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These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 4, 2011.
Friday, 4 March 2011
Two'fer one deal falls through

From AP:

Searchers angry at CA family in missing girl case

That has got to be a candidate for the most confusing, least accurate headline ever.

HESPERIA, Calif. – People who helped search for a California girl reported missing by her family said Thursday that they were outraged to learn the 13-year-old's family gave authorities misleading information as she hid to avoid an alleged arranged marriage in Pakistan.

A neighbor of 13-year-old Jesse Bender said he felt tricked by the girl's family, who San Bernardino County sheriff's investigators said reported that she may have run off with a sexual predator.

"There are a lot of people in the neighborhood who feel betrayed, sickened and disgusted," Ryan Halstrum, 23, told the Victorville Daily Press.

Melissa Bender reported her daughter missing from the family's home in the desert city of Hesperia on Feb. 22.

She initially said her daughter was upset about having to go on a long vacation to Pakistan, where Bender's boyfriend is from, before she disappeared. Several days later, she told detectives that she was worried her daughter may have run away with somebody she met on Facebook.

[...]

On Wednesday, investigators found Jesse safely hiding at a hotel in the neighboring town of Apple Valley with the help of a relative who didn't want her to go to Pakistan.

"I think it's shameful what that mother did and for the family member not to come forward and tell the police what he knew," Maryann Sands of Victorville said. "He could've saved everyone a lot of time and grief."

Jesse and her three siblings were taken into child protective custody, and detectives are trying to determine whether she was going to be taken abroad for marriage, sheriff's spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire said.

"There is a concern for all the children," Wiltshire said Thursday. "If this is possible it was going to occur with one, there is a concern for all of them."

No arrest has been made. Sheriff's officials say the case has been forwarded to the district attorney's office to determine whether any charges will be filed.

Got it?  The mother and 13-year old daughter are caucasian, U.S. born citizens.  The mother has a Pakistani boyfriend.  The 13-year old daughter was going to be shipped off for an arranged marriage in Pakistan.  The mother's brother hid the girl so she didn't have to go to Pakistan.

But the ostensible story as written is that neighbors are upset with the mother's brother for hiding the girl.  Yes, the stress that the neighbors went through is the focus of the story.  You have to read the story 3-4 times to understand that, oh by the way,  this little girl's life was almost destroyed before it began.

I pray that this little girl is never returned to her dozy bint mother's care, and that she is kept far, far away from the Pakistani boyfriend.  I don't give a rat's *** about the hurt feelings of the neighbors, especially if those neighbors are Pakistanis who are angry that the girl was not forced to consummate her arranged marriage.

Posted on 03/04/2011 12:01 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 4 March 2011
The Islamic Demolition of the Statue of Liberty

As with Her Majesty in a burka and Trafalagr Square as mosque this is almost comical. Anjem Choudary and Sharia4america's plans for New York. This is free of copyright so I am quoting the lot.

One of the founding principles of the Islamic constitution is to ensure that all sovereignty and supremacy belongs solely to God; the Shari’ah is a practical manifestation of this sovereignty and supremacy because it seeks to establish His command in society.

The status of a nation subsequently does not depend on its number, strength or technological advancement, but rather how much it submits to the commands of God. When a nation seeks to be free from such commands, then ultimately it will meet its destruction.

The Statue of Liberty, designed by Frederic Bartholdi, stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor; representing Libertas, the Roman (false) goddess of Freedom, it is symbolic of the rebellious nature of the US constitution that elevates the command of man over the command of God.

In Islam, the public veneration of idols and statues is strictly prohibited. This has forced sincere Muslims to develop realistic plans that will aid in the removal of the Statue of Liberty.

Due to the scale of the task at hand, it is highly likely that rigorous safety checks will need to be employed before the demolition of the Statue of Liberty can commence; thus as a temporary measure, it is proposed that a large burkha is used to cover the statue, thereby shielding this horrendous eye sore from public view as well as sending a strong message to its French creators.

Post demolition, it is recommended that a minaret be built as a fitting replacement, allowing the glorification of God to be proclaimed daily as well as act as a powerful reminder of the superiority of Islam over all other ways of life.

In close up, the poster visible bottom left.

Posted on 03/04/2011 5:21 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 4 March 2011
Eight killed, 30 hurt as explosion rips through Pakistan mosque

From The Hindu

A bomb blast ripped through a mosque within a Sufi shrine at Nowshera in northwest Pakistan today, killing at least eight persons and injuring 30 others. The powerful blast targeted the mosque inside Akhun Punjo Baba mazar (shrine) in Akbarpura area of Nowshera, about 15 km from Khyber—Pakhtunkhwa capital Peshawar.

Scores of people were offering Friday prayers at the mosque while hundreds had gathered to take food from a ’langar’ or community kitchen. Eight worshippers, including some children, were killed, police said. At least 30 others were injured and the condition of eight was described by officials as serious. The injured were taken to hospitals in Nowshera, Pubbi and Peshawar.

Fazal Diyan, a witness, told Geo News channel that the blast occurred just after the prayers ended. “The blast occurred within the mosque,” he said. He estimated that over 1,000 people were present in the shrine. No group claimed responsibility for the blast.  

Reports said the blast was caused by a remote controlled bomb hidden in a cupboard within the mosque. Witnesses said many worshippers were hit by shrapnel. They added that there was almost no security at the shrine complex. The Pakistani Taliban are opposed to the practice of worshipping at Sufi shrines and consider it “un—Islamic“.

Posted on 03/04/2011 6:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 4 March 2011
The Republic lives with its face uncovered

The French Authorities are making their citizens aware of the law banning face coverings (with certain exceptions such as safety coverings for motorcyclists or sports, dramatic costumes and suchlike) in public which comes into operation next month. Posters saying “The Republic lives with its face uncovered” and “Hiding your face undermines the minimal demands of social life” which isn’t so catchy in translation have gone up in Town Halls and Government buildings already. A website should have gone on line today but so far does not seem to be live.

The Guardian of course, doesn’t like it.

From Saudi tourists window-shopping on the Champs-Élysées to Muslim women in a departure lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport or the few young French converts on suburban estates, any woman who steps outside in France wearing a veil that covers her face will be breaking the law from next month.

France's bitterly divisive debate on Muslim women's clothing took a new turn when the legal details of the controversial "burqa ban" were published in a decree by the prime minister. From 11 April women will be banned from wearing the niqab – full-face Muslim veil – in any public place, including while walking down the street, taking a bus, at a bank, library or shop, or in a cinema or theatre. It will be illegal for a woman in niqab to visit the Louvre, or any other museum, take a train, visit a hospital or collect her child from school.

Women wearing niqab will be fined €150 (about £130) and be given a citizenship class to remind them of the republican values of secular France and gender equality. Any third party found to have coerced a woman into wearing the face covering, for example a husband or family member, risks a €30,000 fine and a year in prison.

Sarkozy, desperate to secure the far-right electorate in next year's presidential election, is under fire for deliberately stigmatising France's Muslim population to win votes. He has ordered a nationwide debate on Islam's place in secular France, briefing journalists he wants no halal food options in school canteens, no prayers outside and no minarets. He was defiant on Thursday, giving a speech lauding the "Christian heritage of France".

But the immigration historian Patrick Weil has warned that the law is open to challenge from the European court of human rights. He said the battle to stop women wearing niqab did not justify that "a woman who believes that her God orders her to wear it should be stopped from going out to buy food to feed herself, or from going to see a doctor".

A tiny minority of women in France wear full niqab, far fewer than in the UK: Muslim groups estimate only a few hundred out of France's more than 5 million Muslim population.

Two thoughts spring to mind. First France has over 500 ‘sensitive’ or no go areas. How do they know how many women wear the niqab there? Who goes into the banlieus and gets out alive to report? Second, even if it is correct that few women in France wear the Burka they have the example of the sights seen on the streets of London, Birmingham and Bradford (not to mention the promenades of east coast resorts) to inspire deterrence.

But since the niqab ban was voted in by parliament, standard headscarves have also become a bone of contention in high-profile cases.

The education minister insisted that mothers in headscarves should not be allowed to accompany children on school outings. One mother banned from escorting her son's primary school class for wearing a simple head-covering said: "I'm French, not a fanatic, I just want to be able to practise my religion without being ostracised." I expect Asia Bibi would have said the same.

Posted on 03/04/2011 7:19 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 4 March 2011
He, the living

Michael Weiss writes about Boris Pasternak and a new translation of Doctor Zhivago at The New Criterion:

Martin Amis once described Finnegans Wake as a “700-page crossword clue, and the answer is ‘the.’” Where does that leave Doctor Zhivago with its recurring symbols and allusions that compete with Joyce for spawning an exegetical industrial complex? As Boris Pasternak told Olga Carlisle in an interview for The Paris Review in 1960: “Now some critics have gotten so wrapped up in those symbols—which are put in the book the way stoves go into a house, to warm it up—they would like me to commit myself and climb into the stove.” What a tease coming from an author whose symbolism gorgeously encoded his entire philosophy of life and art and whose fiction so closely mirrored his own fate.

Born in 1890 to a painter father and pianist mother, Pasternak set out at first to become a composer. He studied under the great Alexander Scriabin who later encouraged his protégé, now under the influence of Rilke, to give up music for the full-time pursuit of poetry. By 1913, when Pasternak came out with his first collection of verse, A Twin in the Clouds, Russian poetry was in a state of sectarian upheaval, in some ways more contentiously disputed than the legitimacy of the czar. Were you a Futurist, an Acmeist, or a Symbolist following the footsteps of Blok? Pasternak was the latter, later explaining, in People and Situations, one of a series of early autobiographical sketches, his belief that reality was subjective but in a universal way and that an artist became immortal when the “happiness of existence he experienced” and his innermost sensations were felt centuries on by other people. This belief apparently stuck with him well past the point of his poetic apprenticeship and into the new sectarian upheavals of the day, this time over the legitimacy of Soviet Communism.

Pasternak began writing Doctor Zhivago in 1946; he didn’t complete it until 1955, by which time he’d already published ten of the poems contained in the novel’s final chapter. Hoping to see the book appear in the Soviet Union under the terms of the Khrushchevite cultural “thaw,” he submitted the manuscript to the liberal journal Novy Mir in 1956 and asked the state publishing firm Gosizdat to consider bringing it out. He was rebuffed by both because of the subjective nature of the novel and its rebellion against Marxist orthodoxy. Instead, Pasternak agreed to hand it off to an Italian Communist journalist who had visited him that same year at the poet’s home in the Moscow suburb of Peredelkino, announcing grandly but not entirely without reason, “You are hereby invited to watch me face the firing squad,” which in its stoicism echoes what Yuri Zhivago says upon returning to Moscow from the Ukrainian front: “a grown-up man must grit his teeth and share the fate of his native land.”

Continue reading here.

Posted on 03/04/2011 8:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 4 March 2011
The Blind Leading the Blind

From the Washington Post, with thanks to Erick Stakelbeck:

The Obama administration is preparing for the prospect that Islamist governments will take hold in North Africa and the Middle East, acknowledging that the popular revolutions there will bring a more religious cast to the region's politics.

The administration is already taking steps to distinguish between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in government. An internal assessment, ordered by the White House last month, identified large ideological differences between such movements as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda that will guide the U.S. approach to the region.

"We shouldn't be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal policy deliberations. "It's the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam."...

 

Posted on 03/04/2011 10:14 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 4 March 2011
Libya and the LSE: Large Arab gifts to universities lead to 'hostile' teaching

Thanks to Alan for this piece by Stephen Pollard in The Telegraph:

Sir Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics, has at last done the honourable thing and resigned from the university’s governing council. The LSE’s shameless prostituting of its good name in return for Muammar Gaddafi’s blood money (as the Tory MP Robert Halfon has rightly called it) is as great a betrayal of the spirit of a university as there has ever been in Britain.

But while it will take the LSE quite some time to regain a seat at the table of respectability, it is not the only university that has reason to feel ashamed. The LSE is said to have received no more than £300,000 of the £1.5 million it was due from Libya.

Yet, on the most conservative estimate, other British universities have received hundreds of millions of pounds from Saudi and other Islamic sources – in the guise of philanthropic donations, but with the real intention of changing the intellectual climate of the United Kingdom.

Between 1995 and 2008, eight universities – Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, University College London, the LSE, Exeter, Dundee and City – accepted more than £233.5 million from Muslim rulers and those closely connected to them.

Much of the money has gone to Islamic study centres: the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies received £75 million from a dozen Middle Eastern rulers, including the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia; one of the current king’s nephews, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, gave £8 million each to Cambridge and Edinburgh. Then there was the LSE’s own Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, which got £9 million from the United Arab Emirates; this week, a majority of the centre’s board was revealed to be pushing for a boycott of Israel.

While figures since 2008 have yet to be collated, the scale of funding has only increased: such donations are now the largest source of external funding for universities by quite a long way. The donors claim that they want only to promote understanding of Islam – a fine goal for any university.

But the man who gathered the earlier figures, Prof Anthony Glees, argues that their real agenda is rather different: to push an extreme ideology and act as a form of propaganda for the Wahhabist strain of Islam within universities. They push, he says, “the wrong sort of education by the wrong sort of people, funded by the wrong sorts of donor”.

This is not simply scare-mongering. The management committees of the Islamic Studies centres at Cambridge and Edinburgh contained appointees hand-picked by Prince Alwaleed. Other universities have altered their study areas in line with their donors’ demands. And it works.

A study of five years of politics lectures at the Middle Eastern Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford, found that 70 per cent were “implacably hostile” to the West and Israel. A friend of mine, a former Oxford academic, felt that his time was largely spent battling a cadre of academics overwhelmingly hostile to the West, in an ambience in which students – from both Britain and abroad – were presented a world-view that was almost exclusively anti-Western.

Although much of the money is claimed to be directed towards apolitical ends, this can often be misleading. The gift by foreign governments of language books, for instance, can have a significant effect on what is taught; in one case, the gift of an art gallery was found to have had a direct impact on teaching and admissions policy.

This is all so easily done because there is no requirement for serious scrutiny of either the source of funding or its impact on research. As a report from the Centre for Social Cohesion puts it, our universities “are now effectively up for sale to the highest bidder”. If the LSE’s actions have a saving grace, is that they could help to expose the wider scandal surrounding the behaviour of UK universities.

Pollard writes that promoting "an understanding of Islam" is "a fine goal for any university", and contrasts this with the "extreme ideology" that is in fact being "pushed" by the donors. In fact the "extreme ideology" is simply Islam itself, as any true understanding of Islam would show.

Posted on 03/04/2011 10:42 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 4 March 2011
Robert Halfon MP: The LSE-Libya links can be traced back to 2003

Thanks to regular reader Alan for the link to this chronology.

Alan, who knows his subject well, comments:

There seems to be a lot of 'blame-shifting'  (and in the case of the deposed LSE Director, Davies,'non-blame', except , he says on two specifics); certainly elements of LSE academe, UK government (especially  Labour), UK business interests (inc BP), US Monitor group, etc. are all involved.

The LSE has proved (in this case):

1.) its inability to analyse the antagonism in Islam towards the West;

2.) it operates on an (erronious) utopian presumption that it can reform Islamic regimes.

And the political tune of  all the West's LSE players is more or less the same as that expressed in the Monitor Group's conclusion::

"Separately, a US consultancy has admitted mishandling a multimillion dollar contract with Libya to improve Muammar Gaddafi's reputation in the west.

"Monitor Group, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, arranged for academics and policymakers from the US and the UK to travel to Tripoli to meet Gaddafi between 2006 and 2008 as part of a $3m (£1.8m) contract.

"The visitors included Francis Fukuyama, professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University and author of The End of History and The Last Man, and Richard Perle, a prominent neoconservative who advised the Bush presidency on the Middle East.

"Monitor said that by arranging for the visits it had hoped the Gaddafi regime would move closer to the west, but 'sadly it is now clear that we, along with many others, misjudged that possibility'."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/mar/04/lse-british-government-libya-links?intcmp=239

Certainly this LSE case, and the attitudes involved, do not inspire confidence that there will not be even more  widespread cases of Western universities making such deals  in future with Islamic regimes,

 

Posted on 03/04/2011 4:53 PM by Mary Jackson

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