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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, 6, 2012.
Thursday, 6 December 2012
World Bank Spends Your Money to Support Sharia

From Creeping Sharia via Money Jihad (h/t: Maggie's Farm):

The World Bank has agreed to collaborate with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) “in the development of Islamic Finance,” according to the Arab News.

The Jeddah-based IDB, which Shariah Finance Watch describes as “the financial jihad wing of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (the world’s foremost Islamic imperialist organization),” has a disturbing history and role in international finance that you can read about here.

From the Arab News last month:

World Bank and IDB sign Islamic finance deal

The World Bank and Islamic Development Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set out a framework for collaboration between the two parties and lend support to global, regional and country efforts in the development of Islamic Finance.

World Bank Managing Director Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Islamic Development Bank Group President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali signed the memorandum on behalf of their institutions with the common objectives of fostering, encouraging, and studying the expansion of Islamic finance globally.

The MoU adopts the following principles:

  • Knowledge sharing to identify and disseminate sound practices in the Islamic financial services industry.
  • Cross fertilization of ideas that would foster the development of Islamic finance that is critical for growth, efficiency and financial inclusion.
  • Encourage research and promote awareness of appropriate risk management framework for Islamic financial institutions in particular and the Islamic finance industry in general; and
  • Capacity building in the Islamic financial services industry with a view to fostering financial stability and promoting increased access to Islamic financial services in markets around the world.

World Bank Managing Director Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin stressed the importance of the memorandum for increased capacity-building and knowledge-sharing between the two organizations.

“The MoU signed today between the IDB and WB will help us deepen our understanding of Islamic finance and build capacities to develop institutions and instruments to support sustainable inclusive growth and help societies to achieve their development goals with emphasis on poverty alleviation and shared prosperity,” he said.

“The signing of MoU between the World Bank and IDB aims to forge a strategic partnership between our two institutions in the area of Islamic finance to support inclusive growth, including greater access to finance for the poor, and financial stability in our mutual member countries,” said IDB President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali.

Money Jihad continues:

The World Bank previously dallied with at least one sukuk (Islamic bonds) issuance in 2009, and declared Islamic finance to be a “priority area” last year.  The World Bank also co-hosts an annual conference with AAOIFI, a Bahrain-based standards setting board for sharia finance that is chaired by the notorious sharia law advocate, Taqi Usmani.

The World Bank is funded by member country contributions from taxpayers like you, and international investors and institutions that buy their bonds.

More here, Tax-funded World Bank Pushes Sharia Finance.

Posted on 12/06/2012 6:10 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 6 December 2012
US Population will Grow by 127 Million by 2050 (75% will be Immigrants)
Washington, DC (December 6, 2012) – A new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Center for Immigration Studies projects the impact of immigration on the size and composition of the U.S. population. The findings reveal that immigration makes for a much larger overall population, while having only a minimal effect on slowing the aging of American society. 
 
Steven Camarota, the Center’s Director of Research, notes, “there is simply no question immigration makes for a much larger and more densely settled country, but it is not a cure for an aging society.”
 
The complete study can be found at: http://cis.org/projecting-immigrations-impact-on-the-size-and-age-structure-of-the-21st-century-american-population.
 
Among the findings:
  • If net immigration (difference between those coming and going) unfolds as the Census Bureau estimated in the last set of projections, the nation’s population will increase from 309 million in 2010 to 436 million in 2050 — a 127 million (41 percent) increase.
  • The projected increase of 127 million is larger than the combined populations of the U.K. and France.
  • By itself future immigration will account for 96 million (75 percent) of future population growth.
  • The immigrant (legal and illegal) share of the population will reach one in six U.S. residents by 2030, a new record, and nearly one in five residents by 2050.
  • The Center for Immigration Studies, as well as other researchers, has found that immigration levels have fallen somewhat in recent years. While there is no way to know if the level will remain lower, this change can be incorporated into these projections:

    • A one-third reduction in the Census Bureau’s level of net immigration over the next four decades (2010-2050) produces a total U.S. population of 404 million in 2050 — a 95 million increase over 2010.
    • Even if immigration is half what the Census Bureau expects, the population will still grow 79 million by 2050, with immigration accounting for 61 percent of population growth.

  • The underlying level of immigration is so high, even assuming a substantial reduction would still add tens of millions of new residents to the U.S. population and account for most of the population growth.
  • Consistent with prior research, the projections show immigration only slightly increases the working-age (18 to 65) share of the population. Assuming the Census Bureau’s immigration level, 58 percent of the population will be of working-age in 2050, compared to 57 percent if there is no immigration.
  • Raising the retirement age by one year would have a larger positive impact on the working-age share over the next 40 years then would the Census Bureau’s projected level of net immigration (68 million).
  • While immigrants tend to arrive relatively young and have higher fertility than natives, immigrants age just like everyone else, and the differences with natives are not large enough to fundamentally increase the share of the population who are potential workers.
Discussion  
While immigration is the primary driver of population growth, even without immigration, the population will increase by 31 million by 2050.  The long term trend in immigration has been a steady increase, and this seems likely to continue once the U.S. economy recovers.  But, even if immigration is half of what the Census Bureau expected in the 2008 projections, the U.S. population will still grow by 79 million by 2050, with immigration accounting for 61 percent of population growth.   

The fundamental question for the American public and policy makers is whether a much larger population and the resulting greater population density will add to or diminish the quality of life in the United States.  Immigration is a discretionary policy of the government and can be changed.  These projections show us one possible future. We must decide as a country if this is the future we want.

Methodology
The report contains a detailed explanation of the study’s methodology.  In sum, the Center for Immigration and Decision Demographics of Arlington, Virginia developed the projections model used in this analysis.  We first replicated the official 2008 Census Bureau projections, their last full set of projections, by race/ethnicity. This was possible because the Census Bureau Projections Branch was kind enough to share unpublished data that it used to generate its last major series of projections. In total, the Bureau’s net immigration projection is 68.3 million for the period 2010 to 2050.  We vary this base level of immigration to discern its’ impact on population size and composition.  These projections follow the Census Bureau’s assumptions about future levels of immigration and death and birth rates, including a decline in the birth rate for Hispanics.
Posted on 12/06/2012 8:00 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Is Egypt on the Brink of Becoming the World’s Largest Islamic Republic?

   

Protester at Egyptian Presidential Palace                            Morsi Muslim Brotherhood Supporters

Clashes last night in Cairo between the liberal secular opposition in Egypt and President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist loyalists resulted in seven dead and over 600 injured. When dawn broke, tanks and armored personnel carriers and troops of the Republican Guard surrounded the Presidential palace.  Three of Morsi’s advisers have resigned over the rankling dispute that arose in the wake of his decree on November 23rd assuming veto power of the judiciary and assigning Al Azhar’s Sunni  Shariah legal scholars the task of  crafting Sharia rulings on the Constitution.   Morsi has scheduled a national referendum for December 15th on the hastily drafted new Constitution by the bearded Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist delegates who formed the majority of the Constitutional Assembly.  The minority secularist and liberal delegates had decamped in protest.  Daily protests by liberal and secularists have thronged Tahrir Square. Counter protests by Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist bearded men occurred in a protected square. The two groups were separated until the deadly confrontations of last night. Meanwhile Egypt is poised on the brink of what could be the rise of the largest Islamic Republic.
The evidence of why liberals, secularist and the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt are protesting can be found in several analyses of the draft and polls of Egypt’s polity by independent groups.


According to Andrew C. McCarthy in an NRO The Corner post, the best of these is one by Samuel Tadros of the Hudson Institute’s Washington, DC - Center for Religious Freedom.  Tadros is an Egyptian Copt by origin and author of the forthcoming book, Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity.  Tadros’s  NRO The Corner post, “Egypt’s Draft Constitution: Religious Freedom Undermined” is a chilling reminder of what  the Obama Administration fostered when the President gave his Muslim outreach speech at Cairo University on June 4, 2009.  Now, the West Wing in the White has been notably silent in the wake of Morsi diktat overturning an independent judiciary. It is left to outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to issue this lame comment  in today's Washington Post about the inflammatory moves by Morsi and counter protests:


We call on all stakeholders in Egypt to settle their differences through democratic dialogue, and we call on Egypt’s leaders to ensure that the outcome protects the democratic promise of the revolution for all of Egypt’s citizens.


Obama is purposely hiding behind the his National Defense University  press conference on Monday  about Syria’s Assad unleashing possible Chemical and Biological warfare in a death spiral of the 42 year fascist dictatorship. A fascist dictatorship to be replaced by the Islamic totalitarian dictatorship crushing minorities  sought by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist leaders.    


Here are Tadros’ concerns from the NRO The Corner post about the disappearing human rights in Egypt’s Shariah –laden draft Constitution:


While the draft is problematic on numerous counts, those articles that pertain to religious freedom and the protection and rights of minorities merit separate concern. The Islamist influence is readily apparent when these articles are compared to the corresponding provisions of the 1971 constitution which governed Egypt under Mubarak:


Article 1 drops reference to citizenship as the basis of Egypt’s political order. The word “citizenship” in the Egyptian context has been understood to mean equal rights for both Muslims and non-Muslims. It also adds a further allegiance to which Egypt identifies that of the Islamic nation.


A new Article 3 adds that non-Muslims are now governed in their personal-status affairs and on issues pertaining to choosing their religious leaders by the principles of their religious laws.


A new Article 4 provides for an official role for al Azhar (the Sunni university): It states that al Azhar is to give its opinion on all matters pertaining to Sharia. Since the unchanged language of Article 2 makes “the principles of Sharia” the main source of legislation, this new article places a non-elected, sectarian religious body above the Egyptian parliament as arbitrator and explainer of state laws.


Article 5 removes the word “only” from the prior constitutional language regarding “the sovereignty of the people.” This change was in response to a key demand of the Salafis, who argue that sovereignty only belongs to God and not to the people.


Article 6 adds the word “shura” to the language about the basis of the political system; a shura is a traditionally unelected, Islamist consultative process that Islamists claim is equivalent to democracy. It also removes the existing prohibition on the establishment of religiously based political parties, asserting, instead, a prohibition on political parties based on discrimination. This new language, thus, allows for the establishment of purely religious parties as long as their stated goals do not actively call for discrimination.


Article 10 adds that “society,” as well as the state, is now responsible for protecting the already problematically vague phrase, “values of the Egyptian family,” and provides them with the new role of  “entrenching its moral values and protecting them.”


A new Article 12 commits the state to the Arabization of education and knowledge.


Concerning the prohibition on all forms of discrimination in Article 33, it drops the words “on the basis of sex, origin, religion and creed.”

Article 42 drops language prohibiting forced evacuations within the country. This change follows forced evacuations of Coptic Christians in four instances since the revolution.


Article 43 limits the freedom to practice religion and build houses of worship to “heavenly religions” (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism). This means that Egyptian Baha’is and other groups who do not belong to the three religions recognized as “heavenly” by the state will not have the right to worship.


An anti-blasphemy clause was added as Article 44.


Article 54 drops “statutory bodies” from those allowed to petition in the name of a collective. The Church is the target of this change.


Article 132 drops the protection of national unity from the duties of the president (in the Egyptian context this meant unity between Christians and Muslims within the nation).


A new provision appears in article 212, dealing with endowments. Under this article, a new body will be created and given far-reaching powers for regulating and overseeing both public and private endowments. This article affects Christian religious endowments too: It places Church finances under the Islamists’ control, which as I explained a year ago has been part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party political program. By taking control of the Church’s finances, the Islamists aim to control the institution, and in turn use it to control Christians, thus creating a national church along the Communist model.


A new article 219 purports to define “the principles of Sharia,” which, according to Article 2, are the main source of legislation. It states that “the principles of Sharia” include: “its total evidence, its fundamental and jurisprudence basis, its accepted sources in the doctrines of Sunnis.”


Don’t expect the secularist and liberal opposition protests to put a dent in any result of the national referendum on December 15th.  


Andrew Bostom in an email to this author noted:


Given . . . hard data from Egypt-- polling data published between 2007 and 2010 establish that: 67% of Egyptians want the creation/re-creation of a Caliphate; 74% desire strict application of the Sharia; 77% favor mutilating punishments for theft; 82% favor stoning adulterers to death; and 84% reject freedom of conscience and believe that so-called “apostates”—Muslims who forsake Islam for another religion, or the right to no religious belief—should be put to death--how would we characterize these tens of millions of ordinary Egyptian Muslims?


Add Bostom’s comment to Tadros’ analysis of the draft Egyptian Constitution and the betting is on the rise of Egypt as the new Sunni Islamic Republic.  Time for the Copts to flee to their Diaspora. And to think that if Israel hadn’t given back the Sinai in the Camp David accords of 1979, there might have been a safe haven for the Copts and apostates. Pity!

Posted on 12/06/2012 10:24 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 6 December 2012
The Arms That Qatar Hands Out "Like Candy" To The Most Fanatical Muslims

From The New York Times:

Dec. 6, 2012

U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.

No evidence has emerged linking the weapons provided by the Qataris during the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to the attack that killed four Americans at the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

But in the months before, the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.

The experience in Libya has taken on new urgency as the administration considers whether to play a direct role in arming rebels in Syria, where weapons are flowing in from Qatar and other countries.

The Obama administration did not initially raise objections when Qatar began shipping arms to opposition groups in Syria, even if it did not offer encouragement, according to current and former administration officials. But they said the United States has growing concerns that, just as in Libya, the Qataris are equipping some of the wrong militants.

The United States, which had only small numbers of C.I.A. officers in Libya during the tumult of the rebellion, provided little oversight of the arms shipments. Within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, the White House began receiving reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. They were “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” than the main rebel alliance in Libya, said a former Defense Department official.

The Qatari assistance to fighters viewed as hostile by the United States demonstrates the Obama administration’s continuing struggles in dealing with the Arab Spring uprisings, as it tries to support popular protest movements while avoiding American military entanglements. Relying on surrogates allows the United States to keep its fingerprints off operations, but also means they may play out in ways that conflict with American interests.

“To do this right, you have to have on-the-ground intelligence and you have to have experience,” said Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser who is now dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, part of Johns Hopkins University. “If you rely on a country that doesn’t have those things, you are really flying blind. When you have an intermediary, you are going to lose control.”

He said that Qatar would not have gone through with the arms shipments if the United States had resisted them, but other current and former administration officials said Washington had little leverage at times over Qatari officials. “They march to their own drummer,” said a former senior State Department official. The White House and State Department declined to comment.

During the frantic early months of the Libyan rebellion, various players motivated by politics or profit — including an American arms dealer who proposed weapons transfers in an e-mail exchange with a United States emissary later killed in Benghazi — sought to aid those trying to oust Colonel Qaddafi.

But after the White House decided to encourage Qatar — and on a smaller scale, the United Arab Emirates — to ship arms to the Libyans, President Obama complained in April 2011 to the emir of Qatar that his country was not coordinating its actions in Libya with the United States, the American officials said. “The president made the point to the emir that we needed transparency about what Qatar was doing in Libya,” said a former senior administration official who had been briefed on the matter.

About that same time, Mahmoud Jibril, then the prime minister of the Libyan transitional government, expressed frustration to administration officials that the United States was allowing Qatar to arm extremist groups opposed to the new leadership, according to several American officials. They, like nearly a dozen current and former White House, diplomatic, intelligence, military and foreign officials, would speak only on the condition of anonymity for this article.

The administration has never determined where all of the weapons, paid for by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, went inside Libya, officials said. Qatar is believed to have shipped by air and sea small arms, including machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition, for which it has demanded reimbursement from Libya’s new government. Some of the arms since have been moved from Libya to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali, where radical jihadi factions have imposed Shariah law in the northern part of the country, the former Defense Department official said. Others have gone to Syria, according to several American and foreign officials and arms traders.

Although NATO provided air support that proved critical for the Libyan rebels, the Obama administration wanted to avoid getting immersed in a ground war, which officials feared could lead the United States into another quagmire in the Middle East.

As a result, the White House largely relied on Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, two small Persian Gulf states and frequent allies of the United States. Qatar, a tiny nation whose natural gas reserves have made it enormously wealthy, for years has tried to expand its influence in the Arab world. Since 2011, with dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa coming under siege, Qatar has given arms and money to various opposition and militant groups, chiefly Sunni Islamists, in hopes of cementing alliances with the new governments. Officials from Qatar and the emirates would not comment.

After discussions among members of the National Security Council, the Obama administration backed the arms shipments from both countries, according to two former administration officials briefed on the talks.

American officials say that the United Arab Emirates first approached the Obama administration during the early months of the Libyan uprising, asking for permission to ship American-built weapons that the United States had supplied for the emirates’ use. The administration rejected that request, but instead urged the emirates to ship weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the United States.

“The U.A.E. was asking for clearance to send U.S. weapons,” said one former official. “We told them it’s O.K. to ship other weapons.”

For its part, Qatar supplied weapons made outside the United States, including French- and Russian-designed arms, according to people familiar with the shipments.

But the American support for the arms shipments from Qatar and the emirates could not be completely hidden. NATO air and sea forces around Libya had to be alerted not to interdict the cargo planes and freighters transporting the arms into Libya from Qatar and the emirates, American officials said.

Concerns in Washington soon rose about the groups Qatar was supporting, officials said. A debate over what to do about the weapons shipments dominated at least one meeting of the so-called Deputies Committee, the interagency panel consisting of the second-highest ranking officials in major agencies involved in national security. “There was a lot of concern that the Qatar weapons were going to Islamist groups,” one official recalled.

The Qataris provided weapons, money and training to various rebel groups in Libya. One militia that received aid was controlled by Adel Hakim Belhaj, then leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, who was held by the C.I.A. in 2004 and is now considered a moderate politician in Libya. It is unclear which other militants received the aid.

“Nobody knew exactly who they were,” said the former defense official. The Qataris, the official added, are “supposedly good allies, but the Islamists they support are not in our interest.”

No evidence has surfaced that any weapons went to Ansar al-Shariah, an extremist group blamed for the Benghazi attack.

The case of Marc Turi, the American arms merchant who had sought to provide weapons to Libya, demonstrates other challenges the United States faced in dealing with Libya. A dealer who lives in both Arizona and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turi sells small arms to buyers in the Middle East and Africa, relying primarily on suppliers of Russian-designed weapons in Eastern Europe.

In March 2011, just as the Libyan civil war was intensifying, Mr. Turi realized that Libya could be a lucrative new market, and applied to the State Department for a license to provide weapons to the rebels there, according to e-mails and other documents he has provided. (American citizens are required to obtain United States approval for any international arms sales.)

He also e-mailed J. Christopher Stevens, then the special representative to the Libyan rebel alliance. The diplomat said he would “share” Mr. Turi’s proposal with colleagues in Washington, according to e-mails provided by Mr. Turi. Mr. Stevens, who became the United States ambassador to Libya, was one of the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11.

Mr. Turi’s application for a license was rejected in late March 2011. Undeterred, he applied again, this time stating only that he planned to ship arms worth more than $200 million to Qatar. In May 2011, his application was approved. Mr. Turi, in an interview, said that his intent was to get weapons to Qatar and that what “the U.S. government and Qatar allowed from there was between them.”

Two months later, though, his home near Phoenix was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security. Administration officials say he remains under investigation in connection with his arms dealings. The Justice Department would not comment.

Mr. Turi said he believed that United States officials had shut down his proposed arms pipeline because he was getting in the way of the Obama administration’s dealings with Qatar. The Qataris, he complained, imposed no controls on who got the weapons. “They just handed them out like candy,” he said.
Posted on 12/06/2012 3:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 December 2012
A Musical Interlude: Penthouse Serenade (Sylvia Froos)
Listen here.
Posted on 12/06/2012 6:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Department Of Man Bites Dog
Posted on 12/06/2012 7:46 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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