These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 4, 2008.
Friday, 4 January 2008
Al Jazeera No Longer Nips at Saudis
Robert F. Worth writes in New Duranty:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — When a Saudi court sentenced a young woman to 200 lashes in November after she pressed charges against seven men who had raped her, the case provoked outrage and headlines around the world, including in the Middle East.
But not at Al Jazeera, the Arab world’s leading satellite television channel, seen by 40 million people. The station’s silence was especially noteworthy because until recently, and unlike almost all other Arab news outlets, Al Jazeera had long been willing — eager, in fact — to broadcast fierce criticisms of Saudi Arabia’s rulers.
I'm not sure that is the best story to illustrate what the writer is trying to say. Al Jazeera generally supports the hard-line Islamic view on issues such as this. The hard-liners criticize the Saudis on issues of corruption and not cleaving closely enough to Islam, and accuse the ruling family of hypocrisy.
For the past three months Al Jazeera, which once infuriated the Saudi royal family with its freewheeling newscasts, has treated the kingdom with kid gloves, media analysts say.
The newly cautious tone appears to have been dictated to Al Jazeera’s management by the rulers of Qatar, where Al Jazeera has its headquarters. Although those rulers established the channel a decade ago in large part as a forum for critics of the Saudi government, they now seem to feel they cannot continue to alienate Saudi Arabia — a fellow Sunni nation — in light of the threat from Iran across the Persian Gulf.
The specter of Iran’s nuclear ambitions may be particularly daunting to tiny Qatar, which also is the site of a major American military base.
The new policy is the latest chapter in a gradual domestication of Al Jazeera, once reviled by American officials as little more than a terrorist propaganda outlet. Al Jazeera’s broadcasts no longer routinely refer to Iraqi insurgents as the “resistance,” or victims of American firepower as “martyrs.”
The policy also illustrates the way the Arab media, despite the new freedoms introduced by Al Jazeera itself a decade ago, are still often treated as political tools by the region’s autocratic rulers.
“The gulf nations now feel they are all in the same boat, because of the threat of Iran, and the chaos of Iraq and America’s weakness,” said Mustafa Alani, a security analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. “So the Qataris agreed to give the Saudis assurances about Al Jazeera’s coverage.”
Those assurances, Mr. Alani added, were given at a September meeting in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, between King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and top officials in the Qatari government. For the meeting, aimed at resolving a long-simmering feud between the nations, the Qataris brought along an unusual guest: the chairman of Al Jazeera’s board, Sheik Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani.
Al Jazeera’s general manager, Waddah Khanfar, did not reply to phone and e-mail requests for comment. But several employees confirmed that the chairman of the board had attended the meeting. They declined to give their names, citing the delicacy of the issue. The governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia have remained silent on the matter.
Repercussions were soon felt at Al Jazeera.
“Orders were given not to tackle any Saudi issue without referring to the higher management,” one Jazeera newsroom employee wrote in an e-mail message. “All dissident voices disappeared from our screens.” ...
Posted on 01/04/2008 7:03 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 4 January 2008
Segregate Muslim Prisoners
Prosecutors' argued that at least one defendant [in the Fort Dix plot] had been promoting jihad, or Muslim holy war, against the West, among other inmates at a Philadelphia detention center where they are being held, but Kugler said he was not convinced.
The judge, who previously denied bail to the men shortly after their May 2007 arrest, rejected a request by prosecutors to make public a video that they say was used by Shnewer in the detention center to attract recruits to jihad.
Kugler said the "inflammatory" video includes "exhortations" by a figure that looks like Osama bin Laden, and images of dead and maimed people who "could be Muslims."
--from this news article
Muslim inmates conducting Da'wa (that is, a great many of those inmates) should be segregated in Muslim-only wards. On what grounds? On the grounds of national security.
But how is this argument to be made? Not by those who simply know little or nothing of Islam. The ground has to be properly prepared -- the mental ground of the prosecutors, and of the judges who will be deciding such cases. If the argument is properly presented (and this requires prosecutors well-versed in the texts and tenets of Islam, and the Western scholarship that will support them) any challenge brought under the equal protection clause should be met with the claim, not hard to prove, that national security -- keeping people from conducting work to multiply the number of "Jihadists" permanently hostile to this country's political and legal institutions, and prepared to act on that hostility -- is a state interest sufficiently compelling to withstand any such Fifth-and-Fourteenth-Amendment challenge.
It can and should be done. The in-prison Da'wa proceeds apace,and it is not enough to suggest that missionaries of other faiths should go and do likewise. The systematic and well-financed (with or without money from foreign, especially Saudi, sources) campaigns of Da'wa, targetting prisoners (especially black prisoners) have to be not merely monitored, but curtailed. If there are Muslim-only cell-blocks or, better, prisons, especially for those arrested for these kind of offenses, that will make the conduct of Da'wa impossible.
It will be a case of preaching to the reverted.
Posted on 01/04/2008 7:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 4 January 2008
Text Message Divorce
CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian woman is seeking clarification from a court on whether her husband's declaration of divorce by text message is legally valid, a state-run newpsaper reported on Thursday.
After missing a call from her husband on her mobile phone, Iqbal Abul Nasr received a text message from him saying "I divorce you because you didn't answer your husband," Al-Akhbar said.
In line with sharia (Islamic law) men do not need to go to court to file for divorce. A unilateral declaration of divorce by a man, repeated three times, formally ends a marriage.
It was the third time Abul Nasr, an engineer from Cairo, received a divorce text message from her husband, prompting her to seek a legal decision from the a family court on the status of her marriage.
--from this news article
After the triple-talaq, then what? No custody battles? Why? No discussion about spousal support. Why? Ex-husband takes all, the kids, the money, everything?
In Dar al-Islam, who cares. But in Dar al-Harb, where so many Muslims have settled, and are now attempting to have family law for Muslims be regulated by Muslims alone, in Shari'a courts, what would happen? If a wife (which wife?) is left without support, who then takes care of her? The infidel taxpayers, already burdened, through the exploitation, and more, of the benefits systems of the nation-states of Western Europe, especially by Muslim immigrants who, while they do not pass onto fellow Muslim immigrants any trade or craft, always somehow manage to pass on vast amounts of information as to how to finagle the system, not only for free education, health care, subsidized housing, but also for all kinds of other government subsidies, to a degree that would fill with envy those who scam the system of benefits that America provides.
Posted on 01/04/2008 7:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 4 January 2008
A Literary Interlude: A Quoi Bon Dire (Charlotte Mew)
Seventeen years ago you said
Something that sounded like Good-bye;
And everybody thinks that you are dead,
So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
And one fine morning in a sunny lane
Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear
That nobody can love their way again
While over there
You will have smiled, I shall have tossed your hair.
Posted on 01/04/2008 10:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 4 January 2008
Clinging To Ignorance
The determined, and willfully misinformed young man who writes in to Jihad Watch as "friendofSarah [Said]" wishes to believe, clings to the belief (and tells us, further, that the same belief was held by his murdered friend and her murdered friend's sister) that Islam, pure wonderful Islam, had nothing to do with the Said father's malign treatment of his daughters.
There is nothing surprising about this. In bad old Soviet times, all kinds of determined, brainwashed Communists simply refused to believe that good Papa Joe, sweet Papa Joe, kind Father-of-the-Motherland and Mother-of-the-Fatherland Papa Joe Stalin, could possibly know anything about what some of those bad people under him -- you know, people like Andrey Vyshinsky at the Show Trials in 1938, or people like Lavrenij P. Beria of the NKVD (Narodnij Komitet Vnutrennykh Del) or others like them -- were doing, behind the back of Stalin, and his equally good, kind, sweet altogether well-meaning Communist Party.
This young man cannot face up to what Islam teaches. So let me tell her. In Islam, women are clearly inferior. Look at the rights of women under Shari'a. The man triple-talaqs to divorce a woman. What can the woman do? A man can take up to four wives, and concubines too. What can the woman do? A woman is regarded as a dangerously sexual being, and in order to counteract that, two things are done in Islam. The first thing is to diminish the sexual pleasure of women (hence the female genital mutilation that may be a "cultural practice" in some places, but in Islamic societies it has the textual support of the view of women provided by Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, and backed up by Muslim commentators. The second thing is to hide the allurements of those women from poor, forked men, who would not be able to withstand the agony of those allurements, would almost certainly have to rape women, so strong would be the sexual urge, if those women appeared without being properly covered up (the nature of that covering-up can range from the hijab all the way to the Taliban's extra-strength burqa).
Women must produce four male witnesses to support a charge of rape. The testimony of women in Shari'a courts is worth half that of men. Women inherit half what men heirs can expect. The women are to remain out of sight, hidden -- just look at every photograph you have seen, not only of Gaza but of elsewhere in the Arab Muslim world. Men, all men, and these all-male crowds, nothing gentled without the presence of women, are particularly disturbing to Western observers.
It doesn't matter if Said the father went often, or never, to mosques. He was a Muslim. He had his firm ideas, inculcated by those who back in Egypt had helped to form him, about the inferiority and role of women. He would not stand for his daughters refusing to obey him. He would not stand for his daughters dressing in a non-Islamic fashion. And he knew that in Dar al-Islam those men who committed "honor killings" against their daughters or wives were not punished at all, for other Muslim men sympathized completely.
Yet this "friendofSarah" is so hellbent on defending Islam from prying Infidels, that she will ignore -- or refuse to read about --the many ways that women are subservient to men under Islam.
Posted on 01/04/2008 12:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 4 January 2008
Bill Gertz writes at the Washington Times (thanks to Jeffrey Imm):
Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, has been fired from his position on the military's Joint Staff. The action followed a report in this space last week revealing opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.
Mr. Coughlin was notified this week that his contract with the Joint Staff will end in March, effectively halting the career of one of the U.S. government's most important figures in analyzing the nature of extremism and ultimately preparing to wage ideological war against it.
He had run afoul of a key aide to Mr. England, Hasham Islam, who confronted Mr. Coughlin during a meeting several weeks ago when Mr. Islam sought to have Mr. Coughlin soften his views on Islamist extremism.
Mr. Coughlin was accused directly by Mr. Islam of being a Christian zealot or extremist "with a pen," according to defense officials. Mr. Coughlin appears to have become one of the first casualties in the war of ideas with Islamism.
The officials said Mr. Coughlin was let go because he had become "too hot" or controversial within the Pentagon.
Misguided Pentagon officials, including Mr. Islam and Mr. England, have initiated an aggressive "outreach" program to U.S. Muslim groups that critics say is lending credibility to what has been identified as a budding support network for Islamist extremists, including front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
Mr. Coughlin wrote a memorandum several months ago based on documents made public in a federal trial in Dallas that revealed a covert plan by the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian-origin Islamist extremist group, to subvert the United States using front groups. Members of one of the identified front groups, the Islamic Society of North America, has been hosted by Mr. England at the Pentagon.
After word of the confrontation between Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Islam was made public, support for Mr. Coughlin skyrocketed among those in and out of government who feared the worst, namely that pro-Muslim officials in the Pentagon were after Mr. Coughlin's scalp, and that his departure would be a major setback for the Pentagon's struggling efforts to develop a war of ideas against extremism. Blogs lit up with hundreds of postings, some suggesting that Mr. England's office is "penetrated" by the enemy in the war on terrorism.
Kevin Wensing, a spokesman for Mr. England, said "no one in the deputy's office had any input into this decision" by the Joint Staff to end Mr. Coughlin's contract. A Joint Staff spokesman had no immediate comment.
Posted on 01/04/2008 10:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 4 January 2008
They Did Not Consent To The Arrest
Washington Times: US Airways and Minneapolis airport officials are demanding a jury trial in a civil rights lawsuit filed by a group of Muslim imams who were removed from a flight for suspicious behavior.
The airline and Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which oversees Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, are also claiming immunity for their employees named in the suit, citing a "John Doe" law passed by Congress last year that, among other things, protects people acting in an official capacity to prevent terrorist attacks...
The airport commission says the imams were not arrested but detained by airport police and questioned by federal officials, including the FBI and Secret Service.
The imams say they were placed under arrest and "did not consent to the arrest."
Another example of what Hugh Fitzgerald terms, "the attitudes and atmospherics of Islam."
Posted on 01/04/2008 12:57 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 4 January 2008
Wilders, Re-Taking The Netherlands For The Dutch
"Rightwing Dutch politician and Islam critic Geert Wilders..."
-- the first sentence of this news article
Why "rightwing"? What makes Geert Wilders "rightwing"? Is he a defender of Dickensian conditions in the workplace? A stout believer in Free-Market Fundamentalism? A believer in suppressing the rights of the middle class? He is also described, more accurately, as a "populist" in the sense that he represents the vast Dutch public, the public that is unrepresented by the elites who, in the Netherlands as elsewhere in Europe, presume to decide the fates of those indigenous Infidels who are fed up with the unchecked Muslim presence, and the Muslim crime, and the Muslim finagling, and the Muslim demands for changes in the legal and political institutions that make the Dutch the Dutch, and would have been happy to have Pim Fortuyn, the non-rightwing "rightwing" Pim Fortuyn, be their standard-bearer, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but unfortunately, Pim Fortuyn was murdered, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali driven out of the country by death-threats, and now there is only Geert Wilders, who is being described, quite inaccurately, as "right-wing" in order to poison minds against him. But his bravery and his self-sacrifice are now obvious. And the word "right-wing" just won't do the trick, perform the magic that all the appeasers of Islam, in the Netherlands, think it will. He is going to re-take the Netherlands for the Dutch. He, and those who support him and others like him, will preserve Dutch culture, Dutch traditions, Dutch institutions, including a healthy and not a diseased notion of "tolerance."
Posted on 01/04/2008 1:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 4 January 2008
Dakar Rally Canceled After Terror Threat
From AP (with thanks to del): PARIS - Al-Qaida threats against the Dakar Rally and an attack in Mauritania forced organizers to cancel the annual race on Friday, the eve of the 5,760-mile trek across North African desert scrubland and savannah.
It was the first time the automobile, motorbike and truck rally has been called off in its 30-year history. In a statement, organizers blamed "threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organizations." the Dec. 24 killings of a French family and international tensions.
The race's central appeal — its course through African deserts, scrubland and savannas — is also its weak point, making it difficult to protect thousands of people as they cross remote regions.
"No other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be taken," organizers said.
France, where the race organizers are based, had urged the rally to avoid Mauritania after the four family members were killed in an attack blamed on a terror cell that uses the Mauritanian desert as a hideout.
Officials say the cell is linked to the Algeria-based al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, which has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks, including the Dec. 11 twin suicide bombings at U.N. offices and a government building in Algiers, which killed at least 37 people.
Patrice Clerc, who heads the company that organizes the rally, told The Associated Press the threats against the rally came from al-Qaida's North Africa wing. He said the French government warned explicitly that the race was threatened but did not share its intelligence.
"Yes, we perhaps bowed to terrorism but our company today does not have the right to run this risk for all those people who trust it," Clerc added. "We don't have the right to play games with safety."...
Posted on 01/04/2008 1:15 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 4 January 2008
Johan Huizinga And A Huizinga Moment
"a Huizinga moment"
-- from a posting here
"Hugh, is that "The Sweetest Sounds" of Ilse Huizinga, or the sweet sound of 2000 Olympic Judo gold medal winner Mark Huizinga's opponent hitting the mat?"
-- from a poster asking about the Huizinga of my posting
The Huizinga in question is neither the winsome singer nor the winning wrestler, but rather Johan Huizinga, the celebrated Dutch historian (his only rival 20th century rival was Pieter Geyl). When a delegation of Nazis arrived at the University of Leiden in 1933, a delegation that included the future war criminal Johannes von Leer (already a great admirer of Islam, and after the war, given a high post in Egyptian security by Nasser, a convert to Islam) intent on spreading Hitlerian propaganda for the new German government, Huizinga denounced them, would have nothing to do with them, blocked them. This enraged the Germans, and German historians proceeded dutifully to denounce Huizinga and express regret that they had ever published his works. That was the original "Huizinga moment."
Huizinga’s best-known works (outside specialist works on Dutch history) are The Autumn of the Middle Ages (1919), which dealt with Burgundy in the 14th and 15th centuries, Erasmus (1924), a biography of the Dutch scholar, and Homo Ludens (1938), about the play-element in Western culture.
Here is something more that I have lifted from an article on Huizinga:
"When the world was half a thousand years younger all events had much sharper outlines than now. The distance between sadness and joy, between good and bad fortune, seemed to be much greater than for us; every experience had that degree of directness and absoluteness that joy and sadness still have in the mind of a child. Every event, every deed was defined in given and expressive forms and was in accord with the solemnity of marriage, death - by virtue of the sacraments, basked in the radiance of the divine mystery. But even the lesser events - a journey, labor, a visit - were accompanied by a multitude of blessings, ceremonies, sayings, and conventions." (from The Autumn of the Middle Ages)
Johan Huizinga was born in Groningen as the son of Dirk Huizinga, a professor of physiology, and Jacoba Tonkens, who died two years after his birth. Huizinga attended the municipal Gymnasium and entered in 1891 the university, earning his degree in Indo-Germanic languages in 1895. Huizinga then studied comparative linguistics at the University of Leipzig, and after returning from Germany he earned in 1897 his Ph.D. Huizinga's dissertation dealt with the clown figure in Sanskrit drama. His early interest was history, but at the gymnasium his teachers had been so poor, that he changed into linguistics. During the following years he taught history at a secondary school in Harlem and lectured in 1903-05 on ancient history at the University of Amsterdam. In 1905 he became professor of history at Groningen. After the death of his first wife, Mary Vincentia Schorer (1877-1914), he moved from Groningen to Leiden, where he was appointed in 1915 professor of general history at the university.
From 1916 to 1932 Huizinga was an editor of the periodical De Gids. He traveled in the United States in 1926, but he had already published a study on the national characteristics of the country, Mensch en menigte in America (1918). The journey produced Amerika Levend en Denkend (1926). In 1938 Huizinga became vice-president of the International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation with the League of Nations. Alarmed by the rise of fascism and cultural crisis Huizinga wrote In de schaduwen van morgen (1935), which his son Jacob Herman Huizinga translated into English under the title In the Shadow of Tomorrow.
In 1937 Huizinga married Auguste Schölvinck, 37 years his junior. After the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, the University of Leiden was closed. In 1941 Huizinga gave a speech in which he criticized German influence on Dutch science and he was arrested by the Nazis. Huizinga was released in 1942 but not allowed to return to Leiden. Huizinga died in detention at De Steeg in Gerderland, near Arnheim, on February 1, 1945, just a few months before the end of the war.
In his inaugural lecture at Groningen Huizinga had supported the view, that historical knowledge is essentially aesthetic, intuitive, and subjective. This approach was fully developed in Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen (The Autumn of the Middle Ages), a nostalgic views of the the past world, which he wrote for both the wide public and specialists. Dutch historians received the work coolly but abroad it became a success and was soon translated into English and other languages. The study was inspired by an exhibition of early Netherlandic painting, which Huizinga saw in 1902 in Bruges. It aroused his life-long interest in the Middle Ages. The Autumn of the Middle Ages, written in poetic style, portrays vividly the age through contradictions - after witch hunts were finished in the city of Arras, people celebrated it by arranging a competition in moral tales (folies moralisées), and at the same time when religious thinking and fanaticism dominated everyday life, church services and the clergy were mocked. Monks cursed and prostitutes made deals inside church buildings. On the other hand, the poetic concept of love was an essential part of chivalry. "In no other epoch did the ideal of civilisation amalgamate to such a degree with that of love," Huizinga wrote.
Homo Ludens examined the role of play in law, war, science, poetry, philosophy, and art. Huizinga saw the instinct for play as the central element in human culture - all human activities are playing: "Now in myth and ritual the great instinctive forces of civilized life have their origin: law and order, commerce and profit, craft and art, poetry, wisdom and science. All are rooted in the primaeval soil of play." Dutch Civilization in the Seventeenth Century was a collection of essays. In 'My Path to History,' which was first published in Dutch in 1947, Huizinga described his his early fascination with history, his studies and the genesis of The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Although the title of the book paralleled processes in nature, fruition and decline with culture, Huizinga did not believe that history follows certain cyclic pattern exemplified in Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West (1918-1922), or could be understood through Darwinist concepts. He emphasized intuitive understanding, regarding history essentially as a form of mental activity in which a culture views its past. For the modern technological world Huizinga had a strong dislike, and he claimed that educated people in the times of Macaulay (1800-59) and Ranke (1795-1886) understood history better than his contemporaries.”
So that is what I call “the Huizinga moment.”
I don’t mean to compare the mental make-up of any Dutchman today, including Geert Wilders, to that of Johan Huizinga. But the way in which Huizinga so implacably stood up to the Nazis at Leiden in 1933, and then much later, in 1941, with German soldiers strutting through Occuped Netherlands, dared to attack them, come to mind when one considers the enormous risks that Geert Wilders is now taking, as he warns about the meaning, and menace of Islam, just as, before him, in the Netherlands, did Pim Fortuyn, and Theo van Gogh, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The first two were murdered; Ayaan Hirsi Ali now lives in Washington.
Posted on 01/04/2008 2:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 4 January 2008
A Musical Interlude: Blue Moon (Al Bowlly)
Posted on 01/04/2008 3:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 4 January 2008
What's Going On At The Pentagon?
Let us assume all kinds of things about Stephen Coughlin. Let us assume he was difficult. Let us assume he was not willing to display the kind of deference to those in brief authority in the Pentagon, and who -- whatever their ignorance about essential matters -- think such deference is due. Let us assume he did not know how to control his tongue.
But in the end, so what? None of that would or should matter, were any of it true. What matters is that he has had the intelligence and good sense to study Islam before making assumptions about it, or at a higher level, making policies based on those ignorant assumptions. He is aware of the fact that Muslims -- as Bernard Lewis has noted and perhaps should take the occasion to remind Cheney -- are perfectly willing to behave deceptively in order to protect the faith. This is not a fabrication. Taqiyya and kitman can be looked up; their origins, their meaning, can be discovered.
The most effective and least expensive (never again must the hideous squandering of men, money, and matériel, as in Tarbaby Iraq, ever be repeated) way to conduct a war of self-defense against the Jihad, which is nothing but the sum of all the local Jihads everywhere, in Dar al-Islam (against the remaining non-Muslims wherever they are deemed insufficiently submissive) and in Dar al-Harb, is first of all to recognize that the chief instruments of the Jihad are the Money Weapon, Da'wa, and demographic conquest, and that these, as opposed to the easily recognized weapon of terrorism, are likely to be perceived and dealt with resolutely only by those who have come to understand the texts, the tenets, the attitudes of Islam. Such people are, it turns out, at this point quite few in number. Stephen Coughlin is one of them. He is therefore to be protected, not punished, whatever personality problems he may pose to the likes of England and others "taking a leadership role."
This is an intolerable act by those who do not understand how it will be perceived by the outside world. Muslims will be heartened. Hisham Islam -- what about Hashim Islam? If Coughlin is to go, then Hisham Islam certainly must go, and he should never have been hired in the first place for the cockamamie outreach nonsense to Muslims that one thought had been limited to the likes of Karen Hughes, not to hard heads (where are those hard heads?) in the Pentagon.
For how can anyone even discuss, much less plan, ways to divide and demoralize the Camp of Islam, if Muslims -- whose sole loyalty as Believers is supposed to be to Islam and to the Umma (if it isn't, that Believer is not a good Believer) - with Muslims such as Hashim Islam sitting right there. How can the Pentagon personnel try to devise ways, for example, to push Islam back in East Africa, or to clearly take the side of the Christians in West Africa (including Nigeria) should another Biafra-like movement develop? How can they make plans to appeal to the resentments of non-Arab Muslims against Arab Muslims, and to encourage the correct view of Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism, with hisham-islams all over the place, listening in, inhibiting thought, discussion, plans?
It can't be.
In any case, it is those who have engineered this firing who should be watched from now on like hawks. As for England, or those who back him, what will happen to them? What is Cheney going to do? What is Bush going to do? Anything? Or is he still mired in his dyslexic dream of bringing "freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" in the Middle East, and is going to leave office as innocent of Islam as he was when he entered it? what can one say? The whole thing dismays and disgusts.
Posted on 01/04/2008 6:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald