These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 28, 2010.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
J. D. Salinger Dies At 91
In the spirit of the apocryphal Boston newspaper said to have run the headline: "Titanic Sinks, Hub Man Drowns" a report carried by on-line Philadelphia bears this title:
J.D. Salinger, Literary Giant, Valley Forge Alum, Dies
Think of what may be found in Salinger's fire-proof safe, in that house in Cornish, New Hampshire -- writing of his last De Daumier-Smith period, that is, the nearly forty-five years that have passed since "Hapworth 16, 1924" was published. What will it be? Something? Nothing? A fabulous trove?
Media and politicians 'fuel rise in hate crimes against Muslims'
From The Graudiad
A rise in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in London is being encouraged by mainstream politicians and sections of the media, a study written by a former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officer, published yesterday, says.
Attacks ranging from death threats and murder to persistent low-level assaults, such as spitting and name-calling, are in part whipped up by extremists and sections of mainstream society, the study says.
The document – from the University of Exeter's European Muslim research centre – was written by Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer and former special branch detective Dr Robert Lambert.
"The report provides prima facie and empirical evidence to demonstrate that assailants of Muslims are invariably motivated by a negative view of Muslims they have acquired from either mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media," it says.
Lambert headed Scotland Yard's Muslim contact unit, which helped improve relations between the police and Britain's Islamic communities.
The unit won praise from even long-standing critics of the police, and Lambert was awarded an MBE.
The study mentions no newspapers or writers by name, but alleges that the book Londonistan, by the Mail writer Melanie Phillips, played a part in triggering hate crimes.
"Islamophobic, negative and unwarranted portrayals of Muslim London as Londonistan and Muslim Londoners as terrorists, sympathisers and subversives in sections of the media appear to provide the motivation for a significant number of anti-Muslim hate crimes," it says.
The report says the extreme right are directing their violence more against Muslims than black or Asian Britons.
"Interviewees with long experience of extremist nationalist street violence in London are unequivocal in their assessment that Muslim Londoners are now a prime target for serious violence and intimidation in the way that Londoners from minority ethnic communities once were," it says.
"Similarly, interviewees with experience of London street gangs that have no connection or affinity with extremist nationalist politics are adamant that Muslims have become prime targets for serious attacks.
"In addition, well-informed interviewees are clear that the main perpetrators of low-level anti-Muslim hate crimes are not gangs but rather simply individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who feel licensed to abuse, assault and intimidate Muslims in terms that mirror elements of mainstream media and political comment that became commonplace during the last decade."
The report says the attacks come in part from street gangs targeting Muslims as punishment for members who have embraced Islam and left gang culture.
"Often, they know someone who has left their scene and become a devout Muslim," the document, which also drew on interviews with youth workers dealing with gangs, says. "That is like a defection. And whether they do or don't, they say they know this or that terrorist who used to be a great person till he joined the Muslims." What they don't say is that these gangs are almost certainly themselves not indigenous. Most officers are committed to tackling anti-Muslim hate crimes seriously, but are undermined by a few colleagues who are not. But the study warns: "Anti-Muslim hate crimes have not been afforded the same priority attention [that] government and police have invested in racist hate crimes."
The report is dedicated to Yasir Abdelmouttalib, a PhD student who was left brain-damaged after a gang of youths attacked him in London, striking him over the head with a stick, as he made his way to a mosque while wearing Islamic clothing. It cites other cases of rightwing extremists preparing hate campaigns and of serious attacks on Muslims in Britain. The boy convicted of the attack on Yasir Abdelmouttalib was a child of 13, the offspring of addicts to crack and cocaine. He had been in trouble with the police since the age of 11. His crime was without doubt reprehensible but I doubt he had read Melanie Philips or even much of the Sun other than the caption to P3. I think it is disingenuous to rank him with the likes of Terence Gavan. The study focuses on anti-Muslim violence in London, with its authors saying they will produce one covering the whole of the UK by this summer. While Islamaphobia Watch has taken up the Guardian article I can find no link to the full report anywhere. Islamaphobia Watch say that it will be available soon on the website of the European Muslim Research Centre at Exeter University, but the link supplied requires one to be a member of the university to obtain access.
By the way Exeter University was the one criticised by Nanny McFee Emma Thompson where her baby boy suffered so from Devon's lack of diversity. "What can we do to change the whiteness of Devon and Cornwall? How can we expand our university?"
I can't find that this has been reported other than in Andrew Gilligan's Telegraph blog and an item in the journalist's Press Gazette website. One of the key tactics Islamist hardliners use to suppress reporting of their activities is to hassle those who write about them with libel actions, Press Complaints Commission complaints, and so on. Thankfully, there is growing evidence that this tactic is failing.
Today, in a very significant judgment, a man named Azad Ali lost his High Court libel case against an article in the Mail on Sunday which described how he had been suspended from his job as a Treasury civil servant after writing a highly controversial post on his blog.
Ali praised a spiritual leader of al Qaeda, Abdullah Azzam, denied the Mumbai attacks were “terrorism” and quoted, apparently approvingly, a statement advocating the killing of British troops in Iraq.
He criticised those Muslims who “tell people that Islam is a religion of peace”. He described non-Muslims as “sinners” and said Muslims should “hate [non-Muslims'] disbelieving actions”.
In his ruling today, Mr Justice Eady said: “I would hold that [Ali] was indeed, in November 2008 and for so long as the blog remained available, taking the position that the killing of American and British troops in Iraq (whether before or after the 2005 elections) would be justified…In those circumstances, the claim can be categorised legitimately as ‘bound to fail’ and as having about it an ‘absence of reality’.”
The judge said David Glen, for Associated Newspapers, sought summary judgment or an order striking the case out, arguing that Ali's observations in his blog advocated a form of jihad - holy war - which could only be understood as justifying the killing of British and American troops in Iraq, and that a jury would be perverse to reach any other conclusion.
The judge said he was "compelled" to conclude that Glen was correct and went on: "I would hold that the claimant was indeed, in November, 2008, and for so long as the blog remained available, taking the position that the killing of American and British troops in Iraq would be justified by his middle or 'balanced' interpretation of jihad.
"Moreover, since it is a matter of construing plain language in its overall context, I believe it would be perverse to take a contrary view.
"Nothing would be gained by investigating other blogs in the past or the claimant's background in other respects. Such an exercise could not change or qualify the plain meaning of the blog in question."
This is the second time in two months that Islamist hardliners have suffered a serious reverse in court. In November, the think-tank Policy Exchange won its long-running legal battle with the North London Central Mosque which alleged extremist influence there.
For the first time in a long while, something appears to be going right in the libel courts. Azad Ali is back at work in the Civil Service currently sitting on a panel that advises Keir Starmer the useful idiot DPP.
We covered Professor Awadh A. Binhazim's performance at a Vanderbilt event on the Muhammad cartoons in February 2006. Professor Binhazim stated at the time, “Islam is not something to ridicule” and furthermore “all Muslims” view the publication of the cartoons as a “provocation.” He also stated that the 99.9% who feel deeply offended even if they have not responded violently and that they donot share the value of free speech as it is recognized here. He openly supported the suppression of speech and in one revealing moment uttered, “In European countries such as Germany, you can’t even say anything about the Jews or the Holocaust!” When Yvonne Ridley spoke at Vanderbilt, she also expressed her opinion that the stoning of homosexuals was perfectly fine and that those who are punished must have "wanted to be caught" given that four witnesses are required for a conviction. The person who attended that speech with me, called The Tennessean thinking this was a newsworthy utterance, but paper refused to cover it. Here is Devon Saucier's account of the MSA sponsored event on Muslims in the military for Youth for Western Civilization:
I have often been puzzled about the unholy alliance between Muslims and leftists – how could the latter, who fervently support multiculturalism, gay marriage, and gender equality, ally with the former, who support religious and cultural supremacy, traditional marriage, and the oppression of women? I have concluded that leftists enter this alliance out of naïveté and ignorance, while Muslims quite sensibly enter it for political and social expediency. Leftists can't accept that a group might purposefully deceive them because, deep down, everybodyloveseachother…… right?
So when I saw that the Muslim Students Association (MSA) was hosting an event titled "Common Ground: Being Muslim in the Military" which was sponsored by the Project Dialogue committee, I knew it would be ripe grounds for me to expose the gullibility of leftists who grovel at the altars of tolerance and acceptance.
The event went as expected, with Vanderbilt Professor Awadh A. Binhazim provided a thirty-minute, flowers-and-butterflies overview of Islam, and Captain Darryl Cox explaining how much intolerance and discrimination he experiences as a Muslim in the military, all the while remaining silent on the subject of the Fort Hood Massacre. His talk left you with the same New York Timestaste in your mouth that Major Hasan was motivated not by Islamic laws and the Islamic religion (like this man admits), but because somebody told one-too-many Muslim jokes.
While all of this was true to form, the real action happened during the Q&A, when I asked Professor Binhazim if he accepts the Religion of Peace's stance on the punishment for homosexuality:
Me: Under Islamic law is it punishable by death if you are a homosexual?
Professor Binhazim: Yes. It is punishable by death.
It shouldn't be.
The death penalty for homosexuality is common dogma throughout the Muslim world, and, as Professor Binhazim reluctantly admitted, it is Islamic law itself, which all Muslims must accept.
"God is very straightforward about this — not we Muslims, not subjective, the Sharia is very clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like that is death. We don’t make any excuses about that, it’s not our law — it’s the Koran."
So spoke Sheikh Khalid Yasin in 2005. Sheikh Yasin is, according to Robert Spencer "an American-born, England-based Islamic preacher who has been the Muslim Students Association spokesman at universities all over the country, including Penn State, Ohio State, the University of Minnesota, and St. Cloud University."
It is not as if these ideas occur in a void, either. Iranian gay and lesbian human rights group Homan has stated that since 1980, Iran alone has executed some 4,000 homosexuals. Homosexuality is also a capital offense in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen. Robert Spencer has a comprehensive analysis of Islam's treatment of homosexuals here.
So why are leftists not in outrage over this? Why weren't there dozens of leftists asking the same question and exposing the same radical beliefs? As I said earlier, it is because they are blinded by their naïveté. They refuse to grasp the basic, irreconcilable civilizational differences. They assume, without reserve, that all cultures are compatible with our basic senses of justice and propriety and that surely no culture really holds that homosexuals should be put to death. In short, the political correctness of the left is a cult of ignorance.
Case in point: after the event, a rather flustered girl came up to me demanding to know why I asked that question –
Girl: Why would you ask some irrelevant question like that?
Me (Saucier): I think my question was quite relevant, since there are a number of homosexuals in the military.
Me (Saucier): Well let me put it this way. If I was a homosexual in the military, I would want to know if the religion of the person fighting next to me demands my death. That would be significant to me.
Girl: (sarcastically) Well I learned in Sunday school that Christianity condemns homosexuality too!
Me (Saucier): Yes, Christianity does consider homosexuality sinful, and Christians pray for homosexuals because of it, while Islamic law says they should be punished with death. See the difference?
Girl: Well no one really believes that anymore.
Me (Saucier): Yes they do. Iran, for instance, has put 4,000 homosexuals to death since 1980.
Girl: I still don't see why you asked the question.
Well here it is. Following on from the report on Islamophobia this morning comes the launch of the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) at the University of Exeter. In the Guardian (where else). The comments are quite funny; even Guardian readers are ceasing to be fooled. And Hugh is not the only person to inquire where the grant is coming from. Today, we are proud to launch the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) at the University of Exeter. We hope that the EMRC will be part of a wider process of voices and perspectives which are too often being ignored, or buried under a tide of negative portrayals of Muslim communities and Islam by vociferous sections of the media and populist politicians.
What good is an academic centre on these kinds of issues? The EMRC has taken a first step towards highlighting problems which Muslims are facing on a daily basis.
In 2010, British Muslims face physical peril for simply being Muslim.
Our Centre's first report, "Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: a London case study" is out today. Too much academic and "thinktank" research is based on poor methodological engagement, and repackaging hearsay and assumption in the guise of intellectual contribution. We hope that the EMRC, in partnership with communities and other academics will provide an alternative to this kind of work.
Politicians, ranging from the fringes of UKIP and the BNP, to serious mainstream politicians in the Labour and Conservative parties, not only feel that there is no social or political penalty for attacking Islam, but that not attacking Muslims enough risks being politically outflanked. Politicians are making regular political assessments that it's a vote-winner to call for the proscription of Hizb-ut-Tahrir rather than the EDL – despite the fact the EDL has organised a string of marches which have led to police officers being injured and civil unrest.
This behaviour is egged on by populist commentators in the tabloids and beyond, who sensationalise stories to gain print space and air time. One of the comments pointed me to the EMRC website and for a Guardian reader to be alarmed things must be getting desperate. The mission statement begins;- Our core value is that a growing European Muslim population makes significant and valuable contributions to the safety and cohesion of European communities and countries and to the well being of Europe as a whole. . . Both the content and the methodology chosen for the report illustrate our central purpose: to produce high quality, long-term empirical research on the experience of Muslims in European towns and cities. We have chosen the topic of anti-Muslim bigotry for our first report because it has become a serious problem in many European towns and cities.
I do hope their Saudi paymasters are well pleased with this first effort.
A selection of comments:- What happens if you find that the negative portrayals are to some extent justified? Will you behave like a proper 'research' body and report your findings? Because from the tone of this article you sound as if you've already made your minds up about certain things.
Will you be also following up on Dispatches and Panorama's work and record the the widespread use of material that incites terrorism, racism, murder, violence, misogyny, and all sorts of other violent theocratic crap? Or is this to be an explicitly one-sided exercise?
Did your study also look at the vicar who was beaten up by Muslims in his own churchyard, the teenage girls pimped by Muslim gangs, the people who had the misfortune to be white and near an EDL march? Or did it just "highlight problems" faced by your ethnic group of choice?
About 60 terrorist plots, for which 200 Muslims are in prison either convicted or on remand, and the taxpayers have to fork out for some nobodies to tell us it's the fault of anyone BUT Muslims. No thank you.
I'd rather like to see more articles about what's good about Islam (quote from an earlier comment. The response was) Mohammed was fond of cats.
Bee Strike Man has information on the funding. He says:-
"Please tell me you've not obtained a sizable grant for this special interest project of yours."
The Study contains the following information:
"We also wish to thank the trustees of Islam Expo and the Cordoba Foundation who have provided the funding to launch the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) and enabled us to carry out the research for this report"
IslamExpo was founded by Mohammed Sawalha, who was identified as one of the founders of Hamas by BBC Panorama.
The Cordoba Foundation is run by Anas Altikriti, whose father ran the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq.
The EMRC Advisory Board includes Dr Basheer M. Nafi. He is indicted by the US Government in relation to activities with Islamic Jihad Say no more - Hugh is spot on, as usual.
The thread is closing shortly according to the moderator, just as things were getting heated.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a film to conjure with. The plot involved sitting on a bed, rubbing a knob until one was taken to the blackout and beyond. Here is a little ditty, involving going down, bottom, bobbing and (hob)nobbing, all well-worn English traditions:
There'll always be an England, while there's a double entendre. (The French don't do 'em - they have l'esprit which is pretty limp.)
There were cannibals, not animals, on the island, which is named Ueepe, not Naboombu.
The children go back in time (to the year 1666, the year of the Great Fire of London, which features into a small part of the plot) to fetch Emelius Jones, whereas in the movie, Emelius Browne is a contemporary and time travel is unnecessary.
There is no reference to World War II in the books.
Eglantine Price remains with Emelius Jones in the past at the end of the second book, where they wed. In the film, Eglantine Price and Emelius Browne remain in the present where they are shown to be involved by the kiss Browne gives Price before marching off to report to his unit.
Apparently it was not possible to show on the globe itself the country called "Israel." But it was possible to show on the globe a non-existent country, a country that Arabs and Muslims wish to create and with which -- that is its sole reason for being -- to replace that country called Israel -- a country labelled "Palestine."
There is no country called "Palestine." It was a name given by the Romans to Israel, or rather to the Kingdom of Judea, in order to efface the Jewish connection to the land. It is an adjectival form that comes from "Syria palaestinorum" -- Syria of the Philistines, after an extinct tribe that lived in five cities in southwestern Israel. The name did not exist in Arab or Muslim history, as Professor Philip K. Hitti pointed out in testimony, for the Arab side, long ago.
The term was resurrected and applied to that part of the territory, formerly divided among several Ottoman vilayets (with a separate sanjak for Jerusalem), that the League of Nations assigned to part of the Mandate that was to be created for the sole purpose of the restoration of the Jewish National Home (other Mandates in the Middle East were created for the Arabs, and others still were contemplated, but never came into being, as part of the ioriginal intent of the Allies, after World War I, to create independent Armenian and Kurdish states).
Now the toponym "Palestine" is heavily tendentious. When someone speaks or writes of "Israel/Palestine" that someone is not neutral but making a point, and part of that point is to accept the nonsense concocted after the Six-Day War about a separate and identifiable "Palestinian people'" (who were never mentioned, not once, by any Arab leader, diplomat, or propagandist, prior to the defeat of June 1967, when it was clear that the Arabs would first have to weaken Israel politically, and to do so, it would be best to create out of the local Arabs a "Palestinian people" who could be presented not as merely the local shock troops of the Jihad waged against Israel, but as a "tiny people" who needed a separate state of their own (it was not enough that the Arabs had nearly two dozen states of their own, and that in every single one of those states, no non-Arab or non-Muslim minority had anything like autonomy).
Whoever the producer of that globe was, should no longer be the producer used by Target or any other American or Western distributor. A concerted effort should be made to boycott the products of that company, as a warning to others who have become accomplices, in one way or another, with Jihad.
It is well-documented that Eric Holder has a troubling conflict of interest as long as he is attorney general of the United States of America and head of the U.S. Justice Department. Holder is partner in a law firm, Covington & Burling, which has been representing 18 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Many of the clients are Yemeni nationals, countrymen of the very terrorists who just planned the Christmas day bombing attack on U.S. plane.
Today, the New York Post, in an editorial titled, "Come Clean Mr. Holder," reports that a Holder has just hired two more employees in the Justice Department who have direct ties to terrorists and loony-goony radical groups.
New York Post editorial:
It's just insane that a lawyer who defended Osama bin Laden's driver and bodyguard -- and who sought constitutional rights for terrorists -- could be one of the Obama administration's top legal officials.
But there's Neal Katyal, occupying a top perch at the Justice Department as the principal deputy solicitor general.
Then there's Jennifer Daskal -- who just months ago was an anti-Guantanamo activist. Now she's in Justice's National Security Division -- working on detainee issues.
Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and the Senate Judiciary Committee have apparently been demanding answers for months from Holder's Department of Justice, to such questions as:
--Why was the Christmas Day bomber questioned for only 50 minutes before being granted American civilian rights, after which the suspect got a lawyer and immediately stopped talking about his terrorism training and future attacks?
--Why are detainees who have confessed to their crimes at Guantanamo being granted trials in U.S. courts?
--Who in the Department of Justice might have "conflicts" of interest with known terrorist organizations or individuals?
Grassley's office has told the Post that it has received no answer from the attorney general's office. The Post says Holder's office says it will answer, "very soon." Even the liberal New York post editors say Holder's loyalty to the U.S. is suspect and he needs to explain himself immediately..
Last week, Israel National News reported that two Muslim professors who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group are now being allowed to resume teaching at universities in the United States after years of being "banned" by the Bush administration.
The Barack Obama administration has decided to lift a ban preventing Muslim Scholar Professor Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States. Ramadan, an Egyptian currently living in Switzerland, is a leading member of Europe's Muslim Brotherhood branch and the grandson of the movement's founder Hassan al-Banna. The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization for Hamas and some of the groups that recently merged into al-Qaeda, including Ayman al Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, is also parting ways with the attorney general's terrorist-friendly policies. Bloomberg was originally in FAVOR of holding the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan. In the light of the potential $200 million cost of providing security and the strong criticism from 9/11 families and most of the rest of America, Bloomberg told the New York Times today he wants the trial held somewhere else.
Newsmax reports today the Obama administration, AG Holder in particular seem to be ignoring Al Qaida's moves and plans:
A new report by retired longtime intelligence officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who served as chief of the CIA's Weapons of Mass Destruction Department, accuses the U.S. government of seriously misreading al-Qaida's operational objectives.
"Al-Qaida's reasoning," according to Mowatt-Larssen's new report from Harvard's Kennedy School, "runs counter to analytic convention that equates the ease of acquisition of chemical, biological or radiological weapons with an increasing likelihood of terrorist use - i.e., a terrorist attack employing crude weapons is therefore more likely than an attack using a nuclear or large scale biological weapon."
The U.K. has been on "severe" terrorism alert and the United States has recently elevated to critical after "chatter" that Al Qaida was attempting another bombing attempt on an American plane. In a 48 hour period last week , 6 people on the "no-fly" list were detained in various foreign airports and authorities were told to be on the lookout for female suicide bombers using American passports.
What is the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee going to do about Holder's anti-American policies and when?
How many more attacks on this country must take place?
Who are you working for, Mr. Holder? The chorus is getting louder.