'Runaway Ohio Convert Gains Legal U.S. Residency' - Tuesday September 7 2010.
'Columbus, Ohio - A lawyer for a Christian convert (sic: a formerly-Muslim girl who converted to Christianity - CM) who ran away from her parents says the now-18-year-old woman has gained permanent US residency after living in Ohio as an illegal immigrant.
'A lawyer for Rifqa Bary said Tuesday the Sri Lanka native can now start applying for a driver's license, Medicaid coverage and college scholarships.
'Lawyer Kort Gatterdam says Bary got her permanent residency card last week and can apply for citizenship in five years. (And she is certainly the type of immigrant the US has always welcomed - independent-minded, intelligent and brave - CM).
'Bary had sought the green card as she argued she could not reunite with her Musllim parents. She alleged they threatened her with harm for converting, and she fled Ohio to stay with a minister in Orlando, Fla.
'Bary also sought legal residency to achieve health coverage as she battles uterine cancer".
I am sure all regular readers here will wish Ms Bary well; let us all pray that her medical treatment will be successful, that she will grow in wisdom and charity within the US Christian community, that any persons of ill-will who would seek to enforce upon her the sharia penalty - death - for apostasy from Islam will be thwarted, and that she will, in due time, complete her education, find work, and achieve citizenship.
This Is Where We Begin to Say No - Andrew C. McCarthy
The tide is turning in America. It really looks like it.
All the elite leaders who have been pandering to Islam are starting to expose themselves for what they are.
All the perpetual dialoguers, the Inter-Faithers and peace, peace, peacers apparently will never stop, unless the general public stops them.
All these twits, these extremely dangerous twits, who invariably say of Islam "I am no expert" (or "authority" or "scholar") and then saythe (noble) Islam has been "hijacked" by extremists and then go on to set calamitous policy even though they have admitted they know nothing about Islam,are being exposed for what they are.
Yes twits. Presidents can be twits, Prime Ministers can be twits. Anyone can be a twit.
People are beginning to get it in the USA - in Europe as well, I think, but with the crazed dhimmi legislation in Europeprotecting "the religion of blood and war" (Winston Churchill - would he have been prosecuted?) and with the invasion by "Islamic Immigration" (Al-Hijra, in Arabic)in Europe much more advanced with an already enormous Muslim population, and growing, the situation is far more dire.
Andrew McCarthy (successfully) prosecuted the blind sheikh who organised the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.
Atectonic shift is in motion: How fitting that its focal point is Ground Zero, the inevitable fault line between Islam and the West.
Only the blink of an eye ago, uttering the unpleasant truth that in terms of doctrine there is no such thing as "moderate Islam" resulted in one's banishment from what our opinion elites like to call the "mainstream," by which they mean the narrow-minded, viciously defended circle of their own pieties and fictions. You could say it, but your skin had better have an extra coat or two of thick: You were in for a fusillade of rage, the likes of which our candor-phobic elites would never dream of unleashing at our Islamist enemies - no matter how clearly those enemies announced their intention to destroy us.
The fusillade still comes, but now its blows only glance. The elites and their mainstream have been exposed as frauds: Being on the wrong side of enough 70-30 issues will do that to you.
It should never have gotten this far. Sponsors of the Ground Zero mosque neither own the property in question nor possess the means to build and operate the palatial Islamic center they envision. The more light that shines on their record of murky real-estate dealings and the dubious circumstances of their limited stake in the Ground Zero property, the more questions arise. In a more sensible world, those questions would get answered before we plunged into a rancorous public debate. That hasn't happened, though. In spite of the implacable determination of the mayor (and the attorney general who would be governor) to look the other way, the issue has galvanized the public. What has long bubbled beneath the surface did not need much more heat to boil over.
For the better part of two decades, Americans have been murdered by Islamists and then lectured that they are to blame for what has befallen them. We have been instructed in the need for special sensitivity to the unceasing demands of Islamic culture and falsely accused of intolerance by the people who wrote the book on intolerance.Americans have sacrificed blood and bottomless treasure for Islamic peoples who despise Americans - and despise us even more as our sacrifices and gestures of self-loathing intensify. Americans have watched as apologists for terrorists and sharia were made the face of an American Muslim community that we were simultaneously assured was the very picture of pro-American moderation.
Americans have had our fill. We are willing to live many lies. This one, though, strikes too close to home, arousing our heretofore dormant sense of decency. Americans have now heard Barack Obama's shtick enough times to know that when he talks about "our values," he's really talking about his values, which most of us don't share. And after ten years of CAIR's tired tirades, we're immune to Feisal Rauf, too.
We look around us and we see our country unrivaled by anything in the history of human tolerance. We see thousands of thriving mosques, permitted to operate freely even though we know for a fact that mosques have been used against us, repeatedly, to urge terrorism, recruit terrorists, raise money for terrorists, store and transfer firearms, and inflame Muslims against America and the West. As Islamists rage against us, we see Islam celebrated in official Washington. As we reach out for the umpty-umpth time, we find Muslim leaders taking what we offer, but always with complaint and never with reciprocation. We're weary, and we don't really care if that means thatTime magazine, Michael Bloomberg, Katie Couric, Fareed Zakaria, and the rest think we're bad people - they think we're bad people, anyway.
So finally we're asking: Where is this "moderate Islam" you've been telling us about? Why would a self-proclaimed bridge-builder insist on something so patently provocative and divisive? How can we be sure that if imam Rauf builds his monument on our graveyard, it won't become what other purportedly "moderate" Islamic centers have become: a cauldron of anti-American vitriol? It turns out that there are no satisfactory answers. When finally pressed on the taxonomy of moderate Islam, the best our elites can do - besides shouting "Islamophobia!" - is debate whether there ever wasa "golden age" of Islamic tolerance. They have to confess that the Islamists - whom they'd like us to see as a handful of "extremists" but who are in truth a mass movement - are in the ascendancy. It is embarrassingly obvious that while some of us have been working to defeat Islamism in our midst, our elites are of the incorrigibly progressive mindset that counsels accommodating them - in the delusion that they will be appeased rather than encouraged to become more aggressive. That is precisely the mindset that makes an Islamist think: Maybe now is the time for a $100 million mosque at Ground Zero.
"Moderate Islam" is a dream, not a reality. It is a dream with potential, because there are millions of Muslims who are moderate people, and because there are dedicated Muslims working to transformtheir faith into something that is institutionally moderate. But they work against great odds. They confront Islamists whose dedication to theocratic principles is deeply and undeniably rooted in Islamic scripture. And they confront American opinion elites who, wittingly or not, serve as thelifeline of the Islamists.
The reformers' slim chance at prevailing hinges on the American people's will to say "no" to our self-anointed betters. Ground Zero, once again the site of epic Islamist overreach, may be remembered as the place where we started to say "no."
Ryan Mauro: Islamic Propaganda In The K-12 Classroom
Islamist Propaganda in the K-12 Classrom
By Ryan Mauro On September 9, 2010 In FrontPage | 17 Comments
A highly disturbing phenomenon is rising in our public school system today with hardly a peep of protest from parents and from our society at large: students are being force-fed a curious and bizarre narrative that presents Islam in a glowing - and historically mangled - light, while Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition are demonized and smeared. The latest example can be found in New York's statewide high school Regents exam where students will find points deducted from their grade if they don't obediently regurgitate the Party-Line given to them.
Some of the test's questions are based on specific readings from A World History: A Cultural Approach by Daniel Roselle, including this troublesome lesson: "Wherever they went, the Moslems brought with them their love of art, beauty and learning. From about the eighth to the eleventh century, their culture was superior in many ways to that of western [sic] Christendom." Elsewhere, students learn from Roselle how, under Christian rule, "idols, temples and other material evidences of paganism [were] destroyed." The text also marvels at how, after being conquered by Muslims, the Spanish city of Cordoba's "streets were solidly paved," unlike in Paris, and lamps were set up. At the same time, the author makes pains to point out, "there was not a single public lamp in London!"
The lesson for impressionable children taking this exam is clear: Islam is historically tolerant, progressive, and admirable, whereas modern extremism has more in common with Christianity. Islamic scholar Andrew Bostom described the teaching as a "grotesque distortion of historical reality," leaving students ignorant of how "the jihad ravages...wreaked havoc-massacre, pillage, enslavement, and deportation-upon culturally more advanced civilizations."
The exam also includes a reading from John Esposito, a Muslim Brotherhood apologist who appeared as a witness for the defense in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) in 2008. The HLF was shut down for being a Brotherhood-constructed front to finance Hamas. He's even promoted the extremist Brotherhood theologian, Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi. He also co-authored a book with Azzam Tamimi, who has said, "Do not call them suicide bombers, call them shuhada [martyrs]...[The Israelis] have guns, we have the human bomb. We love death, they love life."
The particular question based on Esposito's writing asked students about Islam's expansion into Africa. A "correct" answer did not involve anything about forced conversion or aggression. In fact, this historical fact is considered incorrect by the exam's standards. Answers such as: "merchants were agents of Islamization; [Islam was spread] by religious leaders forcing their views on isolated societies; [and] there was conflict between traditional priests and Muslim men of religion" are all unacceptable.
Unfortunately, the New York State exam isn't a fluke case that can be ignored. There are numerous cases where school textbooks are biased in favor of Islam over Christianity. For example, in one 2008 book titled Global History and Geography: The Growth of Civilization, the core belief of Christianity is summarized as, "...his [Jesus'] apostles claimed that they had seen and talked with him. They believed that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and had risen from the dead, or been resurrected." On Islam, it says simply "Muhammad was the messenger of Allah."
In another 2008 textbook titled World History, it is written that "After the death of Jesus, his followers proclaimed that he had risen from death and had appeared to him. They believed Jesus to be the Messiah (anointed one)..." When that same book discusses Islam, it states "The revelations of Allah (God) to Muhammad are written down in the Quran, or holy book of Islam."
In a third textbook from 2007 titled The Western Heritage, the basis for the New Testatment is that "[t]he authors of the Gospels believed Jesus was the son of God..." But the text sounds more certain of the Koran's credibility, stating "[Muhammad] began to receive revelations from the angel Gabriel, who recited God's word to him at irregular intervals."
Gilbert T. Stewall, director of the American Textbook Council, reviewed ten junior and high school textbooks over two years and concluded in 2008 that popular textbooks did not mention that the 9/11 terrorists considered themselves Muslims or that jihad and Shariah law have violent and oppressive applications. The textbooks even advocated policy, diagnosing terrorism as a symptom of poverty, ignorance, and anger over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Stewall also found that Islam's doctrines received significantly more attention than Christianity, and its "scientific" and "cultural" achievements are praised while Christian transgressions, such as anti-Semitism, are explored at length. One book calls the Crusades "religious wars launched against Muslims by European Christians" but characterizes the Islamic offensives as the "building" of an empire. Another text says non-Muslims converted to Islam because they "were attracted by Islam's message of equality and hope for salvation" without even mentioning forced conversion.
Another study of 28 textbooks by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research found 500 faulty passages being used to teach students. The researchers found a heavy bias against Israel and a promotion of the school of thought that U.S. support for the country is the root cause of terrorism. One of the authors said they found an inclination to be "disrespectful towards Christianity, and rather than represent Islam in an objective way, [the passages] tend to glorify it."
Robert Spencer of JihadWatch.org told FrontPage that this latest case is part of a pattern caused by "multiculturalist ethos, which in theory posits that all cultures are equal, but in practice holds all non-Western cultures superior to Judeo-Christian culture."
"The producers of this material are embarrassed by Western culture, which they've been conditioned to believe is responsible for all the evils in the world. Islam is non-Western and even actively anti-Western, and so it is above reproach," Spencer said.
Thus, we see how the admirable desire to promote religious tolerance when put into the hands of the Left clearly crosses into a promotion of Islam and a degradation of Judeo-Christian tradition and culture. And so, in many cases, this also extends beyond teaching from a biased textbook.
In May, a 14-year-old student at a Roman Catholic school in the United Kingdom was given an unexcused absence on her record after her mother refused to let her join a class trip to a mosque where she'd be forced to dress as a Muslim. When the school was unable to provide supervision for her daughter, the mother kept her home and complained to school officials. In a letter addressed to the mother, the school head said the trip was "as compulsory as a geography field trip."
"It's like they are saying she is playing truant for not wearing a head scarf. If the trip had been without the leggings and the headscarf, that would have been fine but I wasn't having my daughter dressed in the Muslim way," the mother said. The school refused to back down and left the unexcused absence on the girl's record. One can only imagine the furor that would have erupted had it been a Muslim student being forced to attend a synagogue or church.
Spencer warns that the biased teaching has implications not only for students' education, but also for the country's security.
"Whole generations of students are being taught to despise their own culture and civilizational heritage. Why, then, should they bother to defend it?" he asked.
The authors of these textbooks and the schools that continue to use them after being informed of their content are making a conscious decision to promote a glowing image of Islam at the expense of historical accuracy and fairness. The texts defame the Judea-Christian tradition for the sake of promoting cultural relativism and advancing leftist policy viewpoints about the causes of Islamic terrorism. And that's not education; it's indoctrination.
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During his recent two-day state visit to Italy, Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi declared that "Islam should become the religion of the whole of Europe." He also said that Europe's conversion would become a fait accompli "when Turkey becomes a member of the European Union."
Europeans mostly dismissed Gaddafi's proselytizing as "Islamic propaganda," and as a "non-solicited provocation lacking seriousness."
Meanwhile, however, Muslim immigration to Europe continues apace, with record numbers of new arrivals daily in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and across Scandinavia. In Britain, Holland and Spain, the rate of Muslim immigration is accelerating at an especially rapid clip, and in a shorter amount of time than in other European countries.
"Gaddafi needs to show respect. Don't come to Italy and tell Italians and Europeans to convert to Islam," said Rocco Buttiglione, president of the pro-Vatican party Union of Christian Democrats, in an interview with the leftwing daily La Repubblica.
"What would happen if a European head of state went to Libya or another Islamic country and invited everyone to convert to Christianity?" asked the daily Il Messaggero.
"Europe is Christian" declared the right wing daily, La Padania, in a front-page headline.
"To speak of the European continent converting to Islam makes no sense, because it is the people alone who decide consciously to be Christian, Muslim or to follow other religions," said Archbishop Robert Sarah, the secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for Evangelization.
But Gaddafi's vision of an Islamicized Europe is closer to becoming a reality than many Europeans are willing to admit. According to the Pew Research Center, Islam is already the fastest-growing religion in Europe, where the number of Muslims has tripled over the past 30 years. Most demographers forecast a similar or even higher rate of growth in the coming decades.
At least three long-term trends are converging to create a fertile ground for the rise of Islam in Europe:
For starters, today's Europe is spiritually beset by a morally relativistic post-modern worldview that encourages indifference to religion, especially of the Judeo-Christian variety. Religious apathy, induced by secular humanism, has emerged as the defining characteristic of contemporary European society; has created a huge spiritual vacuum that Islam is eager, willing and determined to fill.
At the same time, Europe's near-wholesale rejection of the Judeo-Christian worldview is fuelling a demographic time bomb, planted by Europeans who see no meaning to human life beyond the present, and who do not believe in the future enough to want to pass it on to the next generation. This is reflected by the fact that birth rates among native Europeans are far below replacement levels in most European countries. By contrast, Muslim immigrants in Europe are procreating at a breakneck pace, with birth rates that in many cases are double or triple those of native European populations.
The exact number of Muslims in Europe is difficult to calculate, largely because the official census data collected by many European countries does not track population trends according to ethnicity or religion.
But the Berlin-based Zentralinstitut Islam-Archiv, the oldest Islamic organization in Germany, estimates that 54 million Muslims were living in Europe in 2007, including 16 million in the European Union. According to a US Air Force study conducted by Major Leon Perkowski in 2006, the EU's Muslim population could actually be as high as 23 million if estimates on illegal immigration are included.
In any case, most surveys agree that Muslims currently constitute around five percent of the EU's total population (compared to around one percent in the United States). On a country-by-country basis, Muslim residents currently represent about eight percent of the population in France, six percent in Holland, four percent in Belgium and Germany, and three percent in Britain.
Although these numbers may seem relatively insignificant at first glance, Muslim immigrants are clustering in large European cities, many of which are being transformed beyond recognition by their Muslim inhabitants.
In Amsterdam, Brussels and Marseilles, for example, between 20 and 25 percent of the population is now estimated to be Muslim, according to official municipal statistics and a variety of unofficial calculations. In Birmingham, Cologne, Copenhagen, Leicester, London, Paris, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Strasbourg and The Hague, the Muslim population is now estimated to be between 10 and 20 percent. In Antwerp, Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna, the Muslim population is estimated to be between 5 and 10 percent.
Analyst Ömer Ta?p?nar, writing for the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution, estimates that the Muslim birth rate in Europe is three times higher than the non-Muslim one, and that Europe's Muslim population currently is growing by more than one million each year. If current trends continue, the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015, while the non-Muslim population will shrink by 3.5 percent. According to the Migration Policy Institute, which is also based in Washington, at least 20 percent of Europe's total population will be Muslim by 2050 (this figure would jump to well over 50 percent if Turkey joins the EU.)
Muslims are already transforming European society in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. In Britain, for example, the government recently acquiesced to adopting Islamic law, with Sharia courts given full powers to rule on Muslim civil cases. In Holland, Mohamed, or other variations of the name, has become the most popular name for baby boys in the four biggest cities in the country. In Switzerland, voters recently agreed to ban the construction of minarets, the tower-like structures on mosques, which are becoming an increasingly prominent feature of the European landscape.
In Spain, the Muslim population has increased ten-fold in just 20 years. As recently as 1990, there were only 100,000 Muslims there; now there are more than 1 million. Until the 1980s, Spain was a net exporter of labor, and there was very little Muslim labor immigration to the country. Instead, Spain was a transit country for Maghrebian [North African] immigrants on their way to France and other European countries with significant and well-established Muslim communities. But during the mid-1990s, Spain's traditional role as a transit country became that of a host country for Muslim immigrants, especially from Morocco.
Immigration, however, is only one reason for the steady rise in Spain's Muslim population. Muslim fertility rates are more than double those of an aging native Spanish population. Spain currently has a birth rate of around 1.3, far below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple. At the current rate, the number of native Spaniards will be cut in half in two generations, while the Muslim population in Spain will quadruple.
In Germany, the debate over Muslim immigration is being fuelled by a new book titled "Germany Does Away With Itself." The book, written by Thilo Sarrazin, a prominent German banker and a former government official, has triggered a public discussion over how to fix Germany's broken immigration system, which has done little or nothing to integrate the country's Muslim population.
In his book, Sarrazin criticizes Islam as a source of violence, and blames Muslim immigrants for refusing to integrate. "No other religion in Europe is so demanding and no other migration group depends so much on the social welfare state and is so much connected to criminality," he writes.
Sarrazin, who is long-time member of the center-left Social Democrats, predictably has infuriated the uppity guardians of German political correctness. They have asked German President Christian Wulff to dismiss Sarrazin from the board of the German central bank, the Bundesbank.
But in a sign that change may be afoot in Germany, the center-left newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung agreed that Sarrazin has "addressed a problem that will remain long after the waves of outrage have subsided: the enormous integration deficit of the Muslim minority in Germany, or at least of disturbingly large parts of it."
Princeton University's Bernard Lewis once told the German newspaper Die Welt that "Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century." At the time, European political elites expressed outrage at the prediction. But if current trends persist, Lewis (and Gaddafi) may yet be proven right.
And why don't those discussing Feisal Abdul Rauf in such naive terms take a look at whatr this Declaration asks of him, and other Muslims, which is nothing more than an affirmation of permanent unswerving support for, the guarantees in the American Constitution, and ask him, ask themselves, ask their audiences, why he will not sign, and as a good Muslim, can not sign, such a document.
Recent correspondence in The Times suggests that the general public - at least the Times-reading part of it - does not know the word "toper".
One reader rightly points out that it appears in the Flanders and Swann song (not their swansong) "Have Some Madeira M'Dear". They aren't singing about cake, but about a dasardly cad who wishes to have his cake and eat it:
She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice,
She was fair, she was sweet seventeen.
He was old, he was vile and no stranger to vice,
He was base, he was bad, he was mean.
He had slyly enveigled her up to his flat
To view his collection of stamps
And he said as he hastened to put out the cat,
The wine, his cigar and the lamps:
"Have some Madeira, m'Dear!
You really have nothing to fear.
I'm not trying to tempt you, that wouldn't be right;
You shouldn't drink spirits at this time of night.
Have some Madeira, m'Dear!
It's so very much nicer than beer.
I don't care for sherry and cannot drink stout
And port is a wine I can well do without.
It's simply a case of "chacun a son gout."
Have some Madeira, m'Dear!"
Unaware of the wiles of the snake in the grass
And the fate of the maiden who topes, She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
Her courage, her eyes and his hopes.
She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did
And quietly he filled it again
And he said as he secretly carved one more notch
On the butt of his gold-handled cane.
"Have some Madeira, m'Dear!
I've got a small cask of it here
And once it's been opened, you know it won't keep
Do finish it up, it will help you to sleep.
Have some Madeira, m'Dear!
It's really an excellent year.
Now if it were gin, you'd be wrong to say yes,
The evil gin does would be hard to assess
(Besides it's inclined to affect my prowess)
Have some Madeira, m'Dear!"
Then there flashed though her mind what her mother had said
With her antepenultimate breath:
"Oh my child, should you look at the wine which is red
Be prepared for a fate worse than death!"
She let go her glass with a shrill little cry.
Crash! Tinkle! It fell to the floor.
When he asked "what in Heaven?" she made no reply,
Up her mind, and a dash for the door.
"Have some Madeira, m'Dear!"
Rang out down the hall, loud and clear,
A tremulous cry that was filled with despair
As she paused to take breath in the full midnight air.
"Have some Madeira, m'Dear!"
The words seemed to ring in her ear
Until the next morning, she woke up in bed
With a smile on her lips, an ache in her head
And a beard in her earhole that tickled and said:
"Have some Madeira, m'Dear!"
I don't remember when I first heard the word "tope". Or where. I don't remember the man. But the wine was ... I don't even remember the wine. But I remember the colour of the carpet.
A family prepares date-filled mini cakes for the Eid ul-Fitr
West Yorkshire's Muslim community is celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan this weekend.
Thousands of people will get together with their closest relatives to mark Eid-ul-Fitr, which is the symbolic end of the celebration of Ramadan.
Throughout Eid-ul-Fitr, or Eid as it is known, Muslims will also thank God for the help and strength which he gave to help them fast.
It is believed that fasting helps Muslims to focus their thoughts on the plight of less fortunate people and this is an important part of Ramadan.
But for one non-Muslim, the celebration of Eid is of special importance.
Eilish Bromley from Bradford has been fasting during the holy month.
She said that fasting between dawn and dusk was not as difficult as people might think.
She explains: "It was quite easy because I got used to the fasting. My body overcame the fact of not eating during the day.
"I would eat after sunset and then again before dawn.
In a sense my body was getting a bit tired and I was still going to work.
Eilish Bromely, Bradford
"Some days I was not sleeping before eating and would drink water constantly all the time.
"In a sense my body was getting a bit tired and I was still going to work. I did have a lack of energy. I had friends who were fasting so that helped."
Eilish says although she is not a Muslim, she wanted to gain a better understanding of what her Muslim friends were going through.
She also wanted to have a better insight into why fasting during the holy month is such an important part of their faith.
She says: "I think for them fasting for their religion is an important part. It's one of their five pillars of Islam.
"I was happy to be doing it to get a better understanding behind the reasons. To be grateful for what we have, and feel more for the people less fortunate then ourselves, who are starving around the world.
"My friends were thanking me so much. I learnt a lot about myself and I've got to understand people.
"People in Pakistan have got the floods going on and they're still fasting. That made me think if they can do it, I can do it."
Eilish Bromely is preparing for Eid to celebrate her month of fasting
Eilish adds taking part in the holy month has earned her "brownie points" with her family too.
She says: "My dad said he was really proud of me, so was my mum. She was helping me a lot in the month. She was making me food and making sure I had lots to drink.
"I was doing it for other people and not for myself."
Eilish says fasting for the whole duration of the month was difficult and she had to take a couple of days off, or she would have fallen ill.
But she says even then she managed to keep more fasts then some of her Muslim friends, who she adds were very impressed with her efforts.
So What are Eilish's plans for Eid?
She says: "I will have my own celebration so I will be going to my friend's wedding and then we will all go out for a meal.
My friends who helped encourage me to fast want to treat me to a meal out. So we all plan to dress up and do something special."
Eilish says she plans on fasting again next year, but will be taking it a step further.
She explains: Hopefully will be doing it again. I'm hoping to do some volunteering in Gambia and I'm going to fast there.
She says: "Fasting isn't as hard in the UK as it is in other countries, so that will be the real challenge."
General Petraeus' Warning Betrays His Own Misunderstanding
General Petraeus has warned that if Reverend Terry Jones burns a Qur'an, this will increase the danger to American troops. And it probably will, though not by a lot, since the Muslims of Afghanistan, as of Iraq, or those who take Islam to heart (that is, almost though not quite all) are deeply anti-American to begin with, which does not mean they won't use the Americans to fight their own enemies, or to inveigle money and weapons out of them.
What does General Petraeus, at this point, understand of Islam? He's a puzzlement, precisely because he gives the impression of being not unintelligent. So what's keeping him from recognizing the folly of American policy, American goals, in Iraq and now Afghanistan? Is it, as I suspect, that he cannot allow himself to come to understand that what he attempted to do was part of that folly, that it furthered that folly? Is he like those soldiers who, upon returning from Iraq, state that they support the war "because otherwise the whole thing will have been in vain, and my buddy's life will have been sacrified for nothing" and so on? Is it all at that level?
Tons of bricks continue to be piled on Pastor Jones
The more I think about the way Pastor Terry Jones is being treated, the more I support him. Even if he is a Christian jingoist or supremacist over Islam, as is suggested in the article below but which I have seen no evidence of, I support his right to treat Islam the same way that every other religion in the U.S. is treated. By Antonio Gonzalez and Mitch Stacy for AP:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - FBI agents visited Thursday with a minister of a small Florida church that plans to burn the Quran on Sept. 11, as public safety became a paramount concern and President Barack Obama added his voice to the chorus of opposition.
Elsewhere, hundreds of angry Afghans burned an American flag and chanted "Death to the Christians" to protest the planned burning of Islam's holiest text.
Obama urged the Rev. Terry Jones to "listen to those better angels" and call off his plan.
In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," Obama said what Jones proposes "is completely contrary to our values as Americans. This country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance."
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he would closely monitor what happens Saturday at the Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville to try to ensure people are safe. U.S. embassies around the world will be doing the same after being ordered by the State Department to assess their security. Officials fear the burning could spark anti-American violence, including against soldiers.
"In addition to being offensive, the Gainesville protest puts at risk those brave Americans who are fighting abroad for the freedoms and values that we believe in as Americans," said Crist, who is running as an independent for the U.S. Senate.
The international police organization Interpol issued a global alert to its 188 member-countries determining "strong likelihood" of violent attacks if the burn goes forward. Interpol said in a statement that Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik, called the organization and asked it to warn other police forces around the world of an increased terror threat.
Have we gone nuts? General Petraeus, the Mayor, the Governor, the F.B.I., the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, the entire government feels the need to condemn a man who is doing something that is within the law? When passions are so inflamed that the lawful actions of one pastor of one small church in Florida are enough to spawn worldwide Interpol alerts and embassy closures, there is something seriously wrong, and it cannot be laid at the feet of Pastor Jones. His actions are merely pointing out what was already true: that Muslims worldwide are on a hair-trigger, ready to respond with mass violence on the slightest pretext, and our government will take whatever actions necessary to placate them.
At Wednesday's news conference, Jones was flanked by an armed escort and said he has received more than 100 death threats since announcing in July that he would stage "International Burn-a-Koran Day." The book, according to Jones, is evil because it espouses something other than biblical truth and incites radical, violent behavior among Muslims.
I disagree that the Qur'an is evil "because it espouses something other than biblical truth", if Pastor Jones actually said that. But the rest is demonstrably true.
[Gainesville] City officials were increasing security, but wouldn't go into detail about how many extra officers will be used, saying only that they were coordinating with other cities and tallying expenses.
"We are sending a bill for services to the Dove World Outreach Center. We're tracking our costs," said city spokesman Bob Woods. "I'm sure the cost will be substantial."
If someone exercising their right to free speech is obligated to pay for the security of the entire city and thereby driven to bankruptcy, then how is that free speech? Why is the Christian church being punished for the threats of violence made by Muslims? The Dove Outreach Outreach Center is not threatening Gainesville. Who is, and why aren't they being billed?
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, e-mailed The Associated Press to say "images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan - and around the world - to inflame public opinion and incite violence." It comes as an emotional debate continues over a proposed Islamic center near the ground zero site of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the pastor's plans were outrageous, and along with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, urged Jones to cancel the event.
Not just the Democratic administration has weighed in. Ex-Alaska governor and former Republican candidate for vice president Sarah Palin said in a Facebook post that although people have the constitutional right to burn the Quran, doing so would be an "insensitive and an unnecessary provocation - much like building a mosque at ground zero."
Conservative radio and television host Glenn Beck wrote in an Internet blog that burning the Quran is like burning the flag or the Bible - something people can do in the United States, but shouldn't. Legal experts have said the burning would likely be protected by the First Amendment's right to free speech.
But people DO burn the flag and the Bible. That is the whole point. Flags and Bibles are burned and soiled and mocked, and Glenn Beck, Gen. Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sarah Palin, et al are silent. It is only when Islam is the target that suddenly our rights could be exercised, but shouldn't be. Why is that? I believe that what is unique about Islam is it's propensity to violence, and it is the fear of that violence that is causing us to give Islam special protection that no other group enjoys.
This is becoming a disgraceful spectacle, and I'm not referring to Pastor Jones.
Iraq Pundit On Obama, The Mosque, And Proper Qur'an Disposal
Korans and mosques and Mulsims, oh my!
Obama's Eid gift to the Iraqis was what he called "ending the war." He said the following:
"Ending this war is not only in Iraq's interest - it is in our own. The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people - a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it is time to turn the page. " He should have said now it's time to turn our backs on Iraq, because that's what he's doing.
I can't help but wonder whether he still thinks the war is over after that Kurdish soldier killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded another nine earlier this week. From what I understand, he said his plans are still on track.
Obama, who backs the mosque at the site of the World Trade Center attacks, also asks that preacher in Florida to not burn Korans on the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11. He really must fire his advisers. The Muslims who chose the Ground Zero site knew exactly how provocative an act that was. Now it's a real dilemma. If they back down, the extemists will say see, the Americans hate Muslims. If they proceed, the extremists will say we beat the Americans at their own game.
And as for the Florida church, someone should thank them for what they are doing. Burning the Koran is only respectful way of disposing of the Holy book. For example, if a studnet is learning calligraphy and copies pages from the Koran, he is not allowed to throw away the papers. He must burn them out of respect for the Koran. So actually the Florida man is doing the Muslims a favor by disposing of several copies of the Koran in a proper way.
I do wish the White House would hire some people who know something about what they are doing. Because so far, they look terribly ill-equipped for the job.
A Teller Of Unwelcome Truths, Thilo Sarrazin Is Forced To Resign (In French)
Un dirigeant de la Bundesbank accusé de propos racistes démissionne
09.09.10 | 22h04
Thilo Sarrazin, membre social-démocrate du directoire de la Bundesbank (la banque central allemande, BUBA) controversé pour avoir tenu des propos jugés racistes [there is nothing "racist" about being fearful of the islamization of your own country; Muslims are not a race and the Total Belief-System of Islam itself is based clearly on a distinction, and the need for a state of permanent warfare, between Believers and Unbelievers, Muslims and Infidels] dans un livre paru fin août a démissionné, a annoncé la banque jeudi 9 septembre. Il avait auparavant annoncé qu'il ferait appel de toute décision l'évinçant de ses fonctions, mais selon un communiqué de la banque, les deux parties ont décidé "d'un commun accord, de mettre un terme à leur coopération à la fin du mois".
La BUBA, qui siège à Francfort (Ouest), explique avoir en conséquence "retiré la demande" d'éviction du directoire de M. Sarrazin qu'elle avait adressée la semaine dernière au président allemand, Christian Wulff, le seul à pouvoir démettre un membre du directoire de cette institution indépendante. "M. Sarrazin a demandé au président fédéral de le libérer de son mandat. Le directoire de la Bundesbank remercie M. Sarrazin pour le travail qu'il a fourni" au sein de l'institution, précise le communiqué.
Dans son livre pamphlet intitulé Deutschland schafft sich ab ("L'Allemagne court à sa perte"), Thilo Sarrazin développe notamment une théorie sur un "gène juif" [this is a red herring, designed to portray an admiring philo-semite into a German -- i.e., Nazi-ish -- antisemite] et juge que l'Allemagne "s'abrutit" sous le poids des immigrés musulmans et des Turcs qui "minent la société allemande et vivent aux crochets de l'Etat". "Si j'ai envie d'entendre l'appel à la prière du muezzin, je vais en Orient", y écrit-il notamment.
UNE ÉPINE DANS LE PIED DU SPD
Au sein du Parti social-démocrate (SPD) l'affaire Sarrazin a provoqué de nombreux désaccords et ses membres ont tergiversé quant à une éventuelle éviction de M. Sarrazin du parti. Des hésitations qui ont fait perdre deux points de popularité à la principale formation de l'opposition allemande, selon un sondage Forsa publié mercredi par le magazine Stern. Cette même enquête révèle cependant une hausse équivalente de la popularité des Verts, ce qui permet aux partis de centre gauche de conserver leur avance de dix points sur la coalition de centre droit d'Angela Merkel.
Selon le directeur de l'institut Forsa, Manfred Güllner, de nombreux électeurs du SPD sont furieux de voir que le parti perd son temps à s'interroger sur une éventuelle expulsion de Sarrazin au lieu de se pencher sur les problèmes qui inquiètent la population. Selon une autre enquête Forsa, 50 % des électeurs du SPD sont contre l'expulsion de M. Sarrazin et 43 % pour.
Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the importance of defending Ethiopia and other African countries against jihad:
Ethiopia is a country which, in the past thirty years, has repeatedly known major famine. We have all seen the pictures. Yet the headwaters of the Nile begin in Ethiopia, and intelligent irrigation projects could save many lives in Ethiopia.
Yet Egypt has been threatening, and screaming, that Ethiopia's plans are outrageous. And if the threats and screams do not work, then the Egyptians try smiles, and wiles, and offers to cooperate, if only -- oh, if only the Egyptians are given a veto over what Ethiopia does, and how much water it diverts.
Never mind that it the Ethiopians who for years have suffered, and that Egypt looks benignly on the massacres of the blacks in the southern Sudan, because it wishes to extend Arab Muslim power down to where it will immediately threaten what has always been seen, in Islam and in the West, as the celebrated Christian kingdom of Ethiopia. Securing the Sudan is one element; threatening Ethiopia from Eritrea and Somalia and from the Arabs of Egypt and the Sudan from the north, and also from within the country with a very aggressive program of da'wa (conversion) which can always become subversion, is another.
Ethiopia, in Islam, was once accorded special status because 82 families of followers of Muhammad supposedly found temporary refuge there from the pagan Meccans. Gratitude to the Christian Negus of Ethiopia entitled the country to a kind of special status, as dar al-sulh, a kind of halfway house between dar al-Islam and dar al-harb. But that gratitude, and that special consideration, however minor it may have been, is not demonstrated in the slightest by Egypt's proprietary and exclusivist claims on the Nile waters.
If Ethiopia wishes to divert waters to feed people who have lacked, until now, the wherewithal and the technical assistance to use those waters for irrigation, that should be encouraged by the entire Infidel world. Egypt's threats, Egypt's wiles, should be seen in the proper context. The Arabs everywhere in North Africa essentially treat the black Africans with contempt. Indeed, in Darfur, the Arabs tried to wipe out black Africans -- as there is ample testimony from survivors -- even if they were Muslim.
It is not surprising that Egypt should attempt to arrogate to itself the water of the Nile, and deny, even in its nascent stage, the attempt of the oldest free black African country to recover its equilibrium. After all, Ethiopia is a country so celebrated for its long history of Christianity that, when Western Christendom imagined a Christian realm beyond Islam that represented an ally that might be counted on for succor and protection, they placed the Kingdom of Prester John first in India -- and then in Ethiopia.
Those in Western Europe who claim to have the interests of the Third World at heart really have to be put to the test. They sided with the Muslims in Biafra. They have not moved a finger to aid the Christian blacks in the southern Sudan, and have done nothing to denounce the Arab Muslim genocide against them that has lasted more than 20 years. They seem not to know much, and care nothing about, the continued enslavement of blacks by Muslim Arabs in Mali and in Mauritania. They do not take the side of the government of Tanzania, trying to deal with Arab revanchism in Pemba and Zanzibar.
And what will they say about Ethiopia and its need for water? One suspects that many, including the Anglican clergy who have never gone to the aid of the African Anglicans under attack by Islam, will say nothing - nothing whatsoever.
It is important for the American government to do something dramatic -- for nothing will come from Europe, not even from, or especially not from -- the co-religionists of the black African Christians under assault in Africa.
I have repeatedly suggested that a small force could seize the southern Sudan and secure it until the local black population, Christian and animist, Dinka and Nuer and others, can vote on their own independence. Why should they not? And why should the sinister regime in Khartoum, which keeps denying it has anything to do with the Janjaweed in Darfur, be heeded in the slightest?
Why is the American government, too, hellbent on ignoring what is happening to black Christians throughout Africa, and doing nothing to help or protect them against Muslim depredation and aggression and threats?
Ethiopia is one test. Nigeria is another test. And the Sudan is yet another. Let us see.
BAGHDAD - The killing of two American soldiers by an Iraqi soldier at a military base north of Baghdad was a "deliberate act" but would not undermine the new American mission to advise Iraq's security forces, the American military said in a statement on Wednesday.
The deaths - the first American casualties here since President Obama declared the official end to American combat in Iraq last week - appeared to have stemmed from an argument that escalated into gunfire, according to Iraqi officials and a relative of the Iraqi soldier involved.
The Iraqi soldier, identified as Soran Rahman Falih Wali, was killed in the firefight that erupted Tuesday afternoon at a small base described as a commando compound near the city of Tuz Khurmato, in Salahuddin Province. Nine American soldiers were wounded.
A joint American-Iraqi force detained the soldier's brother, Marwan Abdul Rahman Salih, according to Iraqi officials, as part of what the American military said would be a "detailed investigation" of the firefight, which marred the steady transfer of all combat operations to Iraq's army and police forces.
A police commander in Tuz Khurmato, Capt. Daham Abdullah, identified the brother as a police officer, though it was not clear whether he had any connection to the attack itself. The joint force also raided Mr. Wali's house, not far from the base, but his family had left, Captain Abdullah said.
A relative, Zargan Kfoor, described Mr. Wali as a dedicated soldier who had recently married and become more devout. Only hours before the attack, he and an official on the base said, Mr. Wali had escorted eight detainees to a police operations room on the base.
"At the time, he was not angry about anything, and his attitude was good," said the official, Awni Abdul Hussein.
Mr. Kfoor, however, said that Mr. Wali had been teased by some of the Americans he worked with, possibly because of his religious views.
"His reactions were very strong," he said.
The American military provided few additional details, and as a matter of policy did not release the names of those killed, pending notification of their families.
Did the F.B.I. meet multiple times with this man, asking him not to burn the Bible and the Book of Mormon?
Did anyone explain to him that, while he may disagree with the teachings of the Bible, it is better to use dialogue than to burn the holy books of any religion?
Did the President of the United States weigh in with his opinion on national news programs?
Did the mayor of his town, or the governor of his state, or Gen. Petraeus, Katy Couric, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, or anyone else try to convince him not to do it, or express any condemnation of it after it occurred?
Did Interpol broadcast a message to warn of violent reaction?
Was he charged for the cost of policing and protecting the town he lives in, in order to teach him a lesson that, while he could burn the bible, he shouldn't, and if he does, it will be a pyrrhic triumph of freedom because he will be financially ruined?
Or, was the reaction, "This is some immature person doing something outrageous that I personally disagree with, but it's his right to do so," and to basically ignore him and go on about our lives?
By now most PJM readers have heard about or looked at Atlantic magazine correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg's scoop of the year - his invitation to travel to Cuba and have an exclusive meeting with Fidel Castro. The dictator, it seemed, read Goldberg's Atlanticcover story about Iran and Israel, and requested that Goldberg travel to Cuba so he could talk about the issue with him.
Of course, what Castro wanted to really accomplish was to use Goldberg as a conduit for his ideas - to let the world know his most recent thoughts and also to send a message to those considered his long-standing allies, Ahmadinejad in Iran and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. What Castro told them is that a nuclear war between Iran and Israel must be averted and that Ahmadinejad should "stop slandering the Jews."
Was this Castro's message to Jews on the eve of the Jewish New Year? Has the man who for years backed and trained PLO terrorists during Yasser Arafat's heyday, and who supported the USSR's anti-Semitic and anti-Israel policies, actually reevaluated and moved towards a new Cuban policy?
The truth is we don't know. Whatever his motives, to have Fidel Castro announce that essentially Ahmadinejad is both wrong and probably crazy is some kind of unexpected breakthrough. Goldberg writes:
Castro's message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, was not so abstract, however. Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the "unique" history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence.
I am as opposed as the next person is to the Castro dictatorship, but this is, one has to admit, the most unexpected announcement by Castro one might have ever expected to hear. Will Chavez get the message as well, and suddenly change course and sabotage his great ally in Iran? Somehow, I doubt it. But think of how he must feel having heard this from his hero.
And then this:
He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. "This went on for maybe two thousand years," he said. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything." The Iranian government should understand that the Jews "were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here's what happened to them: Reverse selection. What's reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation." He continued: "The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust." I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. "I am saying this so you can communicate it," he answered.
And next Castro admitted that during the Cuban nuclear crisis in 1962, when he urged the Soviets to consider a nuclear strike against the USA, "it wasn't worth it all." This may be the first time the Cuban leader said he was wrong about anything.
The next installment of the interview with Castro then presented another shocker. Said the old revolutionary: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us any more." Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations, who accompanied Goldberg, explained that what Castro meant is that "he wasn't rejecting the ideas of the Revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under 'the Cuban model' the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country." She interprets this as meaning he is trying to pave the way for allowing more privatization of the kind his brother Raul is supposedly trying to implement.
Hard-line old Communists, she explained, do not look friendly upon this. Looking back at Cuba's pre-revolutionary history, it is similar to the period in which Castro used the old Cuban Communist Party but turned against their traditional model of taking power and went his own way through the path of guerrilla warfare, which they considered "adventurist" and "petty-bourgeois," preferring to rely on the traditional leading role of the urban working class through strikes and other tactics in which the Communists took the leading role.
I think Goldberg goes too far in claiming that this is a "free-market experiment" which will give foreign investors the upper hand in moving into Cuba. Goldberg does not seem to realize that in fact they already own many of the hotels, but in partnership with the Cuban state, thereby removing control from the foreign firms that invest. It is not the kind of free-market investment in which, for example, a British firm like BP can move en masse into Louisiana and control our resources.
Finally, Castro asks Goldberg to accompany him to the Cuban dolphin show, which he does. And here he says Castro is right: it is the best dolphin show he has ever seen. The reason is simple. The dolphins, like Castro, are dialectical materialists. Our free-market dolphins are not, like the Cuban ones, Marxist-Leninists. That proves how smart they are. Some things are really quite easy to explain.
What, If Anything, Did Michael Enright Experience In Afghanistan?
MIchael Enright is the man who, when completely drunk, cut a Muslim cabdriver with a knife, iflicting superficial wounds. .
Here are a few piquant details from "The Gothamist":
"Cops believe he was intoxicated at the time of his arrest, and a city official briefed on the investigation said there was an empty bottle of Scotch in his backpack. A police source said he also had a personal diary filled with pages of "pretty strong anti-Muslim comments" with him, and that the journal equated Muslims with "killers, ungrateful for the help they were being offered, filthy murderers without a conscience."
Enright does volunteer work for Intersections International, a group that promotes peace and tolerance, and who supports the planned Ground Zero mosque and community center. For his senior project, Enright recently filmed a documentary about a Marine unit in Afghanistan (you can see the trailer below). The group's director,
Rev. Robert Chase, said it was "tragic.... We've been working very hard to build bridges between folks from different religions and cultures. This is really shocking and sad for us."
His friends were shocked at the attack, but said he had become short-tempered and withdrawn since retuning from Afghanistan: "He seemed a lot more quiet. He seemed to be a lot more pulled back than he used to," said a friend who asked not to be identified. A neighbor told the Wall Street Journal, "I've never heard a bad word about him. I find it very, very hard to believe. The boy always seemed to be of sound character to me."
Florida Rev. Terry Jones said he is cancelling the planned burning of the Quran and instead flying to New York on Saturday to meet with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the planned New York mosque.
"We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday and on Saturday I have agreed to meet with the Imam," Jones said Thursday.
He said he decided to cancel his protest because the leader of a planned Islamic Center near ground zero has agreed to move its controversial location. The agreement couldn't be immediately confirmed.
Police and federal officials had stepped up surveillance at Pastor Terry Jones' Dove World Outreach Center on Thursday as concern grew for safety at the center and around the world as the leader of the small church vowed to burn copies of the Quran to mark the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
FBI agents visited with Jones, and President Obama added his voice to the chorus of opposition. Gainesville police checked the identification and recorded license plates of everyone entering the church grounds...
UPDATE: Liz Goodwin and others report that the spokesperson for the Ground Zero mosque says they are not moving. Donald Trump as offered to buy the building but mosque developers have turned him down.
Regular NER contributor Geoffrey Clarfield writes in the National Post:
Some African journalists are calling it the Nile Revolt: Last May, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania signed the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement, a document that could profoundly change the way the life-giving waters from one of the world's most important rivers are distributed. Congo and Burundi likely will soon add their signatures as well. Only Egypt and Sudan refuse to sign. And the reason they are dragging their feet is obvious: The Agreement would end the virtual monopoly those two Arab-led nations have had on Nile water for generations -- and thereby overturn the politics, economics and demography of northeastern Africa.
The Nile is the longest river in the world, 6,000 kilometres from start to finish. As the Greek historian Herodotus once wrote, Egypt is "the gift of the Nile," as it is almost completely dependant on its waters for its survival. This is as true today as it was in the 5th century B.C., when Herodotus wrote his histories. The Nile begins in numerous highland streams in the mountains of Rwanda, in the Ruwenzori range, once dubbed the Mountains of the Moon by the ancient Greeks. These and other streams feed into Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, whose shores are shared by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The White Nile drains out of Lake Victoria's northern end and crosses into southern Sudan. There, it moves through miles of verdant swampland, amongst the cattle herding Nuer and Dinka tribes (traditionalists and converts to Christianity) who recently fought a successful 20-year defensive war against the largely Arab and Muslim northern Sudanese, who wanted their water and the oil that lies beneath it. The Nile then threads its way into northern Sudan -- meeting the Blue Nile, whose origins lie in Lake Tana in highland Ethiopia. The combined river then flows through Sudan to Egypt, passing through the Aswan dam, which generates much of Egypt 's electricity and regulates the country's annual floods.
There are ecologists and water engineers who argue that the Aswan dam is a failure because of its interference with the Nile's natural regenerative processes, and that it will eventually cause irreparable ecological damage to the entire basin. But that is a minor headache for Cairo. Egypt's biggest problem is control. A few years ago, during a trip to the region, I surveyed the Nile from Cairo and Lake Victoria. I was convinced that one day soon the upstream countries would finally demand their water rights so that they, too, could build local economies around the irrigation that the Nile can provide. That day has come.
Egypt and Sudan negotiated the original two Nile river treaties when they were the only independent countries in the Nile basin-- 1929 and 1959. At the time of the latter agreement, Ethiopia was still slowly recovering from its occupation by fascist Italy, while Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda had not yet attained independence. They were still colonies.
And so Egypt and Sudan claimed the whole river --with Egypt taking 87%of the Nile water and Sudan 13%. This control includes a veto of any upstream projects. Egypt's Aswan dam, which depends on a steady flow from upstream countries, was constructed in the 1960s, during the political acme of the Arab League, and Sudan supported the project. Egypt's president, Gamal Nasser, then was the chief spokesperson for African socialism, and Africa's Marxist elites saw Egypt as a leader in the liberation and modernization of their continent.
But that relationship began to break down. In 1973, in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, the Arab League and OPEC submitted the West to an oil embargo. The Arab League promised to provide the countries of sub-Saharan Africa with discounted oil if they broke diplomatic ties with Israel. African nations complied, but later discovered that no discounts were forthcoming. They had been stung.
When I was working in Tanzania in the 1990s, many Tanzanians whom I met remembered this betrayal. It was one of many factors that motivated a new group of African rulers to begin to think in national and regional terms, as opposed to the Pan African ideology, which had swept the continent during the euphoric days of independence in the 1960s.
North Ossetia: jihadists bomb market, kill 15, wound dozens.
As you read this story (the Agence France Presse version, brought to my attention by the Aussie ABC),
bear in mind that most or perhaps all of those killed or wounded would be Orthodox Christians; North Ossetia is the only majority-Christian republic in the Russian Caucasus. And remember, too, that Beslan is in North Ossetia. This particular jihad terror raid is not one faction of Muslims attacking other, deemed-insufficiently-Islamic, Muslims; it is an open attack by Muslims upon non-Muslims.
"15 Killed, dozens hurt in Russian market bombing".
'At least 15 people were killed and another 77 wounded in an apparent suicide bombing outside a crowded central market in the Russian Caucasus city of Vladikavkaz.
'Officials say the blast appeared to have been triggered by a suicide bomber in a car at the entrance to the market.
'"The headless body of the presumed terrorist was found in the car which exploded opposite the central market", Taimuraz Mamsurov, the head of the North Ossetia region of which Vladikavkaz is the capital, told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
'The bombing created carnage around the market, with several cars reduced to wreckage by the blast and charred corpses laid out on stretchers.
'The attack was the latest to hit the Caucasus region, which has been plagued by an Islamist-inspired insurgency.
'North Ossetia lies in Russia's troubled (ah, yes, that word again; with 'volatile' and 'restive' it seems to turn up rather a lot in reports about regions racked with jihad - CM), north of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia...
'It is the only majority Christian region in Russia's largely Muslim North Caucasus and neighbours the Muslim region of Ingushetia which has been beset by deadly attacks over recent months."....
contained the following statement, worthy of note - 'although it is less plagued by violence than some other republics in the region such as Chechnya and Dagestan, North Ossetia has experienced ethnic tensions [sic - CM] and frequent attacks".
Funny, that: that the one North Caucasus republic that is majority-Christian is 'less plagued by violence' that those that are majority-Muslim...
However, it does have 'long-simmering tensions between ethnic Ossetians and ethnic Ingush that exploded into open fighting in 1992'; Associated Press will not, however, mention the curious fact that the ethnic Ossetians in N Ossetia are basically Orthodox Christians, whereas the Ingush are Muslim; nor will Associated Press begin to envisage the possibility that even if Ossetia was entirely populated by ethnic Ossetian, but with 80 % of them Christians and 20 % Muslims, there would still almost certainly be 'tensions' and 'open fighting' - by the Muslims, against the Christians - CM.
Bizarre Twist in Koran Burning Cancellation: Pastor Jones & Muhammad Musri of Islamic Society of Central Florida
Pastor Terry Jones and Imam Muhammad Musri
There is a bizarre twist to today's stunning announcement of the cancellation of the Koran Burning by Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Church in Gainesville, Florida.
Pastor Jones held a press conference with none other than Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida (ISCF) in Orlando. Musri sponsored a fund raiser held at his Al Rahman Mosque for Hamas disclosed in an NER special investigation report: "Coming to a Mosque Near You, "Pimping for Terrorists", featuring ex-British Parliamentarian George Galloway and Muslim American Society Leader, Mahdi Bray. That June, 2009 fund raiser is the subject of continuing Congressional and national law enforcement investigations. The Al Rahman Mosque is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), one of the unindicted co-conspirators cited in the trial record of the Dallas Federal Holy Land Foundation Trial and convictions. The NAIT is an acknowledged Muslim Brotherhood Front group. Musri is an appointee by outgoing Florida Governor and US Senate candidate Charlie Crist to state faith based advisory groups as disclosed in a Big Peace article by Patrick Poole., Key Charlie Crist Ally Hosted Hamas Fundraiser in Florida Mosque.
Reuters in a report about the cancellation was rife with questions about the alleged Koran Burning cancellation deal, the role of Imam Musri as 'peacemaker' and disputes with controversial Ground Zero mosque Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf.
"The imam has agreed to move the mosque, we have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday," Jones said.
He said he would fly to New York on Saturday with Imam Muhammad Musri, head of the Islamic Society of Central Florida to meet the New York imam at the center of the controversy, Feisal Abdul Rauf.
But Rauf said in a statement he was surprised by the announcement. "I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Korans. However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri. I am surprised by their announcement," he said.
"We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony," he said.
Sharif el-Gamal, the project developer for the New York mosque, said in a statement: "It is untrue that the community center known as park 51 in lower Manhattan is being moved. The project will proceed as planned. What is being reported in the media today is a falsehood."
Musri conceded to reporters: "This is not a done deal yet. This is a brokered deal," he said. He said he had no fixed time for him and Jones to meet Rauf in New York.
There is just too much taqiyya in this confused account of today's press conference with Pastor Jones and Imam Musri to raise serious questions about this grand standing stunt. Too bad, Pastor Jones lost all credibility and an opportunity for a teachable moment about the hate filled Koran. It would appear that Pastor Jones has been effectively made the Dhimmi fool by the Muslim Brotherhood in America.