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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























Tuesday, 31 March 2009
A Musical Interlude: La Fille Du B�douin (Georges Milton)
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Listen here.

 

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Posted on 03/31/2009 11:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Former French Ambassador Servoise On The Muslim Invasion Of France
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An Ambassador’s Warning to the French People

Here is a text from the pen of

René Servoise, former ambassador of France to Indonesia. It is posted at Bivouac-Id, Le Post

and Terre d'Israel.

Despite its length, I chose to abridge it only slightly

 

A mutation of our nation is in progress. It is growing, it is profound but uncontrolled. In all likelihood, the immense majority of Frenchmen are unaware of it.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim families, from North Africa, the Middle East and black Africa - whose religion, aspirations and mores are radically different from ours - now live on our soil. Their birth rate is higher than that of European families. What is the consequence? Within 30 years the population of Islamist culture could be in the majority among those 40 years old or younger. "In France, we will have between 6 and 8 million Arabs by the years 2005 - 2010," said Edgar Pisani, honorary president of the Arab World Institute. We have been duly warned: this is a radical transformation (political, economic, cultural and social) of our society.

This mutation is in progress at the very moment when, to use Toynbee's expression, "an external proletariat" is forming on the southern and western shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This army of reservists came about as a result of the birth rate of these peoples, and the absence of an economic policy capable of guaranteeing them a decent life in their homeland. In front of them lie France, Italy, Spain and Germany, lands of mirage, highly developed, with guaranteed employment, free social protection and education. Who could resist the call of this "promised land"?

At the same time, all over the world, roused by immense hopes, Islam is enjoying an unprecedented revival. It is awakening after a long night. It has renewed vigor, pugnacity and ambitions. From Morocco to Indonesia, from the Muslim States of Central Asia to black Africa, more than one billion two hundred million men - young compared to the aging populations of Europe - constitute a "community" (Umma).

It is transnational, motivated by spiritual aspirations, material demands and political ambitions, and (here and there) financed by revenue from oil.

In France, the successive waves of Italians, Poles, central European Jews, Spaniards and Portuguese, had never posed comparable problems of integration. Why? Because they belonged to the European branch. Their religious traditions and their ambition to acquire more individual freedoms facilitated their assimilation. Finally - and this is far from the least important reason - these immigrants expressed a desire to share the destiny of the French nation. To meld into it. Integration cannot be decreed. In order for it to materialize it must be desired by two, this is obvious. And the two must converge. Today, the situation is different, radically different. An active and determined minority among the Islamists refuses integration. Deliberately.

In close communion with Islam (its matrix), it is receptive to orders from abroad, to spiritual counsel, ideology and financial support. And much more. Not only does it intend to keep its identity, but to re-Islamize the non-practicing, if not convert the natives of the host country to the true faith. Islam has never conceived of itself as a minority in a secular State, but necessarily as the majority religion. (...) Exalted by its renewal, propelled both by its demography and its absence of economic development, infiltrating wherever there is no resistance, Islam is advancing like a wave.

The French people can measure its vitality by the number of mosques multiplying on their territory (sometimes with the help of Catholic and lay leaders), mosques run by imams 96% of whom are from foreign countries. Also by the prospect of seeing - in the second half of the 21st century - the fall of Catholicism in France to second rank, leaving first place to Islam.

Thus two dynamics are developing: one inside our borders (...); the other outside (...) Concomitant and convergent, these changes are determining factors for Europe and for the French nation where the demographic stagnation is alarming.

 

The map below shows the growth of mosques, with the dark green areas indicating more than 30 mosques. The years range from 1985 to 2008. Their growth is amazing.

Every nation expresses itself through a subtle, delicate and secret balance between dreams, ambitions and strengths, sometimes contradictory, transcended by a common aspiration to live together and to do great things together. This national identity is for some its soul; for others its genius. Each nation is a plant nourished by a land and a History, pride in its past. "Immediate to the heart of God," it is unique and therefore justified.

How many centuries, wars, concessions, sacrifices and omissions were necessary for France, England, Spain and Germany to overcome - finally - their internal divisions and to become what they are!

If it is fitting - as Montesquieu recommends - to only touch institutions with a trembling hand, what can one say about the respect due the profound harmony of our nation, its internal composition - the measure of its permanence and of its performance?

To the lessons drawn from our past, the present adds new warnings about the future on a daily basis. How can we allow ourselves to be blinded to the point of not seeing the proliferation and the exasperation of ethnic and religious conflicts all around us, since the same causes produce the same effects?

 

He then lists some of the numerous ethnic conflicts in the world, including those in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Are we Frenchmen, after having overcome so many rebellions, insurrections and revolutions, after having liquidated our quarrels between Catholics, Protestants, Israelites and Free Thinkers; between nobles, bourgeois and proletariat, about to allow conditions that foster disintegration to take hold?

Warning. If native Frenchmen fail to be the most numerous, we will see that our days are numbered. If we fail to limit the number of immigrants, we will be judged as wanting in the scales of History. If we fail to affirm our national ambition, we will set the stage for the bursting apart of our nation.

Remember. One day, in Babylon, on the wall of his palace, Belshazzar saw letters written in fire, three warnings: MENE MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. The prophet Daniel translated them thus:

"God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end."

"You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting."

"Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians."

For us today the warnings come daily on our TV screens. But no prophet dares translate them.

What kind of France, dear reader, do you hope to bequeath to your children?

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Posted on 03/31/2009 11:47 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
We Have A Winner!
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Congratulations to Aymenn Jawad of Cardiff, England who has won our March crossword puzzle. He will receive an autographed copy of Ibn Warraq's Why I Am Not A Muslim.

Honorable mention goes to Jae Young Yoo also of Cardiff.

Thanks to everyone who played!

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Posted on 03/31/2009 7:30 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Hannah Shah, The Imam�s Daughter
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by Esmerelda Weatherwax (April 2009)


When I bought this book on
Amazon in early March the usual “you might like this” selection popped up. Not Infidel or the Caged Virgin by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but a selection of true gloom of the sort I described here. Don’t let that put you off reading it because Hannah Shah’s book is an important autobiography. The Rt Revd Michael Nazir Ali, Bishop of Rochester is said to have had her experience in mind when he made his recent decision to leave Rochester to work for the persecuted church. more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:52 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
It's Still the Same Old Story
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by Ares Demertzis  (April 2009)

 
(i)
 
A mysteriously dark and oppressive pistachio sky hung low over my head; wine colored stars gazed down unconcerned by the plight of a yellow boat plowing with angry difficulty through a murky crimson liquid that I assumed to be the sea. I watched myself sitting on a rusting, white railing that circled an empty deck, effortlessly lifting my right arm and pushing it carefully through the sharp edges of a crescent moon; the shimmering, ever-lengthening appendage extended itself gracefully, disappearing into unfathomable heavens. The explosion was swift and violent; bright orange flames resembling flashes of lightning burst in comic strip animation from amidships, tearing the vessel in two, sucking everything into a ruthless vortex, propelling all into the unfathomable, aquatic deep. I twisted my body away from a crashing wave and felt the frigid water splash across my chest. more>>>
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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:52 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism in Europe: The Mistreatment of Israel by the Media
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by Raphael Israeli (April 2009)
 

Since the 1980s several high level European politicians have made radical anti-Semitic declarations which accorded with Arab and Muslim positions. In a public statement in 1982, Greek Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou compared Israelis to Nazis. But no mainstream European leader went as far as Christian Democrat Giulio Andreotti, many times the Prime Minister and then the President of Italy, who declared in Geneva, during an inter-parliamentary conference in 1984, his support for a Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi motion, which equated Zionism with racism, supported the boycotting of Israel, and defended the right of the “armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine" [that is terrorism]. Italy was then the only Western country to vote with the Soviet Bloc for this motion. Later, such occurrences have become even more frequent.  more>>>
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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:51 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
The Jewish and Irish Debates Over a �National Language�
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by Norman Berdichevsky (April 2009)


Israel
succeeded in reviving and modernizing an ancient language by linking it to its historic past, a goal sought, but not as well achieved, by the Irish national movement. In the State of Israel, independence was recreated along with a cultural rebirth in the face of great odds and massive doubts regarding the viability of both modern nationhood and the language. Even Theodore Herzl, the founder of the Zionist vision that launched the political efforts to create a Jewish state, skeptically asked at the time of the First Zionist Congress in 1897, “Who among us can as much as ask for a train ticket in Hebrew?” His skepticism was shared by many European Jews who felt that reviving the language was an impossible task (or a profane or even a sacrilegious one). In Herzl’s romantic, utopian novel of a future idealized modern Jewish state, Altneuland (Old-New Land), Jews are pictured as cosmopolitan multilingual speakers of major European languages. Neither Yiddish nor Hebrew is mentioned.
more>>>
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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:50 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
American versus Israeli Geo-Political Objectives in the Struggle for a Free Sudan
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by Jerry Gordon (April 2009)


Background
The issuance of an arrest warrant on March 6, 2009 by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for Sudan strongman President Omar Al-Bashir has further complicated American foreign policy interests in multilateral humanitarian solutions in this largest African country. Sudan is deeply riven by tribal and religious domination by an Islamist regime. The country has been traumatized by a long internecine Jihad war perpetrated by Arab Muslims in the North against Christians and animists in the south and African nominal Muslims in the Darfur region and Nuba Mountains. Over two million have been killed, hundreds of thousands enslaved and millions made into internal refugees by the religious conflict. Added to that are the complications over land border disputes and control of Sudan’s oil reserves located largely in the South. This article presents background on the interminable and roiling jihad war, the parlous state of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Act between the central government and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM), and the conundrum facing the Obama Administration endeavoring to resolve this humanitarian crisis. It also presents the surprising story of Israeli geo-political interests in the Sudan and support of Sudanese regional secularist interests in combating the existential threat to Israel from the Iran-Sudan-Hezbollah–Hamas terrorist axis.  more>>>
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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:49 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Ideology and Religion
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by Rebecca Bynum (April 2009)

 
Many commentators today take note of the similarities between Communism, Nazism and Islam, but they fail to explain that the reason this is true is because all three are manifestations of an essential philosophical materialism. While Communism is derived from economic determinism and Nazism is a subset of racial determinism, modern thinkers tend not to consider the materialistic nature of Islam because it originated so long ago, before the age of science and the rise of the idea that there is nothing above the material world, or that matter is the source of all else. Westerners also tend to think of religion as being focused on the spiritual or super-material (on life, the animator of matter, and on higher meaning and values) rather than on the material alone which naturally tends toward death. This reality often goes unrecognized in the current embrace of scientific secularism, but it is there.  more>>>
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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:48 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
If General Petraeus Had Read "War And Peace"
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by Hugh Fitzgerald (April 2009)

 
Even if you have not read War and Peace, you will likely know that the title alerts the reader to the book’s unusual form: it shifts back and forth from the life of Russians, Bolkonskys and Rostovs and other aristocratic families, and at the moral center of this domestic universe, there stands Pierre Bezukhov, whose questioning inquietude makes him the most sympathetic and interesting of the Russians far from the front, while interspersed are the “War” chapters, the war in question being that brought to Russia by Napoleon, who invaded on June 12, 1812, with his 600,000-man Grande Armee. Less than 40,000 of them would return across the Russian border, back to Western Europe. more>>>
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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:47 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Attitude or Gratitude?
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by Theodore Dalrymple (April 2009)


A recent Dutch visitor to my house in France was observant enough to notice that I disliked wasting food. He told me that he was very much of the same mind.

It occurred to me then to try to find the cause and justification of our dislike of such waste. Where did it, this dislike, come from? What reason could we give for it? (These are not the same questions, of course.) more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:46 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
The Fruits of Rage, Part II
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by Richard L. Rubenstein (April 2009)

 
 
On December 18, 2008, Hamas declared an end to the six-month old ceasefire with Israel. Six days later it Hamas ratcheted up its mortar and rocket fire against Israeli targets. To end the rocket attacks, Israel launched air strikes on December 27 at targets in Gaza. Almost immediately, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, speaking as president of the European Union, criticized Israel for a “disproportionate [1] Often repeated, Sarkozy’s complaint failed to confront a crucial issue in the conflict: What is the appropriate response of any community to an enemy on its borders that has openly and unconditionally stated that it is under a divinely-sanctioned mandate utterly to destroy that community and its people? Would any of the states condemning Israel for its alleged “disproportionate” use of force tolerate the aggression of such an entity? How indeed does one relate to a group that uses hospitals as its military headquarters and mosques, schools, refugee camps, and civilian housing to store and fire its weapons?[2] Would any other government add to the hazards facing its own people by permitting the enemy’s civilian population, deliberately placed in harm’s way by its own rulers, to dwell in safety? Just how many deaths and injuries is Israel expected to sustain before retaliating? more>>>
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Posted on 03/31/2009 5:45 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Pseudsday Tuesday
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Blogger Lenin, borderline anti-Semitic hater of Israel, fawns on Islam and buys into what he would call the “narrative” of “Islamophobia”. As with many leftists, including those who call themselves feminists, he sees no contradiction between support for Islam and a theoretical equality of women. Provided, of course, that it is theoretical, and the theory is sufficiently opaque.

 

“Lenin”, like his namesake, is not given to wordplay, so the title of his post “Lacanian Phallacies” is a pleasant surprise. But the author he quotes, Anne McLintock, is deadly serious, as are “Lenin’s” subsequent comments. She, and he, mean it (my emphasis):

 

"Following Freud, Lacan proclaims 'the absence in women of fetishism.' What is the logic of this second disavowal? In Lacan's texts, women are doomed to inhabit the tongueless zone of the Imaginary. We are forbidden citizenship in the Symbolic, exiled from the archives and encyclopedias, the sacred texts and algebras, the alphas and omegas of history. If women speak at all, it is with male tongues, as ventriloquists of phallic desire. If we look, it is with a male gaze. In this way, Lacan's vision bears an uneasy affinity to the nineteenth-century discourse on degeneration, which figured women as bereft of language, exiled from reason and properly inhabiting the prehistory of the race. For Lacan, as for the discourse on degeneration, women's difference is figured as a chronological one; we inhabit an earlier space in the linear, temporal history of the (male) symbolic self. Pre-oedipal space (the space of domesticity) is naturalized by figuring it as anachronistic space: out of time and prior to symbolic history. Women's historically gendered relation to power is represented as a formally different relation to time: the imperial gesture itself.

 

With all this talk of algebras and alphas and omegas, it’s time we had a matheme. This one means desire:

 

 

Lacan must have found someone, tongueless or not, to lick him into shape. From my piece on pomo pap:

 

No showcasing of postmodern metatwaddle would be complete without Lacan and his poppycock:

 

Using the above equation as a yardstick, the Frenchman deconstructs his own:

Thus the erectile organ comes to symbolize the place of jouissance [ecstasy], not in itself, or even in the form of an image, but as a part lacking in the desired image: that is why it is equivalent to the square root of -1 of the signification produced above, of the jouissance that it restores by the coefficient of its statement to the function of lack of signifier (-1).

Yes, Lacan thinks his penis is the square root of minus one. Does it stand up to close scrutiny?

 

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Posted on 03/31/2009 4:11 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Enter - pursued by a bear
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As a way to tear children from their Pokemon games and get them into the theatre, this certainly bears thinking about. From The Telegraph, with thanks to Esmerelda:

A mystery 'bear' spotted roaming a Suffolk forest was a hoax, dreamed up by actors to promote an outdoor production of Shakespeare's 'A Winter's Tale'.
 
 
 

The Red Rose Chain Theatre Company rescreated the play's famous stage direction 'Exit – pursued by a bear' in Rendlesham Forest, near Ipswich and posted the footage on You Tube.

They then persuaded three people to report seeing the bear in the woods, leading authorities to investigateamid fears one of the creatures could have escaped from a private enclosure.

The stunt was staged to get children and families interested in Shakespeare. Actors are performing an outdoor production of 'Winter's Tale' in the forest in August.

Actor and designer Jimmy Grimes said: "We didn't want to scare anyone. The idea is to get kids interested and excited about the play. We want to create a family-friendly, fairytale feel for the production.

"This is our 10th forest production. It's such an unusual event so we're always looking for ways to get people interested."

"No one really knows that much about the play. There's a tiny little stage direction – Exit, pursued by a bear – and a bear is supposed to follow him and it turns out he gets eaten by the bear.

"This tiny little stage direction is probably the most famous part of the play and it's something we thought we could use to get kids interested."

Brown bears have been extinct in Britain since around the 11th Century.

Now here's a challenge: get the kids of to see a production of Royal Hunt of the Sun, by doing the less famous but even more challenging stage direction: "They cross the Andes." Not easy in Ipswich - you'd need somewhere a bit more hilly, like Ramsbottom.

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Posted on 03/31/2009 4:23 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Muslim Excellence
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I have noted before that excellence, once rare, now abounds. The reason is that, in the bad old days, only an elite few were allowed to be excellent. Nowadays we "look harder for excellence". If you look hard enough - and put aside those discriminatory high standards - you will surely find it.

We owe it to the Muslim Community to look even harder. From Gates of Vienna:

The Lambeth Walk has a report on the ninth annual Muslim News Awards for Excellence, a gala event in which politicians and other notables gave awards to various British Muslims for… well, for being somewhat mediocre.

Am I a racist? Or are all these pandering politicos the real racists, granting prizes to members of ethnic minorities on the basis of tying their own shoelaces or being able to chew gum while they walk?

Here’s the story:

Jacqui Smith left her sister’s home specially to be there, and other distinguished guests among the 800 invited included shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

So, without further ado, who are these heroes, those Muslims who make us proud to be a tolerant, inclusive nation?

The winners included:

Mohammed Ali, a Birmingham-based graffiti artist whose so-called aerosol Arabic is influenced by both classical Islamic calligraphy and urban street graffiti.

Imran Sidat, 15, from Leicester, who competes for England in freestyle karate and kickboxing

Mohammed Mujahid Ali, an alternative therapist, for work improving the wellbeing and mental health of black and minority ethnic people.

Reverend Gilleasbuig MacMillan, minister at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, for welcoming Muslims to the cathedral.

Acclaimed Iraq-born composer Ahmed Mukhtar, who is based in London and is master player of the Oud, the stringed instrument popular in the Middle East.

Oh.

We have a petty vandal, a sportsman (worthy, but he’s no different from any of the scores of other British kids training for the Olympics), a racist masseuse, a dhimmi and a person who plays an instrument no one has ever heard of.

Can you seriously imagine the Home Secretary turning up to something like this if the terms ‘ethnic minority’ and ‘community relations’ weren’t involved?


No, I can’t.

But I can imagine the unvoiced assumption that underlies all this nonsense: that Muslims and other ethnic minorities are incapable of the routine accomplishments that we white racist Islamophobes take for granted. No one gives awards to us honkies for such piddly little achievements. We just have to suck it up.

Truth be told, the multiculturalist’s standard assumption — that white Europeans bear a load of collective guilt for their vicious colonial past — is also an assumption that the Dark-Skinned Heathen isn’t capable of standing up on his own two feet and attaining the stature of a full human being.

And that’s racist.

Indeed. And let us not forget Ed Husain, the “ex-Islamist”, who is praised to the skies for having once embraced violent teachings and then given them up. You can’t get much more excellent than not blowing people up. Let’s pay him £80,000 a year.

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Posted on 03/31/2009 3:37 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Women only charity event threatened for being unislamic
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From Asian Image
A group of Muslim volunteers who organise women only charity events claim they have been harassed and told not hold a function because it is ‘unIslamic’.
This despite not a single male person being in the vicinity of the event and the group having a history of holding similar successful functions.
Organisers of the Save the Children Gaza Fundraiser in the Pack Horse Hotel Bolton said they are at the centre of ‘boycott campaign’ from certain sectors of the community who have taken down their posters and told women not to attend the function.
The event has been advertised to include three course halal meal, Bollywood entertainment, a fashion show, auctions, raffles and stalls. 
A spokesperson for Ethical Entertainment exclusively told Asian Image, “There seems to be a certain section of the community in Bolton who think they can bully and intimidate people.
We go out of way to ensure that the event is exclusive only to women. Women don’t have many functions to go to and we have had a wonderful response from those women who would not normally go out. 
“We have done similar events in the past where we just want women to be able to go out and feel they are in a comfortable environment.
“We also do not allow any photos to be taken unless with prior permission.
Organisers claim an announcement was made in a mosque urging husbands not to allow their wives to go to the function. And that any money raised should not go to Gaza because it was haram (forbidden money).
“To ensure we appease people we are now donating the funds from the event to the children of Nigeria. We got told that money raised from the event would be haram.
“The Save the Children charity which operates in Gaza raises funds from anywhere. People are dyeing and they need our help right now.”
The major issue at the centre of the argument seems to be a notion that music has been forbidden in Islamic scripture. The volunteers say they have received threatening phonecalls so have been forced into a corner.
Dr Jajo, owner of the Pack Horse Hotel, (which is a restaurant and hotel, NOT a pub) said "Muslims are welcome to the event, but it is not a Muslim charity or an event for Muslims per se, so I was very shocked to hear what happened. I am very grateful for the help from Ethical Entertainment and hope they will be left alone now".
I can't say that Gaza needs the money because I hear that Hamas is well supplied from various quarters, although I doubt much gets spent on what I would say was essential. But the event itself hardly sounds like a hen night.  I listen to my husband's advice if he thinks an expedition might be dangerous, but I cannot imagine him forbidding me such an innocent outing.

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Posted on 03/31/2009 3:20 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
The chosen one has just flown over my house.
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We are not worthy, we are not worthy.
I was watching BBC News 24 when Barack and Michelle Obama were shown live stepping out of rather a nice looking aeroplane. I had heard that Air Force 1 was rather good -and it looks it.
I had not realised that they were landing at Stanstead Airport in Essex. Stanstead itself is a rather attractive small town which my husband visits through work from time to time.
I wonder if they will travel to London on the Flyer into Liverpool Street I thought. First class of course, but it is more likely to be a convoy of limosines, down the M11 and turn right on to the M25 at Epping.
Up came the text at the bottom "The President will travel to London on Marine 1"
Whassat? I thought.
That, is another impressive aircraft, this time a US helicopter. Cor!
Marine 1 took off with a second helicopter (Marine2?) and the announcer was ticked off by a senior announcer for calling the site of the Excel Centre (where the summit will be held tomorrow) in Docklands the Isle of Dogs. It is the Isle of Dogs. Calling the new build "Docklands" does not stop that bend of the river being the Isle of Dogs.
Anyway it probably wasn't Marines 1&2 that flew over the end of the next street to me about 10 minutes ago, two helicopters, close together, similar configuration, coming from and heading in the right direction. Air traffic is busy above where I live. Michelle didn't wave either but it is a lovely night and I hope POTUS and MISSUS enjoyed their aerial view of the under-rated county of Essex.

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Posted on 03/31/2009 2:33 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Pakistani trained nurse struck off for mis-conduct
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I know that Hugh has grave concerns about Muslim doctors. I must speak as I find and say that I have received excellent care from Muslim doctors (and Hindu and Jewish and Christian and secular doctors) although that does not stop me being aware that Hugh's concerns are valid. I have never knowingly been treated by a Muslim nurse but anecdotally a friend who worked with a Muslim nurse in an elderly persons centre found that she was always amongst the missing when any mess needed to be cleaned. Further she was very particular at leaving promptly for lunch and at the end of each session, as she had to return home to cook her husband's meals. Two isolated cases of Muslim nurses obeying the injunction to avoid substances that are considered"najis" is insufficient to draw an accurate conclusion. However this man has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council  for misconduct.
From The Manchester Evening News.
A NURSE who left a cancer patient covered in sick during the last few hours of his life has been kicked out of the profession.
Muhammed Shakeel, 32, failed to provide basic care to patients during an 11-month stint on the Critical Care Unit at The Christie hospital in 2005.
The nurse was struck off the nursing register after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found him guilty of misconduct.
NMC chair Anna Robinson said: "The nurse left one of his patients in vomit for two to three hours. We heard that the patient was at the end of his life and his wife was extremely upset by this.
"The nurse was asked at least twice to clean up the patient, but did not do so. This behaviour is totally unacceptable in a nurse.We have heard no evidence of any regret or apology.
"The misconduct was a serious departure from the relevant standards set out in the code of practice. We are sure that there is a continuing risk to patients if he continued to practise. Public confidence in the NMC would be undermined if he was not removed from the register."
A spokeswoman for The Christie said: "Mohammed Shakeel qualified with a nursing diploma in Pakistan and was recruited to the High Dependency Unit with appropriate references in January 2005.
"Shortly after induction it became apparent that there were serious concerns regarding his practice and that he was not performing to a standard expected of a qualified nurse.
"He received intensive training, mentorship and considerable supervision by senior nursing staff, yet he failed to make any improvement. His progress was closely monitored under the trust's capability policy and further measures were put into place to address the significant shortfalls in his practice.
"Despite these attempts Mohammed Shakeel made no progress and was dismissed from the trust within a year of recruitment. Following his dismissal his case was referred by the trust to the NMC."

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Posted on 03/31/2009 3:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Sliding down a pole and climbing up a ladder near you
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I don't believe that fire stations are equipped with the traditional pole to get from the upper room to the applicance below at maximum speed anymore. But ladders and hydraulic lifts are more advanced than they ever were.
This outfit left, pictured in the
Daily Mail, can only be practical for school visits, safety checks on the homes of the elderly and suchlike - all valuable work but not the front line.
I wonder what the number of Muslim women in the Fire Brigade is?

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Posted on 03/31/2009 2:23 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Hamid Karzai signs law 'legalising rape in marriage'
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From The Telegraph
President Hamid Karzai has signed a law the UN says legalises rape in marriage and prevents women from leaving the house without permission.
The law, which has not been publicly released, is believed to state women can only seek work, education or doctor's appointments with their husband's permission.
Only fathers and grandfathers are granted custody of children under the law, according to the United Nations Development Fund for Women.
Opponents of the legislation governing the personal lives of Afghanistan's Shia minority have said it is "worse than during the Taliban".
Mr Karzai has been accused of electioneering at the expense of women's rights by signing the law to appeal to crucial Shia swing voters in this year's presidential poll.
While the Afghan constitution guarantees equal rights for women, it also allows the Shia community, thought to represent 10 per cent of the population, the right to settle family law cases according to Shia law.
Shinkai Zahine Karokhail, a female MP, said the law had been rushed through with little debate.
She told the Guardian newspaper: "They wanted to pass it almost like a secret negotiation, "There were lots of things that we wanted to change, but they didn't want to discuss it because Karzai wants to please the Shia before the election."
The Afghan justice ministry confirmed the law had been signed, but said it would not be published until technical difficulties had been overcome.

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Posted on 03/31/2009 1:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Jail foils terror copter breakout
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An exclusive from the Currant Bun, with a brilliant artists impression of how the plot may have looked had it not been foiled.
JAIL bosses have foiled a plot by some of the country’s most dangerous terrorists to escape in a hijacked helicopter.
Al-Qaeda henchmen on the outside planned to hire the chopper for “business”, then force the pilot to land in prison at gunpoint.
The nine Muslim inmates were to kidnap the jail imam during prayers with weapons hidden in the prison mosque.
They would move to a sports field using him as a shield and be picked up by the helicopter.
But wardens acting on a tip-off swooped on the plotters’ cells hours before the escape bid was due to start.
The nine — including convicted terrorists — were segregated at Full Sutton, East Yorks. They will now be transferred to other jails.
Officials were last night hunting for weapons in the mosque, which doubles as a chapel. One terrorist at the jail is Omar Khyam, 27 — sentenced to at least 20 years in 2007 for leading a gang that planned to blow up Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent and London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub.
Counter terrorism chiefs are understood to have confirmed to the Justice Department that a helicopter was on standby for the audacious plot.
A source said: “This would have been one of the most damaging escapes ever. The intelligence was very strong and from a good source. It had to be acted on immediately.
“It involved some of the most dangerous al-Qaeda terrorists in jail — all of whom are a massive threat. It had been planned for months and the use of a helicopter shows it was sophisticated.”
Security sources are convinced the jail imam was innocent. The source added: “The imam is a respected figure for his ability to embrace all faiths.
“But that makes him a target for the extremists in this jail who want to convert Muslims to their warped views.”
A spokesman for the Justice Department confirmed a possible plot had been uncovered on Friday. He said the Prison Service was investigating.

 
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Posted on 03/31/2009 9:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009
President Obama, The Alliance of Civilizations, And The Return Of John Esposito
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From the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report:

Turkish media has reported that U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Turkey between April 6-7 to attend an annual forum of the Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) in Istanbul, an organization which is represented in the U.S. and Europe by individuals sympathetic to the global Muslim Brotherhood. According to the AOC website, the AOC “High Level Group Members” in the U.S. and Western Europe are:

  • Prof. John Esposito (United States)
  • Rabbi Arthur Schneier (United States)
  • Hubert Védrine (France)
  • Karen Armstrong (United Kingdom)   

Esposito, a Georgetown University academic, has been a long-time supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood and has espoused views consistent with Brotherhood doctrine. He has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory boards of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K. and the United Association for Studies and Research in the U.S. and has served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress. In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito. According to his CV, Dr. Esposito had previously been a “Foreign Affairs Analyst” for the U.S. State Department intelligence agency (INR) and during the 1990’s was known for his claims that Islamic fundamentalism was, in fact, democratic and posed no threat to the U.S.

Dr. Esposito’s influence on the AOC may perhaps account for the AOC support of global Brotherhood positions and organizations. For example, previous posts have discussed the effort by the U.S. Brotherhood to eliminate reference to “Islamic terrorism” from the lexcion of counter-terrorism. An AOC report echoes this theme:

Assertions that Islam is inherently violent and related statements by some political and religious leaders in the West – including the use of terms such as “Islamic terrorism” and “Islamic fascism” - have contributed to an alarming increase in Islamophobia which further exacerbates Muslim fears of the West.

As other posts have discussed, in order to defend Islam (Islamism) from charges that it is inherently violent/terroristic, the Brotherhood deceives the public about the nature of Jihad. Another AOC report similarly obfuscates:

Among the intra-Muslim debates that most directly affect relations with Western societies is that over the concept of “jihad”. The notion of jihad is a rich one with many shades of meaning, ranging from the struggle between good and evil that is internal to every individual (often referred to as the “greater” jihad in Islam) to the taking up of arms in defense of one’s community (the “lesser” jihad). Increasingly, this term is used by extremists to justify violence with little consideration for the historical context and the related religious exigencies that most Muslim scholars agree should inform its application. When such exhortations to violence by radical factions are picked up and amplified by media and Western political leaders, the notion of “jihad” loses the multiple meanings and positive connotations it has for Muslims and becomes only associated with violent and negative meanings which have been wrongly attributed to the term.

Also key to the global Brotherhood deception campaign is the defense of violence carried out by Islamist groups. Since according to the Brotherhood these groups cannot, by definition, be motivated by Islamic ideology, there can be only one answer- they are fighting because of “legitimate grievances” and hence are “freedom fighters." As the same AOC report asserts:

In evaluating the relations between Western and Muslim societies it is important to note that Islamist activism does not necessarily produce Islamist militancy within societies and the latter does not automatically lead to violent confrontation with the West. It is the invasion of certain Muslim countries by Western military forces and their continued presence in these countries, combined with the suppression of political movements in the Muslim world, that are among the reasons for violent manifestations.

In a report on education, the AOC lauds the work of three organizations said to be engaged in the reform of religious education:

In the Muslim community, to cite one example among many, efforts have been ongoing for decades with the purpose of reforming religious education (often called Islamic Studies) in order to make it more relevant to the needs of modern youth, and to find a workable balance between traditional and innovative methods of instruction. Much of this work has taken place among Muslims who had emigrated to Western countries after World War II. Examples are the Islamic Foundation (www.islamic-foundation.org.uk/) established in 1973, Iqraí International Educational Foundation established in 1983, the International Board of Educational Research and Resources (IBERR) (www.iberr.org) established out of a series of international conferences between 1977 and 1987 to improve religious education, for the purposes of producing curriculum and instructional materials for Muslim youth.

IBERR, Iqra, and the Islamic Foundation, are all tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood. The report goes on later to cite the work of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), an organization initiated by Dr. Espositio in 1998 and also tied to the global Brotherhood.

Dr. Esposito appeared to have had lost considerable influence following his pre-911 denials that Islamism posed a threat to the U.S, but this is not the first time that his name has recently surfaced in connection with high-profile Obama administration events. Earlier this month Chas Freeman, the former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, withdrew his name from consideration for the post of National Intelligence Council chairman. Although no longer listed as such, Mr. Freeman was widely reported at the time of his nomination to have been the President of the Middle East Policy Council where Dr. Espositio is listed as a member of the National Advisory Board along with numerous other supporters of the global Brotherhood including Louis Cantori of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and Omar M. Kader of CSID.

Of the other three members of the AOC, Karen Armstrong has the strongest ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. She has written numerous books and articles sympathetic to Islamist movements and in 2004 was presented with an award by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists UK (AMSSUK), branch of the U.S. organization headquartered at IIIT.

New York Rabbi Arthur Schneier attended the July 2008 Madrid interfaith conference where, as a previous post discussed, almost all of the attendees from the U.S. and Europe were associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood.

Hubert Védrine is a French Socialist politician and former adviser to former French President Francois MItterand widely thought of as anti-American and who has also taken positions on terrorism consistent with the global Brotherhood.

[From more on Karen Armstrong see Hugh Fitzgerald's "The Coherence of Her Incoherence"]

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Posted on 03/31/2009 9:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 30 March 2009
A Musical Interlude: You Rascal You (Connie's Inn Orch.)
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Listen here.

 

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Posted on 03/30/2009 11:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 30 March 2009
Philippe Karsenty: Abominable American Jewish Committee behavior
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Phillipe  Karsenty, Paris based media critic who fought the Mohamed Al Dura ‘blood libel’ fiction created on France 2 TV for seven years and won a major victory in May, 2008 in a French appeals court has leveled withering criticism at David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and his Paris representative Valerie Hoffenberg in an op-ed in today’s Jerusalem Post, entitled: “The American Jewish committee deserves better leadership.”    Karsenty’s j’accuse is a corker and extremely revealing.   

We had published an article in the March New English Review drawing attention to the missteps of the AJC during the Durban II preparatory planning and attendance of the NGO’s representative, Ms. Felice Gaer  at a session in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Commission. David Harris virulently took exception to our criticism.

Note these excerpts from the Karsenty Jerusalem Post op-ed:

The American Jewish Committee is one of the world's most active Jewish institutions. It would have been entirely consistent with its mission to have stepped forward to aid me in my efforts to counter a libel that dishonored every Jew.

But under David Harris as executive director, only silence and obstruction were forthcoming.

Harris is renowned for his diplomatic skills, his warm friendship with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and his contacts at the highest levels of other European governments. Some have complained to him that his representative in France, Valerie Hoffenberg, never once objected to France 2's hoax or supported my efforts to expose it. In fact, Hoffenberg was waging a behind-the scenes counter-offensive to cover-up the al Dura lie by blocking my access to some French officials, lobbying Jewish leaders against me, and claiming that the phony news report was authentic. Harris' response was always polite and reassuring: "I will look into it," he promised.

Yet nothing ever changed. It finally became clear that Hoffenberg was not acting on her own initiative, but faithfully adhering to AJC policy. Because of Hoffenberg's activities, AJC France was actually my most destructive foe.  Nonetheless, in May of last year I was vindicated in a French court.

Karsenty goes on to tie the AJC behavior to the Durban II debacle that we examined:

David Harris’' antipathy to exposing the al Dura hoax is entirely consistent with his advice to the Obama administration (as well as other foreign governments) to participate in the planning of the Jew-hating stimulus package known as Durban II - against the wishes of the State of Israel. Now he is viciously attacking three of Israel's best defenders - Caroline Glick, Melanie Phillips and Anne Bayefsky - for advocating an immediate and unequivocal boycott.

Harris' claims that he deserves the credit for the current US disengagement from Durban II or improvements in its draft declaration - after undermining boycott efforts repeatedly - are more examples of the same practice I witnessed in the al Dura context: AJC's mastery of the double game.

Karsenty cites a similar reading of Harris and the AJC by a German Jewish community official:

The following is an unsolicited note from a prominent German Jew that came to me in November 2008 and confirmed my perception of Harris' "policies":

"While you experienced problems with AJC Paris, AJC Berlin has been making problems in Germany. This is no coincidence. The explanation is that this AJC policy is supported by David Harris. AJC wants to sit in the first row among the Jewish organizations when it comes to contacts with European governments. For this reason they try to get along well with the establishments in the various countries...

"It is thus working against, and even sabotaging, other Jewish and non-Jewish NGOs that are more serious about combating anti-Semitism and supporting Israel. In short, AJC is practicing appeasement toward the European governments and elites. That establishment, for its part, appreciates AJC giving them the kosher stamp of approval. AJC is thus working against Jewish interests in Europe."

In June, 2008 after Karsenty’s French appeals court victory occurred, Ms. Hoffenberg went to Israel and Bethlehem as part of French President Sarkozy’s Palestinian initiative. In an Israpundit post, I noted the following:

Ms. Valerie Hoffenberg, the  AJC’s representative in Paris, appears not to be serving of the interest of her fellow French Jews while dissing the patent truth of the Al Dura affair blood libel as revealed by Philippe Karsenty. Karsenty was vindicated recently by a French appeals court that effectively overturned a libel action against him brought by Charles Enderlin, a French 2 news producer reported to a mute international press by Nidra Poller and a few others. Now, as unveiled by Vanessa Jones in this FrontPageMagazine article, Ms. Hoffenberg is the ‘go to’ person for French President Sarkozy on his Palestinian development initiative in Bethlehem, to be announced after his arrival in Israel, tomorrow. Watch this AJC interview with Hoffenberg, here. American Jews should be concerned about the misimpression Ms. Hoffenberg has lent to the honorable goals of the AJC. Perhaps it is time for David Harris, executive director of the venerable mainstream American Jewish group to have a discussion with his Board of Governors followed by a ‘woodshed’ conversation with Ms. Hoffenberg.

I sent this to Harris and received no reply. His and the AJC actions in the Karsenty affair and the recent Durban II brouhaha amply demonstrate that the AJC needs to evaluate the ‘great steersman’ at the helm of this venerable American Jewish NGO. This is an NGO that prides itself as being the equivalent of the State Department of the American Jewish people.  A people who never elected the AJC it to fulfill this pompous mission.

 

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Posted on 03/30/2009 11:12 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Monday, 30 March 2009
Let Him Get The Care His Own Customarily Provide
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From The Guardian: 

Failed asylum seekers not entitled to free NHS treatment

Refugee and health charities expressed dismay after the appeal court ruled yesterday that failed asylum seekers with chronic illnesses were not entitled to free health care on the NHS.

But the three appeal judges also ruled that hospitals have the discretion to provide free treatment to such individuals if they cannot afford to pay for it.

The case involved a Palestinian man, known only as 'YA', with chronic liver disease who was initially refused free treatment to prevent liver failure. He was unable to return to the West Bank because of Israeli travel restrictions but the hospital had refused to treat him for free because of the Department of Health guidance.

Lord Justice Ward said that to receive free NHS treatment the patient must have resided lawfully in the UK for at least a year. YA, whose asylum case was still being investigated, was therefore deemed not ordinarily resident. He had taken his case to the high court, where a judge declared government guidance to hospitals was unlawful because it advised NHS trusts to charge failed asylum seekers. The appeal court said the guidance did not make clear enough the fact that hospitals must consider providing treatment in such cases.

YA's lawyer, Adam Hundt, said that access to vital medical treatment for thousands of refused asylum seekers rested on the case. He said: "The Department of Health guidance said that hospitals should not provide treatment unless patients paid for it in advance, but this ignores the fact that many of these patients, like A, are destitute, and many cannot return home, so they are not treated until they require life-saving treatment."

He said treatment often came too late and was usually far more expensive at that stage. "The current rules don't make clinical, economic or humanitarian sense, and I am glad that the court has recognised this. I hope the Department of Health will now make it clear to hospitals that they must treat patients who cannot pay and cannot return home for the time being - and not wait until they are at death's door."

The health secretary, Alan Johnson, who took the case to the appeal court, welcomed the decision. He said that his department accepted the lack of clarity in the official guidance for hospitals. "We will ensure that the guidance is amended."

But the decision disappointed refugee and health welfare groups. Donna Covey, of the Refugee Council, said she was concerned that the charging regime for failed asylum seekers was still in place. She said those people who were unable to go home straight away often ended up destitute and homeless. "To refuse treatment to them simply because they cannot pay for it is appalling and inhumane," she said.

Deborah Jack, of the National Aids Trust, said anxiety over medical bills would deter many people from seeking the care they needed. She said the government should use its review of healthcare charges to end its policy of ill-health for the most destitute.

______________________________

In every Western country, treatment for chronic liver disease, like liver transplants themselves, is carefully rationed. Those who attempt to take every advantage, to arrive with their hocus-pocus and flim-flam claiming "refugee status," and then to have UK taxpayers pay for their expensive treatments, should be sent back to the places they normally live in, and receive the treatment that they could normallly expect. I doubt if the Israelis would prevent the man in question, whether a Gazan Arab or a "West Bank" Arab, from returning to receive exactly the treatment, the level of care, that the Arabs customarily have on offer. Or, if he is suspected of involvement in participation in, or support of, terrorism (the only reason Israel would not let him into Gaza or the "West Bank") why is he being allowed into the UK? And why is not the most obvious place to send him -- one of those fabulously rich sheikdoms, those tribes with flags, or even Saudi Arabia itself -- that can certainly afford to treat one of their own, an Arab, a Muslim, a member of the Umma Of Believers. Why should Infidels pick up the gigantic tab? On what grounds? 

 
 
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Posted on 03/30/2009 11:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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