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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 9, 2013.
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Just in Case...
This came in my email box -

This is a 2 CDs set albums with 64 page book inside, which represents a well referenced introductory discourse on Al-Ruqyah Al-SharÊ¿iyyah and a collection of recommended Qur’Ä�nic verses and authentic supplications (duÊ¿Ä�s) from the Prophet (sws) used for Black Magic, Jinn Affliction and the Evil Eye. They are also accompanied with a clear English translation. The enclosed booklet is accompanied by a set of 2 CDs that contain the Qur’Ä�nic verses and core duÊ¿Ä�s to be read, listened to and followed along with its recital for the purpose of seeking cure (shifÄ�’).

This work will help Muslims to seek a remedy for their ailments using only those supplications that are found in the Prophetic Sunnah.

Posted on 02/09/2013 5:26 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 9 February 2013
North Sea Bubble

Unable to sleep last night, I did what I suspect all modern insomniacs do: look at the e-mails on my mobile telephone. There was one from the Financial Times informing me that interest rates on Spanish bonds had risen more the previous day than on any previous day in Spain’s history because of allegations about a slush fund known to or involving the Prime Minister, Sr Rajoy.

How strange, not to say irrational, the markets are! They strain at gnats while swallowing whole herds of camels! For, when you come to think of it, what are modern European governments but vast electoral slush funds, our own not least among them? Sr Rajoy’s little fund is almost pathetic by comparison. And yet the markets grew nervous at the mere revelation of its existence!

Every person employed in Britain at public expense who is paid more than the smallest amount that he would consent to work for, every person likewise employed in a post whose activity is unnecessary or worse, that is to say positively harmful to the economy (and there are many, in practically all fields), is in effect the beneficiary of a monumental slush fund, albeit a legalised one. This kind of slush fund is, in fact, far worse than that of Sr Rajoy’s, because his at least has the merit of being against the law and therefore vulnerable to detection and suppression. It is when corruption is legalised that the real problems begin.

An old-fashioned bribe has many merits by comparison with the kind of electoral bribery that an institutionalised slush fund entails. If person A bribes person B to do action Y, then person B will actually do it, in order to protect the reputation of bribery and his future income. Of course, action Y may be harmful or reprehensible, but it may be beneficial or laudable. Where many people have powers of obstruction bribery may conduce to efficiency. Better a nimble but corrupt administrator than a stupid but incorruptible one.

One would like for preference there to be neither stupidity nor corruption, but perfection is not of this world. The worst of all worlds, however, is where there is both stupidity and corruption, which is the world we have, the corruption of the most insidious and damaging kind. How long can it be before the markets realise that Britain is the giant slush fund of the North Sea? 

First published in Salibury Review.

Posted on 02/09/2013 6:26 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 9 February 2013
The Expected Dignified Debate On Al-Manar TV

Al-Manar is the Hezbollah propaganda station banned in much of the West.

From The Daily Star (Lebanon):

Guests on Al-Manar TV hurl insults over Syria crisis

BEIRUT: Two Lebanese guests on a political program scuffled late Friday over the crisis in Syria during a live broadcast on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station.

The heated debate between Salem Zahrani, who heads a Lebanese media center and is known for his supportive stances for President Bashar Assad, and Asaad Bshara, who opposes the government in Damascus, almost turned violent during the program that was dedicated to the crisis in Syria.

The argument between the two culminated with Zahrani flinging two glasses at his opponent, prompting the host to intervene before the show was taken off air.

“Some people talk about Syria in a hypothetical manner just like your guest here who turns on Al-Arabiya [TV] and Al-Jazeera and reads a website [to get information on Syria] while I know Syria in person and that's why I can talk about it,” Zahrani said.

“What level of dialogue is this? You watch [Syria's pro-regime] Dunya Television and argue with me?” Bshara asked, pointing to the other guest.

Zahrani, who interrupted, defended the pro-regime Al-Dunya while accusing other Arab television stations of receiving foreign funding.

“Al-Dunya is more respectable than you are!” Zahrani said, adding: “At least it [Al-Dunya] doesn't receive funds from Israel, American and other embassies,” as Imad Mermel, the host of “Talk of the Hour” show, tried to end the argument.

“Keep up with this low level of dialogue,” Bshara responded, in a berated tone.

Zahrani then turned to accusing Bshara of collaborating with Israel and insulting the guest by calling him an “idiot.”

“Why don’t you keep your cooperation with Israel,” he said. Addressing the host of the show, Zahrani added: “I talk with international reports to back what I say while he [Bshara] sits there like an idiot not knowing how to speak.”

Bshara, who appeared agitated by the comments, in turn resorted to insulting his opponent.

"Eat s*-*!” Bshara said, prompting Zahrani to throw two glasses of water that were on the table at the Assad detractor.

The two continued to exchange insults before Al-Manar cut to commercials.

The press office of the Lebanese Forces deplored the incident Saturday and criticized what it said was “the media assault on journalist Asaad Bshara.”

"We want to take this opportunity of this unfortunate incident which has recurred on several television channels to affirm the importance of protecting media ethics by stations, programs and participants in televised political shows,” the LF office said in a statement.

The Association of Reporters Against Violence also criticized Zahrani’s behavior, accusing him of "only perfecting the language of insults."

It partly blamed the incident on Al-Manar's host and said he should have "silenced Zahrani and kicked him off the show.”

"The organization calls on Al-Manar to issue an apology to Bshara for the assault he suffered at the heart of the station while they should have just thanked him for agreeing to appear on their channel,” the association said in a statement.

Posted on 02/09/2013 8:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
FROM WATCHDOGWIRE - FLORIDA - American Law for American Courts bill advances

My colleague, Dr. Rich Swier of Watch Dog Wire  filed this report from the Florida Family Association on the success of the first reading of HB-351 - Application of Foreign Laws in Certain Cases, American law for American Courts. A hearing was held on Thursday, February 7th before the Civil Justice Subcommittee of the Florida House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Larry Metz, sponsor of this third time at bat for ALAC did a masteful job in presentation and debate with Democrat minority members.. A contingent of ex-General officers, Veterans and ACT! chapter leaders testified in favor of the measure. A representative of the ACLU in Florida testified in opposition.  The vote was 9 to 4 in favor, split on party lines . Most importantly, the Republican majority on the Subcommittee cast a unanimous vote. You can watch the proceedings at the 2 Hour 18 minute mark  on the Florida Channel video embedded in the FFA article.

The Florida activist network is a buzz about pulling out the stops to help get HB 351 sponsored by Rep. Larry Metz and its companion S 058  in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays.  I had the pleasure of meeting with Sen. Hays on ALAC and the Stand for Israel Resolution  in the 2012 Legislative Session.  Let's see how we can get past the hurdles in both chambers in the 2013 Florida Legislative session in Florida with the goal of passage and enactment into law.  That would mark the first major jurisdiction to enact ALAC.  It would add luster to the quartet of pioneering States that have already done so; Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.


American Law for American Courts bill advances

Subcommittee votes along party lines

February 9, 2013
by Dr. Richard Swier

The Florida Family Association issued the following report:

Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee votes 9-4 to approve bill which prohibits courts from considering certain provisions of international laws including Islamic Sharia law.

The Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted on HB 351 - Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases during the scheduled February 7, 2013 8:00 am meeting.

Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases: Clarifies that public policies expressed in act apply to violations of natural person’s fundamental liberties, rights, & privileges guaranteed by State Constitution or U.S. Constitution; provides that act does not apply to corporation, partnership, or other form of business association, except when necessary to provide effective relief in proceedings under or relating to chs. 61 & 88, F.S.; specifies public policy of this state in applying choice of foreign law, legal code, or system in proceedings brought under or relating to chs. 61 & 88, F.S., which relate to dissolution of marriage, support, time-sharing, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act, & Uniform Interstate Family Support Act; declares that certain decisions under such laws, codes, or systems & certain choice of venue or forum provisions in contract are void; provides for construction of waiver by natural person of person’s fundamental liberties, rights, & privileges guaranteed by State Constitution or U.S. Constitution; declares that claims of forum non conveniens or related claims must be denied; limits construction of provisions in certain circumstances.

The language of this bill has been narrowed compared to the legislation offered in the 2012 session.

Florida Family Association applauds Representative Larry Metz’ssponsorship of HB 351 – Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases.
Unlike 2012 when this subcommittee voted 13-0 to approve the bill, all four Democrats voted against the legislation this year.   Here is how the Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted:
Y  Boyd (R)                Y  Goodson (R)      Y  Oliva (R)       Y  Spano (R)
Y  Stone (R)              N  Clelland (D)       Y  Hager (R)     Y  Passidomo (R)
N  Stafford (D)          N  Waldman (D)     Y  Davis (R)      Y  Metz (R)
N  Rodríguez, J. (D)

Representative José Javier Rodríguez (Democrat representing part of Miami-Dade) led the charge against the legislation with a litany of questions and challenges.
Representative James W. “Jim” Waldman (Democrat representing part of Broward County) mocked Franklin Holder’s testimony in favor of the bill by laughing at his comments.

Perhaps Democrats gleamed from the 2012 elections that a certain constituency affected by this legislation voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.

Sadly for all Americans, these four Democrats did not see the importance of honoring only American laws in American courts but only saw the importance of votes to keep their political longevity alive.

Click here to see the video of the February 7, 2013 meeting.  The discussion on this bill began at 10:10 am.

Here is the vote from the Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee in 2012 where a 13-0 vote was taken on January 31, 2012:

Abruzzo Y  Gaetz Y  Kiar Y  Passidomo -  Stargel Y  Bernard Y  Hager Y  Metz Y  Plakon Y  Steinberg Y  Eisnaugle -  Harrison Y  Oliva Y  Soto Y  Weinstein


Posted on 02/09/2013 8:29 AM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 9 February 2013
A Musical Interlude: I'll See You In My Dreams (Cliff Edwards)
Listen here.
Posted on 02/09/2013 9:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
What Vital U.S. Interests Are Those?

Iraq's return to bloodshed - Washington Post
Feb. 8, 2013...

- The country's sectarian tensions erupt anew, threatening vital U.S. interests.

This is how the comically-named Kimberley Kagan concludes her vaporings:

"Over the past year, the situation in Iraq has become explosive while sectarian sentiment and armed violence in neighboring nations have escalated dramatically. Americans have become accustomed to watching Iraq approach the precipice and draw back. But circumstances have changed with the withdrawal of all U.S. forces and Maliki’s year-long efforts to intimidate his opponents through political, judicial and military maneuvers. If Maliki does not accept many of the protesters’ reasonable demands and allow meaningful Sunni participation in government, prospects for stopping Iraq’s descent into sectarian conflict are grim."

Why, from the viewopoint of Muslims, would that "descent into sectarian conflict" be considered "grim"?

Was the Iran-Iraq War a good thing, or a bad thing?

When Sunnis and quasi-Shia (Alawites) fight in Tripoli, Lebanon, is that good, or bad?

Ahmadinejad keeps prating, as do so many Iranian Shi'a, about "Muslim unity" and in Egypt the other day he visited Al-Azhar and found  himself being chastised and rebuffed by the Sunni clerics there. Other members of ruling class in  the Islamic Republic of Iran are similarly whistling in the "Muslim Unity" dark, unable to recognize or admit  that Shi'a will continue to be attacked by Sunnis (in Iraq, where they have no intention of allowing the Shia to rule over them, and in Lebanon -- see Tripoli -- and in Yemen, where Shi'a are depicted as agents of Iran, and in Pakistan, where several uber-Sunni groups have as their purpose in life fomenting and carrying out attacks on Shi'a, and in Bahrain, where the Shi'a majority is kept down by the Sunni rulers and their Pakistani mercenaries, and Saudi Arabia, where the Sunni clerics rant about the Shi'a, and the government marginalizes them, and watches them, in the Eastern Province, and makes preparations to suppress them at the first sign of real rebellion.

But that's all good. That divides and demoralizes, that weakens, the Camp of Islam.

The kimberly-kagans of this world, stuck in their Iraq-enthusiasm rut, can't understand that. It's permanently beyond them. So be it.

Posted on 02/09/2013 9:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Veiled Women Deputies May Be Allowed In Turkish Parliament


Il governo Erdogan: “Deputate con il velo in Parlamento”

“Il Parlamento è lo specchio della società e quindi tutte le componenti della società devono essere rappresentate” ha detto ieri Fatma Sahin, la ministra turca per la Famiglia e le Politiche Sociali, unica donna in un governo di soli uomini  e in un Paese sempre più coniugato al maschile. E siccome la Turchia è abitata soprattutto da musulmani, la ministra ne deduce che “se vogliamo che la democrazia avanzi anche le deputate che indossano il velo devono poter entrare” nell’Assemblea Nazionale. Una dichiarazione che tocca un tema particolarmente scottante nel Paese della mezzaluna. Se il premier turco Recp Tayyip Erdogan dovesse avallare la mossa della sua ministra cadrebbe l’ultima frontiera del secolarismo voluto fortemente dal fondatore della repubblica Mustafa Kemal Ataturk  che aveva imposto il bando all’hijab, il turban turco, per limitare l’influenza della religione nella società post-ottomana e favorirne il progresso sociale.

Dal 1923 ad oggi, però, la situazione del Paese è molto cambiata e tante donne reclamano tra i loro diritti la libertà di indossare il velo e di poter eleggere delle deputate con l’hijab. Una di queste è Aynur Bayram che da anni si batte per far cadere la tradizione secolare che penalizza le donne più religiose. Il governo Erdogan, al potere dal 2002, ha risposto positivamente a questa richiesta facendo cadere uno dopo l’altro i divieti di indossare il velo: prima per le studentesse universitarie, poi per le professoresse, per le hostess della compagnia aerea Turkish Airlines, per le ragazze nelle scuole elementari e medie durante le ore di Corano e in ultimo, qualche settimana fa, per le avvocate.  Il tabù, insomma, è stato rotto più volte. Lo scorso aprile, per esempio, la moglie del premier, Esmine Erdogan (nella foto), si è presentata a un ricevimento ufficiale in Parlamento con il velo, destando qualche scandalo ma anche tanta speranza nelle musulmane più osservanti. Secondo i sondaggi, comunque,  la popolazione non si opporrebbe affatto al cambiamento, anzi la maggioranza sarebbe favorevole. Segno che il secolarismo voluto da Ataturk non è più considerato un baluardo della democrazia. Per ora il divieto del “turban” rimane ancora per le dipendenti pubbliche e per le deputate.  Ma c’è da scommettere in una futura riforma che renderà libere le donne di portare il velo ovunque.

Un passo avanti nella libertà delle donne? Come dicono molte associazioni dei diritti umani. O un’islamizzazione che avvicinerà la Turchia ai Paesi più integralisti?

  • Quando Heidi era costretta a portare il velo
    09.02 | 15:33 Cappelli Nerio
  • Nel Novembre del 2007 il ministero dell’Educazione di Ankara, ha modificato le illustrazioni del libro della piccola Heidi. Solo così potrà rimanere tra quelli consigliati. Nella censura sono state passate al vaglio anche la nonna della sua cara amica Clara, la signora Seseman, costrette ad indossare la tunica e il copricapo “hijab”. Anche la burbera Rottermayer, avrà il capo coperto. Poi ci sarebbe la bambola Fulla rigorosamente vestita che non può essere interamente spogliata, perchè sotto il vestito coperto a sua volta dal tradizionale manto nero abaya ha disegnata una mutanda incorporata.
    Naturalmente il discorso gira attorno al concetto che se vuoi avere il diritto di portare il velo devi riconoscere il diritto di non portarlo ma non mi pare questo il caso.
  • la turchia Non è occidente.....
    09.02 | 14:54 silonofrio
  • e smettiamo di parlare di portare in europa simili selvaggi
    retrogradi. io non li voglio nemmeno in italia, altro che
    portare la loro (inferiore) cultura in occidente. Già aprire
    all’europa dell’est ci ha distrutti abbastanza con una
    immigrazione europea sì ma di scarsa cultura sia sociale
    che legale… vogliamo peggiorare ancora le cose ?
  • non è questione di velo o non velo
    09.02 | 14:54 tristano58
    quella che deve cadere – soprattutto nella testa di noi occidentali idioti – è l’idea che la Turchia sia un paese laico.
    09.02 | 14:52 falisco
    Chiunque strizzi l’occhio a certe forme esteriori “islamismo” ( e qui includo anche il velo) deve far sorgere sospetti: Tunisia ed Egitto sono due esempi clamorosi di dove stia portando la “primavera araba”. La cultura islamica (in quanto tale) è allergica a qualsiasi cambiamento verso una qualsiasi forma di “modernità” perché tale concetto è estraneo se non nemico dell’islam in quanto tale, perché regolato da un libro “sacro” di un millennio e mezzo fa e dalle successive “interpretazioni”. Lo scivolamento progressivo ed inarrestabile verso il fondamentalismo dovrebbe allarmare l’occidente, specialmente quello come il nostro paese e l’Europa in genere,esposto ad immigrazione non regolata e ad una non controllata attività dei “centri” islamici. L’identità europea è fortemente compromessa; ci mancherebbe che la Turchia entrasse in Europa…. a meno di un novello Ataturk che garantisse.
  • Povera Turchia
    09.02 | 14:50 Cape74
    Sono di origine turca, lo ammetto, sono colpevole di venire da un paese che ha commesso atroci barbarie, prima fra tutti il genocidio armeno (se la mia famiglia solo sapesse la vergogna che intimamente provo per quel genocidio perderei la loro stima….ma quando incontro un armeno mi sento di chiedere scusa perché il mondo non lo fa)….in Turchia frequento “l’élite”, si vestono, bevono, credono di vivere da occidentali, ma in cuor loro pochi lo sono…. A scuola viene loro insegnato quanto l’Occidente Crostiano li veda con diffidenza, come li tratti come inferiori e spesso e’ vero. I turchi per proteggersi psicologicamente erigono delle barriere e si trinceano nella loro “turkmenlik”, turcomanza, ….peccato che una percentuale infinisimale di loro lo sia….sono per lo più di origine bulgara, araba, circassa, macedone, armena, curda e ovviamente greca – anatolica o del ponto, come lo sono io -.
    Mostra tutti
  • 09.02 | Monica Ricci Sargentini

    Non ho capito la polemica.
  • Vi sono religioni e religioni
    09.02 | 13:59 Priscilliano
    Vi sono quelle che contemplano un lavoro di preghiera e meditazione evitando la politica, come il buddhismo, o vi sono quelle cristiane, che hanno conosciuto la terribile guerra dei 30 anni, basata sulla religione, l’ultima venuta dopo le guerre del 500. Il cristianesimo è stato ridimensionate dalla maturazione europea che ha finalmente provato ripugnanza per simili follie, e poi dall’avvento dello scientismo e prima ancora dallo scetticismo enciclopedista francese. Ora, l’islamismo invece è rimasto intocco dalla rivisitazione dei propri dogmi e dei propri testi sacri. Continua ad immaginare religione e politica come una sola cosa e contiene la faziosità settaria che ancora possedeva all’origine. In più è rimasto monoliticamente universalista e devoto alla guerra santa quali obblighi religiosi. E’ questo il suo pericolo congentito e il suo dilemma : o revisionare tutta la sua storia e Mostra tutto
  • ricordi di viaggio
    09.02 | 13:25 Lettore_788562
  • Durante un viaggio in Turchia nel 2008 la guida, un persona molto impegnata politicamente per i verdi,con un fratelli in carcere per delitti di opinione, e sopratutto fiera di essere una donna ottomana, presagiva un aumento dell’integralismo. Diceva che molte famiglie ricevevano sovvenzioni da parte di popoli più integralisti, e che da qualche anno in avanti erano aumentate sia le donne col velo che i chador, vedeva in questo un’aumento dell’integralismo a discapito della laicità dello stato contario ai principi di Ataturk. Ci salutò con un profetico: magari se tornate fra dieci anni mi trovate con il chador. Credo che il suo auspicio si stia avverando.
  • Deriva islamista
    09.02 | 12:56 cattivo56
  • La Turchia era un paese normale fino a una quindicina di anni fa. Da quando la stupida Europa costrinse la Turchia a cambiare la costituzione, la deriva oscurantista e islamista non ha avuto piu’ freni. A Nabla rispondo che no. Imporre di non indossare il velo e’ democrazia, rispetto per le liberta’ umane e rispetto per la donna. Donna che in Turchia sta regredendo nella sfera dei diritti, come regredisce in tutti i novelli paesi islamici.
    Decine di ufficiali progressisti turchi sono in carcere senza processo, lo sapevate questo? Lo sapete che Erdogan e’ un dittatorello islamico?
Posted on 02/09/2013 10:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Kerry's Daughter Married To An Iranian, Beyrouz Vala Nahed


Pourquoi l'Iran voit John Kerry d'un bon œil

Mots clés : Confidentiels

Par Georges Malbrunot
08/02/2013 | Mise à jour : 22:21

Vanessa Kerry, la fille du nouveau chef de la diplomatie américaine, est mariée avec Brian - Beyrouz en farsi - Vala Naheed, un médecin d'origine iranienne, qui a de la famille en République islamique. «Il se rend encore à Téhéran voir ses..

Is he an Iranian who is disgusted with, who hates and fears, the Islamic Republic of Iran? Is he an Iranian who, despite hating and fearing the Islamic Republic, like a surprising number of other Iranian exiles abroad, is not quite able to  think through what the successfull attaining of nuclear wepons by the Islamic Republic would mean (not least, helping it to retain power, for the Iranian masses would be delirous with pride and joy) makes him desirous to head off any military attack on Iran's nuclear installations. And is John Kerry one of those people who thinks he "knows" about a country on the basis of his personal connections to, and de-briefings of, one or two people, and is not able to understand that, for the Muslim countries of the Middle East, very few can think in terms of what Islam has done to their societies, very few can accept, much less even think in terms of weakening the Camp of Islam. It may be that Kerry's son-in-law is akin to Mrs. Nafisi, or better yet, Ali Sina. But if he isn't, if he is a kind of plausible Vali Nasr, willing to own up to a lot, but in the end a defender not so much of the faith as of Iran -- and unwilling to see why the nuclear project, if allowed to be completed, would guarantee the survival of the troglodytes now in control - then this news is not good.

Barack Obama for a long time allowed himself fondly to believe that his experience of "moderate" Muslim -- with a substrate of the Hindu and Buddhist civilization Islam, through Hadrami traders, managed to suppland but not entirely eliminate (think of the Buddhist temples that have remained, or all the folkloric bits, including Balinese puppetry, and the gamelan music, that if the true adherents of Islam were really to have their way, would be stamped out)-- in the years when he was 6, 7, 8, and 9, and living in Djakarta, and attending a most unrepresentative school, that included not only non-Muslim foreigners, but the kinds fo advanced Muslims who would want to send their children to such schools, even with, or especially for, the non-Muslim atmsophere and fellow students, gives him a special insight into Islam. It has done no such thing, but has only misled him, for he failed to understand just how unusual, atypical, and irrelevant to almost all of the Islamic world, but especially that virulent form of undiluted Islam to be found in the Arab countries and Pakistan,and on the march, too, in other places.

A Secretary of State who believes he has special insight into Iran because of the anecdotal evidence of a son-in-law (even a son-in-law who is not a Muslim, not a Believer, but retains some Iranian national feeling and would like to head off an American attack) could be a problem. On the other hand, it may be that his son-in-law not only can report truthfully on the horrors of the regime, and the wretchedness of those in Iran who think, but also understands that preventing the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons shortens that regime's shelf-life.

One would have to know more.

rend encore à Téhéran voir ses...
Posted on 02/09/2013 11:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Stop Right There, Vanessa Kerry

Here's a pious, feel-good-about-yourself nicholas-kristovian it's-America's-duty-to-help-the-world Op/Ed by Vanessa Kerry, that appeared in The New York Times in 2010.

It begins thus;

... And One for Doctors, Too


THE United States should create a service corps of doctors, nurses and medical technicians to deploy to humanitarian disasters like the one that struck Haiti last month.

Members of this corps would also be available to countries where violence, neglect and poverty are breeding extremism. History has shown that there is a significant correlation between adequate health care and a country’s stability and security. It is no coincidence that terrorism often thrives in places that lack basic services like education, clean water and rudimentary medical care.


Stop right there. She's just been talking about Haiti. Haiti is certainly a place that lacks "basic services like education, clean water and rudimentary medical care."  But if she had given a moment's thought to what she was writing,she would have seen that Haiti is not now, and never has been, a place where "terrorism....thrives." Nor is the Congo, nor the Democratic Republic of the Congo, nor Equatorial Guinea, nor two dozen other sub-Saharan black African setates. There is terrorism in Nigeria, but only among the Muslims in northern Nigeria, directed at Christians and those Muslms deemed un-Muslim because of their lack of fanatical faith. There's  terrorismn in India, but not in the rural Hindu villages "that lack basic services like education, clean water and rudimentary medical care." Rather, terrorism is to be found among Muslims in India. And in Pakistan,the people who live the most miserable lives, who are condemned to the most miserable professions, are Christians -- and there is not a single example of a Paksitan Christian terrorist, though there are plenty of Pakistani Muslim terrorists. In Bangladesh, there are acts of terrorism, by Muslims, against the Buddhists in the Chittagong Hills, and against the Hindus, and even against Muslims deemed un-Muslim for being insufficiently fanatical in their loyalty to Islam.

Shall I go on? Who is it is Yemen who had to clean latrines, and tan hides? It was the Yemenite Jews, when they still lived there. They were the most miserable, the poorest of the poor. They lacked "basic services like education, clean water and rudimentary medical care." But never did they commit a single act of terrorism. It's the same in Egypt, where the most miserable profession -- that of garbage-picker -- is practiced by the Copts. And many Copts -- any visitor to Cairo can find this out for himself -- live in areas where they, more than others, lack "basic services like education, clean water and rudimentary medical care." Has there been a single act of terrorism committed by any Copt in Egypt?

The complacent nonsense that Alexandra Kerry spouts in her Op/Ed would not matter, if she were not the daughter of the new Secretary of State who, in his own incomprehension of Islam, continues in the great tradition of George Bush (who wanted to bring toys and good things to eat to the children on the other side of the mountain, in Iraq, where "ordinary moms and dads" all wanted the same things we do).

How long is the ideology of Islam going to be ignored? And who will pay for the idiocy and wilful ignorance of our rulers, and their relatives?

Posted on 02/09/2013 11:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Should The American Army Allow Veiled Musliim Women In Combat Units?

Surely that's the next great cause.

So let's be the first to publicize it here.

Why not let women in veils into combat units?

Less alluring, as a result of those veils, they will surely be less of a distraction to the men in combat.

And the American Army would be Making A Statement to our would-be enemies. To wit:  We have nothing against Islam or Muslims. We welcome them into our army. We allow Muslim women to wear veils. We respect Islam.Our veiled Muslim soldiers are carrying two implicit messages from our military to you: We Trust You. And We Care. So why should you fight us? What sense does it make?

Such a policy should work wonders. It may obviate enitrely  the need to fight. Most wars, anyway, are the result of  misundersandings. Whatever can be done to eliminate misunderstandings helps to avoid wars. 

The benefits of such a policy are clear. There is no downside.

Why wait?

Posted on 02/09/2013 12:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
A Vote Of No Confidence In The Future Of Fanatically Islamic Iran

From the Los Angeles Times:

Iran urges young couples to have more babies

The birthrate is down amid economic instability caused by sanctions, leaving leaders worried the welfare system will be burdened and productivity diminished.

February 07, 2013|By Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times

TEHRAN — Thirty-eight-year-old Reza Ali Mohammadi, a typist, and his wife, who stays at home, recently had their second son and wouldn't mind having a larger family. But when he sees the price of Pampers at a grocery store, it knocks some sense into him. He can barely afford one package of diapers a week, the prices are so high.

Mohammadi represents a worrisome trend to the Iranian government: More young couples are wary of having babies in the climate of economic instability caused by international sanctions.

The disenchantment comes as the ruling Islamist clergy, alarmed by Iran's meager population growth rate — estimated at 1% in 2011 by the United Nations — has mounted a campaign for families to have more children. Iran's leaders fear the prospect of an aging population that would burden the welfare system and severely diminish productivity. Without a change, Iran's median age is expected to rise from 27 to 40 by 2030.

"Another baby is a financial burden — the cost of midwifery, powdered milk and, later on, kindergarten," said Mahnaz Mahjouri, a psychologist who counsels women. "The new values are to be a working wife, not a housewife and mother. Families cannot afford economically more than one child or maximum two, so the views about mothering are changing."

Iranians like Mohammadi find themselves struggling with the daily cost of private school. Public schools, which also charge fees, have a bad reputation.

"A simple and primitive kindergarten charges you $150 for each child per month, while the average salary for a skilled worker is less than $500," said Mohammadi, speaking from his Tehran office. "So how can I afford to have three children?"

The desire to migrate has also played a significant role in the lack of interest among young Iranians to have children — along with a turn away by women from conservative religious values as they seek equal footing with men.

"Men are more prone to have an individualistic lifestyle, and the migration trend is also strong," said Naser Fakouhi, a male lecturer in sociology at several universities in Tehran. "Women want to catch up with men in social and economic activities, so they don't listen to the government either."

Ali, 32, is a case in point. The Tehran resident, who runs a print shop and asked that his full name not be published, said he and his wife saw children as a potential trap. "My wife prefers to go to English class since we want to immigrate to Australia rather than have her pregnant with a second child," he said.

Ali's parents and in-laws have put pressure on them, even though he is barely getting by. "No matter what our families say I will not have another child. I cannot afford it financially or mentally," he said.

The government's new family plan, which seeks to increase marriage and birth rates among those who are between 20 and 30 years old, offers a number of incentives to couples who choose to have larger families. Not only are they promised low interest rates on loans when they buy apartments, but working mothers are offered generous maternity leave, supposedly topped off with a gold coin after the birth.

The plan was unveiled in fall shortly after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared in a televised speech that the country's 2-decade-old controlled-growth policy had to be halted and that the Islamic Republic should aim for a population of 150 million to 200 million to achieve greatness on the world stage. (The current population is about 75 million.) Some top government officials urged teenagers to marry and start having babies, and members of Iran's powerful clergy were quick to jump on the bandwagon, hailing the new plan in sermons.

"Increasing the reproduction rate is essential for Iran," said senior ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, former Tehran Friday prayer leader, in a sermon in October.

The plan represents a turnaround from the previous policy, which aimed to significantly reduce birthrates. That approach began more than two decades ago after Iran's war with Iraq, when the Iranian government began worrying about a potential population explosion that could drain resources. The state encouraged families to have no more than two children and offered free vasectomies.

In a sign of the new thinking, the Health Ministry sent a note to hospitals in November saying there would be no more free vasectomies or tubal ligations, according to a report on Ghanoon Online, an Iranian news site considered close to the judiciary.

Critics say the move increases the risk of poor families ending up with unwanted children since they can't afford to pay for sterilization or contraceptives. For those with money, there is the option of having a secret abortion.

A doctor at an underground clinic in Tehran that offers abortions — which are illegal in Iran — said as many as five of the procedures were carried out in his clinic each week. In the last five months, however, the number has risen. The obstetrician, who asked that his name not be published to avoid being arrested, charges between $150 and $300.

Even the rumor of a gold coin from the government for having a child has been met with doubt and ridicule for the government's family planning proposal.

Mohammad Sharif, 47, who serves coffee in an insurance company in downtown Tehran, said the staff at a public health clinic thought he was joking when he showed up for his reward.

"It's an empty promise," he said with a sigh. "My fourth baby boy was born last week and I went to a clinic to get my coin. They laughed at me. There are no incentives whatsoever."

Posted on 02/09/2013 12:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Danish media control sees things upside down and backwards

The large mass circulation Danish daily newspapers, notably Politiken,  after congratulating Lars Hedegaard on his narrow escape went on to criticize him as a rabid extremist never pausing for a moment  to discuss why a lower court could find him guilty while Denmark’s supreme court reversed their decision and pronounced his innocence unanimously (7 – 0 ). The same is universally true abroad where all liberal opinion prominently reminds readers of his  initial conviction without mentioning the subsequent reversal by the highest court in the land MED LOV SKAL LANDET BYGGES is inscribed on the building  - I am sure I don’t need to translate it.

It is no surprise that the groundwork for his initial conviction was laid in part by the liberal media and first and foremost Denmark’s radio which is the monopoly running radio and television . A few years ago they produced a mammoth dramatic series with some of Denmark’s most famous actors, called The Protectors- a special unit of the Danish police designed to protect prominent VIPS. Although anyone with no brain at all could have predicted that Lars Hedegaard has probably been among the top 5 Danes on any extremist hitlist (the Danish equivalent of murdered Dutch artist and politician Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn), the official excuse of the unit is “we can’t protect everybody”.

To make matters all the more absurd, disgusting and reprehensible,  in the series, the character of the  leading villain  is a Danish politician, whose life history exactly traces that of Lars Hedegaard, beginning on “the Far Left” to eventually represent a fictional right wing extremist who  plots to assassinate a  attractive female Muslim Danish Minister of Culture (she is a refugee from Iran and is portrayed as the epitome of the good, kind and tolerant heroine) and then implicate another beautiful female Muslim – a  security guard in the Danish elite police unit  who is supposed to protect her (this character is a refugee from Egypt whose sister keeps warning her that no matter how brave and integrated she is, she will never be accepted by the racist Danes) This is Denmarks Radio  – Himmler and Goebbels would have been proud.

Posted on 02/09/2013 12:27 PM by Norman Berdichevsky
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Preachers of hate on British TV: what they said that broke the broadcasting rules

From the Telegraph

Muslim fundamentalists have been found breaching the strict rules on what can be broadcast on the airwaves in Britain, by inciting violence and intolerance.

Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, has made a series of new rulings against minority channels, which are disclosed here for the first time.

The broadcasters and stations which broke the rules are:

Name: Dr Zakir Naik  (a name we know!)

Channel: Peace TV

Programme: Dare to Ask

“In Ofcom’s view it is potentially offensive for any service to broadcast comments suggesting that it is acceptable to apply a 'penalty’ and kill any individual for renouncing their faith. Broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.”

Name: Muhammad Farooq Nizami

Channel: Noor TV

Programme: Paigham-e-Mustafa (“Message of Mustafa”)

Date: May 3, 2012

What was said: “There is absolutely no doubt about it that the punishment for the person who shows disrespect for the Prophet is death. No one disagrees about this.

"Whoever shows disrespect for Prophet Muhammad will be given death penalty. In the whole world, there should be slaves of Mustafa [Muhammad] everywhere, and disrespectful people should be eliminated

Name: Abdul Qadir Jilani

Channel: DM Digital

Programme: Rehmatul Lil Alameen ("Mercy unto the Worlds")

Date: October 9, 2011

What was said: “The matter of insulting the prophet does not fall in the category of terrorism.
“Those who cannot kill such men have no faith.
“It is your duty, the duty of those who recite the holy verse, to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed.
“Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him.

Mr Jilani is an imam at the Dar-ul-Uloom mosque in Walthamstow having studied in Pakistan, where he was born, and Saudi Arabia. His mosque has this week been granted retrospective approval for an extension, previously considered too high. I took this photograph a few years ago, before the upper story grew so tall..

Posted on 02/09/2013 4:31 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 9 February 2013
A Music Interlude: Was That The Human Thing To Do? (Lew Stone Orch., voc.Al Bowlly)
Listen here.
Posted on 02/09/2013 7:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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