These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 6, 2012.
Monday, 6 August 2012
The latest 'honour killing' in Hyderabad has shocked people because the family is middle class and it happened in open court
This has been in the Indian press for a few days but the Guardian picked it up last night.
So-called honour killings by families who believe their daughters have disgraced them are increasingly common in Pakistan. (and the UK. and the US. And Europe. And Australia and NZ) But the gunning down last week of a woman by her brother, a lawyer, in front of dozens of witnesses in a packed courtroom in the bustling city of Hyderabad marks an alarming new low.
The family of 22 year-old Raheela Sehto had already made their fury at her marriage to Zulfiqar Sehto – a love match struck without their permission – abundantly clear. They reacted by filing a claim with local police that their daughter had been kidnapped by her 30-year-old husband
Her uncle had tried to throttle her with a scarf at an earlier appearance at the high court in Hyderabad in July. The couple had petitioned the court for its protection and to try and have the kidnapping charges thrown out.
But Sehto, a university graduate working for the local electricity company, said they felt they had no reason to fear for their lives in court, even when in the earlier part of the morning he was sitting almost directly in front of his wife's eventual killer, Javed Iqbal Shaikh, her brother.
Shortly after the two judges had returned to their seats after a break, Shaikh, dressed in the black suit and tie of his profession, produced a gun he had smuggled into court, lunged at Raheela and shot her point-blank in the left side of the head.
"The lawyers, they don't like to be searched," said Amjad Shaikh, a police superintendent in Hyderabad, the main city in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh. "Security is a little bit of a problem there."
Apparently unrepentant, Shaikh gave interviews to journalists later, "I did that in rage because she had dishonoured the family," he said to a Pakistani newspaper. Four other family members who accompanied him in court have also been charged over the killing.
"Everyone is very shocked by this because it happened in an educated family," said the police officer. "Normally, honour killings happen in the rural areas where people are not educated." Or are educated in Islam where a woman is always property of a man.
The superintendent added that the involvement of the Shaikhs was also unusual, saying they are known for being "peaceful". The Shaikhs of Sindh, originally migrants from neighbouring Punjab, tend to enjoy high levels of education, are traditionally involved in trade and are little connected with tribal custom.
According to the latest survey of violence against women by the Aurat Foundation, a rights group, there were 2,341 honour killings in 2011 in Pakistan – a 27% jump on the year before. The report also said there were more than 8,000 abductions and 3,461 rapes and gang rapes. But the figures were just "the tip of the iceberg", it warned, saying researchers relied on those cases that were reported in the media only.
Sehto struggled to speak as he described the loss of his young wife, whom he had known for almost his entire life, growing up in the small town of Behlani. "She was my neighbour and we went to each other's home since we were children," he said. "We began to fall in love more than 18 months ago, but they kept refusing my family's request to marry her."
Raheela agreed to elope with Sehto only after her father attempted to marry her off to a Shaikh from Punjab whom she did not know, he said. His family has now left Behlani, and he said he will never return. "All I want is justice, I want the court to convict Javed and his accomplices with the death penalty," he said.
Posted on 08/06/2012 2:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 August 2012
Embrace Islam or resign, Boko Haram tells Jonathan
From the Nigerian Tribune
ISLAMIC sect, Boko Haram, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to embrace Islam or resign from office. However, the president, on Sunday, dismissed the demand as laughable and a blackmail.
The call was contained in a Youtube video released on Saturday, showing the leader of the sect, Mallam Abubakar Shekau, also criticising President Barack Obama of the United States of America (USA) over the classification of the sect leaders as terrorists, which could lead to the seizure of his assets in the US.
“I call on you President Goodluck Jonathan, you should abandon this ungodly power, you should repent and forsake Christianity, including Obama, who said I have business interests in the United States,” Shekau said in the Hausa language video.
In a reaction to the position, the president, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, in Abuja, on Sunday, said the demand amounted to blackmail which he would never succumb to. He observed that it was, therefore, laughable for any group in the country to make such demand, moreso as the president, a Christian, was elected by both Muslims and Christians. Abati added that “as president, Dr Jonathan is the leader of both Muslims and Christians, in fact, he is the leader of persons of all faiths.
Posted on 08/06/2012 3:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 August 2012
Violence erupts at anti-Islam protest in Sweden
This is the most accurate MSN report I have come across so far. Most omit to say who actually threw the fireworks and injured the police. This is Y Net News of Israel.
Swedish activists clashed with police amid a hail of bottles and fireworks in downtown Stockholm on Saturday as they tried to break through a police line and attack an anti-Islam demonstration.
Police spokesman Kjell Lendgren said around 400 leftists had gathered to heckle the 100-strong demonstration, which was rallying to bring attention to what it perceives is the Islamization of Europe.
He said the leftists shouted and blew vuvuzelas to drown out anti-Islam and nationalist speeches, but then started throwing bottles and lit fireworks at police, injuring two officers. Lendgren said ten activists were arrested, after which the situation calmed down.
Nottingham University's Matthew Goodwin, an expert on British far-right militant groups, said the Stockholm meeting was of strategic importance despite the modest turnout. "The attending are quite significant figures within the anti-jihad movement. It signifies the strengthening links between counter-jihad groups and anti-Muslim groups within Europe and the United States," he said.
EDL leader Stephen Lennon, who also calls himself Tommy Robinson and who founded the group three years ago, said the meeting was about sharing resources and coordinating strategies. "It's about sharing ideology, sharing resources, work together in any way we can over the next 12 months in order to highlight the truth, the truth about Islam," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Stockholm rally.
An interesting link attached to the Y Net report is this piece by Tobias Petersson on countering anti-Israeli propaganda in Sweden.
Posted on 08/06/2012 3:09 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 August 2012
A Readerâ€™s Regrets
by Bryce Rogers (August 2012)
Being neither a devil nor an angel—and having sins no better nor worse than most—I suppose some of my greatest mistakes occurred in bookstores. Certainly many of my deepest regrets—painful even now to consider—stem from memories of lost volumes that I failed to purchase when I had the chance. Their dust jackets and covers—still bright like gems in the sun—live in the mind more vibrantly than many of the titles I carried home; I’m haunted like the day-trader who didn’t buy—or the angler who, returning from the lake, recalls only the sight of that dazzling trout swimming away. more>>>
Posted on 08/06/2012 7:29 AM by NER
Monday, 6 August 2012
The New Muslim Corsairs And How They Operate
At the website "Islam Versus Europe" I ran across -- but can't relocate now -- a brief notice of what is described as an example of a new "corsair raid" on the coasts of Europe. Four Muslims landed, by boat -- illegally, but the result would not have been much differenet in the end had they arrived legally by plane -- on the coast of southern Spain, and proceeded to rob and physically attack Spanish people in the street. The allusion to corsairs is what prompts the thoughts below.
For hundreds of years, Muslims raided up and down the coasts of European countries. They killed an d kidnapped, they looted and destroyed. You can still find the fortifications the peoples of Western Europe -- in Spain, in Italy, in France -- built to protect themselves against these raiders. More than a million Europeans were taken back to North Africa to be enslaved. Raiders got as far north as Ireland (in Baltimore), and on one occasion, even to Iceland. The story of one such victim, Thomas Pellow, is told by Giles Milton in "White Gold."
The raiding, the cosairing, now continues under a different guise. No longer do Muslims raid, in ships, the coats of Europe. Instead, they use those ships (and planes, too) to invade Europe, to land in, and live off both the generous benefits, and the loot they steal in various kinds of fraud and theft -- all over Europe. This is the new Musilm invasion. The economic cost to long-suffering Europe, whose elites refuse to recognize the problem and often, instead, attempt to close down discussion of it -- surely costs tens of billions or perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
That is the economic cost.
The cost to schools, with Muslim students who refuse to study subjects set in the curriculum -- for example, the history of medieval France, or about the Enlightenment, or about World War II and the mass murder of Europe's Jews -- and who are now a permannetly disruptive and most expensive element for public education in many European coutnries, and are responsbile in large part for the decline in teacher morale, and in standards. The steady degradation of life in Europe, the distruption in its schools and hospitals, the insecurity of taking, in many places, public transportation or even of being on the street, an identifiable non-Muslim -- especially a woman, but not only a woman -- with roving bands of Muslims in certain areas making life difficult and dangerous -- should by now be obvious to those who do not allow themselves to be buffaloed by the incessant propaganda effort to minimize, or even hide, such steady degradation, expense, difficulty, and danger.
Is there a single non-Muslim in Europe who would not, if he had a chance to turn the clock back thirty or forty years, undo what has been done? Is there anyone in Great Brtiain who is delighted that the Pakistanis were allowed in, legally, and illegally? Is there any French person who does not regret the inattention to the invasion by North Africans, and the nearly criminal negligence with which, for so long, and in many ways still, such an invasion has been ignored? Is there anyone in Germany who is delighted that Ludwig Erhard first brought in Turkish workers en masse, as gastarbeiter, and then those workers did not return home, but brough women, their wives singular or plural, and their children, and have stayed, and are not leaving, as was originally planned? Is there anyone in liberal, open-hearted Denmark, who is delighted with what the Muslim immigrants have brought to Denmark? What about the Netherlands? What about the Moroccans in Spain? Or in Ireland? Or in Finland? Or anywhere else you care to look at, if you look beyond the rigid political and media elites who cannot allow themslves to admit that they were colosally wrong, any more than in the United States the governments, of both Obama and Bush, can admit that they have been colossaly wrong in their attempt to bring Good Government And Prosperity -- an all-purpose nostrum and panacea that has done nothing to undermine the hold of the root cause of the wretchedness of Muslim peoples and polities, which is the hold of Islam over the minds of men.
Here is a story of what is described as a "corsair raid" in southern Spain.
Posted on 08/06/2012 9:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 August 2012
In Egypt The Sunsets Were Swell, But Egypt Itself "Very Much Unwell"
"In Egypt the sunsets were swell..."
Women, Christians among groups unhappy with Egypt's new government
Although the president said he heard the voices of all Egyptians, the much-anticipated government announced last week has proven to be a disappointment for many as a setback to the ideals that propelled the revolution that last year toppled Hosni Mubarak.
The new Cabinet drew on Islamists and technocrats as well as senior bureaucrats from the previous Cabinet, which was appointed by a military council that still holds considerable political power. Two of the Islamists were given key posts as ministers of information and education.
Egypt’s acting Christian Coptic leader said the government formed by Prime Minister Hesham Kandil was unfair for “ignoring” the rights of the Copts, which make up almost 10% of the country’s 82 million people.
“I will not congratulate the prime minister on the new government because the formation is unjust,” Bishop Pachomious told Egypt’s Al Shorouk newspaper. The bishop added that the new government should have included at least four Coptic representatives among the 35 ministerial positions, including four new posts.
Only two women were named to the government, including Nadia Zukhari, who is also a Copt. Making up almost 52% of the population, women who stood alongside men in the uprising that deposed Mubarak continue to feel ignored a year and a half after the revolution.
“The process of forming the government was fake. Giving women or Copts one or two minor posts does not mean you are being inclusive,” said Salma Nakash, a researcher at Nazra Feminist Studies and a women’s rights advocate.
Nakash said she is not only frustrated because the president failed to include enough women but also because he did not consult with female politicians or intellectuals.
Egypt’s ultraconservative Islamist group the Salafist movement, which controlled about 25% of the recently dissolved parliament, was not included in the new government. Al Nour, the movement’s political arm, criticized Morsi for failing to confer with its party’s members.
As the country moves to draft a new constitution, many liberals, secularists, Christians, women and non-Muslims are focusing on a document that will protect civil rights at a time when military and the Islamists are pushing for wider powers.
“The constitution is the answer,” said Youssef Sidhom, editor in chief of Watany, a Coptic daily. “I am more interested in seeing a man stand up for women’s rights or a Muslim defend Christian rights. But to even say we need a woman to defend women or a Copt to defend Christians shows that Egypt is still very much unwell.”
Posted on 08/06/2012 10:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 August 2012
Ranbir Singh: Muslim Reparations For Black Slavery
by Ranbir Singh
African slaves being sold in thirteenth century Yemen
In 1964 Malcolm X famously remarked how on pilgrimage to Mecca he was taken aback at how there was no racial or colour prejudice in Islam. Yet only two years previously Saudi Arabia had abolished slavery of his fellow blacks. We hear much about how America owes reparations to the descendants of those forcibly brought over from Africa as slaves, and even after liberation were forced to endure dehumanising treatment through legally enforced racial segregation, disenfranchisement and even mob violence. It is in this context that black separatist groups such as Marcus Garvey’s UNIA and Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam flourished. Malcolm X was of course the most famous spokesmen of the latter before he exited from the organisation. Yet his split from NOI had more to do with personality clashes and rivalries than with any sudden realisation that orthodox Islam stood out against slavery and racism. Indeed he was perhaps closer to the truth when in 1959, having been criticised that Elijah Muhammad’s sect did not follow true Islam, he retorted “Arabs sold slaves”. Indeed the numbers of slaves taken from Africa to be sold in the slave markets of Islam probably exceeded that taken to the Americas. It not only preceded the trans-Atlantic slave trade but continued long after even Brazil and Cuba abolished slavery, and that means right into the twenty-first century in the case of Mauritania and Sudan. From its very inception Islam was associated with slavery. The Quran is replete with references to slavery as perfectly normal. Slavery in Islamic countries survived as a legal institution well into the twentieth century. Arun Shourie, member of India’s upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, writing in his 1998 book ‘World of Fatwas’:
“The right of the master over his slaves form an important part of Shariah. The use one may make of concubines and slave-women forms the subject of Hadis. Slavery, retaining concubines – all these things have Allah’s approval in the Quran.”
NIneteenth century Arab slave traders
Born and educated in South Africa, Ronald Segal was forced to leave his country of birth in 1960 for engaging in activities against apartheid. Segal has been in important scholar in raising awareness of African slavery in the Americas, but in 2001 produced his milestone work in exposing the little known subject of slavery of blacks within Islam. Slavery and the slave trade was well established in Arabia long before Islam, and Islam itself conquered other slave owning societies but its numbers in the Islamic empire grew rapidly due to the Arab conquests. They were employed in a variety of roles. Females were recruited for the harems while males could become slave soldiers, business agents, or eunuchs. Slaves were captured in war or born as the children of slaves. Razzias from Muslim Spain captured Christians for the slave market. Thousands were sold to other parts of the Islamic world. Conversion to Islam did not mean manumission. Indeed there was no mass freeing of slaves under Islam. As well as lacking legal rights, slaves were regarded as being morally and physically inferior. Their evidence was seldom valid in court. They could not own property. But as property themselves they could be passed via bequests. If a freeman killed a slave compensation was paid to the owner at the market price. A slave could be killed and punished without any legal penalties. A business agent was referred to as ghulam and not abd, indicating the difference of status and the better quality of life. At the opposite end of the scale were the mines, which were mostly worked by slaves in harsh conditions.
In the 1960s the Salazar regime used the ideas of Brazilian academic Gilberto Freyre to ‘prove’ that there had never been racism against blacks in Portuguese Africa. Yet Freyre’s Lusotropicalism was not even an accurate reflection of slavery and race relations in Brazil. With hindsight we can see the poignant and yet pathetic desperation of comparing the supposed racial democracy in Brazil with the segregation and racism that has historically been part of demographic experience in the USA and South Africa. Yet not only does Brazil have rampant racism with blacks excluded from positions of power and influence, as well as White Power skinheads, it has been South Africa and America which can now boast having heads of state who are black. Lusotropicalist-style apologetics are now the mainstream when describing slavery and racial prejudice in the Islamic world. Gang slaves were used in the mines and on plantations. Slaves were always used for the most dangerous work such as the salt mines of the Maghreb. Under the Abbasid caliphate there were the first attempts to have mass plantation slavery in the cultivation of sugar cane in Mesopotamia. Poverty led to slave revolts by black slaves in mines and plantations in 770, and again in Lower Mesopotamia in 883, joined by disaffected peasants. Disturbances were so serious, that even Baghdad was threatened. Known as Zanj, these slaves were led by Ali ibn Muhammad who became known as Sahib-az-Zanj, or Master of the Zanj. He aimed at restoring the purity of Islam not at abolition. Indeed he promised slaves and other property to his followers.
Sixteenth century Mughal painting of suppression of the Zanj rebellion
Gold and slaves were the main export items from the Sahara and beyond to the Mediterranean. Slaves came from the Sahel and even as far as Madagascar and India. This remained unabated while the trans-Atlantic slave trade grew in volume. Conditions across the Sahara were every bit as horrific as the Middle Passage. Slaves suffered from dehydration, sand storms, extremes of heat and cold, and having to carry other goods. Western slaving nations however were not immune from being the human harvesting centres for ambitious Islamic states. In the ninth and tenth centuries Tripoli became a major market for Christian slaves, especially female. Venetain slave traders sold human chattel from Dalmatia and Italy to the eager buyers in the Maghreb. In the tenth century Arab slave raids targeted France and Italy. East Africa became a major source of slaves with important markets at Sofala, Zanzibar, Pemba, Kilwa, Mombasa and Malindi. Jihads against Ethiopia involved the inevitable slave-taking.
From the seventeenth century the Maghreb was the source of slave raiding pirates, the notorious corsairs of Barbary. For over a century pirates in the region had attacked Christian shipping in the region. Vulnerable merchant vessels passing through the Straits of Gibraltar were attacked in a maritime slave-raiding jihad which causing consternation across Europe. The coastline of Spain was ravaged but the corsairs took their attacks further. In 1625 the coasts of Cornwall and Devon were raised for slaves. One of many renegade Europeans to make cause with the pirates, Dutchman Jan Janszoon joined the al-ghuzat to become Murad Rais. His raids went to Reykjavik where he captured four hundred Icelanders to be sold as slaves. He also attacked Wales and in 1631 his attacks reached Ireland where 237 Irish were taken from the village of Baltimore, to be sold in the slave market of Algiers. The fort of Salé became the centre for the corsairs under the spiritual leader, the marabout Sidi Mohammed el-Ayyachi where slave trading became their economic lifeblood, and slaves were kept in horrendous conditions. Held in virtual darkness, in squalor which included literally wallowing in their own excrement, European white slaves had their clothes and hair infested in lice and fleas, were given little more than water and coarse bread, and pressured to convert to Islam. But slave raiding extended as far as Norway, Newfoundland, France, Portugal, Greece and Russia. Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Tuscany and Calabria were areas of Italy which were especially affected. The slave dealers of Islam also found huge amounts of human chattel in Majorca, Gibraltar, Minorca, Corsica and the Spanish coast. Large areas of Spain’s coast became depleted of their population as a result. By the 1660s corsairs were enslaving English settlers from the American colonies. In 1627 a daring raid on Iceland killed many in the process, while others later died from disease or were converted to Islam. Pastor Ólafur Egilsson was sent by these slave raiding pirates, from Algeria to Denmark to negotiate ransom. Some Icelandic slaves were returned to their homeland a decade after capture. Tripoli also became rich on the slave trade and by the end of the seventeenth century was importing between 1500 and 2000 Christian slaves annually, mainly Italian. Two thousand black slaves were also being imported annually, although many died in transit. During the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries about a million European Christians were seized as slaves by the Barbary pirates. Slave raiding by the corsairs actually continued into the nineteenth century. In 1757 Sidi Muhammad became sultan and acted against the corsairs as he tried to replace dependence on slavery with more legitimate trade with European nations. However in 1790 he was succeeded by Moulay Sulaiman II who planned to relaunch the slave raids. In 1816 the British dispatched a huge fleet to end the corsair menace with an attack on Algiers which reduced large parts of the slave trading city to oblivion. The slave trade in white Christians from Europe and America by the Barbary corsairs was finally at an end. The economy of Tripolitania was ruined as a result. The main revenue now came from the trans-Saharan slave trade which was not ended in Benghazi until 1911 with the Italian conquest and continued in the Kufra region of Libya as late as 1930. Enslavement in warfare was meant to exclude Muslims. But in practice this was bypassed by raiding Muslim communities of another state, especially if they followed a different school of thought, or by enslaving anyone rebelling against the state. The latter is the fate which befell the Berbers in 1077 who were then sold off in the Cairo slave market.
Captured for the harem
Right from the advent of Islam in South Asia the faith had been associated with mass slavery. The raids of Mahmud of Ghazni produced thousands of slaves which were fed into a slave trade networked trafficking human beings to Iran, Iraq and Central Asia. Major slave raiding also took place by Timur. Further east and slaves were the majority population of Dutch ruled Batavia and Makasar in the eighteenth century, in what is now Muslim majority Indonesia. Raiders across South-East Asia captured and traded in slaves. Malay legal codes viewed slaves as property, devoting much attention to the details of servitude such as debt bondage. The Melaka sultanate had traded in slaves captured in the Philippines. By 1611 Sultan Alauddin Tumenanga ri Gaukanna had converted the Bugis and Makassares to Islam, people who actively sold slaves along with spices.
By the end of the fourteenth century the expanding Ottoman Empire was involved in the large-scale recruitment of slaves. From Murad I this was done by human leby on Christian captives caught in war, which in turn became formalised into an institution essential for slavery. For example, Bayezid I (1389-1402) granted land and tax exemption to a body of raiders who agreed to conduct regular razzias to ensure a regular flow of new human chattel. For the Turks who had brought large parts of Europe, Middle East and North Africa under their control, the slave trade flourished. The Turkish slave market was kept satisfied by raids of Crimean Tatars into Poland and Lithuania. The Crimean Tatars made huge profits from the sale of human beings to the Turks. Indeed on their very first slave raid against Poland in 1468, they captured 18,000 captives. In 1672 a major Tatar raid saw the capture of 44,000 Russian slaves. In the seventeenth century Crimean Tatars brought thousands of Russian slaves annually into the Ottoman slave markets. These included the cities of Cairo, Mecca, Basra, Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis. Turkish slave raids into Europe continued until the Battle of Mohács in Hungary in 1526, after which in 1541 that state became an Ottoman tributary. By the 1640s historian Ibrahim Pechevi noted that the supply of European slaves had largely dried up. However Tatar raids into Russia and Poland, as well as slave catching in the Caucasus and sub-Saharan Africa continued to supply slaves to the Ottomans. Raids into Russia continued into the nineteenth century. The Ottoman state’s foundations lay in rule by an absolute sovereign and administered and protected by a slave caste who served the sultan with complete loyalty. From the time of Murad I, this elite infantry corps known as yeniçeri (janissaries) was raised by prisoners captured from the Christian Balkans, and instituted by Sultan Bayezid as devershirme, the human tax levy on Christian youth which recruited boys aged between seven and fourteen, converted them to Islam, and trained them as the sultan’s civilian and military elite.
Slavery retained its canonical status and legitimacy until the very end of the Ottoman Empire. British pressure led to the closure of the centuries-old slave market in Istanbul in 1846 by Sultan Abdülmecid, with further measures against the slave trade in the Persian Gulf and Maghreb. Slave traders in Jeddah feared that the slave trade in Africans would be banned appealed to the clerics in Mecca. The head of this religious establishment agreed that the measures against slavery were contrary to Islamic law and made the Turks into apostates and idolators. Hence jihad was declared against them. Hence the Hijaz region was made exempt from the trade in slaves. Meanwhile Iranians seized Christian slaves from Armenia and Georgia, until the Treaty of Turkmanchai in 1828 sapped this source, which led to greater reliance on black slaves. But Iranians were themselves enslaved by the Ottoman Turks, as well as by Uzbeks and Turkmens. Under British pressure, Iran halted the slave trade in 1882. Slavery itself was fully abolished in 1907. In 1861 it was the invading Russian imperialists who suppressed slavery in Muslim Central Asia. Indeed it was the pressure from now universally condemned and hated western imperialism which halted slavery in the Islamic world. In the early nineteenth century, Swiss traveller John Lewis Burckhardt met Hadji Aly el Bornawy in Nubia, who despite his evident religious piety nevertheless sold off his own cousin in the slave market of Mecca, while on hajj pilgrimage. The Hausa rulers had raided Muslim neighbours for slaves without any remorse for Islamic injunctions for not enslaving the faithful. They were challenged in 1810 by the revolt and jihad of Usman don Fodio, a Fulani of the Hausa state of Gobir. In 1812 he became caliph of a West African empire, helped by the fact that many of his supporters had been victims of slave raiding by the Hausa. Then in the 1820s, another Fulani, Ahmad ibn Muhammad, launched his own jihad against his overlords which he denounced as idolaters, and founded a state centred on Hamdallahi. In 1862 another jihad by Umar ibn Said led to a new empire dominated by the Tukulor. Slave markets and slave ownership flourished in the Sahel region. In area such as Bornu, non-Muslims were not encouraged to convert to Islam because this would then allow them to be enslaved without religious inconvenience. Only with the French conquest of this region was slavery and slave trade effectively curtailed, even if not completely stamped out. As recently as 2008 the former French colony of Niger was found guilty by the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States for Hadijatou Mani being held in slavery. Niger had actually banned slavery but the country’s customary courts upheld the institution. Slavery continues with the full support of sharia. In the Gulf oil revenues have actually increased both ownership and the trade in slaves. On 7 November 2003, Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body as well as being a member of the Council of Religious Edicts and Research, Imam of the Prince Mitaeb Mosque in Riyadh, and professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud University stated that it was kufrto claim that slavery should be abolished:
“Slavery is part of Islam….Slavery is part of jihad and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam.”
In Mauritania Abdel Yessa Ould Yessa was born into the traditional Arab aristocracy and saw black slaves as inherently stupid people who knew no other work than to obey higher castes, in accordance with the Mauritanian saying “paradise is under the master’s foot”. Slave families are ripped apart as human beings are sold off or given away as presents. Psychological dependency by the slaves mean that in Mauritania, it is not even necessary to beat or chain them into submission, because they have been brought up to have no other purpose than service to the master. Yessa found that even in primary school in the capital Nouakchott, there was a female slave selling sweets, a slave employed as school guard, and the cleaning staff were all slaves.
Sudan remains the other Islamic country where slavery thrives, despite being abolished by the British in 1924. The Mahdi revolt of 1881 against the Turko-Egyptian rulers had in fact attracted many slavers to the ranks of its followers, the Ansars. Khalifa Abdullah had a thousand slaves working his personal estates and four hundred in his harem. Civil war between the Arab Muslim north and the largely black Christian and animist south has added a new dimension to the revival of slavery in this country. Slave raids began in earnest in the 1980s under the premiership of Sadiq al-Mahdi, grandson of the legendary Muhammad Ahmed, the Mahdi who resisted British colonial rule. In raiding southern villages, Khartoum’s armed militias slaughter the elderly and those attempting to escape. Captives are taken hundreds of miles from home, using the boys to end cattle and goats, or even join government militias to fight southern Sudanese rebels. Child slaves in Sudan are beaten, forced to sleep with the livestock, are branded for identification with hot irons, and suffer punishments such as amputation for losing cows or sheep. Women are forced into concubinage. High ranking officers in the Sudanese army own slaves.
Yet where are the calls for reparations for slavery in the Islamic world? The demographic catastrophe it brought is all too evident. One need only compare the situation of blacks in Israel with those in its neighbours. Why are there blacks in Israel? Because in 1984 the Israeli government made strenuous efforts to airlift the Beta Israel (Falashas) from famine stricken Ethiopia. But the people of African descent in Arab countries are the descendants of an archaic slavery which has yet to die. And of course it is not just Africans. The name Hindu Kush means “Hindu Slaughter”, testimony to the huge numbers of slaves taken from India through centuries of Islamic colonialism. The descendants of these slaves were dispersed throughout the Middle East as nomadic groups known as Nawar speaking the Indic language of Nawari. But they are perhaps more well known as the most marginalised and discriminated against people in Europe: the Roma or Gypsies. With all the oil revenues generated from the Gulf states spent on Wahhabi and Salafi terrorism, these rich countries that deny even basic rights to the millions of Asian workers who do the dirty jobs for the Arab herrenvolk could easily pay back reparations to the countries which for centuries were the victims of colonialism and slave raiding which political correctness deems off limits to even discuss and with the use of exploitative labour in places such as Dubai, Kuwait and Saudi, has yet to end.
Posted on 08/06/2012 9:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 August 2012
A Musical Interlude: Miss Otis Regrets (Ethel Waters)
Posted on 08/06/2012 10:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 August 2012
David Cameron: world must 'never forget' Olympic Munich massacre
The IOC would not allow a moment of remembrance at the opening ceremony; I am glad that someone still recognises the importance of this 40th anniversary. From the Telegraph and AFP
On the 40th anniversary of the attack, the Prime Minister led tributes to the 11 men who lost their lives on “one of the darkest days in the history of the Olympic Games”.
He said Britain understands the terrible impact of terrorism as the London 2012 Olympics were announced the day before the bombings on July 7, 2005.
"The British people know only too well what it is like to suffer at the hands of terrorists,” he said. “Our euphoria at winning the right to host these Olympics was brutally shattered within just 24 hours when terrorists targeted the London transport system and 52 innocent men and women were murdered. Our two countries, Britain and Israel share the same determination to fight terrorism and to ensure that these evil deeds will never win.”
The widows of two of the Israeli athletes attended the event, (at the Guildhall in the City of London) which was organised by the National Olympic Committee of Israel, the Jewish Committee for the London Games and the Israeli embassy in London.
The two widows, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, had unsuccessfully campaigned for the anniversary to be marked with a minute's silence at the opening ceremony, a request rejected by IOC President Jacques Rogge.
A minute's silence was held instead at the Olympic Village in London for the signing of the Olympic truce on July 24.
Posted on 08/06/2012 3:30 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 August 2012
Standard Chartered, Soon Drawn And Quartered?
New York state’s financial watchdog accused Standard Chartered of hiding $250bn of transactions with the Iranian government, leaving “the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes”.
The UK-based bank’s shares fell more than 6 per cent after the New York state Department of Financial Services issued an order just before the London market closed, which included a threat to revoke the bank’s licence to operate in the state and called it a “rogue institution”.
Standard Chartered concealed from US authorities about 60,000 transactions for Iranian clients, amounting to about $250bn and generating “hundreds of millions of dollars” in fees for the bank.
Among the Iranian clients were the Central Bank of Iran and two state-owned institutions, Bank Saderat and Bank Melli.
The department, led by Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services, alleged that Standard Chartered had falsified records and evaded US sanctions. One Standard and Chartered director allegedly told a colleague: “You f---ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians?”
In addition to the bank’s “systematic misconduct” with Iran, the Department said it had evidence that Standard Chartered appeared to have conducted “similar schemes” with Libya, Myanmar and Sudan.
Standard Chartered said: “As reported previously, the group is conducting a review of its historical US sanctions compliance and is discussing that review with US enforcement agencies and regulators. The group cannot predict when this review and these discussions will be completed or what the outcome will be.”
Standard Chartered is the second UK bank in two months to face blistering US criticism over allegations of lax controls in moving money. HSBC was last month accused by a US Senate investigation of violating anti-money laundering rules.
In the Standard Chartered case, the bank is accused of “wire stripping”, or removing codes that identify Iranian clients from money transfers.
In a strategy codenamed Project Gazelle, the bank attempted to increase “wallet share” of its relationships with Iranian companies. The regulator said the bank “apparently decided that regulatory compliance would impede any such business expansion”.
In 2004, after concern over its procedures, Standard Chartered was ordered to hire an independent consultant to review its compliance with reporting requirements. Deloitte & Touche was hired.
But the US regulator alleges that the consultant “unlawfully” gave Standard Chartered access to previous reviews it had performed for other banks and ultimately produced what a Deloitte consultant termed a “watered-down version”.
It said Deloitte & Touche “apparently aided” the bank in withholding information from regulators and the consultancy “intentionally omitted critical information in its ‘independent report’ to regulators”.
Deloitte did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The regulator has instructed the bank to appear at a hearing next Monday to “explain these apparent violations of law and to demonstrate why [its] licence to operate in the State of New York should not be revoked”.
US authorities have been probing the practice of “wire stripping” for several years, with the US Treasury, successive Manhattan district attorneys and the Department of Justice investigating the actions of several banks.
Posted on 08/06/2012 4:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 August 2012
Armenians In Aleppo
When Armenian Christians were set upon by Muslim Turks (and some Muslim Kurds, too), in the Great Massacre that began in 1915 (an earlier one, that of 1894-96, not in wartime, at the hands of both Turks and Kurds, caught the attention of the English poet William Watson) some of the survivors managed to escape to the West, to take boats to Marseille, for example, or even as far as the American ports of Boston and New York. But those who had to flee overland went from Eastern Anatolia and, though harried by desert Arabs (who sometimes made off with Armenian girls and women, and whatever property the defenseless Armenians had managed to carry), and at last found refuge in two cities with large Christian communities -- Beirut and Aleppo.
There are still nearly 100,000 Armenians -- or were until recently-- in Aleppo. What do they report, when they talk to their relatives in such places as Watertown, Massachusetts? They say that whenever the Muslims cause them trouble, they have only to call the Syrian Army, and within minutes the army is there, to protect and reassure them. They say that some have been leaving, by plane, for Armenia. The Syrian government has done nothing to prevent this, but it has also made clear how much it would like the Armenians to stay, how welcome they are and, if the Alawites remain in control and are not dislodged by Sunni Muslims, that welcome would continue.
Because of American negligence, stupidy, and perhaps indifference, half of the Christians in Iraq -- part of a community that pre-dates the arrival of Islam -- have left. And in Egypt, though things will not become even worse as long as the Egyptian army can hold the Ikhwan and the Salafits and all others who take Islam to heart under control, more than 100,000 Copts have already left -- because of the "Arab Spring" that deposed a pharaoh, but did not allow for his replacement by someone more gifted, suave, and possibly, too, ruthless, an Egyptian Ataturk, who had read and digested Taha Hussain.
Now the last regime in the so-called "Arab lands" that actively and even eagerly, protects the local Christians from Muslim assault, is itself under assault. And the Western world does everything it can to help Sunni Muslims, whose ranks include members of Al-Qaeda, and who receive financial and military aid from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who wish to overturn the Alawite rule for, among other reasons, making it possible for Christians to live so freely and practice their religion so securely, in Syria.
This is not the kind of thing you read in the American press, which has already decideed, as it has throughout the period of this dangerously misinterpreted group of local revolts, each with a different prompting against local despotism, and in some cases the despot is a single man, in some cases an entire military, in some cases an entire minority or groups of minorities joined by justified fear of the Sunni Muslim Arabs who, while forming a majority, would if they took over make the lives of those non-Muslims or non-Arabs much more difficult and dangerous. And in the case of Syria, though one would not know it from the Western press, there are also plenty of Sunni Muslims -- not all of them part of some financial clique benefiting from the Assad regime -- who understand that the Alawite military caste has made secular lives more possible than could ever be the case under rule by Sunni Muslims.
If Armenian Christians were being harassed by Sunni Muslims under any other kind of rule, do you think they could call the security servicdes, and have them come running to protect them? Do you think, under such rule, Armenians and other Christians would be able to celebrate Christmas -- even see the government shut down its offices at Christmas -- or celebrate Good Friday by openly visiting, and circumambulating, seven churches? Or would they become as Christians everywhere under Muslim rule, unconstrained by Western pressure or oversight, and live in permanet insecurity and fear?
Posted on 08/06/2012 9:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald