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These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 4, 2011.
Monday, 4 April 2011
Sandhurst mosque plans prompt public inquiry

More on the attempts by the Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey Bengali Welfare Association  to demolish the historic school building which they have neglected for the last 14 years in order to build a mosque with domes and minarets with which to overlook the Sandhurst parade ground.  This is from the Guardian, who publish some outrageous statements from the Association, without comment.

Plans to erect a mosque next to Sandhurst that have divided locals and prompted interventions from a Tory minister and the Ministry of Defence are to be considered at a public inquiry this week.

The proposals – to demolish a locally listed Victorian schoolbuilding in a conservation area in Camberley, Surrey, and replace it with a £3m domed mosque – have pitted members of the Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey Bengali Welfare Association against thousands of residents, army chiefs and the constituency MP and education secretary, Michael Gove.

The residents say the mosque would be out of keeping with the town's architecture; army chiefs dislike the idea of 100ft-high minarets overlooking the parade ground of Sandhurst Military Academy; and Gove wants the application withdrawn for the sake of community harmony.  The mosque is also described as a "supremacist statement" by a collective comprising local churches.

The inquiry, to be held at Camberley Theatre, is scheduled to last six days . . .

The Bengalis say the existing building, designed by Charles Buckeridge, does not suit their needs. Camberley Muslims have used the old school as a mosque since 1996, purchasing it for £300,000 following a generous contribution from a Kuwaiti billionaire.

But it is dilapidated, inside and out, and lies empty for much of the week except Friday, when Muslims pour into every available space, including the kitchen, for prayer.

The new mosque would accommodate classrooms, segrated facilities for men and women, a morgue, a community centre and thousands of people. The Bengalis agreed to restrict access to the minarets – making them ornamental and partially solid – but only after the Ministry of Defence raised concerns over them. 

Ivar Hellberg from Save Our School, is outraged at the BWA's perceived indifference to Camberley's heritage. "They are bad stewards," he said. "Why haven't they looked after the house of Allah?"

Abdul Wasay Chowdhury, from the association, said: "It is hard to collect money to renovate the school. It is not a religious building, it is not a mosque. We don't want to extend from the back because then it won't be a school or a mosque. It will be neither. . . The local church is out of keeping with the area. No, it isn't! The steeple will be taller than our minarets - why don't they complain about that?"

This is Bill Warner, a friend of this site, quoting the Islamic work of sharia, the Reliance of a Traveller.

The Sharia is very detailed how the dhimmi will live under Islamic domination.
O11.1 a formal agreement with Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Samarians, Sabians, and those who adhere to the religion of Abraham of one of the other prophets.

o11.3 such an agreement is only valid when the subject peoples:
(a) follow the rules of Islam
(b) and pay the kafir poll tax (jizya)

o11.5 Kafir subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(5) May not build higher than the Muslims' buildings
(6) Are forbidden to openly display wine or pork. ( or to ring church bells or display crosses) recite the Torah or Gospels aloud, or make public display of funerals and feast days.
(7) And are forbidden to build new churches.

The Guardian article is by Riazat Butt, their religious correspondent. This is the young woman who told me during an on line argument (via an article, which was not in the Guardian where comments were allowed more freely than they are these days) that she 'didn't need salvation', merely an aspirin after a morning spent in the presence of Christians.

Posted on 04/04/2011 5:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 4 April 2011
Dozens injured as Bangladeshi Islamists protest women's equality laws

From The Telegraph

Dozens of people have been injured as Bangladesh police battled Islamists protesting against new government policies aimed at giving women equal inheritance rights.

The violence came as the hardline Islami Oikyo Jote, a coalition of Islamic groups, enforced a nationwide general strike on Monday, demanding the government institute Islamic law and scrap policies aimed at giving women greater rights to property, employment and education.

 Bangladesh is governed mainly by secular laws, but follows traditional Muslim family laws, which allow women to only claim a quarter of the inheritance men get from their parents.

Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Bangladesh's Prime Minister, has proposed new rules which would give all children equal inheritance rights.

Fazlul Huq Amini, who heads the Islamic Law Implementation Committee, accuses the government of violating the Koran by introducing the legal reforms.

Posted on 04/04/2011 6:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 4 April 2011
Suicide bomber kills 7 at Pakistan bus terminal

KHAR, Pakistan — A teenaged suicide bomber struck a bus terminal in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing seven people in the sixth bomb attack in as many days to strike the nuclear-armed country.

Dir district police chief Saleem Marwat said seven civilians were killed and 18 wounded at the bus terminal, close to a car showroom, which was also damaged in the blast. "We have found the head of the bomber. He appears to be a teenager, a 15 to 16-year-old boy,"

At the car showroom, three people were among the dead and several vehicles damaged, he added.

Posted on 04/04/2011 6:09 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 4 April 2011
A Musical Interlude:The Coat And The Pants (Harry Reser's Six Jumping Jacks, voc. Tom Stacks)

Listen here.

Sing along here:

Now we never give the credit
Where credit's really due,
You've heard that many times before,
It's really nothing new;
The man who works the hardest,
He never gets the dough,
And here's another little thing
I'm positive you know:

Oh, the coat and the pants do all of the work,
And the vest gets all the gravy;
Now, the captains get the bars,
The generals get the stars,
The soldiers do the fighting,
And all they get is scars.
Now, a baby cries for mama,
But he never even recognizes dad,
Oh, the coat and the pants do all of the work,
And the vest gets all the gravy!

Oh, the coat and the pants do all of the work,
And the vest gets all the gravy;
Now, a dairy maid's a wow,
She does her best, somehow,
But after all the cheering,
You can't forget the cow!
Now an onion breaks a friendship,
But a billy goat can drive a crowd away...

Posted on 04/04/2011 7:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
A Few Week's Worth of Yvan Rioufol's Bloc-Notes (In French)
S'il s'agit d'illustrer l'incapacité du PS à se remettre en question, il suffit de lire les grandes lignes de son programme, dont l'intégralité sera présentée demain, mardi. Le "mouvement" annoncé ressemble à un sur-place, voire à un retour en arrière tant la lecture replonge dans les recettes de jadis, sur les emplois jeunes, les encadrements des loyers, la fiscalité contre les riches, etc. L'enthousiasme de la presse militante est d'ailleurs très relatif, ce matin. Cette visible incapacité du parti à s'assumer comme réformiste et progressiste illustre le décrochement de la gauche, nouveau parti conservateur. Aux faillites de l'Etat-providence et de la société multiculturelle, qui sont parmi les raisons du déclin  de la France que le PS reconnaît cependant, Martine Aubry ne propose rien sinon des mesures qui aggraveront les dépenses publiques. Son électoralisme, qui lui fait faire des risettes aux jeunes qui auront à payer les largesses de leurs aînés (à moins qu'ils s'y refusent, et ils n'auraient pas tort), devrait la conduire à de semblables flatteries en direction des cités. Il est à remarquer, cependant, que les dernières élucubrations du think tank socialiste Terra Nova  en faveur d'un communautarisme musulman n'ont pas été reprises dans l'avant-projet. La secrétaire générale du PS  aurait-elle des interrogations sur les limites d'une stratégie de dragage des suffrages?

Ce qui surprend est bien l'état du manque de réflexion de ce parti sclérosé, qui compte pourtant des personnalités intéressantes. La droite ne vaut guère mieux sans doute, mais au moins tente-t-elle, pressée par les réalités, de sortir de sa paresse intellectuelle et de ses dénis.  Alors que l'électorat en révolte rejette les idéologies et leurs idées tordues pour réclamer davantage de pragmatisme et de raison, le PS n'a toujours pas entrepris sa révolution mentale, qui consisterait à quitter sa bulle pour rejoindre la terre ferme. Cette normalité, dont se réclame d'ailleurs François Hollande, devrait pourtant lui permettre d'aborder la crise sociale autrement qu'avec des recettes d'il y a trente ans, et la crise identitaire autrement qu'en feignant de ne rien voir du problème que pose, et que posera encore plus demain, un islam dogmatique au coeur d'une démocratie ouverte et tolérante. En attendant, la faiblesse de ce pré-programme ressemble à une bonne nouvelle pour l'UMP. Mais la droite aussi à encore beaucoup à prouver d'ici 2012.

 
"Il faut écouter ce que disent les Français", répètent, sonnés par les cantonales, les états-majors... avant de replonger dans leurs stratégies partisanes pour décider de ce qu'il faut entendre. Or c'est cette oligarchie qui, à droite comme à gauche, est rejetée. En effet, 62,3 % des électeurs ont choisi de ne pas voter ou de voter blanc ou nul : ils ont créé l'insurrection civique qui avait été annoncée ici. D'autant que, là où il se présentait, le FN a enregistré 35 % des suffrages au second tour. Un bouleversement politique se profile sous la pression des citoyens irrités. Les élites désavouées vont devoir apprendre l'humilité et l'autocritique. Sinon, elles seront balayées.

La panique gagne les classes dirigeantes à l'idée d'aborder la vie des gens. Non, ce n'est pas seulement le prix du gaz ou le pouvoir d'achat qui expliquent la crise de la démocratie. Quand François Baroin, porte-parole du gouvernement, invite à "se concentrer sur l'emploi et les déficits" en voulant mettre un terme aux débats sur "la laïcité et l'islam", voulus par l'Élysée, il révèle un éloignement avec les classes moyennes et leurs inquiétudes. François Fillon partage cette "prolophobie" (mot de Patrick Buisson, conseiller de Nicolas Sarkozy) qui le fait reculer pour ne pas froisser l'islam. Mais que signifie cette préférence religieuse, sinon une soumission ?

Les Français n'ont plus confiance en ceux qui les guident.
(La suite ici)

 
Le PS, qui a avalisé la France multiculturelle et immigrationniste, est incapable d'admettre que son œuvre maîtresse, cautionnée par la droite sous influence, est rejetée par une majorité de Français qui n'ont aucune envie de disparaître. La gauche en veut même toujours plus dans la mutation identitaire de la nation, sans se soucier visiblement de l'approbation des citoyens. Un exemple : Henri Weber, député européen PS, en est encore à présenter l'immigration comme "une chance pour l'avenir et notamment pour l'équilibre de la protection sociale" (Le Monde de ce mercredi), sans dire un mot de la montée des communautarismes et des tensions qu'ils génèrent. Alors que le vivre-ensemble est fragilisé, la gauche universaliste persiste à aggraver cette situation.  Cette faiblesse ne pourra que se révéler au cours de la campagne présidentielle, surtout si l'UMP accepte de poser clairement les problèmes et de rompre avec le double discours d'un parti se disant réaliste mais se réfugiant encore, François Fillon en tête, dans la confortable posture compassionnelle.

Oui, la gauche dogmatique peut perdre en 2012. C'est d'ailleurs ce sentiment qu'a défendu, ce matin sur RTL, le député PS, Julien Dray: "Le PS n'aborde pas assez les vraies questions comme la maîtrise des flux migratoires, qui taraudent la société française. Elle  a le sentiment d'une sorte d'invasion rampante.  Il doit aborder également frontalement la question de la ghettoïsation ethnique de la société, qui n'est pas abordée. Les dirigeants ont peur d'ouvrir ces débats". Pour lui, "le bon candidat du PS doit répondre à ces questions (ndla : Dray y rajoute aussi les salaires et la répartition des richesses). Or il n'existe pas. Gagnera celui qui abordera ces questions de front". Inutile de préciser que je partage cette analyse. Elle me fait provisoirement conclure que l'UMP peut, sans doute, récupérer une partie de l'électorat abstentionniste, qui reste réticent face au FN. Pourquoi ne pas proposer une réduction significative de l'immigration de peuplement (200 .000 arrivées par an) qui asphyxie toujours plus les processus d'intégration?
 
"Le message a été reçu", a déclaré ce lundi Jean-François Copé, secrétaire général de l'UMP,  au lendemain du second tour des cantonales. Comme prévu, les abstentions (55,03%) et le FN en sont les vrais vainqueurs, même si le parti de Marine Le Pen ne décroche que deux cantons, ce qui met un bémol à la "vague bleue marine" qui se heurte encore à des digues. Le PS, qui arrive en tête (35,43%) devant l'UMP (20,00%), se garde avec raison de tout triomphalisme. Car si le FN affiche 11,57% au plan national, ce chiffre ne veut rien dire puisque ce mouvement ne se présentait que dans 403 cantons. Il y a fait des scores dépassant les 20% pour atteindre les 40% et plus (1). Le cordon sanitaire a été rompu, et le front républicain enfoncé. La somme des abstentions et des votes FN rappelle, une fois de plus, l'état d'insurrection civique qui s'est installé dans un électorat ne se reconnaissant plus ni dans la droite ni dans la gauche, soudées dans une même préservation du politiquement correct qui interdit pourtant d'aborder l'ensemble des préoccupations des gens.

A dire vrai, je doute que le message des urnes ait été vraiment reçu à droite, même si Copé a reconnu "l'inquiétude des Français" en citant les délocalisations et les questions migratoires. Tandis qu'il s'exprimait sur RTL, le porte-parole du gouvernement, François Baroin, assurait sur France-Info qu'il fallait "certainement mettre un terme à tous ces débats, comme celui sur la laïcité et l'islam", appelant l'UMP à revenir à des valeurs "profondément républicaines" et à  "se concentrer sur l'emploi, les déficits". Une position semblable à celle défendue par Dominique de Villepin qui, sur Canal +, invitait l'UMP à ne pas "braconner" sur les terres du FN. "On revient surtout aux préoccupations des Français : le logement, l'emploi, le pouvoir d'achat ...". Le PS ne dit pas autre chose, quand il assure que la crise est uniquement économique et sociale. Or, ce diagnostic est, à l'évidence, très largement incomplet. L'UMP est-elle décidée à abandonner les réalités au FN ?

C'est cette pensée conformiste et la lâcheté politique qu'elle dissimule qui feront perdre l'UMP en 2012. Car le sentiment d'injustice et d'abandon des Français n'est pas causé uniquement par la perte de leur pouvoir d'achat. Les sondages montrent que l'immigration de peuplement et le communautarisme musulman qui en découle (il se revendique désormais comme tel en exigeant lui-même l'abandon du débat sur l'islam) sont des sujets aussi préoccupants que la paupérisation des classes moyennes. Celles-ci ne comprennent pas qu'un pays sur-endetté, ne pouvant plus offrir ni travail, ni logements, ni protections sociales suffisants à ses propres citoyens, persiste à accueillir légalement tant de monde, sans souci d'intégration contrairement à ce qu'a soutenu Eric Besson, ce matin sur Europe 1 : "Ceux qui croient à l'intégration doivent défendre l'immigration légale et combattre l'immigration illégale",a-t-il dit. Or, les immigrés légaux sont autant dans les ghettos que les clandestins.

L'UMP sera balayée si elle persiste à ne rien comprendre au peuple. Elle aura tout fait pour.

(1) Précision (lundi, 16h): selon le ministère de l'Intérieur, le FN obtient un taux moyen de 35,51% das les cantons où il était présent.
 
 
Les humanistes autoproclamés ne voient pas ceux qui souffrent. Sinon cela se saurait, depuis le temps que les Français oubliés tentent de se faire entendre. Ces citoyens ne donneront plus leurs voix à ceux qui, à droite et à gauche, ont instrumentalisé la morale en se payant de mots. Il est désolant que ces électeurs, méprisés par les apôtres du respect de l'autre et de la non-discrimination, choisissent l'abstention ou le FN, les deux vainqueurs du premier tour des cantonales. Mais leur rejet des donneurs de leçons, désavoués par les faits, ne peut être considéré comme une menace pour la République et la démocratie, comme le disent ceux qui se serrent les coudes face à la riposte du peuple. Il sera le nouvel acteur de la politique.

Jean-Paul Delevoye, médiateur de la République, côtoie la détresse. Dans son rapport, lundi, il explique que la société souffre d'une "crise du regard", c'est-à-dire du sentiment de ne pas exister aux yeux de ses dirigeants : une constatation souvent faite ici. Son diagnostic pointe implicitement l'indifférence que montrent les belles âmes, fascinées par l'altérité, pour ces Français qui s'estiment abandonnés (pour 40 %, selon un sondage). "Ils demandent qu'on les écoute", rappelle Delevoye, qui alerte sur le risque d'implosion d'une nation atteinte d'un "mal-vivre ensemble". Pourquoi droite et gauche ne voient-elles pas ces évidences ?

Le sentiment d'injustice, mesurable depuis le 21 avril 2002, s'exprimera à nouveau dimanche pour le second tour. (La suite ici)

 
Claude Guéant, ministre de l'intérieur, a-t-il eu raison de parler de croisade à propos de la Libye? Lundi soir, dans un entretien au Talk Orange Le Figaro, il a dit: "Heureusement, le président à pris la tête de la croisade pour mobiliser le Conseil de sécurité  des Nations unies, et puis la Ligue arabe et l'Union africaine".  Ce mercredi matin, sur RTL, Martine Aubry a qualifié ce terme "d'effrayant". Pour la patronne du PS, "c'est une erreur profonde d'analyse, c'est une erreur politique, c'est une erreur d'amateur aussi, il faut bien le dire (...) C'est évidemment un dérapage". Pourtant, quand Guéant prend soin de rappeler, dans sa déclaration controversée, les soutiens de la Ligue arabe et de l'Union africaine, on comprend qu'il ne fait évidemment pas référence à une mobilisation de l'Occident chrétien contre le monde musulman. Il évoque, au contraire, l'inespéré front commun - la croisade, comprise comme "une tentative pour créer un mouvement d'opinion dans une lutte" (Petit Robert) - de deux civilisations, unies pour l'occasion contre un dictateur.

Cependant il y a une autre lecture plus subliminale de cette intervention contre Kadhafi, qui a peut-être inspiré, dans un lapsus, ce terme dans son sens initial. En effet, le dirigeant libyen est aussi celui qui a humilié à plusieurs reprises l'Europe et la France, allant jusqu'à donner des leçons de démocratie et à appeler à l'islamisation du Vieux continent. Dans un discours retransmis par la chaîne Al Jezira en 2006, il déclarait : "Nous avons 50 millions de musulmans en Europe. Il y a des signes qu'Allah accordera la victoire à l'islam en Europe, sans épée, sans fusil, sans conquête. Les 50 millions de musulmans l'auront transformée en continent musulman d'ici quelques décennies (...) L'Europe est dans une fâcheuse posture et il en est de même de l'Amérique. Elles devraient accepter de devenir musulmanes avec le temps ou bien de déclarer la guerre aux musulmans". Si ce jihad devait se confirmer, la résurgence d'une "croisade" défensive serait-elle scandaleuse ? [Yes -- Rioufol gives the real reason for the French enthusiasm for the attack on Libya, which enthusiasm has little to do with the "humanitarian" business of that comically preening Bernard-Henri Levy]
 

L'exaspération. Ce sentiment collectif explique la montée prévisible, hier, des abstentions (55%) et du FN (15%) à l'issue du premier tour des cantonales, qui a placé le PS en tête (25%, contre 17% à l'UMP). Cela fait longtemps, en effet, que la crise de confiance s'est installée entre les électeurs et leurs représentants, vus de plus en plus comme des cancres dissimulant leurs incompétences derrière des discours automatiques. De ce point de vue, l'ambiguïté que maintient l'UMP dans ses consignes de vote au second tour révèle la confusion intellectuelle qui s'est installée au sein de la majorité. Elle dit refuser de participer à un "front républicain" contre le parti de Marine Le Pen (c'est-à-dire d'appeler à voter PS en cas de duel avec lui), mais interdit en même temps de soutenir le FN... tout en regrettant la place prise par les absentions. Ce qui revient, si l'on suit le raisonnement chaotique, à conseiller mezza-voce de voter à gauche sans le dire. En fait, une faille est probablement en train d'apparaître dans l'unité de façade de l'UMP, qui risque d'éclater en cas d'échec au premier tour de 2012.

Reste que cette exaspération est devenue un élément politique. Sur ce registre, des actes sont attendus. Nicolas Sarkozy, judicieusement inspiré en l'occurrence par Bernard-Henri Lévy,  a ainsi rehaussé d'un coup sa position et celle de la France en choisissant la force contre Mouammar Khadhafi, avec le soutien inespéré de l'ONU. Ouvrant le feu, samedi à 17h45, contre des blindés de ce Caligula, la France a retrouvé un peu de son honneur et de ses idéaux, en frappant un tyran qui l'avait humiliée à plusieurs reprises, notamment en plantant sa tente à deux pas de l'Elysée. Je note que cette stratégie du poing dans la gueule, qui met un terme apparent à la politique vénusienne de l'apaisement et du soft power, suscite un étonnant consensus de la part de ceux qui n'ont pourtant eu de cesse de critiquer les néoconservateurs et leurs méthodes dans leur mobilisation pour la démocratie dans les pays arabes. Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps, mais il est loisible de distinguer, dans ce soudain réveil de la fierté française, une réponse attendue à l'irritation des esprits et à leur démobilisation. [French enthusiasm for the attack on Libya, I suggest, is based not on a humanitarian impulse (pace Bernard-Henri Levy), but rather, partly on long-standing fury at Qaddafy -- responsible for the explosion destroying a French passenger plane over Chad, and desire, deflected onto Livya, of inflicting pain on the Arabs who inflict such daily pain, in France, on the French]]

Posted on 04/04/2011 7:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
Ghassan Abdallah Of Houston Is Certain You Won't Read Qur'an, Hadith, Sira

From Foreign Policy Journal:

The Mythical ‘Muslim World’ and the So-Called ‘War on Terror’

by Dr. Ghassan Abdallah

April 4, 2011

As James Zogby, the founder and president of the American Arab Institute (AAI), put it: “you could be a third generation Algerian in France, and you would still be considered an Algerian.  You could be a third generation Pakistani in England, and you would still be considered a Pakistani.  You could be a third generation Kurd in Germany, and you would still be considered a Kurd.  However, when you immigrate to America you don’t just get a passport, you get an identity; you become an American.”   When it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech, and civil liberties, America’s values are superior.  However, there continues to be a general lack of understanding or naivety among the American public, media elites, and a significant amount of politicians regarding Islam, Muslims, and terror.

One billion overwhelmingly secular Muslims – most of whom were born outside the Middle East in countries as diverse as India, China, Russia, Bosnia, Albania, Turkey, France, and Indonesia,  are all lumped together and addressed as the “Muslim World.”  An American or a Danish flag burning ceremony in Kabul by a group of radicals over a cartoon in a newspaper is referred to as a “flag burning protest” in the “Muslim World” or interpreted as “anti-Americanism” in the “Muslim World.”  The “Muslim World” is a figment of the imagination, an oversimplification, a myth that does not exist.

Muslims in Sarajevo, Istanbul, Baku, and Beirut are not burning American flags and not obsessed with hating America.  [Muslims in Beirut certainly have done so, and often. In Istanbul, there have been anti-American demonstrations, and the current, Islamic, government of Turkey contains members who claim that the American soldiers in Iraq behaved "worse than Nazis" and a movie, in the same vein, became the greatest box-office hit in Turkish film history. As for Baku, in Azerbaijan, the Muslims in what was formerly the Soviet Union have -- as in Turkey too -- been  living in an environment where Islam has for decades been systematically constrained, and many educated Azeris (in Azerbaijan if not in Iran) are, thanks to Soviet anti-religious education that lasted decades doubtful about, or fairly indifferent to, Islam (as about other religions),. And in Sarajevo, the Bosnian Muslims have been subject to the same constraints on Islam, and to the extent that they ignore, or do not take to heart, what Islam inculcates, can manage to co-exist with non-Muslims and to retain gratitude to Ameirica for having, with its bombing campaign, ended their problems with Milosevic's militias. But thanks to Arabs who do take Islam seriously, there are changes in the attitudes and practice of Muslims even in Sarajevo (and, indeed, the "real Islam" that has come back, with Arabs who have arrived for the express purpose of making more Islamic those Muslims who -- thank  god from our point of view -- have not been takinIislam as seriously as they should, doing Allah's work in  the Balkans, and even, though not directly, in Azerbaijan and Turkey. ] Visit those cities and you will see Muslims sipping coffee at Starbucks,[so what?] shopping for American jeans at their local mall, taking a stroll in the park, or enjoying a nice day at the beach.  [again, so what? Why should this kind of trivial irrelevancy soothe us, when we know what Islam incuclates, and what the attitdues and atmospherics of societies suffused with Islam naturally reflect?] They are not opposed to America, [on what basis is this asserted? It's nonsense -- they want the stuff, the goods, that America has, and many of them would just soon move to Amrerica, to take advantage of all that an advanced non-Muslim country can offer, buyt they do not leave their Islam at the border, but bring it with them in their mental baggage, and thus pose  a permanent threat to the wellbeing of the legal and political instiutitons, and the social  understandings and arrangements, of Infidels everywhere] they are not against Christianity, [no? Then they are not good Muslims, if they do not think they have a duty to spread Islam, until Islam dominates everywhere, and everywhere, Muslims rule -- not right away of course, but after patient effort by Muslims, using demographic conquest and campaigns of Da'wa as their most effective, instruments of Jihad] and they are not against the building of churches in their cities. [what  is Ghassan Abdall h talking about? What Muslims are "not against the building of churches in their cities"? In Pakistan Christians are persecuted and attacked and killed, with church schools and churches attacked. It is the same in Iraq, now that Saddam Hussein, who for reaaons of his own (his worry over the Shi'a Arabs), through his ruthlessness was a guarantor that  Christians would be safe from such attacks. It is the same in Egypt, where members of both the police and the army have done little to protect Copts from attack by Muslim mobs, and sometimes have joined in the attacks that Copts must endlessly endure. Even in Lebanon the Christians, their numbers and hence thieir power much diminished since the  days of Charles Malik (Lebanon's only statesman), have been leaving the country, and are in a state of constant worry over their own physical wellbeing. And in Turkey, as Kemalism recedes and the forces of Islam aggressively, sinisterly, return, under the AKP and Erdogan and his henchmen, the few remaining Christians -- Constatninople was 50% Christian in 1914, and the country of Turkey 20% Christian -- .live in a state of permanent anxiety and fear. The Turkish government has closed all of the Greek Orthodox seminaries save one, and that one, too, is under threat of being closed].

The question is often asked: “why do they not allow Churches in Saudi Arabia (‘Muslim World’), while we allow mosques in America?”  Indeed Saudi Arabia is wrong not to allow freedom of worship, and not to allow the construction of Churches on its territory.  However, Saudi Arabia is just one country.  There are plenty of churches in predominantly Muslim countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, the Palestinian territories (home of the Church of the Nativity)(yes, and where the PLO terrorists took it over, defecated inside, terrorized the Greek monks, all because they knew the Israelis would not attack the site for unlike them, the Israelis respect houses of worshi)], and at one time in Iraq.  Iraqi Christians and Jews were always free to worship in peace in their churches and synagogues in Baghdad until the American invasion of Iraq brought with it the mayhem of radical jihadists hell bent on killing Muslims, Christians, and Jews.(Does Ghassan Abdallah think that there is a single synagogue operating in Baghdad, or anywhere in Iraq? How much absurdity does he think he can put over on unwary Infidels? And can it really be that  Ghassan Abdallah is unfamiliar with the mass-hanging of innocent Jews and Christians, a few decades ago, all charged falsely as "Zionist spies" and all hung in a pulbic square, to the enormous and hysterical blood-lust delight of hundreds of thousands of Muslims)  Most Iraqi Christians and Jews have been forced to flee Iraq.  As for those Iraqi Muslims who have remained behind, they have become the victims of constant terror attacks by Islamist extremists who entered their country following the U.S. invasion.

Often radio and cable television talk show hosts cry that when it comes to discussing Islam, there is too much political correctness and too many attempts at restricting their freedom of speech.  However, it is not about political correctness or freedom of speech.  It is about telling the truth.  When Mr. Bill O’Reilly says “Muslims killed us”, he is misrepresenting the truth.  Muslims working at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 were victims of terror like everyone else.  [this is the Keith-Ellison argument, which tells us nothing at all. The Muslim casualties were unavoidale if the larger, and greater, goal, of killing thousands of non-Muslims, and harming the Great Satan, was to be achieved. How often have we read, or heard, Muslims decrying a terrorist attack because "Muslims were killed too" and that is what offends, rather than the killing of humans]. American Muslims right now are serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and Iraq. [how many of these "Muslims" serivng are in fact Black Muslims who are hardly orthodox? How many real, i.e. non-Nation of Islam, Muslims have actually served in the military, and what proportion of the Muslim population in America is that, and how does it compare to the proportion of those serving from the non-Muslim population? And how are such people regarded in the Muslim media, in Muslim communities? During World War the pictures of Italo-American soldiers were proudly displayed in the shop-windows of Little Italies across America -- how many Muslim organizations have been delighted with Muslims serving, have  publicly celebrated such people, have urged other Muslim men to join the American armed forces and serve? And how many Muslims, as a proportion of those serving, have behaved as traitors, taken the side of the enemy, tried to kill or killed other, non-Muslim Americans, or deserted, or offered to give secrets to the enemy? How many Muslims in this country have been arrested and successfully prosecuted for trying to sell military equipment or materiel for making weapons, including weapons of mass destrcution, to our Muslim enemies?] It was Muslims in Pakistan who arrested the mastermind of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, Khalid Sheikh, and turned him over to U.S. authorities.  [Pakistan did not identify and find the killer -- it was the Americans who did that, and insisted that the Pakistani authorities hand him over and the Pakistanis knew that if they didn't all hell would break loose -- and so they did hand him over], but that hardly constitutes the kind of glowing performance, and willing cooperation, that Ghassan Abdallah would have you believe characterized Pakistan's behavior] It was not Muslims who killed us – it was Islamist extremists affiliated with al-Qaida who did.  [It is in Pakistan that the male national hero is A. Q. Khan, who with the cooperation of the ISI, and using American aid money, and relying on nuclear knowhow stolen from Western laboratories, not only helped produce what the Pakistanis proudly call "the Islamic bomb" but also offered, and offered to sell, and in some cases did sell, nuclear knowhow to North Korea, to Iran, and possibly to Iraq and Egypt as well.  And the national heroine of Pakistan is Aafia Siddiqui, who was given a scholarship, and studied iat MIT and then Brandeis, and returned the many kindnesses and benefits she had received iin the United Statess by tattempting to help Al-Qaeda mass-murder Americans]Perhaps someone should remind Juan Williams that the hijackers on 9/11 were not dressed in “Muslim garb.”  It is not clear what “Muslim garb” consists of, but one thing is for certain potential Islamist terrorists operating in the West, are not likely to be dressed in any garb that will bring about unwanted attention.

Generalizations and shallow reporting by the press lead to oversimplifications and distort reality.  [the amount of nonsense and lies in this piece -- to show its' "generalizations and shallow reporting" on Islam requires a reply -- see my comments below as an earnest of what is to come] The reporting is simple but not true.  The coverage in the press has lopsidedly maligned, vilified, and distorted an entire religion. [In what way? What has been misquoted? What has been misunderstood? Chapter and verse, please -- about the life of Muhammad, that Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, and about the words and deeds recorded in the Hadith, and what is contained in that alternately boring and blood-curdling book, the Qur'an ] And when representatives are brought on television to offer an alternative view of Islam, they fail to adequately do so, since those spokespersons are timid and lack the qualifications and knowledge to respond.  There has been no real poignant response or challenge to redundant non-factual statements regarding Islam.  For example, the often repeated statement: “not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslim.”  All terrorists are not Muslim. [oh for Christ's sake -- ETA and the IRA are limited in time and place, and in the scope of the threat and, above al, in their most limited goasl -- but Islamic terrorism is directed at all Infidels, and has world-conquering-for-Islam ambitioins. Anyone can make that distinction]. The State Department’s list of terrorist organizations includes at least a dozen non-Islamist groups such as the Armed forces of Colombia (FARC), Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), and Kongra-Jel (KGK, formerly Kurdistan Worker’s Party, PKK).  The Kurds are mainly Muslim, but the PKK is not an Islamist organization.  It is a nationalist organization seeking ethnic separation from predominantly Muslim Turkey.

Modern day Islamist terrorism contradicts traditional Islam.  While Muslim armies were involved in numerous wars and conquests, Muslims historically did not partake in indiscriminate ruthless violence the way al-Qaida and its Islamist contemporaries do. [no, their violence was directed at conquering many peoples and many lands, and then oppressing the peoples of those lands until they accepted Islam, if only to avoid paying the Jizyah and being subject to dozens of other severe legal and social disablities. The violence was directed at all those who fought against the conquest by Muslims, and the consequent destruction of their own pre-Islamic histories, cultures, even languages, as so many of those conquered peoples were, following upon islamization, arabized as well -- for Islam is, always has been, a vehicle for Arab imperialism, cultural, linguistic, economic, and political].  Contrary to the widespread belief that Islam is a violent religion, when compared with Christianity, Islam has historically been the more tolerant of the two. [utter nonense -- if Ghassan Abdallah thnks, because he deals with the young, the naive, the unwary, the easily impressionable young, that he can get away with this kind of thing, he will soon be disabuswed] It was not the Muslims who started the Crusades; it was Pope Urban the Second who ordered the crusades.  When the crusaders reached the Holy Land, they often engaged in indiscriminate massacres killing Muslims, Christians, and Jews.  In certain instances the crusaders ate their victims.  Cannibalism during the crusades is a historical fact. When Muslims conquered Christian Spain on the other hand, they advocated tolerance and multiculturalism. Jews such as Hasdai ibn Shaprut and Samuel the Nagid for example, became viziers in the Islamic government.  Later the Jews would be expelled from Spain in 1492 not by Muslims but by Prince Ferdinand’s Alhambra Decree.  It was not Muslims who committed the inquisition, it was not Muslims who committed anti-Jewish race riots or pogroms in European cities, and it was not Muslims who committed the Holocaust.[no, but the Jews lived, or rather endured life, as dhimmis, throughout the Muslim world, and when, with the resurrection of their ancient homeland, Israel, they showed they would in that homeland not live as dhimmis though Musilms considered any territory once conquered by Muslims to be forever part of Dar al-Islam, there were anti-Jewish pogroms everywhere in Muslim Arab lands, and Muslims are the chief promoters of, and believers in, antisemitism -- Islamic antisemitism, which has taken on some of the outward characteristics of the European kind but has its roots in Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira]

While terrorism dates back 2000 years to the Sicarri, who were a religious sect active in the Jewish zealots’ struggle in Palestine against the Roman occupation in 66 AD, Islamist terror is a relatively new phenomenon.  In an article titled “Terror, Islam, and Democracy” published by the Journal of Democracy (April 2002), Iranian scholars Roya and Ladan Boroumand assert that there were no acts of Islamist terrorism prior to 1979. The first act of Islamist terror was the taking of U.S. diplomats hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran following the Islamic Revolution in Iran.  Khomeini, who qualifies as the worst calamity to hit the Middle East since Genghis Khan’s grandson Hulagu ransacked the area in the 13th century, was the first Islamic scholar to sanction terror.   Where did Khomeini come from?  Khomeini, the most anti-Western political authority in the history of the Middle East came from the West.  For many in America, Paris is the city of love.  However, for many in the Middle East, Paris is the city that produced Khomeini.  Khomeini returned to Tehran aboard an Air France from Paris, where he had been allowed by the French authorities to export his radicalism to the Middle East via cassette tapes and other methods for years. [this nonsenseical blaming of the West f-- his stay in Paris, presumably -- is par for the course for apologists for Islam. I'll deal with this in a separate posting]. Khomeini’s legacy today is a theocratic militant regime in Iran that is an undisputed state sponsor of international terror, and a regime actively seeking to interfere in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.

As for Islamist groups such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and Hamas, they all emerged in the last few decades. [did they now? A And when was the Muslim Brotherhood formed? And is there a single fabricated quote in the Qur'an, or a single story from the Hadith that is assigned a low rank of "authenticity" by the most authoritative muhadithin, Muslim and Al-Bukhari, tor a single incident from the life of Muhammad, that Bin Laden, or Hamas, or Hezbollah, rely on? No -- it goes the other way, and it is those who like to claim that Islam is "peaceful" and that "jihad" doesn't mean what Muslims in time and space have clearly understood it to mean, who rely on "weak" (i.e., "inauthentic") Hadith to buttress their flimsy claims. Thus does the apologist for Islam Karen Armstrong give us that hadith about Muhammad supposedly returning from one of hiis campaigns against the Infidels to home, and saying he had come from the "Lesser Jihad" to the "Greater Jihad" -- an hadith that is not in the Sahih (Authoritative) collections. Islam since its inception has been based on violence and aggression toward non-Muslims, and it remains thus, with no need for such organizations as Hamas and Hezbollah and Al Qaeda to exist, in ordrer for that attitude not just to be part of Islam, but its very center -- for Islam is based on a clear division of humanity between Muslims, to whom all loyalty is owed by fellow Muslims, and non-Muslims, who must either submit to Muslim demands, or convert, or be killed.']Bin Laden, who is not a Muslim scholar by training, and thus has no authority to issue any religious edicts, will often use a quote or two from the Koran to justify his violence.  However, the bulk of his justification for violence is not religious, and is usually centered on political grievances such as American imperialism and Zionism. [has Ghassan Abdallah actually read Bin Laden? He refers constantly to the canonical texts of Islam, and was scrupulous about providing Islamic justificiation for everything he advocated] Recent al-Qaida attempts to use explosives in underwear, shoes, and mail packages are all signs of desperation and failure, not strength.  The majority of victims of Islamist terror today are Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and not people living in Europe or America.  In the end, no country will ever have perfect security.  That being said, the terror threat could be significantly minimized with proper intelligence gathering and targeted counter-terrorism efforts.  This will require the cooperation and coordination of all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Posted on 04/04/2011 9:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
Rogue policeman shoots dead two US soldiers as Koran riots rage across Afghanistan

From The Telegraph

Two American soldiers have been shot dead by a rogue Afghan police officer, even as thousands of demonstrators turned out for a fourth day of protests against the burning of a Koran by a fundamentalist cleric in Florida.

Abdul Sattar Bariz, the deputy governor of the northern province of Faryab, said the two soldiers were killed at border check post where they were instructing newly recruited Afghan police personnel.

There were, however, conflicting accounts of who the perpetrator might have been.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said it was investigating the shooting, which it said was carried out by "an individual in an Afghan Border Police uniform."

But General Habib Sayedkhel, a senior border police official, said the shots that killed the soldiers were fired from a nearby house.

Posted on 04/04/2011 11:23 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 4 April 2011
Hillary Clinton Should Stop Referencing

At the website of The Washington Post, under his regular rubric of "The Fact Checker," Glenn Kessler offers two statements by Hillary Clinton on Syria which he then dilates upon.

Here is how the article begins:

04/04/2011

Hillary Clinton’s uncredible statement on Syria


((Lefteris Pitarakis/AP))

“There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”

--Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on “Face the Nation,” March 27, 2011

 “I referenced opinions of others. That was not speaking either for myself or for the administration.”

--Clinton, two days later

 

The Washington Post writer, Glenn Kessler, assumes the reader will be appalled, just as he is, by her transparent and disingenuous backtracking.

This non-Washington-Post writer,  having a higher opinion of his readers,  assumes they will appalled more by Hillary Clinton's use of "reference" as a verb. 

For more on this recent barbarism, read here.

Posted on 04/04/2011 12:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
Islamic Republic Of Iran Demands Saudis Leave Bahrain
Iran presses rival Saudi Arabia over Gulf's unrest

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on regional rival Saudi Arabia to pull its troops out of Bahrain, where they are helping a Sunni monarchy put down a Shiite-led protest movement demanding equal rights and a political voice.

Since the wave of Arab unrest hit Bahrain nearly two months ago it has reverberated well beyond the tiny island nation's borders. Its sectarian element — a key difference from other Mideast uprisings — quickly pit Sunni Arab nations on their side of the Gulf against Shiite power Iran.

"The Saudis did an ugly thing to deploy troops ... the Bahraini government also did an ugly work to kill its own people," Ahmadinejad said at a press conference in Tehran.

A day earlier, it was the Gulf Arab nations' turn. Their political bloc, the Gulf Cooperation Council, condemned what it said was an Iranian attempt to aggravate sectarian tension in Bahrain.

The Gulf bloc, at an emergency meeting in the Saudi capital, expressed its deep concern "over the continuing Iranian intervention in the internal matters of GCC countries by conspiring against their national security."

The acrimony goes back well before the outbreak of serious unrest in Bahrain, all the way back to the 1979 revolution that brought Shiite clerical rule to Iran. Since then, Gulf Arab nations have feared Iran was seeking to stir up dissent among pockets of Shiites in their countries and have watched warily as it built up its military and pushed ahead with its nuclear program.

Sunday's GCC meeting also discussed an alleged Iranian spy network in Kuwait.

But it is in Bahrain that the issue has been the most dramatic in recent years. The kingdom's population is mostly Shiite although it has been ruled by a Sunni dynasty for two centuries. For several years, Shiites have protested discrimination and a government policy to naturalize Sunnis from other nations to try to offset the demographic imbalance.

The anger periodically exploded into street clashes in which Shiite youths hurled stones and fire bombs at police.

Then in February, taking inspiration from uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Bahrain's Shiite-dominated political opposition took to the streets in numbers never seen before in the country, occupying a central square. A government crackdown killed at least 27 people, and authorities say they see Iran's influence among the opposition, though there are no apparent direct links.

Unable to immediately contain the unrest, Bahrain's rulers declared a state of emergency and invited in a Saudi-led regional military force to help.

Saudi Arabia has urged Bahrain's rulers not to give ground, fearing that would embolden the Shiite minority clustered in its eastern oil-producing region, which lies just across a causeway from Bahrain.

Ahmadinejad brushed aside the GCC statement.

"We attach no legal value to this statement. It's evident that this statement was made under pressure from the U.S. and its allies," Ahmadinejad said. [ the U.S. counselled the Bahraini government to listen to protesters and was caught by surprise when the Saudi troops entered Bahrain]

Iran insists the Shiite-led opposition protests in Bahrain do not stem from a sectarian dispute but are an uprising against tyranny.

The U.S. has pressed its allies in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, to meet some of the protest movement's demands for reforms. The opposition has appealed to the United States for stronger intervention to stop the crackdown.

Ahmadinejad also attacked the U.S. in his remarks to reporters, saying President Barack Obama's time in office has been disgraceful.

"I promise with certainty that the American administration today is more disgraceful than the previous administration. The U.S. and its plans are doomed to fail," he said.

Posted on 04/04/2011 12:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
A Musical Interlude: Quand Les Beaux Jours Seront Là (Charles Trenet, Johnny Hess)

Listen here.

Posted on 04/04/2011 1:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
Are We Arming Al Qaeda?

From Al Arabiya:

The United States has raised concerns with the Libyan opposition about reports of al Qaeda obtaining weapons in eastern Libya, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Monday.

"We are aware of these reports too and it has been one of the topics of our conversation with ... the opposition forces," Toner told reporters. "We have made very clear our concerns and they have ... pledged that they will look into it."

Oh good, I thought for a second there, we might be doing something really stupid...

Posted on 04/04/2011 3:30 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 4 April 2011
"Pro-Democracy" Demonstrator In Yemen

More Yemeni protesters killed in fresh wave of bloodshed

Yemeni police open fire as tens of thousands mass in Taiz while demonstrators in Hudaida are met with tear gas and bullets. President Ali Abdullah Saleh shows no sign of going quietly amid U.S. and European efforts to broker his exit.

 

Yemeni anti-regime protester

A Yemeni anti-regime protester shouts slogans and flashes the victory sign during a demonstration demanding the ouster of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana'a, Yemen on Monday. (EPA / April 4, 2011)

Posted on 04/04/2011 3:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
In Libya, reporters are allowed to drop some of their faux naïveté

By Aryn Baker for Time:

A Mystery in Tripoli: Blood on the Street?

When gunfire breaks out in Tripoli, it pushes a city on edge into paroxysms of speculation and rumor. The gunfire was heard in the early hours of Thursday, and went on in staccato bursts for a little more than an hour. It took place outside the Rixos Hotel, where the journalists stay, which is just a few minutes' walk to Muammar Gaddafi's Bab al Aziziya compound. Witnesses to the aftermath described "pools of blood" on the streets. "But you won't find anything now," a resident, who cannot be named in order to protect his safety, told me a few hours later. "The fire trucks came to hose it all down." A friend quipped, "They probably used shampoo to make sure they got it all up." Dark humor has become the trademark of Libyans in a town with little reasons to laugh.

[...]

At a press conference that evening, Government Spokesman Moussa Ibrahim swatted away questions about the early morning conflagration. "I always try to advise my friends not to celebrate by shooting in the air," he sighed with mock exasperation. "But it is a genuine Arab tradition. As far as I know there was no fighting in Tripoli last night. People heard good news, so they were shooting in the air." The good news? There had been no airstrikes on the city that night.

I asked the Libyan witness to the post-shooting cleanup what he thought would happen to those rebels he said had been captured by the security forces. "They will disappear of course. And next time there is an airstrike, they [the authorities] will bring out their bodies and say they were civilian casualties." I asked him if he really believed that, or if he was just being cynical. "I believe they will do anything," he replied.

Can you imagine if this skepticism had been applied to the Mohammed Al-Dura case?  Or to any of the daily reports from Hamas and PA/PLO headquarters about the latest claims of Israeli "atrocities"?  I can't.

Posted on 04/04/2011 4:26 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Monday, 4 April 2011
For Infidels Reporting The Truth From Libya, It's All Disquiet On The Eastern Front (In French)

From the Journal du Dimanche:

Mise à jour le 3 Avril 2011

En Libye, les djihadistes montent au front

Les combattants islamistes sont de plus en plus présents aux avant-postes de la rébellion.

Djihadistes en Libye Paru dans leJDD

Le mollah Hanni Terra rend visite aux rebelles qui combattent près de Brega. (Julien Fouchet)

C’est autour de la ville pétrolière de Brega cernée par le désert que le conflit libyen semble s’enliser. Parmi les rebelles fatigués par une semaine de revers face aux forces de Kadhafi, un homme, perché sur une dune, est en alerte. Son visage envahi par une longue barbe noire est tourné vers les positions ennemies. Kalachnikov en bandoulière sur une longue djellaba, il communique des ordres par téléphone satellite.

Les rebelles en treillis font cercle autour de lui et barrent le passage à quiconque veut l’approcher: "Vous ne pouvez pas lui parler. Lui, il ne combat pas pour la Libye. S’il se bat aujourd’hui, c’est pour Allah." Ce combattant est l’un de ceux qui font hésiter l’Amérique à fournir des armes aux rebelles. Al-Qaida, selon la CIA, serait en train d’infiltrer les rangs de la révolution libyenne. Au gouvernement provisoire de la rébellion, la question gêne: "Nous avons vingt-cinq combattants sur le front qui ont été liés à Al-Qaida", admet, du bout des lèvres, Iman Bugaighis, la porte-parole du Conseil national de transition. Cette ancienne dentiste, habillée à l’occidentale, s’empresse d’ajouter: "Mais ils ont fait leur peine de prison, et ils combattent aujourd’hui uniquement pour la libération de la Libye." [telling the Infidels what they want to here]

L’offensive de charme d’Al-Qaida

En août dernier, Kadhafi a libéré trente-sept islamistes libyens des geôles de Tripoli. Parmi eux, des anciens détenus de Guantanamo, dont l’ancien chauffeur d’Oussama Ben Laden, qui seraient tous aujourd’hui sur le front. La plupart viennent de Darna, une ville côtière dans l’est de la Libye. Cette bourgade de 80.000 habitants est celle, de tout le monde musulman, qui aurait fourni le plus de djihadistes en Irak. C’est ce que rapporte une liste de 600 combattants étrangers prise à Al-Qaida par les Américains en 2007: cinquante-deux sont originaires de cette ville libyenne, contre un de moins pour Riyad, la capitale saoudienne et ses 4 millions d’habitants.

A Darna, c’est jour de grande prière aujourd’hui. "Souvenez-vous bien que le Qatar a été le premier pays à venir nous aider", prêche le cheikh Choukri el-Hasy devant plusieurs centaines de fidèles rassemblés sous le drapeau de la révolution. Cet ancien prisonnier dirige la grande mosquée de la ville depuis deux ans. L’édifice abrite un mausolée où reposeraient 70 compagnons du prophète Mahomet. Juste à côté, sont enterrés 17 rebelles tués sur le front. "Ceux qui suivaient le prophète étaient les premiers djihadistes. C’est normal qu’on enterre nos martyrs juste à côté d’eux…"

Quant à l’éventuelle présence d’Al-Qaida sur le front, le cheikh élude la question: "Kadhafi a bien enrôlé des mercenaires tchadiens pour tuer son peuple, donc nous, on peut ramener qui on veut." Cela, Al-Qaida l’a bien compris: le premier jour de la révolution, une vidéo de l’organisation terroriste montrait quatre Jeep chargées d’armes en route pour la Libye. Après les premières frappes de la coalition, Al-Qaida saluait les rebelles tout en critiquant l’intervention étrangère qualifiée de "croisade moderne".

Sur le front, les rebelles attendent des armes

"Avant, je n’aimais pas l’Otan: ils ont envoyé des missiles en Afghanistan. Maintenant, ils nous aident en Libye, c’est différent. [the gratitude of the rebels to NATO is  provisional and fleeting where not completely feigned, and will disappear the minute the rebels no longer need NATO to bomb Qaddafy's forces] Mais s’il y a des problèmes avec eux, s’ils commencent à occuper le pays, alors, on peut se retourner contre eux en un claquement de doigt", prévient Hakim al-Sadi, en partance sur le front pour coordonner les opérations. Son expérience militaire, ce Libyen, marié à trois femmes dont une Afghane, l’a acquise à Khost, en Afghanistan, près de la frontière pakistanaise, au début des années 2000. "Je suis parti me réfugier chez les talibans parce que j’étais pourchassé par Kadhafi, qui n’aime pas les religieux comme moi. Je suis allé m’occuper d’une madrasa", raconte-t-il. Les Américains l’arrêtent au Pakistan en 2002, puis le remettent à Kadhafi qui l’emprisonne avec d’autres islamistes. Hakim al-Sadi, aujourd’hui libre, a remis son habit de djihadiste pour "égorger Kadhafi et construire un État islamique en Libye".

Sur le front, les rebelles attendent des armes et de nouveaux bombardements de l’Otan pour avancer sur Tripoli. Des imams passent dans leurs rangs au volant d’un pick-up équipé d’un haut-parleur pour diffuser des prêches. L’un d’eux s’enfonce dans le désert pour lire le Coran aux combattants terrés dans les dunes. Son message est simple: "Si on remercie Allah, il nous aidera. La victoire viendra de lui uniquement."

Posted on 04/04/2011 7:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
Bernard-Henri Lévy, Philosopher, Writer, And Strategic Thinker Who Reportedly Pushed Sarkozy Into The Libyan Venture

So Happy Together! Sightings of Daphne Guinness and Bernard-Henri Lévy Continue

March 19, 2009
Bernard-Henri Lévy and Daphne Guinness<br /> (James Hamilton)
Bernard-Henri Lévy and Daphne Guinness

Look who Page Six spotted together again: French writer Bernard-Henri Levy and brewery heiress Daphne Guinness—"in her black-and-white-striped mane and 7-inch heels"—dining at Da Silvano with the author Salman Rushdie and his date, the scandal sheet reported on Thursday.

For the past year, gossip columns and society spies have breathlessly reported every public sighting of Ms. Guinness and Mr. Levy in tandem.

The two have been friends for some time. ("You are no longer a person; you are a concept!" he once famously declared to her; a quote that is repeated regularly in profiles of Ms. Guinness.) But, lately, their public outings have become more frequent and their demeanor around each, more intimate.

Ms. Guinness was once married to Spyros Niarchos, son of Greek shipping billionaire Stavros Niarchos, but divorced in 1999. Mr. Levy remains married to French actress Arielle Dombaste, yet the close relationship between him and Ms. Guinness has become something of an open secret—known and acknowledged by all and confirmed by none.

Consider the recent profile of Ms. Guinness in the March 2009 issue of W magazine:

Guinness and Lévy's public appearances here included a lunch in November at the Four Seasons, where Guinness made a spectacular entrance. Clad in a cloud of feathers and fur and sporting huge sunglasses, she walked a lap around the Grill Room before joining the waiting Lévy—also in dark glasses—at his banquette. A diner at a nearby table reported that the two just looked at each other for several minutes before speaking, and never doffed their sunglasses.

Asked about the relationship today, Guinness utters a demure “Gosh,” and sits silent. Her eyes flash a look, however, that seems to say, I can't go there. She later describes herself and Lévy as “close friends.” Lévy declined to comment.

And this item in the New York Daily News from this past November:

Married French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and brewery heiress Daphne Guinness aren't doing much to conceal their closeness. Guinness, looking smashing in a Marchesa number, was holding hands with BHL at the Election Night party hosted by Harvey Weinstein and Georgette Mosbacher. Guinness and Levy's thing is said to have intensified at the end of the summer when his actress wife, Ariel, was off filming in Mexico. "Ariel must know what's going on," says a friend. "But she's not moving out. She lives for him and she's hoping Daphne will finally give up."

Again, Page Six last October: "Daphne Guinness making out with Bernard-Henri Levy by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel."

London's Daily Mail last May noted:

 


Frisky brewing heiress Daphne Guinness, 40,  enjoyed a sojourn in New York recently with party-loving French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, 59, in the absence of his actress wife, Arielle. Now, I learn, the elfin Miss Guinness has met up with Mr Levy in Jerusalem. Indeed, far from the friendship cooling off, friends tell me she has even booked a suite at the swanky Hotel du Cap near Antibes for August, so she can be near Levy s villa there.

And, when the Daily News rang Mr. Levy at his hotel room last May, Ms. Guinness answered the phone!

 

 

"Bernard's not here," she said. Asked whether she and Levy had indeed become lovers, she politely sputtered, "Oh, crikey. This is a bit of a shock. I don't know what to say. I never discuss my private life with anybody. Um, I have no comment."

The thrice-married Levy, 59, did not respond to a detailed message left on his voice-mail.

A friend of his 55-year-old wife said, "This is going to destroy Arielle. She lives for him. Everything she does is for him. If he's doing this, he should have the guts to tell her."

Posted on 04/04/2011 7:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
Article 14B Or, Get Ready For The Water Wars

Nile River Countries Consider Cooperative Framework Agreement

Nile Basin countries mull over the Cooperative Framework Agreement. Proponents see the deal as paving the way for an equitable share of the Nile waters

This is Part 1 of a 5-part series: Sharing the Nile's Waters
Parts 1 / 2 / 3 /4 / 5

The Nile is the world’s longest river, spanning a distance of almost 6,600 kilometers. It is formed from the White Nile, which originates in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, and the Blue Nile, which begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The two rivers meet in Sudan and travel northwards, flowing through Egypt until finally emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

Water use issues have long been a source of contention among the Nile Basin countries, who disagree on what is an equitable distribution of the river’s waters. For decades the answer to that question has been determined by a recently negotiated agreement that could alter the historic water-sharing arrangements for the Nile.

 

The Niles water are vital for farming, livestock and human consumption.

Entitled the Cooperative Framework Agreement, it was recently signed by Burundi, which joins other countries -- Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda – that are seeking what they consider a more equitable share of the river’s waters. Egypt, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are still mulling over the framework’s provisions.

Framework

The agreement marks the culmination of years of negotiations among the Nile Basin countries. The process was launched by the seven upstream countries, which see old treaties favoring Egypt and Sudan as an unfair vestige of colonialism.

Egypt has long refused to re-negotiate the colonial-era treaties if it means cutting its share of water. But the former minister of water resources and irrigation, Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, sees the framework agreement as a positive beginning.

“During the last ten years, we have been working on a framework and everybody agreed to more than 95 percent of the articles,” he says. “We believe having six countries sign the framework opens the door for working on cooperative programs and projects along the Nile.”

Egypt’s stance

Burundi’s signing came amidst a major political transition in Egypt following the departure of long-time president Hosni Mubarak. Abu Zeid says just like previous governments, Egypt’s interim military rulers take the issue of the Nile waters very seriously.

“When the government met for the first time, he says, “They put on their agenda as the first item the Nile water. They have indicated the Nile water issue is a priority issue, a national security issue.”

The former Egyptian minister says what worries his country most are efforts by some to scrap the “No Harm” provision of the old treaties – a provision requiring that upstream uses of the Nile waters not interfere with the current uses and rights of the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan. He says if these principles are honored, the framework under consideration will be acceptable to all the Nile Basin countries.

 

Map of Nile RiverThe Nile River runs through many countries

So does the framework agreement address the concerns of all the Nile Basin countries? “To a large extent,” says Henriette Ndombe, former executive director of the Entebbe-based Nile Basin Initiative.

“Without Nile, Egypt is a desert. Other countries also need water. All the countries need water. This all has been taken into account in this cooperative framework agreement – except Article 14b,” she explains.

Article 14b

The contentious Article 14b of the framework agreement refers to water sharing, and Egypt and Sudan have rejected all efforts to drop it in the new agreement. Egypt says even with the favorable provisions in existing agreements, the Nile alone will not be able to meet the country’s water needs after 2017. The government has previously threatened military action against upstream nations if they construct projects that slow the flow of water to Egypt.

Ndombe says war is not the answer for resolving the outstanding issues.

“The seven countries don’t want to fight Egypt because of water. And there is no need for Egypt to fight other countries because of water. They cannot fight against seven countries. Better for them is cooperation. That is, join the six countries which have signed the cooperative framework agreement,” she says.

Old Treaties

A 1959 treaty between Egypt and Sudan apportioned nearly 90 percent of this resource to the two downstream countries -- 55.5 billion cubic meters to Egypt, and 18.5 billion cubic meters to Sudan. The treaty did not include the upstream countries, including Ethiopia, which contributes 85 percent of the river’s water. Egypt has veto power based on a provision carried over from an agreement it signed with Britain in 1929. [but why should Uganda, Ethiopia, and other black African states have their peoples starve because of a classic "colonial" agreement, in which Great Britain favored Egypt and the Sudan?]

Agreement

The framework agreement includes the creation of a permanent commission that will manage the Nile waters and guarantee an equitable allocation of its resources. The deadline for signing the agreement is May of this year. Once the signing process is completed, the accord goes before the legislatures of the countries for ratification.

Former Egyptian water resources minister Mahmoud Abu-Zeid says a practical approach to addressing the concerns of upstream countries will be to develop under-utilized parts of the Nile Basin to help generate additional sources of water. Analysts warn if the controversy over use of the river is not handled carefully, it could generate conflict in the not-too-distant future. [not-too-distant at all -- will the West stand by Black Africa, or as it has until nowit has so frequently done, take the Muslim Arab side or at least do nothing to stop Muslim and Arab aggression in Black Africa?]

Posted on 04/04/2011 9:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 April 2011
As in Rosengard and Malmo and the banlieues, so in western Sydney: Muslim attacks ambulance worker

From Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph'.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/ali-mobayad-accused-of-assaulting-ambo-as-she-treated-car-crash-victim/story-e6freuzi-1226031629895

'Ali Mobayad accused of assaulting ambo as she treated car crash victim'

'A paramedic was threatened and assaulted as she tried to treat a crash patient, a court heard yesterday.

'Police allege Ali Mobayad, 30, was involved in a verbal altercation with paramedic Karen Matthews outside Berala Public School as she was treating a patient who was injured in a car accident.

Note. Berala is within the jurisdiction of the Auburn Council and the state district of Auburn; the suburb of Auburn, 40 % Muslim, is right next door. - CM.

'Documents tendered to Burwood Local Court yesterday revealed that the Auburn man (oho, so Ali Mobayad is a Muslim from Auburn, from the same suburb where Muslims are harassing the Sri Mandir temple - CM) double parked in a school zone - the only charge he pleaded guilty to - before allegedly getting out of his car and pounding on the Rapid Response vehicle's driver-side window and "threatening" the 37-year-old paramedic.

'It is alleged Mobayad then began yelling and swearing at the ambulance officer before assaulting her just after 3 pm on March 7.

Just after 3 pm on Monday March 7.  In a school zone and in broad daylight. There ought to be plenty of witnesses, as at that hour the place would be full of parents picking up their kids. - CM.

'Court documents stated the alleged offences "caused a real fear of actual physical violence" and prevented Ms Matthews from "executing her duties as a paramedic".

I wonder what happened to the person she was trying to assist? - CM.

'The court heard the accused left the scene, but was arrested [on Yarram Road, Lidcombe] shortly after 4.30 pm.

'He was charged with negligent driving, menacing driving, common assault, and hindering an ambulance officer by act of violence - all of which he has denied and pleaded not guilty to, yesterday.

Predictably.  But as I said, I wonder how many witnesses there were? One hopes there were enough non-Muslim witnesses to what happened, that the court will be able to hang him out to dry. - CM.

'Outside court, Mobayad became irate after he spotted The Daily Telegraph waiting with cameras.

"You see this face - if you use that image you will never see the end of this," he said. "I don't care what happens to me, I'll kill you if you use that photo ...you f...ing idiot".

The Daily Telegraph, however, undeterred, went right ahead and took the photo and published it; if you click on the link you will see a damning portrait of Mr Muslim Rage Boy of Auburn. - CM

'The man will return to court on May 5'.

 

Posted on 04/04/2011 9:22 PM by Christina McIntosh

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