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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
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














Sunday, 31 January 2010
Ministers slammed for speaking at meeting with Muslim who justified killing British troops
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This was the subject of Andrew Gilligan's blog on the Telegraph yesterday but I waited for a main news report. From the Mail on Sunday.
Two Cabinet Ministers are facing questions over their judgment after appearing at the same event as a Muslim activist who once suggested that the killing of British troops in Iraq was justified.
Azad Ali spoke at yesterday’s Progressive London conference, which was also attended by Equalities Minister Harriet Harman and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.
Mr Ali, a Treasury civil servant, was suspended from his job last year after The Mail on Sunday revealed a series of controversial comments on his personal website, including one in which he praised Abdullah Azzam, Osama Bin Laden’s mentor
He described the late Azzam as one of the ‘few Muslims who promote the understanding of the term Jihad in its comprehensive glory’.
He then quoted Azzam’s son as saying: ‘If I saw an American or British man wearing a soldier’s uniform inside Iraq I would kill him because that is my obligation. If I saw the same soldier in Jordan I wouldn’t touch him. In Iraq he is a fighter and an occupier – here he is not. I respect this as the main instruction in my religion for Jihad.’
Last week, Mr Ali lost an attempt to sue The Mail on Sunday over its article, which was published in January last year...
But at yesterday’s conference, organised by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Mr Ali defended Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been condemned by some Western countries as terrorist organisations.
Mr Ali took part in an event called There Is No Progressive Imperialism, during which the panel was asked by a Lebanese man to comment on Hezbollah, which he accused of ‘actively stopping the progress of [Lebanon]’.
Mr Ali responded: ‘If you ask the people of Lebanon, Hamas are known as people who build. Hamas provide an unbelievable amount of social services, as do Hezbollah, medical services and everything. These are the things that people are fighting – this is the imperial mindset, the colonial mindset.’ He would know about colonisation of course, that being what he and his cohorts are doing to my country.
Later, Mrs Harman spoke about a ‘progressive agenda to stop the Right in 2010’
Last night Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘The Labour Party relies on Muslim votes and it is pretty obvious that these Ministers are trying to ingratiate themselves with Labour Party members before a General Election. If you are a member of the Cabinet you should be more careful about who you deal with and put the interests of the country before narrow political interests.’
What really angers me is that I never received a reply from Mark Serwota to the three letters I wrote to him after my premature retirement expressing my despair that the Civil Service Union that I had been a member of for 32 years did nothing to assist us when our jobs were axed, despite our pleading with the organisor for a meeting with him.
All I got from my union during that period was a telephone recorded message commanding me not to vote for the BNP, a legal political party, during a pending local election.
Serwota later said that any Civil Servant found to belong to the BNP should be sacked. Yet this man, whose views verge on treason and incitment to murder is not only reinstated in his job but is given a position of prestige and a platform on which to spread his poison.

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Posted on 01/31/2010 2:18 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 31 January 2010
You spotted French with double tongue
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The French always have to go one up. From Fox News:

Less than a month after British researchers said a woman’s G-spot may not exist, French doctors are saying the erogenous zone is not a myth after all, London’s Daily Telegraph reported.

A study from King’s College London, which was published earlier this month in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, included 1,800 women, who were all twins (some identical, some not). The researchers believed if one identical twin reported having a G-spot, this would make it far more likely that her sister would give the same answer. But no such pattern emerged, suggesting the G-spot is a matter of the woman’s subjective opinion.

However, French experts disagreed with the British experts.

"The English study is barking up the wrong tree," said France’s most popular gynecologist, Sylvain Mimoun. "It’s not a question of genetics, but of use."

Was he speaking ex orificio or on a French frolic of his own? Either way, he’s not France’s most popular gynaecologist for nothing. Most scientists wouldn’t touch the area with a barge pole.

While we’re on the water, it’s worth pointing out that the French have form for imagining things that aren’t there - a victory at Trafalgar for instance. Then, as now, they claimed that able seamen hit the spot, but I suspect rigging.

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Posted on 01/31/2010 7:16 AM by Mary Jackson
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Sunday, 31 January 2010
For Pakistan, America is the enemy
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And always will be, Christina Lamb fails to add. As long as Pakistan remains Muslim. FromThe Spectator:

Only a Pakistani journalist could have linked a New Jersey school’s decision to cancel its Christmas concert because of head lice with the American conspiracy to subjugate Islam.

In her ‘View From US’ column in the Dawn newspaper, Anjum Niaz, one of Pakistan’s leading journalists, quoted the letter to parents. ‘Although the likelihood of spreading lice by attending the concert is near zero, we feel that this is an appropriate precautionary measure at this time.’ In the same way, she complained, ‘peace-loving Muslims across the world are getting the flak’ as ‘the Americans are taking “appropriate precautionary measures” against the mother of all lice, al-Qa’eda’.

Over at The Nation, Ahmed Quaraishi had even less love for Washington. ‘The US design to destabilise Pakistan is becoming clearer by the day, even for the most blinkered Pakistani,’ he writes. ‘Now it is evident that the US is seeking to engulf the whole of Pakistan in an asymmetric conflict, which will eventually pit the people against the state, especially the military.’

From the daily diet of anti-American vitriol in the Pakistani media, you would never for a moment guess that the US is pouring in billions of dollars of aid to the country every year, not to mention $300 million for education and $20 million alone in Fulbright scholarships to American universities. Instead you will read about US plans to seize Pakistan’s nukes and to colonise the country with agents from Blackwater, the notorious private security company, accused of involvement in a deadly killing in Iraq. When Congress approved a $7.5 billion five-year aid package, Pakistani media accused the US of trying to interfere in its internal affairs.

More here.

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Posted on 01/31/2010 6:31 AM by Mary Jackson
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Sunday, 31 January 2010
Stating the obvious
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Rod Liddle in The Spectator:

[B]y and large you cannot escape the conclusion that the most repulsive invasions of human rights that we see in the world today take place in countries where the national ideology is devolved from Islam. And the more directly or purely it is so devolved, the more primitive and savage it is.

No "by and large" about it.

"Primitive" and "savage" are good words and should be used more often to describe the savage and the primitive. Islam is both.

Update: "primitve" and "savage" are good words, but "devolved", as Hugh points out, is not.

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Posted on 01/31/2010 6:24 AM by Mary Jackson
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Sunday, 31 January 2010
Iranians celebrate ancient Persian fire fest
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From AP:

CHAM, Iran – Thousands of Iranians gathered at dusk against a snowy mountain backdrop to light giant bonfires in an ancient mid-winter festival dating back to Iran's pre-Islamic past that is drawing new interest from Muslims.

Saturday's celebration was the first in which the dwindling remnants of Iran's once plentiful Zoroastrian religious minority were joined by thousands of Muslims, reflecting a growing interest in the strict Islamic society for the country's ancient traditions.

The festival, known as Sadeh, celebrates the discovery of fire and its ability to banish the cold and dark, and it is held in the frigid depths of winter.

Sadeh was the national festival of ancient Persia when Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion, before the conquest of Islam in the 7th century. Now it is mostly celebrated just in the homes and temples of Iran's 60,000 remaining Zoroastrians.

60,000 out of 70 million total Persians.  Would that the pendulum could swing back as drastically sometime in the future.  It took approximately 200 years after the arrival of Islam via the military invasion led by Khalid ibn al-Walid for Zoroastrianism to go from the overwhelming majority religion of Persia to a miniscule fraction (even the 60,000 mentioned here is on the extremely optimistic side, it is probably a few tens of thousands today).  The ruthlessly efficient mechanism of "encouraging" conversion was dhimmitude, as elsewhere in lands recently conquered by Muslims.  The moral superiority of Persian Zoroastrianism was no match for the military superiority of Arab Islam.  The speed with which the monotheistic Zoroastrianism was obliterated should give us pause.

Recently, however, there has been an upsurge of interest among Iranian Muslims — more than 90 percent of the population — in their ancient heritage, when vast Persian empires held sway over much of central Asia and fought Greek warriors and Roman legions.

"I'm proud of Sadeh because it is part of Iran's cultural heritage," said Mohammed Saleh Khalili, a Muslim Iranian who traveled from Meibod, a town in central Iran, to join the celebrations. "Once it was a national festival and for centuries it has been restricted to Zoroastrians but there is no reason why Muslim Iranians shouldn't celebrate the event."

Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity and Islam and is believed to have influenced those faiths — and Judaism as well — being one of the first religions with a strong notion of good and evil.

Zoroastrians believe they must fight evil through good deeds, words and thoughts, including charity and service. Fire plays a central role in worship as a symbol of truth and the spirit of God. Prayer is often performed in front of a fire, and consecrated fires are kept perpetually burning in major temples.

The religion was founded in ancient Persia about 3,000 years ago, according to some scholarly estimates, by Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, whom the faith considers a prophet.

Zoroastrians once numbered in the millions but were persecuted and forced to convert after Muslims rose to power in Iran. A small number fled to India and their descendants became known as Parsis, or people from Persia.

[...]

There was even a police band on hand playing the national anthem and other patriotic music, evoking wild cheers from the crowd of people, who made V for victory signs with their hands.

The band's presence marked a once unheard of official stamp of approval for the festival by the government, which used to strongly discourage anything to do with fire worship.

"It appears that Sadeh once again will be a real national festival in Iran," said Ebrahim Rezaei, also a Muslim.

Organizers held the festival outdoors this year because of the massive amount of interest from Muslims in the celebrations.

"We are proud of inheriting this great heritage from our ancestors. Celebrating Sadeh is celebrating the greatness of our homeland," Ardeshir Kameh, a local Zoroastrian leader, told the cheering crowd.

Although Islam has been dominant for centuries in Iran, its Zoroastrian past has left its mark on the people through festivals and traditions still celebrated to this day.

The recognition of the Iranians of their pre-Islamic Persian history is somewhat encouraging.  Anything that reminds them of their past, and by what manner their Persian culture became subjugated to the Arab religion of Mohammad, will be to their benefit.

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Posted on 01/31/2010 9:41 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
The Glass Family: A Guide For Foreigners
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From Wikipedia:

The Glass family, from eldest to youngest:

  • Les and Bessie Glass (née Gallagher): Retired vaudeville performers. Les is Jewish, and is in the entertainment business. He is not mentioned often in the stories, but is criticized by Seymour in "Hapworth 16, 1924." Bessie, the matriarch, is Irish, and is characterized as consistently worried about the fact her children are talented yet largely unable to assimilate into society. They are the parents of the seven children:
  • Seymour Glass: The eldest, born in 1917. Seymour is featured in Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," "Hapworth 16, 1924," and Franny and Zooey. He is the author of the letter that comprises "Hapworth" and is the main character in "Bananafish." Seymour was a spiritual savant and brilliant intellectual, and became a professor at Columbia at 20. Along with his siblings he was a regular star on the radio program It's a Wise Child. He fought in the European Theatre of World War II, and was deeply scarred by the experience. He married Muriel Fedder in 1942, as described in "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters." Seymour committed suicide in 1948, in the story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," while the couple are on a second honeymoon. Muriel is asleep on the bed beside him at the time.
  • Webb Gallagher "Buddy" Glass: The protagonist in "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters," "Seymour: An Introduction," and the narrator of "Zooey." It is revealed in the latter that he wrote at least two stories collected in Nine Stories: "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "Teddy." It is also suggested in "Seymour: An Introduction" that he wrote The Catcher in the Rye. Buddy is often considered to be Salinger's alter ego. He lives in upstate New York and teaches English at a rural women's college. He also volunteers his time to instruct some of the faculty of his college in Mahayana Buddhism. Buddy and Seymour were only two years apart, they spent most of their youths living together, and were very close before Seymour's suicide in 1948. Buddy narrates most of the Glass stories. He was born in 1919.
  • Beatrice "Boo Boo" Glass Tannenbaum: Married, mother of three children, appears centrally in "Down at the Dinghy," is mentioned in "Hapworth 16, 1924," and is often referenced in "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" as the "seafaring" sibling currently occupying the New York apartment where much of the story's action takes place. She "modestly prefers to be referred to as a Tuckahoe homemaker." She was born in 1921, as Buddy mentions that she is 38 during the course of "Seymour: an Introduction," which was set in 1959.
  • Walter "Walt" Glass: American soldier killed in Occupied Japan shortly after the war when a stove he was packaging exploded, an event that Buddy Glass refuses to address. Walt is described by his girlfriend in "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." He was also described in "Franny and Zooey" as being the only truly "lighthearted" son in the family. He was born in 1923.
  • Waker Glass: A Roman Catholic monk of the Carthusian order. Born twelve minutes after his twin brother, Walt. Little is known about Waker, because, though he is mentioned in many of the stories, none have been written specifically about him.
  • Zachary Martin "Zooey" Glass: Title character of "Zooey," in which he is approximately 25 years old, making his year of birth 1930. He is an actor, and (according to Buddy) the most attractive of all the children. Boo Boo describes him as "the blue-eyed Jewish-Irish Mohican scout who died in your arms at the roulette table at Monte Carlo." He is misanthropic, which he attributes to Seymour and Buddy's imposition of their college-age infatuation with Eastern mysticism on him and Franny as children.
  • Frances "Franny" Glass: Title character of "Franny," is a college student and actress. In Franny and Zooey, she is depicted reading The Way of a Pilgrim, which contributes to a spiritual and emotional breakdown. She was born in 1935.

The children are all precocious, and have all appeared on a fictional radio quiz show called It's a Wise Child, which has, according to the stories, sent all seven Glass children through college. From 1927 to 1943, at least one of the children appeared on the show, beginning with Seymour and Buddy. It is mentioned in "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" that each child appeared on the show under a pseudonym.

The Glass family lives in New York City; all the children spent most of their childhood in an apartment on the Upper East Side.


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Posted on 01/30/2010 9:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
Who needs the ADL when they ignore Islamic anti-Semitism?
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Dr. Charles Jacobs, co-founder  of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) has doggedly fought against Islamists in Boston. As head of the David project (DP), he and other DP officers were sued by the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), along with  Professor Dennis Hale of Boston College, Steven Emerson of The Investigative Project , Fox News channel 25 WFXT and the Boston Herald  American. The case brought by the ISB  in 2005 was finally ‘dropped’ in 2007 after evidence proved  publicly embarrassing to the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, the Muslim American Society, controlling the ISB. The revelations  focused on one ISB trustee  who was   convicted of laundering terrorist funds  and  Middle East  terror financiers  who funded the $15 million Muslim mosque and cultural center complex built on Boston city- owned land.  We noted that episode in the NER article, “Chelm. on the Charles River”.   Jacobs and Hale went on to found APT and continue the fight.

Jacobs has taken up a new crusade - going after Abe Foxman, the  head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Jacobs makes his case in a column “Is the answer a 2nd ADL?”   published in the Boston Jewish Advocate.   Foxman has consistently railed against alliances with American Christian Zionist groups, while fobbing off the threat of Islamic anti-Semitism. 

Jacobs noted:

In his letter to the Advocate, Foxman wrote that "the greatest threat to the Jewish people and the highest priority for the ADL was that which came from Islamic extremists." Yet, a review of ADL's Web site shows that since 1995 the organization has devoted less than 3 percent of its thousands of press releases to "Islamic Extremism" and "Arab Anti-Semitism."

Why is this so?

In both the Muslim world and in the West, a huge torrent of Islamic hatred for Jews spews from a wide range of sources, some of them state-financed. In books, articles, television and radio, mosque sermons, organization position papers and even schools, hatred of Jews is presented daily to an audience of millions. This torrent dwarfs all other non-Islamic sources of anti-Semitism combined, resulting in significant risks to the safety of Jews worldwide.

We know well that anti-Semitism mutates over time. In the past, hatred of Jews has been based in Christian theology, nationalism and racialist movements, usually located on the political right. It also appeared in Communist countries, especially in the USSR. Jews have had to continually develop new strategies to fight the dominant form of anti-Semitism of their time.

But adjusting the community's response is not easy. Maybe ADL leaders have concluded that a shift away from their major traditional focus - Jewry's enemies on the right - would be institutionally risky and unwise, that expanding ADL's mandate to include Islamic anti-Semitism might weaken its effectiveness against neo-Nazis and Christian anti-Semites. In today's politically correct culture, confronting Muslim anti-Semitism risks accusations of intolerance, bigotry and Islamophobia, even by - or especially by - some Jewish intellectuals. They could easily imagine that the prospect of such accusations might cause ruptures in their solid support groups.

Activism on behalf of the community. Jewish activists seem to prefer almost every cause in the world, except what is in their own community's interest. These talented people need to be enlisted - to sponsor conferences on Islamic anti-Semitism and Islamist penetration of American society; to expose the Saudi lobby and its impact on silencing scrutiny of anything Islamic; to lobby our elected officials about the dangers facing the country; and to campaign for implementation of sensitivity training for university students who come from lands with anti-Semitic cultures.

Perhaps the ADL should maintain its current mission and continue being effective at what it does. Meanwhile, the Jewish people must find a way to launch a new defense organization adapted to the evolving menaces of the 21st century. We're long overdue. 

 We have had our own direct experience in confronting Foxman on the same issues almost five years ago when he made an appearance at Fairfield University in Connecticut.  Here is what we wrote in an Israpundit blog post in December, 2005: 

. . . I chose to address  a comment that Foxman  made early in his talk about the threat  from “Christianization of America.” 

I suggested  that his talk was a diversion from the real threat: Radical Islam, not only abroad, but here in America. I cited the study released and published in the Jerusalem Post by Yehudit Barsky of the American Jewish Committee citing that 80% of American Mosques were “radicalized.”

 

I pointed out the comments of Saudi Prince Talal who owns 5.5 % of the voting stock of Fox News calling his new "friend," Rupert Murdoch and getting headlines changed that poverty rather than radical Islam was behind the recent French riots.

I noted the libel actions and countersuit by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld in the U.S. Southern District Court in Manhattan involving  Saudi billionaire and terror financier, Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz. I cited the current libel action brought by the Islamic Society of Boston against several defendants including the David project, Fox News affiliate WFXT Channel 25, Steven Emerson of The Investigative Project and the Boston Herald.

What was he going to do about this?

What Foxman said was, “that’s a speech and talk for another time.  I think it’s in one of the chapters” of my book Never Again .”

Foxman doesn’t get it and with the exception of several in the audience who do get it, most were totally oblivious.

Oblivious because Abe Foxman and the ADL do not understand the context of those anti-Semitism incidents that the ADL reports and publishes. That many of the incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses are actions by supporters of Radical Islam. Foxman, as my friend Judy Block said who attended this “lecture” by the ADL national director, doesn’t understand the context of what changes have occurred in the U.S. that gave rise to the Christian Evangelical movement. He doesn’t understand that many former allies in the liberal Protestant denominations have provided venues for some of the worst religious anti-Semites and enemies of the State of Israel.

Someone who does “get it” is Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein., founder of the International fellowship of Christians and Jews.  (IFCJ).

Eckstein knows the friendship and the power of the Evangelical community and their recognition of the Radical Islamist threat here in America.

In an opinion piece in The Jewish Week, entitled “Why Criticize Israel’s Strongest Allies?" Eckstein said:

“It therefore confuses and I’ll admit, angers me that Jewish leaders who are perfectly comfortable seeking rapprochement with those who have inflicted harm on the Jewish people cannot even be civil to the faith group that today represents the greatest allies of the Jewish people in the battle against anti-Semitism and the struggle for a peaceful and secure Israel.”

So yes, Abe Foxman engaged in a diversion in his talk at Fairfield University away from what a number of us believe is the clear and present danger of Radical Islam driving many of the anti-Semitic incidents that the ADL reports. Unfortunately for many Jews and the ADL, Foxman is lost in a time warp somewhere in the stretch between the 1950’s to 1990’s focused on the threat of Evangelical Christian “exclusionary views.” So both he and the ADL are unfortunately for American Jewry an anachronism. But I believe that Rabbi Eckstein and the IFCJ that Eckstein founded ‘gets it’ because the organization has behind it millions of pro-Israel Christian Zionists who have spent millions of dollars saving Soviet and Ethiopian Jews and defending Israel and the Jewish people.

What is the careworn French expression - plus de choses changent, plus qu'ils restent les mêmes– the more things change, the more they remain the same.

 I commend Jacobs in spotlighting this anachronism, the ADL led by Abe Foxman, we clearly need something better to contend with Islamic anti-Semitism.  What is the solution?  Perhaps a first step would be to see if a class action law suit filed on behalf of ADL contributors might change the composition of the board by doing something radical: nominating board members and a slate of executive leadership to be voted on.  As of now, the ADL has no accountability.   If enough donors believe that Jacobs is right, then perhaps a revolution might occur leading to more democratically accountable and responsive Jewish leadership.  Until that happens, the ADL and other Jewish communal groups will be unable to address the  fight against Islamic anti-Semitism.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 9:08 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
A Musical Interlude: Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday On Saturday Night? (Al Jolson)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 9:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
Senator Susan Collins From Maine On The Obama Administration And its Treatment Of Terrorists
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Watch, and listen, here.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 7:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
Literary Interlude: Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
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Over at Maggie's Farm, Bird Dog quotes from Canto III of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage today which made me search for this stanza from Canto IV:

 XCIII

What from this barren being do we reap?
Our senses narrow, and our reason frail,   
Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep,
And all things weigh'd in custom's falsest scale;
Opinion an omnipotence, -- whose veil
Mantles the earth with darkness, until right
And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale
Lest their own judgments should become too bright,
And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too much light.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 2:40 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
Jews flee Malm� as anti-Semitism grows
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From the Swedish edition of The Local, thanks to Paul Blaskowicz
Threats and harassment are becoming increasingly commonplace for Jewish residents in Malmö in southern Sweden, leading many Jews to leave the city out of fear for their safety.
“Threats against Jews have increased steadily in Malmö in recent years and many young Jewish families are choosing to leave the city,” Fredrik Sieradzki of the Jewish Community of Malmö (Judiska Församlingen i Malmö) told The Local.
“Many feel that the community and local politicians have shown a lack of understanding for how the city’s Jewish residents have been marginalized.”
In addition, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have repeatedly been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, and a chapel at another Jewish burial site in Malmö was firebombed in January of last year.
There are currently an estimated 3,000 Jews living in the south of Sweden, with most residing in Malmö, Helsingborg, and Lund.
Skånska Dagbladet highlighted the case of Marcus Eilenberg, a 32-year-old father of two who has decided to move to Israel.
“My children aren’t safe here. It’s going to get worse,” he told the newspaper.
Eilenberg’s family on his mother’s side has roots in Malmö that date back to the 1800s, while his father’s parents came to Sweden in 1945 after surviving Auschwitz.
He describes for the newspaper how people call him “damn Jew” (‘jävla jude’) when he walks to synagogue and that his friends are frequently harassed and threatened.
“Imagine that my family can’t feel safe in fantastic Sweden. It’s really terrible,” Eilenberg told Skånskan.
He blamed part of the problem on passive local politicians who he believes have failed to openly distance themselves from anti-Semitism and refuse to act when members of the Jewish community find themselves under constant threat.
Sieradzki agrees that the attitudes of Malmö politicians, especially Social Democrat city council chair Ilmar Reepalu, have allowed anti-Semitism to fester.
Speaking with Skånskan, Reepalu is quick to point out that “every type of threat and oppression directed at a particular ethnic group is totally unacceptable”.
“Obviously children with a Jewish background shouldn’t be subject to harassment. Nor it is okay to shoot an imam at a mosque,” he told the newspaper.
When asked to explain why Jewish religious services often require security guards and even police protection, Reepalu said much of the violence directed toward Malmö’s Jewish community come from members of extremist right-wing groups, a theory which baffles Sieradzki.
“I’m not saying we don’t have problems with neo-Nazis, but the threats aren’t as concrete,” he explained.
“More often it’s the far-left that commonly use Jews as a punching bag for their disdain toward the policies of Israel, even if Jews in Malmö have nothing to do with Israeli politics. It’s shameful and regrettable that such a powerful politician could be so ignorant about the threats we face.”
In addition to the far-left, Sieradzki said that a “very small segment” of the city’s growing population of Muslim immigrants from Arab countries in the Middle East are also responsible for growing anti-Semitism.
“This is a small group of extremists who have decided to go after Jews wherever they are in the world and regardless of their relationship to Israel,” he said.
One of the things that bothers Sieradzki most, however, are Reepalu’s statements about a pro-peace rally arranged by the Jewish Community in Malmö in response to the December 2008 Israeli incursions, which came under attack from members of a violent counter demonstration.
According to Reepalu, the organization “sent the wrong signals” by holding the demonstration instead of distancing itself from Israel’s actions.
“If you read between the lines, he seems to be suggesting that the violence directed toward us is our own fault simply because we didn’t speak out against Israel,” Sieradzki explained.  ". . . right now many Jews in Malmö are really concerned about the situation here and don’t believe they have a future here.”
Meanwhile the most read article in
the Local today is this one
Fifth of Swedish population foreign
Latest figures from Statistics Sweden reveal that in the last 50 years the number of foreigners living in Sweden or those with two foreign-born parents has risen from four to nearly 20 percent.
A new report from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB) reveals there are around 1.6 million foreigners currently residing in the country from a total population of 9.3 million.
"Back in 1960, foreigners or those with two foreign-born parents made up four percent of the population. It’s been quite high for the last few years and we expect it to continue,” said (Annika Klinterfeldt, SCB population analyst )
Finland has historically dominated the number of foreign settlers in Sweden  . . . Included in the Asian category, but not subdivided in the yearly report, are 142,053 Iraqis, 75,175 Iranians, 44,415 Lebanese, 35,886 Syrians, 27,552 Thais, 21,322 Chinese, 20,111 Vietnamese, 18 534 Indians, 14,292 Afghans, 9,818 Filipinos, 10,831 Koreans (North and South), and 10,823 Pakistanis.
One comment says:- How ironic that this comes after the article "Jews flee Malmö as anti-Semitism grows". OUT with the old IN with the new.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 2:17 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
Lord Carey On Great Britain, Immigration, And Common Sense
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Carey in immigrant 'values' call [several weeks old, but of lasting relevance]

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said immigrants to the UK should have an understanding the country's Christian heritage.

He is among a group of MPs and peers warning that the population should not be allowed to go beyond 70 million.

Lord Carey said immigration angered many people and could lead to violence, and that the system had to focus more on maintaining "values".

Labour says the system works, but the Tories want caps on incoming workers.

All the main parties are sceptical about setting population targets which they believe is unrealistic and counter-productive.

Last year the Office for National Statistics said, if current trends continued, the UK population would rise by 10 million to more than 71.6 million by 2033 - the fastest rise in a century.

'Unprecedented'

Two-thirds of that increase would be caused, directly or indirectly, by migration to the UK, it suggested.

The Balanced Migration Group - made up of 20 parliamentarians, including Lord Carey, former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd, five Labour MPs and 10 Conservative MPs - is backing a campaign calling for curbs on immigration.

Lord Carey told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We are not calling for a ban or anything like that because we value people from abroad."

"What I think I'm concerned about is not saying we must put a limit on people who are non-Christian populations. That's not the point. We welcome everybody and that's always been the generous spirit of the United Kingdom."

But, he said, immigrants must "understand" the UK's culture, including parliamentary democracy "which is built upon Christian heritage", "our commitment to the English language" and an understanding of the country's history.

The system should not "give preference to any particular group", he said, but added that points-based immigration could take these cultural aspects into consideration.

'Competing groups'

Lord Carey added: "If there's going to be an implementation of that points system, it must focus much more on values rather than religions...

"If there are competing groups wanting to come in, some groups which may have a greater understanding, an espousal to that, may be given preference under a points system, but that's not what I'm arguing and certainly not what the cross-party group is arguing."

Lord Carey told BBC Radio 5 live: "We've got to be more outspoken. What I'm calling for is a debate, a debate without any rancour."

He added that immigration was an issue that mattered to "ordinary working-class people" and that it was important to tackle "that kind of resentment which could build and is building up already".

Lord Carey said too much population growth in the UK could foster "dangerous social conditions", with some minority ethnic groups, such as young Muslim men, suffering "disproportionate" unemployment.

Labour MP Field and Tory MP Nicholas Soames, the co-chairmen of the migration group, said: "Poll after poll shows the public to be deeply concerned about immigration and its impact on our population.

"It is time parties turned their rhetoric into reality by making manifesto commitments to prevent our population reaching 70 million by 2029."

70 million 'unlikely'

The government must "restore control" over the UK's borders and "break the present almost automatic link between coming to Britain and later gaining citizenship", the group said.

Cabinet ministers have tried to do more to address public concerns about immigration, saying the issue must not become the preserve of the BNP.

Last November, Gordon Brown promised to "tighten" the UK's immigration rules by reducing the number of professions which can recruit from outside Europe while making it harder for illegal workers to enter the UK by obtaining student visas.

He said new restrictions were having an effect, adding the 70 million projection was unlikely to materialise.

The Conservatives have said they would keep the government's points-based system but place an overall annual limit on numbers and try to attract more highly qualified migrants.

The Lib Dems say they would ensure migrants were directed to parts of the country where they are most needed, where they will be welcomed and there are the resources to accommodate them.

Net migration - the number of people who come to live in Britain minus those who leave - fell by more than a third in 2008 but critics say this was driven by eastern Europeans returning home and immigration levels must fall to levels of the early 1990s.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 9:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
Lessons in Health Care from the Edinburgh Zoo
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Ever since the World Wildlife Fund adopted the panda as its trademark I have felt slightly uneasy, even guilty, about zoos. Should all those splendid creatures really be confined to small cages or enclosures and exposed to the idle, junk-food-consuming gaze of the general public as they sleep or pace up and down for lack of anything else to do (the animals, I mean, not the general public)? Whenever I pass a zoo, I begin to half-remember lines from William Blake: tygers burning bright, all heaven in a rage because of the robin redbreast being in a cage, and that kind of thing.

The other day, for reasons both complex and far too boring to be related, I found myself at a loose end in the afternoon in a suburb of Edinburgh in which that city’s zoo happens to be located.

I am glad to say, canny honorary Scotsman as I was for the day, that I got a fifty percent rebate on my entry ticket because the weather was foul — snow everywhere — and the vast majority of the animals being of tropical origin (rather like the populations of many European inner cities, in fact), they had retreated indoors into their centrally heated quarters in which, however, they were not easily visible to visitors. Only the Patagonian sea lions disported themselves happily in their ice-covered pond; even the polar bears, by now no doubt accustomed to the superior comforts of their native regions brought about by global warming, had retreated indoors.

I don’t know how many chimpanzees most zoos have, but Edinburgh seemed to have quite a lot. I counted nine, at the least. They are subject to the detailed research of primatologists there, because as we know, man (at least his DNA) is 99 percent chimpanzee, and therefore observing chimpanzees closely will tell us all about ourselves. Man is also 98 percent mouse, of course; though metaphorically speaking, he is 100 percent rat.

Anyway, as I gazed at the chimps eating their leeks — which, rather to my surprise, they seemed to prefer to everything else — I was subject to a sudden illumination. One of the chimps, a female, was 48 years old according to one of the boards giving information about the whole troupe. She was in fine fettle from the look of her, by no means geriatric or in need of a walking/climbing frame. But chimpanzees in the wild have a life expectancy of only 15 years; a mere seven percent of them live to be 40.

In fact, I had already noticed that the life expectancies of all the animals in the Edinburgh Zoo were about double those in the wild, and that set me thinking. Captivity is good for animals, at least for those that can be kept in it.

Now it is a self-evident truth that all animals are created equal and endowed by their creator with unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But it takes little thought to know that of these three rights, that to life must be primary, for without it the others are null and void. It is perfectly obvious that you can’t be free or pursue happiness if you’re dead.

This surely means that, if you are an animal lover, you should try to reduce any animal that you see in the wild at once to captivity, at least of the Edinburgh Zoo variety. Failure to do so is de facto condemning that animal to an early grave. The animal will be better fed, have fewer parasites, and be sheltered from the bad weather if you capture him. Above all, he, or it, will have much better health care than in the wild. Indeed, in the wild animals are even worse off than Americans without health insurance.

What would Blake write now, knowing this?

A robin redbreast in the wild
Gets a Democrat all riled.

First appeared at Pajamas Media.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 8:23 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
James Hansen On Temperature Anomalies and Long-Term Trends
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Read here.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 8:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 30 January 2010
Two held after aircraft toilet fire in China's Xinjiang
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:37am ESTBEIJING (Reuters) -
Chinese police have detained two people after a domestic flight from the restless western region of Xinjiang was forced to turn around when a passenger set fire to toilet paper in the washroom, state media said on Saturday.
The official Xinhua news agency said the China Southern flight was bound for the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
"The crew of the flight CZ6939 ... discovered the passenger's behavior some time after take-off," Xinhua said, citing Xinjiang police sources.
"Two passengers, including a man and a woman, were taken away by police after the flight landed at the Diwobao International Airport in Urumqi," it added, referring to Xinjiang's regional capital.
"The case is being investigated," Xinhua said, without elaborating.

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Posted on 01/30/2010 4:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 29 January 2010
Vickie Janson's "Ideological Jihad"
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See, for further details,  here.

A few short reviews of "Ideological Jihad":

BOOK REVIEWS

By Mark Durie
Anglican Vicar and author of Revelation?

Ignorance is a crippling thing. It can bind people into misunderstandings, and propel them into hurtful libels and senseless conflicts. There is a pressing need in the world today for ignorance about religion to be dispelled. We must seek greater understanding about humanity's different faiths. However this is not an easy task. It requires commitment, patience, and a willingness to listen.

In this, Vickie Janson, the author of Ideological Jihad, has set the rest of us a fine example. She has spent over seven years in persistent and thoughtful dialogue with a great variety of Australian Muslims, attending carefully to what they have to say, and asking searching questions. Ms Janson has not only carefully examined the views of Australian Muslims, she has also reflected long and hard on her own deeply held beliefs.

The outcome of these years of committed and disciplined dialogue is this book-length correspondence, an 'open letter' to Waleed Aly, the Australia Muslim writer and spokesperson for Islam. 'Mr Aly', as she respectfully refers to her letter's addressee, receives a report on what Ms Janson has heard, in numerous lecture theatres, through tapes and videos, and sharing countless meals and cups of tea and coffee with her Muslim friends and acquaintances.

Ms Janson honestly reports 'If I remain in ignorance, Mr Aly, it is not through lack of pursuing understanding with my fellow Muslim citizens.'

Yet the results of Ms Janson's labours could be regarded as disapointing. However if there is disappointment, this cannot be due to any failure of her part. The heart of the matter is that dispelling ignorance does not inevitably lead to harmony. Greater understanding does not necessarily lead to greater acceptance. In reality, what Ms Janson has seen and heard from Australian Muslims leads her to a profound concern for the future of her nation, for she takes exception to the stated goal of so many Australian Muslims, to call Australians to Islam and bring the nation under the guiding hand of Sharia law.

Ms Janson also responds to Waleed Aly's plea for the walls dividing Muslims and non-Muslims to be brought down. In her repeated questions to Mr Aly, scattered through her book, all her years of listening to Muslims and asking them questions come to a head. She asks Mr Aly whether his book, People Like Us , is not itself just an exercise in 'ideological jihad'?

There is a lot of wishful thinking doing the rounds today about religious differences. The antidote to head-in-the-clouds presumption is feet-on-the-ground face-to-face engagement and plain talking, something at which Ms Janson excels. Her credentials are clearly explained and hard-earned. She has listened, and learned, and swum hard and long in the comprehension gap between Islam and the west. Here then is her thoughtful, lucid, respectful, and yet resistant response to Australian Muslims' repeated presentations of their vision for our nation.

I commend this work, the fruit of many years labour, to Australian Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It is a most serious contribution to interfaith understanding, and its publication is a gift to our nation.
 

By Andrew Killick
Publishing Manager in Castle Distributed Books

Ideological Jihad springs from the desire of Christian author Vickie Janson to better understand the ideas and beliefs of her Muslim friends and neighbours. Over the course of seven years Vickie and her husband took every opportunity to learn more about Islam and discuss beliefs with Muslims in an open and honest way.

Ideological Jihad explores the impact of Islam on western societies, with particular reference to Australia, where Vickie lives.

The book is presented as an open letter to Waleed Aly, author of the influential book People Like Us: How arrogance is dividing Islam and the West. But it is much more than that - it is important reading for anybody interested in the effects of a culture clash between Islam and a western society with Christian foundations - whether that society be Australia, New Zealand or any other western nation.

Vickie presents her arguments and findings with sincere honesty and clarity - her message made all the more powerful by virtue of the fact that she has bypassed prejudice through engaging with real people in real situations.

Intelligent, important, insightful and accessible.

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Posted on 01/29/2010 7:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 29 January 2010
Durie: Two Arabic words: Falah, Fitna and General George Casey�s Koranic World View
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Dr. Mark Durie has an interesting assessment on his blog  of operative Arabic terms relative to   US Army Chief of Staff, Gen George Casey. Casey's  remarks immediately following the Fort Hood mass shooting by Jihadi Major Nidal Hasan. Casey  expressed the view  that 'diversity' was the victim in the deaths of 14 soldiers and civilians and more than 29 injured in the November 5th attack..  As we saw recently offiicial dhimmitude was reflected in the Pentagon Forrt Hood report and comments by former  Army Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations, Vernon Clark. 

We had posted Ken Timmerman's recent interview with Durie about this obsession with political correctness.  We will be shortly publishing in the February New English Review, a review and  excerpt from Durie's just published book:  "The Third Choice: Islam , Dhimmitude and Freedom."

Here are   Durie's cogent thoughts:

There are two Arabic words which are crucial for understanding the Koranic world view.  Both begin with f. One is falah ‘success’, and the other is fitna ‘persecution’. 

Falah or success is what Islam promises to its adherents. For those who submit to Allah and accept his guidance, the intended result is success in this life and the next. The call of Islam is a call to success.

This call to success is proclaimed in the call to worship, which sounds forth to Muslims five times a day (in Arabic):

Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater!
Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater!
I witness that there is no god but Allah.
I witness that there is no god but Allah.
I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
Come to worship. Come to worship.
Come to success. Come to success.
Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater!
Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater!
There is no god but Allah.

The Quran emphasizes the importance of success a great deal. It divides humanity into winners and the rest:  those who do not accept Allah’s guidance are repeatedly called ‘the losers’:

Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him; in the next world he shall be among the losers. (Q3:85)
If thou associatest other gods with Allah, thy work shall surely fail and thou wilt be among the losers. (Q39:65)

On the other hand, those follow Islam are the ones who are promised success in this life and the next.

For many Muslims, part and parcel of this success is an entitlement to a sense of superiority.  This struck me forcibly for the first time when I was conversing with a friend, a convert to Islam, who stated, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, ‘Of course a more righteous person is superior.’

I was completely taken aback.  I had spent forty years reading the Bible and listening to sermons in church, yet this idea, that religious rigor brings superiority, was completely alien to me.  I searched through my knowledge of the gospels and the other writers of the New Testament, but I could not ground this idea  in my own religious context.  This was truly something distinctly Islamic, this idea that the religious person is superior and the non-religious person inferior.

Over the years I have found many references to the theme of superiority in Islamic sources.  There seems to have been a real fascination with superiority in the sayings of Muhammad (hadiths): many discuss what is superior to what.: which kind of camel is better than other camels; which well gives the best water; which kind of horse is better; which people are the best; which gender is better; which women are the best, and so forth.  Superiority was a major theme for Muhammad, and this influences Islamic thinking in many subtle ways.  It goes hand-in-hand with Islam’s focus on success, for an entitlement to feel superior, and to demand respect is part of Islam’s promise of success. In an often cited passage, the Koran states that Muslims are the best people on the earth: ‘You (Muslims) are the best nation ever brought forth’ (Sura 3:110).

Our second key word was fitna. The word fitna ‘trial, temptation’ is derived from fatana ‘to turn away from, to tempt, seduce or subject to trials’. The base meaning is to prove a metal by fire. 

Fitna can include either temptation or trial, including both positive and negative inducements, up to and including torture. It could encompass seducing someone, or tearing them limb from limb.

Fitna became a key concept in Islamic theological reflection around the early Muslim community’s experiences with unbelievers. Muhammad's complaint against the Meccans was that they had subjected him and the rest of the Muslims to fitna – including insult, slander, torture, exclusion, economic pressures, and other temptations – in order to get them to abandon Islam or to dilute its claims. They had stood in the way between him and success.

In Christian tradition, temptation or trial (Greek peirasmos) has been regarded as an inevitable part of following Christ.  However the New Testatment promises God’s grace to those who suffer trials because of their faith, and a reward for those who persevere.

The traditional Islamic attitude to fitna is very different.  It is much more proactive, with the goal being not so much to endure trials - although that is meritorious – but to eliminate them wherever possible.

The great Muslim commentator Ibn Kathir reported that,  at the time when Muhammad and his small band of followers migrated to Medina, Allah made made it clear that the whole purpose of fighting against non-believers was to eliminate fitna, i.e. anything which could cause Muslims to turn away from their faith:

And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, but aggress not: Allah loves not the aggressors. And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution (fitna) is more grievous than slaying .... Fight them, til there is no persecution (fitna); and the religion is Allah’s;
then if they give over [i.e. cease their disbelief and opposition to Islam], there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.’ (Sura 2:190-93)

The idea that subjecting Muslims to any kind of trial or temptation away from their faith was ‘more grievous than slaying’ proved to be a momentous one. The same phrase would be revealed again after an attack on a Meccan caravan (Sura 2:217) during the sacred month (a period during which Arab tribal traditions prohibited raiding). It implied, at the very least, that shedding the blood of infidels is a lesser thing than a Muslim being led astray from their faith.

The other key phrase in this passage from Sura 2 is ‘fight them until there is no fitna’. This too was revealed more than once, the second time being after the battle of Badr, during the second year in Medina (Sura 8:39).

These fitna verses, each revealed twice in the Quran, established the principle that the use of force was justified by the existence of any obstacle to people entering Islam, or the existence of inducements to Muslims to abandon their faith. However grievous it might be to fight others and shed their blood, undermining or obstructing Muslims from following Islam was worse.

Later, most Islamic jurists extended the concept of fitna to include even the mere existence of unbelief, so the phrase could be interpreted as ‘unbelief is worse than killing’. Thus Ibn Kathir equated fitna to what he called ‘committing disbelief ’ and ‘associating’ (i.e. polytheism), as well as hindering people from following Islam:

“Since jihad involves killing and shedding of blood of men, Allah indicated that these men [i.e. polytheists] are committing disbelief in Allah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is a much greater evil and more disastrous than killing. ... Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.”


Understood this way, the phrase ‘fitna is worse than killing’ was interpreted as a call to fight and kill  infidels who rejected Muhammad’s message, whether they were interfering with Muslims or not. Merely for unbelievers to ‘commit disbelief ’ – to use Ibn Kathir’s revealing phrase – was a greater evil than their being killed.

On this understanding, the whole concept of jihad warfare to extend the dominance of Islam was based. Thus Ibn Kathir, when commenting on Sura 2 and Sura 8 of the Koran, said that the command to fight means to go to war ‘so that there is no more Kufr (disbelief)’ and the Quranic statements ‘and the religion is Allah’s’ (Sura 2:193) or ‘the religion is Allah’s entirely’ (Sura 8:39) mean ‘So that the religion of Allah [i.e. Islam] becomes dominant above all other religions.’

The renowned modern Pakistani jurist Muhammad Taqi Usmani (b. 1943) reports that religious authorities have universally accepted that jihad is warfare to make Islam dominant:

... the purpose of Jehad ... aims at breaking the grandeur of unbelievers and establish that of Muslims. As a result no one will dare to show any evil designs against Muslim on one side and on the other side, people subdued from the grandeur of Islam will have an open mind to think over the blessings of Islam. ... I think that all Ulema (religious scholars) have established the same concept about the purpose of Jehad. (Islam and Modernism, pp.133-34.)

What Usmani is saying is that Islam must be so dominant that no-one could ever be tempted to follow another faith: then the complete dominance of Islam will give everyone an ‘open mind’ to consider the superiority of Islam.  Then there will be no more fitna.

It is significant that Islamic sacred history traces the beginning of the Islamic calendar from the migration to Medina, the point at which Allah declared an end to tolerance of fitna. This was a defining moment in the establishment of Islam, after which struggle must continue until all fitna was removed.

These are not just archaic or extreme ideas. A ruling issued in May 2010 by the International Fatwa Academy, an instrument of the Organization for the Islamic Conference, upheld the Islamic view that leaving Islam (apostasy) is a crime (punishable by death) because for anyone to leave Islam would be ‘a threat’ to the Muslim community, and must lead to to ‘casting doubts’ into the minds of Muslims. What the ruling was in effect saying is that for a Muslim to leave Islam is fitna for other Muslims.  And thus, because apostasy is fitna, the death penalty for apostates is no violation of human rights, but is in righteous agreement with Islam's command to use all efforts to remove fitna.

All this leads us to General George Casey, US Army Chief of Staff, who after the Foot Hood killings declared, “what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” 

This statement should be a wake-up call for America. It should have been greeted with howls of protest all up and down the country.  When the head of the army states that the death of diversity is worse than the slaughter of US soldiers, something has gone deeply wrong.  The victims’ relatives had every right to be outraged!

Yet what is most disturbing about General Casey’s statement is how closely it matches the Koran’s ‘fitna is worse than slaughter’.  In context, ‘loss of diversity’ would mean scrutiny of radicalized Muslims in the armed forces.  It would have meant not privileging Major Nidal Hasan, nor overlooking his deficiencies just because he was a Muslim.  It would have meant withholding unearned success from him.  It would have meant taking his religious views seriously into account.  It would have meant fitna – placing obstacles in this one Muslim’s path to success in the military, because of his religious beliefs.  Such 'loss of diversity' is what General Casey has said is worse than the slaughter of US soldiers.

I doubt whether General Casey grasps the concept of fitna.  He has perhaps never even read the verses in the Koran which speak of it, nor the episodes in Muhammad's life which set it in context.  Nevertheless, the general's words seemed to unerringly advocate  a Koranic World View, when he effectively re-expressed ‘fitna is worse than slaughter’ as ‘what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.’

This is an excellent illustration of World View Subversion.  When your adversary has conditioned you to think his thoughts, and articulate his wishes, your battle is already half lost.  It is deeply disturbing to hear, coming from the mouth of the head of the US Army, a Koranic principle of such compelling power and enduring spiritual significance, at the very time when US soldiers are shedding their blood in the Afghanistan and Iraq jihads. Do America's generals really understand why its soldiers are giving their lives so far from home?

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Posted on 01/29/2010 5:10 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Friday, 29 January 2010
Iraqi Muslim faces jail for spitting on veteran's war medals on Remembrance Sunday
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The new EMRC claims that Muslims are regularly spat at but I doubt that they will research this. From the Daily Mail.
An Iraqi born yob spat over a veteran's war medals which were being proudly worn by his grandson following a Remembrance Day parade, a court heard today.
Serwan Abdullah, 23, spat at Timothy House as he chatted to friends following the parade in November last year.
Mr House was wearing his late grandfather's World War II medals as a mark of respect at the commemorations in Portsmouth, Hants.
The 44 year old said he was left feeling 'outraged and very angry' after Abdullah approached him in the street and spat straight at him, hitting the medals before running away.
Mr House ran after Abdullah and chased him to a young peoples' refuge, where he was later arrested.
When he was interviewed Abdullah showed no remorse and told officer's: 'F*** him and f*** his medals.' 
Abdullah failed to attend today's hearing at Portsmouth magistrates' court but in his absence he was convicted for a separate assault in 2008.
He received a 12-week sentence, suspended for two years, meaning he could face jail when sentenced for the spitting offence.
Prosecutor Vivian Ducie told the court that Mr House had spent the day looking after a 91 year old veteran who he took with him to the parade.
Mr House said he was standing in Portsmouth's Guildhall Walk when he saw Abdullah striding towards him.
He said Abdullah was with another man and they were both shouting.
Mr House said: 'I didn't know what was happening but as one of the men walked past me he turned to me and spat. His saliva made contact with my grandfather's medals. I was outraged and immediately became very angry because this was completely unprovoked - I had never seen these men before. I could not believe the lack of respect he had shown.'
Mr Ducie said Mr House gave chase then called the police when Abdullah bolted into the refuge where he was a resident.
When he was interviewed by officers Abdullah admitted spitting but said that he had done 'nothing wrong.' 
Abdullah added: 'I am proud of what I have done. I have no respect 'for him. F*** him and f*** his medals.' 
A warrant was today issued for Abdullah's arrest and he will be sentenced once he is located and dragged back to court.
Chairman of the bench Giovanni Mosca said: 'We find that Abdullah spat deliberately on Mr House on November 8 2009.'

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Posted on 01/29/2010 2:23 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 29 January 2010
A Musical Interlude: We're In The Money (42nd Street)
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Watch and listen here.

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Posted on 01/29/2010 12:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 29 January 2010
And Does Bill Clinton Travel The World On Clinton Global Initiative Money?
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From a review in the Wall Street Journal of  "The Politician," a book on John Edwards written by his former aide Andrew Young:

"Antipoverty foundation: Young says he and Edwards made plans to use Bunny Mellon’s money to set up an antipoverty foundation which Young would work for and Edwards would use to circle the globe campaigning. Young set up a nonprofit corporation, and Edwards left him a voicemail telling him, “I really love you, Andrew.”

And Clinton with his modestly-titled  Clinton Global Initiative?

And Blair with his Tony Blair Faith Foundation? 

Each of them has raked in, for himself, about $100 million since leaving office. I guess it was time, after leaving "Public Service," for each to heed the call of necessity, and to re-enter the "Private Sector" and at long last "make some real money." After all, we all have  bills to pay. And so many audiences, in so many countries, offer such wonderful opportunties to spread your message, and for some reason -- it's flattering, isn't it? -- they are wiling to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a mere appearance, a half-hour of bromides and the numinous presence. But was it really the "Private Sector" to which they were returning, or perhaps entering for the first time in their lives, or was it perhaps what some like to call a "Public-Private Partnership"? 

They make me sick.

They should make you sick.

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Posted on 01/29/2010 11:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 29 January 2010
The glass giro
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For the benefit (geddit?) of our American cousins, the giro is a colloquial name for what you probably call a welfare check. And it's unfair to the welfare chick. From Newsbiscuit:

The results of a new Government-commissioned inquiry have revealed that women benefit cheats are still earning less than their male counterparts. Despite a dramatic rise in the numbers of people claiming benefits in 2009, the figures show that the average female malingerer is still getting only 89p for every pound a male fraudster hoodwinks off the state.

The report recommends that more be done to create ‘Dole Models’ for young women to aspire to, and for a network of ‘drop-out’ centres to be established, where girl grifters can learn how to forge a dead relative’s signature or pull off a convincing limp.

Convicted fraudster Michelle is one of those helping to inspire the next generation of ‘ladybouts’. Michelle was nicknamed Miss X by fraud officers until they realised that she was using that name to sign on as well.

[...]

Welfare campaigner Wilfred Perch believes that social security needs to be extended to prevent women spongers being discouraged by the perceived ‘glass giro’, which stops them rising to the top of the earners league. He says, ‘Women fraudsters are still being pigeon-holed into Housing and Child Benefit claims, but what’s wrong with them having a punt for traditionally male swizzles like Income Support or a Community Care Grant?’

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) denies that she manipulated the figures in the report. She says, ‘What the report doesn’t address is how many male fraudsters are actually being sent out ‘on the swindle’ by their wives and female partners. The figures aren’t as clear cut as they first appear, especially if you muck about with them a bit.’

Shadow minister for women, Daphne Crisp says, ‘Too many women are being discouraged from going ‘on the fiddle’ by a perception that they won’t be able to pull off as convincing a con as a man. This is patently rubbish. After all, women have been successfully faking it to men for generations.’

Oooh, how can you say that? Oooh ....aaaah.....aaaaah...aaaaah.......baby!!!

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Posted on 01/29/2010 9:52 AM by Mary Jackson
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Friday, 29 January 2010
Wilders to show Fitna in London in March
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From Dutch News NL
Anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders will travel to London on March 5 to show his short video compilation Fitna at the invitation of two members of the British upper house of parliament, the House of Lords.
Last February Wilders was refused entry to Britain to screen his film because the government said his presence would be a threat to public order.
But in October, a British immigration tribunal ruled Wilders should not have been refused entry.

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Posted on 01/29/2010 9:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 29 January 2010
Message from Bin Laden
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Oh ye who believe:

And Allah (SWT) knows best.

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Posted on 01/29/2010 8:25 AM by Mary Jackson
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Friday, 29 January 2010
Recluseniks
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I enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye when I was fifteen, so fair play to J. D. Salinger. However, I have no truck with this "recluse" nonsense. For famous people to say that they hate fame is as much of a cliché as for them to say that they used to be an ugly duckling or geek. It's disingenuous attention-seeking twaddle. Some time ago Times leader put the recluse in the spotlight, where he is happiest:

Greta Garbo so craved anonymity that she became a Hollywood movie legend. Had Howard Hughes confined himself to making money instead of becoming an eccentric recluse, who might recognise his name today? The fastidiously reclusive Lucian Freud is Britain's most famous painter. Stanley Kubrick was as well known for shunning publicity as for making 2001: A Space Odyssey. Would Thomas Pynchon, never photographed or officially interviewed, be so renowned as the author of V and Gravity's Rainbow were he not such a legendary recluse? Pynchon is so famous he has made appearances on The Simpsons; albeit with a paper bag over his head. The reclusive J.D. Salinger, not a word in print in four decades, is nearly as eminent.

Joe Klein did the sales of Primary Colours, his roman à clef about the Clinton presidency, nothing but good by signing it “Anonymous”. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis flaunted her appetite for anonymity by marrying, in turn, a future American president and a Greek shipping magnate.

And the moral? That some are born famous, and some achieve fame; but in order to have stellar fame thrust upon you, just shun it vigorously.

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Posted on 01/29/2010 7:51 AM by Mary Jackson
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Friday, 29 January 2010
Bin Laden Cites Chomsky, Discusses Climate Change
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Al Jazeera:

Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, has condemned the US and other industrial economies, holding them responsible for the phenomenon of climate change.

In an audio tape obtained by Al Jazeera, bin Laden criticised George Bush, the former US president, for rejecting the Kyoto pact and condemned global corporations.

"This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions - whether intentionally or unintentionally - and about the action we must take," bin Laden said.

"Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury - the phenomenon is an actual fact."

The tape follows one released earlier this week in which the al-Qaeda leader praised a Nigerian man accused of a failed attempt to blow up an airliner heading for Detroit on Christmas Day.

'Grave repercussions'

In the new recording, bin Laden says "all the industrial states" are to blame for climate change, "yet the majority of those states have signed the Kyoto Protocol and agreed to curb the emission of harmful gases".

He continued: "However, George Bush junior, preceded by [the US] congress, dismissed the agreement to placate giant corporations. And they are themselves standing behind speculation, monopoly and soaring living costs.

"They are also behind 'globalisation and its tragic implications'. And whenever the perpetrators are found guilty, the heads of state rush to rescue them using public money."

The Kyoto Protocol, a UN treaty aimed at combating global warming, was adopted in December 1997 and has since been ratified by 187 states, but not by the US congress.

Although a signatory to the agreement, the US under Bush refused to ratify the treaty, saying that it should contain binding goals for developing countries to reduce emissions as well as those for industrialised nations.

Targeting US dollar

In the new recording, bin Laden said: "Noam Chomsky [the US academic and political commentator] was correct when he compared the US policies to those of the Mafia. They are the true terrorists and therefore we should refrain from dealing in the US dollar and should try to get rid of this currency as early as possible.

"I am certain that such actions will have grave repercussions and huge impact."

While continuing to attack America, bin Laden's comments mark a shift from his earlier, more regionally focused commentary.

In his previous tape, bin Laden warned that there would be further attacks on the US unless Barack Obama, the current US president, took steps to resolve the Palestinian conflict.

The Obama administration dismissed bin Laden's comments on the earlier tape and said intelligence analysts had not confirmed that the voice was that of bin Laden.

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Posted on 01/29/2010 7:40 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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