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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














Thursday, 28 February 2008
Hope-Mongering Will Not Do
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Whole lot of hope-mongering going on these days. Everywhere you look. Hope, hope! they cry. But there is no hope, not for those who rely on that hope-mongering. There is only, day after day after day, the need to accurately assess, to grasp the nature of a disquieting reality, to analyze the instruments of, and size of, the threat, its duration, its scope, and then to figure out how best, using the most effective and economic means, to hold that threat in check, to diminish its force, to weaken, if possible by exploiting pre-existing fissures, that Camp of the Enemy. Inspirational talk will not do it. Study by that metaphorical lamplight, and then clear-eyed relentlessness in dealing with what is, right now, a manageable problem -- that is the only way.

Hope-mongering based on willful ignorance, or desire to avoid recognizing the nature, of the meaning and menace of Islam, will not do.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 3:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Muslims In The Military
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Abu-Jihaad, an American-born Muslim convert formerly known as Paul R. Hall, is accused of leaking information that could have doomed his own ship. He was a Navy signalman and received an honorable discharge in 2002.

He is accused of leaking details included the makeup of his Navy battle group, its planned movements and a drawing of the group's formation when it was to pass through the Straits of Hormuz on April 29, 2001.
--from this news article

The Muslim soldier who attempted to kill his officers (he did kill two), by rolling grenades into their tent as they lay sleeping. The Muslim Marine who stole off from his base in Iraq, ended up in Lebanon and then, having been returned to the United States, managed somehow, after a public assurance of his loyalty (ending with a "Semper Fi"), managed to again elude authorities and is now, presumably, back in Lebanon, with the American government strangely unable to have him sent back for trial. The Muslim sailor -- not Hassan Abu-Jihaad, but another one -- who is reported during the Iraq war to have made contact with terrorists and to have offered to send them critical information (as well as to conduct Da'wa among the sailors), and other cases yet to come to the public's attention -- what does this tell us? Anything? Nothing?

And what do the texts of Islam tell us, with their insistence that members of the Umma, the Community of Believers, owe their sole loyalty to Islam and to Muslims, and cannot possibly owe such loyalty, to the extent that they wish to be proper Muslims, to Infidels, much less to an Infidel nation-state perceived as being "at war" with Islam?

This is not an American problem. It is a problem for the French. It is a problem for the British. It is a problem for the Indians. It is a problem for the Singaporeans. It is a problem for all nation-states, largely populated by non-Muslims, but with recent Muslim immigrants, and with a policy of permitting Muslims to serve in -- or even encouraging them to serve in -- the army, the police, and other security services, without carefully finding out who is a Believer, who if a Believer takes his beliefs seriously, and who, while he may call himself a "Muslim," is much closer to being a Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only Muslim, and one likely to remain so, rather than someone who might, undetected, rediscover that old-time religion -- the one based on Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira.

In Singapore, its former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and other officials, have not hidden their awareness of the problem of Muslim Malays in the army, an army that relies on universal conscription, and the need to be hyper-vigilant and even to keep Malays out of certain positions or units.

Here is an account from The Straits Times about the Malay reaction to a speech by Lee Kuan Yew in which he did not mince words:

"How The Problem of Muslim Loyalty In the Armed Services Is Discussed In Singapore:

THE closed-door dialogue on Malay issues between Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and community leaders scheduled for today has been postponed to March 2. The postponement will allow more people to take part in the discussion at Parliament House, said sources yesterday. Those who turn up on the new date will have a better understanding of issues such as the community's position here, national integration and the role of Malays in the Singapore Armed Forces, they added. The dialogue's organisers - Majlis Pusat, the umbrella body for 40 Malay-Muslim cultural groups, and the Association of Muslim Professionals - had expected about 60 participants, including Malay-Muslim MPs, professionals and individuals, to attend today's session. Participants have been informed about the postponement, said Mr Zulkifli Mohammed, Majlis Pusat president. The group called for the dialogue following Mr Lee's remarks on Malays in the SAF at a Singapore 21 forum in Tanjong Pagar in 1999.”

Here are excerpts from those remarks by Lee Kuan Yew at Tanjong Pagar in 1999:

"If, for instance, you put in a Malay officer who's very religious and who has family ties in Malaysia in charge of a machine gun unit, that's a very tricky business.

"We've got to know his background. I'm saying these things because they are real, and if I didn't think that, and I think even if today the Prime Minister doesn't think carefully about this, we could have a tragedy." He said, in response to a question on instinctive emotional ethnic bonds, that it would be a very tricky business for the SAF to put a Malay officer, who was very religious and who had family ties in Malaysia, in charge of a machine-gun unit. 'We've got to know his background,' said Mr Lee."

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Posted on 02/28/2008 3:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Policing the mean streets - then and now.
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On the subject of policing this photograph shows some changes over the last 50 years. The old police box, the mini Tardis (Dr Who’s Tardis is the large version which one could step inside, with the mini version the telephone pulled out of the hatch at the front) by which a police officer could be alerted to the commissioning of a crime juxtaposed with the ubiquitous CCTV cameras of today, whereby the culprit who committed a crime 15 hours ago cannot be identified because of his hood and the graininess of the film.
I photographed these on the corner of St Martin le Grand and Little Britain as I came out of the Museum of London on my way to meet Mary two weeks ago.
The building behind is the home of Nomura and, as we are talking about police work and the law, that corner is home to a constant stream of Japanese gentlemen popping out for a smoke. No Japanese ladies however, either they do not smoke, or they go elsewhere. I didn’t see one.
I actually remember Police boxes, and the rarer fire alarm boxes. There was one outside Lea Bridge Road library. Some of the smaller children believed that a policeman lived inside waiting to pounce. I used to long to witness a crime on the library steps so that I could use it, but I never did. Around 1968 it disappeared.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 1:53 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
My two penn'orth
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I was also working on posting the story below but Mary and Hugh beat me to it. Below is my suggestion from the post I have just deleted.
I actually think that Mr Davies and most of the readers commenting are failing to read between the lines. My comment has not been published and I doubt that it will be. I recommended, for everything they need to know, Global Jihad by Patrick Sookhedeo, designed for officers in security services and suchlike. Then if they are interested and want to go deeper progress to the work of Bat Ye’or.  I don’t think the training is necessarily going to be all fluffy sensitivity training, not these days, since the genie got out of thebottle (and started to attack that blooming elephant!).
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Posted on 02/28/2008 12:16 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
What Will They Study?
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Police will be trained on the importance of sharia law and the Koran to Muslim communities, under new plans to fight extremism.
--from the article linked below

What about county and city governments in Great Britain buying large quantities of Robert Spencer's "Blogging the Qur'an" and distributing copies to their local police? That will give them a solid introduction, in English, to the mysteries of the Qur'an. As for the Hadith, the British police can click on any number of websites and read, to their mind's horror and heart's content, many hundreds of those Hadith, until they get the general picture. And finally there are the details of the life of the central figure in Islam, Muhammad: will the police come to understand that Muhammad, the Model of Conduct, uswa hasana, the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, needs to be understood, and that understanding requires that certain events in his life, such as the decapitation of the Banu Qurayza prisoners, the attack on the Khaybar Oasis, the murder of Asma bint Marwan and Abu Akaf, and his marriage to little Aisha, and their continuing, unshakable relevance in shaping the attitudes of Muslims today -- not all Muslims, but certainly the primitive masses of them (and it is always those masses, not an unrepresentative elite, defined intellectually rather than financially, that must be kept in Infidel view).

There is nothing wrong with the police studying, the contents of Qur'an and Hadith and Sira. But it must be done without that study being cunningly directed, or misdirected, by Muslims adept at confusing, distracting, misstating, impressing with sweetness-and-light demonstrations of personal charm and deep "sincerity" blended with a deliberate cultivation of a sense of victimhood, that is used to such effect with unwary and naive Infidels (and seemingly tough cops on the beat, and no-nonsense FBI agents, and army officers, have in many cases proven to be as unwary, innocent, naive, and trusting, as the shyest schoolgirl -- their occupations do not guarantee, when it comes to Islam, the kind of wariness that comes from study of the texts, tenets, attitudes, history, and plausible presentations by wily apologists, of Islam.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 11:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Police to learn about Islam
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Although terrorism has nothing to do with Islam - according to our Home Secretary it is "anti-Islamic" - police are to learn about Islam in order to "root out extremist ideas". From the London Evening Standard:

Police will be trained on the importance of sharia law and the Koran to Muslim communities, under new plans to fight extremism.  

The lessons in Islamic faith and culture will become part of the formal training of constables working in towns and cities across the country.

Chief constables say that, by understanding the community they are policing, officers will build better relationships.

These could prove crucial in rooting out extremism and preventing a terrorist attack, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers.

But critics have described the plan as "politically correct thinking".

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said: "Police officers are not there to implement sharia law. They are there to implement British law.

"This idea is misguided. We will only get community cohesion when everybody signs up to being British and following British law."

Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, said: "Of course it is sensible for the police to have an understanding of the Koran and sharia law as long as we do not allow the situation to slip so that sharia law is regarded on an equal basis with British law. British law is and always must be pre-eminent."

Under the Acpo plans, police will not have to learn the "depth and complexity" of sharia law, but would be expected to understand Islamic culture - which includes sharia law and the Koran.

It isn't a bad idea for the police - and all non-Muslims - to learn about Islam. But as Alan, who sent this in, rightly asks, who is to do the teaching?

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Posted on 02/28/2008 11:16 AM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Police sued over mosque programme
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It's about time our libel laws were put to good use. From the BBC, with thanks to Alan:

The makers of a Channel 4 documentary have confirmed they are suing West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for libel.

The Dispatches programme, Undercover Mosque, tackled claims of Islamic extremism in the West Midlands.

In November media regulator Ofcom rejected police and CPS claims the programme was heavily edited and distorted preachers' comments.

The force said itself and the CPS were in talks with the programme's makers.

A statement on behalf of Dispatches editor Kevin Sutcliffe and programme makers Hardcash Productions said: "The statements made by both the West Midlands Police and the CPS were completely unfounded and seriously damaging to our reputation.

"We feel the only way to set the record straight once and for all is to pursue this matter through a libel action."

[...]

In a statement, a Channel 4 spokesperson said: "We fully support this libel action as we feel that it is the only way to vindicate their reputations and to prove this was a responsible piece of public interest journalism."

The channel added that any payment of damages would go to charity.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 11:12 AM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Talking of beer goggles...
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Actually, I'm the only person on this site to talk of beer goggles. But that's nothing. I'm the only person on Google apart from two others to talk about "contributory negligee". And one of the google-thwarters was accidental.

Back to beer goggles - the excellent TV quiz programme QI (Quite Interesting) is hosted by Stephen Fry. When one of the panel mentioned "beer goggles", Fry, who is quite posh, didn't know what they were and had to have them explained. Beer goggles, said Alan Davies, are, like, when someone looks good because you've had a few. "Stephen doesn't wear beer goggles," heckled another panel member, "He wears Madeira pince-nez."

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Posted on 02/28/2008 7:37 PM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Contributory negligee?
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In my first week at university I received a copy of “The Little Blue Book”. This was little, blue, and full of practical advice about sex and “relationships”. I remember in particular a page with pictures of various contraceptive devices: a condom, a diaphragm, a packet of pills and a fifty pence piece. Great fun was had speculating on how the “50p method” might work. “If that’s all he spends on a night out, just say no,” was one theory. In fact the fifty pence piece was there “for scale”.

 

The Little Blue Book also gave the number of the Rape Crisis Centre (not part of the university) and an internal contact for counselling. I never used this, because I was never raped, nor were any of my friends, at least not while at university. Plenty of us had “bad sex”, often under the influence of alcohol. But it wasn’t rape; it was beer goggles.

 

According to Heather MacDonald, whose article The Campus Rape Myth is linked by Rebecca in this post, the “campus rape industry” says my friends and I were wrong. A quarter of us were raped, whether we knew it or not.

 

This is nonsense. One in four can’t be right. Heather MacDonald’s article sensibly draws a distinction between bad sex, or sex that is later regretted, and rape. MacDonald rightly criticises the “campus rape industry” for asking leading questions and encouraging a sense of victimhood:

The campus rape movement highlights the current condition of radical feminism, from its self-indulgent bathos to its embrace of ever more vulnerable female victimhood. But the movement is an even more important barometer of academia itself. In a delicious historical irony, the baby boomers who dismantled the university’s intellectual architecture in favor of unbridled sex and protest have now bureaucratized both. While women’s studies professors bang pots and blow whistles at antirape rallies, in the dorm next door, freshman counselors and deans pass out tips for better orgasms and the use of sex toys. The academic bureaucracy is roomy enough to sponsor both the dour antimale feminism of the college rape movement and the promiscuous hookup culture of student life. The only thing that doesn’t fit into the university’s new commitments is serious scholarly purpose.

The campus rape industry’s central tenet is that one-quarter of all college girls will be raped or be the targets of attempted rape by the end of their college years (completed rapes outnumbering attempted rapes by a ratio of about three to two). The girls’ assailants are not terrifying strangers grabbing them in dark alleys but the guys sitting next to them in class or at the cafeteria.

Rape is a difficult subject and it tends to polarise opinion. Women are either always victims or always “asking for it”. In countering the assumption that women are always victims, MacDonald rather overstates the case that they are always responsible. I take issue with two aspects of MacDonald’s argument. First, she seems to be saying that “real” rape can only be of the “stranger in a dark alley” variety, and that drunken encounters cannot be rape. I disagree. "No” means “no” whatever the woman is wearing, whatever she has had to drink and whatever her sexual history. It is, of course, very difficult to prove, particularly if there are no witnesses and recollections are hazy. But it can still be rape. Secondly, MacDonald is very censorious about women getting drunk and having casual sexual encounters, but she does not condemn the men for doing exactly the same. Men, it seems, cannot be expected to modify their behaviour. Is it the new “post-feminism” to reassert the time-worn double standard? 

Campus statistics are one thing; the law is another. In my piece here I discuss why it is, and always will be, difficult to secure a conviction for rape: 

Witness accounts conflict, even where witnesses are telling the truth as they see it. In cases where rape is alleged, a man may genuinely have believed that the woman consented; until May 2004 such belief, if held to be reasonable, was a defence to a rape charge. Alternatively he may have known that she did not consent, but this cannot be proved. Often, where both have been drinking, neither has a good recollection of what happened. If a jury acquits, it is not necessarily because its members disbelieve the woman, still less because they think she “asked for it”. Some people may think this, of course, but others may not, in all conscience, be able to say the prosecution case has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. 

[…] 

Short of convicting of rape any man who does not obtain a signed consent form, witnessed, of course, to preclude undue influence, it is difficult to see a solution to this problem. Many rapists will go unpunished, even if society reaches a state of total sexual equality and even if all rape trials are fair. And we are far from being in this Utopian state at the moment, even here in the West, which treats women better than any other culture in history. 

[…] 

With rape, more than any other crime, we have reached the limits of the law.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 11:05 AM by Mary Jackson
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
A Musical Interlude: La Petite Tonkinoise (Josephine Baker)
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Posted on 02/28/2008 10:06 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
That Great Awakening In Iraq
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WaPo: BAGHDAD - U.S.-backed Sunni volunteer forces, which have played a vital role in reducing violence in Iraq, are increasingly frustrated with the American military and the Iraqi government over what they see as a lack of recognition of their growing political clout and insufficient U.S. support.

Since Feb. 8, thousands of fighters in restive Diyala province have left their posts in order to pressure the government and its American backers to replace the province's Shiite police chief. On Wednesday, their leaders warned that they would disband completely if their demands were not met. In Babil province, south of Baghdad, fighters have refused to man their checkpoints after U.S. soldiers killed several comrades in mid-February in circumstances that remain in dispute.

Some force leaders and ground commanders also reject a U.S.-initiated plan that they say offers too few Sunni fighters the opportunity to join Iraq's army and police, and warn that low salaries and late payments are pushing experienced members to quit.

The predominantly Sunni Awakening forces, referred to by the U.S. military as the Sons of Iraq or Concerned Local Citizens, are made up mostly of former insurgents who have turned against extremists because of their harsh tactics and interpretation of Islam. The U.S. military pays many fighters roughly $10 a day to guard and patrol their areas. Thousands more unpaid volunteers have joined out of tribal and regional fealties.

U.S. efforts to manage this fast-growing movement of about 80,000 armed men are still largely effective, but in some key areas the control is fraying. The tensions are the most serious since the Awakening was launched in Anbar province in late 2006, according to Iraqi officials, U.S. commanders and 20 Awakening leaders across Iraq. Some U.S. military officials say they are growing concerned that the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq has infiltrated Awakening forces in some areas.

"Now, there is no cooperation with the Americans," said Haider Mustafa al-Kaisy, an Awakening commander in Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province, an insurgent stronghold that U.S. and Iraqi forces are still struggling to control. "We have stopped fighting al-Qaeda."...

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Posted on 02/28/2008 9:06 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Making A False Point
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ABC's production crew outfitted The Czech Stop, a bustling roadside bakery north of Waco, Texas, with hidden cameras and two actors. One played a female customer wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, or hijab. The other acted as a sales clerk who refused to serve her and spouted common anti-Muslim and anti-Arab slurs.
--from this news article

Only widespread publicity given to those who sponsored this program, and who are then made subject to a boycott, will bring ABC to its senses. No appeals to logic, to decency, to common sense, will do the trick. Only economic damage, inflicted on ABC, will stop this kind of grotesque entrapment. And until one has far more realistic balancing tableau, such as someone distributing evangelical literature, or someone else in Hasidic dress, walking through Muslim-populated areas (while hidden cameras are recording everything), one has a perfect right to be scornful and dismissive of this effort to make us believe that there is all kinds of anti-Muslim behavior being demonstrated. What amazes is how little such behavior, given the murderous provocation that, for example, American soldiers in Iraq must endure, can be found. And how little there is, for the same reasons, among Infidels who watch in silent fury at the way Muslims behave in the countries of Western Europe, but never succumb to the kind of behavior at the makers of this ABC program so carefully staged in order to make an entirely false point.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 8:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
EU Ruling
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"The grand chamber of 17 judges at the Strasbourg court ruled unanimously that an attempt by Italy to send a man back to Tunisia violated the ban on torture or inhuman or degrading treatment in the European convention on human rights."
--from this news article

By this logic, since it is a given that most Muslim states have practiced torture, then no Muslim can be deported to his home country if he is wanted there. In other words, the judges in Strasbourg have declared that every Muslim likely, upon his return to a Muslim country, to be charged with a crime, may be subject to torture so the countries of the European Union cannot possibly deport him, but must keep him, presumably forever, within their borders. And it it is the taxpayers of those European countries who must pay either for the expensive care and feeding in jail, for such people, or for constantly monitoring them if they do not go to jail, or when they get out.

This is an economic and social nightmare in the making for the citizens of every E.U. country. They have created a system where it is they who must pay for the lords of Muslim rule, they who must be forced to pay for the political, economic, and social failures of Muslim states and societies, including their violence and aggression and cruelty. It happens in big ways, and in small. But it happens. If there is no way for common sense to overrule the senseless ideologues of the purer-than-pure, purer-than-humanly-possible, European Court, then the only way out is for individual members of the European Union to rethink their commitment, and refuse to accept the jurisdiction, in all matters having to do with countries outside the E.U., of the Human Rights Court. Or, alternatively, to rethink altogether their adherence to the E.U., which began, reasonably, with Jean Monnet's Coal and Steel Community, an attempt to weave Germany and France into an economic net, that then became the six-member European Community, and then finally the greatly-enlarged European Union, that by weakening, or attempting to, the sense of the individual European nation-state, has weakened the most powerful force for naturally resisting trans-national, pan-national, Islam, just when it has become a mortal threat, through the Money Weapon, Da'wa, and demographic conquest, to the wellbeing and safety of the peoples of Western Europe.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 8:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Wilders' Rise
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Dutch MP Geert Wilders has said that this week he will finish a film about Islam which has already triggered Muslim outrage.
--from this news article

Were the Dutch to vote in order to deliberately give his party much more power, possibly even bringing him into national office, that would be a sign that the entire country was unwilling to tolerate such threats, and the full force of the Dutch state would be there to protect Wilders. And were the other nations of Western Europe to forthrightly express solidarity with the defense of free speech, and outrage at Muslim blackmail and threats, this would force many Muslims, in order to protect themselves and the position of Muslims in the West (whose behavior and worldview are now beginning to receive the attention that should have been given before, not after, large-scale Muslim immigration was permitted), to back down, to accept -- even if only temporarily and feigningly -- the Western defense of Western values.

For they are not yet so numerous, nor so secure, that they can get away with anything. And some of them, such as Tariq Ramadan, understand this perfectly, which is why they offer up, as best they can, soothing words about a "European Islam" (no different, in its texts and tenets, from Islam anywhere else), and counsel Muslims not to be as violent as they would like. For such Muslim violence is, for the moment, much less effective than the Money Weapon, unhindered campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest, which have so far not been sufficiently noticed or worried about, much less being dealt with by those in power who possess an intelligence and cunning sufficient to deal with the situation, while keeping in mind the Idols of the Age that must simultaneously be taken into consideration, and that must be carefully  undone, or worked around.

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Posted on 02/28/2008 8:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 28 February 2008
Six held in Nordic terror raids
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From The Local – Swedish News in the English Language
Swedish security service Säpo has arrested three men in Stockholm suspected of preparing terrorist acts and financing terrorism. All three men are Swedish citizens.
"The men were arrested at different addresses in the Stockholm region," Säpo spokesman Jakob Larsson told the TT news agency.
Säpo has not released details of the suspects' ages or said whether they have previous criminal records.
"I want to underline the fact that there is no connection whatsoever to the threats against Lars Vilks or the Muhammad caricatures," said Larsson.
Norway's security service PTS also arrested three men in Oslo on Thursday morning on similar charges in a raid coordinated with their Swedish counterparts.
The Oslo arrests followed a lengthy investigation carried out by Oslo police in cooperation with the police financial crimes unit.
The three men apprehended in Norway are suspected of financing acts of terrorism abroad.
The English language edition of the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports that
PST ((Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) wouldn't immediately release any details about the three persons charged, or what led to their arrests. VG Nett reported that the three are originally from Somalia.
The normally secretive Jørn Holme, chief of the PST, has recently been on a press offensive of sorts, claiming in newspaper Aftenposten that terrorists have actively tried to recruit young Norwegian Muslims and that money was suspected of being sent out of the country to finance terrorist attacks overseas.
Holme also spoke of "older, manipulative Islamic extremists" who were trying to motivate young Muslims into taking part in jihad in foreign countries.
Holme called the situation "more complex" than earlier, and said it therefore was necessary for PST to warn of the activity and make Norwegians aware of it.
"We need to counter this activity in the community," he said. "We rely on the cooperation of all those who have information about what's happening in extremist Islamic circles."
Terrorist financing is viewed as a growing problem for many European countries. The Nordic region in particular has been described as a sanctuary for terrorist groups, where they can plan acts of terrorism with little risk of detection.
Säpo has previously referred to Sweden as a base for "recruitment, logistical support and financing" of terrorism.
At least 20 Swedes have been arrested globally on terror charges since 2001. Many have had suspected links to extreme Islamist organizations.
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Posted on 02/28/2008 5:05 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Medvedeva Or Massatoosetts, Which Is Worse?
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"CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who has argued she would be stronger on foreign policy than rival Barack Obama, stumbled over the name of the likely new Russian president on Tuesday while predicting he would not be an independent leader.

When asked at a debate whether she knew the name of the certain successor to President Vladimir Putin -- Dmitry Medvedev -- Clinton struggled to get it out.

"Medvedev -- whatever," she finally said.

Obama, who fielded a second question on the issue, did not pronounce the name.

In a campaign where the New York senator and former first lady has stressed she is ready to serve as president from the first day, as opposed to Obama, the scene was reminiscent of past campaign debates where foreign policy missteps have hurt presidential candidates."

Was not quite pronouncing the last name of Dmitri Medvedev right (best approached by biting the bear -- Medved' --and then adding the "ev") equivalent to a "foreign policy misstep"?  Given that the initial unstressed "e" in the Russian does not sound quite like any English "e," and the second, unstressed "e" though different than the first one, also has no easy English equivalent, and the second "d" is pronounced slightly differently from the first, the name is not easy to pronounce correctly. Indeed, it is harder for those English speakers who have heard it properly pronounced to attempt to reproduce, than for those who have not heard it properly pronounced, or are simply satisfied to render it coarsely, with each of the first two syllables rhyming self-assuredly and briskly with the "Ed" in "Mister Ed," with no attempt made to mimic the Russian.

What goes unmentioned in this Reuters report is that in the same debate in which Hillary Clinton may have struggled to pronounce Medevedev's name (and in the struggle, may have added a feminine ending), Barack Obama appeared unable to pronounce correctly the name of the state, Massachusetts,  in which he lived for three years as a law student. He pronounced  it -- clearly, audibly, not once but twice  -- as "Massatoosetts."

Make of that what you will. But if you make something of a mispronounced because-difficult-to-pronounce "Medvedev," then you must , to be semi-fair, make something as well of "Massatoosetts."

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Posted on 02/27/2008 11:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Von Leers' Hit List
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From the Daily Mail:

As the Little Tramp, he made millions laugh.

But the Nazis never saw the funny side when it came to Charlie Chaplin.

Adolf Hitler's hatred of the politically outspoken movie star is apparent in a yellowing book of Nazi propaganda which includes Chaplin in a hit list of prominent Jews.

The fact that Chaplin was not Jewish didn't save him from being a target. The book, Juden Sehen Dich An (The Jews are Watching You), brands him a "pseudo-Jew".

He was in excellent company. Albert Einstein was among the international Jewish figures listed in 95 pages corroded with hate.

The book, which includes names and photographs of activists, bankers, economists, journalists, academics and entertainers, was written by Dr Johann von Leers, a notorious anti-Jewish propagandist.

Von Leers converted to Islam and received asylum from Nasser after the war. He died in Egypt in 1965. Andrew Bostom has more on von Leers here. 

Published in Berlin in the 1930s, it is thought to have inspired Chaplin's classic comedy The Great Dictator, in which he both directed and starred.

In the 1940 movie, Chaplin plays a Nazi-like tyrant, Adenoid Hynkel, dictator of Tomainia, clearly modelled on Hitler.

The book is to be auctioned in Shropshire next month.

Auctioneer Richard Westwood-Brookes said: "The book aims to attack leading Jews worldwide, warning the German people that these people were forming an international network aimed at world domination. Each leading Jew is featured with a photograph and a pen portrait, but by far the most remarkable and bizarre aspect of this book is the inclusion of Charlie Chaplin.

"He is attacked in a section named 'Artistic Jews', with the suggestion that he was of Jewish origin and therefore a pseudo-Jew.

"Chaplin must have feared for his life when he saw the book, because the majority of the people in this book were exterminated by the Nazis.

"These pieces of history serve as a reminder of what happened and what could have happened...

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Posted on 02/27/2008 8:59 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Refugee �Resettlement� Making Someone Rich
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Don Barnett of CIS writes to The Tennessean:

With regard to the article, “Nashville may get new wave of refugees, Feb. 17: The statement that “Federal funds provide cash assistance for eight months to refugees resettled in the U.S.” is misleading.

In fact, refugees are entitled to all forms of welfare within 30 days of arrival, which results in welfare (“federal funds”) usage that goes well beyond eight months.

The U.S. government tracks welfare usage among refugees who arrived in the past five years. Based on data for refugees who arrived between 2000 and 2005 (latest data available), some 14 percent of families have one or more members receiving the cash benefit SSI — a lifetime welfare entitlement.

According to the report, 52 percent of households receive food stamps and 26.8 percent of households are getting some form of cash assistance. That is significantly higher than usage among native-born.

This program would end tomorrow if the refugee resettlement agencies such as Catholic Charities were required to use their own resources to keep it going. At one time refugee resettlement was the work of organizations practicing true sacrificial charity. Unfortunately, the resettlement agencies have morphed into profit-driven federal contractors.

Naturally, they and their parent organizations have a huge incentive to advocate for resettlement to the U.S. as a solution to the world’s refugee problem.

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Posted on 02/27/2008 8:30 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Communist quiz
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The struggle of class against class is a what struggle? A what struggle?

Click here for one of Python's finest hours:

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Posted on 02/27/2008 6:44 PM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Keep A List
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"After 9/11, Aulaqi publicly condemned the attacks. But in comments published in English on Sept. 17, 2001, on IslamOnline, Aulaqi suggested that Israelis may have been responsible for the 9/11 attacks and that the FBI "went into the roster of the airplanes and whoever has a Muslim or Arab name became the hijacker by default."

Weeks after leaving the United States in the spring of 2002, he posted an essay in Arabic titled "Why Muslims Love Death" on the Islam Today Web site, lauding the fervor of Palestinian suicide bombers. Months later he praised them in English at a lecture in a London mosque that was recorded on videotape."
-- from this news article

It would be instructive to find the published remarks of Aulaqi "after 9/11" when he "publicly condemned the attacks." Then compare his public condemnations with his attempt to assign blame to the Israelis, his attempt to attack the FBI for supposedly falsely accusing Muslims of the responsibility ("whoever has a Muslim or Arab name became the hijacker by default"), and then, once he was safely out of this country, revealing his real defense of homicide-bombings and other acts of terrorism against Infidels different not in kind, but only in degree, from the 9/11/2001 attacks he supposedly "publicly condemned."

Indeed, someone should compile a list of all the Muslim clerics who said one thing, while in the United States, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11/2001 attacks, and then said quite another thing. And that quite another thing, which they were overheard saying, and sometimes caught on tape, both before those attacks, and after, when they thought no Infidels were listening in, can be compared in a useful exercise.

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Posted on 02/27/2008 6:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
A Musical Interlude: Lover, Come Back To Me (Grace Moore)
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Posted on 02/27/2008 6:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Calculating The Odds
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This just in from the Center for Disease Control. When a single case of Mad Cow Disease is discovered, millions and tens of millions of animals are quarantined, and whole herds may be slaughtered. And similar measures are taken for what are, statistically, highly improbable events, including but not limited to other diseases. Think of what happened when a single passenger was believed possibly to be carrying TB, and the enormous coverage given to quarantining him.

Yet, we are told, that in the best of cases, a little less than about 1 out of 10 Muslims openly admits to supporting, still, the mass murder of American and other Infidels during the World Trade Center attack. A little less than 1 out of 10. Allowing for the keen awareness by those responding to the poll (and one may assume that all those who refused to participate did so because they did not wish to admit openly to such support) undoubtedly had, that its results would be made known to Infidels, and keeping in mind the enormous effort, from Tariq Ramadan on up and down and sideways, to utter soothing words, to do whatever can be done to explain away Muslim behavior and Muslim statements, so as to keep Infidels from becoming too alarmed and then responding in ways inimicable to the interests of Muslims, surely the real figure is not 1 out of 10 but 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 out of 10.

But what does it mean, if for every 100 Muslim immigrants allowed to freely enter the Western lands, the lands of the infidels, not one out of a million (like that TB patient, like those cows stricken with Mad Cow disease), nor one out of a thousand, nor one out of a hundred, but rather one out of ten, or two out of ten, or five out of ten, can be intelligently assumed to support violent Jihad, or if not Jihad through such spectacular terrorist acts, then less attention-getting terrorist acts, such as those committed against India or Israel, that the world has mostly gotten used to.

Why do we have a different probability we accept, when it comes to life-threatening doctrines and murderous attitudes, then we do with a disease?

In both cases, what is probabilistically acceptable should be the same, or roughly the same. And since, to make matters still more dangerous, there is evidence that second and third generation Muslims become more, not less radical (especially, but not only, in Western Europe) then that is one more reason why we may conclude that the level of danger, to indigenous Infidels, from Muslim immigrants, is even higher than one might otherwise suspect.

Finally, even if not a single Muslim were to declare openly his support for the 9/11/2001 attacks, and for some reason we were to believe this, the next question has not been posed: do you support other means of furthering the goals of Jihad, the duty of Jihad, that is other instruments to make sure that all barriers to the spread of Islam, and then to the dominance of Islam, the necessary dominance of Islam, are removed?

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Posted on 02/27/2008 6:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Visit Sunny Sudan?
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For the entire twentieth century, this once largely black African land of Sudan, its non-Muslims and non-Arabs forcibly roped into a federation, not of their making or desire, with northern Muslim Arabs, has been steadily arabized and islamized, so that it is now unrecognizable from what it was in 1900. The history of the past century has been that of arabization -- in 1900 the Arabs did not constitute more than a small minority, possibly 10%, of the population -- that has accompanied islamization, also once confined to a small minority. The relentless march of Islam, and of arabization, will only continue if not checked by American or other Western military force. Continued bleatings from NGOs or those in the West whose careers have been furthered by their public anguish over Darfur (for some reason the same people expressed far less anguish over the far greater number of victims in the southern Sudan -- but then, those victims were not Muslim, but Christians and animists, so the "Islamic" aspect of the mass-murdering was a bit too troublesomely obvious) will accomplish nothing.

But who, since Kitchener, and "Chinese Gordon, and the days of the Mad Mahdi and the Fuzzie-Wuzzies made cinematically immortal in "The Four Feathers," has had any desire to visit sunny Sudan?  There's no reason to visit, not unless you are a National Geographic reporter engaged to retrace the steps of James Bruce as he investigated, back in the 1780s,  the sources of the Nile. Most of us would willingly forego such a cataract operation.

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Posted on 02/27/2008 4:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Holton cum Beckering
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Holton cum Beckering, Lincolnshire, epicentre of the small earthquake that killed nobody in England last night, is best known for its bickering. Readers are invited to conjure with the following English place names:

Hockwold cum Wilton, Norfolk
Chorlton cum Hardy, Lancashire
Stow cum Quy, Cambridgeshire
Brightwell cum Sotwell, Oxfordshire
Horton cum Studley, Oxfordshire

Is Horton cum Studley twinned with its American counterpart Holly go Lightly?

More conjuring with English place names here.

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Posted on 02/27/2008 3:40 PM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Buckley - the long and short of it
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Former NER writer John Derbyshire makes a connection between the small earthquake in England and the death of William F. Buckley Jr:

The earth itself trembles when a great man departs." So say the Chinese, anyway. The passing of an Emperor was recorded using the character beng, whose principal meaning is "landslide."

So it has happened.

The epicentre of the tremor, which measured 5.3 on the Richter scale according to the British Geological Survey, was centred on the village of Holton cum Beckering, about 15 miles northeast of Lincoln.

[Derbyshire]   I can't find hard data, but I have always thought the surname "Buckley" belonged up there in the North. My uncle Teddy Buckley (no relation) was a Yorkshireman.

I don't know any hard data either, but I have found that the name Buckley - the first syllable pronounced to rhyme with book - is very common in Lancashire, and not particularly common here in the south.

One thing puzzles me - why is Buckley referred to only in longhand or shorthand? Why is he either "William F. Buckley Jr"  on the one hand, and "(Mr) Buckley" or "W.F.B" or "Bill" on the other? Why not "William Buckley"? Jesus H. Christ - must be an Americanism.

I don't know much about him, but I get the impression he was a good egg. His praise for the German film The Lives of Others suggests first class eggery.

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Posted on 02/27/2008 3:07 PM by Mary Jackson
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