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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 Sunday, 26, 2010.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Terrorists plan to kill British athletes

From The Sunday Express. Further advice to Australians from the Sydney Morning Herald

A PLOT to kill Commonwealth Games competitors and kidnap fans emerged yesterday, as British athletes flew out to the event in India. Security sources have warned of "specific intelligence" about a threat by an unnamed Al Qaeda-linked group to take hostages in front of a global television audience.

Reports emerging from Australia suggest a number of countries are worried but will not upgrade travel warnings for fear of angering India. Australia has told fans not to wear national colours and in Britain it has emerged security forces will work with counterparts from Canada, Australia and New Zealand to protect athletes at every venue.

One source said: "It is a serious situation. There is specific intelligence about an attempted hostage snatch. People travelling to India, and particularly Delhi, need to be aware of the risks."

There are also concerns about the Pakistani group Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) after Michael Leiter, director of the US National Counter-Terrorism Centre, told the US Senate the games would make "an appealing target". LeT was blamed for a motorcycle drive-by shooting at a Taiwanese bus last Sunday.

Australia's top Commonwealth Games official says fans should feel safe to sport their national colours in Delhi - but only inside secured venues. The build-up to the Games has been marred by ongoing terrorism concerns, a trend that continued on Sunday amid reports of a threat made by an unnamed Al Qaeda-linked group to kidnap westerners during the event.

The Federal Government continues to warn of a high risk of a terror attack, while security company Homeland Security Asia-Pacific has warned Australian visitors could draw unwanted attention to themselves by brandishing Australian flags or green and gold dress.

Posted on 09/26/2010 5:24 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 26 September 2010
White House Blocks Targetted Killings Lawsuit

Bridget Johnson writes at The Hill:

The White House on Saturday invoked the state secrets privilege to toss a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups against an assassination plan against terrorists that would also target a U.S. citizen.

Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged al-Qaeda regional commander born in New Mexico and reportedly hiding in Yemen, has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day. The cleric, author of "44 Ways to Support Jihad," also reportedly inspired the Times Square car bombing attempt in May, and placed a fatwa on Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris for suggesting a controversial "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day".

The fact that a US citizen has to go into hiding for fear of being killed by our Muslim citizens for simply suggesting drawing Muhammad, goes a long way to argue for restricting Muslim immigration.

He's said to be on a U.S. list that approves death or capture of key terrorist suspects. The 39-year-old's placement on the list in April made him the first U.S. citizen to land on the CIA targeted kill list.

Al-Awlaki's father enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to challenge the program in court and declare the targeted killings unconstitutional.

The lawsuit also aimed to block the assassination green light against al-Awlaki, and compel the U.S. government to disclose the guidelines for putting a U.S. citizen on such a list.

According to the Associated Press, the administration invoked the rule that asserts court proceedings and evidence revealed in such would endanger national security. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in the declaration filed in federal court, said he was invoking the military and state secrets privilege because of information that could be disclosed on possible military operations in Yemen.

"I am invoking the privilege over any information, if it exists, that would tend to confirm or deny any allegations in the complaint pertaining to the CIA," CIA Director Leon Panetta's court statement said.

"The idea that courts should have no role whatsoever in determining the criteria by which the executive branch can kill its own citizens is unacceptable in a democracy," the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement, according to AP. "In matters of life and death, no executive should have a blank check."

The think the ACLU has a point.

Nasser al-Awlaki previously told the Times of London that U.S. authorities should pursue charges against his son in court if they thought him to to be guilty of a crime.

"What the U.S. government is doing is against the American constitution," he said from Yemen. "If Anwar has done anything wrong he should be prosecuted, not targeted by a drone."

In a January interview with CNN, the senior al-Awlaki said his son was not a member of al-Qaeda and not hiding out with the terror group in Yemen.

"What do you expect my son to do? There are missiles raining down on the village," he said. "He has to hide. But he is not hiding with al-Qaeda; our tribe is protecting him right now. My son is (a) wanted man, he's cornered, that's the problem I am facing."

The father added, "He's not Osama bin Laden."

The White House maintains that al-Awlaki is a direct and serious threat to national security. In July, the Treasury Department froze his assets.

In April, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) introduced a resolution urging that al-Awlaki be stripped of his citizenship. It has 17 co-sponors and remains in a House subcommittee.

Posted on 09/26/2010 6:07 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Of Laptops and Iraqis

More about how "we're all the same and all want the same thing." We're all primarily concerned with our children's education, aren't we?  NYTimes:

BAGHDAD - The shipment of laptop computers that arrived in Iraq's main seaport in February was a small but important part of the American military's mission here to win hearts and minds. What happened afterward is a tale of good intentions mugged by Iraq's reality.

The computers - 8,080 in all, worth $1.8 million - were bought for schoolchildren in Babil, modern-day Babylon, a gift of the American taxpayers. Only they became mired for months in customs at the port, Umm Qasr, stalled by bureaucracy or venality, or some combination of the two. And then they were gone...

Posted on 09/26/2010 7:23 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Muslim MP's peerage blocked by the taxman

From The Telegraph

The taxman has moved to prevent Britain's first Muslim MP being made a peer after raising concerns about his financial affairs. The House of Lords appointments commission, which advises the Prime Minister whether nominees meet the "highest standards of propriety", refused to approve Mohammad Sarwar's peerage on the advice of the tax authorities.

Mr Sarwar had been proposed by Gordon Brown in his resignation honours list in May, but HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said they could not support the Labour donor's nomination. However, the refusal is embarrassing for Mr Brown and the Labour Party. Mr Sarwar was instrumental in helping drum up support for the party among the Muslim population.

The 58-year-old had been expecting join other senior Scottish Labour politicians in the House of Lords, with John Reid, Des Browne and Jack McConnell also nominated by Mr Brown for a peerage.

The former Glasgow Central MP, worth an estimated £16 million, said the "problems" have been resolved and the taxman's objections lifted, but refused to say what they were. He said it was a matter for Ed Miliband, the new Labour leader, whether he is proposed for a future honours list.

However, the 58-year-old was no stranger to controversy during his 13 years at Westminster and was branded Britain's most expensive MP after submitting the largest expense claims in the Commons in 2008/09. Mr Sarwar, who made his fortune from a cash-and-carry business, was paid nearly £200,000 in expenses that year, including £24,000 for running a second home and £31,000 for travel between Glasgow and Westminster.

The 58-year-old also chaired Muslim Friends of Labour, an organisation that channelled more than £300,000 of donations from prominent Muslims and promoted the party's message. It has been investigated by the Electoral Commission, the political funding watchdog. Mr Sarwar was briefly suspended from the parliamentary Labour Party during the late 1990s over vote-rigging allegations, but was later cleared of wrongdoing in the High Court.

He stood down at the last election and was succeeded in his seat by his son, Anas. Athif Sarwar, another son, was convicted for involvement in an £845,000 money-laundering scam three years ago.

Posted on 09/26/2010 7:24 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 26 September 2010
OIC and the Modern Caliphate

Bat Ye'or writes:

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is a religious and political organization. Close to the Muslim World League of the Muslim Brotherhood, it shares the Brotherhood's strategic and cultural vision: that of a universal religious community, the Ummah, based upon the Koran, the Sunna, and the canonical orthodoxy of shari'a. The OIC represents 56 countries and the Palestinian Authority (considered a state), the whole constituting the universal Ummah with a community of more than one billion three to six hundred million Muslims.

The OIC has a unique structure among nations and human societies. The Vatican and the various churches are de facto devoid of political power, even if they take part in politics, because in Christianity, as in Judaism, the religious and political functions have to be separated. Asian religions, too, do not represent systems that bring together religion, strategy, politics, and law within a single organizational structure.

Not only does the OIC enjoy unlimited power through the union and cohesion of all its bodies, but also to this it adds the infallibility conferred by religion. Bringing together 56 countries, including some of the richest in the world, it controls the lion's share of global energy resources The European Union (EU), far from anticipating the problems caused by such a concentration of power and investing in the diversification and autonomy of energy sources since 1973, acted to weaken America internationally in order to substitute for it the U.N., the OIC's docile agent. In the hope of garnering a few crumbs of influence, the EU privileged a massive Muslim immigration into Europe, paid billions to the Mediterranean Union and Palestinian Authority, weakened the European states, undermined their unity, and wrapped itself in the flag of Palestinian justice, as though this would supply some protective system against the global jihad, which it endeavored to focus on Israel.

Religion as the main aspect of the OIC emerges from its language and its targets. It seems that the OIC is restoring in the 21st century the Caliphate, the supreme controlling body for all Muslims. In their Charter (2008), Member States confirm that their union and solidarity are inspired by Islamic values. They affirm their aim to reinforce within the international arena their shared interests and the promotion of Islamic values. They commit themselves to revitalizing the pioneering role of Islam in the world, increasing the prosperity of the member states, and -- in contrast to to the European states -- to ensure the defense of their national sovereignty and territorial integrity. They proclaim their support for Palestine with al-Quds Al Sharif, the Arabized name for Jerusalem, as its capital, and exhort each other to promote human rights, basic freedoms, the state of law (shari'a), and democracy according to their constitutional and legal system -- in other words, compliance with shari'a

Continue reading here.

Posted on 09/26/2010 7:30 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Ads We're Not Likely To See Anymore
Posted on 09/26/2010 8:26 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Peerless (Though Not Directly From Bombay)

Esmerelda this morning posted a piece about a would-be peer and louche character, and father of other louche characters, one Mohammad Sarwar (out of Pir Mahal, Pakistan). He was to have been rewarded for services to curry and to the Labour Party.

Her post's title was: "Muslim MP's peerage blocked by the taxman."

I propose a variant: Peerless (Though Not Directly From Bombay).

And I am not alone.

Connoisseurs of contracts everywhere, and the ghost of Arthur Corbin (out of Kansas and Cripple Creek) insist upon it.

Posted on 09/26/2010 8:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
A Musical Interlude: Who's That Knocking At My Door? (Annette Hanshaw)

Listen here.

Posted on 09/26/2010 8:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Spinning Drugs

William J. Bennett, Alexandra Datig and Seth Leibsohn write in CNN:

Last week, the government released its National Survey on Drug Use and Health. It didn't make much of a news splash, but it should have -- and in years past, it would have.

When a serious war is taking place, officials throughout the administration hold press conferences and issue statements while print and televised media across the country report on it. Almost none of this happened, although the reasons for talking and reporting are greater than they have been in a very long time.

Here's the takeaway: Illicit drug abuse is seriously affecting our children, our schools, our workplaces and our society. And it is on the rise. In 2009, nearly 22 million Americans were regularly abusing illicit drugs: a rise of 1.5 million abusers of marijuana from 2008 and a rise of 2.3 million users from 2007, a rise of 205,000 abusers of Ecstasy from 2008, a rise of 188,000 abusers of methamphetamine from 2008 and a rise of 800,000 abusers of prescription drugs from 2008.

Can't anybody just use marjuana rather than "abuse" it? This implies that there is no one - not one person in the United States - who can responsibly smoke marijuana. People can and do use alcohol responsibly, don't they? But marijuana is automatically lumped in with hard drugs and the implication is that no one can possibly use it responsibly. The next paragraph is even more misleading.

Then there's the death toll. Nearly 40,000 Americans are killed each year by drug overdoses -- not drug-related car accidents, not drug-related gang violence or homicide; those are an entirely different and eye-popping set of numbers. By overdose alone, we lose the equivalent of more than one 9/11 a month and almost eight times as many Americans as have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 (deaths the national media reports on weekly, if not daily).

By lumping marijuana in with hard drugs and then giving the drug toll by overdose, the casual reader would suppose a certain percentage to be caused by marijuana. But marijuana has never cause a single death by overdose - not one - despite the fact there are millions of users.

If William Bennett is looking for a reason why the media doesn't cover this story, he should look at his own record of trying to spin the debate and mislead the public. He goes on:

[L]et's start a national campaign with those who have not had drugs ruin their lives. Let them be the new national role models for young people. We should see public service announcements and ads from the likes of Beyonce, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, the Jonas Brothers; from the likes of the Williams Sisters and the Manning brothers; from Jimmy Johnson and Danika Patrick.

See what I mean?

Posted on 09/26/2010 8:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Today Kashmir, Tomorrow All Of India
Kashmir protest leader rejects Indian govt 'hoodwink'

SRINAGAR, India - The hardline separatist leader who has organised months of protests in Indian Kashmir dismissed Sunday an offer from the government for fresh talks and a security review.

The proposals were put forward by Home Minister P. Chidambaram after he led an all-party mission last week to the Muslim-majority region, which has been shaken by violent pro-independence protests and strict curfews since June.

"It is a time-gaining exercise and unrealistic. It is aimed to hoodwink the international community," Syed Ali Shah Geelani told reporters in Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar.

"If rulers in New Delhi believe that by releasing a few students and providing ex gratia relief to the families of martyrs they can reduce the alienation (of Kashmiris), they are wrongly mistaken," he said.

He has also announced another seven days of protests over the next ten days.

Chidambaram's eight-point plan, announced Saturday, was the first major initiative by the government to end clashes between stone-throwing crowds and security forces in which 107 civilians have been shot and killed.

The home minister said a group of "interlocutors" would be appointed to reach out to Kashmiris in a bid to calm the protests, the largest since a separatist insurgency erupted in 1989.

Most of those killed have been young men and teenagers shot by police and paramilitary troops firing live ammunition and rubber bullets.

Chidambaram said the state government would be told to free 255 protesters jailed for throwing stones at security forces and to reopen all schools and colleges, which have been closed during recent unrest.

Authorities will also consider reducing the security presence in the heavily militarised Kashmir valley and will review some areas of emergency military law imposed in the region.

Rights groups have long pushed for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives security forces the power to open fire, detain suspects and confiscate property.

"We think these steps should address the concerns of different sections of Jammu and Kashmir, including (those of) the protesters," said Chidambaram.

Moderate separatists said they were discussing their response to the government package.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India, which both claim the region in full. The dispute over Kashmir has triggered two of the rival nations' three wars since partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

While militant violence has fallen to a 20-year low, separatist sentiment among ordinary Kashmiris, especially young people, has been stoked by India's massive military presence.

They have expressed their anger on social networking sites such as Facebook and by pouring onto the streets in defiance of curfews that keep them indoors for days at a time.

The wave of violent protests was ignited on June 11 by the death of a 17-year-old student hit by a tear-gas shell during a clash with police.

Since then the Indian part of Kashmir has been paralysed by demonstrations, strikes and rolling curfews imposed to stem the violence.

The unrest has left the government grappling for solutions in the region where it has stationed hundreds of thousands of security personnel to fight the armed insurgency it says is backed by Pakistan.


The more the confused Indian state gives in to the demands of Muslims  in Kashmir, the more they will add to those demands. And though it is now fashionable to claim that all they want is an "independent Kashmir," the day after any such independence, Muslims in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, and inside India will be thrilled, will be heartened, will be encouraged to keep making demands, and more demands, as they try to do what they will never stop trying to do, which is to recover India, once and therefore by rights forever, a land possessed by Muslims.

Those Hindus in India  who wish to ignore or pooh-pooh the meaning, and menace, of Islam, and instead to focus his fury on the "communalism" of Hindus, on Hindutva, on the spirit of Sita Ram Goel, are similar in their misaddressed hostility  to those Israelis on the left who regard as their "real enemy" not the Muslim Arabs who have tried, who are trying, who will always try, to destroy the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel, but rather the religious Jews whom they deplore as fanatics

Posted on 09/26/2010 8:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Wife-beating, sharia, and Western law

Why would a Muslim feel obliged to pay taxes to the Infidel government? Even for a peerage? The natural order is for the Infidel to pay taxes to him, and his lordship is granted by Allah, not by Gordon Brown.

Sharia law, which all devout Muslims must approve of, is not just a harsh, backward version of Western law. If it were, it would be capable of reform, over time and under Western influence. On the contrary, Sharia law is, and always will be, completely alien to Western civilisation. Spengler explains why, with particular reference to wife-beating:

More than the Koran's sanction of wife-beating, the legal grounds on which the Koran sanctions it reveals an impassable gulf between Islamic and Western law. The sovereign grants inalienable rights to every individual in Western society, of which protection from violence is foremost. Every individual stands in direct relation to the state, which wields a monopoly of violence. Islam's legal system is radically different: the father is a "governor" or "administrator" of the family, that is, a little sovereign within his domestic realm, with the right to employ violence to control his wife and children. That is the self-understanding of modern Islam spelled out by Muslim-American scholars - and it is incompatible with the Western concept of human rights.

The practice of wife-beating, which is found in Muslim communities in Western countries, is embedded too profoundly in sharia law to be extracted. Nowhere to my knowledge has a Muslim religious authority of standing repudiated wife-beating as specified in Surah 4:32 of the Koran, for to do so would undermine the foundations of Muslim society.


On the contrary, Westernized Muslim scholars strive to justify the practice on Islamic legal grounds. Muslim traditional society is a nested hierarchy in which the clan is an extended family, the tribe an extended clan, and the state an extended tribe. The family patriarch thus enjoys powers in his realm comparable to those of the state in the broader realm. That is the deeper juridical content of the Koranic provision for wife-beating in Surah 4:34:


The term "law" applied to Judaism and Islam means entirely different things to radically different peoples. Civil law rests ultimately on the state's monopoly of violence. In Muslim states, civil and religious law are identical, such that sharia courts hold the sword of the state. No Jewish religious court has had the capacity to inflict violence since the 1st century CE; the first detailed codification of Jewish law appears in the 3rd century in the Mishnah. The rabbis of antiquity explicitly put in abeyance ancient applications of violence, such as the injunction to kill a rebellious son (Deuteronomy 21:18-21); the Talmud (Sanhedrin 71a) states that no Jewish court ever handed down such a sentence. Killing of rebellious children, as noted, happens in Muslim countries, and is sadly frequent among Muslim immigrant communities  in the West.

Jewish law, though, requires no adaptation to modern Western law, for modern Western law ultimately derives from Jewish principles, as Harvard's Eric Nelson most recently showed in his 2010 book The Hebrew Republic, and Michael Novak explained in his 2002 volume On Two Wings. Jewish law proceeds from God's Covenant with each member of the Jewish people. The notion of an intermediate sovereign, such as Islam's "governor" of the family, is inconceivable in Jewish law, for there is only one Sovereign, the King of Kings. The powers of the earthly sovereign derive from God and are limited by God's laws. The American founding notion of "inalienable rights" stems from the Hebrew concept of covenant: a grant of rights implies a Grantor, and an irreversible grant implies a God who limits his own sovereignty in covenant with mankind.

From the vantage point of Islam, the idea that God might limit his own powers by making an eternal covenant with human beings is unthinkable, for Allah is absolutely transcendent, and unconditionally omnipotent. From a Hebrew, and later Christian standpoint, the powers of the earthly sovereign are limited by God's law, which irreversibly grants rights to every human being. Islam can make no sense of such self-limitation of the divine sovereign, and thus never has produced a temporal political system subject to constitutional limitations.

In Islam, the family father has the ability to be a petty tyrant in his own home. That may explain the great mystery of modern Islam, namely why nearly a billion and a half human beings have failed over eight centuries to produce scientific or cultural figures whose names the world recognize. Even in Joseph Stalin's Russia, individuals could find refuge in their families, and in creative pursuits not discouraged by the state, for example pure science and classical music. Islam can make the family itself an oppressive institution.


Posted on 09/26/2010 9:49 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Computers In Umm Qasr, Kites In Kabul:

From The New York Times:

September 24, 2010

Afghan Equality and Law, but With Strings Attached

KABUL, Afghanistan - It was an engaging idea.

Hundreds of children would gather on the iconic Nader Khan Hill in the capital, Kabul, on a gorgeous Friday in September and fly kites emblazoned with slogans lauding the rule of law and equality for women. The kites, along with copies of the Afghan Constitution and justice-themed comic books, would be gifts of the United States, part of a $35 million effort "to promote the use of Afghanistan's formal justice system."

"The mere portrait of 500 kites soaring in the winds, against a backdrop of beautiful mountain ranges, is enough to instill hope in even the most disheartened observer of the war-torn country," said a promotional release for the festival, organized by an American contractor for the United States Agency for International Development.

What could possibly go wrong?

Almost everything but the wind.

For starters, Afghan policemen hijacked the event, stealing dozens of kites for themselves and beating children with sticks when they crowded too close to the kite distribution tent. To be fair, the children were a little unruly, but they were also small.

Sometimes the officers just threatened them with sticks, and other times slapped them in the face or whacked them with water bottles. "I told them to stop the policemen from taking the kites," said Shakila Faqeeri, a communications adviser for the contractor, DPK Consulting.

But the policemen appeared to ignore her. Asked why one of his officers was loading his truck with kites, Maj. Farouk Wardak, head of the criminal investigation division of the 16th Police District, said, "It's okay, he's not just a policeman, he's my bodyguard."

The District 16 police chief, Col. Haji Ahmad Fazli, insisted on taking over from the American contractors the job of passing out the kites. He denied that his men were kite thieves. "We are not taking them," he said. "We are flying them ourselves."

At least he had not lost sight of the event's goal. "It is so people can understand the rule of law, and it lets the kids get together instead of wandering on the streets," he said.

It was not clear that the children had a much better grasp of the concept, but some did manage to get kites and were flying them, irregularly shaped patches of color soaring to impressive heights.

Most bore messages about the importance of gender equality, but there was hardly a girl with a kite, although plenty of girls were around. One DPK staff member pushed through the crowd to give 10-year-old Shaqila Nabi a kite; her sister Farzana, 8, had wanted one, too, but a policeman had just swung at her with a stick and she had darted out of harm's way, and out of sight.

Shaqila raced back to her father, Gul Nabi, a horse wrangler peddling rides. He promptly took the kite and gave it to a boy.

"He is my son and he should get the kite," he said.

The law and justice comic books were also a big hit. Some of the boys snatched them up and hid them under their shirts so they could come back for more. At one point, fed-up policemen, most of whom cannot read, just tossed piles of them in the dirt.

Mike Sheppard, the DPK project head, pronounced the event a success. "We just gave out a thousand kites in 20 minutes," he said.

But another DPK staff member, Abdul Manem Danish, stood watching the kite thievery and casual police brutality with disdain. His job was to administer a "kite event effectiveness survey" at the end to see if the festival had affected anyone's attitudes about justice.

"That's not a very good example of rule of law," he said. "Maybe it is the nature of these people that needs to be changed."

Posted on 09/26/2010 9:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Attack On Christian Syrian By Muslim Arabs In Sweden

From Aftonbladet: 

Issa Issa, a Christian from Syria, is a local candidate in Goteborg for the Swedith Democratic Party, the one that has made its opposition to further Muslim immigration central to its program. He was attacked by several dozen Muslim Arabs determined to drive him out of politics. Their attack appears to have succeeded, for he has apparently decided to do so. But the attack will have failed if it is Lesson #1,354,678 in what Muslims will do to threaten, beat, murder those dare to stand up against them, and it must have been particularly maddening to have someone who speaks Arabic, who knows them inside and out, join forces with the small, but growing group, of Swedes who have understood the meaning, and therefore the menace, of Islam and its adherents.

Here is the story. Some of it can be made out, especially the lines I have put in bold:

Han lämnar SD efter överfallet

Mordförsök Sverigedemokraten Issa Issa, 31, blev brutalt kni
Mordförsök Sverigedemokraten Issa Issa, 31, blev brutalt knivöverfallen i förrgår. Nu lämnar han partiet.
Foto: Kerstin Danielsson

GÖTEBORG. Sverigedemokraten Issa Issa, 31, är tacksam att han lever efter det brutala knivöverfallet i förrgår.

- De sa att de skulle döda mig, säger han.

Nu slutar han med politiken och lämnar partiet.

Aftonbladet träffar Issa Issa på sjukhuset där han har fått polisskydd.

Strax efter 22 i torsdags kastade någon in stenar i hans lägenhet på första våningen i stadsdelen Angered i Göteborg. Fönstren i köket, vardagsrummet och ett sovrum krossades. Issa och hans familj fick kasta sig på golvet.

Utanför stod två personer.

- De skrek "jävla kristen, jävla Sverigedemokrat, kom ner", säger Issa.

Sprang efter

Hans röst hörs knappt, han har förlorat mycket blod och han har ont, mest i höger axel.

Killarna nedanför fönstret sprang i väg när Issa och hans bror kom ut. Issa sprang efter dem.

- Det var en fälla. Runt hörnet väntade ett stort gäng, jag tror 40 personer. Jag försökte backa och ringde polisen medan jag sprang, säger Issa.

Någon i gänget avfyrade ett vapen.

- Jag fick ett slag mot ögat. En tog fram en kniv och höll den mot min hals. Sen högg han mig i axeln. Nu är jag förlamad i höger hand, säger Issa.

Knivhuggen tog i axeln, ryggen, handen och benet. Någon slog en flaska i huvudet på honom. Han blev sparkad och slagen.

Enligt uppgifter till Aftonbladet var angriparna ungdomar i 15-20-årsåldern. Polisen rubricerar attacken som grov misshandel.

- Säpo var här i morse, säger Issa.

"Politiskt motiv"

Han är kristen syrian, kandiderade till kommunfullmäktige och stod på femte plats på Sverigedemokraternas valsedel för östra Göteborg. Partiet ökade från ett till tre mandat i årets val.

- Folk har missförstått och tror att jag är emot invandrare. Det var därför jag fick stryk, säger han.

Nu lämnar Issa partiet.

Mikael Jansson, SD-ordförande i Göteborg och på väg in i riksdagen, säger:

- Vi befarar att det här överfallet är politiskt motiverat. Issa har tidigare, på valdagen, blivit utsatt för ett hot när han stod vid en vallokal och delade ut valsedlar.

Jansson tycker att det som hänt är extremt allvarligt.

- Vi upplever en hets mot oss Sverigedemokrater. Och att andra politiker inte tar ställning mot detta.

Posted on 09/26/2010 10:18 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
"And Whispering 'I Will Ne'er Consent '-- Consented."

Mary Jackson goes with the "I-may have-made-it-up" excuse I provided for not being able to track down the source.

I believe the story to be true. If there is anyone reading this who has heard the story, and knows more about it -- perhaps even the name of the wit in question, please send that information to me c/O Rebecca Bynum.

What story? 

This one: 

Monday, 20 November 2006
Offer and Acceptance

"After reports that he wouldn't, he did after all."
-- from this report at JW

"And whispering 'I will ne'er consent '-- consented."

That's Byron in "Don Juan."

That particular line by Byron, incidentally, was employed by a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale some years ago. No doubt a wit himself, he used the line of another wit, Byron, to make the point, in a course on Contracts, that an Offer (in the good old matter of Offer and Acceptance) can objectively be accepted, even if the state of mind is not quite there yet.

For his clever use of Byron, he received denunciation for being "sexist" by a few dour female students devoid of senses of humor, or historical sense, or literary finesse, and was asked to apologize. I don't think he did, but he was not asked back to Yale after his try-out term or year had ended.

More piercing intellects will agree that his use of that line entitled him to be not merely considered for, but given, a permanent position. On the spot.

Or maybe I made the whole story up. I can't remember. But it's a good one, isn't it?

Posted on 09/26/2010 10:29 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
A Musical Interlude: You Were Only Passing Time With Me (Smith Ballew)

Listen here.

Posted on 09/26/2010 10:38 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Pro Bono

Bono has got this "putting something back" lark down to a fine art. Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times:

The ONE Foundation, Bono's charity to rid the world of everything horrible by sending the press expensive corporate gifts such as £15 water bottles and leather notebooks, has just had its accounts revealed.

In 2008 it raised £9.5m and gave a grand total of £118,000 to worthy causes. Some £5.1m of its income went on staff salaries, most of the rest on the sorts of trinkets mentioned above, which are of course vitally important in the battle against poverty and disease. Bizarrely though, despite Bono's magnificent effort, there is still some horrible stuff left in the world, such as Aids, malaria, malnutrition and warfare.

So why not buy your other half a warm and colourful pashmina for Christmas from the ONE Foundation shop? It's a snip at £111 plus postage, and maybe purchasing it will help the ONE Foundation achieve a staggering 1.3% of income donated to the needy, instead of 1.24% as at present.

This is the same Bono, incidentally, who moved his business to Holland in 2006 to reduce his tax liability.

Posted on 09/26/2010 10:56 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Cliché corner

Rod Liddle on the Dalrymplian theme of tattoos and piercings:

Employee of the week is the clerk at a Blackburn job centre who advised Hayley O'Neil, 23, that her best chance of gaining employment was to put a bag over her head or stand behind a wall during a job interview. Hayley is covered in tattoos and has studs through her cheeks, nose, lip, chin and so on. "Who's going to employ you looking like that?" he asked.

Hayley has complained about being "humiliated" and said, regarding her hideous adornments, "This is who I am." Yep, sweetcheeks, it surely is: ie, unemployed and likely to remain so.

"This is who I am" - a bit like Martin Luther, only more holey.

And while we're holed up in cliché corner, has anyone noticed how people keep banging on about "choices"? If someone behaves badly or foolishly, they claim to have "made the wrong choices".

Chairman Mao made some choice choices, according to White House communications director, Anita Dunn. From a book review in The Spectator:

You don't have to accept the definition of how to do things, and you don't have to follow other people's choices and paths, OK? It is about your choices and your path.

The 45 million famine victims didn't have a lot of choice, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. OK?


Posted on 09/26/2010 10:59 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Irritating Book/Film Title of the Year

Eat, Pray, Love.

Posted on 09/26/2010 11:18 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Prohibition is Potty

Andrew Sullivan in The Sunday Times:

Prohibition in America - the 18th amendment, making the sale and consumption of alcohol illegal anywhere in the United States - began in 1920. It's hard to imagine now, but it wasn't just a law; it was embedded in the actual constitution, along with free speech and voting rights for women. An amendment requires approval from two-thirds of the states and both houses of Congress.

The president, Woodrow Wilson, tried to veto the final congressional bill, but the support was so strong that his veto was overruled.

And prohibition did indeed reduce drastically the consumption of alcohol in the US. It was supported by the left-wing progressives, the Ku Klux Klan, religious groups, the majority of southerners and most African-Americans. The tea and soft-drinks industries also threw their weight behind it. It was popular throughout the Roaring Twenties.

What ended it? Two things: human beings being what we are, the black market in illegal alcohol became huge - and it was run by gangsters. And then the Great Depression hit and the leading cities had to cope not just with increasingly mafia-type crime but also with mass unemployment and collapsing tax revenues. By 1933 the need to combat gangsterism and revive and tax one part of the economy - alcohol - overwhelmed what had been an almost universal agreement that booze was un-American.

I can't help but remember this history when looking at proposition 19, a ballot measure in California that seeks in effect to legalise marijuana this November. If it is passed, you still will not be able to smoke the drug in public but you will legally be able to possess up to an ounce of it in your home for personal use and grow it in your garden. Authorised businesses will also be able to sell you up to an ounce of marijuana in any single purchase.

You could still be penalised for being stoned on the job, or while driving, and there are strict provisions to prevent it from being sold or given to anyone under the age of 18. But that's about it. If the proposition is approved, California, a state of close to 40m people, will treat cannabis like alcohol in almost all respects. The reward and incentive? An estimated $1.4 billion (£630m) of new revenue in a state with the largest budget deficit in America.

Same goes for Britain - legalise it and tax it. And free up the police to do something useful with their time.

Posted on 09/26/2010 1:16 PM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 26 September 2010
The Calcutta Quran Petition

It doesn't date.

Read around in it, clicking on whatever section takes your fancy first, and then another, then another. Ad libitum.

Right here.

Posted on 09/26/2010 1:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Here's hoping that Petraeus' prognosticative skills have not improved

General Petraeus is quoted in Bob Woodward's new book, "Obama's Wars," as saying that he thinks our soldiers will be occupying Afghanistan for the rest of our lives, and the rest of our childrens' lives.

I think he's wrong.  I don't think we will.  No matter how much our putative leaders may wish to make it so, we simply cannot afford it, in any sense of the word.

Posted on 09/26/2010 1:43 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Sunday, 26 September 2010
"Palestinian" Dance Troupe Performs Its Dance Of Death

This song has been such a hit that, according to Palestine Media Watch, it has been broadcast a half-dozen times in the last few months.

Here a "Palestinian" dance troup performs; with the PA (ne PLO) Minister of Culture is in proud attendance.

But, the BBC and other organs of the press tell us, it is the Israel's "intransigence" that may scuttle the "peace" talks.

And no one wants even to allude to the Treaty of Hudaibiyya. That wou.ld be unkind. That would be cruel. That would stop the wonderful "peace process" and the wonderful "Two-State Solution" which will supposedly be the fruit of that "peace-process," in its grim and, for too many, seemingly  inexorable  tracks.

Posted on 09/26/2010 2:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Describes People Learning More About Islam As
Conference leader calls nations to fight 'pandemic of vilification' against Islamic faith

Muslim nations must collectively resist growing Islamophobia in the U.S. and Europe, the head of the world's largest organization of Islamic countries told ministers from the 57 member nations gathered here this week.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu urged members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to work with Western leaders to dispel misconceptions about their faith. They met on the edge of the U.N. General Assembly.

Ihsanoglu told The Associated Press on Saturday that he would be taking this message on the road next week to Chicago, where the OIC will host a major conference on Islam and Muslims in America at the American Islamic College.

Education, he said, is key in helping the West truly understand Islam.[Yes, but not in the way he has in mind]

He said his new book, "The Islamic World in the New Century: The Organization of the Islamic Conference, 1969-2009," includes a whole chapter on the danger of growing Islamophobia in the West.

Islam has recently been under attack in America, especially with a controversy over a proposed Islamic centre near the World Trade Center sites and threats by groups to burn the Qur'an in protest.

"The Muslim world is going through an unprecedented difficult and trying time," Ihsanoglu told the ministers during their annual meeting on Friday. "We are facing daunting challenges and severe hardships. Islam and Muslims are under serious attack, and Islamophobia is growing and becoming more rampant and dangerous by the day."

He said a "pandemic of Islam vilification" is sweeping through some parts of Europe and the United States, increasing misperceptions about Islam and eroding Muslims' human rights.

"We need an all inclusive effort of OIC member states to stem this menace," Ihsanoglu told the ministers. "That is why I firmly believe that this question of Islamophobia should figure prominently on the agenda of all OIC member states whenever they deal with their Western counterparts."

Ihsanoglu, who is from Turkey, has headed the OIC since 2005. The group is seen as a moderate, collective voice for Islam.[by whom? Not by non-Muslim of sense]

"The OIC is a strategic and crucial partner of the United Nations and plays a significant role in helping to resolve a wide range of issues facing the world community," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement to the group when it met on Friday.

Member states reflect the reach of Islam across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and include Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Morocco, Afghanistan, Syria, Chad, Senegal, Niger, Sudan, Guyana and Surinam.

Posted on 09/26/2010 7:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
A Tribute To Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

First posted at Jihad Watch (December 21, 2008):

Fitzgerald: A tribute to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is the Turkish "historian of Islamic science" whose outward appearance is so deceptively modern and secular and sweet-reasonable. Then one realizes that that is merely camouflage and that his mental baggage, while not quite as primitive as that of the qaradawis and tantawis, is from the same product line manufactured by Islamic Tourister.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was carefully chosen to assume the position of head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as the most moderate and presentable (to the Infidels) person, after the bad impression left by Mohamad Mahathir's celebrated rant. He has since then been beavering away at the OIC's pet project, a transparent attempt at across-the-globe censorship of criticism of Islam. It is an attempt that constitutes an assault on the advanced, Western world, whose citizens are being threatened if they dare to exercise their right of free speech about what Ihsanoglu primly and self-righteously calls a "religion" (as if that conferred some kind of special immunity).

But Islam is an all-encompassing ideology, a Total Belief-System that presumes to regulate every detail of a man's life, and offers a Complete Explanation of the universe. Furthermore, it places great emphasis on inculcating the idea that all of humanity is divided between Muslims and non-Muslims, Believers and Infidels. Muslims are taught that between the two there must exist a state of permanent war (though not always of open warfare), and that all Muslims have a duty, central and not tangential, to participate in some way in the "struggle" or Jihad to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam.

Islam is a politics, Islam is a geopolitics. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu knows that, but he doesn't want the world's Infidels to find that out, or to discuss it among themselves, much less to actually criticize it. And so he will do what he can to shut down the exercise, in the Western world (and elsewhere in the non-Muslim lands), of our right to free speech, a right that could not possibly exist for one minute in the lands where Islam dominates, and Muslims rule. But in the advanced West, as one of its achievements, such a right has been won and is now exercised, possibly not quite as impressively, or with as much gratitude, as it might be -- but the important thing is the right, the untrammelled right.

Does Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu want Infidels to read the Qur'an? The Hadith? The Sira? Does he want them to read the histories -- the histories written by Muslims, for god's sake -- about the Muslim conquests, and the subsequent mass killings and subjugation of non-Muslims? What does he want us to find out about Islam? What is in the glossy brochures prepared by assorted Ministries of Islamic Propaganda, or by individual smiling imams (the kind who keep getting picked up later for connections to terrorism, or are revealed later, after they have decamped back to a Muslim land, to have made all kinds of disturbing and even blood-curdling remarks)? Is that it?

Amazing, isn't it, the real outrage, the genuine fury, that we should actually find out what Islam inculcates, and connect it to the recorded behavior of Muslims over the past 1350 years, and to the observable behavior of so many Muslims today, as we open our newspapers or turn on our radios and televisions, and piece together what might well be a separate section of the paper or segment of the broadcast, to be called The Jihad News.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was chosen to be the head of the O.I.C. because he was a "moderate" Turkish Muslim and a presumably respectable "historian of science." But he turns out to be not that but rather an historian, and defender, of "Islamic" science, who attempts to tortuously explain away the absence of science in the Islamic world since its brief flourishing thanks to Christians, Jews, and those who, while they were called Muslims, were only a generation or two away from being something else, in a milieu still heavily influenced by non-Muslim elements -- which, when greatly reduced, also reduced the atmosphere in which science could be conducted.

That bizarre figure, Ziauddin Sarkar, was somehow permitted to review, in the pages of the British journal "Nature," the large claims made on behalf of "Ottoman" -- i.e., "Islamic" science -- by Ihsanoglu. Some of Ihsanoglu's attempts to explain why such things as the clock did not develop in the East but only in the West (you see, since the early clocks were not sufficiently accurate for Muslims to rely on them for knowing when it was time for prayers, they did not think it worth using them, or trying to improve them) raise far more disturbing questions about the Muslim mindset than Dr. Ihsanoglu apparently realized.

Why did an editor at Nature give the job of reviewing Ekheleddin Ihsanoglu's book to the apologist Ziauddin Sarkar? And who at Science allowed to be published his puff-piece about "Islamic science," with every cliche that no historian of mathematics, or science, or technology -- not Giorgio di Santillana, not Crombie, not Charles Singer, not a hundred others -- would have permitted?

What is happening when standards, supposedly so rigorous at "Science" or at "Nature," are so obviously non-existent, and both journals become, rightly, the object of ridicule?

Then there is this, taken from a web-site that follows the OIC:

In March 2006, OIC General Secretary Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu embraced Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal at a press conference at OIC's headquarters. Ihsanoglu whitewashed: "With its win, Hamas begins a new stage in the development of the Palestinian issue. We assure that Hamas will deal with all national and international requirements in a practical and logical way."

At a "special session" of the OIC in August of the same year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for "the elimination of the Zionist regime," a statement that OIC failed to condemn. Moreover, the OIC has repeatedly backed Iran's nuclear ambitions. As Ishanoglu said in April, 'All member states of the OIC and I have obviously supported Iran's right to access peaceful nuclear technology,' despite clear indications that the Iranian regime's uranium-enrichment program is designed chiefly to make nuclear weapons.

And there is the OIC's explaining away of the 9/11 attacks, which "expressed the frustration, disappointment, and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims' soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed by the West."

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is also the one who, at the time of the death riots and Muslim riots over those anodyne cartoons in a Danish paper, solemnly likened the effect of those cartoons on Muslims as being akin to the effect on Infidels of the mass murders carried out by Muslims on 9/11.

Finally, Ihsanoglu has explained to an American audience how splendid was the system of "protection" that Islam offered Christians and Jews -- "protection" offered by Muslims, for the payment of Jizyah, from those same Muslims. A system that would have impressed Al Capone. He helpfully explained that the "privilege of becoming a protected minority via an act of dhimmiship was given only to the followers of a prophet to whom a sacred book was revealed."

Christians and Jews, because you are the lucky "followers of a prophet" -- Moses, Jesus (that is, the Muslim Moses, the Muslim Jesus) -- you will enjoy, when Muslim rule comes everywhere, the same "privilege of becoming a protected minority via an act of dhimmiship" that Christians and Jews have enjoyed in the Middle East, and elsewhere in Muslim-ruled lands, for so long.

So what's your problem? Never satisfied? What's the reason Islam is not pleasin' you?

In defining "dhimmiship" as the "privilege of becoming a protected minority," Dr. Ihsanoglu did his best. But those who are so solicitious of the public image of Islam and of Muslims realize that it should not be left up just to NPR, or the BBC, or Le Monde; we all have to pitch in, and do our bit. It might be better if "dhimmi" were to be jettisoned altogether. The word upsets Infidels, and it does nothing for Muslims, either.

Instead of "dhimmis," why not call them "Friends With Benefits"?

Islam is not merely a bunch of rituals of individual worship, or an explanation of how the universe came to be. It is, more importantly, also a politics and a geopolitics. A man who can present the dhimmi system, and describe the status of the "Protected People" un-ironically as A Good Thing, an Example of Muslim Benevolence and Tolerance, as Ihsanoglu does, is for all of his outward mien, that tie, that Western suit, inwardly as hopelessly primitive as any daggers-and-dishdasha Saudi.

Posted on 09/26/2010 7:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 September 2010
More On The "Islamophobia" That So Exercises Ekmeledin Ihsanoglu

This first appeared at Jihad Watch (January 26, 2007):

Fitzgerald: Islamophobia? Not so fast

"Analysts both in the Muslim and the Western world by and large agree that "fear" and lack of objective dialogue are the root cause of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism." - a statement by Abukar Arman in this article

Not so fast, buster. The word "Islamophobia" is not an acceptable term for intelligent apprehensions over Islam. For Islam is for its adherents a total belief-system whose central and moving idea is that of a complete division between Believer and Infidel. It asks of Believers that they offer their sole loyalty to Islam as a Total System, and to the Jihad, furthered through many conceivable instruments, to spread the dominance of Islam to lands that for now may still be under Infidel rule. Believers are also to ensure that dominance of Islam by removing "all obstacles" to its spread. They are to ensure that Muslims rule, and not just here or there, not just in the lands now part of Dar al-Islam or once part of Dar al-Islam, but everywhere.

The large-scale presence of Muslims in the Lands of the Infidels has brought about a situation, for those indigenous Infidels (and also for other non-indigenous arrivals, non-Muslim immigrants), that is unpleasant, expensive (the costs of monitoring, the costs of security, spiralling ever upward), and physically dangerous. Ask a Frenchman who dares to enter the "quartiers chauds" which are all over France. Or ask English residents of Birmingham and Bradford and Leeds and Manchester and parts of London, or ask Swedes in Malmo, or Dutch in Rotterdam and parts of Amsterdam.

"Islamophobia" is a word concocted to intimidate those who are rightly troubled, and more than troubled, by what they have learned of Islam largely through the observable behavior of Muslims not only in the West, but around the world -- and also through more and deeper study of the canonical texts and of the history of Jihad-conquest over the past 1350 years, from Spain to the East Indies, and of the subsequent subjugation of many different non-Muslim peoples: Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. The similarities in their treatment, and the similarities in the impulses and attitudes exhibited by Muslims over a wide area, are simply too great to ignore.

Likewise impossible to ignore are the problems of Muslims in Australia and England, in France and Germany, in Spain and Italy, in Belgium and the Netherlands, in Sweden and Denmark and Norway, or even, in far fewer numbers, in the United States and Canada. Everywhere they manifest the same kinds of hostility, the same kinds of wearing-away demands, the same false or real outrage, the same refusal to truly collaborate with the security services. They engage in constant attempts to undermine the most commonsensical of measures. They conduct sustained and cynical campaigns of Da'wa, often based on hiding the reality of Islam and offering the most superficial aspects of it (the rituals) to a vulnerable targeted audience of the economically and psychically marginal. And they do so many other things -- including the astonishing campaigns to shut down free speech everywhere, not only in Denmark (at Jyllands-Posten, which resulted in death threats directed at Danes from all over the Dar al-Islam) but also in The Netherlands (the murders of Pym Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh). Death threats have driven some out their jobs (Robert Redeker in France) and forced others to cease the expression of their views (Will Cummins in Great Britain). This is Islam On the March, completely determined to keep and hold and expand what it sees as its beachhead, and more than a beachhead, all over the Dar al-Harb.

The inability or willful refusal by many in the West to understand this is a product of many things. Among those things is sentimentalism about How All People Are the Same the Whole World Over and Everyone Wants the Same Thing, with its obvious variant, All Religions Are Equally Dangerous. Just look at a few of those blood-curdling lines about the Canaanites or some such in old Hebrew texts -- why, that makes Judaism just as dangerous, maybe more so, than Islam with whatever it is said to inculcate. Doesn't it?

What this transparent attempt at symmetry offers is not one falsehood but many. "Islamophobia" is a word used by apologists for Islam to avoid answering specific, detailed, and knowledgeable questions about Islam. These questions that cannot be answered, in truth, because if the truth were offered as an answer it would force Muslims themselves to indict Islam, to admit that what is in the texts is in the texts, and is taken seriously by a billion people -- and that those who do not take the texts seriously are not "moderate" Muslims but essentially bad Muslims, unobservant Muslims, Muslims who do not really believe. And there are far fewer of these than most non-Muslims assume. They are always open to the possibility of relapse, and certainly their progeny are, so that Infidels cannot base their own security and that of their institutions on the "hope" that those "moderate" -- i.e., bad -- Muslims will never change their minds, and that their children will continue in the same vein.

That is a wager that Infidels should not be asked to make: to bet their physical safety and that of their children and grandchildren, and that of their societies on those moderates. For those Infidel societies are already in various states of confusion and disarray, and are facing all kinds of problems. Such a bet could allow them to be done in by this Total Belief-System that originated 1350 years ago as an ideology, compounded of bits and pieces, distorted or misremembered, of both Judaism and Christianity, and with an admixture of pre-Islamic Arab paganism.

No. That should not be expected of us, the Infidels. We are not ready to concede or commit suicide.

Posted on 09/26/2010 8:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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