These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 24, 2010.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Write out 100 times - I must not tease Mary.
Posted on 03/24/2010 4:19 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
MP investigated by police over controversial Burka comments
Meanwhile back in the real world MP Philip Hollobone has been visited by the police for remarks critical of the burka. This is all over the national press this morning but the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph had the story first yesterday, with a little more background detail from the Daily Mail.
Kettering MP Philip Hollobone has revealed he was investigated by police following his comments on women wearing the burka.
The MP has hit out at Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council for "championing freedom of speech in the UK" in a letter to him, while seeking to prosecute him.
And he has revealed the police were asked to investigate his comments but the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no grounds for prosecution. Of course there aren’t. Thankfully, even if us ordinary mortals have to be careful with our opinions these days, MPs still have Parliamentary Privilege for what they say in Parliamentary debate that is pertinent to that debate.
On 2nd February during a parliamentary debate the MP said that wearing the burka in public was the religious equivalent of "going round with a paper bag over your head"
“How ridiculous would the House of Commons be if we were all to wear burkas? How would Mr Speaker be able to identify which member to call next? 'In my view, it is offensive to want to cut yourself off from face-to-face contact with, or recognition by, other members of the human race.”
The MP has now revealed the organisation launched a failed bid to prosecute him for religious hatred and he hit out at the group, which sent a letter to Mr Hollobone this month saying that the "United Kingdom prides itself on freedom of speech and expression".
Mr Hollobone said: "It's complete hypocrisy . . . In the first line of the letter they talk about freedom of speech and then try to have me prosecuted. It shows these people are not interested in freedom of speech and says to me the NREC is not interested in public debate when the first thing it does is seek my prosecution.
“We are not going to get anywhere in this country if every time an MP expresses an opinion a group like this seeks a prosecution. I am disgusted with the behaviour of the NREC. Everyone agrees that wearing the burka or the niqab is not a religions requirement and to wear it is banned in some Islamic countries, in this country we do not cover our face in public.
“I have had a conversation with the Kettering Muslim Association asking them if they wanted to speak to me on the issue but they refused”.
In his reply to the organisation he said: "The views you have expressed demonstrate you have little understanding of the offence caused to many people by those who wear the niqab or burka”.
Anjona Roy, of the race equality council, said: 'Even though the CPS said there were not enough grounds to proceed, cautionary words were issued. In our view that is a positive outcome.'
What a snotty sounding
cow female personage . Its not her place to see that "cautionary words" are issued to the representative elected by the people who pay her wages.
Posted on 03/24/2010 4:29 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Female poet uses 'Arabic Idol' to attack Muslim clerics
In The Million's Poet programme, competitors battle it out to impress a panel of judges with traditional Arabic poems, not pop songs.
But instead of choosing an ode to the beauty of Bedouin life, Hissa Hilal, only her eyes visible through her black veil, delivered a blistering attack on Muslim preachers "who sit in the position of power" but are "frightening" people with their fatwas, or religious edicts, and "preying like a wolf" on those seeking peace.
The programme, The Million's Poet, is a chance for poets to show off their original work, airing live weekly on satellite television across the Arab world from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. Contestants are graded on voice and style of recitation, but also on their subject matter, said Sultan al-Amimi, one of the three judges on the show and a manager of Abu Dhabi's Poetry Academy. While she is a favourite to win the show, her poetry has also brought her death threats, posted on several Islamic militant websites.
But she has shrugged off the controversy. "My poetry has always been provocative," she said. "It's a way to express myself and give voice to Arab women, silenced by those who have hijacked our culture and our religion."
Poetry holds a prominent place in Arab culture, and some poets in the Middle East have a fan base akin to those of rock stars.
And some like Asma bint Marwen have died because of their poems.
Posted on 03/24/2010 6:27 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Saudis Arrest 113 Militants Said to Have Qaeda Ties
No doubt few will face serious hard time, but go through "training" to make sure they understand the Saudi government is on their side, so it's wrong, wrong, wrong, to attack them, and by the way, the government has tabs on their families and can make life very unpleasant for those mothers who had such high hopes for their boys. From the NYTimes:
CAIRO — Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that its security forces had arrested 113 militants with ties to Al Qaeda who had been planning attacks against oil operations and security facilities in the eastern part of the kingdom.
Gen. Mansour al-Turki, a spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, said the arrests were conducted over the last five months and were aimed at three independent militant groups linked to the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda, which has been implicated in numerous attacks across the region, as well as a failed attempt on Christmas Day to bring down a commercial flight over Detroit.
Officials said most of the suspects had been captured near Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, and said they had seized weapons and ammunition, as well as cameras, prepaid phone cards and computers. They did not specify which Saudi facilities were potential targets of an attack, or say more precisely when the suspects had been arrested...
Posted on 03/24/2010 2:19 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Rawalpindi, Christian burned alive is buried. Police suspected of setting him on fire
This poor man has died of his injuries. And now his raped wife is alone with three children to raise and no husband to protect her and them.
Rawalpindi (AsiaNews) - the funeral of Arshed Masih, a 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, burned alive because he refused to convert to Islam was held today in Rawalpindi, under tight security. Hundreds of people attended the funeral, including members of civil society and NGO representatives. So far the police have arrested none of the alleged perpetrators and neither have steps been taken by the Federal Government or Ministry of minority groups. Meanwhile, more details have emerged on the crime: a well-informed source has told AsiaNews that police officers were the ones to set fire to the man, on the "instructions" of Sheikh Mohammed Sultan the employer of Arshed Masih. Thanks to Paul for pointing out the misprint.
The 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, married and father of three children, aged7 to 12, died on 22 March following the serious injuries sustained during the assault. He suffered burns on 80% of his body excluding any possibility of salvation. I think the English word the writer is looking for is survival – his salvation is assured. The violence of his assailants was sparked by the man’s refusal to convert to Islam.
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan (NCJP), confirmed to AsiaNews, his "strongest condemnation of this act brutal" and underlined that "a team has reached Rawalpindi and launched a parallel investigation into the facts”.
Meanwhile, rumours have begun circulating that Arshed Masih set fire to himself to protest against repeated violence and torture of his wife Martha Arshed, by police. The abuse allegedly took place in the police station, where the woman was summoned several times by officers after a complaint of theft by Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, the employer of the Christian couple. Christian sources for AsiaNews in Pakistan deny this version, noting that some "elements" are casting doubt on the sexual violence and overturning the facts "to exonerate the employer and the police." An eyewitness, present in the hospital when Arshed Masih - still conscious - recounted the events to the investigators, says that "it was the police to set fire" to the man. The victim also added that "the police carried out the instructions of Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, at the scene along with other extremists."
Since 2005 Arshed Masih and his wife had worked and lived on the estate of the late Sheikh Mohammad Sultan. The pressure on them to renounce Christianity had lately become incessant. The owner had come so far as to threaten "dire consequences", to persuade them to embrace Islam. The couple were also accused of a recent theft by the owner who has promised to drop the complaint for their conversion.
Posted on 03/24/2010 4:12 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Dore Gold: Israel As A Military Ally
Dore Gold: Diplomatic dispute obscures Israel’s invaluable help to U.S. military
By: Dore Gold
March 23, 2010
| Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told American officials that his country can build wherever it chooses in its capitol, Jerusalem. (Elizabeth Dalziel/AP file)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to speak about U.S.-Israeli strategic ties during his speech at Tuesday’s AIPAC conference.
During the recent bilateral tensions between the Obama administration and the Israeli government, a vicious rumor began to spread that the U.S. feels that Israeli “intransigence” in the peace process puts U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at risk.
The source of this rumor was not Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command, who recently testified before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. Petraeus is concerned with the possible outbreak of an initifada that is shown on the Al-Jazeera satellite network and foments rage in the Arab street that weakens the legitimacy of his Arab military partners.
Yet the idea that Israel was putting U.S. forces at risk began to spread inside the Washington beltway. For example, Jake Tapper, White House correspondent for ABC News, interviewed President Obama’s political advisor, David Axelrod, March 14 and asked whether the Israeli “housing issue” put the lives of U.S. troops at risk.
When Axelrod refused to answer, Tapper persisted and asked the question a second time. Clearly this idea has penetrated the thinking of political reporters.
Columnist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that linking construction plans at Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood to the security of U.S. forces in the Middle East actually came from Israeli press reports of the meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Biden’s spokesman denied those reports when Goldberg made a formal inquiry.
The net effect of rumors of this sort is to reinforce the image of Israel as a strategic burden rather than as a strategic asset, which only exacerbated the current tensions. For years, there has been a whole cottage industry of anti-Israel forces, who have been trying to promote this view across the United States.
It began with professors Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, who argued in their 2007 book, The Israeli Lobby, that Israel is nothing less than “a strategic liability.” They have made significant inroads in universities and think tanks, so that the rumors about Jerusalem building projects threatening soldiers in Afghanistan fell on fertile ground.
Netanyahu argued at AIPAC that Israel has actually helped save the lives of Americans. Historically, he is absolutely correct to paint Israel’s strategic partnership this way. In August 1966, the Mossad succeeded in recruiting an Iraqi Air Force pilot who flew his MiG-21 to Israel.
The intelligence on the MiG-21 was shared with Washington and would prove to be extremely valuable, considering the fact that the MiG-21 was the work-horse of the North Vietnamese Air Force in the years that followed.
Israel supplied the Americans with many other Soviet weapons systems, from 130mm artillery to T-72 tanks. Gen. George Keegan, the former head of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, was quoted in the New York Times on March 9, 1986, saying that the intelligence the U.S. received from Israel could not have been obtained if the U.S. had “five CIAs.”
Keegan went further: “The ability of the U.S. Air Force in particular, and the Army in general, to defend whatever position it has in NATO owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any single source of intelligence.”
Even after the Cold War, Israel continues to be a vital American strategic partner. In 2007, the U.S. ambassador to Israel revealed that Israeli technology was being used by the U.S. armed forces in Iraq to protect them from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that were responsible for most U.S. casualties in the Iraq War.
In short, Israel was helping save American lives in Iraq.
On March 15, 2007, the commander of EUCOM, Gen. Bantz Craddock, told the House Armed Services Committee that “in the Middle East, Israel is the U.S.’s closest ally that consistently and directly supports our interests.”
During his AIPAC speech, Netanyahu disclosed: “Israel shares with America everything” that it knows about their common enemies, especially intelligence.
When states like the U.S. and Israel have high-profile diplomatic disagreements, it is sometimes the nature of the press to seek the dramatic. A learned debate about the applicability of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to Jerusalem would be fitting for Yale Law School, but it does not sell newspapers.
For that reason, the Obama administration has a special responsibility to contain its tensions with Israel. It would be a serious development if the disagreement over Israel’s rights in Jerusalem spilled over into the strategic relationship between the two countries.
Netanyahu tried to contain this problem at AIPAC, but both sides need to make sure that unnecessary diplomatic tensions do not sacrifice their long-held strategic interests that have served the security of both countries.
Dore Gold served as Israel's ambassador to the UN. His website is www.dore-gold.com. He heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Posted on 03/24/2010 8:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Times They are a Changin'
It seems marijuana initiatives are springing up all over the country like dandelions in the spring.
(Reuters) - A California voter initiative that would legalize possession and sale of marijuana has qualified for the November ballot, state election officials said on Wednesday, in what supporters called a "watershed moment" for their cause.
Passage of the measure, by no means certain, would make California the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana. Backers believe the state could be at the vanguard of a national movement toward decriminalizing the drug.
"This is a watershed moment in the decades-long struggle to end marijuana prohibition in this country," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which has spearheaded the ballot initiative.
"Banning marijuana outright has been a disaster, fueling a massive, increasingly brutal underground economy, wasting billions in scarce law enforcement resources and making criminals out of countless law-abiding citizens," he said...
And in Washington DC, medical marijuana users may soon be allowed to grow their own.
Posted on 03/24/2010 9:17 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
A Musical Interlude: I Know That You Know (Nat Shilkret Orch., voc. Franklyn Baur)
Posted on 03/24/2010 9:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Historical Jihad Interlude: Dungan Revolt in China
The Hui people of China refers to one of 56 recognized ethnic groups of Muslims. During the Dungan Revolt of 1862 to 1877, approximately 2 million Hui were killed, while approximately 6 million non-Muslim ethnic Han were killed. More than 50% of the region's population died. The goal of the revolt was to create a new Muslim country from the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu, and Ningxia.
Ma Hualong, the original leader of the revolt, was a sheikh (religious leader) of a Sufi order founded by a scholar who studied in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. He began the revolt in 1862 by taking over Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. In 1869, the non-Muslim Qing Dynasty responded by sending troops under General Tso to surround Ma Hualong and his followers. While under siege, Ma Hualong negotiated with the Qing, but in the spirit of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah he secretly continued fortifying his position and gathering troops. In 1871 the Qing forces finally captured Ma Hualong and retook the city. Ma Hualong was executed using the technique of "ling chi", or "death by a thousand slices," in which the prisoner is dismembered while still alive over a period of several days.
Meanwhile in neighboring Xinjiang province, wild rumors swept through the Muslim population that the Qing were preparing to massacre them. In order to (cough, cough) "defend" themselves, the Muslims attacked Tarchi fort in 1863, killing the soldiers and seizing the weapons. In 1864, the Qing forts in Kuqa, Yarkand, and Urumqi were taken over by Muslim soldiers serving within. The cities of Wusu, Ningyuan, Huiyuan, Huining, and Manas were also conquered by the Muslim jihadis. Non-Muslim kuffar were killed in each case by the thousands, or tens of thousands.
In 1865, Muslims in Tacheng invited Qing leaders to swear a mutual oath of peace in the local mosque. The Qing leaders were then slaughtered inside the mosque. Also in 1865 Yaqub Beg, an Uzbeki Muslim, began his military campaign to conquer Xinjiang, which he accomplished by 1867, declaring himself emir. General Tso eventually quelled the uprising; Muslim survivors fled to Russia, and settled in modern Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
The modern violence in Xinjiang of 2008, July 2009, and September 2009 can be seen as aftershocks of the Dungan Revolt. Muslims in northwestern China continue to feel oppressed living under non-Muslim rule, and continue to violently work towards the establishment of their own Muslim nation.
Note the role that conspiracy theories and rumor mongering play in rallying Muslims to battle. Note the eternal victimhood, the effort to portray their violence in terms of "self-defense". Note that Muslims serving in the army showed their overarching loyalty to the ummah, and turned on their non-Muslim fellow soldiers. Note the inability of Muslims, when they reach appropriate numbers, to live under the rule of non-Muslims, and their violent demands for "independence." We see the same themes being played out over the centuries and over the continents, down to the present.
Posted on 03/24/2010 11:59 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden