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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
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These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 29, 2008.
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
BBC ‘censored Christian party broadcast’
The Times reports progress on this story, and unlike the BBC they have no problem with describing Tablighi Jamaat like it is.
The BBC is facing a High Court challenge over its decision to censor a party political broadcast in the run-up to Thursday’s local elections.
A Christian party has begun legal action after the corporation insisted on changes to a short film in which the party voiced opposition to the building of Europe’s biggest mosque next to the site of the 2012 Olympics.
Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic missionary group behind the £75 million Abbey Mills mosque, opposes inter-faith dialogue and preaches that non-Muslims are an evil and corrupting influence. One of its British advocates has said that it aims to rescue Muslims from the culture and civilisation of Jews and Christians by creating “such hatred for their ways as human beings have for urine and excreta”.
The Christian Choice election broadcast would have described Tablighi Jamaat as “a separatist Islamic group” before welcoming that some “moderate Muslims” were opposed to the mosque complex.
Alan Craig, the party’s candidate in the London mayoral election, also on Thursday, said that he was forced to change the wording at the insistence of lawyers at the BBC and ITV, which will also feature in the court action.
Posted on 04/29/2008 1:37 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Prisons Filled With Muslims

These statistics are the obvious result of the fact that Islam inculcates an entirely different ethical system in its adherents than that found in countries where ethics are based in Judeo-Christian values.  From the Washington Post:

...About 60 to 70 percent of all inmates in the country's [France's] prison system are Muslim, according to Muslim leaders, sociologists and researchers, though Muslims make up only about 12 percent of the country's population.

On a continent where immigrants and the children of immigrants are disproportionately represented in almost every prison system, the French figures are the most marked, according to researchers, criminologists and Muslim leaders.

"The high percentage of Muslims in prisons is a direct consequence of the failure of the integration of minorities in France," said Moussa Khedimellah, a sociologist who has spent several years conducting research on Muslims in the French penal system.

So long as discussion of Islam is off the table, it must be the fault of France. Perhaps if, as Daniel Pipes advocates, a synthesis between Islam the West can be found, then France could stop making what is allowed in Islam (like lying to, stealing from, or raping the kafir) illegal. That would put an end this problem of the unfair and disproportionate incarceration of Muslims. We just need to expand our tolerance of other cultures.

In Britain, 11 percent of prisoners are Muslim in contrast to about 3 percent of all inhabitants, according to the Justice Ministry. Research by the Open Society Institute, an advocacy organization, shows that in the Netherlands 20 percent of adult prisoners and 26 percent of all juvenile offenders are Muslim; the country is about 5.5 percent Muslim. In Belgium, Muslims from Morocco and Turkey make up at least 16 percent of the prison population, compared with 2 percent of the general populace, the research found...

French prison officials blame the high numbers on the poverty of people who have moved here from North African and other Islamic countries in recent decades. "Many immigrants arrive in France in difficult financial situations, which make delinquency more frequent," said Jeanne Sautière, director of integration and religious groups for the French prison system. "The most important thing is to say there is no correlation between Islam and delinquency." ...

I see. Just like there's no correlation between Islam and terrorism, or Islam and dysfunctional societies, or Islam and the paucity of art and science, or Islam and Arab supremacism, or Islam and the prevalence of conspiracy theories, or Islam and the oppression of women, or Islam and...

Posted on 04/29/2008 6:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Trouble at t’mosque
Main crossbeam's warped. Pardon?
From The BBC
A murder trial jury have heard how a long running dispute at a mosque in Milton Keynes led to an 18-year-old man being "clubbed senseless".
Atiq Rehman was attacked with a snooker cue, causing severe head injuries, and died two days later on 17 May 2007.
Luton Crown Court heard Bilal Zaman, 21, and Usman Ali, 20, of Cambridge Street, Wolverton, pleaded guilty to murder and are awaiting sentence. Ghur Rehman, 26 and Haroon Awan, 22 also of Cambridge Street, deny murder.
The prosecutor said Atiq Rehman, who is not related to the defendant with the same name, was attacked on 15 May last year at The Square at Wolverton.
Explaining the background he said: "In late 2006 the community who attended the mosque at Wolverton had become divided following a disagreement as to how the mosque should be run.  We are not concerned with the basis of that dispute but it led to a number of incidents where violence was used."
He said after Friday prayers on 12 January 2007 there was an incident involving a large number of people and weapons including knuckle dusters and knives and some people were seriously injured.
On 15 May, Atiq Rehman was playing snooker when he realised some of the opposing group were outside and were armed. He sought refuge in a nearby Costcutter shop but was dragged outside.
"He was attacked and kicked but managed to get up and run off towards the Christian Foundation which is where he was attacked again,"
Thankfully the fracas outside the Burton Central Mosque didn’t result in any fatalities but it was a close thing according to one witness yesterday. The Burton Mail reports on the continuing trial
THE prosecutor in the Burton Central Mosque brawl trial has accused a policeman of "being in the thick of the fighting and picking out people to assault".
In a 90-minute cross-examination that gripped the 11-strong Birmingham Crown Court jury, barrister Stephen Thomas said Tariq Hussain had behaved aggressively and was so wound-up he could not bring himself to talk to other officers.
The prosecutor suggested Tariq Hussain would surely have known of the mosque politics underpinning the clash and the likelihood of potential disorder.
However, the defendant rejected Mr Thomas's version of events, blamed the disorder on a failure of pro-active policing and insisted he had helped to try to restore order.
When re-examined by his barrister, Andrew Baker, Hussain revealed he had sacked his original solicitor and admitted the way he had dealt with police questions may not have been ideal.
He also confirmed evidence showing he had pinpointed his aggressors six months earlier and had hired a private detective because he believed prosecution witnesses were colluding against him.
Muslim elder Mohammed Manzoor, 82, backed Tariq Hussain's version of events, telling the court that unless the officer had intervened to save him from a punch thrown by Mohammed Arif, he would have been "killed".
Little things in mosques can spark outrage. From The Teesside Gazette
BORO born and bred Rasub Afzal’s passion is promoting understanding between Teessiders and his fellow Muslims.
So the taxi driver was shocked to be caught up in a furious religious row - over paper napkins printed with a brewery’s name. They were on the tables at a Middlesbrough mosque lunch for local Muslims who are strictly forbidden to drink alcohol.
One guest was so offended by the Flying Firkin name, he started a stand-up row.
Now 41-year-old Rasub who tried to calm the row says it has made him fear for the future of good community relations. “What hope have we over really important things when there is such anger at something like this,” he said.
The storm brewed at a no-alcohol lunch in Middlesbrough’s Waterloo Road Mosque. Dozens of Muslims were there to hear a speech on unity by the Bradford-based Commissioner for Pakistan.
Suddenly one guest from Stockton became infuriated at the sight of the name on the napkins and began to criticise organisers.
Rasub, who was on his table, said: “He made a remark about the napkins and I tried to calm the situation by saying, ‘it’s not such a big issue’. “I apologised even though he was rude and abusive to me. I even poured him a glass of orange.
“But I was quite intimidated by his attitude, in fact I thought he might hit me. He said it was against Islam because the napkins had the name of a drinks company.
Rasub says the napkin incident has made him worry about attitudes which will not help foster good relations in the area.
Haji Jaber, secretary of the Islamic Society of Cleveland and the Middlesbrough Council of Faiths, said the man who complained about the napkins had created a “storm in a teacup.” He said: “He went completely overboard. The event was open to all faiths and some of those do have alcohol. “There are other Muslims who use the mosque who have shops that sell alcohol. Many were upset by his comments about it. If he didn’t like it he didn’t have to be there.”
More tea Vicar?
Posted on 04/29/2008 9:43 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Unclean Things

"One of its British advocates has said that it aims to rescue Muslims from the culture and civilisation of Jews and Christians by creating “such hatred for their ways as human beings have for urine and excreta."
--from the news article linked below

This is not surprising. At the official website of Al-Sistani, the Western world's favorite Iraqi cleric, whom the journalist Tom Friedman suggested should get a Nobel Prize for his presumed moderation and wonderfulness, the list of "unclean" things, things deemed najis, includes blood, feces, urine, dogs, pigs, and oh yes, Infidels.

Take a look yourself.

Posted on 04/29/2008 10:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Idling Through The Concise Oxford Dictionary Of Politics

Idling through the Concise Oxford Dictonary of Politics, I discovered this entry under "Poll Tax" (pp. 391-392):

Poll Tax.

Two meanings, based on different meanings of 'poll,' but with considerable convergence.

(1) A tax levied at a flat rate per head on each inhabitant of a given district ('poll' meaning 'the human head,' hence 'person on a list'). Two celebrated poll taxes have been levied in England: one in 1381 (actually the third of a series that started in 1377), and one in 1990. The tax of 1381 was described at the time as 'hitherto unheard-of.' It was difficult and intrusive to collect, and was widely evaded in places the collectors found difficult to reach, such as Cornwall. It led to serious rioting, and the Savoy Palace (near present-day Trafalgar Square) was burnt down. It was abandoned because of popular resistance. The tax of 1990 (1989 in Scotland) was difficult and intrusive to collect, and was widely evaded in places the collectors found difficult to reach, such as inner London. It led to serious rioting, and buildings at Trafalgar Square were set alight. It was abandoned because of popular resistance. ....

Posted on 04/29/2008 1:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Pseudsday Tuesday

As I have said many times, it is difficult to be objective about language change. Whether we accept or reject a new usage is very often conditioned by our attitude to the speaker or writer, or to his type. Thus I recognise reluctantly that “debate”, used as a transitive verb to refer to one's opponent  rather than the subject, will become acceptable. It is used by good writers such as Robert Spencer - and, to my surprise and delight, Hugh Fitzgerald - and I dislike this Americanism only because I am not used to it. In time I will get used to it, and will use it unthinkingly.

Even a word used in the way you like may become unpleasant if unpleasant or silly people use it. I used to like the word “innovation”. I still quite like it, and use "innovation" and “innovative” fairly regularly. But I am coming to dislike it. “Innovation” is used more and more by jargon-spouting management consultants, and it now has connotations of useless gadgetry – until recently a company called Innovations produced a catalogue advertising gismos you could not possibly want, such as waterproof alarm clocks or ionising kettles – and self-conscious “wackiness”.

Theodore Dalrymple uses the word “discourse” rather more than I like. But when he uses it, it means something, whereas when post-modern meta-twaddlers use it, it doesn’t. Long-term readers will remember “reference-gate”, the protracted kerfuffle over my perfectly legitimate use of the verb “reference” to mean “quote from”. When I used it, it meant something specific. My “discourse” always means something specific, even if not all readers like what it specifies. But I too wince at “reference” used in an artistic context. Writing on the Whitney Museum's Biennial exhibition of contemporary art, blogger Richard Lacayo puts “reference” in the same category as “interrogate”, a pet hate of mine. Eric Gibson:

Richard Lacayo, on a Time magazine blog, likened reading the show's introductory wall text ("Many of the projects . . . explore fluid communication structures and systems of exchange") to "being smacked in the face with a spitball." To combat such verbiage, he recommended banning five words long popular with critics that nonetheless say nothing: "interrogates," "problematizes," "references" (as a verb), "transgressive" and "inverts."

Last year’s bête noire was "resonate". I used to quite like the expression, "this resonates with me," but I now think it has outstayed its welcome. When I read this execrable sentence in the Tate Modern leaflet handed out to crack visitors, I fell out of love with it:

First, and most obviously, the contemplative nature of such a venue allows the gesture to resonate in its widest sense.

Can a gesture resonate? Is a crack a gesture? Whose widest sense? The crack's? Widest sense of what? And how can a venue have a contemplative nature? And why is it most obvious?

This week, “resonate” has a rival: “redolent (of)”. I shouldn’t dislike this word. It has a good pedigree. Thomas Gray used it:

My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.

But I think the use is becoming “weary”. You read it everywhere, often when a simple “reminding me of” would do. The word is no longer – er – redolent of anything.

 

Worse still, the twaddle-merchants have got their hands on it. It is embedded in their discourse. Here is an article by chris cheek [sic] on “Domestic Ambient Noise/Moise”. Notice that "poetry" has a plural, "poetries". Poetries in motions:

 

Domestic Ambient Noise/Moise, proliferates possible extensions to the polysemous transhistories of material poetries. d a n / m interrogates and explodes, what is familiarly understood as the 'pattern poem', somatic mark-making.1 It achieves this, through exploring the surface terrains of the page, and beginning to turn the para and peri-textual ecological imperatives of the book as a marketing tool of the Enlightenment, into an agency not of the preservations and retrievals of factual knowledge but of thickening doubts appropriate to certainties unravelling. In doing so d a n / m disinters avatars of scriptural knowledge, to articulate fissures within artifices of pages. Artifice is based upon recognition of pattern and play with that recognition of pattern; resulting, for Baudrillard, in simulation, giving way to the illusions of meaning.

 

Come off it, mr. cheek. Turn the other one.

Whilst references, representations and meanings will continue to proliferate as d a n / m is processed, for some readers the terms of engagement are already barren, too immersed in acts of negation. Too often for them, d a n / m offers only invocations of the denial of consensual meaning, mockery of the need for meaning as a symptom of socio-deficiency, or active erasure of existing common sense. These are, for such readers, 'writings' ready-redolent of neo-dadaism; yet more conceptually packaged artists' shit. d a n / m can be misunderstood then, as no more than a re-presentation of Mrs. Sparsit's 'impossible void'. Its depictions of textuality so dissipated as to be unreadable, within terms of readability measured against dominant linguistic practices. Letter forms have exploded their delineations to become blotches and globules. Inkish stains muck out the page, turning conventional interdependencies between text and background upside down and inside out. Ink, medium of positive articulation, literally blots conventionally negative spaces between letters and words, rendering the page opaque with necro-lingo-goo. Too many boundaries are being blurred at one time.

“Ready-redolent of neo-dadaism”? Why not “resonates” with neo-dadaism? Or “references” or “interrogates” for that matter? One word, for chris cheek, is as good as another.

Posted on 04/29/2008 2:20 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
A Musical Interlude: What Did'ja Wanna Make Me Love You For?
Posted on 04/29/2008 2:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
The Paris Plot

This is short notice, (Hat Tip Alan) about to start on BBC2.

'The Age of Terror: Episode 3  The Paris Plot'

Posted on 04/29/2008 2:59 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
The Council Of Economic Advisers Couldn't Do Better
Posted on 04/29/2008 3:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Then and now - early colour photographs

Alan thought I would like these - and he was right. These are some of the earliest colour photographs taken in Britain.
I recreated the view of Parliament Square scene of Victory celebrations in 1919 yesterday. Probably more traffic today but not moving any more quickly.

Posted on 04/29/2008 3:22 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

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