. We are aware that some parties are still unable to accept the punishment but given time and more explanation, I believe they will come around (to understanding the concept of caning in syariah),” he told reporters on Wednesday. "Jakim will continue to engage with NGOs, interested parties and the public on the issue. We are willing to explain the issue all over again, to whoever needs an explanation,”
Muhyiddin recently said that religious authorities must explain the caning of Muslim women who commit syariah offences so that it will not be viewed negatively by the local and international community.
Digollice will come in very handy if you go back eight hundred years; you should be able slip it into the conversation without causing too much of a stir. Ammon Shea reviews a new Dictionary of Old English, which was probably easier to compile than an old dictionary of New English:
The Dictionary of Old English has so far cataloged and defined all of the words between A and G. This represents greater progress than it might seem, since Old English has only twenty-two letters. Healey estimates that their team has written definitions for approximately 60 percent of the total words that will end up in the dictionary. When complete, there will be somewhere between thirty-three thousand and thirty-five thousand headwords.
This is roughly the same number of words that are included in a small, heavily abridged learner’s dictionary, perhaps a paperback of several hundred pages. But the simple equivalence of headwords is not indicative of any other similarities.
I spoke to Professor Healey on the telephone and asked her why we needed a dictionary of this language that so few of us can speak or read. She ran through a number of eminently persuasive arguments, including that it is a revolutionary approach to this branch of lexicography, and a long-overdue reappraisal of the contents of the surviving texts.
A typical user of the DOE is usually a scholar of Middle or Old English, someone who is terribly interested in whether there have been any new nuances found in the subcategories of beon (to be) in the last eighty years, or if there is an additional text in which a form of this word has been found.
While this somewhat rarefied group makes up a preponderance of the users of the DOE, it is by no means the total readership. Healey was quick to point out that the dictionary is consulted by scholars in a wide range of fields and disciplines: social historians who are studying words for rank and class, historians of economics who are examining records and terms of early taxes, and researchers of many stripes who are interested in working with the early form of a language in a linguistically pure environment as is presented by the corpus.
After listing all these reasonable arguments for why we need a dictionary of Old English she added, almost as an afterthought “Plus, it’s our language.”
It is our language indeed, and these four words from it that she uttered in an afterthoughtish way made me feel fiercely interested in seeing the rest of the words after the letter G defined. And this makes me think how odd it is that we are such ardent admirers of museums full of partially reconstructed bone fragments, taken from animals that are millions of years removed from us, and yet we find it so difficult to warm to Old English. While it is true that this is a dead language, it has died so recently (at least compared with the dinosaurs whose fossils are perennially alluring) that the corpse is still warm.
You can see the roots and traces of our language, evident even in the words that did not quite survive until the present day. Bealofus (liable to sin) did not last into our vocabulary, having been pushed out by the upstart and Latinate peccable (we apparently do not need more than a single word for this concept). But the bealoful of yesteryear became the baleful of today, and so even though bealofus lost the evolutionary battle it still tickles the familiar to see it there.
Much has been said about how our modern English language has drawn its highbrow vocabulary, the words to describe fancy or fanciful things, from the snooty French conquerors. Likewise, the base and basic elements of our language have come from Old English, which supplied the everyday words. To my mind, we may add to these everyday words many of those that are larcenous and violent (although violent and everyday may well have been one and the same), with specimens such as cyricbryce (the act of breaking into a church) and what seems to me to be a delightful superfluity of words for breaking bones, bruising, assaulting, warring against, and otherwise doing grievous harm.
Browsing through a small section of the alphabet, I happened across gederednes, derian, gederian, gederod, deriendlic, deriendnes, derung, gedeþed, and gedigan, all of which are words that have to do with injuring, harming, or killing (with the exception of the last word, which means ‘to survive’). But lest you come away with the idea that the speakers of this language were linguistically brutish, I would draw your attention to a word that appears shortly after all of these bruising terms: digollice.
Digollice is one of those words of which any language should be proud. It is elegant yet robust, clear yet multi-faceted—a description that perhaps sounds like that of an overpriced wine, but which is apt nonetheless. Among the meanings of this single word are the following: in a manner intended to avoid public attention, stealthily or furtively, in a manner that is unnoticed, with a lack of ostentation, in hiding, secluded in monastic life, spoken in a low or soft voice, spoken with circumspection or restraint, whispering slander, relating to secret thoughts of inward affliction, obscure or requiring interpretation, and a handful of others that I’ll let you find on your own.
Small wonder that a language that is capable of producing such delicate shades of meaning as are found in digollice has evolved into the gloriously descriptive mess that is English today.
We are all expert speakers of our own language, and whether we recognize it or not, the words and meanings laid out so carefully in the Dictionary of Old English are far more innately familiar to us than are the fossilized tibia or femur of some long extinct life-form. These words are the bone structure of the language that we speak and breathe today.
Avoid adverbs, writes Elmore Leonard, sternly, decisively and mysteriously, as number 4 in his ten rules of writing fiction. From The Guardian:
1 Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams, you can do all the weather reporting you want.
2 Avoid prologues: they can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in non-fiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory [see what I mean - M.J.], and you can drop it in anywhere you want. There is a prologue in John Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday, but it's OK because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: "I like a lot of talk in a book and I don't like to have nobody tell me what the guy that's talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks."e
3 Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.
4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" . . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances "full of rape and adverbs".
5 Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.
6 Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose". This rule doesn't require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use "suddenly" tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.
7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won't be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavour of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories Close Range.
8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants", what do the "American and the girl with him" look like? "She had taken off her hat and put it on the table." That's the only reference to a physical description in the story.
9 Don't go into great detail describing places and things, unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language. You don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.
10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
I'm not sure I agree about the adverbs, she wrote tentatively. Digollicewas an adverb, and that served us well on the quiet, she added cheekily. In any case, she concluded defiantly, you should ditch all the rules if it works. I like Margaret Attwood's better:
1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
2If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
3Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
Florida Security Council Protest of Muslim Day 3-10-10 in Tallahassee
Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council (FSC) is once again leading the charge of grass roots activists and concerned Floridians in protesting the second annual Muslim Day in Tallahassee on March 10th and 11th.
Watch this riveting FSC You Tube video on “Progressive Islam” created by J. Mark Campbell with the assistance of many activists.
This video connects the dots between the ‘grand jihad’ plans of the Muslim Brotherhood and front groups like CAIR, the ISNA and others here in America. These groups promote adoption of supremacist Sharia to replace the US and State Constitutions.
Muslim Day is the creation of Ahmed Bedier, founder of United Voices for America (UVA), former CAIR Tampa chapter leader and spokesperson for convicted terror supporter Professor Sami al-Arian. Al-Arian pled guilty in 2006 to a federal charge of funneling funds to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. White House Deputy Counsel Rashad Hussain, President Obama’s Ambassador -designee to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made comments in 2004 at a Muslim Students Association (MSA) conference. These comments by Hussain have figured prominently this week in what is being called ‘SamiGate’. The SamiGate controversy arose when Hussain denied his remarks at the 2004 MSA conference about al-Arian’s trial being “political”. Note this Politco comment about the controversy:
A White House spokesman, who asked not to be named, said Tuesday afternoon that Hussain 'certainly doesn't recall making that statement [about politically motivated prosecutions]. He was on the panel to talk about his legal writing on civil liberties. Ms. Al-Arian spoke about her father.
Steve Emerson’s The Investigative Project has more on the SamiGate controversy, here.
The UVA cloaks Muslim advocacy by lobbying the Florida State Legislature and the Administration in Tallahassee on bread and butter issues. In 2009, Bedier and UVA concentrated on health and education, this year, Muslim Day in Tallahassee is focused on support for disadvantaged minorities and immigrants.
It is believed that Bedier created UVA to work around the FBI ban on meetings with local CAIR chapters in the wake of the 2009 Federal Dallas Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial. HLF founders were given life sentences for funneling $12 million to terror group Hamas. CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) were identified as unindicted co-conspirators. Louay Safi, an ISNA leader was listed as one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the HLF trial record. Safi is caught in another swirl of controversy given his lectures in December on Islam at Fort Hood following the massacre by Jihadist Major Nidal Hasan. He has been suspended from the multi-million dollar Pentagon contractual program providing lectures on Islam to US military forces and is the subject of an investigation by NCIS.
The 2010 FSC protest of Muslim Day in Tallahassee will feature a security briefing for state legislators and their staffs on March 10th. This will be followed by a rally and press conference on March 11th. Watch for more details as arrangements are finalized.