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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, 2010.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
The Talibanisation of British childhood by hardline parents

I am no fan of the whinging Yasmin Alibhai-brown who has the subious accolade of being dozy bint of the week here twice. But speak as I find, for once she is not whinging for herself, but expressing genuine and serious concern. The young people suffering are Muslims, but they are suffering at the hards of their Muslim elders, not the vile and wicked British nation. Is this apologist for her creed starting to see its deficiencies? Is this just a good story, in which she can emphasis her own role in BMSD, and next week she will return to Brit bashing? I don't doubt the case stories she details and for that reason alone this article in today's Daily Mail is worth 5 minutes of your time.

Last November, on the steps of Tate Britain, I witnessed a scene that troubles me still. A furious Asian father was shaking his young son and tearing up the picture his child had drawn. The boy kicked and cried. Recognising my face from TV appearances I had made as a commentator on current affairs, the father came across to say 'hello'.

So I asked him what his child had done that had made him so angry. He explained that according to his Islamic mentors, drawing pictures of people was forbidden. I was flabbergasted. After all, this was in the middle of Britain's multi-cultural capital  -  a modern metropolis, not some dusty backstreet in Kabul. What harm can there be in a picture? So I asked the man if he owned a camera. 'Yes,' he replied. 'And a video camera.'

So why, I asked, was it acceptable for him to take pictures, but not for his child to draw a stick figure? 'The madrasa teacher told me children are not allowed to,' he said, referring to the places of religious instruction for Muslim children, which are the equivalent of Sunday schools for Christians. 'I am not an educated man, so I must listen to them.'

Alas, in the past year I have come to realise his attitude towards his child is far from unique.

An investigation by the BBC revealed one London school where more than 20 Muslim pupils had been removed from music lessons because their parents felt such teaching to be anti-Islamic. Another one- off? No, the Muslim Council of Britain confirmed that music lessons are likely to be 'unacceptable' to 10 per cent of Muslims.

What should be a simple pleasure is instead seen by thousands of families as a symbol of moral decadence. In my role as chair of the British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD), which campaigns against fanaticism, many inner-city teachers have told me they feel paralysed by extreme demands.

Brainwashed Muslim parents ask school librarians not to lend their children storybooks. (Jacqueline Wilson, the former Children's Laureate, is targeted for 'leading children astray' with her stories that deal with contemporary social issues, such as single motherhood.) My daughter moved on from Jacqueline Wilson to read Oliver Twist, where even worse things happen to children.

Some Muslim children have been kept away from school visits to temples, churches and art galleries.Teddy bears and pets are also branded un-Islamic.

How about the daughter of a relative of mine, who was having a birthday-party and invited all the girls in her class. The Muslim pupils organised a boycott because she had invited 'unbelievers'.

In one secondary school, a talented Muslim pupil was cast in the leading role in the George Bernard Shaw play Caesar And Cleopatra.  Her parents didn't seem to object, and all was going well until the dress rehearsal, when she turned up at school with bruises on her face, crying and refusing to go on stage. The local imam had summoned her family and warned them that acting in plays was 'worse than whoredom'. The father, an engineer, refused to be cowed, but the mother, scared of what people would say, beat her daughter and threatened to take her out of school (which she duly did).

Take 13-year-old Femida, who lives in a refuge with her Jordanian mother, a wedding singer. Her father, a convert to Islam, had become more and more authoritarian. Mother and daughter fled after he took a hammer to the CD player and TV set, and tried to throttle his wife. 'He was screaming that he wanted to kill my voice so I could be a good Muslim,' says Femida.

I am also helping Sana, a beautiful, 20-year-old Somali woman. Her family was happy once. Her father, a teacher, believed in female emancipation. They had books, radios and threw parties.'I dress modestly, but I could buy nice clothes, wear earrings, dance,' she says. Five years ago, her father died and her brother became head of the family. At university, he had joined a radical Islamic society and Sana and her mother had to submit to his fanatical interpretation of Islam

The rapid spread of rigid, diehard Islam is deeply worrying. Yet those in power, focused on terrorist cells, seem oblivious to this other peril. For many of us Muslims, this creeping Talibanisation of childhood is unendurable. I could never have imagined, nine years on, (from the start of the war in Afghanistan) that the Taliban would be claiming to have 'won the war' in Afghanistan.

Or, much worse, that our politicians and Muslim 'leaders' here would allow their twisted ideology to spread across Britain. Make no mistake, Taliban devotees are in our schools, playgrounds, homes, mosques, political parties, public service, private firms and universities. 

And if we are to have any hope of combating them, we need to stop this attitude of appeasement and understand why so many Muslims are attracted to the most punishing forms of belief, suppressing women and children.Eye-watering amounts of Saudi money goes into promoting Wahhabism. They fund mosques, religious-schools, imams, conferences and trips to Saudi Arabia. They are our wealthy allies and so are never questioned or stopped.

Free-thinking Muslims have lacked courage to oppose what is going on, while politicians do nothing for cynical reasons - best, they think, not to antagonise possible voters. Meanwhile, the liberal position is to let people be and do what they wish within the law. Liberals tolerate the intolerable because they don't have to live with the consequences. Yet the problem is in part caused by liberal values.

Ah, here we go, here comes the tirade about half naked teenagers drinking in the streets. Half naked teenagers drinking to excess are indeed a worry. Although how do you define 'half naked' ? To a certain type of islamic my daughter, a good girl, although I say so myself, who has been just asked to help teach at Sunday school is half naked in her Guide uniform and school uniform. Bare below the elbow, skirt above her ankles, hair flowing free? Do they not realise that these poor creatures "nearly naked in the roads, drinking and swearing, sex everywhere. I can't let my young daughters be like that. So I send them to Muslim schools. I don't want to, but it is bad out there" are actually a minority? A worrying minority and one that needs to be urged into a better way of life, but not the only type of non Muslim teenager around.

The Wahhabi crusaders step in, exploit these fears and promise salvation. And then there is the connection with Muslim homelands, all of which are getting more Talibanised, Pakistan most of all. The result is utterly corrosive, in particular for women and children who are paying the social price for fundamentalism. Invaluable educational activities and ordinary pleasures are considered haram - sinful - by fathers and husbands.

If this was happening in any other nation, we would be condemning it loudly. Yet here, curtailed and deficient education endured by many Muslim children is seen as a religious entitlement, which, if opposed, apparently confirms Islamophobia. Even if it offends liberal principles, the powerful must find a way of stopping Islamicists from promulgating their distorted creed. If they don't, the future is bleak for Muslims and the country. Many of us British Muslims care deeply about both.

That must be a first. Me agreeing with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

By the way BMSD keeps reminding me of BDSM, knowledge of the very existence of which (I worked in Crown and County courts for nearly half my career is my excuse) confirms I am part of the decadent British society and thus to be avoided.

Posted on 08/05/2010 1:29 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 5 August 2010
List to sent terror chief aligns peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology

Another unusual event - I post something from the Guardian and find myself in agreement with the Quillam Foundation. It is also futher evidence to support my suspicion that there is corruption in the Home Office.

A secret list prepared for a top British security official accuses peaceful Muslim groups, politicians, a television channel and a Scotland Yard unit of sharing the ideology of terrorists. The list was drawn up for Charles Farr, the director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), a directorate of the Home Office. Farr is a former senior intelligence officer.

It was sent to him in June by the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism thinktank which has received about £1m in government funding.

The document sent to Farr is entitled "Preventing terrorism; where next for Britain?" It lists alleged extremist sympathisers, including the Muslim Council of Britain, the main umbrella group in Britain for Islamic organisations. It also claims that a Scotland Yard counter-terrorism squad called the Muslim Contact Unit is dominated by extremist ideology.

Other groups include the Muslim Safety Forum, which works with the police to improve community relations, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, and even the Islam Channel, which provides television programmes for Muslims on satellite. Note the Guardian's tone of horror that such a thing should be suggested!

The briefing document says: "The ideology of non-violent Islamists is broadly the same as that of violent Islamists; they disagree only on tactics. "These are a selection of the various groups and institutions active in the UK which are broadly sympathetic to Islamism. Whilst only a small proportion will agree with al-Qaida's tactics, many will agree with their overall goal of creating a single 'Islamic state' which would bring together all Muslims around the world under a single government and then impose on them a single interpretation of sharia as state law."

The document adds that if local or central government engages with such groups "it risks empowering proponents of the ideology, if not the methodology, that is behind terrorism".

The report was addressed personally to Farr and says it is not to be seen by civil servants, only by him, ministers and their special advisers. Nonetheless, it was leaked and posted on the web. I wonder who in that office would sneak around making secret e-mails?  Or maybe someone who didn't trust that clique to take the list seriously enough?

Also listed in the document are the Muslim Association of Britain, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, the Cordoba Foundation, and Muslim Welfare House, based in north London, which was instrumental in forcing the extremist cleric Abu Hamza out of the Finsbury Park mosque where he preached.

The Finsbury Park mosque, now under new management, is also declared extremist, as are Birmingham Central mosque and the East London mosque. Politicians described as "Islamist backed" include Salma Yaqoob, who stood for the Respect party in Birmingham, and the former MP George Galloway. I wouldn't argue with that assessment either.

The usual suspects, Keith Vaz, Inayat Bunglawala and the like are protesting too much, as one would expect.

Quilliam's argument is that the government cannot merely tackle those advocating terrorist violence, but also has to target those who have the same views, even if they advocate peaceful means.

Senior Tory party figures are sympathetic to such views. One source with knowledge of Conservative thinking on security issues told the Guardian that the briefing document is "quite in line with what Quilliam and the Conservatives have been thinking for years". Critics say such an approach is ill-founded and risks branding vast swathes of Muslim Britain as extremist. Supporters say it is necessary to tackle the roots of terrorist violence.

The briefing document from Quilliam also addresses the Prevent programme, which the Conservative coalition has criticised. A Home Office spokesperson (who will be a bossy young woman in a black suit - the late Keith Waterhouse's description of the type, not mine) said: "We believe the Prevent programme isn't working as effectively as it could and want a strategy that is effective and properly focused – that is why we are reviewing it."

Posted on 08/05/2010 3:32 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Muslim women 'targeted by extremists' at UK universities

They are coming thick and fast this morning. A puff piece from the BBC on the effectiveness of the Prevent Programme (a nice little earner for some, which is why they don't want it to go) but which contains facts we have been pointing out for some time.

A growing number of young Muslim women are being radicalised by extremists while studying at UK universities, according to a Muslim women's group.

As one Islamic student group denies it is a problem, BBC News examines how widespread on-campus radicalisation is and why young women in particular are targets.

When Sadia started university, like most students, she was eager to make new friends and to fit in, so she joined the Islamic society. Sadia, 22, (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), was befriended by a group of Muslim girls that she met at the events.

'They seemed to know a lot about Islam. As I grew closer to them, they would give me books to read to help me learn more about my religion," she said. Sadia was shown videos of Muslims allegedly "suffering because of the West", which led to her becoming radicalised. "It made me think violence was acceptable. It made me want to become a suicide bomber".

Shaista Gohir, a consultant for Prevent, the government's anti-terror programme and head of the Muslim Women's Network UK (MWN-UK), said increasing numbers of Muslim women were being targeted at British universities. 'I have come across ample anecdotal evidence through my work, to suggest a growing problem of women being drawn into violent extremism. 'While it is mostly men who are targeted, women are also now being recruited by extremist groups.'  Ms Gohir believes extremist groups could be deliberately going out of their way to target women, because female extremists arouse less suspicion than men.

Hadiya Masieh, 32, says she was recruited by radicals from Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist group which claims it is non-violent, while at Brunel University. The group is banned from the campus. She said its members convinced her to become a radical: "Once they've established that suspicion (against "the West") and malaise, depending on the person, all that emotion can be challenged in various ways, including violence.'  Ms Masieh has since left the group and is now and a member of the government's Muslim Women's Advisory Board (MWAB).

However, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) has denied there is an extremist element at UK universities.

Ms Gohir said many of the government's Prevent projects did not challenge extremism ideologies head-on, and £7m has just been cut from its £140m budget. . . While Sadia may have found a way out, she is fearful for others. She said: 'I think if the problem is ignored, Britain could sees its first female suicide bomber." So gimme, gimme, gimme.

Posted on 08/05/2010 3:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 5 August 2010
The British equivalent

Andrew Roberts (from Harry's Place):

[I]f we multiply those numbers by nine to get the British equivalent, just imagine what we would do if a terrorist organization based as close as Calais were to fire thirty-six thousand rockets into Sussex and Kent, killing 387 British civilians, after killing seventy-two British servicemen in an ambush and capturing eighteen. There is absolutely no lengths to which our Government would not go to protect British subjects under those circumstances, and quite right too. Why should Israel be expected to behave any differently?

Posted on 08/05/2010 5:14 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 5 August 2010

From Newsbiscuit:

New laws in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will require that every Blackberry user dress their phone a miniature burqa and face veil.

‘The Blackberry burqa means that people can still use their phones,’ said a Saudi government official, ‘but the tiny niqab that covers the screen will stop them from reading emails or accessing the Internet.’

The introduction of the burqa is intended to conceal the Blackberry from unwanted attention. With the veil in place only a tiny slit remains revealing just the time and date, thus preserving its modesty.

‘This is not about censorship or oppression,’ said UAE telecommunications regulator Mohammed al-Ghanem, ‘this is about preserving the essential purity of the Blackberry and protecting it from being corrupted.’

Some businessmen believe that making their phone wear a burqa can be very liberating. ‘It’s great,’ said one, ‘with the veil in place I am free to walk about with my Blackberry in public without the feeling that people are staring lustily at my multi-media application. It also covers my shame for not owning an iPhone.’

Some religious groups have welcomed the policy. ‘If Allah had meant us to freely access the Internet He would have given us web browsers in our heads,’ said a local imam, adding ‘There is absolutely no mention of instant messaging in the Koran and at no point did Muhammad, or any of his eleven wives, ever say LOL, ROFL or PMSL.’

If the Blackberry burqa is successful it may spread to other countries. However, experts say that dressing your phone in a burqa could result in poor reception, especially in France and Belgium.

The British government has yet to declare an official line on phone burqas although Immigration Minister Damian Green said that to ban them would be ‘very unBritish’. He went on to explain that, ‘the British thing to do, as always, is to grumble and tut.’

The Saudi government have promised that anyone who refuses to dress their Blackberry in a burqa will face harsh punishment. ‘I am not saying exactly what we will do,’ said their Minister for Justice, ‘but suffice to say that it isn’t so easy to text with your toes.’

Just one thing - is it still OK to say "Blackberry", or must we say "Berry-of-any-colour-and-none"?

Posted on 08/05/2010 5:54 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Mistakes in The Telegraph

A Telegraph writer confused "may" and "might"at least once to my knowledge, and others have used "whom", where "who" is correct. That's nothing. From Fleet Street Blues:

[Associate editor Simon Heffer] sets out, by our count, 48 separate mistakes which have recently appeared in the Telegraph or on its website, ranging from the forgivable (the correct spelling of Air Chief Marshal) to the unforgivable ('the luck of the drawer') to the downright embarrassing (Sir David Attenborough, the naturist).

'We are quality media, and quality media do not make mistakes such as these,' he informs the Telegraph newsdesk - and now the wider world. Quite so.

From: Simon Heffer

Date: 3 August 2010 12:50
Subject: Style Notes No. 31

Dear Colleagues

We must make sure we stick to the rules on how to describe people, because to stray from consistency causes confusion. He is also known as Specialist Brad Manning. We should stick to the familiar, and refer to him at all times (until he is convicted of anything) as Pte Manning. We have started to call him Mr Manning; which, as he is not a civilian, is just plain wrong. The only exception is with officers (usually of the rank of Lt-General or above) who have also been knighted; in which case they should be called (for example) General Sir David Richards at first mention, and then may be either Gen Richards or Sir David. Many of our readers are or have been in the services and have great attention to detail on matters of rank. Since they know at once when we get it wrong, we need to have that attention to detail too.

If you find yourself using a word of whose meaning you are unsure, do look it up in the dictionary. When we get a word wrong it is embarrassing. It demeans us as professional writers and shakes our readers’ confidence in us. In recent weeks we have confused endocrinology – the study of the body’s endocrine system – with dendrochronology, which is the study of dating trees. More embarrassing still, we accused the eminent broadcaster Sir David Attenborough of being a naturist – someone who chooses not to wear clothes – when in fact he is a naturalist; and during a story about a coach crash in Paris the nationality of the driver changed from Austrian to Australian. Homogenous and homogeneous are not interchangeable and their respective meanings should be studied in the dictionary. Like embodied and embedded, which we also confused, effecting and affecting and eligibility and legibility, these pairs of words almost come under the heading of homophones, as do prostate and prostrate. We must take more care and ensure we are using the right word.

Homophones remain abundant and show up the writer and the newspaper or website. We are quality media, and quality media do not make mistakes such as these: “the luck of the drawer”, “through the kitchen sink”, “through up” “dragging their heals” and “slammed on the breaks”, all of which are clichés that might not be worthy of a piece of elegant writing even if spelt correctly. We have also confused Briton and Britain, hanger and hangar, hordes and hoards, peeled and pealed, lightening and lightning, stationery and stationary, principal and principle, peninsula and peninsular, licence and license and, in something of a pile-up, born, borne and bourn. If you are unsure of the meanings of any of these words, look them up before proceeding further.

Many of these mistakes are caused by carelessness and not properly reading back what one has written. We have had an increasing number of literals in recent weeks, both online and in the paper, which suggests the problem is getting worse rather than better. Heads of department have a particular responsibility to ensure that their staff perform to the best professional standards in this respect. We managed to perpetrate one of the worst literals of all recently – pubic for public- which may seem a laughing matter, but is not.

Some Americanisms keep slipping in, usually when we are given agency copy to re-write and do an inadequate job on it. There is no such verb as “impacted”, and other American-style usages of nouns as verbs should be avoided (authored, gifted etc). Maneuver is not spelt that way in Britain. We do not have lawmakers: we might just about have legislators, but better still we have parliament. People do not live in their hometown; they live in their home town, or even better the place where they were born.



Posted on 08/05/2010 6:13 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Naomi Campbell's Non-Conflict Over Conflict Diamonds

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Model Naomi Campbell testified at the war crimes trial of former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor on Thursday that she received a gift of "dirty-looking stones" after attending a dinner with him — but stopped short of saying they were diamonds or that she was given them by Taylor himself.

Campbell was being questioned about claims made by actress Mia Farrow that Taylor gave the model an uncut diamond after a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997.

Prosecutors summoned Campbell to back their allegations that Taylor received diamonds from rebels in Sierra Leone, which they say he then used to buy weapons during a 1997 trip to South Africa. Taylor has denied the allegations as "nonsense."

The British model said on the stand that she had attended a dinner party at Nelson Mandela's presidential home with Charles Taylor and Mia Farrow, as well as guests including music producer Quincy Jones, Pakistani cricket-player-turned-politician Imran Khan and his then-wife, British socialite Jemima Khan.

After the dinner, Campbell and the other guests retired to their rooms and Campbell was awakened in the middle of the night by two men at her door who offered her a pouch, she testified.

"A gift for you," she said they told her. She said she frequently receives gifts from admirers and didn't look at it until the following morning.

"I saw a few stones in there. And they were small, dirty-looking stones," she said.


The conflict is clear: should Naomi Campbell, having apparently told Mia Farrow about her admirer's gift, (for otherwise how would Mia Farrow have known?) the tip-top super-duper model  who treats her domestic servants like Simon Legree or a Saudi princess,, now straightforwardly tell the truth and be forced to give the diamond up, possibly so that it would be sold and the proceeds used to support chariites that treat the victims of Charles Taylor and his "conflict"?

The choice is stark, and easy.

"Nah," said Naomi Campbell.

Posted on 08/05/2010 6:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
A Musical Interlude: Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend (Marilyn Monroe)

Watch, and listen, here.


Posted on 08/05/2010 7:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Tony Badran On Whose Finger Is On The Trigger In Lebanon

Look at who holds the South Lebanon trigger

The Lebanese, Saudi and Syrian flags fly at the Rafik Hariri International Airport on July 30 before the Saudi king and Syrian president's arrival. (AFP photo)

On the eve of last Friday’s mini-Arab summit in Lebanon, the United States quietly, but noticeably, renewed a 2007 Executive Order designating parties deemed to be undermining Lebanese sovereignty.
The renewal was a welcome reminder of the problems overshadowed by the photo-op in Baabda that included President Michel Sleiman, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, it did not compensate for the lack of active American involvement in Lebanon’s affairs, nor its substitution with an “over the horizon” policy allowing local and regional actors to take the lead in addressing initiatives potentially damaging to Washington’s interests.
In his message to Congress about the renewal of EO 13441, President Barack Obama identified the major source of Lebanon’s destabilization and the undermining of its sovereignty: continued arms smuggling to Hezbollah, including, of course, that carried out by Syria. This helped refocus the issue amid all the surreal statements about Syria’s role in safeguarding Lebanon’s stability at the Baabda summit.
This clarification also served to refocus, at least conceptually, the priorities of US policy toward Syria and Lebanon. Syria is, understandably, nowhere near the top of the list of the Obama administration’s main concerns. However, this has led to ill-advised steps, one being the introduction of myriad American interlocutors with Damascus, which has led to a muddling of policy priorities.
A perfect recent example was the disastrous  “creative diplomacy” of the State Department Twitterati: the two young officials who infamously Tweeted their adventures in Syria, as they led a delegation of tech executives on a “cyber diplomacy” mission. Their embarrassing conduct was matched by the total loss of perspective and clear policy evident in the initiative itself. Here was a case of “engagement” with Damascus devoid of a single reference to the outstanding issues with Syria, such as the smuggling of Scuds and M-600 rockets to Hezbollah.
Which brings us back to last Friday’s bizarre fest. It’s no secret that the dynamics unfolding in Lebanon since 2009 have been directly linked to the Saudi entente with Syria that began at the Kuwait Economic Summit in February of last year. This has had negative repercussions for US regional interests even beyond Lebanon. Take, for instance, Iraq, where Syria has facilitated a campaign of violence since August 2009 in the run-up to the Iraqi parliamentary elections; or Saudi insistence on “reconciliation” between Syria and an uninterested Egypt, whose positions on “resistance” movements and national security concerns remain in direct conflict with those of Syria.
Some Saudi publicists who have echoed the evolution of thinking on Lebanon in Saudi official circles have gone as far as to advocate a full “handing over” of Lebanon back to Syria, as well as to entertain fantasies about prying Syria away from Iran and returning it to the Arab fold. Their general objective is balancing Iranian influence in Lebanon and using Syria to “contain” Hezbollah.
Unfortunately, all the US could muster in response to these developments was a naïve statement by State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley, who advised the Syrians to listen to King Abdullah and start moving away from their relationship with Iran.
Whatever the Saudis may be thinking, it’s far from clear that their maneuvers are necessarily going to serve the US well. For instance, despite conflicting leaks and analyses about what the Saudi position on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is, it’s not unreasonable to argue that, under the guise of safeguarding stability, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri would come under increasing pressure to denounce the tribunal, and that’s clearly the direction being pushed by the Syrians and their frequent spokesmen. While that may not be enough in itself to end the tribunal, it would be a setback for US objectives and leverage. 
Syrian thinking, as expressed in public leaks and statements, does not suggest any sense of harmony with Saudi hopes and desires. The notion being peddled today that Syria has an interest in Lebanon’s stability ignores Damascus’ continuous smuggling of unprecedented types of weaponry to Hezbollah. In the end, the only venue for Syria’s regional relevance is an open south Lebanese front to be used to blackmail its adversaries under the guise that it is a front controlled by Syria.
But that front, and the Hezbollah combatants manning it, are Iranian assets first and foremost. That’s why Syria has begun to transfer specifically Syrian weaponry, in the hope of regaining the seat of primary interlocutor that it had in the 1990s, most clearly enshrined in the (thankfully) obsolete April Understanding of 1996. Syria was officially recognized as a guarantor of the understanding in Lebanon, and primary interlocutor for Lebanese foreign and security policies.
And this is hardly a new refrain. The Israelis were foolish enough in the 1990s to believe that the Syrians would “contain” Hezbollah, and now we are seeing the same argument recycled once more, in Saudi guise.
But we are no longer in the 1990s. The rules of engagement have changed drastically since 2006. In the end, both the Saudis and the Syrians are playing in the margins, as neither controls the trigger of Hezbollah’s weapons; Iran does. The main constituent elements for future conflict remain the same regardless of Saudi-Syrian maneuvers.

Tony Badran is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Posted on 08/05/2010 9:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Naomi Campbell, The Mandela Children's Fund, And So On

Now Naomi Campbell has testified hat she (being the kind of person she is), promptly gave those "dirty stones" that she received in the middle of the night from persons unknown, to a friend of hers, the head of the Mandela Children's Fund. The Mandela Children's  Fund denies ever having received those diamonds.

So someone is lying. Take your choice: 

1) Naomi Campbell who may have kept the diamonds

2) Her friend who headed the Mandela Children's Fund at the time, who may have kept the diamonds

3) Whoever is the present head of the Mandela Children's Fund, who may have kept the diamonds


Would you be surprised if it were a? What about b? And c? 

Posted on 08/05/2010 10:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Moroccan King's latest statement on Western Sahara and hostility towards Al Qaeda

On April 27, Moroccan authorities announced the dismantling of an Al Qaeda-linked international terrorist network planning to attack security and foreign services in Morocco. The network’s aim was “to hire Moroccan activists to send them to conflict-prone areas, especially in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and the Sahel-Saharan region.” Since the terrorist attacks in Casablanca on 16 May 16, 2003 that killed 45 people among them the suicide-bombers, the Moroccan authorities have been able to upset several terrorist plots and made more than a thousand arrests.

Following Morocco’s detention of Al-Qaeda linked terrorist cells, King Mohammad VI in a July 30 speech from the throne said “Morocco will continue to defend its sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity with the resolve not to give up any inch of Western Sahara.”

July 30 marks the eleventh anniversary of his enthronement. The King warned that “Actions to integrate the Western Sahara will be carried out with the expectation that  Algeria stops thwarting the logic of history, geography, legitimacy and legality on the Moroccan Sahara, and gives up its desperate maneuvers aimed in vain at derailing the momentum of our autonomy initiative for our southern provinces.”

He added that “Morocco will continue to move forward in implementing the “ambitious vision that we outlined in our last Green March speech, ensuring that the Moroccan Sahara is a top beneficiary of the advanced regionalization process and by continuing unabated efforts to promote the common development of our southern provinces.”

Source African Press Agency

Posted on 08/05/2010 10:06 AM by Norman Berdichevsky
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Dorothy Rabinowitz On Mayor Bloomberg And His Pieties

Liberal Piety and the Memory of 9/11

The enlightened class can't understand why the public is uneasy about the Ground Zero mosque.




Americans may have lacked for much in the course of their history, but never instruction in social values. The question today is whether Americans of any era have ever confronted the bombardment of hectoring and sermonizing now directed at those whose views are deemed insufficiently enlightened—an offense regularly followed by accusations that the offenders have violated the most sacred principles of our democracy.

It doesn't take a lot to become the target of such a charge. There is no mistaking the beliefs on display in these accusations, most recently in regard to the mosque about to be erected 600 feet from Ground Zero. Which is that without the civilizing dictates of their superiors in government, ordinary Americans are lost to reason and decency. They are the kind of people who—as a recent presidential candidate put it—cling to their guns and their religion.

There is no better exemplar of that faith than New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though in this he is hardly alone. Compared with the Obama White House, Mr. Bloomberg is a piker in the preachments and zealotry department. Still, no voice brings home more unforgettably the attitudes that speak for today's enlightened and progressive class.

Immediately after the suspect in the attempted car bombing near Times Square was revealed to be Faisal Shahzad, of Pakistani origin, Mayor Bloomberg addressed the public. In admonishing tones—a Bloomberg trademark invariably suggestive of a school principal who knows exactly what to expect of the incorrigibles it is his unhappy fate to oversee—the mayor delivered a warning. There would be no toleration of "any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers."


That there has been a conspicuous lack of any such behavior on the part of New Yorkers or Americans elsewhere from the 9/11 attacks to the present seems not to have impressed Mr. Bloomberg. Nor has it caused any moderation in the unvarying note of indignation the mayor brings to these warnings. It's reasonable to raise a proper caution. It's quite something else to do it as though addressing a suspect rabble.

It's hard to know the sort of rabble the mayor had in mind when he told a television interviewer, prior to Shahzad's identification, that it "could be anything," someone mentally disturbed, or "somebody with a political agenda who doesn't like the health-care bill." Nowhere in the range of colorful possibilities the mayor raised was there any mention of the most likely explanation—another terrorist attempt by a soldier of radical Islam, the one that occurred to virtually every American who had heard the reports.

The citizens were, of course, right. Those leaders bent on dissuading them from their grasp of the probable cause of this near disaster were left with their red herrings hanging—but remembered. Mr. Bloomberg's "someone who doesn't like the health-care bill" would be inscribed in the golden book of howlers these events have yielded, along with Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano's brisk assurance there was no evidence this was anything but "a one-off."

When a car bomb was discovered in Times Square in May, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested every possible motivation but the obvious and correct one: Islamist terror.

The notion that it is for the greater good that the people be led to suspect virtually any cause but the one they had the most reason to fear reflects a contempt for the citizenry that's of longstanding, but never so blatant as today. It is in the interest of higher values, Americans understand—higher, that is, than theirs—that they are now expected to accept official efforts to becloud reality.

Such values were the rationale for the official will to ignore the highly suspicious behavior of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who went on to murder 13 Americans at Fort Hood. A silence maintained despite all his commanders and colleagues knew about his raging hostility to the U.S. military and his strident advocacy on behalf of political Islam.

Those who knew—and they were many—chose silence out of fear of seeming insensitive to a Muslim. As one who had said nothing in the interest of this higher good later explained, Maj. Hasan was, after all, one of the few top-ranking Muslim officers the army had.

In the plan for an Islamic center and mosque some 15 stories high to be built near Ground Zero, the full force of politically correct piety is on display along with the usual unyielding assault on all dissenters. The project has aroused intense opposition from New Yorkers and Americans across the country. It has also elicited remarkable streams of oratory from New York's political leaders, including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.



"What are we all about if not religious freedom?" a fiery Mr. Cuomo asked early in this drama. Mr. Cuomo, running for governor, has since had less to say.

The same cannot be said for Mr. Bloomberg, who has gone on to deliver regular meditations on the need to support the mosque, and on the iniquity of its opponents. In the course of a speech at Dartmouth on July 16 he raised the matter unasked, and held forth on his contempt for those who opposed the project and even wanted to investigate the funding: "I just think it's the most outrageous thing anybody could suggest." Ground Zero is a "very appropriate place' for a mosque, the mayor announced, because it "tells the world" that in America, we have freedom of religion for everybody.

Here was an idea we have been hearing more and more of lately—the need to show the world America's devotion to democracy and justice, also cited by the administration as a reason to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City. Who is it, we can only wonder, that requires these proofs? What occasions these regular brayings on the need to show the world the United States is a free nation?

It's unlikely that the preachments now directed at opponents of the project by Mayor Bloomberg and others will persuade that opposition. Those fighting the building recognize full well the deliberate obtuseness of Mr. Bloomberg's exhortations, and those of Mr. Cuomo and others: the resort to pious battle cries, the claim that antagonists of the plan stand against religious freedom. They note, especially, the refusal to confront the obvious question posed by this proposed center towering over the ruins of 9/11.

It is a question most ordinary Americans, as usual, have no trouble defining. Namely, how is it that the planners, who have presented this effort as a grand design for the advancement of healing and interfaith understanding, have refused all consideration of the impact such a center will have near Ground Zero? Why have they insisted, despite intense resistance, on making the center an assertive presence in this place of haunted memory? It is an insistence that calls to mind the Flying Imams, whose ostentatious prayers—apparently designed to call attention to themselves on a U.S. Airways flight to Phoenix in November 2006—ended in a lawsuit. The imams sued. The airlines paid.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser—devout Muslim, physician, former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy—says there is every reason to investigate the center's funding under the circumstances. Of the mosque so near the site of the 9/11 attacks, he notes "It will certainly be seen as a victory for political Islam." [Read: Islam]

The center may be built where planned. But it will not go easy or without consequence to the politicians intent on jamming the project down the public throat, in the name of principle. Liberal piety may have met its match in the raw memory of 9/11, and in citizens who have come to know pure demagoguery when they hear it. They have had, of late, plenty of practice.

Posted on 08/05/2010 11:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Duty Calls, Or, Longitudinal Research Needed

Scientists dissect the nature of the 'booty call'

While any college student knows the rules, researchers call for 'longitudinal' research on 'hybrid' relations

By Stephanie Pappas

As relationships go, booty calls don't get the most respect, but at least they're getting researched. A new study finds that booty-call relationships — late night calls to arrange a sexual rendezvous — are marked by less emotion than long-term partnerships but more sexual variety than one-night stands.

The study, led by Peter Jonason, then a psychologist at the University of West Florida, surveyed almost 300 college students who had been in a variety of relationships over the past year. The results showed that booty calls mix the sexual and the emotional, but are distinct from either one-night stands or committed relationships.


"Booty call was a hybrid," said Jonason, who is now a professor at the University of South Alabama. "We positioned it mostly in the middle [of sexual and romantic relationships], but we positioned it mostly on the side of sex."

Take the call, an online encyclopedia of slang, defines booty call as "a late night summons — often made via telephone — to arrange clandestine sexual liaisons on an ad hoc basis." (Warning to the curious: That definition is one of the more family-friendly entries on the site.) Most college students today have at least a passing familiarity with the term, but few researchers have investigated what makes up these relationships. 

To find out, Jonason and his colleagues used a psychology department website to recruit 123 college students who had been in a booty-call relationship in the previous year. For comparison purposes, the researchers also recruited 97 students who had been in committed relationships in the past year, and 69 students who had experienced one-night stands in the past year. Almost all of the students were heterosexual.

The students took online surveys asking them how many times they had done certain acts during these relationships. Some of these acts, like vaginal intercourse or oral sex , were sexual in nature. Others, like hand-holding or kissing, were emotional.

The team found that overall, emotional acts were less common in booty-call relationships compared with serious long-term relationships. On the other hand, sex acts were more common in booty-call relationships than in one-night stands, probably because the reoccurring nature of booty calls means more time for trying new things, the researchers suspect. 

Posted on 08/05/2010 7:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
George Ayittey On What The Winds Of Change Blew In

Read here.


The author, a Ghanaian,  was much too kind to various Muslims, and to the Arabs, leaving out the plutocrats of the FLN in Algeria, and of course the Al-Saud in Saudi Arabia, as well  as whichever zamindar or general happens to be ruling Pakistan at any given moment, not to mention Citizen Plutocrat Putin, of  the mentovskaya moskovskaya guberniya, with his President's Cut of 15%. 

But there is nothing to stop you, dear reader, from adding a devil's dozen of your own. 

Posted on 08/05/2010 12:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie

Several years ago I wrote: 

All too often, when non-Muslims venture to suggest that the burkha, abaya and niqab are oppressive to women, back comes the retort, “Well? Your women dress in bikinis/like sluts/half-naked/naked.” In fact, while I regularly see women swathed in black with slits for their eyes in such everyday places as the supermarket, I have yet to see any naked or bikini-clad shoppers. Were this to happen, some of the rich Arab men you see swaggering down Oxford Street with shrouded trailing wives might suddenly discover feminism and take to doing the weekly shop. Be that as it may, the implication of this reaction is that the only alternative to oppressive veiling is near nudity. Burkha or bikini? Niqab or naked? Slits or sluts?

Perhaps the opposition is not so far fetched. One British shopper acted out that horniest of dilemmas, burkha versus bikini, in a Dubai shopping mall. From the Daily Mail:

A British holidaymaker has been charged with indecency in Dubai after walking through the world's largest shopping centre in a bikini.

The woman was buying clothes and gifts in the Dubai Mall, fully dressed but in a low-cut top, when she was accosted by an Arabic woman and criticised for wearing 'revealing clothing'.

The pair then became embroiled in a heated row in front of hundreds of bemused shoppers.

Incensed by the Arabic woman's comments, the British woman told her to 'mind her own business' before stripping out of her clothes and 'taunting' the locals by walking around in only her bikini, it is alleged.

The mall's security team then intervened and called the police, who arrested the British holidaymaker.

The woman, whose identity is unknown, was still being questioned by officers in Bur Dubai police station last night.

A source within Dubai police said: 'The British woman was wearing a very low top and most of her legs were on display.

'The Arabic woman stopped to criticise her and that's when she stripped off. That's when things started to get out of hand.

'We ended up questioning both women after receiving a call from the mall security staff.'

If this happened in the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush, it is very unlikely that the woman would be arrested. However, she would be asked to leave by the security guards. And since it is Muslims who equate burkhas and bikinis, then Muslim logic demands that a woman in a burkha be similarly ejected.


Posted on 08/05/2010 1:13 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 5 August 2010
A Nothing-To-Do-With-Abu-Dhabi Literary Interlude: Blackberrying (Sylvia Plath)


Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,   
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks—
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.   
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,   
gapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me   
To the hills’ northern face, and the face is orange rock   
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space   
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths   
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.
Posted on 08/05/2010 2:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
A Musical Interlude: En Cueillant La Noisette (Fred Adison Orch.)

Listen here.

Sing along, if the spirit moves you, with the lyrics here:

Un jour, la tendre Annette,
Le cœur plein de désir,
Délaissant sa chambrette,
A pris bien du plaisir

En cueillant la noisette et la fraise des bois
En cueillant la noisette et en gaulant des noix
En cueillant la noisette et la fraise des bois
En cueillant la noisette et en gaulant des noix

Elle croisa Gustave
Le garçon, fort ému,
Prit son bel accent grave
Et son accent aigu

{au Refrain}

Il la prit par la taille,
Il la sentit frémir
Et dans ses yeux canailles,
Il lut bien du plaisir

{au Refrain}

Il la prit par la taille,
La prit par le menton,
Elle, dans la bataille,
Tomba sur le gazon

{au Refrain}

Ah ! Maudite culbute
Jugez du désarroi !
Le gredin, dans sa chute,
Avait vu... son émoi... Oh

En cueillant la noisette et la fraise des bois
En cueillant la noisette et en gaulant des noix

Dans cette pirouette,
Elle eut le cœur troublé,
Elle perdit la tête
Tout en perdant... le pied

En cueillant la noisette et la fraise des bois
En cueillant la noisette et en gaulant des noix

Sa robe, sa coiffure
Ne pourront plus servir
Belles, de l'aventure
Gardez le souvenir.

Posted on 08/05/2010 2:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Sylvia Plath's best poem

There must be quite a few things
That a hot
Bath won't cure, but I do
N't know many of them

Actually, it wasn't a poem at all; I just split the sentence up here and there to turn it into one. Not a poem, but the only sensible thing she ever wrote.

Sylvia Plath = bath. Rhymes like a Cockney.

Posted on 08/05/2010 2:16 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Macondo Well Closed; One Hundred Years Of Solitude To Follow

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc completed cementing its Gulf of Mexico well from the top, moving closer to permanently plugging the source of the world’s biggest accidental offshore oil spill on record.

The company continues to work on a relief well that will probably intercept Macondo in the middle of this month, BP said in an e-mailed statement.

“Everything is progressing well,” Don Van Nieuwenhuise, director of Petroleum Geoscience Programs at the University of Houston, said in an interview today. “They’re being careful and every step they’re taking is just more and more reassuring.”

BP temporarily sealed the well on July 15 through a valve stack placed atop Macondo, stopping a leak that spewed 4.9 million barrels of crude since an April 20 drilling-rig explosion, according to a government estimate.

After drilling the last 100 feet (30 meters) of the relief well, BP will use it to pump mud and cement into the bottom and permanently plug the well, located about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast.

BP rose for a fourth straight day, climbing 1.75 pence to 423.4 pence as of 4:35 p.m. in London. The close was its highest since June 7. Before today, the stock had dropped 36 percent since the April rig explosion, which killed 11 workers.

Posted on 08/05/2010 5:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Radical Socialist Front Allied with Muslims in Murfreesboro Mosque Conflict
Internet investigations on the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) expansion project have revealed connections between a revolutionary socialist organization called Solidarity  and a Solidarity front group, Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom. Many thanks to both Ashley and Daryl H. for this information. 
Solidarity promotes itself as a ‘democratic, revolutionary socialist ,feminist, anti-racist organization’. We knew something was up when Solidarity protested the government’s conviction of New York radical lawyer, Lynne Stewart. She was counsel to the blind Egyptian Sheikh Abdul Rahman from Jersey City who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. She was convicted of providing material support to an Egypt-based terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qaeda.
According to its website:
Solidarity was founded in 1986 by revolutionary socialists who stand for "socialism from below," the self-organization of the working class and oppressed peoples.  We are feminist, anti-racist, and democratic.  Within our group, we are trying to foster cultural diversity, flexible practice, and straight-forward socialist politics.
We are activists in many grassroots movements.  We are members of unions, where we oppose corporations as well as bureaucratic "business unionism." We are involved in solidarity with the people of Central and South America, Indonesia, Iraq, the Balkans, Palestine, and many other countries, where we fight against U.S. aggression and imperialism.  We work for reproductive rights and other feminist demands.  We fight for an ecologically balanced society.  We support the struggles of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists.  We include activists of color and we work in solidarity with people of color organized independently fighting for dignity and power and self determination.
In these movements, we try to build broad coalitions, organize the unorganized, activate the apathetic, develop ties between movements and strengthen the rank-and-file democracy.
Solidarity has 25 branches across the US including one in the Murfreesboro-Nashville area.
Looking at the causes that Solidarity supports we noted a post by “Jase Short” about the counter protests of the ICM expansion plan that occurred on July 14th, entitled: “Middle Tennessee confronts Islamophobia”;
“Short” commented:
On Thursday, Middle Tennesseans For Religious Freedom (MTRF) delivered a blow to these Islamophobic right wingers and managed to pull out more people into the streets of Murfreesboro than the well-funded opposition. Roughly 450-500 showed up to defend the rights of Muslims against the 300 or so on the other side -- stunning organizers and the entire state of Tennessee. We made it on national and international news. The chances that the County Commission will reverse its decision -- especially now since the mayor has switched his position on granting the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro the right to construct its new facility -- have been seriously diminished.
[. . .]
After the event, folks from the Islamic Center and the community in general thanked us for our efforts; one local business even provided organizers a free meal. At least in this case, the forces of bigotry and hate in the American South have been met with a strong, vibrant force of democratic power. Although started by socialists, MTRF became a broad alliance of progressive folks. We do not know what comes next, as the opposition has been silent since their resounding failure, but undoubtedly they have not given up... and neither have we.
This is a bit of puffery by “Short”. Someone of interest who frequents MTRF meetings is Eric Allen Bell, a self described ex-Hollywood documentarian.  Bell attempted to disrupt a press conference by Laurie Cardozo Moore of PJTN concerning the controversial early burial on the contested ICM expansion site on Veals Road.  
Bell has engaged in a sinister campaign against FMU colleague Nonie Darwish. He has tried to insinuate that Darwish had colluded with local Churches opposing the ICM because of an appearance at the World Outreach Church (WOC) in Murfreesboro in early May. Darwish spoke at WOC before the Rutherford County Planning Commission gave approvals for the early burial and the ICM expansion project on May 19th and 24th. Darwish addressed the WOC on support for Israel and knew nothing of the ICM expansion project at the time of her appearance there. The ‘campaign’ by Bell against Darwish surfaced this week, when Darwish was contacted by New York Times Religion reporter, Laurie Goodstein. Goodstein was doing an article on the opposition to Mega-mosques around the country. Goodstein opened up the conversation with Darwish by commented about her alleged role in fomenting Church opposition to the ICM expansion project. Clearly Goodstein was responding to a call or email from Bell.   Darwish then discussed Goodstein the issues of human rights for former Muslims and whether Goodstein had read or written on the topic. The answer was no. Darwish hoped that perhaps Goodstein might have been provoked by the exchange to investigate the death Fatwas against apostates who left Islam and the FMU Freedom Pledge campaign. 
As for Bell, investigators are closing in on his weak bona fides as a documentarian. The suspicion is that his ‘sojourn’ in Murfreesboro could be as a paid agent provocateur. The question is who is staking Bell for this purpose. The investigations continue about Bell, Solidarity and MTRF.
Posted on 08/05/2010 11:29 PM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Bostom: Muslim Intimidation of Manhattan goes back to 1950's

Andrew Bostom had an interesting historical footnote to the current  Ground Zero mosque controversy.  In a blog post and interview with radio talk show host Michael Graham, he revealed that  in the 1950's, the US State Department, at the urging of Muslim consulates in New York requested and got New York City with the consent of seven appellate court judges, to remove a statue of Mohammed  among a group of 'legendary' lawgivers adorning an appellate court roof in lower Mid-Town Manhattan.

Bostom noted in his blog post, "NYC’s Insane Capitulation to Islam, Circa 1955—Past as Prologue?"

Past as Prologue, 55 years ago?—Elegant statue of Muhammad “quietly” removed from the roof of the Appellate Division Courthouse on Madison Square, New York City in 1955, when seven feckless appellate judges, “encouraged” by the US State Department, needlessly submitted to Islamic supremacist dictates regarding “Tawsir,” or statuary.

Mindless, craven cultural relativism—sadly pervasive in 2010—has lead NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg to capitulate to Islamic supremacism and support the odious Ground Zero mosque project [1] of the cultural jihadist Imam Faisal Rauf, and his coterie [2]. The rather witless Bloomberg, of course, cynically recasts his moral and intellectual cretinism as championing bedrock American values, notably freedom of religion. However, the ultimately self-destructive Islamic correctness we are witnessing vis a vis the Ground Zero mosque, may be an endemic phenomenon amongst Manhattan elites, dating back to at least 1955.

A res ipsa loquitur example of this tragic mindset when it comes to dealing with The Religion of Peace®, specifically, was published on April 9, 1955 in the New York Times [3]. Responding to demands from the Muslim consulates (via their ambassadors) of Indonesia, Egypt, and Pakistan, as well as “many letters from Mohammedans,” a statue of Muhammad (picture above) carved by Charles Albert Lopez (a Mexican sculptor working in the US for 22 years till his death in 1906), and erected in 1902, was singularly removed from the Madison Square Appellate Courthouse, where it had stood for over 50 years, alongside nine other renowned lawgivers representing other creeds and cultures. The existence of the statue was only drawn to the attention of Muslim diplomats and correspondents when newspapers published an account of required, impending repairs. As a result of the Muslim “intervention,” and with the formal “advice” of The US State Department “Near East Branch,” endorsed by the seven appellate court justices themselves, NYC authorities capitulated and refrained from re-erecting the statue of Muhammad, simply leaving the pedestal vacant.

The full New York Times account from April, 1955 is reproduced below. It is a refreshingly straightforward account unconstrained by contemporary era self-censorship when discussing Islam (including, for example, not capitalizing the word “prophet” as a non-Muslim journalist referring to Islam’s prophet).




Posted on 08/05/2010 11:39 PM by Jerry Gordon

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