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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 Wednesday, 6, 2011.
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Denmark tightens border controls

This is from The Telegraph.

Denmark has tightened its border controls in a move which opponents claim could sound the death knell for the EU’s principle of free movement. . . . The principle of open borders is already threatened by political pressures created by the influx of refugees fleeing the turmoil in North Africa.

This is the Copenhagen Post

The stricter border controls are a reality. As early as Tuesday 50 more customs agents will be stationed at Denmark’s borders, carrying out more “controls” and spot checks on vehicles arriving from neighbouring EU countries.

The move is part of the government’s “permanent border control” agreement, which passed parliament on Friday and was immediately approved for funding by the Finance Ministry. The opposition attempted to have the agreement thrown out, but failed to secure a majority.

The border controls continue to come under strong criticism from the European Commission, Germany, the Confederation of Danish Industry and opposition parties, as well as several members of the governing Liberal and Conservative parties.

The French nationalist party, Front National, however, expressed admiration for the proposal and challenged the French to fight for their own permanent border control. . . immediately seized on the Danish initiative with its latest campaign poster stating “Denmark patrols its borders ... why don’t we?”

Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, also repeated his call that the government drop the new border controls. Westerwelle feared the agreement would endanger EU cooperation and solidarity.

“At a time when Denmark, just before the summer holiday season, is bringing back border controls, I am urging [Germans] to change their plans and go to Austria or Poland instead,” Germany’s minister for justice and the EU, Jürg-Uwe Hahn told Bild, Germany’s largest newspaper. Boycotting Denmark is the best way that Germans “can vote with our feet, and show the Danish government what we think about their policies”, Hahn continued.

The Danish tax minister, Peter Christensen, however, insisted that the new border controls would only inconvenience criminals. "It’s been proven that illegal merchandise is being smuggled into Denmark. Cross-border criminality should not enjoy freedom of movement, but people should,” Christensen told public broadcaster DR.

Posted on 07/06/2011 3:30 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Clientelism on the Defensive

Celebrity professors have been in trouble recently on both sides of the Channel. In France, Luc Ferry, a professor at the Diderot University in Paris and author of many bestselling books of philosophy, has received his salary ($6,300 monthly, after tax) at the university for seven years without teaching for a single moment. Instead, he has acted as head of the Council for the Analysis of Society, a governmental body set up in 2004 to “clarify the government’s political choices by the analysis and judgment of opposing points of view.” The university, granted financial autonomy by the state in 2010, refused to continue to fund Ferry’s salary in return for nothing. The government stepped in and agreed to pay it; but a deputy in the National Assembly, a supporter of the main government party, nevertheless asked why taxpayers should pay Ferry for not working. He also demanded that Ferry repay all the money that he had received during the past seven years.

A lively debate has erupted as to whether Ferry’s heading the Council for the Analysis of Society is a sinecure, and whether the work it entails—a monthly meeting, an annual report, some hearings and lunches with ministers—would justify being excused from all duties at the university. Some say that Ferry works hard at the council. Others are more suspicious, citing the many books he has managed to publish during the last seven years (to say nothing of his television appearances). There is no doubt that, despite Ferry’s protestations, a pall of corrupt clientelism hangs over the affair.

Meanwhile, across the Channel, another celebrity philosopher, A. C. Grayling, has unexpectedly waded into hot water for a different reason. Together with other equally prominent public intellectuals such as Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and Niall Ferguson, he has decided to set up an independent college of the humanities in London, charging students $29,000 a year to attend. Some of this money will fund scholarships for poor students, who are expected to make up to 20 percent of the enrollment.

Grayling was until that moment a darling of the liberal elite, principally because of his vigorous attacks on religion. Now, however, he has become an object of hatred. When he tried to explain his proposal to an audience in a large London bookshop, opponents let off smoke bombs, and the event had to be abandoned. Actually, Grayling’s college would, initially at any rate, be but a glorified crammer or system of private tutoring, since the idea is to issue University of London degrees. But the virulent opposition that it has evoked among students and university teachers suggests a deep anxiety about it.

In the first place, the fact that such prominent academics should think of setting up a college parallel to the state-run university system suggests that they don’t think much of the standards of the state system. It also suggests, by implication, that they are elitists who do not agree with the use of higher education as a means of demagogic and supposedly egalitarian social engineering, as well as a means of disguising youth unemployment. This in turn threatens an entire world outlook: much is at stake, then, which the protesters instinctively realize.

In the second place, the protesters greatly fear that Grayling and his friends might just succeed, and this would presage the destruction of the present system: a system comforting in its mediocrity and in its power to reward conformist apparatchiks. Even a small breath of competitive air threatens clientelism as a prevailing system.

First published in City Journal.

Posted on 07/06/2011 5:45 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Amazon Reviews: The Left is Seldom Right
Norman Berdichevsky's book, The Left is Seldom Right is receiving rave reviews on Amazon.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Berdichevsky Nails It, July 2, 2011
This review is from: The Left is Seldom Right (Perfect Paperback)
Norman Berdichevsky has a problem: he demands verified and objective evidence for the positions we support. In "The Left is Seldom Right," he picks apart the cherished assumptions that keep many people liberals and deftly demonstrates that basic principles of limited government is the only way forward. Moreover, he does a great job of revealing that the emperor (media, Europe, the left, etc.) has no clothes (in their demonization of Israel). The book is easy to read and broken into cogent chapters. I'll read it again and again!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging the Politics of Today and Yesterday, July 2, 2011
This review is from: The Left is Seldom Right (Perfect Paperback)
Posted on 07/06/2011 5:49 AM by NER
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Says Western Freedom Of Speech "Can No Longer Be Tolerated"

From Iran's Press TV:

OIC blasts Islamophobia in Holland
Tue Jul 5, 2011 2:14PM
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has denounced anti-Islamic acts in the Netherlands, blaming a number of Dutch politicians for supporting Islamophobia.

The foreign ministers of OIC member states issued a statement during a Tuesday meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana, condemning acts of Islamophobia in the Netherlands.

The communiqué also expressed concern over the hateful and provocative remarks made by a number of Dutch politicians against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“Repeated cases of insult to individuals or their beliefs by people, organizations or radical groups, especially when supported by governments, are unacceptable and cause grave concern,” the OIC foreign ministers said.

The document, released during the 38th OIC ministerial conference in Astana, further called for immediate measures to prevent such acts.

Meanwhile, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has issued a separate statement in which he condemned Dutch rightist lawmaker Geert Wilders for his insulting remarks against Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his wives.

"Wilders has taken a dangerous path, endangering the peace and harmony of civilizations by spreading hate against Islam and Muslims in his own country as well as in other European countries,” Ihsanoglu said in his statement.

"Insult to Islam and to the honored Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), has reached a stage that can no longer be tolerated under any pretext, including freedom of speech,” he added.

Ihsanoglu called on the Dutch government to take the necessary measures to stop the Islamophobia campaign by Wilders, and expressed concerns over Amsterdam's silence on the issue which he said could endanger the country's relations with the Muslim world.

In June, a court in Amsterdam acquitted Wilders, who had described Islam as "fascist," of all charges of inciting hatred against Muslims.

Wilders, 47, had been charged with five counts of hate speech and discrimination for his anti-Islamic statements on websites, internet forums, and in Dutch newspapers. But the judge of the case said that the remarks were "acceptable within the context of the public debate,” and that they "did not give rise to hatred.”

The right-wing Dutch lawmaker made headlines worldwide in March 2008, after making a controversial anti-Islam movie called Fitna. The 20-minute movie sought to desecrate the Holy Qur'an by trying to establish a link between Muslims' holy book and terrorism.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described Wilders' movie as “offensively anti-Islamic.” The European Parliament also banned the screening of the film, saying it provoked hatred.

Posted on 07/06/2011 7:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Ekmeleddin Ihsnaoglu's Alarm About A "Pandemic Of Vilification" Is Not New
[Posted at NER on 26 September 2010]
Conference leader calls nations to fight 'pandemic of vilification' against Islamic faith

Muslim nations must collectively resist growing Islamophobia in the U.S. and Europe, the head of the world's largest organization of Islamic countries told ministers from the 57 member nations gathered here this week.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu urged members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to work with Western leaders to dispel misconceptions about their faith. They met on the edge of the U.N. General Assembly.

Ihsanoglu told The Associated Press on Saturday that he would be taking this message on the road next week to Chicago, where the OIC will host a major conference on Islam and Muslims in America at the American Islamic College.

Education, he said, is key in helping the West truly understand Islam.[Yes, but not in the way he has in mind]

He said his new book, "The Islamic World in the New Century: The Organization of the Islamic Conference, 1969-2009," includes a whole chapter on the danger of growing Islamophobia in the West.

Islam has recently been under attack in America, especially with a controversy over a proposed Islamic centre near the World Trade Center sites and threats by groups to burn the Qur'an in protest.

"The Muslim world is going through an unprecedented difficult and trying time," Ihsanoglu told the ministers during their annual meeting on Friday. "We are facing daunting challenges and severe hardships. Islam and Muslims are under serious attack, and Islamophobia is growing and becoming more rampant and dangerous by the day."

He said a "pandemic of Islam vilification" is sweeping through some parts of Europe and the United States, increasing misperceptions about Islam and eroding Muslims' human rights.

"We need an all inclusive effort of OIC member states to stem this menace," Ihsanoglu told the ministers. "That is why I firmly believe that this question of Islamophobia should figure prominently on the agenda of all OIC member states whenever they deal with their Western counterparts."

Ihsanoglu, who is from Turkey, has headed the OIC since 2005. The group is seen as a moderate, collective voice for Islam.[by whom? Not by non-Muslims of sense]

"The OIC is a strategic and crucial partner of the United Nations and plays a significant role in helping to resolve a wide range of issues facing the world community," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement to the group when it met on Friday.

Member states reflect the reach of Islam across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and include Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Morocco, Afghanistan, Syria, Chad, Senegal, Niger, Sudan, Guyana and Surinam.

Posted on 07/06/2011 7:29 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Fitzgerald: A Tribute To Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

{Re-posted from 2008]


Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is the Turkish "historian of Islamic science" whose outward appearance is so deceptively modern and secular and sweet-reasonable. Then one realizes that that is merely camouflage and that his mental baggage, while not quite as primitive as that of the qaradawis and tantawis, is from the same product line manufactured by Islamic Tourister.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was carefully chosen to assume the position of head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as the most moderate and presentable (to the Infidels) person, after the bad impression left by Mohamad Mahathir's celebrated rant. He has since then been beavering away at the OIC's pet project, a transparent attempt at across-the-globe censorship of criticism of Islam. It is an attempt that constitutes an assault on the advanced, Western world, whose citizens are being threatened if they dare to exercise their right of free speech about what Ihsanoglu primly and self-righteously calls a "religion" (as if that conferred some kind of special immunity).

But Islam is an all-encompassing ideology, a Total Belief-System that presumes to regulate every detail of a man's life, and offers a Complete Explanation of the universe. Furthermore, it places great emphasis on inculcating the idea that all of humanity is divided between Muslims and non-Muslims, Believers and Infidels. Muslims are taught that between the two there must exist a state of permanent war (though not always of open warfare), and that all Muslims have a duty, central and not tangential, to participate in some way in the "struggle" or Jihad to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam.

Islam is a politics, Islam is a geopolitics. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu knows that, but he doesn't want the world's Infidels to find that out, or to discuss it among themselves, much less to actually criticize it. And so he will do what he can to shut down the exercise, in the Western world (and elsewhere in the non-Muslim lands), of our right to free speech, a right that could not possibly exist for one minute in the lands where Islam dominates, and Muslims rule. But in the advanced West, as one of its achievements, such a right has been won and is now exercised, possibly not quite as impressively, or with as much gratitude, as it might be -- but the important thing is the right, the untrammelled right.

Does Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu want Infidels to read the Qur'an? The Hadith? The Sira? Does he want them to read the histories -- the histories written by Muslims, for god's sake -- about the Muslim conquests, and the subsequent mass killings and subjugation of non-Muslims? What does he want us to find out about Islam? What is in the glossy brochures prepared by assorted Ministries of Islamic Propaganda, or by individual smiling imams (the kind who keep getting picked up later for connections to terrorism, or are revealed later, after they have decamped back to a Muslim land, to have made all kinds of disturbing and even blood-curdling remarks)? Is that it?

Amazing, isn't it, the real outrage, the genuine fury, that we should actually find out what Islam inculcates, and connect it to the recorded behavior of Muslims over the past 1350 years, and to the observable behavior of so many Muslims today, as we open our newspapers or turn on our radios and televisions, and piece together what might well be a separate section of the paper or segment of the broadcast, to be called The Jihad News.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was chosen to be the head of the O.I.C. because he was a "moderate" Turkish Muslim and a presumably respectable "historian of science." But he turns out to be not that but rather an historian, and defender, of "Islamic" science, who attempts to tortuously explain away the absence of science in the Islamic world since its brief flourishing thanks to Christians, Jews, and those who, while they were called Muslims, were only a generation or two away from being something else, in a milieu still heavily influenced by non-Muslim elements -- which, when greatly reduced, also reduced the atmosphere in which science could be conducted.

That bizarre figure, Ziauddin Sarkar, was somehow permitted to review, in the pages of the British journal "Nature," the large claims made on behalf of "Ottoman" -- i.e., "Islamic" science -- by Ihsanoglu. Some of Ihsanoglu's attempts to explain why such things as the clock did not develop in the East but only in the West (you see, since the early clocks were not sufficiently accurate for Muslims to rely on them for knowing when it was time for prayers, they did not think it worth using them, or trying to improve them) raise far more disturbing questions about the Muslim mindset than Dr. Ihsanoglu apparently realized.

Why did an editor at Nature give the job of reviewing Ekheleddin Ihsanoglu's book to the apologist Ziauddin Sarkar? And who at Science allowed to be published his puff-piece about "Islamic science," with every cliche that no historian of mathematics, or science, or technology -- not Giorgio di Santillana, not Crombie, not Charles Singer, not a hundred others -- would have permitted?

What is happening when standards, supposedly so rigorous at "Science" or at "Nature," are so obviously non-existent, and both journals become, rightly, the object of ridicule?

Then there is this, taken from a web-site that follows the OIC:

In March 2006, OIC General Secretary Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu embraced Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal at a press conference at OIC's headquarters. Ihsanoglu whitewashed: "With its win, Hamas begins a new stage in the development of the Palestinian issue. We assure that Hamas will deal with all national and international requirements in a practical and logical way."

At a "special session" of the OIC in August of the same year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for "the elimination of the Zionist regime," a statement that OIC failed to condemn. Moreover, the OIC has repeatedly backed Iran's nuclear ambitions. As Ishanoglu said in April, 'All member states of the OIC and I have obviously supported Iran's right to access peaceful nuclear technology,' despite clear indications that the Iranian regime's uranium-enrichment program is designed chiefly to make nuclear weapons.

And there is the OIC's explaining away of the 9/11 attacks, which "expressed the frustration, disappointment, and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims' soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed by the West."

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is also the one who, at the time of the death riots and Muslim riots over those anodyne cartoons in a Danish paper, solemnly likened the effect of those cartoons on Muslims as being akin to the effect on Infidels of the mass murders carried out by Muslims on 9/11.

Finally, Ihsanoglu has explained to an American audience how splendid was the system of "protection" that Islam offered Christians and Jews -- "protection" offered by Muslims, for the payment of Jizyah, from those same Muslims. A system that would have impressed Al Capone. He helpfully explained that the "privilege of becoming a protected minority via an act of dhimmiship was given only to the followers of a prophet to whom a sacred book was revealed."

Christians and Jews, because you are the lucky "followers of a prophet" -- Moses, Jesus (that is, the Muslim Moses, the Muslim Jesus) -- you will enjoy, when Muslim rule comes everywhere, the same "privilege of becoming a protected minority via an act of dhimmiship" that Christians and Jews have enjoyed in the Middle East, and elsewhere in Muslim-ruled lands, for so long.

So what's your problem? Never satisfied? What's the reason Islam is not pleasin' you?

In defining "dhimmiship" as the "privilege of becoming a protected minority," Dr. Ihsanoglu did his best. But those who are so solicitious of the public image of Islam and of Muslims realize that it should not be left up just to NPR, or the BBC, or Le Monde; we all have to pitch in, and do our bit. It might be better if "dhimmi" were to be jettisoned altogether. The word upsets Infidels, and it does nothing for Muslims, either.

Instead of "dhimmis," why not call them "Friends With Benefits"?

Islam is not merely a bunch of rituals of individual worship, or an explanation of how the universe came to be. It is, more importantly, also a politics and a geopolitics. A man who can present the dhimmi system, and describe the status of the "Protected People" un-ironically as A Good Thing, an Example of Muslim Benevolence and Tolerance, as Ihsanoglu does, is for all of his outward mien, that tie, that Western suit, inwardly as hopelessly primitive as any daggers-and-dishdasha Saudi.

Posted on 07/06/2011 7:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
A Musical Interlude: I'm A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas (Louis Armstrong)

Listen here.

Posted on 07/06/2011 7:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Senator Lugar Helps Postpone The Libyan War Rubber-Stamping


Lugar vies for stricter Libya strategy

Time might tell whether Sen. Richard Lugar’s nearly 25-minute speech opposing the use of U.S. forces in Libya swayed his colleagues.

Democratic leaders postponed a vote Tuesday on a resolution authorizing President Obama to continue the U.S. role in NATO’s military campaign for up to a year.

During a floor speech Tuesday afternoon, Lugar argued against the measure, saying Obama had usurped the Constitution by involving the U.S. in a North African civil war three months ago without congressional approval.

“We are using military force to achieve regime change,” Lugar said.

“Defining these actions as something less than hostilities requires extraordinary legal contortion,” he said. “The fact that we are leaving most of the shooting to other nations does not mean that the United States is not involved in acts of war.”

The Republican-controlled House defeated a similar resolution June 24 by a 295-123 vote, with Reps. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd; Dan Burton, R-5th; and Mike Pence, R-6th, opposing the measure.

Lugar, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called his chamber’s legislation “overly broad” and complained that it contained “no meaningful limits” on U.S. airstrikes in Libya, where longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi is trying to fend off attacks by rebels.

Supporters of the resolution include Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said Tuesday, “There is no upside to Gadhafi staying in power.” [but what about Qaddafy's son Seif al-Islam? Is there no "upside" -- what a word -- to that? Given that no regime in western Libya run by any Qaddafy will ever again be a threat to the west, having been so greatly and permanently weakened, and will have its hands full with the forces of violent Islam, and given that a regime run by others annot be so characterized with certainty, why not stick with the emasculated devil you know?]

The legislation does include amendments sponsored by Lugar to require congressional authorization for U.S. military force in Libya, prohibit the use of American ground personnel there and mandate that post-war reconstruction costs be paid primarily by Libyans and the Arab League.

[Nota Bene: at long last, a glimmer of an understanding that Arabs and Muslims, not war-weary endlessly-generous Infidels, treated with contumely by Arab and Muslim recipients of their aid, should be the ones footing the bill for other Arabs and Muslims. Let members of the Umma be put to the test, be forced to share their wealth, demonstrate a solidarity that goes beyond shared hatred of Infidels].

Lugar said during his speech that the effects of Obama’s decisions on the 1973 War Powers Resolution “may be far more significant than the short-term geopolitical consequences of what happens in Libya.”

The president should not be able to avoid constitutional responsibilities merely because engaging the people’s representatives is unconvenient or uncertain,” Lugar said.

“The founders believed that presidents alone should not be trusted with war-making authority, and they constructed checks against executive unilateralists,” he said.

Lugar predicted Obama will escalate U.S. air attacks against Gadhafi’s forces.

“If President Obama is armed with this resolution, and if the Libyan operation drags on, it is almost inevitable that the American role in Libya will expand,” Lugar said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., put off a vote after senators demanded to concentrate on reeling in the $14.3 trillion national debt, the main reason their scheduled recess this week was canceled.

Posted on 07/06/2011 7:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
How The Swine Put Their Spin On Things: The Imagined Ghosts Of Goosestepping Gauleiters

Here is a story about the perfectly sensible and -- what's that prefabricated phrase? -- "long overdue" minimal border controls, put into force by the Danish government.

I have put in bold the blah-blah about how these measures are "nationalistic" and are to be explained by the "financial crisis" that we are asked to believe explains the alarm about Muslim immigration [which is not named, direclty, but is what these measures are all about], explains the frenzy that has turned normally sensible people, in Denmark of all places, and elsewhere in Western Europe, into far-right -- far-right, far-right, far-right -- bigots.

By highlighting those phrases, I hope that you, dear reader, though by now a well-versd connoisseur in such matters, will find it even easier to detect, in this old and predictable wine in not very new bottles, the expected hint of leather and a long finish of boot-polish given off by imagined ghosts of goosestepping gauleiters.

Denmark imposes new border checks to keep out immigrants, 'criminals' [why the quotation marks around this word? What is being implied here?]


The right-wing Danish People's Party insisted that Denmark, part of the Schengen travel zone, impose spot border checks to keep out 'criminals from Eastern Europe.'

Danish custom officers patrol at the Oeresund Bridge border control between Denmark and Sweden on July 5, 2011. Denmark reinforced its borders on Tuesday by stationing additional customs officers at frontier crossings in a bid to halt illegal imports.

By Michael Steininger, Correspondent / July 5, 2011


Sixteen years after the Schengen agreement ended border controls for European citizens throughout most of the Continent, Denmark today appeared to take a major step away from the deal by imposing spot checks on people traveling from Germany or Sweden.

The move was demanded by the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party (DPP) and, according to DPP leader Pia Kjærsgaard, designed to keep out “criminals from Eastern Europe and illegal economic migrants."

In the past few years, populist movements have gained ground politically by campaigning against immigration, claiming that newcomers have not only become an economic drain but are also altering traditional European values. In Denmark, Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, who is heading a minority government, depends on the support of the DPP, which saw large gains in 2007 parliamentary elections.

Today's decision met strong reactions on this side of the border. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle warned that the checks would be a bad omen for freedom in Europe.

The Europe minister in the German state of Hesse called on Germans to boycott Denmark as a holiday destination.

“Freedom of movement is one of the most prominent European achievements,” Jörg Uwe Hahn said in interview with the Danish daily Jyllandsposten. “Whoever touches it, attacks the very idea of Europe.”

The Danish government dismissed Mr. Hahn’s comments as “hysterical."

The European Commission had warned Denmark when it first announced the checks in May that it could not unilaterally put up permanent barriers and remain a member of the Schengen treaty at the same time.

Consequently, Denmark now argues that it has not reintroduced border controls but only intensified spot checks by its customs officers that are legal in the Schengen area.

"This is a matter of reinforced customs controls where we will go after illegal import of, among other things, narcotics, weapons, and large amounts of money," tax and customs administration director Erling Andersen said in a statement.

Don’t be fooled – this is only the beginning,” says Erik Boel, president of the European Movement in Denmark, an international organization promoting European integration. “They are planning a comprehensive control infrastructure, costing 250 million Danish Krone [$48.5 million].”

Speaking on his cellphone from the Danish-German border, Mr. Boel described the Danish move as part of a wider trend in Europe. “There is a nationalistic development in many parts of Europe. Anti-immigration parties profit from people’s sense of insecurity in times of financial crisis.”

Populist movements have gained ground not only in Denmark, but also in Finland, the Netherlands, France, Austria, and Italy. Boel also lists European enlargement – the inclusion of poorer countries from eastern Europe into the union – and people’s mistrust of European institutions as reasons.

“People are very attached to their nation states. They don’t want the United States of Europe. On the other hand, Brussels is very handy as a scapegoat. If politicians have a domestic problem, they play the European card. That’s exactly what happened in Denmark," he says.

The Schengen area includes 25 member states with 400 million citizens. Border controls are only allowed under extraordinary circumstances. In May, the governments of France and Italy asked for the temporary reintroduction of checks to control the influx of migrants from Northern Africa.




Posted on 07/06/2011 7:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Six years

Friends, neighbours, fellow Londoners. This will not be forgotten.

 The Hyde Park Memorial to those killed on 7th July 2005.

Posted on 07/06/2011 12:31 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Dutch Government Defends Wilders and Rejects OIC Demands to Silence him


A first happened today in the Netherlands. Uri Rosenthal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs  responded promptly to defend Geert Wilders and Free speech against demands to ‘silence him’  by the Organization of Islamic Co-operation, the new name for the 57 nation Organization of the Islamic Conference. The OIC in its new guise had accused Wilders of conducting a “Campaign of Hatred” by simply criticizing Islam for its totalitarian credo. The OIC was endeavoring to override the recent acquittal in a decision by the Amsterdam District Court of Wilders of all charges brought against him under Dutch hate speech laws. This was patent intimidation of a sovereign nation by the OIC.

 The Freedom Party (PVV) released this statement from Minister of Foreign affairs, Rosenthal:

The Dutch government dissociates itself fully from the request to silence a politician. The Netherlands have a very high regard of freedom of speech,” Rosenthal said on Wednesday.

Earlier, today, Wilders had written both the Dutch Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs requesting that they distance themselves from the OIC demands. Wilders noted;

1.) Have you seen the intimidating statement of the OIC Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, about me and the OIC report “Fourth OIC observatory report on islamophobia” about statements made by various Dutch politicians?(*)

2.) Do you agree that the OIC has vastly overstepped the boundaries with these intimidating statements and do you agree with me that a Dutch politician should have the right to criticise Islam and multiculturalism in a public debate, as was confirmed during my political trial by the court decision of June 23rd ?

3.) Are you prepared to explain to the OIC member countries that criticism of Islam and freedom of speech are essential in a democratic society under the rule of law? If not, why not?

4.) Do you share the opinion that criticism, such as that of an organization like the OIC, is hypocrite and despicable given that the OIC in article 24 of its own Cairo Declaration on Human Rights explicitly states that all rights and freedoms are subject to Islamic Shari’ah law? If not, why not?

5.) Are you prepared in the short term to distance yourself publicly in strong wordings of this report and of the intimidating statement of the OIC secretary general? If not, why not?

6.) Will you make it clear once and for all to the OIC that the Netherlands will not accept to be lectured by an institution such as the OIC which makes human rights subject to the barbaric Shari’ah, and that we will not allow our fundamental freedoms and our freedom of speech to be restricted? If not, why not?

7.) Are you prepared to answer these questions this week?


It looks like the Dutch government has developed some much lauded steel to combat Islamic intimidation of free speech rights of Wilders and all citizens of  the Netherlands. Now on to deal with pushback against multi-culturalism and gaining control back from the UN over immigration policies.  We await further developments.  Bravo to Rosenthal and Wilders.


Posted on 07/06/2011 2:33 PM by Jerry Gordon
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
LEYTON: Women 'forced to cover up' at summer fete

From the Waltham Forest Guardian - in the borough where I grew to adulthood.Thanks to Andy.

ORGANISERS of a community event have been criticised for allegedly refusing entry to women who had their shoulders showing.

It has emerged that staff at the Noor Ul Islam Summer Fete, which took place at Leyton Cricket Ground at the weekend, told some women they could only enter the site if they wore specially provided t-shirts. Leyton Cricket Ground is (or was when I did PE there) is a council owned sports field with a pavilion and indoor school gym . It was in that pavilion that Abu Izadeen famously told the Then Home Secretary John Reid "How dare you come to this Muslim area". What is the council's view on ratepayers being subjected to Islamic dress code? I think I can imagine, sadly.

Nilgin Aslan, 51, who is herself a Muslim, said she was "disgusted" to be told her two daughters were not allowed in unless they covered up. A spokesman for the trust said only women who were dressed "inappropriately" were ordered to wear the t-shirts because it was a family-orientated event.

Mrs Aslan says there was no mention of the dress code on posters advertising the event, but that organisers had clearly made plans in advance because bags of the t-shirts were available at the entrance. "In total they took the t-shirts on and off again three times before we got fed up of being told off and left,” she said.

"They were just wearing typical vest tops, it wasn't inappropriate at all, it was completely over-the-top. It was supposed to be an event for the whole community, but the people walking around in the t-shirts looked like marked people. I think it put a bad name on all Muslims. How would we like it if we went to a community event and were told we couldn't wear sarees? You have to be tolerant of other people."

Hasib Hussain, a volunteer at Noor Ul Islam, told the Guardian: "T-shirts were only given to people who were dressed inappropriately, like those wearing mini-skirts or low cut tops. We did advise people to dress modestly. It's not appropriate at a family, Muslim event, although of course non-Muslims were welcome and many came.

I am considered to be quite modest in my dress but the outfit I wore to Holy Communion on Sunday would be offensive by that standard. The end of the wedge is getting fatter.

The Noor ul Islam Mosque sprawls a little further up Leyton High Road every time I visit. Having expanded into several shop fronts, some of which include Islamic bookshops they bought the builders yard next door last year. I have no idea where Anjem Choudary worships these days, but I was standing on the corner of the street where he lived, and may still live, to take the photograph below.



Posted on 07/06/2011 3:35 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Fort Hood Jihadi Maj Nidal Hasan to Face Death Penalty in Court Martial Proceedings

Fort Hood Jihadi Maj. Nidal Hasan

The Army has concluded several months of preliminary evidentiary hearings in the matter of Fort Hood Jihad massacre perpetrator, Maj. Nidal Hasan. The AP reported today that the Fort Hood Courts Martial will seek the death penalty for Maj. Hasan. Note the circumstances:

The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood rampage will be tried in a military court and face the death penalty if convicted, the commanding general for the Texas military post announced Wednesday.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 shooting spree.

It was not immediately clear when Hasan will be arraigned in a Fort Hood courtroom. He must plead not guilty because it is a death-penalty case, according to military law.

Hasan's lead attorney, John Galligan, had urged Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell at a meeting in May not to seek the death penalty, saying such cases were more costly, time-consuming and restrictive. In cases where death is not a punishment option for military jurors, soldiers convicted of capital murder are automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

"I believe the Army as an institution has long been planning to go this route," Galligan told The Associated Press on Wednesday from his office near Fort Hood, about 125 miles south of Fort Worth.

Two Army colonels who reviewed the case previously recommended that Hasan, 40, should be court-martialed and face the death penalty.

Galligan has declined to say whether he is considering an insanity defense for his client. He has refused to disclose results of a military mental health panel's evaluation of Hasan but said it would not prevent the military from pursuing a court-martial.

The three-member panel determined whether Hasan is competent to stand trial and his mental state during the shootings. It also determined if he had a severe mental illness that day, and if so, whether such a condition prevented him from knowing at the time that his alleged actions were wrong.

Hasan was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police the day of the rampage. He remains jailed in the Bell County Jail, which houses defendants for nearby Fort Hood.

Hasan has attended several brief court hearings and an evidentiary hearing last fall that lasted about two weeks. He sometimes took notes and showed no reaction as 56 witnesses testified, including more than two dozen soldiers who survived gunshot wounds.

Should Hasan’s defense counsel, Col. Galligan opt for an insanity defense, he might find that Army prosecutors may have an formidable expert witness in the person of Dr. Michael Welner of the Forensic Panel who successfully overcame specious arguments of defense experts in the GITMO trial of  Omar Khadr, former teenage Canadian Afghan al Qaeda fighter, who killed “his American.” We hope that the Army doesn’t undermine the proceedings as it did in the conversion to Conscientious Objector status of 101st Airborne Private Abdo who refused to serve in Afghanistan because it might involve killing his Muslim brethren in the ummah. We noted in a post about Lance Corporal Yonathan Melaku, a Muslim Marine Reservist Jihadi who attacked Washington area military facilities:

That would be a travesty of justice to the more than 13 killed and 32 wounded during [Nidal’s] ‘lone wolf’ Jihad at Fort Hood. And to think that former Army Chief of Staff General Casey thought that the first victim of that Jihad massacre was ‘diversity’. Our military leaders are victims of the Stockholm syndrome; blind to the threat of disloyal fundamentalist Muslim servicemen in the ranks because it would offend Islamic beliefs. This is tantamount to criminal negligence to provide force protection for our non-Muslim service personnel. The Melaku case is just the latest example of the threat to military personnel from jihadists out to kill their infidel soldier.

Posted on 07/06/2011 3:51 PM by Jerry Gordon

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