These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 6, 2009.
Friday, 6 February 2009
Danish Police rule out headscarves
From The Copenhagen Post
The National Police will not follow the example of Norway, which announced on Thursday that it would allow women officers to wear Muslim headscarves.
'As the uniform regulations are right now, it is not permitted to wear headscarves in uniform,' said chief constable Lene Frank in a press release.
She added, however, that no officers had challenged the rule, and said that requests to wear a hijab, a scarf worn over the head and neck and covers all but the face, would be addressed on a case by case basis.
The National Police now joins a growing list of national institutions facing the question of whether to allow Muslim women to wear headscarves. After heated debate, parliament last year permitted members to wear a hijab, but not a full-body burkha when addressing the assembly. The courts are currently considering whether it would allow a judge to wear a headscarf should the issue arise.
The decision by the police force makes Denmark the only remaining Scandinavian country without a policy allowing officers to wear a hijab.
In Norway the move was made as a way to open the force up to Muslim women.
'Since we are occasionally required to use force when dealing with citizens, it is important that we don't come off as being partial or biased,' said Peter Ibsen, president of the Police Union.
He added that the union believed no form of religious apparel should be worn with the uniform.
The head of the Norwegian Police union feels the same. From The Norway Post.
The head of the Policemen's Union. Arne Johannessen, is surprised and disappointed by the decision:
- We have police force which is supposed to symbolize neutrality while in uniform, Johanessen says.
Posted on 02/06/2009 2:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 February 2009
The BBC has taken time out from Israel-bashing to get its corporate knickers in a twist over Carol Thatcher saying “golliwog”. Carol Thatcher is the daughter of our esteemed former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, which may have something to do with it. UK readers will know the story, but American readers may have had more important things to think about, so here it is in The Telegraph, with my emphasis on the offensive word:
Ms Hunt [controller of BBC 1] defended the corporation's decision to fire Thatcher from her job as a roving reporter for The One Show, insisting her description of a French-Congolese tennis player had been "hugely offensive".
She said Thatcher had received a harsher punishment than Jonathan Ross, who was suspended after leaving lewd messages on the answering machine of the actor Andrew Sachs, because unlike him she had declined to say sorry.
"We have given Carol ample opportunity to offer a fulsome and unconditional apology for the offence that she caused ... and she's chosen not to do so," Ms Hunt said.
"Regrettably ... Carol doesn't think she has anything to apologise for, and for that reason it is inappropriate for her to continue to work on a show that prides itself on its diversity."
Ms Hunt clearly doesn’t know what fulsome means. She thinks it means “full”. A fulsome apology – excessive and cloying – would, ironically, be appropriate as a way of showing contempt for what is being asked: “Please forgive my vile, execrable racism, for I cannot live with myself.” It is Ms Hunt’s ignorance that is truly offensive, not the utterly harmless reference to a much loved children’s toy. Carol Thatcher shows admirable common sense in refusing to bow to political correctness, and I hope she goes on to earn much more money at ITV or Channel 4.
Posted on 02/06/2009 6:50 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 6 February 2009
Out of ordure
Claudia Rosett writes in Pajamas Media:
Writing last month in The New York Times, Libya’s longtime tyrant and veteran terror-sponsor Muammar Qaddafi proposed a one-state compromise for Israel and the Palestinians, which he dubbed “Isratine.”
For Qaddafi to be preening as an elder statesman, and for the Times to publish his vaporings, all struck me as so over-the-top outrageous that in my Forbes.com column last week, “Freedom Beats a Global Retreat,” I noted “It’s tempting to dismiss such stuff as unintended self-parody — whether on the part of Qaddafi, the Times, or both.”
Turns out I was much too kind. I’ve just received a note from Youssef Ibrahim, free-lance writer, risk consultant and astute observer (he has worked over the years for The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, among others, and you can find his columns for Pajamas Media here). Youssef, a native Arabic speaker, points out that the media, and in particular the Times, which has some Arabic speakers on the staff, “totally missed the pun in Qaddafi’s designation of Isratine.”
Youssef explains that in Arabic, “tine” means “mud,” or, “in more evident colloqial Arabic a piece of excrement, dirt, garbage, refuse.” (I checked with another native Arabic speaker, who confirms this, and notes that Qaddafi loves to unload on the wide-eyed Western media this kind of derogatory pun).
And while the Times may have missed the sick joke in its own Op-ed columns, the Arab media did not. Apparently it’s a retread from Qaddafi’s repertoire. Youssef notes that Qaddafi has used the “tine” suffix before, attaching it as a dismissive insult to various other words (”socialism-tine,” “capitalism-tine”) and that “Isratine” first came up a couple of years ago. It has been widely commented upon — as comedy — by Arab pundits. So…. in the Arab world it’s bathroom humor, in the Times it’s an elder statesman’s Op-ed?
A reader points out that Palestine ends in -tine. So, incidentally, does Ovaltine, which looks and tastes as if the suffix is appropriate:
And let's not start on Brilliantine.
Posted on 02/06/2009 6:57 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 6 February 2009
A. Q. Khan Is A Free Man
Not that his house arrest was all that onerous to begin with.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani court declared disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan free on Friday, ending five years of house arrest for the man at the center of the world's most serious proliferation scandal.
Khan, lionized by many Pakistanis as the father of the country's atomic bomb, confessed to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya in 2004, but was immediately pardoned by the government, although his movements were restricted to effective house arrest.
"It's a matter of joy. The judgment, by the grace of Allah, is good," Khan told reporters outside his Islamabad house soon after news of the High Court ruling broke.
"It is because of this judgment that I am speaking to you," said the 72-year-old scientist, who has been treated for prostate cancer.
Khan's detention had been relaxed over the past year and he had been allowed to meet friends and had traveled to the city of Karachi at least once under tight security.
He had also given a series of interviews to media after a new government came to power last March but was barred from speaking to reporters by a July court ruling.
Khan's lawyer Ali Zafar said the High Court had declared that he was not involved in nuclear proliferation or criminal activity and there was no case against him.
"The court has ordered that he's a free man," Zafar told Reuters.
Pakistan has never let foreign investigators question Khan, saying it had passed on all relevant information about his nuclear proliferation....
Posted on 02/06/2009 7:50 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 6 February 2009
Australia - Jewish leaders slam Muslim leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali
Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, you will recall, is the Muslim pundit who compared unveiled women to uncovered meat, attracting flies. From The Australian, yesterday and today.
AUSTRALIA'S most outspoken Muslim leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has compared the Israeli bombing of Gaza to the Holocaust, sparking outrage among Jewish groups.
Sheik Hilali, the imam of the nation's biggest mosque at Lakemba, southwest Sydney, lashed out at the Israeli leaders, branding them as "butchers" whose "Zionist racism" was creating another Holocaust.
His comments drew an angry response from NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff.
Mr Alhadeff said comparisons between Israel's offensive in Gaza and the Holocaust were obscene and historically unsupportable.
"They trivialise the Holocaust and they falsify history," he said. "The racial hatred and anti-Semitism which Sheikh Hilali has been expressing for 20 years has clearly not dissipated."
Mr Alhadeff was referring to claims that Sheik Hilali gave an anti-Semitic lecture to a group of Muslim students at the University of Sydney in 1988, in which he was quoted as saying: "The Jews try to control the world through sex, then sexual perversion, then the promotion of espionage, treason and economic hoarding."
"His comments are factually incorrect and morally blind," Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, said.
"The sheik has never apologised for racist comments in the past. He's demonstrated bigotry and now he's an historical ignoramus as well."
Mr Rubenstein also attacked Australian Federation of Islamic Councils chairman Ikebal Patel, who last month said Palestinians living in Gaza had it worse than many Holocaust victims.
"Patel has crossed the line into pure racism and should retract and apologise," he said.
Mr Rubenstein said Mr Patel's "trivialisation" of the Holocaust was particularly disappointing for someone who wished to maintain a healthy dialogue between the two faiths.
Sheik Hilali hopes to lead a delegation (co-ordinated by Melbourne-based group the Popular Committee for Palestine) into the Palestinian territory to deliver medical supplies to the wounded and to assess the situation.
Sheik Hilali is waiting for permission for the delegation to enter Gaza via the Rafa crossing on Egypt's border, and is planning to take a delivery of hundreds of wheelchairs and three ambulances.
The 15-strong delegation is expected to include five doctors and representatives of several Muslim organisations.
Defending himself yesterday, Sheik Hilali said he accepted the fact of the Holocaust and was not distorting history.
I also know that the only countries that opened their borders and welcomed the Jews to live as safe and free citizens were my Arabic and Islamic countries."
But he said the Holocaust was now being used as an excuse to justify Israeli violence against Palestinians.
Posted on 02/06/2009 8:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 February 2009
The one eye love
My, we are an apologetic lot. Outspoken presenter Jeremy Clarkson has apologised for calling dull Prime Minister Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot". From the BBC:
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has said he is sorry for calling Gordon Brown a "one-eyed Scottish idiot".
He said: "In the heat of the moment I made a remark about the Prime Minister's personal appearance for which, upon refection, I apologise."
The broadcaster made the comments to journalists in Sydney when he was speaking about the economic crisis.
The BBC said it noted Clarkson's apology for the comments and would be taking no further action.
Public figures have reacted angrily to the presenter's remarks, with Labour MP Gordon Banks saying what Clarkson said was "unforgivable".
Number 10 would only say that Clarkson "is entitled to his own interpretation of the economic circumstances.
[T]he Royal National Institute for Blind People called the comment was offensive.
"Any suggestion that equates disability with incompetence is totally unacceptable" said chief executive Lesley-Anne Alexander.
Actually, the "one-eyed" is quite separable from the "idiot", and is indeed separated from it by the intervention of the word "Scottish".
Update: The news of Clarkson's apology is being broadcast repeatedly ("sorry for calling you a one-eyed Scottish idiot, I didn't mean to call you a one-eyed Scottish idiot, no way are you a one-eyed Scottish idiot") such that Gordon Brown will henceforth be universally known as the ne plus ultra of one-eyed Scottish idiots. Och eye the noo.
Posted on 02/06/2009 9:07 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 6 February 2009
CAIR Still Meeting With U.S. Officials
CAIR mastered the art of the spin a long time ago. From the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report:
Despite recent reports that the FBI has cut off contact with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a part of the U.S. Muslin Brotherhood, the organization is reporting that it recently held over 80 meetings with “elected officials and their staffers on Capitol Hill.” According to the CAIR announcement :
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that its advocates recently completed more than 80 meetings with elected officials and their staffers on Capitol Hill. On Monday and Tuesday, CAIR representatives from across the country discussed efforts to end racial profiling, concerns over the humanitarian situation in Gaza and fighting domestic hunger…..“Once again we heard that many congressional offices rarely hear from their Muslim constituents,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. “CAIR provides training so that community members across the country can learn how to effectively engage their representatives in government.” Saylor noted that CAIR has published a Civic Participation Handbook designed to provide best practices and step-by-step guides for everything from holding voter registration drives to making the most of a meeting with elected officials.
As discussed in an earlier post, the FBI was reported to have cut off contact with CAIR as a result of the group’s origins in what was described as a “Hamas-support network.”
Documents released in the Holy Land Trial have revealed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as identifying the organization itself as being part of the U.S. Brotherhood. A recent post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDR had determined that CAIR had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and is an integral part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood with a long history of support for fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. Numerous earlier posts have reported on the relationship between the FBI and CAIR.
Posted on 02/06/2009 2:59 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 6 February 2009
The horse with no name
Newsbiscuit reports that the horse with no name was actually called Derek:
In a confession that looks set to rock the US singer-songwriter fraternity to the core, the author of America’s transatlantic top 5 hit A Horse With No Name has admitted that the horse in question was actually named by the writer ‘on the second part of the journey’. Nearly four decades after its release Dewey Bunnell broke the news whilst promoting his new autobiography ‘Na Na Naa Na-na-na-na-naaah’ on LA’s KWHY Radio.
‘Face it, the desert is a pretty boring place,’ he said. ‘There really wasn’t much else for me to do, so I ended up considering all sorts of names. ‘I tried singing, ‘I’ve been through the desert on a horse called Keith’ but I ran out of rhymes. For a while the horse was called ‘Ray’, then ‘Alan’ and following a particularly severe case of sunstroke he was a horse called ‘Mighty Zoltan the Destroyer.’
Bunnell also admitted to severe embarrassment when he listens back to the song’s lyrics; ‘I was in a juice bar only yesterday, getting myself a wheatgrass smoothie, and it came on the radio. All that stuff about there being ‘plants and birds and rocks and things’ – sheesh! I really wish I’d packed a decent botanical encyclopaedia now, instead of all that weed.’ The response to the revelation from California’s ageing singer-songwriter community has been swift. Speaking from her mansion in Laurel Canyon, Carly Simon branded Bunnell a ‘fraud’ and a ‘sell-out’: ‘The art of the singer-songwriter is to tell it like it is, with embarrassingly intimate revelations about their personal lives. Mr Bunnell has made a mockery of this with his wanton equine-fabrication. He should consider his invitation to Friday night’s ‘hot tub and bbq party’ withdrawn forthwith’
But Dewey’s confession has given others the confidence to speak out. Eric Burdon of The Animals confessed ‘there really is a house in New Orleans.’ But it’s actually called ‘No 3, The Mews’ while Paul Weller recently performed a re-worded version of that old Jam favourite ‘A Town Called Woking.’
Posted on 02/06/2009 5:19 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 6 February 2009
Sen. Lieberman Believes We Can Make Afghanistan a ‘Quagmire’ for Al Qaeda
I consider Sen. Joe Lieberman to be a good friend after having worked with both him and his staff in his successful 2006 Senate re-election campaign in Connecticut. We have written of our support for his domestic policy initiatives like controlling speculation in the energy futures market and his successful effort in getting Google to drop al Qaeda terrorist training videos. Just yesterday, we lauded both Lieberman and Senate Republican colleague Jonny Isakson of Georgia in getting the Senate to pass a $15,000 homebuyer tax credit program.
But in all friendships there are also times when we must respectfully disagree.
Today’s Wall Street Journal had an op ed by Senator Lieberman entitled: “Afghanistan Will Be a Quagmire for al Qaeda.” The tag line was”the war on terror will end once we've empowered the Muslim majority to stand up against extremists.”
Lieberman appears to be basing these platitudes on the results of the Surge strategy developed by General Petreaus that has been successful so far in reducing the violence in Iraq. He had vigorously supported the Surge strategy in Iraq despite criticism from the media and Senate colleagues and was vindicated. Now, the Obama Administration and Pentagon Defense Secretary Gates, the Joint staff and General Petreaus of CENTCOM want to develop a surge strategy for the big push in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan against al Qaeda.
Lieberman in his Wall Street Journal op ed cites several types of “surges” hopefully directed at achieving success in Afghanistan:
- First and most importantly, we need a surge in the strategic coherence of the war effort. As we learned in Iraq, success in counterinsurgency requires integrating military and civilian operations into a seamless and unified strategy. In Afghanistan, we do not have in place a nationwide, civil-military campaign plan to defeat the insurgency.
- Second, we need a surge in civilian capacity. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul needs to be transformed and expanded, with the necessary resources and the explicit direction to work side by side with the military at every level. In particular, the civilian presence must be ramped up outside our embassy -- at the provincial, district and village levels, embedding nonmilitary experts with new military units as they move in.
- Third, we need to help surge the Afghan war effort. This means expanding the Afghan army to 200,000 or more, and ensuring they are properly equipped, paid and mentored.
The U.S. needs to take tough action to combat the pervasive corruption that is destroying the Afghan government and fueling the insurgency. This requires a systemic response, not just threatening specific leaders on an ad hoc basis. Specifically, we must invest comprehensively in Afghan institutions, both from top-down and bottom-up.
- Fourth, we need a surge in our regional strategy. As many have observed, almost all of Afghanistan's neighbors are active in some way inside that country. Some of this activity is positive -- for instance, aid and investment -- but much of it is malign, providing support to insurgent groups. We must help "harden" Afghanistan by strengthening its institutions at both the national and local levels, empowering Afghans to stop their neighbors from using their country as a geopolitical chessboard.
The U.S. can help by beginning to explore the possibility of a bilateral defense pact with Kabul, which would include explicit security guarantees.
- Fifth, success in Afghanistan requires a sustained surge of American political commitment to the mission. Fortunately, and unlike Iraq, the Afghan war still commands bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people. But as more troops are deployed to Afghanistan and casualties rise, this consensus will be tested.
Indeed, there are already whispers on both the left and the right that Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires that we should abandon any hope of nation-building there, additional forces sent there will only get bogged down in a quagmire.
Unfortunately, Sen. Lieberman presents a panglossian view of how we can defeat an elusive enemy in a theater in which corruption backed by vast hoards of drug money make it virtually impossible.
Here is our assessment of how daunting a task it will be for General Petreaus and NATO allies to succeed in Afghanistan without first taking the oxygen out of the corruption that bankrolls al Qaeda and the fanatical Taliban.
Muslims, especially the fundamentalists in Afghanistan, have never been transformed, meaning reformed, in more than 1400 years. Moreover, Afghanistan has historically broken the back of 'invaders,' whether Alexander the Great, the British in the 19th Century and Russians in the 20th Century. You may recall the billions spent on Charlie Wilson’s War in the 1980’s in Afghanistan that spawned Osama bin Laden of 9/11 infamy and Al Qaeda with the aid of our ally, the Saudis. We hope it is not our turn in to come a cropper in Afghanistan in the 21st Century.
Look what passes for leadership in Afghanistan. The US inserted as the Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, an ex-maitre de at a relative's Afghan restaurant in Washington, DC. Now he is thoroughly corrupted, sounds off periodically like a budding Islamist, and gets large sums from the drug lords, including his brother. As the New York Times noted last fall, Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali is a major heroin drug trafficker. Karzai lives a virtual prisoner in his fortress of a Presidential palace in Kabul rarely sallying forth without an armored convoy.
The current Pentagon proposed Afghan 'surge" of 30,000 US and NATO troops is likely one tenth of what would be required given the Taliban presence in the largely southern Pashtun heroin growing provinces of the country, presence in redoubts in adjacent areas of North West Pakistan and even Iranian Revolutionary Guards infiltration via the country’s Western borders.
Given recent news our military forces in Afghanistan can't even get our supplies into Afghanistan over the road from Pakistan without Taliban attacks destroying convoys. The irony is that now the U.S. military has to rely on transiting Russia to send so-called ‘non-lethal” supplies to our troops in Afghanistan. The most we can do in retaliation is using those armed Predators of the CIA to hunt down and kill Taliban leaders and supporters in Pakistan - mere pinpricks. Then you have Obama sending special envoys and 'intermediaries' engaged in behind the scenes ‘discussions’ with the enemy: Iranian annihilationists and even al Qaeda.
As Rachel Ehrenfeld author of the classic, Narco Terrorism, has written if you don't control the heroin trade that funds the Taliban and Al Qaeda at an estimated $300 million + a year, you won't get anywhere. Afghanistan is the heroin producer to the world. That vast drug cash hoard is oxygen for the jihad. Look what it cost the U.S. (billions) in Colombia to finally rein in FARC, who controlled the Cocaine trade, and had support from Latin America, left extremist regimes in both Ecuador and Venezuela. Further, we achieved 'victory' against the Narco-terrorists in Colombia where the Uribe government was a staunch ally committed to defending his country against the drug lords, FARC and the threats of Marxist dictator, Hugo Chavez,
So, Senator Lieberman, we don’t have a quagmire in Afghanistan, as much as we do a sand trap controlled by Muslim extremist drug lords in the world heroin trade. Can we develop a winning strategy to take away that oxygen? That is the ultimate question.
I would like to believe we could succeed in Afghanistan. However, with extremist Taliban control tightening in the southern provinces and daily threats to what passes for a corrupt central government in Kabul, the five ‘surges’ proposed by Senator Lieberman don’t have a prayer of succeeding. General Petreaus is one smart serving officer who deserves to end his distinguished military career with a major counter-insurgency victory. Afghanistan, many fear, may not be one of them. Where is the Afghan successor to the fabled Northern Alliance leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud,
“the lion of Panjir,” assassinated by Al Qaeda two days before 9/11? I haven’t read nor seen one emerging in Afghanistan. Perhaps there will not be one like him to emerge soon to lead a fractured ungovernable Afghanistan and quell both the rampant heroin trade and stifle the Taliban. Meanwhile, the Obama special envoys and ‘intermediaries’ seek a deal from our worst Islamic extremist enemies.
Posted on 02/06/2009 6:50 PM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 6 February 2009
Lover Come Back
It wasn't us, but if it was, we made a mistake, that is, if indeed the goods were yours.
GAZA CITY (AFP) — UN aid supplies seized "by mistake" will be returned, Hamas said on Friday after a UN agency threatened to halt importing aid into the Gaza Strip over the incident.
The Hamas government's social affairs minister ordered "the aid to be returned to the agency if it turns out it is indeed its property," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said.
"The aid supplies were loaded onto trucks by mistake as no government representative was present," at the crossing where the supplies were brought in from Israel, he added.
A little Brenda Lee to say, "I'm sorry."
Posted on 02/06/2009 8:10 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 6 February 2009
Pakistan wants no-strings on aid from U.S.
From the "Just give us the #@*% jizya, kufirs!" department, as reported in The News of Pakistan:
LONDON: Aid from the Obama administration to Pakistan should come without strings attached, Pakistan's ambassador to the US said in a newspaper interview published Saturday.
Hussain Haqqani told a British newspaper, "Assistance that is conditional is never good". His comments came after US Vice President Joe Biden said Friday the Obama administration would revive a plan to send 1.5 billion dollars (1.2 billion euros) of military aid to Pakistan, its key ally in the fight against Taliban forces in Afghanistan. The US reportedly wants to triple civilian aid, but impose conditions to ensure military assistance to Pakistan goes towards fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, not building up defences against India.
Biden is expected to give the first full-fledged picture of Obama-era US foreign policy at a security conference in Munich, Germany on Saturday. "Assistance that is conditional is never good," Haqqani told. "Our advice has been that while we can always discuss what the Americans would prefer conditional aid is not going to serve US or Pakistani interests."
Haqqani pledged Pakistan would focus on fighting its "primary threat", which he said currently comes from "terrorism and not from our eastern neighbour". But he warned: "There is no bullet that has been invented that Pakistan can be given to shoot at the terrorists that cannot be used in case there is a war with India."
Following the release of nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan Friday, Haqqani said his freedom "may cause a short-term perception problem" though added: "Pakistan now has a genuinely independent judiciary and we have dismantled the A.Q. Khan network."
That even today, after everything that has happened in the past decades including the state-sponsored nuclear proliferation activities of A.Q. Khan, there is any chance that we (the U.S.) will be providing weapons to Pakistan that the Ambassador is openly telling us will likely be used in the jihad against the Hindus of India, is intolerable.
Military force should not be seen as the principle weapon in the anti-jihad, but in the case of Pakistan it is almost irresistibly tempting to make an exception.
Posted on 02/06/2009 11:48 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden