These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 8, 2011.
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Muslim mob burns and ransacks churches in Indonesia
From AFP - TEMANGGUNG, Indonesia — A Muslim mob burned churches and clashed with police in Indonesia on Tuesday as they demanded the death penalty for a Christian man convicted of blaspheming against Islam, police said.
Two days after a Muslim lynch mob killed three members of a minority Islamic sect, crowds of furious Muslims set two churches alight as they rampaged in anger over the prison sentence imposed on defendant Antonius Bawengan, 58.
A court in the Central Java town had earlier sentenced the man to five years in jail, the maximum allowable, for distributing leaflets insulting Islam. But this only enraged the crowd, who said the sentence was too lenient, police said.
"Today was the climax of the trial... The mob shouted that he should receive the death sentence or be handed over to the public," Central Java province police spokesman Djihartono told AFP. "There are two churches that have been burned. The windows were shattered and the roofs were charred... There is also another church that was damaged."
About 1,500 protesters took to the streets and threw stones at the police, who responded with tear gas and warning shots into the air. One police vehicle was set ablaze, Antara news agency reported.
They chanted "kill, kill" outside the court and "burn, burn" as they set upon the churches.
One hundred-and-fifty-four Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan, not just for the big things such as fighting international terrorists, but for the small things, too.
Like the right of Afghan girls to go to school. Simple things, like the right to listen to music. These things were actually banned under the Taliban, which enforced sharia law.
So what would our soldiers think of Winnipeg's Louis Riel School Division, where a dozen Muslim immigrant families have demanded changes to the curriculum to accommodate their fundamentalist view of Islam? The families don't want boys and girls in the same classes, such as physical education.
And they don't want their children to hear to any instruments or singing in music class, either.
Instead of sending their kids to a private or religious school, they want the public schools to change.
Superintendent Terry Borys says the families are "adamant' about this, despite both phys-ed and music being compulsory. So the suggestion now is the children be allowed do their musical requirements through a 'writing project."
Brilliant. A music class with no music.
No word yet on how they'll accommodate the request for gender apartheid in gym. How long before parents can "adamantly" demand no mere woman teaches their son — or if she does, that she has to wear a veil?
Don’t laugh. Last fall the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled Muslim women can ask for a court order to clear men out of a courtroom — court staff, lawyers, even the judge — before taking off their veils to testify.
Liberal litmus test
This is an uncomfortable subject for liberals. Equality of men and women is an essential western principle. Acceptance of gay rights is the new liberal litmus test. Teaching historical facts in the face of religious faith is the foundation of secular enlightenment.
But many liberals don't confront bigotry when it arrives in the form of an immigrant, non-Christian visible minority.
Here's a tip for politically correct liberals wondering how to respond to sexist, anti-gay, anti-Semitic demands from new Canadians: Pretend they're old white Christian men.
If the Pope demanded public schools shut down music classes or boys and girls be segregated, you can imagine the outrage. We're well trained in the phrase "separation of church and state."
Well, how about separation of mosque and state? How about promoting Canadian values?
A CITY mosque is threatening to sue the Prime Minister for libel after he suggested worshippers believed 9/11 was the result of a Jewish conspiracy. Mohammad Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, said lawyers had been instructed to take legal action against David Cameron.
It comes after the Prime Minister used the mosque, which serves up to 20,000 people on holy days, as an example of extremism.
In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, Mr Cameron said: “You have to confront the extremism itself. You have to say to the people in Birmingham Central Mosque, or wherever, who are saying 9/11 is a Jewish conspiracy, that that is not an acceptable attitude to have. We don’t tolerate racism in our society, carried out by white people, we shouldn’t tolerate extremism carried out by other people.”
He was defending comments he had made in a speech in Munich on Saturday, in which he said the threat of terrorism must be confronted by taking on the ideology of Islamist extremism at home. But Mr Cameron’s comments have prompted a furious reaction from the mosque itself.
Dr Naseem said: “I have just instructed the mosque’s solicitors to take appropriate action. We will be taking advice about libel action.”
That sound which you hear. Deafening, isn’t it? That’s the sound of what’s missing, of the one thing that isn’t being said by the American administration. Oh, don’t take me up the wrong way; I normally stand in awe of the verbal bullets that the people in the US Administration fire with enormous synchronicity. Talk about everyone singing from the same Hymn sheet, the average congregation isn’t a patch on Obama’s lot. You’ll find the same words and phrases being used repeatedly by every member of his team on practically every public occasion. That, perhaps, is as it should be – at least everyone is consistent.
However, what worries me, as it worries others, is what the administration isn’t saying and what they are not saying is exactly how they expect a new Egyptian administration (which will probably include the Muslim Brotherhood or those with a similar outlook) to relate to Israel. Very carefully, very studiously and in an obviously well planned manner they are simply refusing to say anything at all.
But the really worrying thing is that neither are any of the USA’s allies.
We seem to have entered the childish realm of wishful thinking, of sticking ones head in the sand in the hope that the problem will simply disappear when what the Western governments ought to be doing is saying that they will brook no change to the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. However, what we get instead is America saying that because of what is happening in Egypt then Israel must gallop to conclude a peace deal with Palestinians and the Syrians.
Mrs. Clinton met with US allies in Munich over the weekend just gone and she found some time to speak to Michelle Keleman of NPR. This is what she said:
"I think the Egyptian people are looking for an orderly transition that can lead to free and fair elections," Clinton said. "That's what the United States has consistently supported. The people themselves and the leaders of various groups within Egyptian society will ultimately determine whether it is or is not meeting their needs. Today we learned the Muslim Brotherhood has decided to participate, which suggests that they are now involved in the dialogue that we have encouraged. We're going to wait and see how this develops, but we've been very clear about what we expect."
Yet everything she talks of ‘expecting’ is couched in the sort of language that makes it very plain that she is talking about the Egyptian domestic scene. She says absolutely nothing about whether or not she or the President would be happy to see Israel attacked by, perhaps destroyed by, the massive American equipped (and very well equipped at that) Egyptian military forces.
"But our messages are consistent about what we think is in the best interest of the United States, which is to have more democracy, more openness, more participation. And that is a consistent principle. We then have to deal with what comes of that."
No, the problem is, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. President, you won’t have to deal with that – the Copts, the Christians in Iraq, the Jews, Gay people in the Middle East and the secularised Arabs (you know, all those tiny minorities you profess to care about) – they are the ones who will have to deal ‘with what comes of that’. They are the ones who will have to deal with your stupid policy of putting everything – even the very future of Israel – up for grabs in your ridiculous pursuit, what you choose to call your consistent pursuit (and that’s news to the suppressed peoples of this world), of ‘more democracy, more openness, more participation’.
When you say to Ms. Keleman things like:
“Today we learned the Muslim Brotherhood has decided to participate, which suggests that they are now involved in the dialogue that we have encouraged. We're going to wait and see how this develops, but we've been very clear about what we expect."
Have you actually studied (or read or even glanced at) a history of that Brotherhood? Have you the slightest understanding of Islam as interpreted by that Brotherhood? Do you, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. President, have the slightest comprehension of what the Muslim Brotherhood would do to Israel and the Jews if it got the slightest chance?
No, you obviously don’t and yet wilfully, probably deliberately, ignorant about that of which you speak you are willing to take the risk and give the Brotherhood that slight chance because you, according to you and only you, have been very clear about what you expect.
Wilders: â€œThe Lights are going out all over Europeâ€�
When the show trial of Geert Wilders re-opened in the Amsterdam District Court yesterday he led off with a famous quote from British Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey uttered as Europe was plunging in the Great War-WWI in August 1914: ‘the lights are going out all over Europe”. The full quote of Grey was captured in an edition of Time Magazine on the cusp of WWII with Hitler’s invasion of Poland:
On the evening of Aug. 3, 1914, when Great Britain pondered war, Sir Edward Grey stood at the window of the Foreign Office, watching the lamps being lit in the summer dusk, and said: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."
With the renewal of Elisabeth Subaditsch Wolff’s trial in Vienna, and the possibility that a new prosecution of Danish Free speech advocate, Lars Hedegaard –see this You Tube video - could be in the offing, despite his acquittal on technical grounds that his remarks were not for publication, it would appear as Wilders said, that Europe is plunging once more into the abyss of a new darkness: Islamization. An Islamization fostered by dhimmi protectors of multiculturalism. A multiculturalism that is the judas goat for the imposition of Shariah, Strict Islamic Law, by homegrown émigré Jihadi minorities who have been granted the equivalent of self-governing “no-go zones, equivalent to millets under the Ottoman Caliphate.
The irony is that Wilders is the kingmaker of the ruling conservative minority coalition government in The Netherlands. You would think that his popularity reflected in polls of his fellow Dutch, excepting the Muslim minority, would be enough to rein in this Kafkaesque show trial in the Amsterdam District Court. Apparently not. The leftist liberal jurists press on with hearings on the ridiculous charges of hate speech brought by Dutch Muslim advocates and their leftist allies. It boggles the mind to think that this is the same Dutch Republic that in the 17th century was the bastion of reason, enlightenment, scientific inquiry, liberty and commerce – the antithesis of what Dutch Muslim and their dhimmi acolytes on the left propound, today.
Let us hope that Wilders’ trial will utlimately vanquish both his accusers and purge the Dutch judiciary of politicial judges who are the equivalent of Soviet prosecutors during the Stalin Show trial era of the 1930's graphically portrayed in Arthur Koestler's novel, Darkness at Noon. Dutch Judges who have a misshapen political view they mean to substitute for good law and good sense to deprive Wilders, his fellow Dutch and ultimately all of us of the exercise free speech to warn of the encroaching danger of Islamization in the West.
The following is Wilders’ statement at the re-opening of his trial yesterday in the Amsterdam District Court:
The lights are going out all over Europe. All over the continent where our culture flourished and where man created freedom, prosperity and civilization. Everywhere the foundation of the West is under attack.
All over Europe the elites are acting as the protectors of an ideology that has been bent on destroying us since the fourteenth century. An ideology that has sprung from the desert and that can produce only deserts because it does not give people freedom. The Islamic Mozart, the Islamic Gerard Reve [a Dutch author], the Islamic Bill Gates; they do not exist because without freedom there is no creativity. The ideology of Islam is especially noted for killing and oppression and can only produce societies that are backward and impoverished. Surprisingly, the elites do not want to hear any criticism of this ideology.
My trial is not an isolated incident. Only fools believe it is. All over Europe multicultural elites are waging total war against their populations. Their goal is to continue the strategy of mass-immigration, which will ultimately result in an islamic Europe – a Europe without freedom: Eurabia.
The lights are going out all over Europe. Anyone who thinks or speaks individually is at risk. Freedom loving citizens who criticize islam, or even merely suggest that there is a relationship between islam and crime or honour killing, must suffer and are threatened or criminalized. Those who speak the truth are in danger.
The lights are going out all over Europe. Everywhere the Orwellian thought police are at work, on the lookout for thought crimes everywhere, casting the populace back within the confines where it is allowed to think.
This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of speech is not the property of those who happen to belong to the elites of a country. It is an inalienable right, the birthright of our people. For centuries battles have been fought for it, and now it is being sacrificed to please a totalitarian ideology.
Future generations will look back at this trial and wonder who was right. Who defended freedom and who wanted to get rid of it.
The lights are going out all over Europe. Our freedom is being restricted everywhere, so I repeat what I said here last year:
It is not only the privilege, but also the duty of free people – and hence also my duty as a member of the Dutch Parliament – to speak out against any ideology that threatens freedom. Hence it is a right and a duty to speak the truth about the evil ideology that is called islam. I hope that freedom of speech will emerge triumphant from this trial. I hope not only that I shall be acquitted, but especially that freedom of speech will continue to exist in the Netherlands and in Europe.
A Letter to Ken Timmerman on the Launch of Iranium
February 8, 2011
Mr. Kenneth Timmerman
Foundation for Democracy in Iran
Re: Iranium - the film
You and other friends at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Center for Security Policy, and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs are to be congratulated for your cogent presentations in The Clarion Fund production: Iranium. All of you have sent an important message to Americans, Israelis, Europeans, Latin Americans and the World. These experts, many mutual friends among the accomplished articulate presenters, know the realities of the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its quest for regional and world hegemony brandishing the nuclear scimitar. You personally have felt the brunt of Islamic terrorism while a journalist held hostage in Beirut that transformed you into a committed opponent of Jihadist Islam.
I watched Iranium and can commend to everyone in America to view it for free on-line, whether they are Members of Congress, pundits, media personalities and,most especially, average citizens. It is an important documentary film, a highly polished, graphic and informative production by The Clarion Fund about the threat posed by the Islamic Republic to its own people, Israel, America and the West. Ayatollah Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the infamous Qods Force have waged a 30 year war using terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas that have cost the lives of thousands of Israelis, Americans, French and hundreds of thousands of Iran's women, children and young men.
The Islamic Republic may be on the brink of realizing their goal of nuclear terror in furtherance of their Mahdist apocalytpic vision of the end of days and Jihad conquest of the world. The Islamic Republic is now openly supporting Jihadists in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood seeking to supplant that Arab country's secular dictatorial government with something even more dangerous, the Sunni Arab wing of a possible international Khalifate to further Shariah, Islamic Law throughout the world.
Accomplished anonymous cyber warriors who created Stuxnet that may have momentarily jarred Khamanei, Ahmadinejad and the IRGC in their quest for nuclear weapons and the delivery systems to cower the World into submission. But these black turbanned Mahdists will not be deterred no matter the cost in human lives and national treasuries. However, as the message portrayed in Iranium makes clear, more is needed, to deter and ultimately vanquish the Iranian Islamic Republic and its mullarcracy, hated by the people of Iran, including vastly tougher sanctions, support for rising democratic opposition in Iran, and, if necessary, appropriate military options.
For Christians, of course, The Golden Prayer is the daily Prayer used to consecrate oneself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the B.V.M. that is) a version of which you can find behind this link. That, however, is not the meaning of my title.
Way back in June of last year at the NER Symposium in Nashville I had the very good fortune to talk with Richard Rubenstein for a minute or two before we were interrupted. He confirmed my faulty memories of some of the details about Jewish immigration into the Western Roman Empire which I had relied upon as the factual historical underpinning for one of my short stories here at NER. His clear sighted and concise summary was masterful, as one would expect and I only wish that I had had more time to talk with him.
Archaeologists from the Institute of Prehistory and Early History of the University of Vienna have found an amulet inscribed with a Jewish prayer in a Roman child’s grave dating back to the 3rd century CE* at a burial ground in the Austrian town of Halbturn.
This amulet shows that people of Jewish faith lived in what is today Austria since the Roman Empire. Up to now, the earliest evidence of a Jewish presence within the borders of Austria has been letters from the 9th century CE*. In the areas of the Roman province of Pannonia that are now part of Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, gravestones and small finds attest to Jewish inhabitants even in antiquity.
Jews have been settling in all parts of the ancient world at the latest since the 3rd century BCE*. Particularly following the second Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire, the victorious Romans sold large numbers of Jews as slaves to all corners of the empire. This, coupled with voluntary migration, is how Jews also might have come to present-day Austria.
The one or two year old child, which presumably wore the silver amulet capsule around its neck, was buried in one of around 300 graves in a Roman cemetery which dates back to the 2nd to 5th century CE*.
The inscription on the amulet is a Jewish prayer is: Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one. [Deuteronomy, 6:4 – JMJ]
This golden scroll amulet with its prayer clearly visible can be seen in the Burgenland State Museum in Eisenstadt.
*I follow the convention that the abbreviations CE and BCE stand for Christian Era and Before Christian Era respectively – in other words AD and BC – where those who should know better insist upon using then.
What is it with yams? Yam sounds like ham, or - Lord preserve us - jam, gone wrong. These days it's another word for "vibrant", with all that entails. Demented Loon Madeleine Bunting plays the big I Yam in the Guardian (where else?):
Multiculturalism is dead, long live multiculturalism. It's not a slogan that slips easily off the tongue, but it's the only one that seemed to capture the bizarre dissonance of a media abuzz with David Cameron's speech in Munich on the failed policies of "state multiculturalism" and my Saturday morning shopping in Hackney's Ridley Road in east London. Dozens of nationalities jostle for the best vegetables, dresses, blankets and cookware. The air is full of the smell of Turkish bread and African salted fish, the stalls are heaped with yams and chilis.
SAN ANTONIO — Some of the world’s pre-eminent experts on bias discovered an unexpected form of it at their annual meeting.
Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”
It was identified by Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia who studies the intuitive foundations of morality and ideology. He polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.
“This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity,” Dr. Haidt concluded, noting polls showing that 40 percent of Americans are conservative and 20 percent are liberal. In his speech and in an interview, Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a “tribal-moral community” united by “sacred values” that hinder research and damage their credibility — and blind them to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals.
“Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation,” said Dr. Haidt, who called himself a longtime liberal turned centrist. “But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among us by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.”
Dr. Haidt (pronounced height) told the audience that he had been corresponding with a couple of non-liberal graduate students in social psychology whose experiences reminded him of closeted gay students in the 1980s. He quoted — anonymously — from their e-mails describing how they hid their feelings when colleagues made political small talk and jokes predicated on the assumption that everyone was a liberal.
“I consider myself very middle-of-the-road politically: a social liberal but fiscal conservative. Nonetheless, I avoid the topic of politics around work,” one student wrote. “Given what I’ve read of the literature, I am certain any research I conducted in political psychology would provide contrary findings and, therefore, go unpublished. Although I think I could make a substantial contribution to the knowledge base, and would be excited to do so, I will not.”
The politics of the professoriate has been studied by the economists Christopher Cardiff and Daniel Klein and the sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons. They’ve independently found that Democrats typically outnumber Republicans at elite universities by at least six to one among the general faculty, and by higher ratios in the humanities and social sciences. In a 2007 study of both elite and non-elite universities, Dr. Gross and Dr. Simmons reported that nearly 80 percent of psychology professors are Democrats, outnumbering Republicans by nearly 12 to 1.
The fields of psychology, sociology and anthropology have long attracted liberals, but they became more exclusive after the 1960s, according to Dr. Haidt. “The fight for civil rights and against racism became the sacred cause unifying the left throughout American society, and within the academy,” he said, arguing that this shared morality both “binds and blinds.”
“If a group circles around sacred values, they will evolve into a tribal-moral community,” he said. “They’ll embrace science whenever it supports their sacred values, but they’ll ditch it or distort it as soon as it threatens a sacred value.” It’s easy for social scientists to observe this process in other communities, like the fundamentalist Christians who embrace “intelligent design” while rejecting Darwinism. But academics can be selective, too, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan found in 1965 when he warned about the rise of unmarried parenthood and welfare dependency among blacks — violating the taboo against criticizing victims of racism.
“Moynihan was shunned by many of his colleagues at Harvard as racist,” Dr. Haidt said. “Open-minded inquiry into the problems of the black family was shut down for decades, precisely the decades in which it was most urgently needed. Only in the last few years have liberal sociologists begun to acknowledge that Moynihan was right all along.”
Similarly, Larry Summers, then president of Harvard, was ostracized in 2005 for wondering publicly whether the preponderance of male professors in some top math and science departments might be due partly to the larger variance in I.Q. scores among men (meaning there are more men at the very high and very low ends). “This was not a permissible hypothesis,” Dr. Haidt said. “It blamed the victims rather than the powerful. The outrage ultimately led to his resignation. We psychologists should have been outraged by the outrage. We should have defended his right to think freely.”
Instead, the taboo against discussing sex differences was reinforced, so universities and the National Science Foundation went on spending tens of millions of dollars on research and programs based on the assumption that female scientists faced discrimination and various forms of unconscious bias. But that assumption has been repeatedly contradicted, most recently in a study published Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by two Cornell psychologists, Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams. After reviewing two decades of research, they report that a woman in academic science typically fares as well as, if not better than, a comparable man when it comes to being interviewed, hired, promoted, financed and published.
“Thus,” they conclude, “the ongoing focus on sex discrimination in reviewing, interviewing and hiring represents costly, misplaced effort. Society is engaged in the present in solving problems of the past.” Instead of presuming discrimination in science or expecting the sexes to show equal interest in every discipline, the Cornell researchers say, universities should make it easier for women in any field to combine scholarship with family responsibilities.
Can social scientists open up to outsiders’ ideas? Dr. Haidt was optimistic enough to title his speech “The Bright Future of Post-Partisan Social Psychology,” urging his colleagues to focus on shared science rather than shared moral values. To overcome taboos, he advised them to subscribe to National Review and to read Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions.”
For a tribal-moral community, the social psychologists in Dr. Haidt’s audience seemed refreshingly receptive to his argument. Some said he overstated how liberal the field is, but many agreed it should welcome more ideological diversity. A few even endorsed his call for a new affirmative-action goal: a membership that’s 10 percent conservative by 2020. The society’s executive committee didn’t endorse Dr. Haidt’s numerical goal, but it did vote to put a statement on the group’s home page welcoming psychologists with “diverse perspectives.” It also made a change on the “Diversity Initiatives” page — a two-letter correction of what it called a grammatical glitch, although others might see it as more of a Freudian slip.
In the old version, the society announced that special funds to pay for travel to the annual meeting were available to students belonging to “underrepresented groups (i.e., ethnic or racial minorities, first-generation college students, individuals with a physical disability, and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered students).”
As Dr. Haidt noted in his speech, the “i.e.” implied that this was the exclusive, sacred list of “underrepresented groups.” The society took his suggestion to substitute “e.g.” — a change that leaves it open to other groups, too. Maybe, someday, even to conservatives.