Less than four months after he sparked off a controversy for reportedly insulting Prophet Muhammed in a question paper, a college lecturer, T J Joseph, was attacked by some unidentified men who chopped off his right hand, at Muvattupuzha in central Kerala today.
Joseph, 52, Malayalam lecturer at Catholic-run Newman College, Thodupuzha, was returning home after attending Sunday prayers at the local church when he was attacked. He was accompanied by his mother and sister. Police have taken into custody two suspected activists of the right-wing Popular Front of India. Joseph has been admitted to the Specialist Hospital in Kochi.
In April this year, Joseph was arrested after a question paper set by him triggered protests by Muslims. He was later released on bail.
The question paper, for an internal degree exam in March, contained a text taken from an article written by P T Kunjumuhammed, a director of several award-winning films and former CPI(M) legislator.
Referring to his film Garshom, Kunjumuhammed explained in the article that the thread for a scene in the movie, in which the protagonist speaks to God, was picked from his own experience about a madman who used to speak to God. While reproducing the conversation as a passage for punctuation, Joseph replaced the mad man with Muhammed, thus making it seem like a dialogue between God and Muhammed.
Protesting against the question paper, Muslim organisations, particularly the Popular Front of India and Jamaat-e-Islami, had said it was an insult to Prophet Muhammed. The issue soon gained communal colour, leading to violent incidents in Thodupuzha region. There were attempts to trigger communal violence, after protesters targeted a temple in the town.
Joseph, who first went into hiding, later surrendered before the police. Meanwhile, the university suspended him for a year. Out on bail, Joseph had earlier complained to the police about a threat to his life. Today’s attack has evoked widespread protests from all political parties.
LEADERS of the global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir have called on Australian Muslims to spurn secular democracy and Western notions of moderate Islam and join the struggle for a transnational Islamic state.
British Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Burhan Hanif told participants at a conference in western Sydney yesterday that democracy is "haram" (forbidden) for Muslims, whose political engagement should be be based purely on Islamic law.
His view was echoed by an Australian HT official, Wassim Dourehi, who told the conference Muslims should not support "any kafir (non-believer) political party", because humans have no right to make laws.
Mr Dourehi also urged Muslims to spurn the concept of moderate Islam promoted by governments in the West, including in "this godforsaken country" of Australia. "We need to reject this new secular version of Islam," he said. "It is a perverted concoction of Western governments". Mr Dourehi said Muslims in the West must be at the vanguard of the push for a caliphate, which would govern all Muslim majority countries and lands that were previously under Islamic rule, such as Spain and The Philippines.
A female HT delegate, Reem Allouche, said Australian women should be at the forefront of the struggle by insisting on their right to wear the head-to-toe covering known as the niqab, in the face of legislation proposed by NSW Christian Democratic MP Fred Nile to ban it. "This is not an issue about the niqab or hijab. This is a struggle between two ways of life, two competing ideologies, two civilisations. It's about (the West) controlling Islam through reform and thereby controlling the Muslims,"
But the group's presence sparked angry protests outside as members of the Australian Protectionist Party (APP) yelled anti-Islam chants. . . Conflict between the APP and HT amounted to an exchange of words, anti-Islam chants and the occasional drive-by of young Muslim men yelling obscenities from their car at the APP protesters.
Nick Folkes, the Sydney organiser for the APP, believes that the HT should be banned in Australia and thinks that practising sharia law should be illegal in Australia. "Sharia law is an archaic legal system that treats woman as second-class citizens," he said. "We're not asking them to change their skin colour or religion. But if they come here, they must reject sharia law."
A non-Muslim attendant at the conference, Ervin Zurell, provoked mild consternation among the audience when he asked why Muslims don't "go back to the country you came from". Mr Zurell said afterwards that he found the conference "unbelievable" and "frightening".
Most terrorism in Britain is homegrown, according to the most comprehensive survey of those convicted of offences over the last 10 years. The Centre for Social Cohesion has compiled profiles of 124 individuals convicted of Islamic terrorism offences since 1999. It found that 69 per cent of offences were perpetrated by individuals holding British nationality.
Robin Simcox, co-author of the report, said their aim was to “focus the government’s counter-terrorism efforts. There are clear trends emerging with those involving themselves in terrorist activity in the UK,” he added. “It is crucial that this is recognised and then acted upon by the relevant authorities.”
His comments follow private remarks by Assistant Commissioner John Yates, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, that the country faces “eye-watering cuts” in counter-terrorism funding that could hand an advantage to al-Qaeda. Douglas Murray, Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: “The report proves how great a threat violent Islamism poses to the world – and the fact that Britain is at the centre of this global struggle.”
The Social Cohesion report outlines the links individuals had to terrorist groups, their nationality and ethnic origin, their age, hometown, occupation and education, which other radical Islamists they were connected to and what legislation the government used to jail them.
The report also shows how Britain’s links to violent Islamism are almost two decades old by profiling almost 100 other offences committed abroad since 1993 that are connected to Britain . . .
The survey found almost half (46 per cent) of offenders had their origins in south Asia including 28 per cent who had Pakistani heritage - of whom at least 80 per cent were British nationals. . . The next most common origin for offenders was Somalia . . Read it all here.
"America has elected a Tyrant" - states respected Paris-based American journalist, Nidra Poller
Watch this interview by New English Review (NER) Senior Editor Jerry Gordon with Nidra Poller, an American journalist and novelist living in Paris, France. “Why Does the Decline of Islam Have to Fall on Us?--Poller's contribution to the June 18th-19th, 2010 NER Symposium, “Decline, Fall & Islam--is published in the July edition of NER.
In this interview, Poller discusses--against the background of her reporting of Islamic anti-Semitism in France-- her concerns about increasing Islamization of America, abetted by President Barack Hussein Obama. She warns viewers that Americans have elected a tyrannical president who imposes his will and tramples individual freedoms granted under our Constitution. She notes that Europeans who had looked to America as a bastion of resistance to jihad are now in a quandary about where they might seek refuge from ominous developments in Europe.
Nidra Poller is an American novelist and journalist living in Paris. She has written extensively on the growing problem of anti-Zionism / antisemitism in Europe and has published in the Wall Street Journal Europe, Standpoint, Commentary, New English Review, City Journal, Jerusalem Post, AtlasShrugs, Washington Times, Jewish Quarterly, NY Sun, National Review Online, Pajamas Mediaand other outlets in the U.S., Europe, and Israel. Her translation of Emmanuel Levinas' Humanism of the Other and Unforseen History are in the catalogue of the U. of Illinois Press. Poller is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins University.
Under the combined weight of ideology and bigotry, the rule of law itself seems to be breaking down in Britain. For the second time, a jury has acquitted people charged with criminal acts because it appears to sympathise with their cause.
In September 2008, a jury decided that it was ok to break the law and cause more than £35,000 criminal damage to a coal-fired power station because of the threat of man-made global warming.
In the latest case, seven activists who caused £180,000 damage to an arms factory have been acquitted after they argued they were seeking to prevent ‘Israeli war crimes’. The Guardian reported yesterday, after the acquittals of the first five:
They believed that EDO MBM, the firm that owns the factory, was breaking export regulations by manufacturing and selling to the Israelis military equipment which would be used in the occupied territories. They wanted to slow down the manufacture of these components, and impede what they believed were war crimes being committed by Israel against the Palestinians.
... Hove crown court heard the activists had broken into the factory in the night. They had video-taped interviews beforehand outlining their intention to cause damage and, in the words of prosecutor Stephen Shay, ‘smash-up’ the factory.
observes in horror, it seems that in bigoted Britain all you have to do these days to be acquitted of a crime is to act against Israeli interests. But what really jumps out from this story is the direction the jury received from the judge in the case:
In his summing up, Judge George Bathurst-Norman suggested to the jury that ‘you may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered in that time’.
Let’s get our heads round this, folks: an English judge in an English court of law effectively directed a jury to acquit people of criminally smashing up a factory, because he chose to believe Hamas propaganda about the suffering of people in Gaza during a war about which he presumably has no knowledge whatever apart from what he has read or seen in the media – a war, moreover, launched solely to prevent Gazans from aggressively firing rockets into Israel in order to murder its civilians, during the course of which war Israel went to heroic lengths to avoid hurting Gazan civilians who were being put in harm’s way by Hamas, the true cause of Gaza's 'hell on earth'.
Quite apart from the ignorance and bigotry of Judge George Bathurst-Norman, what on earth is a judge doing imposing his political prejudices upon a jury and thus taking the side of the defendants in the case he is trying – with the result that he effectively directed the jury to acquit them of a crime?
Ironically enough, given the way he has now brought the justice system into disrepute, he declared indignantly on a previous occasion -- using his own tough record to rebut criticisms by the Home Secretary of the day of allegedly ‘soft’ sentencing by the courts:
‘The trouble is, if you go on for political reasons undermining the public's faith in the judiciary, sooner or later you are heading for anarchy and... in due course for the equivalent of a police state.’
No bleeding-heart liberal is Judge George Bathurst-Norman, it seems.
is yet another lenient sentence passed by this law’n’order judge –
Abu Bakr Siddiqui, a procurement agent for the A. Q. Khan network, receives what an individual familiar with the case describes as a “remarkably lenient” sentence for assistance he gave the network [through smuggling a shipment of special aluminium to the AQ Khan nuclear programme in Pakistan]. The judge, George Bathurst-Norman, acknowledges that the crimes Siddiqui committed (see August 29, 2001) would usually carry a “very substantial” prison term, but says that there are “exceptional circumstances,” claiming that Siddiqui had been too trusting and had been “blinded” to facts that were “absolutely staring [him] in the face.” Siddiqui gets a twelve-month suspended sentence and a fine of £6,000 (about $10,000). Authors David Armstrong and Joe Trento will comment, “In a scenario eerily reminiscent of earlier nuclear smuggling cases in the United States and Canada, Siddiqui walked out of court essentially a free man.” They will also offer an explanation for the volte-face between conviction and sentencing, pointing out that there was a key event in the interim: due to the 9/11 attacks “Pakistan was once again a vital British and American ally. And, as in the past, it became imperative that Islamabad not be embarrassed over its nuclear program for fear of losing its cooperation….”
Anyone spot a connecting thread here?
Greenstein also helpfully notes about the Hove travesty that
Judge George Bathurst-Norman was brought out of retirement to hear the case.
Really? Why? And just who decided to do that?
What in judicial hell on earth's name is going on here?
By Ali Al-Saadi, AFP/Getty Images"There's been so much focus on Afghanistan lately, it's been easy to forget about the war in Iraq -- but big things are about to happen there as well.
Vice President Biden's surprise trip to Baghdad this week was designed in part to brace the Iraqis for the end of the U.S. combat mission in their country, currently set for Aug. 31.
Biden also reminded the Iraqis that the U.S. will continue to provide assistance for the foreseeable future.
On "Aug. 31st, we will change our military mission by drawing closer to all of you, not further apart," Biden said at an Independence Day reception with Iraqi guests. "Our commitment to you will not disappear on Aug. 31st; it will grow stronger. As you continue to stand up and build your democracy, we'll be there with you economically, politically, socially, science, education."
Even with the end of combat operations, some 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq to train and advise the Iraqi military and assist with counter-terrorism operations.
Biden, who has become Obama's point person on Iraq, has also been speaking with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and election challenger Iyad Allawi about forming a new Iraqi government.
During the reception, Biden told Iraqi leaders: "The concept of subordinating your individual interest is fundamental to the success of any nation ... So my plea to you is, finish what you started -- a truly legitimate and representative government that meets the needs and aspirations of all Iraqi people."
Biden also reminded the Iraqis that the United States had a fractious start 234 years ago.
"When our Founders did it, when they signed that Declaration (of Independence), many of them did not even like one another," Biden said. "You think I'm joking; I'm not -- I'm absolutely confident you will do it."
"The Gilded Age"By Mark Twain And Charles Dudley Warner
This book was not written for private circulation among friends; it was
not written to cheer and instruct a diseased relative of the author's;
it was not thrown off during intervals of wearing labor to amuse an idle
hour. It was not written for any of these reasons, and therefore it is
submitted without the usual apologies.
It will be seen that it deals with an entirely ideal state of society;
and the chief embarrassment of the writers in this realm of the
imagination has been the want of illustrative examples. In a State where
there is no fever of speculation, no inflamed desire for sudden wealth,
where the poor are all simple-minded and contented, and the rich are all
honest and generous, where society is in a condition of primitive purity
and politics is the occupation of only the capable and the patriotic,
there are necessarily no materials for such a history as we have
constructed out of an ideal commonwealth.
No apology is needed for following the learned custom of placing
attractive scraps of literature at the heads of our chapters. It has
been truly observed by Wagner that such headings, with their vague
suggestions of the matter which is to follow them, pleasantly inflame the
reader's interest without wholly satisfying his curiosity, and we will
hope that it may be found to be so in the present case.
Our quotations are set in a vast number of tongues; this is done for the
reason that very few foreign nations among whom the book will circulate
can read in any language but their own; whereas we do not write for a
particular class or sect or nation, but to take in the whole world.
We do not object to criticism; and we do not expect that the critic will
read the book before writing a notice of it: We do not even expect the
reviewer of the book will say that he has not read it. No, we have no
anticipations of anything unusual in this age of criticism. But if the
Jupiter, Who passes his opinion on the novel, ever happens to peruse it
in some weary moment of his subsequent life, we hope that he will not be
the victim of a remorse bitter but too late.
One word more. This is--what it pretends to be a joint production, in
the conception of the story, the exposition of the characters, and in its
literal composition. There is scarcely a chapter that does not bear the
marks of the two writers of the book.
A New NASA Mission - Forget About "Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before" Stuff
Well, now we know why NASA is not on the Obama Administration's budget cutting list. The reason: NASA isn't apparently about space exploration anymore, it's about dhimmitude. There is no way that I could have made this up - it's just not possible. Fox News:
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his "foremost" mission as the head of America's space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.
Though international diplomacy would seem well outside NASA's orbit, Bolden said in an interview with Al Jazeera that strengthening those ties was among the top tasks President Obama assigned him. He said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel.
"When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview.