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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 Tuesday, 3, 2009.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Court impedes effort to rescue kidnapped girl in Bangladesh

From CompassDirect:

DHAKA, Bangladesh, November 3 (CDN) — A bail order in Bangladesh has impeded police from rescuing a young Christian girl who was abducted and forced to convert to Islam and marry one of her kidnappers, according to police.

Four Muslim men abducted eighth-grade student Silvia Merry Sarker on July 30 as she made her way home from school in west Sujankathi village, under Agoiljhara police jurisdiction, in Barisal district in southern Bangladesh, according to her father, Julian Sarker.

Sarker filed a case under the Women and Children Repression Act against Al-Amin Faria, 24, Shamim Faria, 22, Sahadat Faria, 20, and Sattar Faria, 50.

"My daughter was abducted by Faria with the help of his cousins and other relatives,” said Sarker.

Sarker filed a First Information Report (FIR) charging that the men abducted his daughter initially to “indulge Al-Amin Faria’s evil desire.” Later she was forced to convert to Islam and marry Al-Amin Faria, which Sarker said was part of an attempt to take over his land and property.

Local police inspector Ashok Kumar Nandi told Compass that police were continuing efforts to arrest the kidnappers but had yet to find them, as the unusually early bail order had blocked their efforts.

“There are four names as prime suspects in the case,” Nandi said. “We arrested three of them, but the court released them on bail. If the court had given them to us on remand, we might have found the girl, or at least we would get much information to rescue the girl.”

Generally suspects in cases under the Women and Children Repression Act are not granted bail so early for the sake of investigations, Nandi said.

“We do not know why they were released on bail,” he said. “Those released persons are moving freely in the village. We cannot arrest them again without an order.”

Attorney Rabindra Ghosh, president of Bangladesh Minority Watch and an activist for Dutch human rights organization Global Human Rights Defense, told Compass that the granting of bail to the suspects also poses threats to the victim’s family.

“They are threatening the victim’s family to withdraw the case,” said Ghosh. “Release of the abductors on bail so early is a travesty – the abductors got impunity due to the early bail order. For the sake of the girl’s rescue, the court could have sent the arrestees to police on remand to find more information about their hideout.”

Gnosh concurred that an accused person under the Women and Children Repression Act case does not get bail so early without first getting necessary information from them.

A few days after the kidnapping, Sarker said, the abductors provided Nimchandra Bepari, a Hindu neighbor, an affidavit claiming that Sarker’s daughter was 19 years old. Bepari gave the affidavit to the local police inspector. The kidnappers also contacted sub-district chairman Mortuza Khan.

My daughter is 13 years old, but the abductors made an affidavit of her age showing 19 years old,” Sarker said.

The fact that the abductors are Muslims gives their affidavit more weight than her Christian father.

The headmaster of Agoiljhara Shrimoti Matrimangal Girls High School, where the girl is a student, issued a certificate denoting that Silvia Merry Sarker is even younger than 13 – born on Dec. 24, 1997, which would mean she is not yet 12 years old.

The fabricated affidavit provided by the kidnappers states that she accepted Islam and has married, said Sarker.

“I am shocked how a minor girl is shown as an adult in the affidavit,” Ghosh said. “It is illegal, and there should be proper action against this kind of illegal activity.”

Al-Amin Faria had tried to get the girl’s two older sisters to marry him, but their early marriages saved them from falling prey to him, Sarker said.

“I married off my two elder daughters at an early age immediately after finishing their schooling,” said Sarker.

Before they married, Sarker said he felt helpless to keep Faria and his family from accosting and harassing his other daughters.

I could not take any legal action against them since we are the only Christian family here,” he said. “I tolerated everything. I did not inform it to police or they would get infuriated.”

When Faria “targeted” his second daughter for marriage, Sarker informed the headmaster of the school and its managing committee, and they warned the Muslim not to disturb the family, Sarker said. Nevertheless, he said, he felt he couldn’t send his older daughters to school because he feared Faria would harm them.

The relation of us with those Muslim neighbors is ‘predator-and-prey,’” he said. “I saved my other family members from his lechery, but I could not save my youngest daughter.”

Sarker said he felt alone and helpless as a Christian minority but that he doesn’t understand how the entire justice system also can be so helpless.

“Why and how can the court, law enforcement agencies, police, administration, society and the country be helpless against him? Why can’t they rescue my daughter?” he said.


“It is unfortunate that the girl is not rescued yet in three months,” Costa said. “There must be negligence and indifference to the Christians from the government, otherwise the girl would be rescued.”

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) this year removed Bangladesh from its “Watch List” of countries requiring close monitoring of religious freedom violations, but it urged the new Awami League administration to strengthen protections for all Bangladeshis.

USCIRF also indicates that it hopes the government of Bangladesh will investigate and prosecute perpetrators of violent acts against members of minority religious communities.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Posted on 11/03/2009 9:52 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
A Musical Interlude: I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire (The Ink Spots)

Listen here.

Posted on 11/03/2009 7:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Reciprocity As The Basis For Policy Toward Muslim Polities And Peoples

Read the article, and the comments on it, here.

Posted on 11/03/2009 7:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Russia's Muslim Strategy (or lack thereof)

Walter Laqueur wrties in Middle East Strategy at Harvard (h/t: Arts & Letters Daily)

Islam is “Russia’s fate.” This was the prediction made a few years ago by Aleksei Malashenko, one of Russia’s leading (and most reliable) experts on Islam.  This may be an exaggeration, but perhaps not by much.

Demography is also Russia’s fate; if the situation and the prospects were less critical, Islam would be less of a threat. With equal justice it could be said that Russia’s historical misfortune (and fate) are its obsession with imaginary dangers and neglect of real ones. Stalin, it will be recalled, trusted no one, especially not old Bolsheviks, but he was certain that Hitler would not attack the Soviet Union. It is a fascinating syndrome, and one that has again become crucial with the reemergence of Russia as an important player in world politics.

And an important player it is. It took Germany a mere fifteen years after defeat in the First World War to reappear as a major power on the global scene. It took Russia about the same time to reemerge after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. The reemergence was made possible, above all, by the boom in the price of raw materials such as oil and gas, which Russia has in abundance. Despite all the violent ups and downs in the world economy, the demand for these raw materials will continue to be a source of strength for Russia. At the same time, the new Russia confronts major domestic and external challenges that did not exist (or did not exist to the same extent) before. Russia’s future depends upon how well it copes with them.

One of the main challenges facing Russia is its relationship with Islam, both on the internal front and in foreign policy. It would certainly be too much to say that the Russian leadership and public opinion have failed to recognize this, but the full importance of the issue has not been appreciated. The reasons are not shrouded in secrecy: it is the deeply-rooted belief that America, and the West in general, constitute the main peril facing Russia in the past, present and the foreseeable future.

In fact, Russia and the West share certain common interests in the Middle East and the Muslim world in general. But a realization of this truth collides with the new Russian doctrine as it has developed in recent years, according to which Muslim countries are Russia’s natural allies in the inevitable and perennial confrontation with the West. This ongoing debate, largely ignored in Western capitals, forms the subject of this paper.

Continue reading here.

Posted on 11/03/2009 7:57 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Magdi Allam (Interview in French)

Lundi, 2 novembre 2009

Interview de Magdi Allam à France Soir, un Eurodéputé qui décoiffe!

L’avis inédit du célèbre journaliste italien député européen sur l’actualité internationale; Bientôt de passage en France, ami de la Droite Libre et d'Alexandre del Valle, il publie en réponse au terrorisme islamiste un hymne à la vie intitulé « Pour que Vive Israel » (ed du Rocher), Magdi Cristiano Allam, ancien Vice-Directeur du Corriere dela Sera, est l’une des personnalités politico-médiatiques les plus populaires d’Italie. D’origne égyptienne, auteur de nombreux best-sellers sur l’islam et l’Occident, il est menacé de mort par le Hamas et Al Qaïda en raison de ses positions sur l’islamisme, sur Israel et depuis sa conversion au christianisme. Député européen sur les listes de l’Union du Centre (UDC) parti membre comme l’UMP du Parti populaire européen, il a créé son propre mouvement, Io Amo L’Italia, Anima d’Europa, qu’il ambitionne d’implanter dans toute l’Europe. Protégé en permanence par de nombreux gardes du corps, France soir l’a rencontré au Parlement européen ;

France Soir : Les fatwas contre vous ont été renouvelées depuis que vous avez quitté l’islam, le fait de lier l’islamisme à l’islam a–t-il agravé votre cas ?

MCA : Je me bats plus que quiconque en faveur de la reconnaissance de droits des Musulmans en tant que personnes, mais je suis opposé à l’islam en tant que religion, que j’ai essayé en vain de réformer mais dont les textes fonateurs légitiment la violence. Hélas, les Musulmans modérés sont moins orthodoxes que les Islamistes.

FS : Votre combat contre l’islamisme est un combat politique de civilisation ?
MCA : Je suis entré en politique dans le cadre d’une double volonté de défendre l’Europe menacée par l’islamisme conquérant et par le vide spirituel, ethique et identitaire de l’Europe. Le voile et la burka apparaîssent partout en Europe, où l’on banalise le nouvel antisémitisme sous couvert d’antisionisme, signes qui ne trompent pas sur la progression de l’idéologie de mort islamiste. En Belgique, des amis juifs font accompagner leurs enfants à l’école par des gardes du corps. La police ne pénètre plus dans les quartiers hors-la-loi où l’ordre islamiste progresse. Ceci est très inquiétant. L’Europe n’est pas une terre de conquête !

FS : Dans « Pour que Vive Israel », vous liez le droit d’Israel à exister à la dénonciation des islamistes Frères Musulmans « coupeurs de langue ». Qu’entendez-vous par là ?
MCA : L’idéologie des Frères musulmans, prétendus pacifiques dénonçant tactiquement les « coupeurs de tête », est la même que celle des terroristes. Ils veulent empêcher l’intégration des musulmans en Europe, réclament des droits différents, empêchent la critique de l’islam (d’où « coupeurs de langue »), au nom de la lutte contre l’islamophobie, et nient la légitimité d’Israël à l’existence. La lutte contre l’islamisme commence donc par la défense de ce droit à la vie, car l’islamisme justifie leurs massacres contre les non-musulmans et les Musulmans au nom de la haine des Juifs et d’Israël. Ce droit à la vie doit être inaliénable, indépendemment du droit de critiquer tout Etat, dont Israël.

FS : On parle beaucoup du retour des Talibans en Afghanistan et au Pakistan, êtes-vous inquiet ?

MCA : L’échec de la strategie militaire et politique internationale en Afghanistan et la croissance du pouvoir des Talibans au Pakistan sont dus à la myopie d’un Occident qui croit pouvoir vaincre le terrorisme avec les armes. Or c’est un défi de valeurs, d’identité et de culture. Nous devons libérer les Afghans de ceux qui lavent les cerveaux et poussent à vendre les vies en échange de la farce du paradis islamique et de récompenses matérielles.

FS/ Que pensez-vous des négociations autour du projet nucléaire militaire iranien ?
MCA : Le régime nazi-islamiste d’Ahmadinejad n’est pas du tout fiable. La République islamique iranienne poursuit son programme d’enrichissement de l’uranium, elle détiendra d’ici un ou deux ans de la bombe atomique et elle veut détruire le peuple et l’Etat juifs. Cela devrait déclencher une très vive réaction de la communauté internationale. Seule la naïveté et la pavidité de l’Europe et des USA de l’Administration Obama poussent à croire que Téhéran respectera un jour la légalité internationale et le droit d’Israël à exister. Cette lâcheté rappelle ce que Winston Churchill appelait « la politique d’apaisement » consistant à « donner à manger à un crocodile dans l’espérance que celui-ci le mangera en dernier »... Munich nous a montré face au nazisme que le dialogue ne mène à rien avec les idéologies de destruction.

FS : Etes vous satisfait de la signature du Traité de Lisbonne par le Président tchèque?

Oui. Avec l’espoir que le Traité de Lisbonne rapproche plus l’UE de la réalité d’un Etat de droit dans lequel il y ait une rélle et claire séparation des pouvoirs constitutionnels, avec un pouvoir législatif dévolu au Parlement européen et plus en cogestion avec la Commission et le Conseil européen. Mais le problème de fond demeure irrésolu: la reconnaissance de la verité historique des racines judéo-chrétiennes de la civilisation européenne sans laquelle l’Union continuera d’être un colosse de materialité sans âme.
Commentaires (7)


Rétroliens (0)
Posted on 11/03/2009 8:24 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Israel And The Attack On Al Kibar

Read the Der Spiegel article here.

Posted on 11/03/2009 12:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Ex-moderate Muslim to form 'anti-Zionist' party in Sweden

From the Swedish edition of The Local
A once moderate Muslim spokesperson who last year came out as an Islamist radical has announced plans to start a political party uniting all of Sweden’s anti-Zionists.
According to Mohamed Omar, a 34-year-old author and commentator born in Uppsala in eastern Sweden, he is prepared to welcome all political stripes into his new party – from the radical left and Islamic extremists to neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists – as long as they subscribe to the party’s core principles.
“We’re going to focus not on Islamic questions, but solely on anti-Zionism in order to reach out to as many as possible,” Omar told the Sveriges Radio (SR) documentary programme Kaliber.
On his website, Omar denies that the Holocaust happened and refers to Judaism as "a parasitic culture of greed".
The Omar of today is a far cry from the measured and moderate man who once edited one of Sweden’s most respected Muslim publications, Minaret magazine, and condemned protests by Muslims angered by the 2007 decision of Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda to publish a drawing by artist Lars Vilks depicting the head of Muslim prophet Muhammad on a dog's body.
According to Omar, Israeli incursions into the Gaza strip in the second half of 2008 played a key role in his radicalization.
“The latest bloodbath was simply too much. I felt compelled to take a public stance. But not only that. I decided to support Hamas and Hezbollah – the Islamic resistance movements.”
He concludes by declaring, “I’m a radical Muslim. And I say that with pride.”
“Besides, the big threat today is the Zionists. Today there are Zionists collecting money for the Israeli murder machine which used the money to burn children,” Omar said on the Sveriges Television’s Aktuellt news programme broadcast on January 29th.
“Today he functions as sort of a front man for fascism in this country and he pushes the most egregious anti-Semitic propaganda that I’ve seen in a long time,” said commentator and Palestinian movement supporter Andreas Malm to SR. “What upset me most is that he’s trying to dress it up as pro-Palestinian.”
Omar is short on details about his planned anti-Zionist political party, simply telling Sveriges Radio that “we’re working on it”. He added that he has drawn inspiration from France’s Parti Anti Sioniste, another anti-Zionist party.
Historian Henrik Bachner, an expert on anti-Semitism in Sweden, is concerned that the country remains fertile ground for extremist views like Omar’s.
He sounds appalling.

Posted on 11/03/2009 1:40 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Director decides against destruction of Mecca

Cue cropcircle
Cue flashbombs.
Cue thermonuclear device.
Cue fatwa.
From The Guardian
He blew up the Empire State Building and the White House in Independence Day, sent a giant monster careering through the heart of Manhattan in Godzilla and destroyed the famous Hollywood sign in The Day After Tomorrow. But it seems there are places even Roland Emmerich will not go - the German film-maker has revealed he abandoned plans to obliterate Islam's holiest site on the big screen for fear of attracting a fatwa.
For his latest disaster movie, 2012, the 53-year-old director had wanted to demolish the Kaaba, the iconic cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca that Muslims the world over turn towards every day when they pray and which they circle seven times during the hajj pilgrimage.
But after some consideration, he decided it might not be such a smart idea, after all.
"I wanted to do that, I have to admit," Emmerich told "But my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right.
"We have to all, in the western world, think about this. You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have ... a fatwa . . . so I kind of left it out."
The movie depicts a global doomsday event supposedly predicted by the Mayans more than a thousand years ago – in order to highlight his opposition to organised religion, the director decided to use CGI to destroy the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro instead. For good measure, he also blew up the Sistine chapel and St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, plus, on a secular note, the White House (again).
Personally I think the disasters predicted for 2012 refer to the London Olympics, but I am just a hardened old cynic.

Posted on 11/03/2009 1:58 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Muezzin spared jail after rape attempt

Virgin raisins alert.  From Gulf Daily in Bahrain:

A MOSQUE employee convicted of attempting to rape a 13-year-old Bahraini boy was spared jail yesterday, after judges ruled he was mentally unstable.

The Bahraini, who appeared at the High Criminal Court hearing with defence lawyer Isa Ebrahim, lured the boy into the mosque and attempted to rape him, the court heard earlier.

Judges jailed him for six months, but suspended the sentence for three years, saying he was "mentally unstable".

The man, who calls for prayer (muezzin) at a mosque in the Central Governorate, cornered the boy after evening prayers and asked him about his absence the night before, according to court documents.

The youngster told him he had been in hospital to receive an injection.

The man then took the boy to the women's section of the mosque and asked to feel the place of the injection, but the boy evaded him.

The boy then told the defendant he had to leave because his father was waiting for him outside and the man let him go, warning him not to say anything, the court heard.

The defendant, who pleaded not guilty, earlier claimed he was mentally unstable and receiving treatment at Psychiatric Hospital in Manama.

Posted on 11/03/2009 5:11 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
What should be the message at the Rifqa Bary Rally in Ohio?

Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazineRally for Rifqa Bary to occur at the start of the dependency hearing on November 16th before Franklin County, Ohio   Juvenile Court Magistrate, Mary Goodrich.  Geller has promoted the Rifqa Bary rally to draw attention to the plight of the 17 year old apostate from Islam.  We reported on (See:  “Rifqa Bary: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied”)a last minute deal that failed on the cusp of her return to Ohio sabotaged in part by her parents and Muslim counsel, Omar Tarazi.  Geller noted in the FrontPage Magazine interview her palpable reasons for the protest rally: editor, interviewed intrepid journalist, Pamela Geller of the blog Atlas Shrugs, regarding the proposed

Eric Fenner, the executive director of Franklin County Children Services, said that he has “no reason to believe Rifqa wouldn’t be safe with her parents” — with the father who according to Rifqa said, “If you have this Jesus in your heart, you’re dead to me. You’re not my daughter . . . I will kill you.”

I am organizing a “Rally for Rifqa” in co-operation with Robert Spencer, bestselling author and director of Jihad watch, and Dr. Andrew Bostom , author of The Legacy of Islamic Jihad. It will be held on November 16th, the day of Rifqa’s dependency hearing in support of the reinstatement of her rights and freedom of religion. . . .

It’s not just Rifqa’s battle. She is our proxy in the battle for freedom of religion and individual rights. Rifqa Bary’s case is the landmark case in the civil rights battle of this new century.

Who will be speaking at this proposed Rally for Rifqa?  Geller’s list of speakers includes:

Simon Deng, an ex-slave from Sudan ;
Nonie Darwish, Executive Director of Former Muslims United;
James Lafferty, chairman of the Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force;
Joyce Kaufman, Talk Show Radio Host;
Jamal Jivanjee, apostate, Pastor and Rifqa’s friend; . . .
Wafa Sultan will make a statement.

But then Geller whips up the passions by citing “Rifqa’s imprisonment;”
Rifqa Bary’s civil rights are being violated. She is being
held prisoner: no phone, no internet, and no public school. Why? What is her crime? She is being held under house arrest in accord with Sharia law, which stipulates that female apostates are to be imprisoned until they recant. Ohio is effectively practicing Sharia law.

In the run up to the Rifqa Bary rally it is important to keep in mind the conditions of her current foster care as regards her ability to communicate with outsiders.
Let us deal with the issue of her communication restrictions.

Her cell phone is not tapped, and she can phone whom she chooses.

Her internet access is not restricted to approved sites, or officially monitored by anyone.

There are two exceptions.  As per the Franklin County Court order all the parties to the case (not just the attorneys) are gagged.  As a party to her own case, Rifqa cannot discuss the proceedings with anyone other than her attorneys or foster parents.  So when she is visiting with friends, whether by phone, or online, she cannot talk about the case. The foster parents determine the amount of time she can spend on the phone and internet chats, based on time required for homework and chores. This amounts to responsible parental supervision.

The other concern is whether this proceeding in Franklin County Juvenile court is simply ‘profoma’. That is the re-unification deal is a foregone conclusion and would occur on the hearing date, November 16th.  Sources close to the legal team indicate that even if that occurs, there will still be appeals and other legal filings that would cause a delay of upwards to sixty days before that might eventuate.
Let us now focus on the appropriate messages that the Rifqa protest rally should convey.

The petition before the court is for dependency, because Rifqa fears being sent home to her family. Her fears reflect a history of abuse, of being taken back to Sri Lanka and the distinct possibility of her being fatally punished under Sharia law for her apostasy as a Muslim who converted to Christianity.  If the dependency petition filing is approved then Rifqa would become a ward (dependent) of the State of Ohio .  She would then be automatically eligible for a fast track to obtain a Green Card under US immigration rules, regardless of the immigration status of her parents.

Her parents, Mohammed and Aysha have stayed beyond the limits of their 2005 Visa. They are here illegally under US immigration rules.  Further, they have not complied with several court orders in Florida to produce their visas and passports.  These facts – and not the family’s tax problems - are evidence of her parents' unlawful behavior.  If anything her parents’ tax problems make it more likely they would return immediately to Sri Lanka if the Ohio court ordered Rifqa returned.  She is obviously afraid of being taken back thereHer parents therefore do not fear a US ICE order to leave America .

So the message at the protest rally should be to support the dependency petition so that Rifqa can remain in this country and become a US citizen.

Sources inform us that the large Muslim community in Columbus, estimated at over 70,000, including a large Somali contingent, may be prepared to come out in force to counter demonstrate against “outsiders.” Then there are the extremists at the Bary family Noor Mosque. The Protest Rally for Rifqa might trigger something more than the ‘stealth jihad’ aimed at reunifying Rifqa with her  parents teetering on the brink of fleeing the US for their native Sri Lanka. That flight could be imminent if the Franklin County Juvenile Court Magistrate Hearing overturns the petition for dependency on the grounds of abuse by her family, and immigration authorities encourage their departure.


Posted on 11/03/2009 8:01 PM by Jerry Gordon
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Somali rebels close women's organisations

By Sahra Abdi Ahmed NAIROBI, Nov 2 (Reuters) -
Somalia's hardline al Shabaab insurgents closed three grassroots women's organisations in the rebel-held town of Balad Hawa on Monday to stop women from going to work, a rebel leader said.
The group wants to impose its own version of Islamic law on areas it controls, and Washington says it is al Qaeda's proxy in the Horn of African nation.
"We have taken this step after we recognised that women need to stay in their homes and take care of their children ... Islam does not allow women to go to offices," Maalim Daaud Mohmed, the chairman of Balad Hawa, told Reuters by telephone.
Balad Hawa is located on the Somali border with Kenya, near the Kenyan town of Mandera.
The organisations closed by al Shabaab are the Halgan Businesswomen's Organisation, the Sed Huro Human Rights Organisation and Farhan Woman for Peace, he said.

Aayan Hirsi Ali said in one of her books that one of the several reasons Female Genital Mutilation was inflicted on the women of Somalia was that they had to work outside the confines of the home.
They don't just spend time in the kitchen cooking the family meals they are out in the fields and pastures growing and tending the foodstuffs. Herding the goats to pasture and planting the vegetables. So as sealing the women in the kitchen would mean the men having to do some hard and arduous farming work themselves if they wanted to eat, sealing their women's bodily parts before sending them into the fields was an alternative.
This latest direction looks like a double whammy.
Where women are forbidden to leave the house, all the work they could do has to be done by someone else. I can't see the average Somali husband suddenly developing a interest in agriculture and window cleaning. In the rich Arab countries that someone else is a slave or an imported servant but no one is going to go from their own (however poor) country to work in Somalia so that they can earn money to send home.
That leaves the slave trade. It will start as a use for the kidnapped sailors who don't get ransomed and could develop its own purpose and momentum.
This town is by the border with Kenya. Be very careful young boys of Kenya when out walking.

Posted on 11/03/2009 4:26 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Afghans among latest surge of asylum seekers entering Hong Kong


Hong Kong - Twenty asylum seekers, including nine Afghans, were being detained in Hong Kong Sunday after arriving in waters off the former British colony in a rickety wooden sampan. The group, which includes the first Afghan asylum seekers to the city of 7 million, was intercepted early Saturday amid a surge in the number of south Asians heading for Hong Kong.

The Afghans - a husband and wife with their two sons and another Afghan woman - were detained along with a group of Pakistani and Nepalese men off the west coast of Hong Kong's New Territories.

A marine police spokesman said there were no life jackets on the sampan, which was virtually sinking, and the people smugglers had "totally disregarded" the safety of the people on board.

A 24-year-old people smuggler from China, known as a "snakehead", was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting illegal immigrants, illegal immigration and endangering the safety of others at sea.

Scores of asylum seekers from south Asia have in recent months entered Hong Kong using people smugglers who take them by boat via treacherously busy shipping lanes from neighboring southern China.

In October, 13 Pakistani men were detained after being smuggled into the wealthy city from China on board a wooden sampan skippered by a 16-year-old Chinese youth.

The number of non-Chinese illegal immigrants arrested in Hong Kong jumped from around 40 people a month at the beginning of the year to more than 150 a month in recent months.

The surge is believed to be related to a High Court ruling in March that asylum seekers in Hong Kong can work in the city while awaiting decisions on their applications. There are currently around 5,600 asylum seekers in Hong Kong.

Posted on 11/03/2009 9:26 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Just another Qur'an burning rumor

They're a permanently enraged, tiresome, one-trick pony.  From McClatchy:

WARDAK, Afghanistan — Protests are sweeping the country in the wake of allegations that American troops burned copies of the Quran during a patrol in a province near Kabul, a charge strongly denied by U.S. military officials.

In addition to demonstrations in Kabul, protests have also been reported in Wardak, Jalalabad, Khost, Logar and Kandahar provinces.

The incident that sparked the unrest allegedly occurred on Oct. 15, during a routine patrol by U.S. forces near Khwajagan village in Wardak province after a roadside bomb struck an American armored vehicle.

Villagers said that the soldiers began an unsuccessful house-to-house search for insurgents. The troops then reportedly burned copies of the Quran they had removed from one of the houses.

"The soldiers went to Khwaja Fazlurahman's house," said Khwaja Qandol, a resident of the village. "There were only women there at the time. When they did not find anybody, they took six copies of the Koran from the bookcase and burned them in the center of the room." American officials denied any U.S. involvement in such an event and instead suggested the Taliban may have been behind the incident.

"There was no incident in which (U.S.) forces burned Korans in Wardak," said Capt. Elizabeth Mathias, a spokeswoman for the U.S. military. "Coalition and Afghan forces conducted an investigation of the incident and determined that the 'enemies of Afghanistan,' as reported by local authorities, were responsible for the burning." Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the governor of Wardak, suspected that local hooligans, rather than insurgents, may have been responsible for the incident.

"Holy Korans have been burned in (Khwajagan)," he said. "But it was not the American forces. It was drug addicts from that village, who have since run away." Meanwhile, Mathias said that U.S. forces had enlisted the aid of a local religious leader, or mullah, to help quell the rumors.

"In his comments, the mullah described how the Taliban has used this tactic of burning the Holy Quran, then blaming international forces to inflame the public in several provinces," she said. "(The mullah also) said that these actions disrespect Islam and Afghanistan." However, the growing anti-foreigner sentiment in the country appears to have given the rumor a life of its own.

The first demonstrations were held in Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak, just one day after the alleged incident. Hundreds of students and local residents blocked the main road and chanted slogans, such as "Death to the Americans!" and "Death to the enemies of our religion!" Similar scenes have been repeated throughout the country; on Sunday, Oct. 25, in Kabul, police fired warning shots in the air as students clustered outside the parliament building, burning an effigy of President Obama and shouting angry anti-American slogans.

Students in Nangahar also staged rallies, and issued a resolution demanding that the Afghan government prosecute those responsible for the Quran burning. They called on the authorities to make foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, and urged the Muslim world to support them by responding to the perceived disrespect to their religion.

"American forces show contempt for everything that is sacred, and this is not acceptable for us," said one of the demonstrators in Nangahar. "Muslims defend their religion with their lives, and we will continue to do so." It is not the first time a rumor regarding Americans' treatment of Islam's holy book has sparked outrage in Afghanistan.

Posted on 11/03/2009 9:37 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
A Musical Interlude: I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan (Rudy Vallee)

Listen here.

My favorite version of this song is that by Jack Buchanan, but it hasn't yet been uploaded .

Posted on 11/03/2009 10:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Magdi Allam: Interview With France-Soir (English translation)

Magdi Allam: The fight against Islamism starts by defending Israel's right to exist

Magdi Allam: The fight against Islamism starts by defending Israel's right to exist

Magdi Cristiano Allam, a former Muslim and Egyptian-Italian politician and journalist, was interviewed by France Soir.  I bring here the part of the interview.  

Q: The fatwas against you were renewed since you left Islam.  Is linking Islamism to Islam bad for your case?

A: I fight more than anyone in favor of recognizing the rights of Muslims as individuals, but I am opposed to Islam as a religion that I have tried unsuccessfully to reform, but whose basic texts legitimize violence.  Moderate Muslims are less orthodox than Islamists.

Q: Is your battle against Islamism a political struggle for civilization?

A: I entered politics as part of a dual commitment to defend a Europe threatened by a conquering Islamism and by the spiritual, ethical and identity void of Europe.  The veil and the burqa are everywhere in Europe, and the new antisemitism is trivialized under cover of anti-Zionism, unmistakable signs for the progression of the Islamic ideology of death.  In Belgium, Jewish friends have their children accompanied to school by bodyguards.  The police no longer enters lawless neighborhoods where the Islamic order is making headway.  It's very disturbing.  Europe is not a land of conquest!

Q: In "Pour que vive Israël" ["Long Live Israel - From the Ideology of Death to the Civilization of Life: My Story"] you link the right of Israel to exist to denouncing the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood's "beheading of the language".  What do you mean by that?

A: The ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, so-called peaceful, tactically denouncing beheadings, is the same as that of terrorists.  They want to prevent the integration of Muslims in Europe, call for different rights, prevent criticism of Islam (hence "beheading the language") in the name of the fight against Islamophobia, and deny the legitimacy of Israel to exist.  The fight against Islamism starts with the defense of this right to life, because Islamism justifies their massacres against non-Muslims and Muslims in the name of the hatred of Jews and Israel.  This right to life should be inalienable, independent of the right to criticize any state, including Israel.


France Soir


Posted on 11/03/2009 10:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Influence Of Iran On Shi'ites Of Yemen

From www.Memri. org:

Yemeni Shi'ite Cleric and Houthi Disciple 'Issam Al-'Imad: Our Leader Houthi is Close to Khamenei; We Are Influenced Religiously and Ideologically By Iran

On September 28, 2009, the Iranian website, which is affiliated with former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezai, published an interview with cleric 'Issam Al-'Imad, who is a disciple of Hussein Al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi rebels in Yemen. [1] Al-'Imad, who was born 1968 in Yemen, received his religious education in Saudi Arabia, but after studying Shi'ite Islam left Wahhabism to become a Twelver Shi'ite. Since1989 he has been pursuing advanced Islamic studies in the holy city of Qom in Iran. [2]

In the interview, Al-Imad describes the religious, ideological, and political affinity that has evolved between the Yemeni Houthis and the Iranian regime, saying that the Houthis have effectively converted from Zaidi Shi'a to Twelver Shi'a, which is Iran's official religion. [3] He adds that Houthi leaders have visited and lived in Qom, that their leader Hussein Al-Houthi considers Ayatollah Khomeini to be a model for emulation, and that Al-Houthi's relationship with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is similar to Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's.

Following are excerpts from the interview:

"When the Yemen Government and the Sunni Leaders Say [the Houthis are Twelver Shi'ites] ) -It Is Not a Lie"

Q: "Are the Houthis Zaidis or Twelver Shi'ites? Because it is said that they perform the 'Ashura rituals and celebrate the festival of Ghadir. [4] Moreover, in his book The Zaidis in Yemen, [Houthi leader Hussein] Badr Al-Din Houthi attacks the Zaidi belief in [all] four Righteous Caliphs as erroneous, and presents evidence to show that the Houthis belong to Twelver Shi'a more than to Zaidi Shi'a. Could you elaborate on the Houthis' basic beliefs?"

Al-'Imad: "Hussein Badr Al-Din [Houthi] is the current Houthi leader. [His father], Badr Al-Din Al-Tabatabai, was Houthi as well, and [both of them] lived in Qom, as well as [Hussein's brother] 'Abd Al-Malik. Their stay in Qom was not without consequences. 'Abd Al-Malik, Hussein's younger brother, is about 28 years old. I must point out that [the Houthis follow] the philosophy of Hussein and not [of his father] Badr Al-Din. The Houthis themselves emphasize this."

Q: "You keep stressing that [Hussein Badr Al-Din Al-Hussein] is the Houthis' current leader, but there are several versions regarding this. The Houthis claim that he is alive, but those who oppose them [the Yemen government] say that he was killed in 2004."

Al-'Imad: "It doesn't matter if he is alive or dead. What matters is that he is the leader. That is, in terms of ideology and the Houthis' philosophy, Hussein is the leader. I mean, the Houthis' strategic outlook and ideology are taken from Hussein's books. Even [his brother] 'Abd Al-Malik says this. He says, 'everything we have comes from my brother, Hussein.'

"The Yemeni attack on the Houthis and Hussein started in 2004, [and] the target [of this attack] is Hussein. They say, 'We are killing Hussein's disciples.' I myself have listened to Hussein's tapes and read his books. He strove to end the silence of the Shi'ites [i.e. the Zaidis], which has lasted for 30 or 40 years."

Q: "So we can say that the Houthis are Twelver Shi'ites?"

Al-'Imad: "Yes. You know why? I went to Sa'da [a province and Zaidi religious center in northern Yemen], that is, to the Houthi center. I traveled [from Qom] to Yemen to see for myself what was happening. [I saw that] all the books they had there were Ja'fari [i.e. Twelver Shi'ite]; not a single one was Zaidi. I myself was surprised.

"Before [becoming a Twelver Shi'ite], I was a Wahhabi [Muslim], and I had heard that [the Zaidis] had become Ja'fari. [When I came there,] I saw that they did not have a single Zaidi book. All the libraries - both the public [libraries] and private or family ones - held Ja'fari books. The Houthis read books printed in Qom, and that's the truth.

"So when the Yemen government and the Sunni leaders say that [the Houthis] are Ja'fari, it is not a lie. They [i.e., the Sunnis] really believe that they are Ja'fari, that they have changed their beliefs...

"'Ali 'Abdallah Saleh, [Yemen's current president, himself a member of the Zaidi minority], rose to power with the help of Saudi Arabia and its [royal] Al-Saud family. The day he became president, there wasn't a single Wahhabi school in Yemen, but today there are Wahhabi schools there. When he rose to power, the [Sunni] Salafi school was not the official [religion of Yemen], but today it is... All the mosque preachers are [now] Wahhabi...

"'Ali 'Abdallah Saleh collaborates with the Taliban, [as evidenced by the fact that] most of the Al-Qaeda leaders who were incarcerated in Yemen have escaped from prison..."

"[Hussein Al-Houthi] is a Disciple of Khomeini"

Q: "Which of the following three figures - [Ayatollah Ali] Sistani, [religious leader of the Shi'ites in Iraq]; [Hizbullah Secretary-General] Hassan Nasrallah; and Muqtada Al-Sadr [of Iraq] - has the most influence among the Houthis [in Yemen]? Which of them do you consider the most [influential]?"

Al-'Imad: "I believe it is Hassan Nasrallah. Hussein Al-Houthi's philosophy is pure Shi'a, and politically he is close to Hassan Nasrallah."

Q: "The emotional bond that between Hassan Nasrallah and [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and [his] regime - does it also exist between Hussein and 'Abd Al-Malik and Khamenei?"

Al-'Imad: "Absolutely. In every one of his tapes, Hussein says: 'I believe that the best interpreter of the Koran in our time was [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini, [founder of the Iranian regime], and that nobody even comes close to his level of Koranic knowledge.' That's what Hussein says... [He] also has also written a book called The Influence of the Philosophy of Imam Khomeini on Hussein Al-Houthi, an excellent and very interesting book.

"[Hussein Al-Houthi] is a disciple of Khomeini, and his relationship with Khomeini is similar to Nasrallah's relationship with Khamenei. [Moreover, Hussein Al-Houthi's] relationship with Khamenei is also similar to Nasrallah's relationship with Khamenei."

"Hussein Al-Houthi Says That We Must Emulate the Islamic Republic and... Learn From Iran"

"One of the issues that the Yemen government raises these days is [that of] of Hussein Al-Houthi's statements [in praise of] Iran. [Hussein's brother] 'Abd Al-Malik has not said the same things, but he cannot deny that his brother has. Ever since Hussein Al-Houthi came to Iran and studied Khomeini's books, he has been saying that these books are sacred. He openly declares that Khomeini was a saint.

"Hussein Al-Houthi says that we must emulate the Islamic Republic and we must learn from Iran. That is precisely why the Yemen government has been calling the Houthis 'Majous' [a Sunni derogatory term for Zoroastrians] and 'Iranians,' and telling them to go back to Esfahan..."

Q: "Is Hussein alive?"

Al-'Imad: "I don't know. The Yemen government says no, but his father, his brother, and all the Houthis say yes..."


[1] The interview was originally published in the Iranian weekly Muthalath.

[2], May-June 2009.

[3] Zaidi Shi'a differs from Twelver Shi'a in that it recognizes only the first four Imams, not all twelve; in addition, Zaidi Shi'a also recognize all four Righteous Caliphs, and not only the fourth Caliph 'Ali bin 'Ali Talib.

[4] The Shi'ite festival of Ghadir Khum marks the day on which the Prophet Muhammad selected 'Ali as his heir.



Posted on 11/03/2009 11:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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