As federal authorities investigate a video purporting to show two veiled Muslims passing unchecked through an airport boarding gate in Montreal, a prominent Islamic group dismisses it as part of "a nasty campaign going on against the niqab."
Faced with unverified reports that niqab-clad travellers are routinely allowed to board airplanes without having their photo identification double-checked, Transport Canada has vowed to examine whether a security gap exists.
"A serious concern has been brought to our attention. We're taking it very seriously and we're immediately going to look into it," Transport Minister John Baird said yesterday. Calling the reports "deeply disturbing," Mr. Baird said the probe will cover both the circumstances of the alleged breaches and potential issues with relevant security policies."I've asked my departmental officials to conduct a full investigation to ensure that we have one law that applies to all," he said.
While one moderate Muslim association points to the video as further evidence of why the niqab should be banned from public spaces, Farooq Khan, executive director of the North American Muslim Foundation, calls the latest furor "absolute nonsense."
"There's a consistent effort going on by certain quarters just to discredit the niqab," he said, noting niqab-clad Muslims typically undergo thorough airport-security checks. Generally, these take place privately with the assistance of a female security agent, Mr. Khan said. "Wearing a niqab does not mean one does not have to go through a security check," he said.
In the 46-second YouTube video that sparked the controversy, two veiled Muslims pass through an Air Canada boarding gate at Montreal's Trudeau airport in quick succession. The flight, AC 864 from Montreal to Heathrow, departed on July 11.
The handheld footage shows a man providing a stack of passports to airline staff, but neither of the veiled women accompanying him are immediately requested to lift the cloth to confirm their faces match those on the identification documents. Because of the brevity of the video, it is unclear whether a separate security check occurred.
"I did complain, both at the check-in desk and also when I was boarding the plane," the video's author, a British truck driver identified as Mick, wrote on his YouTube site.
Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur declined to comment on the specifics of the Montreal incident, but said the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority -- which is governed by Transport Canada -- is responsible for security screening, and passengers undergo multiple checks before arriving at the boarding gate. Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, questions the legitimacy of the video, noting it fails to show what transpired before or after the 46-second sequence of events.
Meanwhile, a report from the QMI news agency suggests the video filmed at Trudeau is evidence of a broader-reaching security gap that has repeatedly allowed individuals clad in the niqab to board planes unchecked.
All of which has incensed external observers, such as Tarek Fatah of the Muslim Canadian Congress, whose group has called on Ottawa to ban the niqab in all public spaces. "We could easily have a wanted terror suspect escape," Mr. Fatah said, suggesting individuals wearing full veils should be barred from accessing airports and train and bus depots."Staff are being bullied into compromising standards, and this could one day lead to other distractions and a lapse in judgment. This 'racism' blackmail must be put to an end."
Tory MPs say Home Home Office officials who disagree with Zakir Naik ban should quit
The Daily Telegraphdisclosed in June that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, had barred Zakir Naik, a 44-year-old Indian television preacher who once claimed that “every Muslim should be a terrorist”, from a lecture tour in the UK.
It emerged at the weekend that Sabin Khan, an adviser in the Home Office’s Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), had been suspended after allegedly criticising Mrs May in private. It was also alleged that Miss Khan had said she and Charles Farr, the office’s director-general, were “gutted and mortified” by the ban.
Papers filed by Naik in the High Court claimed that Farr and Khan disagreed with the ban and reckon that Khan said they would do "all they could to enable and encourage Dr Naik's entry to the UK".
In an e-mail to Khan, Naik's office wrote: "It is heartening to know that both you and Charles Farr are 'gutted and mortified'."
The claim continues that Khan apparently contacted Naik's office and said the e-mail could "get me and Charles into serious trouble".
Yes, that's right, she is in personal contact with the excluded preacher.
In a letter to today’s The Daily Telegraph, four Tory MPs said they “warmly endorse the courageous decision” by Mrs May to ban Dr Naik and were “deeply disturbed to learn from authoritative reports that some senior civil servants within the Home Office’s Office of Security and Counter Terrorism criticised Theresa May’s brave move”. The letter is not on line yet, but if it is put up the letters page is here.
They added: “It is vital that the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism employs personnel at all levels who have the necessary objectivity to fulfil their tasks…It is essential, therefore, that the Home Secretary is able to enjoy the loyalty of those working for her. If civil servants cannot give that, they must reconsider their positions.”
The letter was signed by Conservative MPs Nicholas Boles, Angie Bray, Robert Halfon and Richard Harrington. We can no longer rely on loyalty to the Crown of officials in any department.
Arsonists convicted of murder over bungled ‘honour killing’
Amish "arsonists", by any chance? What do you think?
From The Times. The police spokesman has strong words, but doesn't mention Islam:
Four arsonists who set fire to the wrong house in an attempted “honour killing” have been convicted of the murder of a couple who lived near the intended victim.
The men, whose target was an adulterous lover. got the wrong address in Blackburn, killing Abdullah Mohammed, 41 and his wife Aysha, 39 and orphaning three children.
Three of the men drove from their homes in East London. Habib Iqbal, 25, of Manor Park, Sadek Miah, 23, of Tower Hamlets, and Mohammed Miah (no relation), 19, from Plaistow were recruited by Hisamuddin Ibrahim, 21, of Manor Park. His sister, Hafija Gorji, was having an affair, and it was said he acted for his family to punish her lover, who lived in the same street as the Mohammeds.
But the arsonists poured petrol into the wrong house in London Road, where the Mohammeds were asleep.
The case was one of Lancashire Constabulary’s largest murder investigations. More than 100 officers took 590 statements, followed 1,486 lines of enquiry and seized 1,684 exhibits.
Obscured in the online text of the article, but present in the print edition is the telling statement that "the judge, Mr Justice Henriques, placed the jurors under special protection and arranged for them to be taken by bus to and from court each days. 'Measures have been put in place to ensure the jury don't feel intimidated.'" Jury nobbling is not confined to Muslims, of course, but among infidels it tends to happen with gangland bosses rather than ordinary murderers. Together with the willingness of three of the men to drive all the way from London to support their brothers, the intimidation shows Ummah solidarity at work. Why is the "Muslim community", peaceful as David Cameron says it is, not uniting to condemn such killings rather than to pervert the course of infidel justice?
After the verdicts a force spokesman said: “This was a premeditated, well planned and wicked offence committed by four evil young men, three of whom had travelled 250 miles from their homes in London with the sole intention to kill.
“The despicable actions of the persons responsible have devastated a family and a community and robbed three children of the love and affection of their parents for ever more.
“Even faced with compelling evidence they still attempted to hoodwink the jury by telling a tissue of lies.
“There has been much talk during this trial that this crime was committed as the result of so-called honour. There is no honour in killing innocent people, it is murder pure and simple.
“Lancashire Constabulary will not tolerate any acts of so-called honour based violence in our communities and any act of so-called honour violence will be treated extremely seriously and those people responsible will be brought to justice.”
I am pleased that Lancashire Constabulary recognises that these are "honour" killings. And naturally their spokesman makes it clear that he does not accept the Islamic notion of honour. This should not need saying, but West Midlands police have shown that repudiation of Islamic barbarism can no longer be taken for granted.
Honour indeed. In Measure for Measure, Angelo, the Duke of Vienna's cold-blooded and hypocritical deputy tries to blackmail Isabella into bed:
Believe me, on mine honour
My words express my purpose
Ha! Little honour to be much believed
And most pernicious purpose
Christian honour in the breach is better than Muslim honour in the observance.
Update: reasonably hefty sentences for this all too lenient country. From the BBC, with thanks to Alan:
Hisamuddin Ibrahim, 21, who planned the attack, was jailed for a minimum of 28 years at Preston Crown Court.
Habib Iqbal, 25, Sadek Miah, 23, and Mohammed Miah, 19, were jailed for minimum terms of 25, 21 and 19 years.
So-called targeted killings, often motivated by political feuds and sectarian divisions, have plagued Karachi for years. This year, however, their number has risen sharply, with an estimated 170 people slain in targeted killings and reprisal attacks. Last year, the total was 152, according to government figures.
As in years past, many of the attacks this year have centered on the rivalry between two powerful political parties, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Awami National Party. The MQM party, which dominates government in Karachi, represents descendants of Indian migrants who settled in Pakistan when the country became independent in 1947. The Awami party, a secular movement, represents Karachi's large Pashtun minority.
The violence that swept through Karachi was fueled by the killing of Raza Haider, a senior MQM leader and a member of the Sindh provincial legislature. Haider, 51, was attending a funeral Monday at a mosque in Karachi's Nazimabad neighborhood when gunmen on motorcycles appeared and shot him and his bodyguard dead.
Haider's slaying spurred a wave of reprisal killings that left at least 45 people dead by Tuesday afternoon. Dozens of stores, buses and cars were set ablaze late Monday night as police struggled to stem the violence. At least 93 people were injured.
On Tuesday, dozens of shop owners closed and traffic on many city streets was almost nonexistent, as residents feared another wave of unrest. Pakistani paramilitary forces were deployed throughout the city to maintain calm. The government also shut down Karachi's colleges.
Fueling the cycle of targeted killings that plagues Karachi every year is the nexus between Karachi's organized crime leaders and the city's political heavyweights. The affiliations revolve around rival gangs' never-ending battle for the city's prime real estate, which can generate millions of dollars in profits.
MQM leaders stopped short of blaming Haider's murder on the Awami party, but they accused the ANP of aligning with Karachi's powerful gangs and stoking the city's endless cycle of violence.
"ANP publicly supports the land mafia," said MQM leader Raza Haroon. "We are not saying that ANP is directly involved in the killing of Raza Haider, but they should be investigated. ANP is instigating Pashtuns and fanning ethnic violence."
Amin Khattak, the ANP's provincial general secretary, said MQM's claims about ANP were unfounded. "MQM fears that the demography of Karachi may be changing in favor of ANP and the Pashtun community, and that's why they kill Pashtuns," Khattak said.
What an insult and how pathetic and dishonest is the lying BBC.
An explanation as to the state of mind of these particular rapists and pimps may be gleaned from Bill Warner's explanation that in Islam "as long as" the woman "is a non-Muslim captive or slave... rape...is not a crime because it is jihad."
Muslims had sex with the captive women after battles. This is reported in the Sira and many times in the Hadith and approved in the Koran.
But is this rape? In jihad, it is not rape to have forced sex with a woman, even if she is married, as long as she is a non-Muslim captive or slave. A Muslim does not commit rape if the woman is a non-Muslim, only if she is a Muslim. Again Islam presents dual ethics.
Forced sex with women after their protectors have been killed is supreme domination. It also humiliates male relatives and husbands who were not killed. If it is followed by capture and relocation to the captor’s environment, it usually results in a totally compliant woman who has been forced to submit. Forced sex with women was an ancient method of war because it worked. If the woman’s children were raised as Muslims, the domination ensured cultural and familial annihilation. Still in practice today, forced sex is far more than rape; it is a method of war, a tactical strike. Naturally, it is not a crime because it is jihad. It is not a sin because it is sanctioned in the Trilogy of the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith
MUHAMMED, ALLAH AND THE JEWS
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF POLITICAL ISLAM VOLUME 5
Now wouldn't it be in everyone's best interests, including the best interests of those who believe in this as their law,for the reality to be told by one and all. Only then can progress be made. The good people among the Muslims will surely come round to the view that such law is not your ordinary law, it is criminal law i.e. Islam exhorts its followers to commit acts which are criminal by the standards and more importantly, THE LAW of societies which are not ruled according to Islamic law.
The truth must be told.
In Islam rape "is not a crime because it is jihad."
As I keep on repeating Shari'ah affords no legal rights for the "kafir" (kufr in Arabic politically corrected to "non-Muslim") and this of course applies to women.
Very much so. Only male Muslims have equal rights under Islamic Shari'ah. Muslim women have limited rights and "non-Muslims"no rights, none, none whatsoever.
If he smokes maybe the Archidiot of Canterbury should put those legal realities in it and smoke it, smoke it.
A thought. The Archbishop of Shari'ah probably doesn't smoke. He probably figured out its bad for his health.
Maybe even he could figure out the implications of no legal rights for "non-Muslims."
Others attracted less notoriety, like the plot by California prison inmates to attack Jewish and U.S. military targets.
You'll see three categories across the top of the map that can be turned off or on, depending on what you're interested in seeing.
One category identifies several mosques and Islamic centers. Given today's debates over mosque construction it is important to be clear about what the map represents. There are hundreds, if not thousands of mosques in the United States. We list but a few dozen.
The mosques and centers listed share one thing in common. It is not that all are radical, and many have not been involved in criminal activity. Rather, all have had contact with radical individuals and organizations at some point in the period covered.
At some locations, radical views have been espoused, extremists have spoken, or terrorist acts or groups have been supported.
One institution was home to an imam convicted of providing support to a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). At another mosque, a future mastermind of a successful terrorist plot worshipped alongside other unknowing congregants. People at one mosque even helped the future 9/11 hijackers obtain Social Security numbers and driver's licenses. At others, imams have espoused rhetoric that is just plain violent.
In some of these examples, we learned about the activity only through the work of undercover law enforcement agents, informants and cooperating witnesses who helped root out extremists, foil terrorist plots and intercept terrorists' financial transactions.
Established Islamist groups have heatedly attacked law enforcement officials, casting their use of informants as part of a plot to set up Muslims. Though a staple of criminal investigations of all kinds, undercover operations should not breach the doors of a mosque, they say.
In the case of Dar Uloom Institute in Pembroke Pines, Florida, an undercover FBI agent foiled a plot by attendees to blow up a nearby energy facility. One individual who attended the mosque regularly, Imran Mandhai, recruited another mosque attendee, Shueyb Mosaa Jokhan, to carry out the plot. Both men pleaded guilty to conspiring to destroy property affecting interstate commerce. The FBI informant's work in this mosque uncovered another lead. Mandhai told the undercover agent that another man who attended the mosque, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, was a potential recruit for Osama bin Laden's plans to destroy more targets in South Florida.
Shukrijumah was recently indicted in the ongoing prosecution of a subway bomb plot in New York City.
Another informant's work in a Brooklyn mosque led to the conviction of Mohammad Ali Hasan Al-Moayad for conspiring to providing support to Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. Al-Moayad bragged to an FBI informant about his work providing money, recruits and supplies to Hamas. According to the informant, Al-Moayad claimed that he received money for jihad from collections at Al Farouq mosque in Brooklyn, but officials were not sure that those giving money knew it would go to terrorists.
A cooperating witness at Dar us-Salaam Mosque in Seattle, Washington helped FBI agents nab Oussama Kassir, whom they suspected was trying to establish a terrorist training camp in nearby Bly, Oregon. The witness described Kassir's travels to Bly to inspect property designated to house the camp. Kassir also told the witness that he had trained for jihad in Afghanistan. In May 2009, Kassir was found guilty of providing material support to Al Qaeda.
Despite these examples, leaders of national Islamist organizations have balked at the use of informants. This message was made crystal clear by Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - Los Angeles last year at an Anaheim, California mosque:
"We're here today to say our mosques are off limits. Our Koran is off limits. Our youth, who they [the FBI] try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them, 'We're not going to let this happen anymore.'"
On Monday, a jury in New York convicted two men who plotted to blow up fuel tanks at JFK airport. One of the conspirators planned to use a bank account for his mosque to store money for the plot. An informant played a key role in taping the conspirators discuss their plans and motivations.
These examples do not serve as a green light for the government to launch unconstrained investigations into Muslim communities, but rather show that Islamic religious institutions, just like any other institutions, are vulnerable to having contact with radical individuals and organizations.
FBI Informants in Mosques
In 2009, tensions between Islamist groups and the FBI came to a head when a coalition of organizations announced they considered cutting off ties with the FBI. One reason cited by that coalition, the American Muslim Task Force (AMT), was concern that the FBI is unfairly targeting American mosques for investigation.
The Muslim American Society (MAS) issued a press release reaffirming the AMT coalition's concerns regarding the "Infiltration of mosques and systematic manipulation of Muslim religious affairs," and the "Use of agent provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth."
MAS Freedom Foundation leader Ibrahim Ramey said that, while his group rejects terrorism:
"…we also want law enforcement to understand that this should not be a pretext for demonizing an entire community or trying to turn the community against itself…"
Ayloush is one of the FBI's most outspoken critics. He has claimed that the FBI is "paying convicted felons to 'infiltrate' mosques to radicalize Muslim youths and instigate talks about terrorism." In an interview with Southern California Public Radio, Ayloush said the FBI has been "hiring shady characters and individuals to try to instigate against the Muslim community. And instigate acts of violence to ruin the reputation of the Muslim community."
At Masjid Omar Al Farouk in 2009, Ayloush reminded his audience that, "Just because there are bad apples, there are bad apples in our community, there are bad apples in the FBI, we should not start suspecting each other."
A new set of FBI guidelines issued in 2008 have been at the center of debate over informants. Critics claim the guidelines allow the FBI to send informants in without any purpose or predicate. The guidelines are stricter than detractors describe.
Current and former FBI officials also argue that the guidelines leave no room for the types of unwarranted investigations into mosques described by critics.
"Sending an asset into a mosque is not considered lightly, even in today's world," said Robert Blitzer, former Chief of the FBI's Domestic Counterterrorism Planning Section. Informants go where the suspects go:
"It really boils down to this, if the mosque is being used by individuals and groups who are the subjects of full counterterrorism investigations then the FBI has the authority to collect intelligence on the activities of the group or person while in the mosque."
Blitzer's assessment is pretty close to one given by current FBI Director Robert Mueller in 2009:
"We [the FBI] don't investigate places, we investigate individuals. To the extent that there may be evidence or other information of criminal wrongdoings, then we will ... undertake those investigations."
Steve Pomerantz, former assistant director of the FBI, told the IPT that some informants may not follow their handlers' very detailed instructions despite the guidelines. "That's the way it's supposed to work," he said, referring to the guidelines. "Can it break down? Yes, if the informant doesn't follow the instructions."
The FBI devotes a lot of time and resources to try to prevent these issues. Blitzer described "stringent vetting processes and procedures" to make sure that the information received from informants is reliable:
"These processes include many steps and tests, background investigations, and constant checking and double checking of information provided against records and other forms of reporting including human and technical source, other agency reporting, and foreign agency reporting."
Informants provide critical help for "the intelligence community [to] understand the intentions and actions of our enemies," said Blitzer. "Without them, we would be partially blind."
Pomerantz described informants as "the single most effective and useful investigative tool" and stressed that "a lack of [human intelligence] will only lead to more bad things happening."
Click here to take a look at the updated IPT terror history map. You'll see plenty of cases in which law enforcement stopped bad things from happening and a few instances in which terrorists still were able to strike.
This map, by the way, is not complete. I checked the states with which I am most familiar, and there are cases going on right now in those states involving those implicated in terrorist plotting, that are not shown on this map.
In other words, this is a most conservative representation. Double or triple or quadruple the number of little indicating balloons, for a sense of how things now stand.
[T]o someone interested in the possibilities of fiction, Davis’s shortest statements have the air of enchantment, and frequently of wizardry. The very shortest story in the book is *‘Index Entry’, which reads simply:
Christian, I’m not a.
What does it mean? Well, I think she is linking the characteristic broken sentence of an index entry to the ancient Christian idea that no man knows the hour of his death. The speaker may have been broken off; and just as an index to a biography summarises the most significant facts of a life, so this one may state the one most important consideration, with gruesome comedy, at the moment of vital interruption. A four-word fantasy about someone who took the wrong side in Pascal’s Wager: that takes some beating.
It does, but with the help of a speculative reviewer, I'll wager she could whittle the four words down to two.
Update: I ran Lydia Davis's short story through I Write Like, which rejected it thus:
For reliable results, paste at least a few paragraphs (not tweets).
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled Monday that Muslim women employed at the Delaware County prison may not wear religious head scarves at work. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a lower-court ruling in favor of the prison, saying any deviation in the prison dress code would cause "hardship by compromising its institutional security and safety." The majority opinion agreed with prison officials who argued the scarves could be taken by an inmate and used to choke someone. Prison officials have legitimate concerns the head scarves could also hide drugs or other contraband, the majority said.
In 2005 the GEO Group, a Florida-based company hired by the county to run the prison, required that all employees wear only the official uniform.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a suit in 2007 on behalf of three women, all hired before the new policy was adopted, alleging religious discrimination for not making exceptions to the dress code. The three wore Muslim head coverings, called khimars, while working. One of the women, Carmen Sharpe-Allen, a nurse, was fired for refusing to remove her head scarf. The other two women, Marquita King, an intake clerk, and Rashemma Moss, a correctional officer, stopped wearing the scarves while at work, according to the ruling.
U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam had dismissed the EEOC lawsuit, and two of the three judges on the appeals panel agreed with him. They said it was a close call, but the prison's need for order trumped the women's right to wear the religious attire at work.
"The EEOC has an enviable history of taking steps to enforce the prohibition against religious discrimination in many forms," Third Circuit Judge Dolores K. Sloviter wrote. "On the other hand . . . a prison is not a summer camp and prison officials have the unenviable task of preserving order in difficult circumstances."
Is Hezbollah behind the ‘worst clash’ since 2006 on Israel’s Northern frontier?
A worrisome clash occurred today on Israel’s Northern frontier with Lebanon. Some consider it the ‘worst clash’ since the 2006 Second Lebanon War triggered by Hezbollah. Hezbollah has been completely rearmed and restocked by Iran and proxy Syria.
According to an Israel National News report, two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist were killed. IDF Lt.-Col. (res.) Dan Harari, a battalion commander, was killed Tuesday, and Major (res.) Ezra Lakia was badly hurt in the exchange of fire between Lebanon Army and IDF forces early Tuesday afternoon. The IDF Spokesman said Harari's family has been notified.
IDF forces, patrolling in the authorized frontier blue zone, were fired on by Lebanese forces and returned fire. All this occurred under the less than watchful eyes of UNIFIL peacekeepers. Lebanon has become the cat’s paw of Iran and its proxies Syria and Hezbollah. Israel estimates that Hezbollah now has over 60,000 rockets and missiles targetting Israel. Was today’s clash orchestrated by Hezbollah using Lebanese forces as a foil to possibly trigger a new war?
That is of concern to Christian member of Lebanon’s Parliament, Nadim Gemayel, son of the late Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel, assassinated by Syrian intelligence operatives in 1982 on the cusp of traveling to Jerusalem to ink a peace treaty with Israel. Gemayal’s Uncle Pierre, a leader of the Christian Phalange Party and member of the anti-Syrian pro-Western March 14th Movement parliamentary majority, was assassinated in November, 2006. Given the tragic Gemayel family history, Nadim’s life is clearly in danger as a Lebanese political leader who opposes the loss of the Christian community and democracy in his country.
"Hezbollah is a very dangerous party because they are trying to impose to on Lebanon their policy and their vision of jihad and martyrdom," said Nadim Gemayel, member of the Lebanon Parliament. "And this is unacceptable."
Gemayel has called for Hezbollah to disarm. He told CBN News in an exclusive interview that the Shiite terror militia has hijacked his country.
"I think that this battle -- the battle of freedom, the battle of democracy, and especially the battle of preserving the role and existence of the Christians in Lebanon is very, very important," he responded. "And it's worth giving all that I have in order to preserve the civilization and the culture and the role of Christians in Lebanon."
Watch this Erick Stakelbeck CBN interview with Nadim Gemayel:
Archbishop Ignace Moubarac Of Beirut, In 1947, On "The Two Homelands"
Beirut, 5 August 1947
Mr. Justice Sandstrom, Chairman, UNSCOP Geneva, Switzerland.
I regret that my absence in Europe coincided with the visit of the Special Committee on Palestine to the Lebanon, otherwise I should have had an opportunity to speak and to expressmy opinion - which is,moreover, that of the majority of the Lebanese people with regard to this question.
This is not the first time I have voiced my opinion on this matter. A lot of ink has already been used and after each of my complaints the world press has seized upon my words and made ample comment on everything I said.
Here in the Middle East, which is for the most part Moslem, if the present Lebanese Government is recognized as having an official right to speak on behalf of the Lebanese nation, we should feel disposed to answer and prove that the present rulers represent only themselves and that their so-called official statements are dictated only by the needs of the moment and by the imposed solidarity binding this preeminently Christian country to the other Islamic countries which surround it on all sides and enclose it, volens nolens, in their politico-economic orbit.
By reason of its geographical position, history, culture and traditions, the nature of its inhabitants and their attachment to their faith and ideals, the Lebanon has always, even under the Ottoman yoke, kept itself out of the clutches of the other nations surrounding it and has succeeded in maintaining its tradition intact.
Palestine, on the other hand, the ideological centre of all Old and New Testament,has always been the victim of all the troubles and persecutions. From time mmemorial, anything with any historical significance has always been ransacked, plundered and mutilated. Temples and churches have been turned into mosques and the role of that eastern part of the Mediterranean has, not without reason, been reduced to nothing.
It is an incontestable historical fact that Palestine was the home of the Jew and of the first Christians. None of them was of Arab origin. By the brutal force of conquest they were forced to become converts to the Moslem religion, That is the origin of the Arabs in that country. Can one deduce from that that Palestine is Arab or that it ever was Arab?
Historical vestiges, monuments and sacred mementos of the two religions remain alive there as evidence of the fact that this country was not involved in the internal war between the princes and monarchs of Iraq and Arabia. The Holy Places, the temples, the Wailing Wall, the churches and the tombs of the prophets and saints, in short, all the relics of the two religions, are living symbols, which alone invalidate the statements now made by those who have little interest in making Palestine an Arab country. To include Palestine and the Lebanon within the group of Arab countries is to deny history and to destroy the social balance in the Near East.
These two countries, these two homelands[Lebanon and the Jewish National Home as a successor to Mandatory Palestine] have proved up till now that it is both useful and necessary for them to exist as separate and independent entities.
The Lebanon, first of all, has always been and will remain a sanctuary for all the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. It was there that the Armenians who escaped extermination in Turkey found refuge. It was there that the Chaldeans of Iraq found a place of safety when driven from their country. It was there that the Poles, in plight from a blazing Europe, took refuge. it was there that the French, forced out of Syria, found protection. It was there that the British families of Palestine, fleeing from terrorism, found refuge and protection.
The Lebanon and Palestine must continue to be the permanent home of minorities.
What has the role of the Jews been in Palestine? Considered from this angle, the Palestine of 1918 appears to us a barren country, poor, denuded of all resources, the least developed of all the Turkish vilayets. The Moslem-Arab colony there lived an the borderline of poverty. Jewish immigration began, colonies were formed and established, and in less than twenty years the country was transformed: agriculture flourished, large industries were established, wealth came to the country. The presence of such a well-developed and industrious nation, next to the Lebanon could not but contribute to the welfare of all - the Jew is a man of practical executive ability, the Lebanese is highly adaptable and, for that reason, their proximity could only servo to better the living conditions of the inhabitants.
From the cultural point of view these two nations may boast that they have as many cultured and intellectual people as all the other countries of the Near East put -, together. It is not fair that the LAW should be imposed by an ignorant majority desirous of imposing its will.
It would not be fair to allow a million advanced and educated human being to be the plaything of a few interested persons who happen to be at the head of affairs, who lead several million backward and unprogressive people and dictate the LAW as they please. There is an order in the world, an order which establishes the proper balance. if the United Nations are really desirous of maintaining this order, it must do everything possible to consolidate it.
Major reasons of a social, humanitarian and religious nature require the creation, in these two countries, of two homelands for minorities: a Christian home in the Lebanon, as there has always been~ a Jewish home in Palestine. These two centres connected with each other geographically, and supporting and assisting each other economically, will form the necessary bridge between West and East, from the viewpoint of Culture and Civilization. The neighborly relations between these two nations will contribute to the maintenance of peace in the Near East, which is so divided by rivalries, and will lessen the persecution of minorities, which will always find refuge it these two countries.,
That is the opinion of the Lebanese whom I represent; it is the opinion of this people whom your Committee of Enquiry was unable to hear.
Behind the closed doors of the Sofar Hotel you were able to listen only to the words dictated to our so-called legal representatives bythelords and masters of the neighboring Arab countries. The real voice of the Lebanese was smothered by the group who falsified the elections of 25 May.
THE LEBANON DEMANDS FREEDOM FOR THE JEWS IN PALESTINE AS IT DESIRES ITS OWN FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE.