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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 Thursday, 5, 2011.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Big Drum Lives In Brooklyn!

John Szwed, author of the recent biography of the late Alan Lomax, subtitled his book “The Man Who Recorded the World.” During his lifetime, Alan recorded thousands of hours of traditional music in the American South, the Caribbean, and Europe, while at the same time copying, archiving, publishing, and presenting on vinyl, radio, and paper collections of folk music from around the world. His work triggered the ’60s folk music revival in North America, the British Isles, and Western Europe. Alan discovered and facilitated the careers of Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Muddy Waters, and was an early friend and musical mentor of Bob Dylan. Among the songs that he first discovered and recorded living in oral tradition are “House of the Rising Sun” and “Sloop John B.”

Caddy Lazarus John with boula drum, Bellvue, Carriacou, 1962.
Photo by Alan Lomax, courtesy of the Alan Lomax Archive.

In 1962 Alan conducted an extensive survey of the traditional music of the Caribbean. These largely acoustic and still-unelectrified traditions of music included a repertoire of song and dance unique to the small island off Grenada called Carriacou. There, the descendants of emancipated slaves originally brought from West Africa have maintained music, songs, and dances that are direct extensions of the tribal music of West and Central Africa. These include the tribal names of the nations who perform them, such as Hausa and Ibo. Big Drum is a remarkable repertoire of over 200 of these pieces that still lives on in oral tradition. Big Drum ceremonies are triggered by dreams sent by ancestors demanding sacrifice, libations, dancing, drumming, and singing. Writers Lorna McDaniel and Donald Hill tell us:

A typical Big Drum song is “put” to the lead singer in a throaty, “outdoor” vocal style reminiscent of ancient distant practices. At the song’s repetition the chorus joins the lead singer on the responses. The two boulas—drums made from rum barrels that play slightly lower pitches than the cut drum—then take up the song’s special Nation rhythm. Finally the cut drum—also made from a rum barrel—enters with its improvisation. A hoe blade hit with a piece of steel beckons the Old Parents (the ancestors). Nation dances have distinct rhythmic patterns associated with each ethnic group.

I have come to the island of Carriacou to visit master drummer Winston Fleary. He has spent the last 30 years working in both Carriacou and Brooklyn, where he established the Big Drum Nation Dance Company, which has performed widely in the Greater New York area. Winston tells me, “In the late 1960s I had left Carriacou and was living and working in Brooklyn. At the time I was a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which frowns on the old music and dancing. My aunt had been a dancer and singer in Big Drum and had recently passed away. In 1968 she came to me in a dream. She told me, ‘You must take up the drum and play.’ I dug out one of the old drums and put it in my apartment in the hope that I would have no more such dreams. But then a few years later I was at a friend’s house. He played me some ethnomusicological recordings made in Carriacou and I heard my aunt singing. I was transfixed and knew what I had to do for the rest of my life. I soon returned to Carriacou to learn to perform the art of the Big Drum from the old living masters. Since that day I have never stopped playing. Later on in New York I met and befriended Alan, who supported every aspect of my career.”

Winston and I are slowly walking up the steep hills of Carriacou to the farm and homestead of David Gibbs Francois, one of his drummers. I hand him a CD from the Lomax archive. He puts it on his player and he is stunned as he listens to the Big Drum recordings of Sugar Adams made by Alan in 1962. “Those men could sure lash those drums,” he proclaims with a beaming smile. Soon after, he and Winston and the other men play the three drums (jokingly referred to as Mama, Papa, and Baby) and sing some of the old songs. I cannot hear any difference between what they play and the recordings from 1962. It is clear that despite the lack of any formal institutional support, this tradition is still alive.

David tells me, “When the Big Drum is played for our own satisfaction it takes a whole evening. There is beer and Jack Iron rum to be drunk, animals slaughtered and barbecued. The dancers and musicians speak to each other through drumming and song. They move and we play. We play and they move. It is a conversation. There is a lot of variation.”

More than two decades ago the late Alan Lomax established an institution called the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE) to continue his work for the preservation and dissemination of traditional music around the world. As a performer, folk music collector, and ethnomusicologist, Alan’s work has provided models for my own work in those fields. In 2005 I became a part-time consultant for ACE, and this year I joined the organization as Director of Research and Development. ACE has published over 100 CDs from the Alan Lomax Archive with Rounder Records, and because of the importance of the Big Drum repertoire to the history of Caribbean and Afro-American music, three of them are dedicated to the music of Carriacou. (See for example This May we will sponsor four lecture demonstrations by Winston Fleary on the Big Drum repertoire in the Greater New York area. We are also planning a documentary film on the Big Drum phenomenon, to be narrated by Winston.

Winston estimates that it would take a week to 10 days to record and videotape all the major variations of the Big Drum repertoire in its natural context, performed outside in the evenings and not as a piece of stage-based folkloric recreation to please an international audience, which is what he has done successfully in New York. As the late afternoon turns into evening, he says, “Once all this material is properly recorded and documented there will be enough for the younger musicians to keep the fire burning. We must save this music for the next generation. Then perhaps I will go back to farming and livestock-management on a full-time basis. As there is still so much work to do, I intend to avoid joining the ancestors for some time.” 

Originally published in the Brooklyn Rail.

Posted on 05/05/2011 5:50 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Man sentenced to life for killing 5 family members

From The Chicago Tribune

A man who was angry that his family would not go along with his conversion to Islam was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday in the slayings of his mother, pregnant wife, infant son and two nieces in a rampage last year on the South Side.

James A. Larry, 33, of Madison, Wis., pleaded guilty last month to multiple counts of murder, attempted murder and the intentional homicide of an unborn child. . .  He had converted to Islam while serving a prison sentence in Wisconsin for a weapons conviction.

"He was upset at his wife and their family — he felt disrespected that they would not join his religion," Assistant State's Attorney Jim McKay said. "It didn't matter if they were young or old, pregnant or not. He wanted them dead."

Larry first shot his mother, Leona Larry, 57, as she slept on a sofa in the living room. He then went systematically through three first-floor bedrooms, fatally shooting his wife, Twanda Thompson, 19; his 7-month-old son, Jihad; his 3-year-old niece, Keleasha Larry; and his 16-year-old niece, Keyshai Fields, who was pregnant. So was his wife also pregnant?

Larry also shot his 13-year-old nephew, Demond Larry, in the face, but the boy survived. The defendant then kicked in the bedroom door of a man who lived in the basement of the home and tried to shoot him, but no bullets fired, prosecutors said.

After Larry's 12-year-old niece awoke to the gunfire and saw her bloodied relatives, she ran out of the house. Larry chased her down the street and fired but missed.

When Larry was arrested a short time later, he said to police that Allah told him to kill his family

Judge James Linn remarked in court that, based on the accounts of the defendant's erratic behavior, he expected to see some evidence of underlying psychiatric issues. But in the end, he said, "there were none."

Where islam is concerned, there rarely are.

Posted on 05/05/2011 5:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 5 May 2011
The Hon. Geert Wilders’ �A Warning to America� Tour

The Hon. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party and “kingmaker” in the Hague Parliament, will arrive in North America next week for several events in Canada and the US sponsored by the International Free Press Society-Canada and USA.

Baron Bodissey at the Gates of Vienna has the overall schedule:

The current series of IFPS-CA events is scheduled around topical issues primarily focused on freedom of speech and multiculturalism, and featuring key personnel from around the world. The itinerary:

·         London, Ontario on Sunday May 8, 2011

·         Toronto, Ontario on Monday May 9, 2011

·         Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday May 10, 2011

·         Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday May 12, 2011

He will speak in Ottawa on May 10th at an IFPS-Canada Event with Canadian Free speech advocate Ezra Levant. See this post by our Canadian colleagues at the VladTepesblog:

Wilders' event in Canada comes on the cusp of a momentous Conservative victory in the snap election of May 2nd giving the Conservative Party a clear majority in the Ottawa parliament. The government of Conservative PM Stephen Harper, unafraid of being a friend of Israel in these troubled times, has won more than 167 seats in the new Parliament of 307 seats, with the politically correct multiculturalist Liberal Party relegated to third position in the tallies with less than 34 seats, while the socialist New Democratic Party has vaulted to second position with 102 seats vanquishing the Bloc Quebecois. We trust that Canada’s Jews, unlike their American co-religionists followed through on indications –see our post here - that they would overwhelming turn out to vote for PM Harper and the Conservatives.

Wilders has a major public appearance in Nashville on May 12th at the Cornerstone Church in Madison. Read these Iconoclast posts, here, and here,  announcing the Wilders' events in Nashville organized by the Tennessee Freedom Coalition.

His appearance in Nashville is timely as the State legislature is deliberating over final clearances for the Material Support Act (MSA) - a state initiative directed at combating terrorism in the Volunteer State – originally crafted as an assault against Sharia. We noted in our post about the recent Tennessee House and Senate Judiciary Committee positive votes on MSA despite the mob of over 2,000 Muslims protesting the measure as being “racist” and anti-Muslim. Observers at the scene talked of encountering “hollow eyed” Somali Muslim women, replete in Sharia compliant attire sans veils, some of whom accosted people screaming “Christian racist bigots” equipped with stickers that said “We Vote in Tennessee”.   

Tennessee has been the scene of roiling controversies exemplified by the public hearings over the Islamic Center of Murfereesboro expansion and the appointment of a nationally prominent Salafist and proponent of Jihad, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi  as a Resident Scholar at Rhodes College in Memphis.

Those of you in Tennessee and surrounding states who are interested should make arrangements to attend the major public event on Thursday, May 12th at the Cornerstone Church in Madison. Besides Wilders, Sam Solomon, prominent apostate from Islam, whom we have interviewed about Mosques and reviewed his writings on implacable Muslim Jew hatred in the Qur’an, will also appear at Cornerstone Church event with Wilders, as will Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam.

It is fitting that the Volunteer State should welcome this courageous advocate for Western values of liberty, freedom, free speech, who dares to criticize politically correct multiculturalism, moral relativism and the encroaching threat of Islamization. Wilders is the Churchill of our times, but with a difference. He has been put on trial in The Netherlands for criticizing Islam that is protected speech under our First Amendment. European Free Speech advocates Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria and Lars Hedegaard, the Danish and International Free Press Society leader, have been convicted for alleged hate speech crimes over their comments about Islam. That could happen here in America, if we don't rally to protect our precious First Amendment Constitutional rights. That is why it is important for concerned citizens in Tennessee and across America to come to Nashville and heed what Wilders says in his “Warning to America.”

Posted on 05/05/2011 4:53 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 5 May 2011
The USDOJ Intervenes in Murfreesboro with “Sensitivity’ Training for alleged

A tip of the chapeau to Sue Redmond of PARC for bringing this to our attention.

The heavy hand of Attorney General Eric Holder is apparent in so-called ‘sensitivity training” for teachers in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee School District. All because of alleged complaints of bullying of Muslim students brought by the leadership of the controversial Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) in furtherance of their thinly disguised campaign to paint the Middle Tennessee community as ‘racist and bigoted.’ 

Watch this Channel 4 Nashville WSMV report and note the allegations by ICM and Islamic Center of Nashville leaders that prompted the USDOJ intervention. 

Islamic Center of Murfreesboro member Saleh Sbenaty said two of his three children have been victims of bullying in school.

"My son, you know, one time was called a terrorist, and my daughter was also called a communist," Sbenaty said.

There are 300-350 Muslim students attending Murfreesboro city schools and Rutherford County schools, but only a handful have reported being bullied.

"We are estimating about 15 cases," said Sbenaty.

Murfreesboro City Schools Director Linda Gilbert said bullying of Muslim students is not a big problem.

"No, we are really taking this as a proactive stance, so we are using it for prevention and really to gain knowledge," said Gilbert.

That's one of the reasons the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. attorney's office held a sensitivity training workshop. The controversy and backlash surrounding a proposed mosque is another reason.

"Our children ... are the innocent, are victims of attacks both verbal and physical," said Lobna Ismail of Connecting Cultures.

The cultural awareness training was developed by Connecting Cultures and the Unity Productions Foundation. Teachers, principals, community leaders and police learned about stereotypes of American Muslims.

"It's miscommunication or misunderstanding of another culture," said Hanan Kuzit of the Islamic Center of Nashville.

Islamic center leaders said there was not a big problem with bullying two years ago. It wasn't until they decided to build a new mosque that the isolated cases started to happen, they said.

"We thank both the school systems because they are doing such a good job," Sbenaty said. "We feel these are isolated incidents, but bullying and harassment in schools are unacceptable at any level."

Go to to find out more about understanding Muslim diversity, policy and security implications.

To us it looks like contrived hysteria to keep the pot boiling on media attention. Meanwhile, the ICM site remains devoid of any construction; given the site has completed preparation. Moreover, as we have posted, the suit brought against Rutherford County has been bolstered by addition of 14 new plaintiffs, neighbors at the ICM project, who object to invasion of their First Amendment Rights because of monitoring devices placed on the job site.

This is not the first time that the USDOJ has intervened in support of the ICM. See our NER article on the filing of an amicus brief during the controversial Murfreesboro Chancery Court Hearings on the approvals of the ICM by the Rutherford County Planning Commission last September and the still unresolved arson of construction equipment at the ICM construction site on Bradyville Pike involving the FBI and bureau of alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the US Treasury.   

 Not lost on us is all of this hysteria by local Muslims follows the Soledad O’Brien CNN documentary: “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” in March, 2011 that we criticized for being “biased and too sympathetic.”

Now we know as reflected in this latest incident involving ‘sensitivity training’ that when Muslims complain, the USDOJ under AG Holder immediately jumps in without much prompting.  We’d call this obsessive political correctness and worse: official enforcement of dhimmitude in America by our government.

Posted on 05/05/2011 6:07 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 5 May 2011
David Brooks Produces His Potted Psycho-Biography Of Bin Laden

From The New York Times:

Bin Laden's odd history drove unorthodox leader


May 3, 2011


Osama bin Laden's mother was about 15 at the time of his birth. Nicknamed "The Slave" inside the family, she was soon discarded and sent off to be married to a middle manager in the bin Laden construction firm.

Osama revered the father he rarely got to see and adored his mother. As a teenager, he "would lie at her feet and caress her," a family friend told Steve Coll, for his definitive biography The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century.

Like many people who go on to alter history, for good and evil,[what an amazing tossed-off phrase -- how can he allow himself this sort of thing?] bin Laden lost his father when he was about 9. The family patriarch was killed in a plane crash caused by an American pilot in the Saudi province of Asir. (Five of the Sept. 11 hijackers would come from that province. His brother was later killed in a plane crash on American soil.)

Osama was an extremely shy child, Coll writes. He was an outsider in his new family but also the golden goose. His allowance and inheritance was the source of his family's wealth.

He lived a suburban existence and was sent to an elite school, wearing a blue blazer and being taught by European teachers. He was a mediocre student but religiously devout. He made it to university, but didn't last long. He married his first cousin when she was 14 and went into the family business.

I repeat these personal facts because we have a tendency to see history as driven by deep historical forces. And sometimes it is. But sometimes it is driven by completely inexplicable individuals, who combine qualities you would think could never go together, who lead in ways that violate every rule of leadership, who are able to perpetrate enormous evils even though they themselves seem completely pathetic. Analysts spend their lives trying to anticipate future threats. But nobody could have possibly anticipated bin Laden's life and the giant effect it would have. The whole episode makes you despair about making predictions.

As a family man, bin Laden was interested in sex, cars and work but was otherwise devout. He did permit photography in his presence. He banned Sesame Street, Tabasco sauce and straws from his home. He covered his eyes if an unveiled woman entered the room.

According to Coll, this sort of devoutness, while not everybody's cup of tea, was utterly orthodox in his society. He was not a rebel as a young man.

After the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, he organized jihadi tourism: helping young, idealistic ["idealistic" for what? what wasw their ideal? Jihad. What is Jihad? It is the struggle to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam] Arab fighters who wanted to spend some time fighting the invaders. He was not a fighter himself, more of a courier and organizer, though after he survived one Soviet bombardment, he began to fashion a self-glorifying mythology.

He was still painfully shy but returned with an enormous sense of entitlement. In 1990, he wanted to run the Saudi response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He also thought he should run the family business. After he was shot down for both roles, the radicalism grew.

We think of terrorism leaders as hard and intimidating. Bin Laden was gentle and soft, with a flaccid handshake. Yet his soldiers have told researchers such as Peter Bergen, the author of The Longest War, that meeting him was a deeply spiritual experience.

We think of terrorists as trying to build cells and organizations, but bin Laden created an anti-organization — an open-source set of networks with some top-down control but much decentralization and a willingness to embrace all recruits, regardless of race, sect or nationality.

We think of war fighters as using violence to seize property and power, but bin Laden seemed to regard murder as a subdivision of brand management. It was a way to inspire the fundraising networks, dominate the news and manipulate meaning.

In short, Osama bin Laden seemed to live in an ethereal, postmodern world of symbols and signifiers and also a cruel murderous world of rage and humiliation. Even the most brilliant intelligence analyst could not anticipate such an odd premodern and postglobalized creature, or could imagine that such a creature would gain such power. [really? with those who possess well-stocked minds, it's not hard at all]

I just wish there were a democratic bin Laden, that amid all the Arab hunger for dignity and freedom [what is this business that we keep hearing about "the Arab hunger for dignity and freedom"? The "dignity" of what -- the frenzied mob in Tahrir Square that attacked Ms. Logan as a white woman, an Infidel, and most mob-maddening of all, rumored to be "a Jew and an Israeli" which last really set the pack of wild dogs howling with hate and lust? The "dignity" of the 26,000 Tunisians who immediately left Tunisia with its "Arab Spring" to demand entry into Italy, into France, into all of Schengenland? The "dignity" of the rebels in Libya who held up charred remains of Qaddafy's soldiers for crowds to crow about in Misurata? The "dignity" of rebels who keep demanding that the West do this, and the West do that for them, and whine if a single thing goes wrong?  The "dignity" of the well-armed and ferocious tribesmen, each more menacing than the next, who jostle for power in Yemen? And what does Brooks not know that the word "freedom" in the world of Islam, the world of Arab Islam? The ideal is that of mental slavery, to be "slave of Allah." What enraged people in this "Arab spring" is, rather, corruption at the top -- the vast sums pocketed by Ben Ali, the amounts taken by Mubarak and the rest of his courtiers, military and civilian, battening on the American aid they divert to their own pockets, the similar American aid that Saleh and his immediate relatives help themselves to in Yemen. The concept of "freedom" as understood by the advanced West, is alien to, hostile to,  Islam and thus to those whose world is circumscribed or suffused by, Islam?]  there was another inexplicable person with the ability to frame narratives and propel action — for good, not evil.

So far, there doesn't seem to be, which is tragic because individuals matter.



Posted on 05/05/2011 6:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 May 2011
How David Brooks, In Overlooking Islam, Misses The Point About Bin Laden

David Brooks is the blandly earnest, uncomplicated, sweet-faced, not-an-idiot-like-and-thus-greatly-superior-to-Friedman-and-Kristof, always-safely-within-the-acceptable limits-of-received-wisdom columnist for The New York Times. The other day Brooks faisait son petit Erikson -- that is Erik Erikson, the Harvard psycho-biographer of Gandhi and Luther, by reproducing all the well-known facts of Bin Laden's childhood and youth: His early loss of a father (but a father with 57 children, so just how much time did that father have for him?), his early-ripe piety, his Syrian mother fobbed off on someone else -- Brooks fails to note that Bin Laden's Syrian mother might have been regarded by her Yemeni husband and others in the family as not even a pure Arab and full-fledged It's a banal effort, though not infuriating the way Friedman and Kristof, with their metastasizing stupidity -- they are stupid, and the cause of stupidity in other men -- are infuriating, merely breakfast-annoying.

But whatever one thinks of the pscho-biogrpahy of Bin Laden,or of a few hundred million others, it turns out to be largely unhelpful for it misses the point. And the point is this. Bin Laden felt the way he did, acted as he did, because he was a devotee, a slave, of Islam. That is what caused him to order his women and children the way he did, caused him not to do this and to do that. Brooks has had ten years to study up on Islam, to learn – especially from the testimonies provided by the articulate and very intelligent apostates such as Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, Afshin Elian, and many others – what the effect is of Islam, of Qur’an and Sunnah, on the minds of its adherents. What are the texts? What are the tenets? What attitudes are naturally exhibited by those who take Islam to heart? What are the atmospherics in Muslim states and societies that so deeply affect even those who do not regard themselves as deep believers, who in fact may silently ignore or reject a great deal of Islam but, even unawares, have accepted so much of the Muslim world-view (as, for example, in the immediate defensive fury at non-Musllims who tell the home truths about Islam that those semi-disaffected Muslims have no trouble telling themselves, but can’t stand it when non-Muslims see, and express, the same things, or that deep and abiding hatred of Israel, which even those brought up within Islam who now reject so much of it, can continue to dislike, cannot bring themselves to learn about, to reject the Arab Muslim narrative that tosses out Jewish history and teaches contempt for the Jews and a narrative about “Palestinians” that does not withstand informed critical scrutiny for one minute ).

What David Brooks does not understand is that the world is full of people who have had lives unlike his presumably untroubled existence, but non-Muslims do not have a mental grid that causes them to view  the universe, and have at the ready some subset of humanity to blame for their woes. But Islam is that grid, and for Muslims, anything in the world that goes wrong for the only people who count, Muslims, can be blamed on the only people to blame, the non-Muslims. In failing to have studied Islam, and its effect on the minds of its adherents, Brooks fails to understand why the psycho-biography of Bin Laden does not matter. What matters is how he saw the universe, and whom he regarded as blameworthy for the woes of Muslims. Not Islam itself. No, that would never do. But the non-Muslims, who in opposing the spread and dominance of Islam, in presenting obstacles to that natural and desirable dominance of Islam here, and there, and everywhere, deserved to be opposed, deserved to die.

Rather than repeat old phrases, I’ll simply re-post below something I wrote about Zakarias Moussaoui in May 2007, with a few paragraphs emboldened:  

The list of mitigating circumstances that apparently resulted in Moussaoui receiving a life sentence instead of the death penalty reads like a parody of everything that is most sentimental and silly in modern psychiatry (Karl Kraus: "Psychiatry is the disease for which it is supposed to be the cure").

What the prosecution should have done, but apparently felt it could not do, or possibly simply did not ever even think of doing, was to preempt both the "insanity" and the "on account of he's deprived" excuses, and set out clearly why Moussaoui did what he did with clear and uninhibited discussion of that book he was clutching -- the Qur'an -- and with the Qur'an, the Hadith. And with the Hadith, the figure of Muhammad, uswa hasana and al-insan al-kamil.

Did the psychiatrist Dr. Vogelsang (one more Upper-West-Side name out of Lillian Ross's comical period-piece "Vertical and Horizontal") give any sign of having studied the belief-system of Islam, without which no conceivable judgment can be made about the sanity, or lack of it, of a devout Muslim such as Moussaoui?

Why didn’t the Prosecution rebut the argument of the defense lawyer that Moussaoui is "crazy" because of his wretched childhood, etc. by pointing out that a large number of other people -- such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawihiri and Mohammed Atta -- were children of great privilege in the case of the first two, and middle-class in the case of the third, and that furthermore studies of terrorists had found them to be far above average, in their societies, in the amount of education they had received, and in the degree of their economic wellbeing?

Lay it all out. Explain that yes, Moussaoui, like a few billion other people, may have had a "deprived" childhood. Yes, he was quick to sense any slight, and yes, he was quick to resent his treatment at the hands of Infidels, because, as a Muslim (one who grew to be more and more faithful and observant) he knew that Muslims should be on top -- not equal, but on top. Infidels lording it over him, or other Muslims, in France, were contra naturam, against the natural and just and right order of things, islamically speaking. The prosecutors should have explained that Moussaoui viewed the world through the prism of Islam, and the texts he read, the society he inhabited (both real, and virtual), taught him to blame, always and everywhere, Infidels.

Eventually this is going to have to be done. Eventually this is going to be unavoidable, if the United States and other Infidel countries are going to continue to use the criminal justice system as it is, and to continue to rely on untrained and inexpert juries who are the products of their age -- with all its sentimentality about mitigating circumstances because, you see, the blame for your behavior can always, always, be found in some part of your background, so that blame can be passed onto one's upbringing, say.

But this misses the point. There are always people who have had unhappy childhoods, unhappy adolescences, unhappy adulthoods. As noted many times before, we who are Infidels may lose status, a job, a spouse, a girlfriend or boyfriend, or suffer setbacks or perceived slights. Did not Moussaoui think he was entitled to more than he received? Yet his inshallah-fatalism prevented him from simply working hard and doing what he could to overcome, as his brother did, that same background. Why? The answer is that he took Islam far more seriously, was far more of a deep believer, than his brother.

Infidels have a thousand things to blame. They can blame their parents -- just as many on that Infidel jury wanted to blame, for Moussaoui, his treatment by his parents. They can blame their aggressive or unpleasant siblings, their ungrateful children, the System, Racism, The Man, Amerikkka, Kapitalism, Fate, the stars, their cholesterol level, their serotonin level, anything and everything at all -- even, just perhaps, themselves. But Muslim Believers have one thing to blame always at the ready. And to the extent that one takes that belief-system seriously, it is likely that one will, viewing the universe through the grid, the prism, of Islam, blame the Infidel. And that is exactly what Moussaoui did.

Unless this is going to be understood by the usual "experts" -- including those complacent psychiatrists who appear not to have thought it necessary for them to study the doctrines of Islam and what might follow and has naturally followed from them (starting with the perceived behavior of Muslims conducting Jihad over 1350 years, wherever they were able to conduct it because of local conditions or circumstances) -- then there will be more miscarriages, with justice stillborn, the result of those thanatotropic bromides and thalidomides, sentimentality and ignorance.

And what do we conclude? We have two possible conclusions:

1) Moussaoui was and is simply following the tenets of Islam faithfully, and putting into practice the requirement that at least some Muslims must engage in Jihad (in order that others may, temporarily, be relieved of the duty).


2) Moussaoui became depressed, as so many of us do, all over the Infidel world as well, but in the case of Muslims, the problem is that that depression, or any kind of emotional setback, can lead to blaming the Infidel. Viewing the universe through the prism of Islam makes one almost automatically ready to blame that Infidel, and to seek revenge.

Those are the two possible explanations.

And either one has immense implications for the Muslim presence all over Europe and North America. For the sake of the legal and social order and the physical wellbeing of the resident Infidels who created those societies and have no desire to see them islamized, these implications need to be faced.

Posted on 05/05/2011 7:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Barry Rubin On Egypt's Religious Establishment, Free At Last

Progress? Now Even Egypt’s Religious Establishment Hates America

May 4, 2011 

By Barry Rubin

This is the kind of serious development that everyone better pay close attention to if they want to understand what’s going on in the Middle East and how the West doesn’t get it.

The Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, gave an interview to al-Jazira. Al-Azhar is the most important religious center in the Sunni Muslim world. Up until now, its leadership has been controlled by the Egyptian government, which meant the government of President Husni Mubarak until earlier this year.

That regime was a dictatorship. It appointed the head of al-Azhar and the mufti of Egypt. It controlled mosque sermons and which preachers went on television. Consequently, it limited their extremism and, knowing their careers were at stake, the clerics complied. They weren’t real moderates but, for example, wouldn’t think of passionately attacking the United States or calling for the abrogation of the peace treaty with Israel.

Now everything is different. The people are the same as those who radicals once derided as Mubarak’s “parrots,” but to survive they must please different masters. The Muslim Brotherhood has publicly announced that it would seek to replace those deemed to be too pro-Mubarak among clerics and especially in al-Azhar. In future, it proposes that the top clerics be appointed by parliament, where they expect to have a very large number of seats.

So instead of pleasing Mubarak, people like Tayyeb have to please the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, the leadership of al-Azhar just held their first official meeting ever with the Brotherhood in order to make some kind of deal.

Therefore, while it is shocking it isn’t surprising that Tayyeb now sounds like a radical jihadist. Responding to Usama bin Laden’s death, he made the following points:

–The killing of bin Laden by the Americans was an act of “piracy.”

–His burial at sea (supposedly done to please Muslims) was against Islamic law and is a “moral crime,” the “mutilation of a corpse.”

–The main cause of terrorism is Israel’s existence and actions.

–The other big cause of terrorism is that Western countries seek to dominate the Arab world.

Key forces in Egypt no longer consider America as an ally or bin Ladin as an enemy. That’s what the change in Egyptian politics has brought.

Now, consider in contrast a relatively moderate—on such international issues—countries that are still dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A leading Saudi cleric praised the killing of bin Ladin on al-Arabiya, the television network controlled by the United Arab Emirates. The Saudis know that revolutionary Islamism threatens their wealth, power, and lives.

Al-Jazira, praised by American leaders and journalists, hates America. Al-Arabiya, which is ignored by them, is friendlier. What next? The U.S. government calls for the overthrow of al-Arabiya and its replacement by al-Jazira?

Posted on 05/05/2011 8:14 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 May 2011
A Musical Interlude: Where The Blue Of The Night Meets The Gold Of The Day (Russ Columbo)

Listen here.

Posted on 05/05/2011 8:18 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Sewer Thing

by Theodore Dalrymple (May 2011)

There has been so much written about the death of Osama Bin Laden that I do not think that I can usefully add anything to it. But I was very much taken by an article the day afterwards that appeared in the Guardian, the preferred newspaper of the British intelligentsia, by a columnist called Aditya Chakrabortty.  more>>>

Posted on 05/05/2011 9:26 AM by NER
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Interested parties

I recently heard on the radio an example of "Islamic finance": Ahmed sells goods to Iqbal, cash price £300. Iqbal has the option of paying £300 now or £320 in three months' time. But the £20 is not riba, or interest. By Allah, no. It is a fee "for the convenience of paying later".

Live now, pay later, Diner's Club.

And Allah knows best.

Posted on 05/05/2011 11:33 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 5 May 2011
There was another way

A tragic and heroic end, where there have been so many tragic and heroic ends.  By David Sharp for AP:


BATH, Maine – Engaged in a frenzied firefight and outnumbered by the Taliban, Navy Lt. Michael Murphy made a desperate decision as he and three fellow SEALs fought for their lives on a rocky mountainside in Afghanistan's Kunar Province in 2005.

In a last-ditch effort to save his team, Murphy pulled out his satellite phone, walked into a clearing to get reception and called for reinforcements as a fusillade of bullets ricocheted around him. One of the bullets hit him, but he finished the call and even signed off, "Thank you."

Then he continued the battle.

Dan Murphy, the sailor's father, said it didn't surprise him that his slain son nicknamed "The Protector" put himself in harm's way. Nor was he surprised that in the heat of combat his son was courteous.

"That was Michael. He was cool under fire. He had the ability to process information, even under the most difficult of circumstances. That's what made him such a good SEAL officer," Murphy said.

A warship bearing the name of the Medal of Honor recipient will be christened Saturday — on what would have been Murphy's 35th birthday — at Bath Iron Works, where the destroyer is being built.

Murphy, who was 29 when he died, graduated from Pennsylvania State University and was accepted to multiple law schools, but decided he could do more for his country as one of the Navy's elite SEALS — special forces trained to fight on sea, air and land — the same forces that killed Osama bin Laden this week in Pakistan.

Heightened security will be in effect as Murphy's mother, Maureen, christens the ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against the bow of the 510-foot-long warship as Murphy's father, brother and others watch.

Murphy, of Patchogue, N.Y., earned his nickname after getting suspended in elementary school for fighting with bullies who tried to stuff a special-needs child into a locker and for intervening when some youths were picking on a homeless man, said Dan Murphy, a lawyer, former prosecutor and Army veteran who served in Vietnam.

Maureen Murphy said he thought he was too young to take a desk job as a lawyer. Instead, he went to officer candidate school, the first step on his journey to become a SEAL officer. He was in training during the Sept. 11 attacks, which shaped his views.

His view was that there are "bullies in the world and people who're oppressed in the world. And he said, 'Sometimes they have to be taken care of,'" she said.

On June 28, 2005, the day he was killed, Murphy was leading a SEAL team in northeastern Afghanistan looking for the commander of a group of insurgents known as the Mountain Tigers.

The Operation Red Wings reconnaissance team rappelled down from a helicopter at night and climbed through rain to a spot 10,000 feet high overlooking a village to keep a lookout. But the mission was compromised the following morning when three local goat herders happened upon their hiding spot.

High in the Hindu Kush mountains, Murphy and Petty Officers Marcus Luttrell of Huntsville, Texas; Matthew Axelson of Cupertino, Calif.; and Danny Dietz of Littleton, Colo.; held a tense discussion of the rules of engagement and the fate of the three goat herders, who were being held at gunpoint.

If they were Taliban sympathizers, then letting the herders go would allow them to alert the Taliban forces lurking in the area; killing them might ensure the team's safety, but there were issues of possible military charges and a media backlash, according to Luttrell, the lone survivor.

Murphy, who favored letting the goat herders go, guided a discussion of military, political, safety and moral implications. A majority agreed with him.

An hour after the herders were released, more than 100 Taliban armed with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire, attacking from higher elevation, and maneuvering to outflank the SEALs, said Gary Williams, author of "Seal of Honor," a biography of Murphy.

Dan Murphy said his son made the right call.

"It was exactly the right decision and what Michael had to do. I'm looking at it from Michael's perspective, that these were clearly civilians. One of them was 14 years old, which was about the age of his brother. Michael knew the rules of engagement and the risks associated with it," the father said.

As the only survivor, Luttrell has pangs of regret for voting to go along with Murphy, his best friend; he now believes the team could've survived if the goat herders were killed.

In his own book, "Lone Survivor," Luttrell wrote that Murphy was shot in the stomach early in the firefight, but ignored the wound and continued to lead the team, which killed dozens of Taliban attackers. The injuries continued to mount as the SEALs were forced to scramble, slide and tumble down the mountain in the face of the onslaught.

Three of the team members had been shot at least once when Murphy decided drastic action was needed to save the team, Luttrell wrote. With the team's radio out of commission, Murphy exposed himself to enemy gunfire by stepping into a clearing with a satellite phone to make a call to Bagram Airfield to relay the dire situation. He dropped the phone after being shot, then picked it up to complete the phone call with four words: "Roger that, thank you."

By the end of the two-hour firefight, Murphy, Dietz and Axelson were dead. The tragedy was compounded when 16 rescuers — eight additional SEALs and eight members of the Army's elite "Night Stalkers" — were killed when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade.

It was the largest single-day loss in naval special warfare history. All told, 33 SEALS have been killed in action since the Sept. 11 attacks, officials say.

Luttrell, who was blown off the mountain by a rocket-propelled grenade and knocked unconscious, evaded capture until he was taken in by villagers who protected him until he was liberated five days later by special forces. He has since left the Navy, gotten married and launched a foundation; he's unable to attend Saturday's event because his wife is in the final days of pregnancy, a spokesman for Luttrell said.

Murphy's father is correct, Murphy made the right call in not killing the 3 civilian goat-herders.  But the choice wasn't between executing civilians, or trusting those Afghans with their (the SEALs') lives and staying put.  Trusting Afghans with their lives was a very risky move, and it didn't pay off.

As soon as the team of SEALs was identified by Afghan civilians, their mission was compromised.  It's unfortunate, as I'm sure there was a high-value target that they were monitoring in the village, but the mission was over at that point.  The Afghans cannot be trusted to support the infidel invaders in their fight against the native Muslim mujahadeen.

If the SEALs had set aside their trust in the universal brotherhood of man, and instead immediately called for extraction, they might have survived.  They could have taken the goatherders with them to a suitable landing zone, thereby maintaining their cover, waited for the helicopter, then released the civilians.

Similarly, the choice in Afghanistan is not between:

1) Staying there, at any cost of lives or money, killing every single Taliban supporter (i.e. devout Muslim) until they have a pro-Western, tolerant, progressive democracy, or

2) Naively trust them to set up their own pro-Western, tolerant, progressive democracy that will not establish a safe-haven for mujahadeen.

If our mission in Afghanistan was to overthrow the Taliban and kill many of the people involved in supporting the 9/11 attacks, then that mission is complete.  If our mission in Afghanistan is to create a pro-Western, tolerant, progressive democracy, then that mission has been compromised.  Indeed, it was never feasible in the first place, and should never have been attempted.  We should immediately pull our troops out of Afghanistan, and end financial aid to them.  We retain the right, as we do anywhere else in the world (hello, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Tunisia, Syria) to strike at terrorist bases, and to take action, military or otherwise, against those governments that support them.  Go in, kill the bad guys, and leave.  Skip the decades of "nation building".  Skip the "winning of hearts and minds" in Dar al-Islam.

Posted on 05/05/2011 12:00 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Annoying Americanism OF the week

This week's annoying Americanism is the wandering of of. Of is detatching itself from off of where it ought to of been and going where it ought not to of. And there is no health inside or outside of it.

Of is going out the window and out the door and this is outside of my comfort zone.

Posted on 05/05/2011 1:39 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Lars Hedegaard: The Struggle Goes on

Lars Hedegaard, President

Danish and International Free Press Societies


Statement by Lars Hedegaard on his conviction for "hate speech"

Copenhagen, May 5, 2011

It is with great sadness I have to report that Denmark's reputation as a haven of free speech and a bastion of resistance to sharia encroachment is irreparably tarnished. Denmark is my country and I used to be proud of it.

On May 3 the Eastern Superior Court in Copenhagen convicted me of hate speech under Denmark's infamous Article 266 b of the penal code – a rubber provision that may be stretched to serve any political purpose dear to the hearts of the ruling elites.

My crime is to have called attention to the horrific conditions of Muslim women and for my audacity the court has now enabled my detractors to label me a racist.

Muslims can say whatever they want with impunity. Just a few weeks ago Denmark opened its gates to the hate-spewing preacher Bilal Philips, known for his advocacy of wife-beating and the killing of homosexuals. He was provided a platform in Copenhagen and nobody thought of dragging him into court.

Our authorities and their allies among the pc elites have chosen sides in the struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of darkness and so opted for the oppressors of their own people and against those deserving of their protection.

The real victims of this despicable case are freedom of speech and the tens of thousands of girls and women – Muslim as well as non-Muslim – whose plight may no longer be mentioned in my country for fear of legal prosecution and public denigration.

We cannot permit this outcome to stand. I have therefore decided to appeal my conviction to the Supreme Court and – if that is denied – to the European Court of Human Rights.

This is a fight for liberty against tyranny. It will be long and hard but losing is no option.

Posted on 05/05/2011 2:03 PM by Lars Hedegaard
Thursday, 5 May 2011
CUNY Trustee Wiesenfeld Answers Kushner

Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld
CUNY Trustee

Yesterday, we posted on the kerfuffle that erupted after the CUNY Board of Trustees in New York voted to effectively deny playwright Tony Kushner an honorary degree that had been proposed by the President and faculty of John Jay College. The instigator of this action was CUNY Trustee and Jewish activist, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld.  Kushner chose to issue a letter on May Third, following the May 2nd CUNY board decision, extracts of which we included in our post  about the controversy. Today, Wiesenfeld replied to Kushner in an op-ed published in the New York Jewish Yididsh-English web paper, the algemeiner

Here is Wiesenfeld's riposte to Kushner, entitled: "Tony Kushner, An Extremist Can't represent CUNY."

Following our consensus decision to table the honorary degree nomination of Mr. Tony Kushner it is worthy to note that Mr. Kushner repeats the ugly charges against Israel for which he is known in a letter to the City University Board of Trustees and the media, in which he attempts to defend himself. He is disingenuous and dissembling.

If his libelous statements against Israel were made by anyone outside the Jewish community, that person would be correctly labeled an anti-Semite. When you hold the State of Israel – a nation in a struggle for its survival from the beginning, a target for the misogynist, racist, anti-western, dictatorial regimes which surround it – to a standard you would hold no other nation under normal circumstances, let alone under such exigencies – and when you spew libel against our sole regional democratic ally for “crimes” concocted by delegitimizers, you are an anti-Semite.

I would no differently oppose a racist for an honorary degree who personifies himself by calumny against a people. If Mr. Kushner were a CUNY student degree candidate,  or even more extremely, if he were David Duke or Lynne Stewart or Sonny Carson or any other detestable individual, no trustee or administrator would have the right to deny him or her a degree if requisite requirements were fulfilled.

To the contrary, an honorary degree is wholly within the absolute discretion of the board to grant. It identifies the University with accomplished, generous citizens or public figures. It is also a tool which highlights the University and enhances its image in the educational marketplace. Every year, there are candidates that some trustees may not particularly favor. We can all express dissent where we warrant it – it is our right. However, every nominee that has been brought before the board, during my 12 years at least, has been approved by the full board. Mr. Kushner, however, was opposed because he is an extremist. No extremist from any quarter is a good face for any University – from far left or far right. Honorary degrees are public declarations of esteem by the university community conveyed to the honoree; for the university, they are image-building, advertising and publicity as well.

The denial of the honorary degree to Mr. Kushner, despite his protestations was a reflection of his long-held radical sentiments. CUNY should remain a place of comfort and welcome for all of our students, faculty and administrators  - including supporters of the Jewish State.

Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld is a trustee of City University New York.



Posted on 05/05/2011 2:35 PM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 5 May 2011
The Divine Jane Offers Sayings for Many Kinds of Occasions; and the Embarrassing Exposure of Pakistan's Double Game is One of Them

In the wake of the pinpoint American raid that took out Osama bin Laden, as we watch the Pakistanis frantically ducking, dodging and spinning as they attempt to pretend that their double game, their brazen deception of the West, their protection of Osama bin Laden even while they pretended to America to be part of the pursuit and an ally in 'the war on terror',  has not been comprehensively and finally  busted - at least, busted in the eyes of anybody with even the smallest grain of common sense - I am reminded of something that is said by one of the characters in Jane Austen's least-familiar novel, the razor-sharp Regency satire "Lady Susan".

Lady Susan, throughout the novel, spins a subtle web of deceit, and it appears that she is about to get clean away with it.  But, at the end she is exposed, just as devastatingly and finally as Pakistan has been exposed.

And when that happens, this is what Lady Susan's friend and co-plotter - at whose home the decisive events transpire - exclaims to her, in a frantic letter - "What could I do? Facts are such horrid things!".  

Yes, dear Lady Susan, and yes, O Pakistan, facts are such horrid things.


Posted on 05/05/2011 6:22 PM by Christina McIntosh
Thursday, 5 May 2011
The Nuclear-Fallout Family Of Osama Bin Laden

From CNN:

 Eleven years ago, a teenage girl was plucked from a quiet town in southern Yemen and taken first to Pakistan and then on to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

Her name was Amal al-Sadah, and a year before the 9/11 attacks she became Osama bin Laden's fifth wife. She was 18; he was 43.

By his own account, an al Qaeda figure in Yemen called Sheikh Rashed Mohammed Saeed Ismail arranged the marriage.

Ismail (whose brother spent time as a detainee at Guantanamo Bay) told the Yemen Post in 2008: "I was the matchmaker for his wife Amal al-Sadah, who was one of my students."

In July 2000, he accompanied the young bride-to-be to Afghanistan.

Last year, Ismail told journalist Hala Jaber: "Even at her young age, she was religious and spiritual enough, and believed in the things that bin Laden -- a very religious, pious and spiritual man -- believed in."

It was also apparently a political alliance -- to shore up bin Laden's support in his ancestral homeland.

Bin Laden's bodyguard at the time, Abu Jandal, was responsible for delivering the dowry.

"The Sheikh gave me $5,000 and told me to deliver it to a certain man in Yemen and that man in his turn took the money to the bride's family," he told the newspaper al Quds al Arabi in 2005.

In keeping with conservative Sunni tradition, the wedding celebrations were an all-male affair.

"The bride was deemed to have consented to the marriage by traveling to Afghanistan, so her presence was not required," Jaba wrote in The Sunday Times after interviewing Ismail.

"The men celebrated with recitals of poetry and song, freshly slaughtered lambs and large dishes of rice."

According to Abu Jandal, "songs and merriment were mixed with the firing of shots into the air."

A year after the nuptials, Amal al-Sadah gave birth in Kandahar (within a few days of the 9/11 attacks) to a daughter called Safiyah. She is probably the same daughter who -- according to Pakistani officials -- saw her father shot dead this week.

Her mother, according to Pakistani sources, is now recovering from a leg wound suffered in the assault.

The passport of a Yemeni woman found at the compound appears to be hers -- but the name is not an exact match.

Yemeni officials say they can't conclusively identify the passport and the Pakistanis have not made any request to repatriate anyone at the compound.

It's not clear whether bin Laden and al-Sadah had other children.

But the al Qaeda leader had more than 20 children by five wives. One of his adult sons was also reported killed in the raid on the Abbottabad compound.

CNN Terrorism Analyst Peter Bergen has written about bin Laden's marriages in his book "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader."

He was first married at the age of 17 to a cousin, Najwa Ghanem, who was probably two years younger than him. They had 11 children, but after a peripatetic life together Najwa finally left him (and Afghanistan) a few days before 9/11.

Bin Laden's second wife was Khadijah Sharif, nine years older than him, a highly educated woman and a direct descendant of the Prophet. They married in 1983 and had three children -- but eventually they divorced while living in Sudan in the 1990s. In his interview with al Quds al Arabi, Abu Jandal said Khadijah was unable to cope with their austere existence and returned to Saudi Arabia.

Bin Laden's first wife Najwa helped arrange his third marriage -- to Khairiah Sabar. She was another highly educated woman and held a doctorate in Islamic sharia. She married bin Laden in 1985 and they had one child, a son. Bergen writes that it's unknown if she survived the bombing of Afghanistan in October and November of 2001.

Then came Siham Sabar, who married bin Laden in 1987. They had four children and like Khairiah, she has not been heard of since the invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Laden's fifth marriage -- soon after Khadijah left Sudan -- was annulled within 48 hours.

After bin Laden's extended family arrived in Afghanistan in 1996, they would ride in a bus accompanied by a vehicle full of guards, according to bodyguard Abu Jandal.

He said bin Laden's three wives lived in harmony in the same house. They would go on family outings -- bin Laden in a car followed by the family bus.

On such outings. Abu Jandal said, the al Qaeda leader would teach his wives how to us firearms.

CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank says it is not surprising the compound in Abbottabad attacked on Sunday included several children -- although it's not known how many were bin Laden's.

"He was trying to train up his sons to follow in his footsteps; he had many of his daughters around him as well in Afghanistan."

But only one wife remained.

Altogether, according to Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden had 11 sons, some of whom abandoned the austere existence of their father for a more prosperous existence as part of the wealthy bin Laden family.

"As to daughters, there is no possibility of knowing the number," Abu Jandal told al Quds al Arabi.

But in the weeks after 9/11, bin Laden told Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir that he had plans for his youngest daughter, Safiyah.

"I became a father of a girl after September 11," he said. "I named her after Safiyah who killed a Jewish spy at the time of the Prophet. (My daughter) will kill enemies of Islam like Safiyah."

Posted on 05/05/2011 5:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Norway Imam children’s school applicant advocates decapitation

From The Foreigner - Norwegian News in English

Norwegian-Pakistani Imam Syed Farasat Ali Bukhari wants to educate people about Muslim customs and traditions.

Mr Bukhari, who believes punishing sinners with death, has applied to the government with others to found a Muslim primary school in Oslo.

Omitting this information from his application to the Directorate for Education and Training (Utdanningsdirektoratet), the Ministry of Education and Research’s executive body, he says in a YouTube video that, “A person who eats and drinks in public during Ramadan ridicules Islam”, reports NRK. “Authorities shall decapitate the individual if he/she is within the jurisdiction of a Muslim society or state,” proclaims the Imam, believing jail or the same punishment applies to people who do not exercise their prayer obligation.

Labour (Ap) politician Marianne Aasen, chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Research, and Church Affairs, tells The Foreigner “his application will not be granted [now].”

The Socialist Left (SV) Party’s leader, and Minister of Education, Kristin Halvorsen, calls his statements advocating such measures as “unacceptable”, confirming the school will not be established on this basis. “The attitudes express in [NRK’s report] are a clear violation of Norwegian law,” she says.

Trine Skei Grande, leader of the Liberal Party (V), tells The Foreigner she was “shocked”.

Posted on 05/05/2011 5:27 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 5 May 2011
A Musical Interlude: Si Tu M'aimes (Jean Sablon)

Listen here.

Posted on 05/05/2011 8:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Australia: 'Simple man with a simple faith', jihad gang leader, insults NSW Supreme Court Judge

While one Muslim, from Libya, is being tried - in Melbourne - for grabbing and groping Australian girls, another Muslim (from Tripoli, not Tripoli in Libya but Tripoli in Lebanon) who was convicted last year of conspiring to prepare for or plan a terrorist act, shouts abuse at a female Supreme Court Judge, also in Melbourne, during his pre-sentence hearing.  His lawyer had just tried to win sympathy by depicting him as 'a simple man with a simple faith'.  Indeed.  He and his companions had plotted to storm the Holsworthy Army Base in NSW, armed with high-powered weapons, and kill as many people as they could before being killed themselves. None of the various newspaper reports mentions Quran 9: 111, "God [allah] has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in his cause, and slay and are slain...", which sufficiently illuminates the motives of these murder-minded Muslims.

First, from Australian Associated Press, in 'The Australian', Stuart Rintoul reporting:

'Terror accused yells at "criminal judge".

"A man (sic: a Muslim man - CM) convicted of conspiracy to commit an act of terror yelled abuse at a Victorian Supreme Court judge, calling her a criminal moments after his lawyer appealed to her to be "as lenient as possible upon a simple man".

Way to shoot yourself in the foot, mate: yell and scream and insult the judge straight after your lawyer's tried to win hearts by representing you as a harmless, bumbling naif. - CM

'The man, who cannot be named because of a pending separate trial, was convicted last year along with two others of conspiring to attack Sydney's Holsworthy army base, in a bid to kill as many soldiers as possible and dying martyr deaths.

Mr Rintoul, you should have put 'martyr' in quotes. And had you then cited Quran 9: 111 about those who fight 'in allah's cause' and 'slay and are slain', thereby gaining 'Paradise', you might have helped your readers understand why 'martyr' means something different to Muslims than it does to the rest of us. - CM.

'In comments apparently aimed at western institutions, the man, who has been held in solitary confinement for the past 22 months, yelled at judge Betty King: "Why do you charge us as criminal? Why don't you charge yourself as criminal? You kill people for oil. (And Muslims do not kill people for booty? There's a whole chapter of the Quran, entitled 'Booty', devoted to the subject of how the spoils obtained by Jihad against the non-Muslims are to be divvied up. - CM). "You kill kids.  (Look in the mirror, O Muslims.  Long Infidel memories remember Beslan. - CM). "You kill innocent people.  You are criminal, we are not criminal".

Those of us who know our Islamspeak know that in the eyes of the devout Muslim all Muslims qua Muslims are 'innocent' - even if they are the child-murdering jihadists at the Beslan school - whereas all non-Muslims are guilty by definition: guilty of refusing to accept Islam, guilty of refusing to submit to Muslim domination.  - CM.

'In a pre-sentencing plea hearing, the man's lawyer, Patrick Tehan QC, had described his client as "a vulnerable, naive person", while the plot to attack Holsworthy was "an amateurish, stupid act", but at the "mid to low range level" of seriousness because "nothing happens".

Nothing had happened...yet.  Primarily because they got caught. - CM.

'Mr Tehan said the men had no ammunition, explosives or maps (yet - CM), and when his client went to Sydney and took a train to the perimeter of the Holsworthy base, where he was filmed on CCTV, he looked "like Charlie Chaplin...with his little bag".

But the Judge wasn't buying Mr Tehan's soft soap.- CM

'Judge King then interjected, "Except it's not very funny.  The comedy is lacking".

'Judge King said that while she accepted the Holsworthy plot was "as amateurish as I've seen", and the man had an extremely low IQ of less than 70 (really? how and by whom was this determined?  what if he's playing dumb? - CM), "there is no doubt the community is appalled by a plan to attack the armed services in our country".

'The prisoner, 34, along with Saney Edow Aweys, 27, of Carlton, and Nayef El Sayed, 26, of Glenroy, were found guilty last December of conspiring to prepare for or plan a terrorist act.  Two other  men were acquitted.

'Mr Tehan said his client, who was born in Tripoli, was "a simple man with a simple faith".

And in that, Mr Tehan spoke more truly than he knew or intended. It is simple.  As Joseph Schacht summed it up in his 'Introduction to Islamic Law', "The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law of war; they must be either converted, or subjugated, or killed." Or, in a nutshell -  Dar al Islam Good; dar al Harb (everything and everyone not-Islam) Bad; and good, pious Muslims, like this Muslim migrant from Tripoli, Libya, or perhaps from Lebanon, and his Somali Muslim fellow-plotters, are supposed to strive to destroy, or to absorb into Islam, everything that is not-Islam. - CM

'The hearing continues'.

There are a few more details, and a little more insight into the jihadist - and the Judge - in Melissa Iaria's report for the 'Courier Mail'.

'Terror plotter in court outburst against judge'.

'A man (a Muslim man - CM) convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on an Australian army base has delivered an outburst from the court dock, telling a judge, "You kill people for oil, you kill innocent people, you kill kids".  The 34 year old Melbourne man...then told Victorian Supreme Court justice Betty King: "You're a criminal. I'm no criminal". 

Under sharia, of course, plotting to kill non-Muslims who are not dhimmis - who are inhabitants of dar al harb, 'the region of war' - is not a crime. Under non-Muslim law, however... - CM.

'As he was led from the court dock he told reporters, "I speak the truth".

Suuure. For such as he, only that which is in accord with Islam and the sharia is 'true'.  - CM.

'The man was found guilty last December along with two others of plotting a terrorist attack on Sydney's Holsworthy base...The men were accused of plotting the attack between February and August in 2009.  Most of the prosecution case relied on transcripts of secretly recorded telephone conversations.

'The man's barrister Pat Tehan QC told the pre-sentence hearing his client was a simple man who became fervent about religion after splitting from his wife, with whom he had a child.

Now, why should it be that when this Muslim became 'fervent about religion' after a life crisis, his mind turned to the subject of high-powered weapons and the killing of large numbers of non-Muslims?  Would one be likely to find that a simple-minded  low-IQ Jew or Christian, after a divorce or separation, renewing his commitment to his faith, would shortly be found - as a direct result of that renewed faith - plotting to attack an army base and get himself killed whilst attempting to kill as many of the soldiers as possible? - CM

'The religious fervour started at the Preston mosque', Mr Tehan said.

'Mr Tehan admitted his client's actions were stupid and amateurish, but blamed them on his low intellect, which he said made him vulnerable and unable to make proper judgments.

But why, then, do highly-educated and presumably normally-intelligent Muslim university graduates - Osama Bin Laden's second-in-command, Al-Zawahiri, is a medical doctor, and so were the British-educated Muslim doctors who attempted a jihad raid upon Glasgow Airport - exhibit the  very same religious fervour and the same dreams of mass-murder of non-Muslims? - CM.

'He likened his client to Charlie Chaplin, walking around with his little bag, prompting Justice King to reply, "Except it's not funny".

Indeed it is not; and Mr Tehan should be ashamed of himself for even thinking of comparing a brutal, violent jihad plotter to the immortal comedian.- CM

'She rejected Mr Tehan's arguments.

"You don't have to be the most intelligent person to be a leader", she said. "You can be charismatic and stupid. There are a number of them around the world".

I like this Judge, I like her a lot  - CM.

'Saney Edow Aweys, of Carlton, and Nayef El Sayed, of Glenroy, are also facing the pre-sentence hearing after their conviction for the same offence.  Two other men, Yacqub Khayre, of Meadow Heights, and Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, of Preston, were cleared.

'All five had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to plan a terrorist act, an offence carrying a maximum of life imprisonment.

'The three-month trial was told the men wanted to advance Islam, which they believed was under attack from the West.

Unless and until Islam and Muslims dominate always and everywhere, plenty of pious Muslims will regard themselves as under attack. - CM

'They were against Australian troops in Afghanistan, believing it was oppressing innocent Muslims, and wanted to advance their religion as they perceived it.

'As they perceived it'.  And as a great many orthodox Muslim jurists, 'theologians', and Quran commentators, and a great many practising Muslims, throughout history, have perceived and practised it. - CM.

'The jury was told the accused took steps to obtain a fatwa, or religious decree, to endorse the attack...".

The ABC version gives a bit more background on the accused, and more on what the Judge said.

'Court told terror plot ringleader is a 'simple man'.

' a plea hearing today, the ringleader's lawyer told the court his client is a "simple man with a simple faith", who suffered brain injuries from an earlier kickboxing career.

'The lawyer said it was his client's low intelligence that led to him becoming a religious zealot.

See what I said above about the Glasgow 'doctors' plot', and Ayman al-Zawahiri. And a Pakistani Muslim female who was carrying in her handbag plans for mass murder of kafir , was a graduate of Brandeis University.  CM.

'...Justice King said that although she accepted the plan was "amateurish" the crime for which he had been convicted had caused the Government and the armed forces "very major concern" and had struck fear into the hearts of the Australian public.'

That's an interesting choice of phrase.  Compare Quran 8: 60 - "Make ready against them [the non-Muslims - CM] your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies...".  I wonder, has Justice King been doing some homework? - CM.

Unlike the ABC, which focused on the nonsense about the jihadist being 'a simple man', and like its sister papers the Australian and the Courier-Mail, the Sun-Herald zeroed in on the most telling detail - the spectacle of a convicted Muslim jihadist yelling at a Supreme Court Judge.  They may not know that orthodox Muslims do not recognise the legitimacy of any non-Islamic government or system of law, but they sense nevertheless that this incident is important.  And of all four reporters, it is Norrie Ross of the Sun-Herald who in the first paragraph uses the word 'Islamist'.

'Terror plotter yells at judge'.

'The ringleader of an Islamist plot (note: not a 'terror' plot but an 'Islamist plot' - but when will we see the phrase 'a Muslim plot'? - CM) to carry out an armed suicide mission at an Australian army base launched an astonishing diatribe against a Supreme Court judge yesterday.

Not astonishing to anyone familiar with the degree of contempt pious Muslims are taught to feel toward anything not-Islam - CM.

'The man, 34...stood up in the dock, pointed at Justice Betty King, and called her a criminal...

'Police and protective services officers surrounded the man and removed him.

'When court resumed, Justice King said that though a tendered medical report had stated that the man's behaviour had moderated, his outburst did not indicate a significant change.

In other words, he just shot himself and his lawyer in the foot, bigtime. There are no flies on Justice King. - CM.

'The prisoner...was found guilty by a jury last December of conspiring to plan a terrorist attack on the Holsworthy army base in NSW.  The trio, armed with high-powered military weapons, planned to storm the lightly guarded base, jurors heard. 

'CCTV filmed the ringleader (i.e the man who has just publicly insulted a Supreme Court Judge in her own court - CM) approaching the gatehouse, which was manned by unarmed private security.

I hope that that is no longer the case - CM

...Mr Tehan said his client's conduct in furthering the plot was "very limited". "There're no maps, no plans, no documents found on him. No explosives.  No material found in his possession of an extremist nature", he said.

No, the 'extremist' material was all inside his head, thanks to repeated indoctrination sessions down at the mosque...CM.

'Justice King accepted very little was done, but she said such plots struck terror into the hearts of Australians.

'Mr Tehan said his client, born in Lebanon (so one must assume that when The Australian's report said 'born in Tripoli', it meant Tripoli in Lebanon - CM)  was a simple man with a simple faith and a low IQ, and his religious fervour increased when he attended a mosque.

"You don't have to be intelligent to be a leader", Justice King said, "You can be charismatic and stupid and still be a leader. There are a number of them in the world".

'The plea hearing resumes today'.

It must be particularly galling for this group of jihadis - Lebanese Arab Muslim, and Somali Muslim - to know that their fate will be determined not just by a Judge who is a kafir, but by a Judge who is a woman.  A no-nonsense woman with her wits about her. 

Posted on 05/05/2011 8:53 PM by Christina McIntosh
Thursday, 5 May 2011
A Pakistani On Endlessly Meretricious Pakistan

From FP

The Lies They Tell Us

Can the Pakistani government's web of deceit survive the death of Osama bin Laden?


ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan — Three hours after U.S. President Barack Obama announced Osama bin Laden's death from the East Room of the White House, I found myself sitting in the Jadoon Shopping Plaza in Abbottabad, Pakistan -- the resort town where the killing had happened eight hours earlier -- talking with a man named Sohaib Athar. The owner of the Twitter account named @ReallyVirtual, Athar had just achieved a strange sort of celebrity as the man who had inadvertently live-tweeted the climax of the most expensive, most hyped, and, at times, most surreal manhunt in history. Several hours before the world would learn who had died in the Abbotabad night, he tweeted: "Since taliban (probably) don't have helicpoters, and since they're saying it was not "ours", so must be a complicated situation." Complicated indeed. When we met later, Athar said he "never imagined it would be bin Laden, at the bottom of it all."

One of the founders of a Lahore-based U.S. technology startup, Athar moved his family to Abbottabad two years ago. He was getting tired of the guilt associated with deflecting his six-year-old son's constant questions about suicide bombings and terrorist violence, things that have become regular features of life for residents of Lahore. He chose Abbottabad because of its reputation for serenity and safety, and upon arrival decided to make his own contribution to the community: a sleek and modern café that serves quite exceptional coffee and plays great music, opened by Athar and his wife after they discovered that their new environs were lacking a decent gathering place for young people. Everything was going fine until Sunday night, when a U.S. military helicopter fell out of the sky over the city. At the time, Athar tweeted "The abbottabad helicopter/UFO was shot down near the Bilal Town area, and there's report of a flash. People saying it could be a drone." Later, he wrote "Funny, moving to Abbottabad was part of the 'being safe' strategy."


If Athar's story is deeply ironic, it also speaks volumes about the lives of ordinary and decent Pakistanis today. If the Pakistani state's duplicity and dysfunction represent darkness and fear, Athar's story -- in which a highly skilled, educated young man moves from a broken Pakistani city to a beautiful one and attempts to improve it further -- represents hope and light. His bewilderment at how violence has chased him is the bewilderment of a whole country.

The news of bin Laden's death may have been greeted with a spontaneous outpouring of joy and patriotism on the streets of American cities, and with relative disinterest in the Middle East, which is still preoccupied with the sights and sounds of the Arab Spring and probably was never really all that enamored with bin Laden to begin with. But in Pakistan, where bin Laden allegedly made his home for years -- some reports suggest as many as five -- the killing of the founder and leader of al Qaeda is not the end of a story. It is, sadly and inevitably, the beginning of a new chapter in an epic saga of death, destruction, deception and degeneration in Pakistan. If Americans are confused about exactly what Pakistan is up to, they need to get in line. Pakistanis are more confused -- utterly so.

This confusion has been carefully cultivated by a national elite whose singular focus is the accumulation of wealth, at all costs. In the near-decade since 9/11, Pakistan's generals, judges, politicians, and bureaucrats have constructed two separate and equally effective narratives. To the West, they sold the bin Laden version of Pakistan: a fanatical nation, full of restless natives armed to the teeth with hatred and -- if the West wasn't careful -- nukes. To ordinary Pakistanis, they sold the Ugly American version of the rest of the world: a big bad Uncle Sam and friends who were always burning Korans, knighting Salman Rushdies, and violating the Land of the Pure (the literal meaning of "Pakistan").


This duplicity helped keep the West sufficiently interested in the myth of "engaging the elite" -- because of course engaging the people would mean courting savagery. It also helped keep the Pakistani people sufficiently hostile toward any notion of understanding or appreciating the West's genuine and legitimate concerns and interests in Pakistan. But with time, this delicate waltz has grown harder and harder to sustain. The Pakistani military, for all its swagger, has either forgotten all the steps, or never knew them to begin with.

The notion that one fine day bin Laden adorned a burqa and made a trip over perhaps the most treacherous 180 miles of terrain in the world, from Tora Bora to Abbottabad, without catching the attention of Pakistan's vast, richly endowed, and unaccountable military establishment is as ridiculous as any conspiracy theories now being peddled by Pakistan's incorrigible right-wing hacks -- with the most common version simply refusing to believe that he is dead.

It is even less likely that, as U.S. counterterrorism czar John Brennan claimed in a press conference today, Pakistani authorities did not know about the military operation that killed bin Laden until it was over. Abbottabad's Bilal Town neighborhood where bin Laden lived and died was virtually around the corner from the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul -- Pakistan's West Point, where future General Kayanis and General Pashas are learning to be officers. It doesn't take 40 minutes to start to scramble planes, or get troops to Abbottabad, and there is no getting into the town by land or air without the expressed consent of Pakistan's security establishment. This may not have been an official joint operation, but it was almost certainly a collective effort.[here the writer goes awry in his unfounded assumption  that Pakistani generals were in on the secret]

Maintaining these two fictions requires a great deal of creativity from both parties involved. In the first instance, Pakistan has to lie to enable the U.S. government to avoid looking like a first-timer in Las Vegas, getting hustled by a pro. In the second, the United States has to lie, to avoid implicating its chief partner in the dishonoring of Pakistani pride and the violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

On Indian television, the veteran U.S. diplomat Frank Wisner poignantly noted that the United States has to delicately negotiate "ambiguity" in its relationship with Pakistan. The problem for Pakistan is that it must also negotiate this ambiguity with itself. For a country that can't pay its bills, or even manage its borders, this is a deeply ambitious order. Americans should not hold their breath for any dramatic changes in the short term in Pakistan.

Posted on 05/05/2011 9:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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