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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
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

Friday, 28 February 2014
Muslim boys’ school bans women from applying for job as science teacher

From the Telegraph

A Muslim boys’ school is facing claims of segregation after advertising for a temporary science teacher but making clear that women need not apply.

The advert published by the outsourcing company Capita requested a “Male Science Teacher” to cover lessons, including some mathematics classes, until the end of the current academic year on a short term contract for up to £150 a day. 

Capita argued that the exclusion of women could be legally justified but the advert was later withdrawn after a warning from the Department for Education over the need to comply with equality law.

The National Secular Society said it had been alerted to the advertisement by a female science teacher who had been looking for work in the Leicester area.

Among requirements listed for the job are a good knowledge of the national curriculum and an ability to plan “innovative and engaging lessons”. The advert describes the school simply as an Islamic School for Boys in Leicester without specifying which school.

Capita refused to confirm the name of the school claiming it was to “protect their confidentiality”.

But it follows a similar advertisement placed by the Madani Boys School in Leicester last month for the post of “Male Technician” in the IT department.

Capita insisted that the male-only requirement was legal under the Equality Act, which allows employers an opt-out from sex discrimination rules in specific circumstances. . . But a spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “Schools must comply with equality law. "We asked Leicester City Council to raise this with the school and the advert has now been withdrawn.” 

Posted on 02/28/2014 2:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 28 February 2014
In Libya Disarray Deepens
From Al-Ahram:
Issue No.1186, 27 February, 2014      26-02-2014

Despite elections, Libya unravels

Libya continues its descent into chaos as armed militias continue to hold sway over national politics, writesKamel Abdallah

Despite attempts by the Libyan government to steady the troubled country on the path to democracy, signs of malaise are everywhere.

On Thursday, 20 February, Libyans went to the polls to elect the 60-member Constitutive Assembly that should write the country’s new constitution. But the day was marred by violence, leading to a low turnout and renewed doubts about the government’s ability to rein in the wilful interference in political life by the country’s powerful militias.

To complicate things further, tribal minority communities in the country voiced their dissatisfaction with the formation of the 60-member Constitutive Assembly, claiming that they were underrepresented. Six seats have been allotted to the country’s three tribal minorities, the Amazigh, Tuareg and Tabu, at the rate of two seats each. Tribal leaders pointed out that each of the country’s ethnic minorities was given six seats each in the Constitutive Assembly that wrote the constitution under Idris Al-Senussi, the country’s last king.

A few days ago, the Qaaqaa and Sawaeq Brigades, two powerful militia hailing from the city of Zintan in western Libya, took the unusual measure of telling the country’s interim parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), to step down or face “arrest”.

The parliament’s performance is generally viewed as dismal, and many Libyans wish it to disband. But the blatant interference by the two militias, who are known to be sympathetic to the liberal current in the country, was too much to take.

Disillusion among the public must have played a role in the low turnout in the Thursday elections, which was also fraught with administrative lapses.

Errors were reported in the registration of voters, and many who had voted in the past discovered that their names had disappeared from the lists.

Marauding gunmen were also blamed for disrupting elections in various parts of the country, leading to the closure of several polling stations in Kafra, Derna and Nalut. Even in Benghazi, where security was supposed to be tight, an explosion took place in one of the polling stations.

The Amazigh community promised to challenge the Constitutive Assembly elections, saying that it violated its cultural and social rights.

To reduce tensions in the Thursday vote, the government arranged for candidates to run individually, without disclosing their affiliation with the country’s parties, whose performance in the interim parliament left much to be desired.

Libyan parties were blamed as being the reason for the political and security tensions in the country. Their bickering, as well as their association with various militias, is seen as responsible for Libya’s dysfunctional political process.

There have been calls for Libya’s political parties to be excluded from the writing of the constitution, so that the country can have a charter that is unhampered by conflicting interests.

Libya’s Supreme Elections Commission (SEC) said that a second round of voting would be held on Wednesday, 26 February, in all centres that had to close down because of disruptions.

SEC Chief Nuri Al-Abbar said that the commission is holding talks with the GNC and the government to assuage the concerns of the country’s minorities, including the Amazigh and Tabu.

The SEC has been declaring the results of the elections as soon as the ballot boxes were counted in Tripoli.

So far, the liberal and the federal currents seem to be ahead in Benghazi and the cities of the east.

Among the winners so far are renowned liberal economist Ali Al-Tarhuni, constitutional law professor Abdel-Qader Qadura, federal supporter Abdel-Jawwad Al-Badin, and women activist Om Al-Ezz Al-Farsi.

In a bizarre development, two of the militias from Zintan issued a statement on Wednesday, 19 February, giving the GNC five hours to resign or be arrested as “usurpers” of power.

The ultimatum, which many found disturbing, is not without legal basis.

The GNC was supposed to disband on 7 February, according to the constitutional declaration of August 2011. The GNC’s extension of its own term, till the next elections, was both unexpected as well as controversial.

The ultimatum that the Zintan militia issued to the GNC is symptomatic of the political schism in the country, and how it can turn into a bloody military confrontation unless serious steps are taken towards reconciliation and the disarming of the militias.

There are two opposing constellations of armed groups in Libya today. The ones based in Misrata are generally supportive of the Islamists, while the ones based in Zintan are friends with the liberal current.

International mediators have been busy trying to defuse the tensions in Libya. Particularly active in the mediation was Tarek Mirti, the UN emissary who called for a diplomatic solution of the current crisis. US, EU, UK, French and Italian officials have also called for self-restraint on all sides.

Animosity among the rival militia is claiming high-level victims.

Othman Milaiqtah, commander of the Qaaqaa Brigade, one of the two militia groups that issued the infamous ultimatum to the interim government, has been seriously injured in what is said to have been an assassination attempt. According to some reports, he is now receiving treatment outside the country.

His supporters have threatened revenge against the perpetrators.

The assassination attempt is said to have taken place while the GNC was discussing ways of defusing the current crisis and reining in the militia.

The Zintan based militia, including the powerful Qaaqaa and Sawaeq Brigades, are generally viewed as the military wing of the liberal-leaning National Forces Alliance.

Meanwhile, the Misrata-based militia, including the Libyan Revolutionaries’ Operations Room (LROR), accused of involvement in the abduction of Interim Prime Minister Ali Zeidan on 5 October 2013, are generally allied to the Islamist current.

On Sunday, the Zintan fighters and Islamist gunmen clashed in the Tripoli district of Abu Salim, just as the parliament was discussing a joint report by the interior and defence ministries of what to do with the country’s marauding militias.

A member of the GNC, interviewed by phone, told Al-Ahram Weekly that Libya is experiencing continued difficulties because of the disproportionate power and disruptive actions of its semi-independent militia groups.

On Friday, a Libyan Antonov military plane crashed in Tunisia, killing all 11 people aboard. Among those who perished in the crash was a well-known Islamist, Meftah Dawoudi, who was undersecretary at the Libyan Ministry of Martyrs and a key member of the LROR.

Meanwhile, former Libyan commander Major General Khalifa Hifter released a video calling on all Libyans to rise against the GNC.

Hifter, who played a major role in the revolution that ended Gaddafi’s rule, is currently wanted by military investigators for announcing a coup d’etat and calling for the appointment as head of state of the chief of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, Ali Mawloud Hafiza. The announcement proved false.

Soon after that call, the Libyan public prosecutor lifted immunity from Hafiza, so as to investigate allegations that his actions in office “exceeded” his lawful powers.

Posted on 02/28/2014 4:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 28 February 2014
Coming Up Tramps

by Theodore Dalrymple (March 2014)

More than half a century ago (how strange it seems to me now to be able to write such a thing!), my teacher made the class learn by heart some lines by W H Davies that stay with me still and run through my mind whenever I walk past or through a field. She gave us the weekend to learn the lines and then tested us on them on Monday morning. Woe betide us if we were not able to recite them like automata. For a time poetry and fear were associated in my mind; but in the long run I gained more by the method than I lost by it.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:00 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
In Syria, Leave Well Enough Alone

In Syria, the war machine weakens but the Alawites hold on. Hezbollah loses men, and with every victory it helps Assad declare, and with every bit of Youtube gloating, it deepens Sunni hatred.

Why is that bad for us, the world's non-Muslims?

Why the polypragmonic impulse? What good did that do, for the world's non-Muslims,  in Libya, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, anywhere? Why the desire to rescue Muslims from their own problems, including the inability to compromise, and the aggression that comes naturally to those raised on Qur'an, Hadith, Sira? Why not let them begin to be forced to make the connection between the texts of Islam, and the observable behavior of Muslims, and the many failures of Muslim societies for which there is no cure, but only possible amelioration if, emulating Ataturk, those who rule can systematically weaken Islam as a political and social force, which means to weaken it altogether?

And with each news item from Syria, about battles and miseries and charges and counter-charges hurled from both sides at both sides,  the Western world comes more and more to identify Islam -- a salutary identificaion -- with violence, and sheer craziness. And that's true, too.

Leave well enough alone.

Posted on 02/28/2014 7:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 28 February 2014

Livadia, Yalta, Sebastopol....

And don't forget Gurov and the lady with the lapdog.

Isn't that by itself enough to tilt the scale?

"The most difficult and complicated part of the story is only just beginning."

Posted on 02/28/2014 7:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 28 February 2014
Justice Tempered With Mercy

by Conrad Black (March 2014)

Because of my well-publicized experiences with and criticism of the criminal justice system, I was invited to one of a series of law reform public meetings that occurs more or less monthly through the winter at St. George's United Church in Toronto, and attended a session last week addressed by Roy McMurtry, former attorney general and chief justice of Ontario. It was a most convivial and informative occasion, and although I have had my disagreements with Roy in the 40 years we have known each other, our relations have generally been cordial and certainly are now.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:10 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Can We Withstand the Divine Gaze?

by Rebecca Bynum (March 2014)

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
                                                                     – John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11)

Those who were baptized by John were not doing it for themselves alone but for the Jewish nation as a whole. They believed that to repent of their own sins would help bring about the salvation of their people, that spiritual progress for all was dependant on the progress of each. Whether true or not, there is no doubt this manner of thinking animated the founding of America as well – a people spiritually cleansed, who could perceive and follow the divine leading and thus bless the whole world by example – this too was the animating spirit of the early settlers. Americans once commonly thought of themselves as a nation of repentant sinners, but also a nation which welcomed divine scrutiny.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:05 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
"Dost Know This Water-fly?" - Effeminacy in Shakespeare

by David P. Gontar (March 2014)

1.  Introduction

Unlike his predecessor, Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), many of whose works reflect affirmative interest in male sexual irregularity, the writings attributed to William Shakespeare are consistently orthosexual, treating deviations as unsalutary and symptomatic of social necrosis. In an age in which sexual "ambiguity" is celebrated and promoted by a veritable orgy of sensationalist journalists, psycho-babbling critics, and "queer theorists," it's not surprising that many are anxious to enlist the prestigious "William Shakespeare" in the cause. Unfortunately, such efforts are vain and doomed to failure, for they must always be conducted at the expense of content. In what follows we examine several Shakespeare plays to reveal his negative assessment of effeminacy and male intimacy.1 We will find that readings of Shakespeare which allege same-sex promotion are doctrinaire and intellectually transgressive.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:25 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Last Days in the Garden of Eden-Among the Pygmies of the Central African Republic

by Geoffrey Clarfield (March 2014)

Introduction- Jihad in the Central African Republic

Most African historians and historians of Africa write about the Muslim Arab conquest of North Africa or the Muslim conversion of the peoples of the Sahel, as if it was driven by some natural historical force. They use words like the “spread of Islam” or the “triumph of Islam” and describe it as though it was a civilizing mission that came to bring light to previously pagan, polytheistic, African peoples who are or were, living in a state of “tribalism” or as the Islamic theologians would like to argue, in a state of “jahaliyya,” a state of ignorance of Islam. And as an added insult to the conquered, the historians often fail to mention that the goal of these conquests was also gold, plunder, booty and especially slaves.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:20 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Life's a Swindle

by Theodore Dalrymple (March 2014)

In my career as a doctor in prison, I met a few swindlers in my time and on the whole I liked them. They had charm and intelligence, which perhaps is unsurprising. It isn’t easy to imagine a charmless swindler, after all; it is almost a sine qua non of the trade. Whether their charm preceded their swindling or they developed it in order to practice their swindling is hard to say, though the former is more likely. Be that as it may, their charm was their stock-in-trade and human gullibility the market in which they sold their wares.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:15 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Small Latin and Lesse Greek – a Theory No Longer Fit for Purpose?

by Keith Hopkins (March 2014)

And though thou hadst small Latin and lesse Greek
From thence to honour thee, I would not seeke
For names, but call forth thund’ring Aeschilus,
Euripedes, and Sophocles to us……

What did Shakespeare know? Why is that important? This is not an epistemological, or rhetorical question, far less an enquiry into the meaning of meaning, as it were, or the what and the why of things. Shakespeare raises many deep issues about who we are, or, more accurately, who we like to think we are. But he does not do this by entering the Academy to give us all a lecture. There is a home-spun quality to the nature of even the greatest of Shakespeare’s plays that will always defeat the system builders. And it’s always nice to feel at home. But the huge enigma remains. Just how did he know what he gives every appearance of knowing in the plays? Where did all this learning come from? And perhaps of equal force, how is this reconcilable, if at all, with the notion of the Stratford grammar school lad of cherished tradition?  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:30 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
When Is Harassment Not Harassment? When It’s Via Twitter

by Catstrangler101 (March 2014)

This week I've been thinking about the whole concept of "harassment" as it applies to communications sent via Twitter. I have to declare an interest, of course, since someone not a million miles away from me is currently due up before the beak in Birmingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday 08 April to face a charge of Racially Aggravated Harassment for allegedly calling that mendacious grievance-mongering taqiyya-artist - Fiyaz Mughal OBE of TellMamaUK notoriety - a "Lying Muslim Scumbag."  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:42 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Harry Browne, and the Hypocrisy of the Irish ‘Academics for Palestine’ Boycott

by Robert Harris (March 2014) recently published a piece by Harry Browne, entitled ‘I’m supporting a boycott of Israeli academic institutions – here’s why’. innocently describes Browne as ‘a lecturer in journalism in DIT’. However, this statement doesn’t begin to qualify as the journalistic disclosure of an interested party, a failure perhaps fitting for, given the highly-prejudicial slant of its coverage on the Arab-Israel conflict.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:38 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Has Iran Developed Nuclear Weapons in North Korea?

by Jerry Gordon (March 2014)

During his State of the Union Address on January 28th, President Obama told a joint Session of Congress he saw no need for strengthened standby sanction authorities against Iran in pending legislation, the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act (NWFIA), S-1881. Instead he suggested that pursuit of the diplomatic process under the P5+1 agreement and Joint Plan of Action offered the best hope of avoiding a military action.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:34 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: From An Odessa Lock-Up (Leonid Utyosov)
Watch, and listen, here.
Posted on 02/28/2014 8:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 28 February 2014
The Peril of Engaging Rogue States: An Interview with Dr. Michael Rubin

by Jerry Gordon (March 2014)

Michael Rubin, former Bush era Pentagon official who is currently a Resident Scholar at the Washington, DC –based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), has been engaged in intense media interviews since the launch of his new book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimeswhich covers Rubin’s research on fifty years of US and Western experience with rogue regimes and terrorist groups.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:59 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Obama’s Pen, Phone and Scissors

by Norman Berdichevsky (March 2014)

The recent arrogant remarks by the President that he does not have to wait for Congress to act because he has a pen and phone are nothing less than throwing down a gauntlet to both humiliate and deprecate not just the Congress, but eventually the Supreme Court and ultimately the Constitution itself through a series of unprecedented Executive Orders. These amount to nothing less than utilizing his third handy (but unmentioned) tool – a pair of scissors to eviscerate the Constitution.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:56 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Minneapolis Fire Investigation Reveals Money Launderer for Al Shabaab

by Jerry Gordon (March 2014)

On January 1, 2014 a spectacular explosion and fire occurred at a building in the predominately Somali émigré area of Minneapolis located in Congressional district of US Rep. Keith EllisonA Gates of Vienna (GOV) report noted what occurred:

At 8:16am a catastrophic fire broke out at 514 Cedar Avenue South in a predominantly Somali neighborhood of Minneapolis.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:51 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Why Islam is a Cult

by Richard Hobbs (March 2014)

A recent article on cults identified the 15 separate traits that the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) identifies as common among cults. According to Michael D. Langone, Ph.D., concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships.  Many members and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused – some would say brainwashed. The list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group to help determine if it is in fact a cult. Langone states that this list is not a definitive checklist but is an analytical tool to determine if a specific group is a cult.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 8:46 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Ecology vs. Social Justice: A Contrived Conflict

by Lorna Salzman (March 2014)


Though rumblings continue from social justice activists on why social justice should take precedence over ecological concerns, the notion that these are incompatible is quite mistaken, even dangerous. This arises primarily because American liberals and the left generally have emerged from and are motivated by the intense, overriding ideology of equality.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 9:12 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Engagement is Folly

A review by Jerry Gordon  (March 2014)

Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engagement with Rogue Regimes
by Michael Rubin
Encounter Books ( Feb.18, 2014)
Hardcover: 384 pp.
ISBN: 978-1594037238

In January 1954, during a White House visit, Britain’s redoubtable Prime Minister Winston Churchill said that “To jaw jaw is always better than to war war.”  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 9:07 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Review of Journal of Modern Wisdom Volumes I & II

by Travis Dumsday (March 2014)

The Journal of Modern Wisdom is a newly founded venue for concise essays on culture, politics, and ethics, with most contributors writing from a broadly (very broadly) conservative perspective. Neither an academic peer-reviewed journal nor a popular magazine, the JMW occupies a space that overlaps to some extent such publications as First Things and City Journal,while possessing a distinctive voice of its own. In what follows I will summarize some of the highlights of the JMW’s first two volumes, and though I will venture some critical comments, my aim here is chiefly to give the reader an introduction to this welcome new entrant into the public square.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 9:20 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Letter to a Selfish Child

by G. Murphy Donovan  (March 2014)

“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.” - Ayn Rand

seldom talk to your folks about your behavior, no less what might be done about it. Parents circle the wagons when outsiders volunteer criticism or advice, especially when the subject is children. Love often smothers common sense. So let me talk to you directly, you the potential adult; surely a stretch at this point. Nonetheless, I’m going to give candor a chance. Sometimes, especially when all else has failed, only the truth will do.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 9:16 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Kosti's Ambrose

by Richard Kostelanetz (March 2014)

In memory of B(rian). S. Johnson (1933-1973).

Long an admirer of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary, I’m here appropriating him, much as I’ve appropriated other literary heroes, in this case rewriting some of his entries to make them mine and adding a few of my own reflecting his influence, not just what I wish I wrote but what I rewrote. Humor I like to rewrite mostly to be mine. Some of my own entries, written in 1958, became the earliest text ever reprinted by me (in Skeptical Essays [2010]) and thus stands in retrospect as my first piece of serious writing. These appear here boldfaced. Other entries, some more personal, were written recently and distributed without my credits alphabetically. 

--Richard Kostelanetz, RidgeWood-SoHo, NY 11385-5751.

A thick Brtish accent, n. A prime prerequisite for a television appearance by a delegate to the U.N. from a newly created nation in Africa or Asia.

ABASEMENT, n.  A customary mental attitude in the presence of wealth or power that is peculiarly necessary for an underling whenever addressing an insecure superior.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 9:29 AM by NER
Friday, 28 February 2014
Life in the Mind

by Moshe Dann (March 2014)

The dark mahogany armchair in the waiting room reminds me of her soft arms. Rubbing the wood’s deep grain, I wonder if magically she would appear. But she is gone, and I am here, not there, and this is only a chair with sturdy legs and smooth unyielding back.  more>>>

Posted on 02/28/2014 9:23 AM by NER
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