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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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The Impact of Islam
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Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
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The Left is Seldom Right
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Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
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Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
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by Norman Berdichevsky
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These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 3, 2012.
Monday, 3 September 2012
Pape Satàn, Pape Satàn Aleppe

Syria crisis: 'Deadly Aleppo strike' as UN envoy starts job

BBC News - ‎57 minutes ago‎
Violence is continuing in Syria, with opposition activists saying that a warplane may have killed as many as 25 people in a strike in Aleppo province.
Posted on 09/03/2012 10:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 3 September 2012
Northern Mali, Under Real Muslim Management

And nothing should be done to help them out.

In general, the West should do nothing to help out Muslims anywhere. For if that is done, with money, military aid, World Bank loans (such as that Mr. Morsi, fresh from demanding the release of the Blind Sheik and from closing the last tiny, utterly inoffensive synagogue in Egypt, where Jews lived for several millennia, has just demurely requested), know-how, and expatriate workers, the complete failure of Islam -- one now on clear display in Mali -- as "the answer" to what ails Muslim lands -- will be seen.

For what ails Muslim lands is Islam itself. It is Islam itself, its texts, its tenets, its atttitudes, its atmsopherics --- that explains the primitiveness, the psychological disarray and conspiracy theories and confusion and aggression and nonsense and lies -- of Muslim peoples. And it explains the submissive attitude toward "authority" including that of the Ruler which explains how Muslim states lurch from one despot to another,  the inshallah-fatalism and bida (innonvation)-hatred that explain the failure of Muslim states, including those that have received, collectively, close to 20 trillion dollars in oil-and-gas revenues since 1973 alone, to fashion modern economies, ones not still hopelessly dependent on revenues that reflect not hard work, not entrepreneurial flair, but rather an accident of geology, it is Islam that explains the social, moral, and intellectual failures of every Muslim society. The only exceptions are those states which underwent decades of deliberate and systematic attempts to constrain Islam. Such attempts were, for a long time, successful in Turkey under Ataturk and his most loyal successors. They were succesfful, for a long time, in Tunisia, where the French language, and French culture, helped to produce an elite desirous of greater secularization and less Ilsam. They were successful, for a long time, in Lebanon, because of the existence of a large Christian population that was, until recently, sure of itself and its position. They were successful, for a while, but apparently no longer as demographic changes has led to more Muslims, in Malaysia, where first the British, and then the presence of many Chinese and Indians, hindered the power of Islam (and a large Chinese minority in Indonesia, and the Buddhist and Hindu substrate that is obvious, with physical signs of its presence everywhere, that have helped to make Islam in Indonesia more nuanced, softened, less unbearably harsh as in the Arab lands and in Pakistan, a place that is all about Islam, and whose people have no other identity.

The New York Times report on  Northern Mali is posted below.  It's a cautionary tale, for both Muslims and non-Muslims. We care, of course, about helping Muslims to discover how Islam explains their own wretchedness, so that other Ataturks, and other Bourguibas, may arise. That is our proper task. That is true, not false, charity toward Muslims.

The most amusing example of understatement is contained in this passage from the news story:

Delegates said the Islamists wanted help running all state services except justice and security. Factions like Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith), which controls Kidal and Timbuktu, have made their mark so far not by providing services to citizens, but by beating them publicly for allegedly contravening Shariah, destroying religious monuments in the historic city of Timbuktu, amputating the hand of an accused thief, and even stoning to death a couple said to have had children out of wedlock.

“They said it was the couple who demanded to be purified,” Mr. Maïga recalled from his talks with the militants in Kidal, adding that he was skeptical of their explanation.

From the New York Times:

September 2, 2012

Islamists Struggle to Run North Mali

DAKAR, Senegal — The radical Islamists who control northern Mali appear incapable of managing basic services — including electricity, water and schools — and in some cases are asking for the return of state functionaries to run them, according to a delegation that went to the region for talks recently.

The Islamists allied with Al Qaeda appear to have gained a firm military hold in the north, and have subdued the local population with a brutal application of Shariah law, including public beatings, amputation and a stoning death. What is left of the Malian Army, divided by a military coup, has made no move to dislodge them after five months of occupation, and a talked-about West African regional intervention has yet to coalesce.

But the Islamists’ grasp on administering the vast desert region, which is larger than France, seems much less secure, members of the delegation said. The delegates — members of an unofficial group of concerned citizens called the Coalition for Mali — unexpectedly found themselves listening to demands from the Islamists that the government in Bamako send back bureaucrats to run state services.

“They asked for the state to resume its functions, because it’s too complicated for them to manage,” said Daouda Maïga, who used to run a state development program in Kidal, a region of nearly 70,000 people before the Islamist takeover emptied it. “They are not used to running things.”

About 400,000 people have fled the north since the Islamist takeover, creating a vacuum of talent that the Islamists have apparently been unable to fill. “Five months after the state, its services, and NGOs were all forced out, there is a strong need for state services,” a report issued by the coalition said last week, referring to nongovernment workers. “The new masters have themselves come to realize that they cannot replace the state.”[And imagine if all the non-Muslim workers were suddenly pulled from the Gulf Arab states -- they would shut down in a minute].

The Bamako government still controls the southern rump of Malian territory, while the north is in the hands of radical jihadi factions that took over last spring, after a military coup in the capital left the Mali Army rudderless and unable to defend the vast northern region.

While Western governments have expressed concern about the Islamist takeover, fearing a potential Talibanization of a big chunk of West Africa, little concrete has been done so far to counter it.

The West African regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States, has drawn up a military intervention plan that it presented to the United Nations Security Council on Aug. 2. The plan calls for an intervention force of about 3,000 troops at a cost of more than $400 million, with no strike before February.

Security Council diplomats thought the plan was both too imprecise and too drawn out in its timetable, according to a diplomat on the council who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The diplomat said the group had been asked to go back to the drawing board. In addition, Malian military officials have expressed hostility to the idea of significant outside help, insisting, contrary to the evidence so far, that they can handle the task of retaking the north themselves.

The plan by the Economic Community does little more than note that the critical end of the operation would be the “launching of operations of the Mali security forces to regain the north with support” of the bloc. That lack of detail drew critical scrutiny from the Security Council, the diplomat said. “There was a feeling you need to have more thorough and more adapted planning,” he said.

In Mali, officially there are no relations between the two parts of the divided country. But the Bamako government recently instituted a new Department of Religious Affairs, in what has been interpreted as a nod to the Islamists who control the north.

And individual citizen initiatives, like the trip organized by the Coalition for Mali, have been on the rise. The delegation — which included Malian elected officials, development specialists and members of nongovernment organizations — made the trip from Bamako two weeks ago.

Some of the delegates were surprised by the supplicatory tone of the Islamists, many of them religiously indoctrinated guerrilla fighters used to living lives of isolation in the desert.

“There are so many things that the state does, that they cannot do,” Mr. Maïga said. “Run the water system, the electricity, schools.” In Kidal, there is electricity one night a week at most, he said, and the same was true for water and telephone service.

Delegates said the Islamists wanted help running all state services except justice and security. Factions like Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith), which controls Kidal and Timbuktu, have made their mark so far not by providing services to citizens, but by beating them publicly for allegedly contravening Shariah, destroying religious monuments in the historic city of Timbuktu, amputating the hand of an accused thief, and even stoning to death a couple said to have had children out of wedlock.

“They said it was the couple who demanded to be purified,” Mr. Maïga recalled from his talks with the militants in Kidal, adding that he was skeptical of their explanation.

Mr. Maïga said he was struck by the Islamists’ complaints about the difficulty of even applying Shariah consistently by their standards, the impracticability, for example, of amputating hands of all of the approximately 200 thieves they have captured. “They are really in a bind,” Mr. Maïga said. “They are really having trouble replacing the state.”

In Timbuktu, also controlled by Ansar Dine, where members of Al Qaeda’s regional franchise, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, have been seen, there have also been demands for the resumption of basic services. “They asked for the return of certain services, of course,” said Abdramane Wangara, a member of the delegation. “Electricity is very spotty,” he said. “We’ve got to listen to these people.”

But whether what remains of the Malian state is looking for a compromise, and whether such a compromise would be accepted by outside powers, is open to question. “They are continuing to recruit,” Mr. Maïga said of the Islamists. “They have all the strength of AQIM behind them,” he added, referring to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. “There must be constant military pressure on them. We can’t have everything by negotiation.”

Posted on 09/03/2012 10:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 3 September 2012
Islam, Muslims, Islam, Musllms, All Day Long

Are you  sick of Islam, sick of stories about hijabbed or niqabbed women, as speakerines on Egyptian TV or in a supermarket, with their brood, near you in an advanced Western state (whether it is the white converts with their arrogant, self-assured I've-Found-The-Answer look, and their brood following along, while we can only imagine the Muslim husband who helped lure her into her self-inflicted Adult-Onset Islam, and then, much more numerous, the  women who were simply born into Islam, with their dull, lifeless, submissive faces)? Do you have the feeling that it is now becoming the main subject in your Western newspaper, or on the radio, or on television?

Did you listen the BBC World Service today? They began with a story about Muslims attacking government troops in Syria. Then there was a story about Muslim Kurds killing Muslim Turks in an attack in Muslim Turkey. And then there was a story about Muslim Pakistanis attacking Americans in Peshawar, in Muslim Pakistan. Those were the three leading stories even on the Islam-apologist BBC.

And they might also have paid more attention to the blasphemy charges against the young Christian girl in Pakistan. Or the attacks on Buddhists in southern Thailand and in Burma. Or the destruction of Hindu temples in Kuala Lumpbur. Or the Muslim terrorists, including Russian converts, who have been attacking in Dagestan. Or about the attacks on, and destruction of, art works in formerly advanced (in Muslim terms) Tunisia. Or about the hijabbed speakerines on Egyptian official television.

And in today's New York Times, what do we read? The main story is about the race by the Islamic Republic of  Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and the seven, or is it eight? -- "red lines" that the Americans have set out over the last 18 years, every single one of which has been crossed by Iran, with no consequences. The next main story is ab out "HItting Pause in Afghanistan" -- that is, pausing in the training of local Afghan forces because it is just too dangerous for the American troops who keep getting kiled, as do other Coalition forces, by the local Afghans. It hardly matters if they are members of the Taliban or, as the American generals like idiotically to claim, "merely settling personal scores." The fact of Afghan hatred that turns to killijng is a result of Islam, the Islam that has inculcated in all of them, resentment, hostility, hatred of the Infidel. For those who are killed, it hardly matters whether it is the ideology of Islam expressed in becoming a member of the Taliban, or the ordinary Islam that causes Muslims to naturally resent and hate the Infidels -- a resentment, and a hatred, that for the sake of self-interest can be temporarily suppressed, but that remains, and that is constantly refreshed by trips to the mosque or simply re-calling verses from the Qur'an or stories from the Hadith. The third (of a total of six) story on the front page of today's New York Times is about how splendidly happy Muslim girls are at Catholic colleges. More and more of them are showing up, and express such pleasure that they are treated in a way that of course they did not expect -- because they know exactly what would happen to Christian or any non-Muslim girls who somehow were enrolled in a Musllim school.

Oh, Islam, Islam, Islam. There are more things on Heaven and Earth, Horatio.. Oh, I'm sick of it all.

And so are you.

So after this brief Exagmination Round Our Factification For Incamination Of... of Muslim Works in Progress (truly, Islam now Haveth Childers Everywhere),  let's borrow a line -- you can recite it to yourself whenever you feel like it--  from the most famous of the contributors to that early and celebrated tribute to James Joyce and Finnegans Wake.

To wit, his sometime secretary : Mr. Samuel Beckett: You must go on. I can't go on. I'll go on.

Posted on 09/03/2012 11:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 3 September 2012
Paralympics: Iranian athlete refuses to shake hands with Duchess of Cambridge

From The Telegraph

An Iranian athlete refused to shake the Duchess of Cambridge’s hand after she presented him with a silver medal in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday night for “cultural reasons”, it has emerged.

Discus thrower Mehrdad Karam Zadeh finished second behind Briton Aled Davies in the F42-class discus on Sunday morning, and received his medal from the Duchess in the main stadium last night.

The Duchess was introduced to a huge cheer from a capacity crowd, but when she presented Zadeh with his medal it was noticeable that the 40 year-old athlete failed to shake her hand.

The Iranian delegation in London were unavailable for comment when contacted this morning, but they have told Games organisers that Zadeh’s actions were not politically motivated.

The Iranians have said that had the medal been presented by a man Zadeh would have shaken his hand. Similarly, had the Duchess presented the medal to a female Iranian athlete they would not have hesitated to shake hands. A spokesman for St James's Palace said the Duchess was aware that there would be no handshake, and considered it an honour to present the medals.

I have seen some film of this and what he does is cross his hands over his chest and then bows to her, very formal and respectfully. Then he waves to the crowd. It wasn't a snub - he was treating her more royally than the egalitarian handshake. Its not our way, but I can't say he was rude or disrespectful - quite the opposite.

Posted on 09/03/2012 2:05 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 3 September 2012
In Impoverished Spain, Illegal Aliens Will No Longer Get Free Health Care

From AP:

September 2, 2012

Spanish health care cut for immigrants decried



MADRID SOME 300 people blocked a ring road in the Spanish capital on Saturday to protest spending cuts that will leave large numbers of illegal immigrants without access to free health care.

Many undocumented immigrants who do not contribute taxes to social security are, as of Saturday, to lose the national health cards that had entitled them to free treatment The decision contradicts a pillar of Spain’s welfare state — free health care for anyone in need — and it comes as the country struggles with 25 percent unemployment and massive financial problems.

The government expects to save €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) a year with the measure. It puts the number of people affected at 150,000, although media reports say the real figure could reach 900,000.

Protests over the measure have taken place in towns and cities across Spain in recent days.

Christoph Napene of Senegal was among those blocking the road in Madrid on Saturday. The 46-year-old said he’s been unable to find a job in Spain and thus unable to apply for legal residency.
Posted on 09/03/2012 7:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 3 September 2012
A Musical Interlude: Baby (Adelaide Hall)
Listen here.
Posted on 09/03/2012 9:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 3 September 2012
Just See If I'm Right About The Surprise Guest In Charlotte

Homo novocarolinensis, likely to be suddenly spotted on a live feed in Charlotte, North Carolina: George Clooney.

Or at least, I assume he will leave his opulent villa at Laglio sul Lago, if that's where he's estivating,  to put in an appearance as a Man Of The People, by way of Democratic risposta to the Republican botta of Clint Eastwood. You heard it being guessed here first.

And if it doesn't turn out the way I predict, don't blame me for being cleverer than the Obama organization.

Posted on 09/03/2012 9:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 3 September 2012
Inbari: Iran Invited PLO-Fatah and Hamas to NAM Summit

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at

Tehran Non-Aligned Movement Summit

Pinhas Inbari is one of Israel's most astute analysts of the  Shia  Sunni divide in the truculent Middle East.  We recently posted his cogent analysis on "Will Syria Split?  Now in an article published today by  the World Jewish Congress, "Seeing double: Palestinians at the NAM summit in Iran", he reveals that the Islamic Republic invited both the PLO-Fatah and Hamas factions to the recent Tehran Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.  PA President Abbas feigned being 'shocked, shocked' that Iran's Supreme Leader  Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad would do such a thing in light of the PA's second attempt in as many years to have the UN declare the PA a 'state'.  Last year he failed in a bid before the UN Security Council.  Later this month  Abbas is poised for a major diplomatic coup at the UN General assembly, where he knows he has the votes from many of the 120 nations of the NAM.  Note the history of bad blood betweern Iran's Supreme leader Khomenei and the PLO-Fatah under Yassir Arafat.  Then there is the  divisiveness in the Sunni near east between Saudi Arabia and the PA.

Note what Inbari says are the real dynamics behind this revelation not picked up by the mainstream media;

The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah barely escaped major embarrassment last week after Iran invited both PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas and his challenger in Gaza, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, to attend the inauguration of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran. Ramallah was deeply shocked to learn that Haniyya was not invited as a mere guest or observer but as a formal representative of Palestine and its Prime Minister. To make matters worse, Iran’s official news agency 'Mehr' published Hamas’ letter accepting to attend the summit for all to see.

Hamas’ official presence at the summit would have presented a manifold problem for Ramallah. The PLO is the only Palestinian organization that belongs to the original founders’ generation. Sharing representation with Hamas is therefore perceived as a blow to its legitimacy.  Moreover, the invitation to Hamas served as a clear recognition of the split within Palestinian leadership where Abbas is perceived as the representative of the West Bank and Haniyeh as that of Gaza.  Both leaders come with an elaborate delegation akin to those from the split Korean peninsula.

This double representation of the Palestinian people is extremely problematic for Ramallah, whose main goal is to mobilize mass support for its United Nations General Assembly bid for statehood. President Abbas sought to succeed with the non-aligned movement where he failed with the Security Council, i.e. to submit a document seeking statehood on behalf of the non-aligned movement. However, the group will hardly mobilize to support Abbas’ cause if it sees an evident split in the Palestinian leadership.

Despite Iran’s eventual decision to request that Hanniya cancel his visit, events behind the scenes were of little comfort to Ramallah.

According to Palestinian sources, Ramallah was aware that Iranian leader Khamenai strongly supported Haniyya's attendance and refused to cancel it.  It was only an intervention by non-Arab powers that convinced Iranian authorities to change their mind. Furthermore, sources in Ramallah report that Iran promised to extend Haniyeh a formal invitation after the conclusion of the summit, leaving the damage to Palestinian unity intact.

Iran’s hostility towards the PLO originates in Yasser Arafat’s decision to forsake ties with the Khomeini revolution in favor of an alliance with the ayatollahs’ arch enemy Saddam Hussein. Khomeini planned to use the Palestinian cause as major tool to export the revolution. The Islamic Jihad was then established as the Islamic branch of Fatah, which planned to take over the PLO in due time. However, Arafat betrayed the ayatollahs and paved the way for long-term hostility between the Palestinian leaders and the Islamic Republic.

Despite the rift between them, the PLO is keen to convince Iran, the leader of the non-aligned movement, to support its unilateral bid for statehood at the UN. Accordingly, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Malki told the summit’s foreign ministers forum that the Palestinian bid for statehood was not about establishing a new state but about inflicting lethal damage on Israel by pursuing it in international tribunals for war crimes and seeking economic compensation for Israel’s settlement policy and the theft of Palestinian wealth.

It is doubtful that Iran will be tempted to forget the past in favor of exacting more damage on Israel. Tehran is much more interested that an Islamic nation lead the assault on Israel than the secular PLO. Additionally, the pursuit of Israel in international tribunals for war crimes is tricky for Iran as many in the international community would immediately argue that Iran’s actions are hypocritical, for it should first address the war crimes committed by its ally Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Mahmoud Abbas’ presence in Tehran caused not only friction with the ayatollahs but discord with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia whose King Abdullah ignored a personal invitation submitted by Iranian President Ahmadinejad and did not attend the conference. Furthermore, the Mecca Islamist Conference ignored any mention of Jerusalem and paid lip service to the Palestinian problem, denying any support for the statehood bid..

Despite the awkward dynamic of the summit, non-aligned movement countries will no doubt vote in favor of the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UNGA. Their verbal support for the Palestinian cause will be a comfort to Mahmoud Abbas who, once a decision is made to launch the bid, will approach the UN without a partner in Gaza but with a major diplomatic arsenal against Israel.

Posted on 09/03/2012 11:41 AM by Jerry Gordon

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