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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, 4, 2011.
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
'Underpants bomber' to denounce America as trial begins

From The Telegraph

The man who tried to detonate a bomb in his underpants on a packed flight to the US is expected to denounce America as the enemy of Islam while representing himself at his trial, which opens on Tuesday.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was hauled off a Northwestern Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, after explosives stitched into his clothes failed to explode and he was set on fire. Abdulmutallab, 24, faces six charges including the attempted murder of the 289 people on board. He has sacked his lawyers and is preparing to address the jury, which is to be selected today in Detroit, himself.

The young Nigerian told a previous hearing that external lawyers would all have a "conflict of interest". He has indicated that he may "plead guilty to some counts", and faces life in prison if convicted.

In handwritten motions filed to court in August, Abdulmutallab said he was being "unjustly detained" and "subjected to the rule of man" when "all Muslims should only be ruled by the law of the Koran". He referred to Mohammad as "the Messenger of Allah to Mankind, who is being defamed and abused by the United States of America". He then cried "jihad" and "Osama's alive" in a later hearing.

A "standby attorney", appointed to Abdulmutallab by the state in case he requires assistance, did not return a request for comment on Monday.

Posted on 10/04/2011 3:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Muslim Leader Opens Scandinavia's Largest Mosque

The description of the opening is reported in Syscom Media here, and repeated in part by World Architecture here.

The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad officially inaugurated the Baitul Nasr mosque in Oslo on 30 September 2011 with his Friday Sermon. The mosque is Scandinavia's largest and has a capacity of 4,500 worshippers. Visible from a great distance, the mosque has already established itself as a national landmark and a symbol of peace.

To mark the opening the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat hosted a reception attended by over 120 guests. The guests were welcomed by the President of the Ahmadiyya community in Norway, Zartasht Munir Khan, who informed that the mosque had been funded entirely by the community itself. He said that thousands of Ahmadi Muslims had contributed towards this project including a person who sold his house and a person who sold his car to raise funds.

The country's Defence Minister, Grete Faremo, attended the event on behalf of the Norwegian Government and also presented a message on behalf of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. She said: "The new Norway also has a central role for religion. So we must open all our doors and invite all others as we are seeing here today. This is not my place of worship but irrespective of this I still feel real warmth here."

During the keynote address Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke of the terrorist attack in Norway on 22 July 2011.  His Holiness (he's not the Pope?) concluded by saying "Rest assured that every Ahmadi Muslim who enters this mosque will have a true and deep love for mankind and will also fully comply with the laws of this nation. Rest assured that every Ahmadi Muslim who enters this mosque will be at the forefront of trying to eliminate cruelties wherever they occur."

Ahmadis follow the Koran so are not immune from practicing the cruelties contained therein, but in the current world climate they are more often on the receiving end of it at the hands of Shia and Sunni Muslims to whom they are as bad as we kaffir. Norway News a few days ago was not so enthusiastic at this, Olso's fourth Mosque .

Oslo's new, fourth mosque, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Norway, located in Furuset, Oslo, will be officially opened on Friday. It will be the largest in all the Nordic countries.

When you take Highway E6 at Oslo City and follow the four-lane highway to the airport’s International Terminal or take the reverse route, you must pass Furuset Mosque.International passengers, diplomats and tourists must acknowledge the Furuset mosque coming to and from the Airport. 

This are no other religious symbols except this mosque between the Norwegian International Airport and Oslo’s Main Capital on the E6 Motorway. 

Christians and people of other faiths are frustrated by this symbolic sight on the Highway. Norway is a country of peace and goodwill extending welcome to people of all faiths.The mosque sends a message that inaccurately reflects the religious values of Norway to all International passengers traveling to and from the airport.

In the interest of peace and tolerance, opening a mosque in such a vantage point is not good for passengers, tourists or for Muslim diplomats.

And so the claiming of space for Islam goes on. However in the absense of a byline I cannot be certain if this is written by a Norwegian unhappy at the changes to his country or a Muslim unhappy at any mention of the 'Quadiani'.

Posted on 10/04/2011 6:59 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
The Currents of Islam

I don’t read the Belgian press often, but a recent headline in Le Soir caught my eye: ISLAMIZATION OF THE YOUNG: FUNDAMENTALISM SWEEPS THEM.

Actually, the headline turned out to be something of an exaggeration compared with what followed. The article reported on a recently defended doctoral thesis by a young researcher at the Free University of Brussels, Leila El Bachiri. She maintained that the radicalization of a small minority of the Muslim young of Brussels (the European city with the highest proportion of Muslims, 17 percent) was brought about not from the influence of their immigrant parents, or by the religious institutions in their country of origin (mainly Morocco), but by the preaching of members of the Muslim Brotherhood on the one hand, and of Wahhabi or Salafist missionaries on the other.

These two strains are somewhat different. The former might be called the New Left, or Gramscian, wing of Islamism, the latter the Old Left, or Stalinist flank. While the Wahhabist Old Left cleaves to literalism, the New Left Muslim Brotherhood claims (at least for public consumption) an “interpretive” reading of the Koran. The Brotherhood even has a feminist wing, led by Malika Hamidi, a sociologist with a doctorate from Paris who serves as director of the European Muslim Network and vice president of the International Group for the Study of and Reflexion on the Woman in Islam. Hamidi says that wearing the veil is not an enforceable religious obligation, and she argues for equality of the sexes “of and by means of Islam.” This equality, however, would be put to “the service of a religious view of the world.” By contrast, for the Wahhabis and Salafists, the obligation for women to wear the veil is simply incontestable.

Asked by Le Soir whether the Islamist problem in Brussels alarmed her, Bachiri replied, “I am neither afraid nor alarmed. The population of Muslim origin is plural, and crossed by currents of individualization and secularization... But also, I admit, by a phenomenon of re-Islamization.”

The question, I suppose, is which current is the most powerful, and it is not easy to determine—in Belgium or elsewhere. A few days after reading Le Soir, I happened to take a taxi from Welwyn Garden City—a town, about 20 miles north of London, built as a planned community in the 1920s—to Heathrow Airport.

The bearded driver was in full Muslim dress; he could have come from Pakistan, were it not that he spoke English that was obviously native. En route, his wife called him several times. She was a day trader, and asked his advice on her “positions.” He spoke in a technical language that I hardly understood. I asked him whether his wife had profited from the extreme volatility of the French banks (she made, in American currency, about $1,000 per week on average, which she used for her pocket money). He said that they did not buy bank shares for ethical reasons.

We talked of other things. I asked him about social problems in Welwyn Garden City (taxi drivers of small towns are often informative on these matters). He said that they were comparatively slight and then went on to describe small pockets of illegitimacy, dependency on social security, criminality, drug-taking, and drunkenness—what for him constituted British culture. Except that he took the part for the whole, his criticisms were precisely mine.

I mentioned that, not so long ago, people in Britain were extremely reluctant to take public charity: they found it humiliating and demeaning. My driver said that he had been unemployed a few years ago for two months, but had declined social welfare for precisely this reason. “They treat you like scum, you start to behave like scum,” he said. By the time we reached Heathrow, his wife had lost $4,000. He took it in good stride. “She made $10,000 on her best trade,” he said.

Integration, it seems, is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon.

First published in City Journal.

Posted on 10/04/2011 8:21 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
A Musical Interlude: I Only Have Eyes For You (Ben Selvin's Knickerbockers)

Listen here.

Posted on 10/04/2011 9:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Why Bother With Nobels, When It's In The Book?

So Infidels Perlmutter, Schmidt, and Riess are getting a Nobel for discovering that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.

Big deal.

Muslims  knew that. It's in the Qur'an. All scientific knowledge is in the Qur'an, though some of it may be so cryptic that it requires intelligent and loving elucidation. But it's there. Don't worry. The mountains and seas, the stars in their starry heavens, entropy, DNA, little RNA, the genetic basis of many diseases - it's all in the Qur'an, for those with eyes to see.

Why do Infidels bother with these silly Nobels for discoveries that are not discoveries at all.

It's In The Book.

Posted on 10/04/2011 9:14 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
An Interlude: It's In The Book (Johnny Standley)

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 10/04/2011 12:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Shi'a Unrest In Eastern Saudi Arabia

From The Telegraph:

Saudi Arabia: Sectarian violence blamed on 'foreign power'

Fourteen people, including 11 policemen, were hurt when riots erupted in a Shiite-majority village in eastern Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, as a state news agency blamed the unrest on a "foreign country."

Fourteen people, including 11 policemen, were hurt when riots erupted in a Shiite-majority village in eastern Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, as a state news agency blamed the unrest on a foreign country
Nine policemen were wounded in the gunfire and two hurt by petrol bombs Photo: REUTERS

The violence broke out when a group described by news agency SPA as "outlaws and rioters on motorbikes" gathered at a roundabout in the village of Al-Awamia in Al-Qatif province on Monday "carrying petrol bombs".

The group carried out acts causing "insecurity with incitement from a foreign country that aims to undermine the nation's security and stability," SPA quoted a spokesman from the Sunni-ruled kingdom's interior ministry as saying.

"Security forces managed to deal with those traitors at the spot and after they were dispersed, machinegun fire erupted from a nearby neighbourhood," it reported.

It said nine policemen were wounded in the gunfire and two hurt by petrol bombs. Three civilians were also wounded, it said.

Saudi Arabia described the unrest as a "blatant interference in its sovereignty."

"Those must clearly state whether their loyalty is to God then to their country, or to this country and its (religious) authority," it added, apparently referring to Shiite-ruled Iran.

The overwhelming majority of the estimated two million Saudi Shiites live in Eastern Province, which neighbours Bahrain where authorities, supported by Saudi-led Gulf troops, earlier this year crushed a Shiite-led protest.

The crackdown on Bahrain's Shiites, who make up most of the tiny kingdom's population, soured relations[correction: "Further soured relations..."] between the Gulf states and Iran.

Posted on 10/04/2011 6:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
More On The Shi'a In The Eastern (Oil-Bearing) Province

From The Independent:

Saudi police open fire on civilians as protests gain momentum

Insecure Saudis crack down on freedom protest

By Patrick Cockburn
5 October 2011

Pro-democracy protests which swept the Arab world earlier in the year have erupted in eastern Saudi Arabia over the past three days, with police opening fire with live rounds and many people injured, opposition activists say.

Saudi Arabia last night confirmed there had been fighting in the region and that 11 security personnel and three civilians had been injured in al-Qatif, a large Shia city on the coast of Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province. The opposition say that 24 men and three women were wounded on Monday night and taken to al-Qatif hospital.

The Independent has been given exclusive details of how the protests developed by local activists. They say unrest began on Sunday in al-Awamiyah, a Shia town of about 25,000 people, when Saudi security forces arrested a 60-year-old man to force his son – an activist – to give himself up.

Ahmad Al-Rayah, a spokesman for the Society for Development and Change, which is based in the area, said that most of the civilians hit were wounded in heavy firing by the security forces after 8pm on Monday. "A crowd was throwing stones at a police station and when a local human rights activist named Fadel al-Mansaf went into the station to talk to them and was arrested," he said.

Mr Rayah added that "there have been protests for democracy and civil rights since February, but in the past the police fired into the air. This is the first time they have fired live rounds directly into a crowd." He could not confirm if anybody had been killed.

The Shia of Saudi Arabia, mostly concentrated in the Eastern Province, have long complained of discrimination against them by the fundamentalist Sunni Saudi monarchy. The Wahhabi variant of Islam, the dominant faith in Saudi Arabia, holds Shia to be heretics who are not real Muslims.

The US, as the main ally of Saudi Arabia, is likely to be alarmed by the spread of pro-democracy protests to the Kingdom and particularly to that part of it which contains the largest oil reserves in the world. The Saudi Shia have been angered at the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain since March, with many protesters jailed, tortured or killed, according Western human rights organisations.

Hamza al-Hassan, an opponent of the Saudi government from Eastern Province living in Britain, predicted that protests would spread to more cities. "I am frightened when I see video film of events because most people in this region have guns brought in over the years from Iraq and Yemen and will use them [against government security men]," he said. He gave a slightly different account of the start of the riots in al-Awamiyah, saying that two elderly men had been arrested by the security forces, one of whom had a heart attack.

"Since September there has been a huge presence of Saudi security forces in al-Qatif and all other Shia centres," he said. Al-Qatif was the scene of similar protests in March, which were swiftly quashed by security forces.

The Saudi statement alleges that the recent protests were stirred up by an unnamed foreign power, by which it invariably means Iran. The interior ministry was quoted on Saudi television as saying that "a foreign country is trying to undermine national security by inciting strife in al-Qatif". Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchies of the western Gulf have traditionally blamed Iran for any unrest by local Shia, but have never produced any evidence other than to point at sympathetic treatment of the demonstrations on Iranian television.

The 20 doctors in Bahrain sentenced to up to 15 years in prison last week say their interrogators tortured them repeatedly to force them to make false confessions that Iran was behind the protests. The counter-revolution in Bahrain was heralded by the arrival of a 1,500-strong Saudi-led military force, which is still there.

Mr Rayah, who flew from Saudi Arabia to Beirut to be free to talk about the protests, said: "People want a change and a new way of living." He said that, in particular, they were demanding a constitution and a free assembly for the Eastern Province. He also wanted the Society for Development and Change legally registered.

Mr Hassan blamed the protests on the fact "that there has been no political breakthrough".

"I am from the city of al-Safwa, which is very close to al-Awamiyah, and there is very high unemployment in both," he said. Some 70 per cent of the Saudi population is believed to be under 30 and many do not have jobs. "We were hoping for municipal reforms and regional elections for years but we got nothing."

He said reforms reported in the Western media were meaningless and that only a few Saudis had bothered to vote in the most recent local elections because local councils had no power.

Posted on 10/04/2011 7:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
EMP Attack on America = The End of the World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)

EMP Attack on America- FrontPageMagazine

Kenneth Timmerman in a FrontPageMagazine article, “An EMP Attack on America?”  issued a clarion call for passage of the SHIELD Act (H.R. 668) to harden the national electrical grid against the threat of an EMP attack by Iran or a solar maximum flare of the type forecast for next year. 

Here is the case that Timmerman makes:

For most of this week, the Department of Energy and the states of Maryland and Florida will be holding emergency response exercises to determine their readiness in the event of a major failure of the national electric power grid.

The scenarios to be tested vary from a low-level event that would take out a handful of the transformers that control the grid that conceivably could be repaired within a matter of days, to a “worst case” scenario to simulate a total take-down of the grid, an event many experts believe could take four to six years to recover from.

William Forschen, in his novel The Minute After, helps us to imagine what America would be like after a major EMP event. Survivalists have even invented a new acronym to describe it: TEOTWAWKI – The End of the World As We Know It.

No cell phones, no personal or business computers. No gas stations, no natural gas or water service. Cold storage, down; food processing plants, off-line. No trucking, no railroads, no airplanes, no ATMs, no inter-bank transfers. Americans would revert to eating whatever food they could hunt, fish or forage within walking distance of their homes. City-dwellers would flee en masse, or face starvation.

[. . .]

We are woefully unprepared, even though solutions are cheap and near at hand. This is why Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and several colleagues have proposed legislation known as the SHIELD Act (H.R. 668) that would promulgate standards necessary to protect the grid and require the utilities to install hardware solutions to protect the main components of the grid.

In an NER article on The Iranian Missile Threat  we noted a possible EMP attack scenario:

Ultimately, the US may also be at risk from an ICBM Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack launched from possible missile bases in the Western Hemisphere reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The prospect of that given the findings of the Congressional Study Commission on the EMP threat would be as frightening as what many of us thought possible during the October 1962 missile crisis. An Iranian EMP missile attack would destroy the US economy and electrical infrastructure plunging this country back to a pre-industrial era with tens of millions of attendant deaths.

[. . .]

That may be the chaos and apocalyptic vision that the Ayatollahs in Tehran are seeking in their nuclear and missile programs to achieve their totalitarian objective of Islamic global hegemony.

Timmerman cites missile defense analyst Peter Huessy on the relatively cheap cost of hardening the nation’s grid against an EMP event:

At a September 23 conference in New York [ held during the recent UN General Assembly session]  national security consultant Peter Huessy said it would cost a mere $60-$100 million to protect the 300 largest transformers running the grid, and another $400 million to $600 million to protect an additional 3,000 transformers.

“These are one-time costs for equipment that bolts down, plugs in, and immediately works to protect against all forms of electromagnetic storms and nuclear EMP effects as well,” Huessy said.

He called it an “insurance policy” that amounted to a one-time payment of just over $3 per person for every American. As yet, until now the utilities, Congress, and the Obama administration have balked at making these improvements.

Timmerman notes what the dangers and costs of a solar maximum flare could be to the US electrical grid:

President Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren​, warned in a March 10, 2011 op-ed co-authored with his British counterpart that such a solar maximum event could occur at the peak of the current solar cycle in the next 12-18 months, with catastrophic effects.

“Space weather can affect human safety and economies anywhere on our vast wired planet, and blasts of electrically-charged gas traveling from the Sun at up to five million miles an hour can strike with little warning,” Holdren wrote. “Their impact could be big — on the order of $2 trillion during the first year in the United States alone, with a recovery period of 4 to 10 years.”

Holdren and his British colleague, John Beddington, claimed there was “commitment on both sides of the Atlantic” to rapidly implement the technology fixes needed to shield the electric grid from such an event.

If the EMP attack threat, whether from Iran or its North Korean partners, or from the occurrence of a solar maximum flare, could occur, what is holding Congress back from protecting the national grid:

Two congressional hearings earlier this year devoted to protecting the grid focused almost exclusively on the dangers of a cyber attack, not the dangers of solar flares or a nuclear EMP attack.

Many members of Congress may consider cyber-warfare to be “sexier” than the messy business of trying to evaluate the intentions of Iran and North Korea, or trying to chart solar activity.

There was a 1960’s British satiric TV program “TWTWTW- That Was The Week That Was”. Given the dire EMP threat, perhaps TEOTWAWKI should be renamed That Was the World that Was.

Posted on 10/04/2011 7:27 PM by Jerry Gordon

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