These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 7, 2008.
Monday, 7 January 2008
Muslims call for 'no-go' CoE bishop to resign
Muslim groups are howling for Bishop Nazir Ali’s resignation.
Thus proving that he has a point – criticise Muslims and their reaction is violent, hence areas where non Muslims fear to tread.
As I said in the earlier post I don’t feel scared walking around Leyton on a visit but Muslims are not the majority there. They are a very large minority, but there are equal numbers of black residents of Afro Caribbean heritage and white indigenous families and a smaller number of Hindu and Sikh families. In Dewsbury and parts of Bradford I believe the situation is different. Pali writes of the intimidation of a member of his family in Birmingham. I have read letters in the Church Times from clergymen who have been hissed and spat at by Muslims in “majority” areas. The comments in The Telegraph show that there is substance to the Bishop's claim even if he did not specify any particular area.
Religious groups have demanded the resignation of the Bishop of Rochester after he claimed that Islamic radicals had turned parts of Britain into "no-go" areas for non-Muslims.
Mohammed Shafiq, from the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "Mr Nazir-Ali is promoting hatred towards Muslims and should resign."
Ajmal Masroor, of the Islamic Society of Great Britain, said: "It's a distortion of reality. Our communities are far more integrated than they were 10 years ago.
"If the Church of England had an iota of fairness they would take serious action."
But senior figures from the Church of England have backed the Bishop of Rochester's remarks about faith and said Christians in predominantly Muslim areas could feel isolated and nervous about how to express their belief.
The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev John Goddard, said his colleague had raised serious questions about the role of faith, race and culture in British society.
The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, said it was becoming difficult for Christians to share their faith in areas where there was a high proportion of other faiths.
William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "I don't think that view is factually correct. I'm not sure where these no-go areas are, I don't recognise that description."
But Bishop Goddard said that Christians, who are outnumbered in many parts of Blackburn, were frightened that their ideas could be misinterpreted by other faiths and seen as a form of oppression.
"It is not fear that there is going to be retaliation but it is a fear that you get it badly wrong and cause hurt to others of integrity of other faith you did not intend," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"When you engage in proclaiming the Christian faith in an area dominated by another religion, I and others tread very carefully so that the message is heard and not seen as some sort of oppression."
Bishop Goddard said Christians in northern towns such as Blackburn and Burnley, where 95 per cent of the Asian population is Muslim, could find life difficult.
"I think they sometimes feel as though they are strangers," he said. Now that I do relate to.
Posted on 01/07/2008 2:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 7 January 2008
The other elephant in the room
There shouldn't generally be more than one elephant in a room. If there's a whole herd of elephants, then not noticing one of them is not such a glaring omission. Too many elephants muddy the bathwater under the bridge, spoiling the broth while they're about it.
This Telegraph opinion piece on multiculturalism has one too many elephants. It rightly praises the Bishop of Rochester for pointing out the elephant in the room (Muslim hostility), but itself misses a second elephant - the unique danger of Islam. Multiculturalism is not the main problem, although it doesn't help. Islam is the problem (my emphasis):
It has taken a long time to happen, but at last an authoritative and senior establishment figure has pointed to the elephant in the room. Before the Bishop of Rochester's article yesterday in The Sunday Telegraph, the debate about immigration focused almost exclusively on who benefits financially. We have tiptoed around its effect on our society and culture. Even the somewhat belated recognition by ministers that newcomers should show a commitment to British values and demonstrate a knowledge of English tends to be couched in economic terms and ones favourable to the immigrants themselves - that they will get a job more easily and their lives will be enhanced if they are more integrated.
However, few politicians have been willing to do what Michael Nazir-Ali has done, which is to question the impact of a growing Muslim population upon the very fabric of the nation, turning it within half a century into a multi-faith and multicultural land. It is hardly surprising, perhaps, for a Christian prelate to lament the powerful appeal of another faith challenging where his own once reigned supreme. Furthermore, the recent immigration of more than half a million eastern Europeans has delighted Roman Catholic leaders whose churches were full to bursting over Christmas.
But they share an historic and religious heritage. The issue that Bishop Nazir-Ali raised has more to do with our failure to integrate Muslims because our political elites were in thrall to what he called "the novel philosophy of multiculturalism". One consequence was the ease with which extremists exploited an emphasis on separatism to recruit among the more impressionable young men in their communities.
Attempts have been made to impose an "Islamic" character in some cities by insisting on artificial amplification for the adhan, the call to prayer, and even to introduce some aspects of sharia to civil law. Sitting in the background, seemingly stalled for the time being, are plans to establish Europe's largest markaz - an Islamic prayer and meeting area able to accommodate at least 40,000 people - right beside the site for the 2012 London Olympics, where it would be a potent icon of how Britain has changed.
In truth, the bishop has simply articulated what many in the Government and in the race relations world have already come to realise (and which most of the rest of us understood years ago), and that is the baleful consequences of three decades of multiculturalism. Last year, even the Commission for Racial Equality, once a cheerleader for the concept, recanted with a report that depicted Britain as an unequal and segregated nation in danger of breaking up.
Why is it "our failure to integrate Muslims"? Muslims often don't want to integrate. If they are true Muslims they can't want to integrate: Islam doesn't allow it. Multiculturalism is a bad ideology, but Islam's war with the Infidels long pre-dates this dogma. If you doubt it, just ask yourself whether there are any Sikh or Hindu "no go areas".
Posted on 01/07/2008 4:49 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 7 January 2008
Whistleblower: Top US Officials Taking Bribes For Nuke Secrets
The Sunday Times (hat tip: JW):
A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.
Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.
She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.
Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.
Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.
The name popping up all over the blogosphere this morning is Marc Grossman.
The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims.
However, Edmonds said: “He was aiding foreign operatives against US interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.”
She claims that the FBI was also gathering evidence against senior Pentagon officials – including household names – who were aiding foreign agents.
“If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,” she said...
In late October, Edmonds had told The BRAD BLOG she was prepared to reveal the information to any major U.S. broadcast media outlet, after feeling that she had exhausted all efforts to see the disturbing information properly investigated by U.S. Government agencies. She had, in fact, spent years in classified interviews with high-ranking officials from the FBI, DoJ, 9/11 Commission and both houses of the U.S. Congress, in hopes of seeing accountability brought concerning the issues of national security, which the DoJ's own Inspector General had described as "credible," "serious," and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI."
Despite broken promises for hearings on her case by U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), support from Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-MI), and a number of mainstream exposés several years ago detailing aspects of her story before she was willing to break her unprecedented "States Secrets Privilege" gag order, none of the American broadcast media outlets took her up on her offer.
Posted on 01/07/2008 7:43 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 7 January 2008
In praise of big knickers
Last year Caitlin Moran wrote some of the funniest words I have ever read on the subject of bosoms. In today's Times, inspired by the story of the giant knickers putting out the fire, she turns her attention to what she calls her "better half": bottoms, and the inadequacy of modern British knickers. (For the benefit of American readers, British pants are knickers, not trousers. What do Americans call knickers? I hope it isn't "panties" - they sound pervy and pornographic.)
People, I’m going to lay this one right on the line, right here, right now: I’m pro big pants. Indeed, pace Mrs Marsey, I’m currently wearing a pair that could have put out the Great Fire of London at any point during the first 48 hours or so.
This is because I believe if you’re going to do something, you should do it well. If I backcomb my hair, I’m not going to stop until it’s fully 2ft above my head and has to be karate-chopped in the middle if I want to put a hat on. And if I’m going to wear pants, I’m going to wear something that actually contains my entire botty-bot – instead of just hanging around the middle area, scantily, supposedly sexily, like a gift ribbon on a slightly battered parcel.
[T]here is scarcely a woman in Britain wearing a pair of pants that actually fit her. Instead of having something that, sensibly and reassuringly, contains both the buttocks – what I would call a good pair of pants – they’re wearing little more than gluteal accessories, or arse-trinkets. They’re all in briefs, demi-briefs, bikinis, strings, midis, hi-legs or thongs.
These tight, elasticated, supposedly saucy partitions across the mid-derriere are, in terms of both comfort and aesthetics, as cruel as the partition between India and Pakistan. There is catastrophic physical displacement. Entire body parts are split asunder, and undertake vast migrations. With my own eyes, I have seen women walking around out there with anything between two and eight buttocks – and placed anywhere between the hip and the mid-thigh. This enforced deformity is not the fault of the pants. They are little guys, simply overwhelmed by the task that faces them. They are outnumbered. They are the Alamo. They are, indeed, often in terrible danger – many look like they’re on the verge of being absorbed by their owners. A&E departments must have had a few emergency admissions for “emergency admissions” in their time.
Women, this manner of underwear cannot be an act of sanity. Why are we starving our bottoms of the resources – like an extra metre of material – to stay comfortable? Why have we succumbed to pantorexia? It is, of course, all a symptom of women’s continuing, demented belief that, at any moment, they might face some snap inspection of their “total hotness,” and have to reveal their underwear to a baying crowd, possibly featuring George Clooney. In this respect, women have communally lost all reason. Ladies! On how many occasions in the past year have you needed to wear sexy pants? In other words, to break this right down, how many times this year have you suddenly, unexpectedly, had sex in a brightly lit room, with a hard-to-please erotic connoisseur? Exactly. On those kind of odds, you might just as well be keeping a backgammon board down there, to entertain a group of elderly ladies in the event of emergencies. It’s more likely to happen.
You know, when it comes to sex, you have to remember men are blessedly, almost serenely, laisser-faire creatures. Girls – THERE ARE MEN OUT THERE HAVING SEX WITH BICYCLES. Whether you wear sexy pants is neither here nor there to them. They’re really not that fussy. Remind yourself of this every day. For instant calmness, it’s better than meditation. Imagine if men indulged in similarly demented levels of needless overpreparation. If they did, they’d all have two tickets for a mini-break to Prague in their boxers, lest they come across a lady doing spot-checks on their levels of “total dreaminess”.
"Arse trinkets" - what a wonderful coinage. In my Bossom piece, in which I quote Moran on bosoms, I rail against crotchless knickers. They are simply knickers that don't work. You wouldn't buy a telly with no picture, would you?
Posted on 01/07/2008 7:48 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 7 January 2008
Citizens of Walkersville, Maryland Fight Proposed Ahmadi Compound
From the Maryland Gazette (hat tip: Refugee Resettlement Watch):
...[Steven R.] Berryman said the group’s key members have spent hours doing their own research to build a case against the retreat center. Where there’s a deficit of knowledge on particular factors, experts have been hired, to the tune of about $27,000, Berryman said. The group so far has raised only a ‘‘fraction” of the money, he said.
Though he would not name any of the professionals the group has hired, Berryman said a land-use expert is among them.
‘‘Quite frankly, I think the [Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] is underestimating the amount of dissention in the community, and that will become evident during our presentation,” Berryman said. ‘‘It’s a lot more than citizens carrying pitchforks because they’re unhappy.”
Citizens for Walkersville became a for-profit corporation in November after bolstering themselves with about 1,400 signatures gleaned in the fall from a petition drive.
Berryman, 49, lives in Dearbought, a subdivision on the northeastern tip of Frederick city, outside Walkersville. His two sons attend Walkersville schools, and he has served as a Glade Valley Athletic Association coach and a Pack leader for Walkersville’s Cub Scout Pack 1070.
An old friend from those associations recruited him for Citizens for Walkersville when he saw a post on Berryman’s blog, ‘‘InfoServesMe,” wherein Berryman suggests the retreat center ‘‘could provide cover for others, perhaps unrelated but with evil will, to operate in an undetectable fashion around our schools.”
He’s sure the Ahmadis are ‘‘well-funded” and ‘‘incredibly persistent,” but he thinks the Muslims are trying to ‘‘bully their way in here.”
‘‘They want the highest piece of ground in the middle of Walkersville to do that with,” Berryman said, gesturing to a picture of Muslim men, standing around tents, on his computer screen. ‘‘That would seriously impact the normal day to day lives and operations of the citizens of Walkersville.”
Berryman's blog has more background:
For the past eight weeks, The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) has been conducting a massive public relations campaign in and around our small agricultural town of approximately 6,000 residents that seeks to facilitate zoning exceptions in order to allow the purchase of 224 acres of farmland, currently zoned Agricultural, within the city limits of Walkersville, MD.
The construction of a 40,000 + square foot building and providing facilities for conventions of up to 10,000 people at once is on their application for approval.
The centerpiece of the media campaign that the AMC is waging is that they are a “good people.” That begs the question of why they have spent so much money and time to tell us so, over and over again through purchased print ads and visits to our churches? The redundancy of effort on their part smacks of propaganda and causes us to question their true long-term designs on a venture here.
Posted on 01/07/2008 8:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 7 January 2008
Nanny State Crazy
reports: Nearly a dozen members of a police SWAT team in western Colorado punched a hole in the front door and invaded a family's home with guns drawn, demanding that an 11-year-old boy who had had an accidental fall accompany them to the hospital
, on the order of Garfield County Magistrate Lain Leoniak.
The boy's parents and siblings were thrown to the floor at gunpoint and the parents were handcuffed in the weekend assault, and the boy's father told WND it was all because a paramedic was upset the family preferred to care for their son themselves.
Someone, apparently the unidentified paramedic, called police, the sheriff's office and social services, eventually providing Leoniak with a report that generated the magistrate's court order to the sheriff's office for the SWAT team assault on the family's home in a mobile home development outside of Glenwood Springs, the father, Tom Shiflett, told WND...
According to friends of the family, Tom Shiflett, who has 10 children including six still at home, and served with paramedics in Vietnam, was monitoring his son's condition himself.
The paramedic and magistrate, however, ruled that that wasn't adequate, and dispatched the officers to take the boy, John, to a hospital, where a doctor evaluated him and released him immediately.
The accident happened during horseplay, Tom Shiflett told WND. John was grabbing the door handle of a car as his sister was starting to drive away slowly. He slipped, fell to the ground and hit his head, Shiflett said.
He immediately carried his son into their home several doors away, and John was able to recite Bible verses and correctly spell words as his father and mother, Tina, requested. There were no broken bones, no dilated eyes, or any other noticeable problems.
The family, whose members live by faith and homeschool, decided not to call an ambulance. But a neighbor did call Westcare Ambulance, and paramedics responded to the home, asking to see and evaluate the boy.
The paramedics were allowed to see the boy, and found no significant impairment, but wanted to take him to the hospital for an evaluation anyway. Fearing the hospital's bills, the family refused to allow that.
"This apparently did not go over well with one of the paramedics and they started getting aggravated at Tom for not letting them have their way," a family acquaintance told WND.
"The paramedics were not at all respectful of Tom's decision, nor did they act in a manner we would expect from professional paramedics," the acquaintance said...
Posted on 01/07/2008 8:59 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 7 January 2008
America And The Muslim World
"70 percent [of Pakistanis] believe definitely that it is a U.S. goal to weaken and divide the Islam."
--from this news article
It isn't, but it should be.
And since the majority of the world's Muslims, even at a time when the American government is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to keep Iraq together, and to lessen, not widen the fissures between Sunnis and Shi'a, Arabs and Kurds, surely this goal should be pursued, without worrying about "how Muslims will view this." They already think we do this, when we don't. Their reaction cannot be worse than it already is. And besides, dividing and demoralizing (and possibly even diminishing, by causing non-Arab Muslims to leave Islam, now properly perceived as a vehicle of Arab imperialism) is exactly what the Infidel world, possibly led by the American government, should be doing.
Posted on 01/07/2008 9:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2008
Don't Worry, Iraq Will Take Care Of Everything
No need to worry. This problem in Great Britain, and in the Netherlands, and France, and Spain, and Germany, and Denmark, and Sweden, and everywhere in Western Europe, will soon be solved. It will be solved because the one-two trillion dollar effort in Iraq will cause Sunnis and Shi'a not to fight with each other, to cause Kurds to reconcile with Arabs, and for all of these groups to unite in one stable state, never to be a threat to, or a victim of, its neighbors, and happily brought the prosperity it deserves by the infusion of American money, and American knowhow, and eager American military and civilian operatives, working to build up the country right now, and for years to come, until of course the revenues from those second-or-perhaps-first-largest-oil-reserves-in-the-world start to come in.
And then, you can be sure, the grateful Iraqis will wish to pay America back, or at least give them back a few hundred billion of the one-two trillion that have been expended.
That will take care of the "no-go" areas in London. That will end all unreasonable demands made on this or that Infidel government, or church. That will take care of the demographic conquest that has been actively discussed in Muslim circles for the past several decades -- beginning, in public, with Boumedienne's speech at the U.N. in 1974, when he told the Europeans, told the French, exactly what would happen, not at all worried that they might actually react and do something about Muslim immigration at that point. And they didn't. And they don't. And they apparently won't. Nor, it seems, will any other country in Western Europe.
Meanwhile, the American governmental and media elites pride themselves on "how different" the situation is with Muslims in this country, but even if that were true (it isn't), they fail to grasp what is happening in Western Europe, and what will be, what are, the obvious consequences for NATO, for the Western alliance, for the very idea of the West and for the possibility of a continuation of Western civilization, or at least of a preservation of its civilizational legacy, to be enjoyed by heirs unworthy of that legacy.
Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. That will take care of it. Let's keep it up in Iraq.
Posted on 01/07/2008 10:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2008
Western Medicine And Islam
R. John Matthies writes at MEF:
Is a Muslim within his rights to insist a female physician examine his wife, or refuse male assistance in the birth of his child? And, are hospitals obliged to accommodate the Muslim's wish when this unfairly burdens staff, entails a delay that jeopardizes patient care, or if accommodations like these contravene the Hippocratic oath? Europe grapples with questions like these with increasing frequency; and Great Britain and the Netherlands appear well on their way to translating the discriminating tastes of their hospital guests into hospital policy.
The Dutch Telegraaf reports that the Dutch physicians' organization (KNMG), in reply to verified cases of doctor intimidation, has published guidelines that will allow Muslims to refuse a male physician. The organization asks that hospitals satisfy requests for a female physician in every case but those deemed "acutely emergent," and urges sensitivity. Without surprise, the article goes on to cite a Dutch National Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) report that acknowledges "some physicians" feel the professional organization is too quick to cater to "the wishes of Muslims."...
Grumbling over belligerent males in the obstetrics ward has also made news in Belgium, where two cases in particular made headlines recently. One concerns anesthetist Philippe Becx, who, on the night of August 23, 2007, was called to assist an emergency Caesarian. The doctor arrived to find his path obstructed by the patient's husband, who said in no case would a man be allowed to care for his wife. Two hours of debate ensued, in which time Dr. Becx explained he was the sole anesthetist on duty. At last an imam was called to broker an accord; this consisted of draping the expectant mother with cloth, and exposing her flesh to the doctor at the injection point alone.
The doctor reluctantly consented, and, after administering the epidural, waited outside the operating room, where he assessed his patient and conversed with the (female) gynecologist through a duty nurse and a door propped ajar. Dr. Becx went on to press charges against the man, for hindering a physician in the exercise of his function; but Belgium's professional association of anesthetists, while sure of the doctor's right, was unwilling to ascribe motive to the man's religious convictions, and reading instead a case of gender discrimination. All the same, the organization not only signed the complaint, but also filed civil charges of criminal negligence.
Similar, as reported by Brussels' De Morgen, is the case of Luc Gerguts, chief of gynecology at Geel Sint-Dimpna hospital, who described to a physician's journal how an angry Muslim prevented him from assisting his wife in a dangerous delivery. The woman had experienced two stillbirths already, he said, and her situation was critical. But when the husband refused to allow Dr. Gerguts to attend to his wife, the doctor yielded, and, following the example of Dr. Becx, dispatched for two experienced midwives, and stationed himself behind the door....
Posted on 01/07/2008 10:29 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 7 January 2008
A Musical Interlude: Night And Day (Damia)
Posted on 01/07/2008 12:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2008
Smaller Than The World Of Ponette
Nicolas Sarkozy, it is said, will marry Carla Bruni in a month. He and Carla and her son have been photographed vacationing in Cairo, sunglasses on, Valley of the Kings lying photogenically behind them.
One might not think that Carla Bruni would have come up at this site, except in relation to Sarkozy. And she hasn't. But more than two years ago (Sept. 1, 2005) at JihadWatch, because I happened to be listening to her CD, I did put up a phrase from one of her songs -- "ton regard de velours." The song from which the phrase was taken was written by her, and is titled "Raphael," about the father of her child. When she met Raphael she was living with his, Raphael's, father. So her former lover was the proleptic grandfather of her son. And there is one more thing. At the time that Raphael met her, he was married to the daughter of Bernard-Henri Levy.
Small world, France. Even smaller than the world of Ponette, or the village school in "Etre et Avoir."
Two wonderful French movies worth seeing. Much more interesting than the breathless reports about, or future televised noces of, you-know-who and you-know-who.
Posted on 01/07/2008 12:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2008
This will probably be the first of many main stream media articles on Barak Obama's Church in Chicago a subject we covered last February. Ronald Kessler wrties for the Washington Insider (with thanks to Jerry Gordon):
...“We are a congregation which is unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian,” says the Trinity United Church of Christ’s website in Chicago. “We are an African people and remain true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.”
That’s just the beginning. The church has a “non-negotiable commitment to Africa,” according to its website, and its pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. subscribes to what is called the Black Value System.
While the Black Value System includes such items as commitment to God, education, and self-discipline, it refers to “our racist competitive society” and includes the disavowal of the pursuit of “middle-classness” and a pledge of allegiance to “all black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System.” It defines “middle-classness” as a way for American society to “snare” blacks rather than “killing them off directly” or “placing them in concentration camps,” just as the country structures “an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.”
In sermons and interviews, Dr. Wright has equated Zionism with racism and Israel with South Africa under its previous policy of apartheid. On the Sunday after 9/11, Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later, Wright suggested that the attacks were retribution for America’s racism.
“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01,” Wright wrote in a church-affiliated magazine. “White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”
In one of his sermons, Wright said, “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!...We [in the U.S.] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”
As for Israel, “The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now,” Wright has said. “Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.”
Obama says he found religion and Jesus Christ through Wright, whom he met in the mid-1980s. He has been attending Wright’s church regularly since 1988...
Posted on 01/07/2008 1:14 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 7 January 2008
What Money Can Buy
It may be true that money can be everything except civilization, it can build a replica of civilization, or at least a replica of Lyons. There's something very creepy about this. From The Telegraph (with thanks to Alan):
A businessman in the desert Arab emirate of Dubai has launched plans to faithfully reconstruct the French city of Lyon, right down to its cafes, cinemas and schools, officials from the southwestern city have announced.
The project, due to be completed in 2012, is being driven by businessman Saeed Al Gandhi who fell in love with France’s third biggest city after a visit to draw up plans for a French-language university in Dubai in partnership with the Lyon-2 campus.
He is due to sign a draft deal for the 500 million euro project next week with the city of Lyon.
Lyon-Dubai City, as the new area will be known, will contain public squares, restaurants, outdoor cafes and museums.
All the original Lyon’s gastronomic, cultural, sporting and economic institutions will be painstakingly replicated.
"The city will be organised on European lines so that in a bistrot there you will find the same atmosphere as in a bistrot in Lyon,” said urban specialist Jean-Paul Lebas, who is working on the project...
Posted on 01/07/2008 1:51 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 7 January 2008
More On No-Go Areas
Regarding the comments by the Bishop of Rochester, Baron Bodissey posts the following at Gates of Vienna:
A reader just sent us the following email:
I read the article by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali in today’s Sunday Telegraph. The readers’ comments are a revelation of people’s anger and frustration at a government bent on the destruction of the nation through use of the alien Moslem presence. I’ve gone through all the comments, in which parts of the following cities or towns are said by readers to be no-go:
- Tower Hamlets
A commenter at GoV asks where they can contact the Bishop to offer encouragement. A member of my family has been writing to him for several years:
The Bishop of Rochester
Posted on 01/07/2008 2:16 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 7 January 2008
Blogging the Qur'an II
Ziauddin Sardar has launched his "Blogging the Qur'an" series at The Guardian (based, of course, on Robert Spencer's better known work at Hot Air). It will be heavy on two things:
1) the "human interest" side, where he tells us -- he has already begun to do so -- about how he first heard the Qur'an, read to him as he sat, aged six, on his mother's lap, lisping in numbers, and the numbers -- Sura and Ayat -- came. We'll get, we Infidels, a picture all curry and gemutlichkeit, making the whole thing humanly appealing -- see, we Muslims are no different from that Scottish crofter, weaving his Harris tweed just outside Stornaway, and reading the Bible -- the only book in his modest house -- to his Presbyterian offspring.
2) the various "levels" of interpretation will be given, with the "literal" one presented as just one among many, the one "favored by extremists" when, in fact, the "literal" one is what 99% of the world's Muslims adhere to, for the Qur'an is the uncreated and immutable word of God.
But by the time Ziauddin Sardar is through, the hapless Infidel readers will be convinced that there are many different "levels of interpretation" that are accepted, and our only task -- oh, such a simple task -- is to ensure that more and more Muslims swell the ranks of those who accept the "mystical" or "figurative" interpretation, and fewer and fewer are left to be swayed by the bad old "literal interpretation."
3) "Blogging the Qur'an" has one other obvious virtue, from the viewpoint of Ziauddin Sardar. He's lived for many years in England, and knows his Infidels. The more he can keep them away from the Hadith and the Sira, the more he can keep them focussed on Islam as consisting only of the Qur'an, the more he can distract Infidels from finding out about the details of the life, and the words, of Muhammad -- uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil -- the more chance he will have of prettifying -- O Most Beautified Islam! -- the picture to be presented, now that Ziauddin Sardar is here to rescue the Fair Maid of Mecca and titivate her sufficiently so that she will be, on the sound-stage of the Infidels, ready for her close-up.
Very clever, in his own confused and confusing way -- the way of those Muslims who know that something is deeply wrong with Islam but insist on remaining as Muslims, and don't know quite how to handle the Infidels, or for that matter how to handle Islam --- is Ziauddin Sardar.
But not clever enough.
Posted on 01/07/2008 2:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2008
British imams ‘failing young Muslims’
Attempts to reform British mosques and win back a “lost generation” of young Muslims are being undermined by the poor quality of home-trained imams, a leading Islamic scholar says.
Musharraf Hussain, a government adviser on mosques, said that most of the country’s Islamic seminaries were producing “unemployable” graduates who were incapable of challenging the sense of alienation that led some Muslims towards violent extremism.
His concerns were voiced as it emerged that a rift is opening between the Government and four Muslim organisations over moves to introduce national guidelines for Britain’s 1,350 mosques. The initiative aims to make mosques more accessible to women and young people. It also seeks to combat extremism by promoting civic responsibility and inter-faith dialogue.
Those close to the Minab (Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body) project claim that it is being threatened because Whitehall interference is undermining its credibility. One source said that government officials, frustrated by delays in establishing a voluntary code for mosques, recently threatened to impose statutory regulations. They were, he said, rebuffed in the strongest terms.
A recent survey of 300 mosques found that 84 per cent of the imams were born in South Asia. A mere 8 per cent were British-born and only 30 per cent of the sermons at Friday prayers were delivered in English.
Dilowar Khan, director of the East London Mosque and a Minab consultant, acknowledged that foreign imams “don’t have the capacity to talk to youths because of a language and a cultural gap”. However, he said, an intelligent and ambitious young British Muslim was unlikely to view seminary training as the gateway to a fulfilling and lucrative career, when compared with medicine or the law.
“Young people don’t want to become imams because there is no career prospect. Imams are low-paid and economically dependent. Most mosques can’t afford to pay imams well, so they are reliant on donations from their congregations,” he said.
The Department for Communities and Local Government said that discussions with Muslim leaders had highlighted the need for an independent review of imam training. Its structure is expected to be announced after discussions with influential Muslim scholars representing Britain’s leading Islamic schools of thought.
This is one Imam who decided his wages could be supplemented in a way unlikely to be followed in the Church of England. From the Northumberland Gazette.
An imam claiming unfair dismissal against a Newcastle mosque has agreed to accept an out-of-court settlement of £17,500, ending a row that rocked a local Bangladeshi community.
Hamidur Rahman took the Shahjalal Mosque in Sceptre Street, Elswick, to an employment tribunal after he was sacked in July 2006 by mosque elders for misconduct.
Fears were also expressed that the cleric's "private work" - said to earn him the nickname of the "Mobile Imam" - was in conflict with his day job.
The tribunal heard that he provided a hotline for blessings, spiritual healing and exorcisms on his mobile phone, for a fee.
The cleric would offer spiritual services in the periods between the mosque's five daily prayer sessions, to supplement his weekly wage of £160, and carry out wedding ceremonies, granting his own private certificates rather than conducting services through the mosque, the preliminary hearing heard. But Mr Rahman, of Kingsley Terrace, Elswick, claimed he was dismissed unfairly by the mosque's executive committee and complained it had failed to follow employment law.
The mosque denied this, insisting the imam was not a fully contracted employee so they were able to dismiss him straight away.
Blessings I can understand. Online fatwas are common; who has not giggled at the arcane questions posed at "Ask the Imam dot com". But exorcisms by mobile?
Posted on 01/07/2008 5:11 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 7 January 2008
The Administration Never Gave The Christians Of Iraq A Thought
Baghdad, Jan. 7, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Catholic churches and institutions in Baghdad and Mosul, Iraq, were hit by a series of bombing attacks on Sunday, January 6, the AsiaNews service reports.
Remarkably, no one was killed by the explosions, Church officials said. But several church buildings sustained major damage.
The attacks "represent a clear message," Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk told AsiaNews, noting that they seemed clearly to indicate "a coordinated plan." Catholics in Iraq have been shaken by several bombing campaigns, evidently designed to intimidate the Christian minority and encourage further emigration from Iraq.
--from this news article
It is amazing to me that presidential candidates (Democratic Division) have not made much of the attacks on the Christians, and the seeming indifference of the Administration to those attacks. For not a word has been uttered about it. Or is the Administration afraid to utter a word, not because it is unaware of these attacks, but because it has no idea how to rescue the remaining Christians in Iraq, and has no idea in the first place because it does not understand that the removal of Saddam Hussein, whatever else it did, removed the most ferocious enemy of those Muslims who were most likely to attack the Christians. That is not because Saddam Hussein was kind, or well-disposed toward Christians. It was because he used a "secular" ideology, open to all (Sunnis, Shi'a, Christians, Arabs and Kurds), to disguise the fact of a Sunni Arab dictatorship, and to weaken his most worrisome enemy, the Shi'a.
The Administration never gave the Christians of Iraq a thought. Yet it was the Christians who became the cooks, drivers, and other household staff of the American bigshots in the Green Zone -- occupied with the same duties they had under Saddam Hussein, who trusted them for such duties as he could not have trusted any Muslims (the same situation can be seen in Damascus, where the Assad family must rely on local Christians, including Armenians, whose loyalty they can count on, because the fate of the Christians is tied to the fate of the Alawites).
No, the Administration hasn't thought through anything. It just hasn't had the time. It's too busy with the task at hand -- bringing "freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" in the Middle East. Bringing -- I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can -- toys and good things to eat to boys and girls on the other side of the mountain.
There is no end to this.
Posted on 01/07/2008 6:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald