These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 7, 2010.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Saudi Arabia says hajj to start Nov. 15
Time for the comical rites of Muslim clerics searching the skies for the moon, in order to mark the start dates of months and holidays. According to the AP,
The kingdom's official SPA news agency says the court confirmed the sighting of the new moon Saturday. According to the lunar calendar, hajj begins nine days into the 12th month of the year - making the start Nov. 15 this year in the Gregorian calendar.
This requirement for members of the Islamic court to go out and peer at the horizon with a telescope for the moon may be related to the Islamic view of Allah.
In the West, it is a simple matter to predict the lunar phases. Our scientists can determine the precise location of the moon far into the past and far into the future, according to the immutable laws of physics.
In Islam, there is not the same view of physical laws governing the universe. Instead, there is only the whim of Allah. If Allah wants a stone to rise, not fall, when dropped, then it will rise. If Allah wants the moon to rise on the horizon, it will rise. To predict the future is to limit the power of Allah to do as He pleases, which is tantamount to blasphemy.
It is not for mortal men to predict what the moon will do. Instead, humans must passively observe what the moon did do. And not just any old Tom, Dick, or Harry (or the Muslim equivalent of Mohammad, Mohammad, or Mohammad) can do the observing. Only Muslim clerics' observations are to be trusted. If the skies are obscured by clouds, then the moon was not observed by the clerics, and the month did not begin.
This is not a quaint re-enactment of an ancient tradition for the lighthearted spectacle of it. This is not the changing of the palace guards at Buckingham Palace. This is not the ritual viewing of Punxsutawney Phil's shadow on Groundhog's Day.
This is a result of a fundamentally different view of how the universe operates, and it is sternly, grimly serious.
Top charities give £200,000 to group which supported al-Qaeda cleric
The radical cleric accused of inspiring the cargo bomb plot has been backed by a prominent British campaign group which has financial support from leading charities. Cageprisoners, a self-styled human rights organisation, has a long association with Anwar al-Awlaki, who was last week accused of being one of the figures behind the terrorist plot to blow up cargo planes which saw a powerful device defused at East Midlands Airport.
The Islamic preacher, based in Yemen, was invited to address two Cageprisoners' fundraising dinners via video link, one last year and one in 2008 The group has now told its backers that it no longer supports the cleric and that it "disagreed" with him over "the killing of civilians". But an examination of the Cageprisoners website last week suggested that its support for the cleric was as strong as ever.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that it is being funded by the Joseph Rowntree Trust, a Quaker-run fund set up by the chocolate-maker and philanthropist a century ago, and The Roddick Foundation, a charity set up by the family of Anita Roddick, the Body Shop founder, after her death three years ago. The Joseph Rowntree Trust is giving Cageprisoners £170,000 in donations over three years - with the latest payment due this month - and The Roddick Foundation another £25,000.
In its website, recently re-branded with some of the charities' cash, Cageprisoners carries more than 20 articles about al-Awlaki, describing him as an 'inspiration' and casting doubt on the evidence he is involved in terrorism. Awlaki is believed by Western intelligence services to be an ideological figurehead of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yet despite the heads of both MI5 and MI6 saying Awlaki uses the internet to foment terrorism, the Cageprisoners website also contains video messages from the American-born radical. Cageprisoners - a not for profit company - is headed by Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, and also employs Feroz Ali Abbasi, another detainee freed from the controversial US base.
Cageprisoners also received a further £131,000 in donations last year from other undisclosed sources. It has used the money to pay for a rapid expansion of its work. It now has three full-time and one part-time staff members who are paid a total of £64,000 a year. The group has recently moved to a new office in Camden, north London, which is, it says, "important for our clients who now have a safe place to come in order to feel safe and speak about their problems".
Last night Stephen Pittman, Secretary of the Joseph Rowntree Trust, defended his charity's funding of the group. He said: "I've recently spoken to Cageprisoners and I have had a commitment that they are completely opposed to any form of the use of terrorism aimed at civilians. . .We have got a Muslim community in Britain which feels highly alienated and the people who in our view are able to build bridges and make links to those young Muslims are people like Moazzam Begg and Cageprisoners."
The Roddick Foundation could not be contacted for comment.
As recently as last month, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the former head of the Muslim Council of Britain, defended a decision to host Awlaki at the East London Mosque, of which he is chairman, as an act of "fairness and justice." In a letter obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, Dr Bari said that claims made about Awlaki at the time had been "misleading," unsubstantiated and had been "categorically refuted" by the radical preacher. Awlaki spoke at the mosque - Britain's largest, which presents itself as a beacon of moderation and tolerance - last year. The event, a video address and live telephone question-and-answer session, was advertised with a poster showing New York under bombardment.
The mosque claimed at the time that "none of the speakers involved [were] banned from entering the UK or convicted of any hate crimes". In fact, Awlaki was reportedly banned from the UK for his extremist links as early as 2006.
Dr Bari's latest comments on Awlaki come in a letter last month to Paul Goodman, the former Conservative MP. Mr Goodman said last night: "Dr Bari's conduct in this affair is extremely curious. Any reasonable person will conclude that the East London Mosque is either unwilling, or unable, to tackle extremism rigorously."
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that British counter-terrorism chiefs believe AQAP will launch another attack against the UK within six months. The Government has been told that the most likely avenue of attack will be the targeting of airlines from groups based abroad, but a home-grown plot has not be ruled out. Intelligence sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that AQAP is "vying" to become the most prominent al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group following the foiled attack nine days ago.
I never had any time for Roddick and her over-priced pong shop but I had a lot of respect for the Quaker movement. I don't share their pacifism but the courage of Quakers who worked as medical orderlies risking their lives under fire in two world wars to help others merited respect. But since the Society of Friends provided their headquarters in Euston for the Hizb ut Tahrir conference and now this support from a leading Quaker charity I fear they are beyond naivity into something more dangerous.
Second - the definition of 'civilians'. I do not accept that, under the definition I would use, that British servicemen and women are a legitimate target, in their own country. And the Islamic definition of civilian, using their view on Israel, makes us all warriors. An old person may have fought, a child will grow up to fight and any of the rest of us is an enemy of Islam regardless. This qualification is nothing - they justify terror against us all.
Andrew Gilligan On How Muslim-Run Schools Run Circles Around The School Inspectors
Andrew Gilligan's devastating report in The Sunday Telegraph (6 Nov. 2010):
Ofsted praises Islamic schools which oppose Western lifestyle
Ofsted and the Charity Commission are today accused of "whitewashing" hardline Islamic schools which are helping to radicalise a new generation of young British Muslims.
Among the schools directly inspected by Ofsted was the Madani Girls' School, a private Islamic school in London's East End. Photo: WILL WINTERCROSS
An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has established that the education watchdog has published positive reports praising Muslim schools for their contribution to community cohesion - even in the case of a school which openly states that Muslims "oppose the lifestyle of the West".
The Ofsted inspector responsible for many of the reports, Michele Messaoudi, has been accused of having links to radical Islamist organisations.
This newspaper can reveal that another recent Ofsted inspector, Akram Khan-Cheema, is the chief executive of a radical Muslim educational foundation, IBERR.
Its website describes Islamic schools as "one of the most important factors which protect Muslim children from the onslaught of Euro-centrism, homosexuality, racism, and secular traditions".
Ofsted has also passed the inspection of dozens of Muslim schools to a new private "faith schools watchdog", the Bridge Schools Inspectorate, which is co-controlled by Islamic schools' own lobbying and trade body, the Association of Muslim Schools.
The Bridge Schools Inspectorate allows Muslim head teachers to inspect each other's schools.
Among the schools directly inspected by Ofsted was the Madani Girls' School, a private Islamic school in London's East End.
Its Ofsted report, written by Mrs Messaoudi, said it made pupils "aware of their future role as proactive young British Muslim women" and left them "well-prepared for life in a multicultural society".
However, the Madani Girls' School's own website openly states: "If we oppose the lifestyle of the West, then it does not seem sensible that the teachers and the system which represents that lifestyle should educate our children."
It says that under western education "our children will distance themselves from Islam until there is nothing left but their beautiful names".
Last month, this newspaper revealed how girls at the school were being forced to wear the Islamic veil, a fact that was not mentioned in its 2008 Ofsted report. The Madani School declined to comment last night.
Ofsted also inspected the Tawhid Boys' School in Hackney, north London. Its Ofsted report, written by Mrs Messaoudi, said the curriculum was "good ... broad and balanced in Key Stages 2 and 3".
However, the school's prospectus says that the curriculum is kept strictly "within the bounds of Sharia [Islamic law]." Its art syllabus bans pupils from drawing human beings, animals and objects that Islam deems "unlawful". The school did not return calls.
Mrs Messaoudi also wrote the Ofsted report cited by Ed Balls, the then schools secretary, as "clearing" schools run by supporters of the racist, extremist sect Hizb ut Tahrir.
The schools, the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation establishments in Haringey, north London, and Slough, Berks, received more than £113,000 of public funding and became the subject of national controversy after being exposed in The Sunday Telegraph.
One of the Foundation's trustees, Farah Ahmed, who is also headmistress of the Slough school, wrote a chapter in a Hizb ut Tahrir pamphlet attacking the National Curriculum for its "systematic indoctrination" of Muslim children "to build model British citizens".
She criticised "attempts to integrate Muslim children" into British society as an effort "to produce new generations that reject Islam".
She described English as "one of the most damaging subjects" a school can teach and attacked fairy tales, saying that these "reflect secular and immoral beliefs that contradict the viewpoint of Islam".
She also attacked the "obvious dangers" of Shakespeare, including "Romeo and Juliet, which advocates disobeying parents and premarital relations".
Mrs Messaoudi's Ofsted report on the Haringey school said it was "satisfactory."
However, an earlier Ofsted report by a different inspector, only seven months before, had described the school as "inadequate" and had said "more could be done to promote cultural tolerance and harmony".
The Charity Commission also investigated the school after The Sunday Telegraph articles.
It ruled that there were no concerns over the public funding, saying that since the main Hizb ut Tahrir trustee, Yusra Hamilton, had resigned, it was "not necessary for the commission to examine further the impact of her being a trustee".
However, Mrs Hamilton only resigned after being exposed in this newspaper, and was a trustee of the schools at the time the public money was paid. She continues to work with children as a volunteer at the Haringey school.
Mrs Ahmed has confirmed that she was a member of Hizb ut Tahrir, and refused to deny that she still shared its views.
"This report is deeply intellectually dishonest," said Hannah Stuart, of the Centre for Social Cohesion think-tank, which has closely investigated Hizb ut Tahrir.
"You can clearly see that they knew exactly what went on, yet bent over backwards to cover their own backs."
The Charity Commission said last night that it had found "no evidence that Hizb ut-Tahrir ideology was being taught at or brought into the school".
Mrs Messaoudi has written a book published by the Islamic Foundation, Britain's foremost centre of Islamist intellectual thought.
According to the website of the hardline Islamist "Global Peace and Unity" (GPU) conference, both she and Mr Khan-Cheema were judges for its education awards held last week. GPU is organised by the Islam Channel, a digital TV station which hosts a number of fundamentalist and extremist presenters.
A number of extremists spoke at the GPU event, though moderates also appeared, and items glorifying terrorism were on open sale there. Mrs Messaoudi was also listed as a judge for the 2008 GPU awards.
Mrs Messaoudi declined to comment last night. However, Ofsted, speaking on behalf of Mrs Messaoudi and Mr Khan-Cheema, said they were both "experienced professionals and we have no reason to doubt their ability in conducting inspections".
It said Mrs Messaoudi's clearing of the Shakhsiyah school was in a report "specifically designed as a follow-up to ensure that the school had undertaken the improvements required as a result of our first inspection".
Nord Anglia Education, which employed Mr Khan-Cheema on contract to Ofsted, declined to comment.
Sources said Mrs Messaoudi had criticised some Muslim schools for Ofsted and her judgments of the Madani School were not wholly uncritical. Ofsted said its inspections generally were "thorough, rigorous and methodical".
Many Muslim schools, however, are not inspected by Ofsted at all. Within the past two years, the watchdog has passed the scrutiny of many private "faith" schools to the Bridge Schools Inspectorate, a joint venture between the Christian Schools' Trust and the Association of Muslim Schools.
Unlike "mainline" Ofsted inspections, which are carried out entirely by professional inspectors, BSI inspections of Muslim schools are often done by a team of three which always includes one head teacher of another Muslim school.
The BSI report into Bury Park Educational Institute, a mixed but gender-segregated Muslim secondary in Luton, claims that "the quality of education is good" even though the report itself admits that girls at the school get less teaching than boys.
"Some aspects of National Curriculum subjects are in a few respects currently less for the girls than for the boys," it says, and there is not yet "full, equal access to National Curriculum subjects" between girls and boys.
Girls, says the report, are sometimes denied the opportunity for PE, "which they say they miss". There is no suggestion that Bury Park teaches separatist views or opposition to British society.
One of the BSI inspectors who wrote the report into Bury Park, Ibrahim Hewitt, is chairman of the controversial charity Interpal, which is banned in the United States having been accused of supporting the terrorist group Hamas.
Interpal insists that it does not support Hamas and the Charity Commission has cleared Interpal. Mr Hewitt is also a headmaster of a Muslim school in Leicester and a senior member of the ruling "shura", or executive committee, of the Association of Muslim Schools.
Mohammed Mukadam, a spokesman for BSI and also chairman of the Association of Muslim Schools, said: "All our inspections are led by former HMIs [professional inspectors].
"The conflict of interest argument would be valid if our head teachers were leading the inspections, but there is no conflict of interest. Our schools tell us that BSI inspections are much more rigorous than Ofsted's."
On behalf of the AMS, he admitted: "There are some schools which are actively opposed to certain British values. But a new generation of schools is coming in with a better understanding of the British context."
Ms Stuart, of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "A whole generation is being brought up to at the very least suspect, and perhaps even despise, the society they will have to live in. This is deeply worrying for the future of community cohesion.
"By whitewashing these schools, Ofsted and the Charity Commission are being negligent in their responsibility to protect children in their formative years."
Here at NER I used a little bit of the Arthurian legend in a short story and today, Sunday 7th. November, the legend reared up and bit me, so to speak. 'How did it manage that?' you no doubt ask. Well, let me tell you. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I'll begin.
We all know that there may be a grain of truth in the Arthurian legend in that the core story and central character may have been historically real. There's a brief literary sources based explanation as to why we can believe that if we want to at http://www.legendofkingarthur.co.uk/literature-king-arthur.htm, but it has to borne in mind the Arthurian legend crops up in other legends that date from the same immediately post Roman period in England and that not all of those legends are necessarily completely untrue. They may, therefore, serve to bolster the original idea that there may be a kernel of truth in the Arthurian story.
A prime example of one of those ancient stories is the life of St. Efflam whose Feast day it is today. He was born in Ireland in AD448 into a well to do family and married to an heiress called Enora whilst both of them were pre-pubescent. When they had both grown older he was pressured to consummate the marriage but as a youngster he had dedicated himself to God and made a vow of chastity so he did what any self-respecting proto-saint would do - he invoked the help of an Angel and ran away.
He headed to Brittany but on the way he encountered King Arthur attempting to find and slay a dragon. Now this was a particularly cunning dragon which could walk backwards in its own tracks and had confused Arthur by doing so and hiding in a cave. Efflam sussed this trick out and went up to the cave and prayed until the dragon could take no more holiness and ran from the cave over a cliff and plunged to its doom.
History does not record what King Arthur thought about this draconian exorcism but it certainly helped to establish Efflam's credentials as a useful Saint to have around. He eventually reached Brittany and went on to have a successful career as a Saint doing all the usual Saintly things. He died in AD512 and is buried in, or near, the village of Saint-Efflam in Plestin-les-Greves in the Tregor (the northern province of Britanny).
The name Efflam is a bit unusual - it could come from the Breton flamm meaning 'glowing' or 'bright', or it could be a corruption of the Latin flamen meaning 'priest'. Anyway, if you need to get rid of a dragon or resist carnal temptations then Efflam is the Saint for you and this autumn Sunday, being his Feast day, would be an efficacious day on which to pray for his intercession.
Many years ago, as a student, I read a paper in a medical journal that described four cases of religious conversion under the influence of temporal lobe epilepsy. At the time the paper delighted me, for I was not merely non-religious but anti-religious. It encouraged me to think of religious belief or experience as pathological in origin, though of course this was itself a pretty elementary error of logic, unworthy of the rationalist that I fondly supposed that I was. more>>>
In his review of Richard Holton's Willing, Wanting, Waiting, and of Alfred R. Mele's Effective Intentions (Times Literary Supplement, October 29), Tim Bayne writes:
Lions hunt and bears fish, but we are surely unique among the members of the animal kingdom in the attention that we bestow on our own agency. Consider Ulysses as he resists the call of the sirens; Anna Karenina, as she deliberates about whether or not to continue her affair with Vronsky; or Sophie, faced with the choice between saving the live of her daughter or [sic] that of her son. In each case, the agent doesn't merely act - they experience themselves acting.
Anna Karenina can choose to continue or end her affair with Vronsky, though she cannot choose to stop loving him. Ulysses chooses to be deprived of the choice to yield to the Sirens by commanding his sailors to tie him to the mast. But Sophie, of Sophie's Choice, has no choice at all. It is the sadistic concentration camp guard, not Sophie, who is the agent of death. Sophie's "choice" is not between her children, but whether one or both will be murdered. For a heated debate on the authenticity of this story - a debate which I, naturally, win hands down - see this post and its links.
When it comes to agency, are humans so very different from animals? Ava Gardner, among others, says no:
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly
I gotta love one man till I die
When The Highest Court In The Land Fails To Stop Illegal Behaviour By Muslims What Can Be Done?
For decades now I and other Christians in the West have urged the Israeli authorities to take a firm hand in their dealings with the Waqf and its illegal activities on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. We haven't been alone in our urgings for many Israelis, and Jews and others elsewhere in the world, have made similar approaches to the authorities in Jerusalem but the destruction by the Muslims of the Waqf of this most precious archaeological site proceeds unabated and with impunity as they try to destroy evidence and remake history to suit their own erroneous and superstitious version of what that history ought to be - to make history conform to their beliefs.
On Friday just gone we all suffered yet another setback as Israel's Supreme Court refused to act because of a particular view of the law which at best can be called a technicality and at worst a wrong-headed interpretation. The Supreme Court of Israel may have, in Pharisaic fashion, upheld the law but it did not, and seemingly cannot, dispense justice in this matter. Its members and practices and position within the constitutional structure of the state should now be the subject of an urgent review by the Knesset.
Israel's Supreme Court this week rejected a petition by the Israel Law Center to stop the wanton destruction of millennia of Jewish artifacts [sic] at Jerusalem's Temple Mount by the Muslim authorities that currently control the site.
The Israel Law Center sought to file suit against the Islamic Authority, or Waqf, for its unauthorized excavation and construction projects at the Temple Mount. In those projects, the Waqf uses heavy machinery that archeologists [sic] say are destroying priceless Jewish historical artifacts.
The smashed pieces of such artifacts are regularly sifted out of post-excavation rubbish piles by Israeli archeologists.
Acting in line with Israel's attorney-general [sic], the court ruled that private citizens could not file suit in a matter of public interest. The court also rejected an Israel Law Center petition demanding that the attorney-general investigate the Waqf's activity.
In a statement issued after the ruling, Israel Law Center director Nitzana Darshan-Leitner lamented that Israel's highest court "gave the Islamic Wakf a free pass to continue its destruction of Israel's sacred heritage sites."
The Palestinians and the wider Muslim world claim that the Jews have no historical ties to the land, and so destroying the evidence that exists of such a relationship is of paramount importance. Israel, meanwhile, is too concerned about provoking an explosion in the Islamic world to do anything about it.
Now you may think that I and the israel today Magazine have been a little strident about the destruction of the important archaeology on Mount Moriah. All I can do is to refer you to an article published by them on Thursday just gone:
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided last week to relabel as an Islamic mosque the tomb of Rachel, one of Israel's matriarchs, and demanded that Israel remove the site from its National Heritage list.
UNESCO also said Israel had no right to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where most of the rest of Israel's patriarchs and matriarchs are buried, to the National Heritage list.
Israel responded on Wednesday by suspending all cooperation with UNESCO. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the suspension will remain in place until UNESCO reverses its decision.
In a statement released last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office decried the ludicrous nature of the UNESCO decision: "The attempt to detach the Nation of Israel from its heritage is absurd. If the nearly 4,000-year-old burial sites of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish Nation - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah - are not part of its culture and tradition, then what is a national cultural site?"
Sites such as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb (which sits on the edge of Bethlehem) present an inconvenient truth for the pro-Palestine movement and its supporters, who want to claim that the Jews have no historic ties to this land.
Once again, the UN has shown itself to be anything but an impartial broker by ignoring historical evidence and embracing Muslim revisionism.
You can read what Rabbi Chaim Richman said about all this at Eretzy Isroel. He wrote it way back in May, 2000 and nothing has changed since then - the destruction proceeds apace and it seems that we are all powerless to stop it. Remember, this isn't just a Jewish or Israeli problem because the Temple is also part of our history and heritage by virtue of our western cultures' relationships to the elder faith as well as by its appearance in our own Scriptures.
However, it needs no appeal to faith or sharing for us to know that Muslim attempts to alter or destroy the archaeological record in order to make true their perverted version of history is quite simply wrong - a crime against mankind, against the future of mankind and against God for it attempts to promulgate a lie. The Waqf must be stopped before it's too late to recover anything.
A big question on many minds the day after last week's election was whether its results will bring cooperation among Democrats and Republicans to move America forward or gridlock and a lack of progress; but there is a more important question that must be answered first: Will House and Senate Tea Party activists and Republican moderates be able to find common ground and thereby provide an effective antidote to the Obama Administration's program of big government and higher taxes?
The glimmer of an answer emerged at victory celebrations for two moderate Republicans outside Chicago on November 2: one for Mark Kirk, who won the US Senate seat once occupied by Barack Obama; the other for Robert Dold, who won Kirk's former Congressional seat. Kirk's record of compromising with Democrats on specifics has unleashed relentless efforts to label him a RINO (Republican in name only). But Kirk describes himself as "a fiscal conservative, a social moderate, and a national defense hawk," a description that Dold also embraces. They-and the overwhelming majority of Illinois conservatives-reject the RINO moniker as little more than a demand for ideological purity.
Like most 2010 campaigns, theirs became heated and vitriolic; and for Kirk, that included a nasty primary challenge from the Right that did not relent even during the very heated general election campaign. As Kirk announced his Senate victory and thanked those who helped make it possible, he made a point of singling out Patrick Hughes in the ebullient crowd and thanked him for his work in helping Kirk to victory. This was significant because Hughes was Kirk's most credible primary challenge. Moreover, those challengers and their followers refused to support Kirk throughout the campaign. That Hughes ultimately did was a factor in many conservatives "coming home" in the campaign's final days, and helping to propel the Republican to victory. Is this an example of the Right reaching out to a moderate?
At Bob Dold's celebration that night, his supporters gathered for hours before his Congressional race was called. They watched the election returns from across the United States: some to celebrate; some that disappointed. And while these largely moderate Republicans were cheered by so many successes that night, there was a special sense of excitement about Marco Rubio's Florida triumph. Not only was Rubio one of the first lions backed by the Tea Party, but he also trounced a prominent "moderate" in Governor Charlie Crist. When Rubio's election was called, there was a real buzz among Dold's supporters for what they saw as "the future of the Republican party." Is this an example of moderates reaching out to the Right?
Illinois-which now has a Republican majority in its Congressional delegation and a new Republican Senator-is a real test case for Republicans. Illinois is arguably the "bluest" state in the union, making it is impossible for an ideological conservative to win election, outside of a few small districts. This will challenge Republicans to master realities without abandoning the conservative principles that make them relevant. Success in Illinois will bode well for national success, and that process might already be underway.
J. C. on the relatively frivolous back page of an otherwise rather po-faced Times Literary Supplement:
If passing the October Gallery on Old Gloucester Street, WC1, next month, drop in to hear Dr Patricia MacCormack, the authority on "perversion, post human theory, body modification, occultism and extreme visceral horror film". She also speaks on "radicalizations of flesy and gore through aesthetic experiments in film". At the October, she will attempt to "involute demonic invocation and chaos magick through the patterning of female genitalia toward a queer feminist ethics of occultism". The vulva, Dr MacCormack notes, "is a conceptual gate, just like the gates through which we enter into unnatural worlds and interkingdom, interworld and interspirit alliances in enochian sex magick". Proceedings on November 30 begin at 6.30pm. Entrance fee is £7. Old-age pensioners, who will be grateful for the early start, will be admitted for £5.
It's good that pensioners get a discount, especially if they salley forth expecting to hear not Patricia MacCormack, but John McCormack. He never involuted in his life, but his musick was magick:
Esmerelda posted yesterday about the "Asians" who preyed on underage girls. The Times was even less specific than the Daily Mail, and referred to Umar Razaq, Razwan Razaq, Zafran Ramzan, Adil Hussain and Mohsin Khan merely as "men". And what do those "men" have in common? The judge appears to be stumped. From The Times:
Judge Kelson accepted that the men had not sught out the girls from " a desire to have sex with children". The reality was that they were seeking sex and "simply did not care what the age of the female was.
Judge Kelson is partly right. The men are not paedophiles in the sense that the word is used in the West. In Islam, a thirteen-year-old girl is not a child, and hasn't been for the last four years. And in any case, in Islam, sex with infidels is permitted. And in Islam, the consent of the woman - or child - is immaterial.
Not paedophiles, not criminals, according to Islam - just Muslims, following Mohammed's example, until that irksome kafir law got in the way.
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies !
How silently, and with how wan a face !
What, may it be that even in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long with love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case;
I read it in thy looks; thy languisht grace
To me that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue there, ungratefulness?
Groping back to bed after a piss
I part thick curtains, and am startled by
The rapid clouds, the moon's cleanliness.
Four o'clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There's something laughable about this,
The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)
High and preposterous and separate -
Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,
One shivers slightly, looking up there.
The hardness and the brightness and the plain
Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare
Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can't come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
So there stood Matthew Arnold and this girl
With the cliffs of England crumbling away behind them,
And he said to her, "Try to be true to me,
And I'll do the same for you, for things are bad
All over, etc., etc."
Well now, I knew this girl. It's true she had read
Sophocles in a fairly good translation
And caught that bitter allusion to the sea,
But all the time he was talking she had in mind
the notion of what his whiskers would feel like
On the back of her neck. She told me later on
That after a while she got to looking out
At the lights across the channel, and really felt sad,
Thinking of all the wine and enormous beds
And blandishments in French and the perfumes.
And then she got really angry. To have been brought
All the way down from London, and then be addressed
As sort of a mournful cosmic last resort
Is really tough on a girl, and she was pretty.
Anyway, she watched him pace the room
and finger his watch-chain and seem to sweat a bit,
And then she said one or two unprintable things.
But you mustn't judge her by that. What I mean to say is,
She's really all right. I still see her once in a while
And she always treats me right. We have a drink
And I give her a good time, and perhaps it's a year
Before I see her again, but there she is,
Running to fat, but dependable as they come,
And sometimes I bring her a bottle of Nuit d'Amour.
To Westminster today with my family to attend our second March for England Remembrance parade. It was a lovely, crisp but bright autumn day.
The parade formed up in opposite St James tube station in front of a Police motorcycle escort. At the front were the flags of England, Scotland and Wales, the Army, the Navy and the RAF. At the rear two men carried the banner of the service charity Help for Heroes. Present were members of March for England, their friends and families and a number of members of the EDL.
The parade moved in orderly fashion, with dignity and respect, down Tothill Street, skirted parliament Square into Parliament Street and stopped in Whitehall by the Cenotaph. Any man wearing a hat removed it and two men laid a poppy wreath. One man read the poem you can see attached to one of the wreaths in the photograph left. A minutes silence was held for all who fell in two World wars and conflicts since.
We moved on to the Women's Memorial where the wreath was laid by three women and another minutes silence held in respect for all women's service.
Then we turned into Horse Guards Avenue. A wreath was laid at the Gurkha memorial by a young girl, daughter of a March for England member. Dave Smeeton, spokesman for March for England made a brief speech paying tribute to these brave men who have shown nothing but loyalty to this country, many of whom have died for this country, but who have not been given equal rights regarding their pensions that their service deserves. By co-incidence a group of Nepalese men and women had also gathered to pay their respects separately, hence the speech was briefer than originally intended.
Then we gathered at a nearby pub for refreshment which was very pleasant. It was good to meet everybody again; a lot has happened in the last year.
Obama, Who Has Bullied Israel, Now Tries to Bully India Into Capitulating to Muslims
I had been wondering why President Obama was going to India with so much fanfare and such a large entourage; and, cynically, wondered whether he would have done so at all, had not India possessed a very large, aggressive and expanding Muslim minority - around 127 million, coming in at about 13 % of the population.
Now I think I know. He is spending his time in India haranguing the Indians about Pakistan and how Pakistan ought to be helped to get rich because if Pakistan doesn't become rich, India will suffer.
'United States president Barack Obama has urged India and Pakistan to develop closer ties.
'Mr Obama, speaking in Mumbai (in Mumbai, where Muslim jihad raiders covertly supplied and trained by Pakistan carried out a monstrous act of war against non-Muslim citizens and guests of India, only two years ago - CM) on the second day of his first official visit to India, urged the two nations to build trust with each other.
(Why on earth should India be asked - indeed, ordered - to 'trust' Pakistan? Pakistan has repeatedly shown itself to be wholly unworthy of the trust of any sane non-Muslim country. And as for Pakistan: Muslims are taught never to trust or make alliance with non-Muslims, so Obama's telling Pakistan to trust India would be a total waste of time - CM).
'He made it clear that if Pakistan becomes a failed state, its troubles will spread beyond its borders.
(Is that a veiled threat, Mr Obama? But in any case: jihadists openly or covertly supported by Pakistan have been raiding India from Pakistan for years - CM).
"It may be surprising to some of you to hear me say this, but I am absolutely convinced the country that has the biggest stake in Pakistan's success is India", he said.
(Really? The richer and more powerful a Muslim country is, the more aggressively and damagingly it will engage in Jihad - CM).
"I think that if Pakistan is unstable, that's bad for India".
(Is that another threat? A hollow one, by the way - for a disunited and therefore weaker Pakistan would probably be easier for the neighbouring Infidels to defend themselves against, provided they did not enter the labyrinth but rather, concentrated on walling off and defending their borders - CM).
'The US has poured billions of dollars of military aid into Pakistan'.
(And it looks as though Mr Obama, rather than prudently stopping this waste of hard-earned American money, is inviting India to join him in his folly and pour hard-earned Indian money into the bottomless pit of the Pakistani Muslim appetite for jizya, as well - CM).
'It is a sensitive issue in India, as some fear the money could be falling into the wrong hands in the Pakistani government'.
(It's not that they 'fear' it 'could be' getting siphoned off for jihad, etc; they [sensible Indians] know the Muslim modus operandi, and therefore they can be quite certain that the American money is 'falling into the wrong hands' - CM).
'Mr Obama says Pakistan is making progress in the fight against extremism, but can do more'.
(Translation: even while Pakistan pretends to chase the jihad gang bosses - but never quite manages to catch any of them who matter - the sharia-isation of Pakistan is proceeding steadily - CM).
'Progress is not as quick as we'd like", he said. (Understatement of the year. Translation: we're getting nowhere fast. - CM).
"We want nothing more than a stable, prosperous, peaceful Pakistan
(Who is 'we' in that sentence? And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. So long as Pakistan remains Islamic it will be sharia-addled and jihad-racked and it will be neither stable, prosperous nor peaceful. And in any case, Mr President, you're visiting India, not Pakistan. Why aren't you expressing a desire for the perpetuation and increase of Indian stability, prosperity and peace? I'd like to see you affirming India's right not to tolerate - indeed, its right to defend itself against, and to forcefully punish - any and all jihadist terror raids launched either from within or from without - CM).
"and we will work with the Pakistani government in order to eradicate this extremism that we consider a cancer within the country that could potentially engulf the country".
'Mr Obama was speaking at a town-hall style meeting at a college in Mumbai. The president had his sleeves rolled up as he wandered the stage taking questions from students.
'But the young audience did not let him walk away from the difficult issues and grilled him on the US-Pakistan relationship.
(Good for them - CM).
'Some believe the US has been too soft and placed too much trust in the Pakistani government.
(They are right. But 'soft' is not the right word. 'Gullible' would be better. - CM).
'Others do not want American involvement in the region and say it is up to India and Pakistan to sort out their differences.
(I would like to know whether these 'others' were Muslim or non-Muslim. If non-Muslim then it's understandable in that they do not want Mr Obama pressuring India to capitulate to Muslim demands, in the same way that he has been pressuring Israel. If Muslim, the last thing they want is a rapprochement between Uncle Sam and Mother India. - CM).
'Mr Obama will give a speech to a special sitting of the Indian parliament later today before continuing his four-nation tour of Asia.'
(It will be interesting - though probably rather depressing - to read that speech.
I can think of the kind of history-making speech that ought to be made, by a 21st-century American President, to the Parliament of India: a speech that would acknowledge India's ancient non-Islamic civilisation, its mathematics and astronomy, art and music; that would mention its honorable harbouring of the Jews; that would quote V S Naipaul on the 'Wounded Civilisation', and K S Lal, and Sita Ram Goel, and that would name Shivaji, and the Gurkhas, and the Marathas, and the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, and all the other historic freedom-fighters of India who in epic battles or in individual acts of transcendent heroism resisted the Muslim Jihadist invasion and oppressive, murderous occupation, for weary, bloody centuries. And that would announce a total cessation of the USA's destructive and ruinously expensive relationship with Pakistan - treacherous, greedy, barbarous Islamic Pakistan - and a wooing of India, instead, as a natural partner in intellectual and commercial and artistic endeavour, and in the defence of civilisation against the Jihad. But Obama will never give a speech like that. Let us hope that sometime in the next ten to twenty years the USA will acquire the kind of President who will. - CM).
Archbishop Dawood Calls For Christians To Leave Iraq
Church leader calls for Christians to leave Iraq after brutal attack
(CNN) -- A Syriac Orthodox archbishop in Britain called for all Christians in Iraq to leave the country Sunday, one week to the day after gunmen stormed a Catholic church in Baghdad.
Some 50 people were killed and 75 wounded in the attack at the Sayidat al-Nejat church last week, including women, children and two priests.
Archbishop Athanasios Dawood slammed the Iraqi government for not doing enough to protect the rights of minorities and urged Christians to quit the country.
"I say clearly and now -- the Christian people should leave their beloved land of our ancestors and escape the premeditated ethnic cleansing. This is better than having them killed one by one," said Dawood, according to prepared remarks he sent to CNN.
Speaking at a service in London, he also asked the British government, and those in other European countries, to grant asylum to Christians living in Iraq.
"The Iraqi government is weak, biased, if not extremist. It does not protect us and the other minorities. It has ignored our legal rights. We ask the British government, the EU and the U.N. to protect us," he said.
"I ask the British government again to help the Iraqi Christians and grant them the rights of humanitarian asylum in order to preserve what is left of the victims who do not carry a weapon to fight and kill," said Dawood.
His call came a week after the brutal siege on a Baghdad church.
The Islamic State of Iraq, which has local ties to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, which was set off when gunman stormed the church and took worshippers hostage. Security forces rushed inside hours later, ending the standoff. The radical group has said all Christians in the Middle East are "legitimate targets."
On Sunday, evidence of the horrific clash still clung to the walls. Blood stains, bullet holes and black residue from an explosion smeared the sides of the church.
Parishioners came to celebrate Mass and to place candles in the shape of a cross on the floor to honor those who died. Most who spoke to CNN said they would not allow terror to prevail, but also expressed fear.
"My nerves are frayed. I can't feel my body. I feel like my blood dried up. My whole body is shaking because what I am seeing is unimaginable," said Linda Hagob, a congregant.
The church, which before the attack was open for morning and evening Mass on Sundays, will be open daily now.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, at Saint Joseph's Church, about a dozen worshippers attended evening Mass, significantly less than a typical turnout, the parish priest said.
Father Saad Sirop Hanna said Christians in Iraq are scared of more attacks. He blamed Iraqi politicians, who have been unable to form a government since elections there in March, for much of the violence.
"We blame the government and all the politicians. We consider what happened last Sunday in the church an effect of what they are doing now, and we want all the good people to move and put an end to this situation," he said.
Hanna also responded to Dawood's call for Christians to quit Iraq.
"Staying or leaving -- we will leave it to the people to decide ... I can understand this bishop, this priest, I can understand him. I agree with him from a certain point of view, but I disagree with him from another." [Hanna is in Iraq and cannot speak freely; Dawood is in Great Britain, and can come much closer to the truth]
Obama: Too Much King, Too Much Gandhi, Not Enough Qur'an, Hadith, And Sira
"He [Obama] said he is "constantly studying" the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln and Gandhi."-- from a news item
In India, Obama's constant references to Gandhi, of the college-freshman kind, and often, at the same time, linked to Martin Luther King, got on the nerves of some, who properly described his effusions as "platitudinous." Neither King nor Gandhi faced Nazis or Fascists; neither had to grasp the nature of an implacable enemy that would use any means -- including force -- to suppress others. Gandhi was not persecuted, nor killed, nor were those who followed him. His prescription to European Jews to use "non-violence" showed how little he understood his own weapon of choice, and when it might possibly work, and when it could not possibly do so.
Obama should at this point, now being a grown-up who also happens to be President of the United States, to read a little less Gandhi and King, and read Lincoln, as a war president, and possibly -- just possibly -- start to read, and re-read, with the right guides and commentaries (not what espositos and armstrongs provide, but what the great Western scholars of Islam, and the handful of those who continue work at their level today -- e.g., Hans Jansen -- have produced and which are not less relevant today than when they were written, between 1870 and 1970, for Islam as a doctrine has not changed; the only thing that has changed is the ability of the world's Muslims to act, or act as if they can act, on that doctrine), Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira. Then he might find himself a bit warier, and possibly a bit more appalled at the waste, in Iraq and now in Afghanistan and Pakistan, of money, men, materiel, and morale, in squandered in a vain attempt to bring peace and prosperity -- toys and good things to eat to the boys and girls on the other side of the mountain -- in a sustained and idiotic I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can moment of American foreign policy that historians will look back upon in amazement.