Sunday, 29 April 2012
UK Aid Doctor Found Beheaded In Pakistan

From Sky News

A British doctor kidnapped in Pakistan has been found beheaded, the Red Cross has said. Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was managing an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) health programme in the southwestern city of Quetta when he was seized by gunmen in January.

Police said Mr Dale's body was found wrapped in plastic and dumped on the side of a road on the outskirts of the city. His name was written on the while plastic with a black marker.

Quetta police chief Ahsan Mahboob said a note attached to Mr Dale's body read: "This is the body of Khalil who we have slaughtered for not paying a ransom amount."

Sean Maguire, of the ICRC, told Sky News that Mr Dale was a very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause. "He was a very well-liked man who had worked in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia before going to Pakistan," he said, adding that everyone who knew him was "in deep shock".

Baluch separatist militants are fighting a protracted insurgency for more autonomy and control over the area's natural resources. Pro-Taliban militants are also active in the province, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran. The week before Mr Dale's disappearance four health workers, including two doctors, were kidnapped by militants in Baluchistan.

Posted on 04/29/2012 7:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Nigeria: attack on church services kills around 20

From AFP

KANO, Nigeria — Attackers armed with bombs and guns opened fire at outdoor church services (one of them a Catholic service)  at a Nigerian university on Sunday, killing around 20 people as worshippers tried to flee, witnesses and officials said.

A powerful explosion and gunfire rocked Bayero University in the northern city of Kano, with witnesses reporting that two church services were targeted as they were being held outdoors on the campus.

Officials were unable to confirm casualty figures, but an AFP correspondent counted six bullet-riddled bodies near one of the two sites. At least another dozen bodies could be seen on a roadside by the university, but the exact number was unclear.

Witnesses said the attackers arrived in a car and two motorcycles, opening fire and throwing homemade bombs, causing a stampede. They said worshippers were gunned down as they sought to flee.

On Thursday, bomb attacks at the offices of the ThisDay newspaper in the capital Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna left at least nine people dead.

Posted on 04/29/2012 6:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Wilders: Muhammad Manipulated the Koran
Editor Note:
Our review of Geert Wilders' Marked for Death: Islam's war Against the West and Me will appear in the May 2012 edition of the New English Review. This is the English translation from the Dutch .of Wilders' article published on the website of  Dutch publication,Dagelijkse Standaard this weekend.
My book about Islam Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me is being launched in New York on Tuesday. It posits that the Koran is not a book that was written by Allah, but on the contrary, one that was written by Muhammad. That is the truth, but to Islam that is outright blasphemy.
Islam claims that the Koran was written down by Allah in person before the beginning of time. It was written in Arabic, says verse 20:113. The original copy of the book – the Umm al-Kitab, the “Mother of the Book”- lies on a golden table in heaven. Consequently the Koran is of a totally different order than the Jewish or Christian bibles, which were written down by prophets or apostles. The Koran was written directly by Allah himself.
According to Islam Muhammad simply noted down what the archangel Gabriel read to him from Allah’s book. Whoever doubts that must fear for his life. That is why historic and linguistic research into the origin of the Koran are taboo.
In 1991, Suliman Bashaer, a professor at the Palestinian university in Nablus, was thrown out of a second storey window by his students because he questioned the historic truth of the Koran. A Lebanese or Syrian linguist, whose identity is known to no-one and who writes under the pseudonym of Christoph Luxenberg, maintains that the Koran cannot have been written in Arabic but was written in the related Syro-Aramaic language. His life, too, is in danger, because Allah himself said that the Koran was written in Arabic. Whoever denies that commits blasphemy. When Newsweek published an article about Luxenberg’s theory some years ago it was promptly banned in a number of Islamic countries.
Yet the evidence that not Allah, but Muhammad is the author of the Koran is overwhelming. When one reads the Sira, the biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq in the eighth century, it is striking how
Allah produced texts that catered directly for Muhammad’s political, sexual and covetous desires. One must be blind not to see that Muhammad was an opportunist who adapted texts as it suited him.
Take the example of the so-called Satanic Verses. In the early period of Islam Muhammad did not get much support in his home town of Mecca. His fellow citizens did not believe a word of what he told them about the so-called messages of Allah. As a consequence, Muhammad, who sought the support of the Meccans, allowed the Muslims to pray to Mecca’s main female deities. He said they were the daughters of Allah. They were perfect intercessors, said the Koran.
Later, when Muhammad quarreled with the Meccans, he revoked these verses, claiming that they had been inspired by the devil instead of by Gabriel. This story is in the Sira, but Muslims do not like to be reminded of it. Salman Rushie incurred a death sentence for his book The Satanic Verses. The Japanese translator of Rushdie’s book was murdered; two other translators and the Norwegian publisher of the book narrowly escaped the same fate.
As Muhammad failed to convince Mecca’s polytheists, he attempted to win the support of Jews and Christians in the city. This explains why Allah was friendly towards them in the early verses of the Koran. But when the Jews and the Christians refused to recognize Muhammad as God’s latest Prophet, the Koran began to threaten them with hell and damnation. New
verses commanded the Muslims to wage war on them.
As a result, many Koranic verses contradict each other. Muslims have solved this problem with the abrogation concept: Later verses overrule earlier ones. This, too, is something they do not like to be reminded of. In a speech in Regensburg in 2006, Pope Benedict unwittingly pointed out that there is a difference between the tolerant verses of the early period, “when Muhammad was still powerless and under threat,” and the hostile verses of the later period. At once savages burned down churches in Islamic countries and murdered Catholics. The Pope quickly apologized.
Muhammad not only manipulated the Koran for political reasons. He also did it out of lust. When Muhammad desired the wife of his adopted son, he forced the latter to divorce her. Arab incest taboos, however, did not allow a man to marry the ex-wife of an adopted son. And behold, Allah produced a Koranic verse (33:37-38) ordering him to marry the woman so that “it should become legitimate for true believers to wed the wives of their adopted sons. Allah’s will must be done. No blame shall be attached to the Prophet for doing what is sanctioned for him by Allah.
Muhammad also manipulated the Koran to satisfy his greed for material things. After the raid on a Meccan trade caravan at Badr in March 624, Muhammad wanted to have all the spoils for himself. Lo and behold, there was Allah with a verse (8:1) stating “The spoils belong to Allah and the Apostle.”
All this aroused the suspicions of Muhammad’s scribe, the man who wrote down the prophet’s revelations. The scribe renounced Islam and ran away.
This, too, is something the adherents of Islam do not like being reminded of. However, that the Koran was not written by Allah in heaven is a fact. The Koran was made up by Muhammad as it suited his according to his opportunistic goals. We must confront Muslims with this truth. Because only the truth sets people free. And if the truth is that the Koran is not the word of Allah, it does not need to be taken literally.
Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom. He is the author of the book “Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me” (Regnery). This article was first published in Dutch at the Dagelijkse Standaard website.

Posted on 04/29/2012 5:45 AM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Schanzer: "Lamentable” Obama’s Release of $192 Million to the PA Impounded by Congress

Jonathan Schanzer

VP Research

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

The Obama Administration has defied Congress on Friday and released more $192 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Appropriated funds for the PA were impounded by Congress following PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ grandstand play for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State at the UN General Assembly, last fall, and the UNESCO seating of the PA as a state member. The Times of Israel noted in a report the background and announcement of this Presidential waiver, “Obama lifts freeze on $192 million aid package to Palestinian Authority:

The unilateral statehood gambit was strongly opposed by Israel, which said Abbas was seeking to avoid negotiating the necessary compromises and modalities of statehood with Israel. The US indicated it would veto a resolution in the Security Council seeking unilateral recognition of “Palestine,” but the issue has not come to a vote, because the Palestinians were unable to obtain sufficient support in the Security Council. They may yet seek a non-binding endorsement of statehood in the UN General Assembly.

Section 3 of Congress’s Palestinian Accountability Act, which applies to 2012, stipulates that “no funds available to any United States Government department or agency … may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.” Obama has now signed a waiver, however, the White House said Friday, and asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to inform Congress accordingly.

The AFP news agency quoted White House spokesman Tommy Vietor as saying the $192 million aid package would be devoted to “ensuring the continued viability of the moderate PA government under the leadership of [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.”

Vietor added that the PA had fulfilled its major obligations, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting the Road Map for Peace.

Jonathan Schanzer, VP for Research at the Washington, DC Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, author of Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine commented  on this latest move by the Administration:

Particularly lamentable, given the wave of Internet repression in the West Bank and Gaza, ordered by Abbas and his henchman. We're rewarding them.

In the forthcoming, May New English Review edition  Middle East round table discussion, “The West Faces Rising Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East”, Schanzer notes the divisions within the PA between Abbas and Fayyad:

I wrote a piece for Foreign Policy several months ago detailing a split between these two leaders.  Fayyad is a committed bureaucrat at the top of the Palestinian Authority.  He wants transparency, things to operate smoothly, money to flow from the international community, and he wants adherence to certain international standards of governance. In contrast Abbas, the leader of the PLO, is basically a populist leader of Palestinian causes which sometimes conflict with the operations of the Palestinian Authority itself.   As I have documented numerous times, he is a corrupt leader now three or four years past his legitimate term.  The two men have really not seen eye to eye.  According to some reports, they don't even talk and have not talked for a couple of years.  Abbas was trying to enlist Fayyad to threaten to disband the Palestinian Authority which is not in the interest of Fayyad, so Fayyad refused to go along.

Posted on 04/28/2012 3:22 PM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Australia: Persian Muslim 'Honor' Murderer Jailed For 26 Years

Which is, in effect, a life sentence, since he is 57 years old.

An update on a story that was first discussed here in February:

At that time the trial was taking place.  It has concluded, and he has been found guilty, and sentenced.

As reported by the ABC, the Herald-Sun, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian. 

First, the ABC, Candice Marcus reporting:

'Wife killer jailed over frenzied public attack'.

'A man who murdered his wife in front of hundreds of people has been sentenced to at least 26 years in jail.

'The South Australian Supreme Court heard Zioalloh Abrahimzadeh stabbed his wife Zahra eight times after he turned up at a Persian New Year's festival she was attending in March 2010.

'About 300 people at the Adelaide Convention Centre watched in horror as the attack happened.

'Abrahimzadeh said he felt his wife had dishonoured him.  She had left him because of years of abuse.

'Justice John Sulan said Abrahimzadeh had been an abusive husband and father who wanted revenge because of his wife's pursuit of divorce proceedings.

'The family's three children testified against their father at trial before he changed his plea to guilty and Justice Sulan praised their testimony.

"I conclude beyond reasonable doubt that each of your children gave accurate accounts of their life with you.  They were each impressive witnesses", he said.

"Your continued denial of your behaviour demonstrates your lack of remorse.  You were prepared to have your counsel cross-examine your children to suggest that they were lying.

"You were seen to run towards Zahra.  Those who observed you gave evidence that you came from behind her to directly where she was seated, brandishing a knife which you had brought with you.  You stabbed your wife eight times, she received 8 stab wounds in total.  While you were stabbing her, she fell forward and you continued to stab her until you were restrained by other guests."

'Judge Sulan said the motive was clear.  "Your actions were premeditated and deliberate.  You had threatened to take revenge against your wife if she didn't withdraw divorce proceedings", he said.

'One daughter, Atena, said she had often watched as her mother was verbally and physically abused but had felt unable to protect her.

'the couple separated in 2009 and the daughter said all the family members had feared for their safety, knowing there was a prospect of revenge.  The family members had kept their new address secret, the court was told.

'Atena Abrahimzadeh said her mother had studied English and started regaining the confidence to go out, but then had her life cruelly cut short.

'Outside court, only son Arman was emotional as he read a statement to reporters.

'The agonising and searing pain that this coward has caused us is one that will last a lifetime," he said. "The malicious nature and character of the criminal is one thing, but the actual fact is that this murder could have been prevented.  We saw this murder coming and it could have been stopped by authorities.  Today is just another day where the system failed to protect a brave woman, a caring friend, and a loving mother...".

It is hard enough to get things done to protect women from violent partners within the non-Muslim community; harder still to make the relevant people understand that Muslim girls fleeing their families, or Muslim women leaving their husbands, are usually in mortal danger.  And to make them understand why that is the case. - CM

'He [the son] said the family had not received enough help from authorities despite having gone into hiding.

"It obviously goes back to the restraining order that was put in place, and also my father being flagged in the system and he was never questioned about the threats", he said.

'Also outside the court, the killer's brother, Masoud Abrahimzadeh, said he felt the sentence was unfair.  He claimed his brother was the victim as he had done much for his family.

'Abrahimzadeh made similar claims during his testimony, before changing his plea to guilty during his cross-examination. 

'Abrahimzadeh will be in his 80s before he can become eligible for release".

There's more on the murderer's attempts to pose as victim, plus a heaping dose of nonsense and lies, in the Sun-Herald account (reproducing Sean Fewster's report from Adelaide's 'The Advertiser':

'Wife Murderer Zialloh Abrahimzadeh tells his son he is also a victim during one-and-a-half page letter'.

'In a ranting letter to his son, murderous husband Zialloh Abrahimzadeh condemns those who "put wealth and materialism" before "integrity, principles and dignity".  Yet Abrahimzadeh did exactly that when he murdered his wife, Zahra, in front of 300 shocked witnesses.

'He was, at the time, obsessed with the belief that she had blocked the sale of their Iranian home and denied him thousands of dollars.

'Yesterday, Supreme Court judge John Sulan jailed Abrahimzadeh, 57, for at least 26 years.

'He said there was no doubt that the March 2010 crime was the deliberate act of an "autocratic" man who repeatedly abused his family.  He said the letter sent by Abrahimzadeh to his son Arman showed his lack of remorse.

"It demonstrates how you are completely self-absorbed and fail to have any regret for the misery you have caused to your family", Justice Sulan said.

'In the letter, released to The Advertiser, Abrahimzadeh tells Arman he "deplores" enemies "who laid the foundation" for the murder.

Islamic Conspiracy Thinking 101...And observe the refusal to accept responsibility; the attempt to pose as a helpless, persecuted victim.  This from a man whose actions were those of a violent bully. - CM

"I condemn those who put wealth and materialism ahead of integrity, principles and dignity", he says.

'Dignity'.  Honor?  I get the sense he's rebuking his son for siding with the despicable, rebellious females (mother and sisters) rather than assisting the father in punishing them and asserting dominance. -  CM

'He blames Zahra and her family for driving him "towards insanity" by denying him three quarters of the equity in their former Iranian home.  "How much do you think the body and mind of a human being can tolerate?" he says.

Cue the world's smallest violin.  And it's anybody's guess how much of this bears any relationship to the actual facts of the matter.  - CM
"How long can a human being live with fear and anxiety, and with no security?"

It was his family who were living in fear at an undisclosed location, not he.  It was he who stabbed his wife multiple times, not she who stabbed him.  The projection and reversal of reality on display here is quite something. - CM

'Abrahimzadeh fills 1 and 1/2 pages with details of the families possessions..."I will not allow anybody to take what is rightfully ours", he says.  

One should remember that after an Islamic divorce the wife gets pretty much nothing in the way of what modern western law calls alimony.  Zahra was divorcing her husband under Australian law, and he didn't like the prospect of her getting anything from the division of their assets. - CM

"When somebody is trying to destroy you in any possible way you would defend yourself and sometimes this defence results in the destruction of the opposing party".

So stabbing an unarmed woman in the back eight times constitutes 'self-defence'? - CM

'He closes the letter by asking Arman "as an Eastern man" to judge him fairly.

'In any case, I am really sorry about what happened", he says. 

Sorry you murdered her? Or sorry you got arrested, and tried, in a kafir court?  Note he doesn't say: "I am sorry for what I did".  He's still evading responsibility. - CM

"I think I am also a victim of what happened".

She 's the victim, Mr Abrahimzadeh. You're the murderer.  - CM

'In sentencing, Justice Sulan said Zahra's decision to divorce Abrahimzadeh also fuelled his murderous mentality.

He rejected Abrahimzadeh's claim that, at the time of the stabbing, he was hallucinating about his youngest daughter, Anita, being attacked by "dark, ugly men".

I suspect that Justice Sulan, in the course of his career, has encountered all kinds of nonsense and lies from the mouths of perps in the dock.  It's good to know that he seems to have been able to see through Abrahimzadeh's extra-specially bizarre brand of same, without any particular difficulty. - CM

"That was, in my view, fanciful...I am satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that your act was premeditated and deliberate", he said.  "You were motivated by the fact you had lost control of your family, in particular, your wife.  You took action because she continued to disobey your demands that she not proceed with the divorce.  I accept that you were distressed by the family situation...that may go towards explaining your conduct, but it can never excuse it."

'Justice Sulan said he had reduced the non-parole period by 12 months, because Abrahimzadeh pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial.

Methinks that the murderer was probably advised that pleading guilty might have precisely this effect, and that that was why he did it. - CM

'He also took into account incidents when Abrahimzadeh: slapped his wife and daughters on the face and shoulders; threw Zahra into a window; broke a cordless telephone aerial across Atena's throat; whipped Atena with a belt for an hour; smothered Atena with a pillow; demanded Atena beg, on her knees, for his forgiveness; burned Atena's fingers for biting her nails; verbally abused Arman; threatened to kill his entire family by burning their house down while they were inside; said he would rather kill a family member than be dishonoured by them.

'For Arman Abrahimzadeh, the pain of his mother's murder is made worse by his belief that it could have been prevented...

'Arman and his sisters, Atena and Anita, were praised in court by Justice John Sulan.  He dubbed them impressive and intelligent people who showed great courage in giving evidence against the man who destroyed their lives.  

'Arman, who has signed a Channel 7 interview deal, said police could have acted sooner on restraining orders filed by Zahra, and on their reports of the threats Abrahimzadeh made against their lives...

I would advise Channel 7 to ring up one Phyllis Chesler, New York feminist and author of several excellent hard-hitting articles on the phenomenon of 'honor' murders, and ask her to be part of the conversation with Arman Abrahimzadeh.  She would be able to impress upon their viewers exactly why people like Zahra are in even greater danger than the average western non-Muslim woman fleeing from an abusive partner. - CM

'His [Arman's] short statement was watched carefully by his father's extended family.

That sounds ominous.  I hope Arman, Anita and Atena are watching their backs.  For the murderer's family may well intend to 'avenge' their kinsman by completing the job - disposing of his rebellious children. - CM

'Abrahimzadeh's brother, Masoud, said they would support the killer "to the extreme".  He criticised the trial process which, he said, failed to listen to his brother and account for the "many sacrifices" made for the children. "This is not a question of excusing what he did or getting him out (of jail)", Masoud said. 

Suure. You don't dare go quite that far, not in Australia, not when you've just heard what Justice Sulan thinks of what your despicable, cowardly brother did to a defenceless woman.  Australia is not like Iran, or Jordan, where people like your brother get a slap on the wrist, if that, when they dispose of an insubordinate - or perceived-to-be-insubordinate - female chattel.  - CM

"This is a question of how much he should have got, in the sentence.  

So how long do you think he should have got, Masoud?  A year? Two years? Five years?  Care to go into specifics, and show us just how alien your mindset is from ours? - CM

He said Abrahimzadeh had expressed remorse and "was sorry for what happened'.  ('Sorry for what happened'.  Yeah. Not 'sorry for what he did'. - CM). His brother also wanted reporters to interview him in prison so he could tell "more of the story".  

If they do that they better read Raymond Ibrahim on taqiyya, kitman and tawriya, first.  And have their BS-detector tuned to 'high'.

And now for the Sydney Morning Herald's Liza Kappelle's briefer account.

'Wife Killer Jailed For At Least 26 Years'

'A self-absorbed and controlling man will spend more than a quarter of a century in jail for stabbing his wife to death in front of 300 people for disobeying him...

'The South Australian Supreme Court jailed Zialloh Abrahimzadeh, 57, for life with a 26 year non-parole period on Thursday.

'He pleaded guilty on day 11 of his murder trial earlier this year to killing Zahra in front of his elder daughter and other guests at a Persian function at Adelaide in March 2010.

'Before he changed his plea, Abrahimzadeh had admitted stabbing Zahra but said he didn't mean to and it wasn't his fault.

'His first attempt at the guilty plea was along the same lines.

'But eventually he made one acceptable to the court, saying he was sorry for what happened and he was pleading guilty.

Hmm. I'd like to know precisely what he said.  Because I very much doubt he actually ever said anything like, 'I did it and it was wrong and I'm sorry'. - CM

'Justice Sulan said on Thursday that Abrahimzadeh had written to his children after the murder - blaming their mother and her family for all his troubles...

'Justice Sulan said the migrant resource centre worker had projected a double life.  He was a violent bully at home and a respected, caring man in the migrant community.

Or he was said to be a respected, caring man.  This is like all those cases where somebody is caught plotting murderous jihad and a whole bunch of people pipe up to say what a nice, quiet, pious person he was and how they're so totally shocked, shocked!!.  I'd like to know who were the character witnesses for this man's conduct in the workplace. - CM

'His children testified to suffering years of domestic violence at his hands.  They said they moved out in secret after he threatened Zahra with a knife, and [they] had filed restraining orders.

'Justice Sulan said Abrahimzadeh was obsessed with the belief that his wife's family were trying to block the sale of a property in Iran that might have eased his financial woes.

'He said Abrahimzadeh had killed his wife after threatening to do so if she didn't stop family court proceedings...'

He threatened her with death and then expected her to not divorce him? - CM

The rest of the SMH account covers material already presented in the other reports. 

And so now to The Australian, reproducing Sean Fewster's report in 'Adelaide Now'.

From that report I will reproduce the account of the daughter Atena's testimony.

'Atena told the court she witnessed her mother's murder.  "He was just calm...there was no shame, no anger", she said.  "I was screaming, 'you killed her', and holding onto his jacket because I wanted to make sure he was caught.  But he was not even trying to get away".

This is not unusual.  A number of reports of 'honor' murderers that I have read have spoken of the calmness of the killers after they have finished. - CM

'Abrahimzadeh, who pleaded not guilty, gave evidence in his defence.  He spoke to the court in Farsi - translated by an interpreter - and insisted his wife was the source of their marital problems.

He came to Australia in 1997 - 15 years ago - and still needs an interpreter?  As for his wife being the source of their 'marital problems'...this is just bog-standard 'blame the victim' procedure, typical of both non-Muslim domestic abusers and of Muslims making excuses for violence and murder. - CM

'Abrahimzadeh fought back tears (sure he did - crocodile tears - CM) as he described how the couple's relationship faltered when they moved their family to Australia from Iran.

Ah yes, more blame-shifting: first he blamed his wife, now he blames the Infidels. -  CM

"After (my family) became independent, they became Australian citizens, and they were collecting Centrelink money, my wife changed", he said.

"She used to promise to do things and she never did...other people influenced her (observe the conspiracy thinking and, again, blame-shifting - CM) and she would break her promises.  She was involved with a few bad women and I really didn't like that she was involved with them".

I wonder...was she making friends with Infidel Australian women? This may, of course, be plain old projection, given what comes next. - CM

"He denied having an affair, insisting that the woman named by his children was just "a very good friend".

Suuuure. - CM

'Though Abrahimzadeh denied murdering his wife he admitted stabbing her - but said he was hallucinating at the time.

'He said he believed he saw his youngest daughter, Anita, being hurt by "dark, ugly  men".  "I reached the dark men, they reached me and we were all fighting together", he said.

Nonsense and lies, straight out of the 'Arabian Nights'.  He forgot, when he spun this little yarn, that the jury and judge knew about the Iranian passport and immigration papers he had ready in his car, all ready to flit, and the fact that he had sneaked the knife into the venue carefully concealed inside a rolled up newspaper..- CM

"...then someone grabbed my wrist...and said, 'you've killed, you've killed...It was (my eldest daughter) Atena.  I could not believe what I did.. I would never hurt anything, even an ant".

Suuure.  This is the man whose daughter testified that he beat her for an hour with a belt. - CM

'On March 2, however, Abrahmizadeh changed his story.

'In the middle of cross-examination, he pleaded guilty - in English - to murdering Zahra.  "For what happened - I felt sorry, and I plead guilty", he said.

'Outside the court the next day, Arman said the plea was shocking, but not an acceptance of responsibility.

"My father is a stubborn man who will stick to his pleas and his ways...we did not see this coming", Arman said.  "But he did not really take responsibility...the way he worded (his plea), he was saying he was sorry for what happened but he was not sorry for his actions. Those are two different statements...It's about time he took responsibility for his actions".

Pay attention to that, all you reporters who have to do with Muslims in tight corners.  Arman Abrahimzadeh, this westernised young man who defied custom by siding with his rebellious mother rather than with his violent bullying father, and who was prepared to invoke kafir law to obtain western justice for that murdered mother, has just shown you how you need to 'close read' everything that is said, if you do not intend to be deceived by taqiyya and kitman and tawriya and all the other varieties of falsehood, deceit and misdirection that people in Islamic societies learn to do as naturally as breathing.   Look for what is said...and for what is not said.  Think very, very carefully about precisely what a statement means, and what it does not.  Think about the meanings of words. - CM

Posted on 04/28/2012 6:21 AM by Christina McIntosh
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Aspirin: The Elixir of Life?

At last we have found the elixir of life, more or less. It is called aspirin.

Previous elixirs of life have, of course, proved illusory; the historian of Chinese science, and Maoist fellow-traveler, Joseph Needham, published a list of emperors who died poisoned by their supposed elixirs. Indeed, Maoism itself was once supposed to be an elixir of life. Here, for example, is something published during the Cultural Revolution:

Under the guidance of the great thought of Mao Tse-tung, the Mao Tse-tung’s thought medical team of the Chinese P.L.A. Unit 3125 treated 105 students of the Fuhsien School for Deaf-Mutes in Liaoning Province, enabling all of them to recover their hearing and speaking faculties. Now everyone of them can cheer “Long live Chairman Mao!” and recite quotations from Chairman Mao. After some training many can already sing The East Is Red and recite Chairman Mao’s “good old three” articles. This is a tremendous achievement gained in the upsurge of struggle-criticism/transformation of the great proletarian cultural revolution.

It turns out that the elixir of Maoism killed incomparably more people than the old superstitious emperors’ elixirs; so that now we are more modest in our hopes.

Three recent papers in The Lancet propose the benefits of low-dose aspirin both in the prevention of certain cancers and in their spread once they have developed. Professor Rothwell, of Oxford University, was the main author of all three papers, but this should not affect their validity or otherwise.

The first of the papers compared the rates of cancer deaths in those who took part in randomized controlled trials of daily low-dose aspirin to prevent cerebrovascular events (strokes). The risk of cancer death was reduced by something like 15 percent in those who took long-term aspirin. The longer the aspirin was taken, the stronger the protective effect.

In the second of the papers, the authors analyzed the effect of low dose aspirin on cancer metastasis (the spreading of cancer beyond its original site). The aspirin was also given in controlled trials to see whether it reduced the incidence of stroke; among those who were given aspirin and subsequently developed cancer, the chances of metastasis — a leading cause of death from cancer — was 36 percent lower than among those given a placebo and who subsequently developed cancer

In the last of the papers, the authors used a case control study to demonstrate that those who took low-dose aspirin (but not in controlled trials) were at lower risk of developing colorectal cancer than those who did not; aspirin also protected against the development of esophageal and stomach cancers.

Does this mean that those of us who have reached the age of cancer — the incidence of cancer rises with age — should all be taking low-dose aspirin prophylactically? There is no indubitably correct answer to this question, and it all depends on your scale of values. In the first trial, about 35,000 people had to take aspirin for five years in order that 100 cancer deaths were avoided. Would you take a pill daily for five years for a 1 in 350 chance of saving your life?

True, the tablet is a small one, but the papers did not set out to answer the question whether taking it daily for a long time resulted in any bad outcomes other than stroke and cancer. I, alas, shall not be taking it, though for purely personal and psychological reasons. I so detested the taste of aspirin as a child that I have only to think of aspirin to make myself feel really sick. My best friend, on the other hand, adores the taste of aspirin. Perhaps he is lucky. And aspirin is very cheap.

 First published in PJ Media.

Posted on 04/28/2012 6:18 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 27 April 2012
Australia: Outlaw Bikie Gangs Increasingly Have Muslim Members, Muslim Leadership

That is what one can deduce from the tell-tale names included in the following two news reports from Australia's ABC, courtesy of their police reporter Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop.

Here is the first.

'Men Refused Bail Over Sydney Bikie Shooting'.

'Two alleged associates of the Hell's Angels gang have been refused bail after facing court over the latest shooting in Sydney's bikie war.

'Security guard Fardin Hashemi applied for bail in Parramatta Local Court this morning.

'Security guard'.  Who was he 'guarding'?  A Muslim or a non-Muslim establishment?  Just how many Muslims, in Australia and elsewhere, have gotten jobs as 'security guards'?  And does that make those of us who know what Islam is, and what Islam teaches, the atmospherics  and attitudes soaked up by even its more nominal adherents (who may at any moment cease to become nominal and become fiercely active) feel particularly secure? - CM

'Detectives say the 22 year old is one of two junior associates of the Hells Angels who opened fire on a unit block in the city's west at Merrylands early on Monday morning.

'Police documents tendered to the court say the bullets came within metres of an innocent couple, who were forced to dive from their bed for safety.

'Hashemi's lawyer told the court his client had no prior convictions and was willing to be kept under 24 hour surveillance.

'But the magistrate still refused bail, saying the case against Hashemi was strong, with a bullet found at his home matching those found at the crime scene and in an abandoned getaway car.

'Fingerprints matched to Hashemi and his alleged accomplice, 20 year old Mohammad Qais Niazy, have also allegedly been found on the car.

'Qias Niazy faced Fairfield Local Court on Tuesday morning, but did not apply for bail.

'Police say the men had orders to target a former tenant at the unit block who had links to the rival Nomads gang.

'Detectives say they tracked the men down from the fingerprints in the getaway car.

'Officers chased the car to an industrial complex after the shooting, where it was abandoned by the men after a collision.

'Two senior Hells Angels were charged with separate offences over the weekend, but police concede they are still a long way from ending the gang's war with the Nomads...".

And the second,

'Sydney Bikies Targeted in Dawn Raids'

'Police investigating Sydney's bikie gun war have raided a number of properties linked to the Hells Angels and Nomads gangs, including the home of former bikie boss Sam Ibrahim.

'Sam' is a nickname.  His real first name, if I recall correctly, is Hassan. - CM

'Two men have been arrested and detectives say they will be charged with gun and drug offences and with hindering police during the operation.

'Police say they also seized drugs, two guns, banned weapons, steroids and bikie clothing and paraphernalia.

'Officers from Strike Force Kinnarra started swooping on the properties at dawn.

'Eighteen addresses across Sydney have been raided.  The homes of senior Hells Angels Mahmoud Dib and Jeffrey Sahyoun (I suspect the 'Jeffrey' to be an assumed name, not the one his parents originally gave him - CM) are amongst them.

The picture that went with the article was captioned: 'police enter a home in Auburn during the raids'.  Auburn, in south-western Sydney, is probably the most heavily-Islamised district or suburb in the whole of Australia. - CM

'Police say the pair's families were targeted in drive-by attacks on their homes last week.

Just what we need: outlaw bikie turf wars combined with or else morphing into Mohammedan clan feuds. - CM

'The Bella Vista home of former Nomads boss Sam Ibrahim has also been searched, as has the home of Mr Ibrahim's cousin Sleiman Tajjour.

'Mr Ibrahim's three-storey house was peppered with bullets a week ago.

'The shootings were among eight tit-for-tat attacks in a week, which police say were part of a turf war between the Hells Angels (which, as we can see, has been infiltrated by Muslims - CM) and the Nomads (which has also been infiltrated by Muslims - CM) over drugs and membership.

'The attacks also targeted other senior bikies, associates and tattoo parlours.

'More than 160 police have been involved in the raids across the city's west and north-west.

'The acting commander of State Crime Command Mal Lanyon says more bikies can expect to be charged.

"(The raids) are a very significant step into progressing our investigation, certainly in preventing violence, and shows NSW Police is incredibly serious about stopping the violence", he said...

Ceasing the importation of Muslims - given their abundantly demonstrated tendency to be involved in organised crime, their worrisome infiltration into and probable eventual takeover of criminal/ outlaw bikie gangs, and their ceaseless violent feuding among themselves, not to mention their cult's deeply-rooted and constantly-inculcated hatred of and aggression toward non-Muslims- into Australia would also do a lot to reduce the levels of violence and organised crime now being experienced in parts of Sydney and Melbourne and spilling over into the rest of the country.  - CM

Posted on 04/27/2012 7:51 PM by Christina McIntosh
Friday, 27 April 2012
Plots, plots, plots: Danes Catch Yet Another Batch of Murder-Minded Muslims

As reported by Reuters and read by me in the Jerusalem Post online.

'Denmark Arrests Three in Suspected Terrorism Plot'

'Copenhagen - Denmark's state security police arrested on Friday three men (that is, three Muslim men - CM) suspected of planning attacks, and were carrying out further searches in the Copenhagen area, police officials said.

'The arrests were made two weeks after the start of a trial of four men (that is, four Muslim men - CM) accused of planning a "Mumbai-style" attack on the offices of a Danish newspaper whose publication of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005 enraged many Muslims.

Observe that not until the end of the second sentence of the original report as written do we encounter the word 'Muslims'. - CM

'The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) said in a statement that it had arrested a 22 year old Jordanian citizen, a 23 year old Turkish citizen, both resident in Denmark, and a 21 year old Danish citizen resident in Egypt.

A 'Jordanian' and a 'Turk' living in Denmark and a Dane who usually lives in Egypt.  How odd.  What could they possibly have in common?  Basic knowledge of history and geography enables one to decode this data and obtain the following translation: 'a 22 year old Arab Muslim from Jordan and a 23 year old Muslim from Turkey, both with Danish residency, and a 21 year old Muslim man (probably of Arab Muslim parentage) who holds a Danish passport but possesses Egyptian residency'.  And one can also draw the following conclusion: had Denmark not permitted Arab and Turkish Muslims to enter Denmark and obtain residency - let alone citizenship - in the first place, they would not have to worry about  people like this hatching murderous Jihad plots on Danish soil. - CM

"The detainees are so far charged with illegal possession of automatic weapons and related ammunition, but are also suspected of having been in the process of preparing an act of terror", PET said in a statement.

In other words, they were getting ready to wage combat jihad by means of a murderous ghazi raid; they intended to use terror in order to advance the power and dominance of the Ummah, or Mohammedan Mob.

Memo to the Danes: the fewer Muslims you have on Danish soil  the fewer plots of this nature you will have to spend time, men and money trying to detect and thwart.  Your first move toward reducing the size - and thus reducing the perceived and actual power - of the Ummah within Denmark, should be to stop allowing Muslims - from anywhere - to enter Denmark; and to refuse to grant citizenship to those Muslims already present who do not yet have it; and you should say no also to Muslims seeking residency.  That way, once their temporary visa or whatever it is that they're using runs out, you can require them to leave.  And every Muslim who is discovered to have gotten into Denmark illegally and/ or obtained either citizenship or residency under false pretences, should be deported.  (I say 'every Muslim' because it is possible that genuinely persecuted non-Muslims - say, Christians from Iraq - may have also used false papers of some kind out of dire necessity;  back in the day, there were Jews who had to use illegal means - such as false identity papers - to escape the Nazis, and Christians and other non-Muslims fleeing from Muslim lands into the non-Muslim lands may not always be able to make their escape by what one might call 'legal' channels.  One does not wish to throw such persons - real refugees - back into the Predator Pits.) - CM

Posted on 04/27/2012 6:00 PM by Christina McIntosh
Friday, 27 April 2012
From The O-Tempora-O-Mores Department

I. A. Richards, author of the entertaining and instructive Practical Criticism, inventor (with C. K. Ogden) of "Basic English," teacher of literature, and mountaineer, once dissected a line he himself had written: "Harvard Yard in April/April in Harvard Yard."

I happened to be walking across Harvard Yard in April -- today, in fact -- enjoying April in Harvard Yard, when I overheard this:

Boy To Girl:

"I got you a Groupon. You owe me some phone sex."

We have all presumably acclimated ourselves, or put on the outward aspect of having done so -- fearful of being judged for being judgmental -- in the matter of group sex. But now we must prepare ourselves for a new category of intermate commerce, for which at this very moment some Stanford student is interesting angel-or-devil investors out in Silicon Valley: Groupon Sex.

Harvard Yard in April.

April in Harvard Yard.

What would I. A. Richards think?

Posted on 04/27/2012 4:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 27 April 2012
Comparing like with like is, like, soo over

Catherine Tate is, like, real awesome? Thanks to Regular Reader Paul:

Catherine Tate is, like, a polyglot?

Posted on 04/27/2012 4:18 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 27 April 2012
Franklin Graham: Air Force Should Bomb Sudan's Runways

From The Washington Times:

Bombing Sudan’s air bases only way to protect innocents

I have seen what happens when the world turns its back and looks the other way. For 20 years I have worked in Sudan, helping its people struggle through the horrors of starvation and murderous attacks. During Sudan’s civil war, the people in the south were being butchered. Shockingly, it took the deaths of more than 2 million before the world finally called it genocide.

When President George W. Bush came to office, he didn’t look the other way. Instead, he engaged all parties and forced them to sit down to negotiate what we hoped would be an end to the violence. Those discussions resulted in the agreement that led to the independence of South Sudan.

I was in President Omar al-Bashir’s office on the day the International Criminal Court indicted him for war crimes. I pleaded with Mr. Bashir to continue the peace process, explaining that although he could not change what he had done in the past, he could set a new course for his people by working for a lasting peace. Two years later, on July 9, 2011, I was in Juba sitting behind Mr. Bashir as he gave a speech during the Republic of South Sudan’s independence ceremonies. He spoke of peace, but within days, he began to attack his own people in South Kordofan and the upper Blue Nile.

Last week I traveled to South Kordofan, where 800,000 people slowly are being annihilated, victims of ethnic cleansing. According to Mr. Bashir, their only crime is that they are black and they won’t bow to his radical Islamic government. For the past nine months, the world has largely looked the other way with this humanitarian crisis.

In the Bible, Jesus gave us an example in Luke Chapter 10 about a man who was beaten, robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. Leaders passed by and saw that the man desperately needed help. But they continued on their journey, looking the other way. Then a Samaritan came along and had compassion. He bandaged the man’s wounds, put the man on his own animal and took the man to an inn to care for him. America historically has been that good Samaritan: defending the weak, standing up against the strong and providing liberty and justice for all.

I know President Obama cares about the situation in Sudan, and I have encouraged him to engage the leaders of the region, Malik Agar of the Southern Blue Nile, Abdul Aziz of South Kordofan, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Mr. Bashir, in a Camp David-style meeting. I think Mr. Obama’s personal influence in bringing those leaders together could help promote a lasting peace.

Now I am asking him and his administration to do something that may sound unusual for a preacher of the Gospel. I am asking him to use our Air Force to destroy Mr. Bashir’s airstrips - the airstrips his military uses to launch bombers that carry out daily attacks in the Nuba Mountains. The Nuba people don’t want American soldiers - they can fight for themselves. They just want to be free. But they have no defense against bombs dropping from the sky on their villages, schools and hospitals.

As a pilot with 40 years of experience, I can assure you that an airplane doesn’t do well with holes in the runway. I certainly am not asking the president to kill anyone, just to break up some concrete to prevent the bombers from taking off. I think that by destroying those runways, we can force Mr. Bashir to the negotiating table. This needs to happen soon because Sudan’s rainy season is coming. If we continue to turn our backs and don’t act, it will be too late for thousands of men, women and children. We need to make it possible for Samaritan’s Purse and other aid agencies to reach these suffering people. The coming rainy season and impassible muddy roads will leave us with airlifts as our only option. But with Sudan’s MiG fighter jets and Antonov bombers overhead, we simply can’t risk the lives of our staff.

The situation is desperate. I personally saw children starving to death last week while in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. All they had to eat were insects, leaves from thorn bushes, roots and tree bark. It is only going to get worse. Please, Mr. President, take out Mr. Bashir’s runways and enable the humanitarian agencies and the United Nations to feed the Nuba people, bandage their wounds and help them on their way so they can live in peace.

May God bless America, and may God bless our president.

Franklin Graham is president and CEO of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Posted on 04/27/2012 4:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 27 April 2012

From BostInno via The Times:

Shut your windows, lock your doors and make sure Tweety Bird is safely in his cage. Last night in Concord, Massachusetts, the town voted down three bylaws that would encourage rowdy cats to be kept on leashes, among other guides regulating pets, according to Wicked Local Concord.

The bylaws were championed by Concord resident Lydia Lodynsky, who was fed up with unruly felines swallowing up wild birds in her backyard. Her argument hinged on the fact that local dogs were subject to leash laws, so why shouldn’t other pets meet the same fate? As she tells the Boston Globe of the mangy cats: “They were brought here and domesticated; they aren’t part of the natural food chain.”

Still, Concord residents weren’t going to let their kitties be banished to remain indoors for the rest of their nine lives, and voted down Lodynsky’s bylaws. Aside from the freedom of their cats, residents were also slightly embarrassed at the attention the furry debate has drawn to Concord.

From Wicked Local Concord:

“This is going to put a black eye on Concord,” James Brown, a resident of Bedford Street said at the meeting. “I think we have a lot of laughs coming our way and I don’t want to be a part of it. This is a personal issue and it’s been made into a town issue.”

Here at BostInno, we’re 98 percent sure our resident cat lover, Dave Eisenberg, made a detour to Concord on his drive home last night to cast his vote against Lodynsky’s bylaws. As Dave once told me, “Cats are the epitome of everything that is right in this world.”

Yeah, Dave, just wait ‘til the crazy cats of Concord make their way into your neighborhood to terrorize the streets, meowing, purring and clawing at all hours of the day and night. Just try getting rid of them – nine lives ain’t something to mess with.

Plus, on a slightly related note, Concord did pass a law this week banning the sale of plastic water bottles within town limits. I can only imagine that the unruly felines will create a black market for the illegal sale of plastic water bottles. Concord, you’ve got a mess on your hands.

Go, Kitty. For more on the cat's relationship with the law, see below:

Posted on 04/27/2012 12:30 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 27 April 2012
Jacobs and Feoktistov: Foxman at ADL must Resign


Abe Foxman of the ADL           Dr. Charles Jacobs of APT

Charles Jacobs and Ilya Feoktistov of Americans for Peace and Tolerance report more evidence in The Anerican Thinker supporting both our call and that of the National Council for Jewish Affairs for the resignation of long term head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman. See their article, "The ADL Must Be Stopped". 

As background, when we posted on the excesses of the ADL regional office in Florida's complicity in allying itself with the Muslim Brotherhood Front, United Voices for America, headed by ex-Tampa CAIR leader, Ahmed Bedier, we noted in our NER article, "American Jews Who Support Shariah Imperil Us All":

There is irony in the alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ADL in undermining the constructive Florida ALAC legislation. The Jewish defense group is betraying the State of Israel by allying itself with CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood front that was founded as an affiliate of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.

There have been indications that donors to the ADL may have viewed their civil rights activities as a dangerous diversion from the original 1915 charter to fight antisemitism in America. In April 2009, the Florida office of the ADL issued a news release criticizing the Hon. Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV (Freedom Party) in the Netherlands when he spoke in southern Florida. He criticized Islamic doctrine, a right preserved in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Further, investigations by Ilya Feoktistov and Dr. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) have uncovered ADL involvement with Islamic extremists in Detroit.

Then there is the matter of Florida CAIR director Hassan Shibly whose track record in Buffalo, uncovered by Feoktistov, Rachel Lipsky and Ryan Mauro who built an effective dossier, should have alerted the ADL to its dangerous alliance with CAIR.

Jacobs and Feoktistov detail the ADL complicity with Detroit Muslim extremists in The American Thinker piece:

In cities across America, Foxman's policy has led the ADL to stand with people and organizations whose mission it is to defame and harm Jews. To defend its policy of "outreach," the Anti-Defamation League vigorously defames as "bigots" citizens who question radical Islamists' true aims. This pattern of allying with Muslim anti-Semites to fight "Islamophobia" and then defaming legitimately concerned citizens can be clearly seen in three cases:

Detroit Imam Mustapha Elturk spoke at an interfaith event on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at Congregation Shaarey Tzedek, a synagogue with a proud and longstanding pro-Israel reputation. According to locals, the ADL branch in Detroit blessed the invitation -- ignoring reports (available on ADL's own website) that Elturk's group -- the Islamic Organization of North America -- has a history of anti-Semitism.

The ADL has an annual $55M budget; presumably some of it is used to seek out enemies of the Jewish people. But any unfunded but curious citizen could have found on Elturk's own website (it was on his homepage) the following sermon:

If the Zionists don't repent and stop their aggression... they will be rest assured punished by God as he twice punished them here in this world... Who are the Zionists? ... Allah said, "Every time they enter into a covenant, they breach it. {...} People who break their covenant are worse than animals in God's sight."

During this sermon, the imam solicited his congregation for donations to Hamas-affiliated charities in the Gaza Strip, and he praised dead Gaza fighters as martyrs. In other sermons posted on his open site, Elturk defames American democracy, American society, and moderate Muslims -- and he describes in exquisite detail the ways in which Westernized Muslim women will suffer in Hell for their libertine ways.

When some members of the Detroit Jewish community spoke out online against the synagogue's embrace of Imam Elturk, 38 Detroit rabbis -- following Foxman's logic, it would seem -- co-signed a letter (a Jewish fatwa?) condemning the anonymous dissenters for being "uncivil." The president of the local Jewish Community Relations Council came out in favor of silencing the "online demagogues" and, channeling Stalin or Mao, promised to "set appropriate standards for conversation." Daniel Levy, executive board member of Detroit's ADL, defended Elturk's invitation to speak at the synagogue because -- again following Abe Foxman's reasoning -- the Detroit Jews and Mr. Elturk need to be "working together in mutual respect [as] the only way to move forward and not back." He then accused those who disagree with Elturk's invitation of "doing the work of our enemies." Apparently irony is not Mr. Levy's strong suit.

Then there is a further example of ADL complicity in a dispute over purchase of a  Farmington, Michigan school by Muslim Brothehood and Saudi funded groups:

In Michigan's Farmington Public Schools district, not far from Dearborn and Detroit, the Islamic Cultural Association of Michigan (ICA) got what seemed to many as an inside deal to purchase an abandoned school in order to build a mosque. (They beat out the bid of a Jewish religious school.) The deal was negotiated when the district's school board was led by former ADL Detroit Director Howard Wallach. The ICA mosque-builders are affiliated with the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) -- which is, according to federal authorities, a Muslim Brotherhood front. They have invited the Jewish anti-Semite Norman Finklestein to lecture to their members.

Last June, at an explosive school board meeting, concerned locals questioned the manner of the sale. They were opposed by speakers, including Dawud Walid, executive director of Detroit's branch of CAIR, who hurled accusations of Islamophobia at anyone who disagreed with the deal. Joining CAIR's Walid in support of the mosque were Betsy Kellman, the Michigan director of the ADL, and Detroit Jewish Community Relations Council executive director Robert Cohen.

Jewish leaders, defending the deal, accused Farmington residents of having "strong anti-Muslim feelings" and "making generalizations about Muslims." They said nothing about the proposed mosque's radical links or its likely animus toward their own Jewish constituents. The next day, CAIR issued a statement thanking both for their support and unfoundedly attacking the pro-Israel group StandWithUs for instigating the opposition.

In a phone interview, Kellman told us she did not know that ICA is linked to NAIT or that NAIT is a Muslim Brotherhood front. (The ADL has an annual budget of over $50M. The facts about NAIT are easily available from public, open sources.) Currently, Kellman chairs an interfaith group that includes -- and thereby legitimates -- CAIR. In 2010, Kellman spoke at a Detroit conference that also featured Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who has called Israel the "enemy of Allah" and prayed for it to be struck down.

Such are the people and organizations that Foxman's policies have this country's largest Jewish defense organization allying with, as it aggressively attempts to silence, intimidate, and smear those who would criticize its actions, or its allies.

Jacobs and Feoktistov end their dossier piece with something we and the National Council on Jewish Affairs support:

Recently, the National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) called for ADL head Abe Foxman to resign. We concur. The words used by Detroit ADL official Daniel Levy to describe the ADL's critics apply most appropriately to Foxman: he is -- with precious sums of Jewish money meant to protect Jews from their foes -- doing the work of Jews' enemies. This should be stopped.

It is well past time for American Jews to close up their checkbooks and send Foxman and his coterie, packing.  After reading this Jacobs and feoktistov dossier and what we have published how can American Jews fecklessly  believe that Abe Foxman and the ADL defend their interests against Jew hatred from all sources, especially Islamic Jew hatred from Muslim Brotherhood fronts. 

Posted on 04/27/2012 9:11 AM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 27 April 2012
In Afghanistan, What's To Come Is Not Unsure

And in delay -- in removing NATO forces -- there lies no plenty.

The failure to think things through about Islam, and how best to weaken the Camp of Islam, has so far cost the Untied States three trillion dollars, colossal distraction from other tasks, and thousands of lives. Including the life of this American special forces mentor"to would, it turns out, gladly have been in turn his tormentor, but settled for murdering him.

An intolerable situation.

The latest:

Elite Afghan soldier kills U.S. special forces mentor

Appril 27, 2012

By Ismail Sameem

KANDAHAR (Reuters) - An elite Afghan soldier shot dead an American mentor and his translator at a U.S. base, Afghan officials said on Friday, in the first rogue shooting blamed on the country's new and closely vetted special forces.

The soldier opened fire at an American military base on Wednesday in Shah Wali Kot district, in volatile Kandahar province, said General Abdul Hamid, the commander of Afghan army forces in the Taliban's southern heartland.

"The shooting took place after a verbal conflict where the Afghan special forces soldier opened fire and killed an American special forces member and his translator," Hamid told Reuters.

At least 18 foreign soldiers have died this year in 11 incidents of so-called green on blue shootings, which are an increasing worry for both NATO and Afghan commanders, eroding trust as Western combat troops look to leave the country in 2014.

The latest shooting will be of grave concern to both sides, at it is the first involving a member of Afghanistan's new special forces, which undergo rigorous vetting as part of their selection into the country's top anti-insurgent force.

NATO's top general in the country, U.S. Marine General John Allen, and Afghan Defence Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak only this month signed an agreement for Afghan special troops to spearhead controversial night raids on Afghan homes, which are seen as one of the most potent anti-insurgent tactics.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone text message sent to journalists, saying the Afghan soldier was "an insurgent infiltrator called Zakerullah".

The claim could not immediately be corroborated, and the Taliban frequently claim responsibility for attacks by disgruntled Afghan soldiers.

Hamid said U.S. soldiers had immediately fired back and killed the gunman, as well as another Afghan special forces soldiers who was caught up in the ensuing crossfire.

Green on blue shootings have severely strained U.S.-Afghan ties as both allies look to lock-in a security agreement to be signed at a NATO meeting in late May, covering a U.S. presence in Afghanistan for a decade beyond the 2014 pullout.

But NATO commanders argue the growing number of shootings is in proportion to the growing size of Afghan security forces towards an eventual 352,000 target.

"When we analyze the problem, it occurs for a number of reasons, and not as many as you would expect show any evidence of insurgent initiation, or insurgent backing," a senior NATO official who could not be identified said last week.

"Quite often people resolve their personal problems by resorting to the use of a weapon. It's more of a cultural thing here."

Posted on 04/27/2012 8:24 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 27 April 2012
Opening gambits

Are there no closing gambits? Anyway, in today's Guardian, Simon Jenkins laments the death of the conversation, "particularly the thesis, antithesis, synthesis of Socratic dialogue", which he claims has been banished by the mobile phone. I don't recall much Socratic dialogue in the pre-mobile-phone speech of my late grandmother and aunts, whose "“Well, she says to me, she says, eee, and I says to her I says, by ‘eck, and she says to me, she says, you never, and I says to her I says….” was not so different in substance from the "“I’m like “duh?”, and she’s like “hello?”, and I’m like “puhlease”' of today's teenagers. Nevertheless, readers of New English Review -- lonely old codgers to a man -- may find the following rules useful should we ever tear ourselves away from our computers, wash under our codgery armpits and go and meet a real person:

How to open a good conversation:

1) Immediately show an interest in the other person.

2) Try to extract an opinion of some sort, and reasons for it. Never disagree with it openly, but try to construct a dialogue based on it.

3) Never ask intimate questions, unless invited to do so.

4) Always be the one to change the subject if the going gets rough.

5) Try to leave the conversation in good repair should it be interrupted.

Five of the worst conversational openings:

1) You must be very busy these days.

2) Do you live round here?

3) Do you have any children?

4) Will it never stop raining?*

5) Gosh, this party is boring.

*Write on one side of the paper only.

Posted on 04/27/2012 6:38 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 27 April 2012
Sheffield Hallam University orders society to cancel Muslim speaker’s talk

From Yorkshire local paper The Star

A LECTURE by a controversial Muslim speaker has been called off at the last minute by Sheffield Hallam University - the second cancellation in a month. Jalal Ibn Saeed had originally been asked to speak at an event titled The Pursuit of Paradise organised by the Sheffield Hallam Islamic Society but pulled out at short notice.

The society booked another speaker, Murtaza Khan, claimed by opponents to be an anti-Semitic extremist. But university authorities stepped in and told the society to cancel the meeting as the speaker had been changed at a late stage. A spokesman said: “Changing the speaker invalidated the conditions of the booking and therefore event due to take place last night had to be cancelled. The society were advised of this.”

Last month a talk by preacher Assim Al Hakeem was also cancelled at the last minute after pressure from campus authorities and protests from students.

Pressure group Student Rights said the situation was worrying.  Spokesman Rupert Sutton said: “The ease with which the Islamic Society at Sheffield Hallam University tried to replace one extremist speaker with another shows the sheer scale of a problem which too many people seek to downplay - as well as demonstrating a worrying lack of judgement by the society committee.”

Posted on 04/27/2012 2:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 27 April 2012
French Mosques accused of backing Hollande

From the French edition of The Local

The rightwing UMP party has accused Socialists of courting the Muslim vote and alleges that mosques are calling for the faithful to vote for leftwing candidate Francois Hollande. 

"I want to condemn the conniving and irresponsible attitude of the Socialist Party and its candidate after religious leaders belonging to a network of 700 mosques called on followers to vote for Francois Hollande," writes UMP lawmaker Eric Ciotti in a press release on Wednesday. Ciotti said the move was "serious and inacceptable" and said he "firmly condemned such practices".

Muslim religious authorities in France however deny they have called on voters to support Hollande. In an interview with the newswire AFP, Abdallah Zekri, a leader of the French Council of Muslim Faith, says imams have called on followers to vote but have not given them instructions as to who they should vote for.

Posted on 04/27/2012 1:43 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 26 April 2012
"Why I Voted For Le Pen"


"J'ai voté FN pour la première fois"

Le |

Lors du meeting de Marine Le Pen à Paris,  le 17 avril.

Un vote de crise, le vote en faveur de Marine Le Pen ? En tous cas, un vote qui exprime un mal-être pluriel, "à la confluence de malaises", selon le mot de Pascal Perrineau, directeur du Cevipof, le Centre de recherches politiques de Sciences Po. Les nouveaux électeurs du Front national se recrutent dans toutes les couches de la population, sur tout le territoire, et leurs parcours de vote sont souvent divers, comme le montrent les quelque 200 témoignages d'électeurs du Front national recueillis par

C'est d'abord et principalement sur la thématique de l'immigration et de l'islam que Marine Le Pen convainc ces "primo-électeurs". Ils disent se sentir "dépassés", voire "envahis" par les étrangers et estiment que leur angoisse n'est pas prise en compte. Ainsi Nadine P., tenancière de bar à la retraite dans un village de l'Orne, "tracassée par ce problème d'immigration" car ayant une fille "dans la police dans le 93 [Seine-Saint-Denis]", dit avoir "très peur". Il faut "arrêter les entrées [d'étrangers] et redonner la France aux Français, surtout pour les personnes qui ont des enfants et qui ne touchent presque rien !", argumente cette sexagénaire, pour qui "Marine a un programme [qu'elle comprend] bien".


"J'habite une ville investie par les Arabes, qui affirment de plus en plus, par leurs vêtements, leurs voilages, leurs barbes, leur différence", explique, de son côté, Colette K., graphologue à Nice. Ces électeurs, qui "ne se sent[ent] plus chez [eux]", expriment sans fard un ressentiment anti-immigrés, accusant les "non-Français" de menacer leur mode de vie et leur environnement culturel. Pascal D., pharmacien à Cugnaux (Haute-Garonne), raconte sa "lassitude" de voir dans son officine "des gens d'origine maghrébine, bénéficier de la CMU [couverture maladie universelle] et qui sont beaucoup plus intransigeants que des gens qui payent mutuelle et impôts".

Le discours xénophobe, très nettement islamophobe, est assumé. "Les méfaits en nombre sont perpétrés par des jeunes issus de l'immigration qui préfèrent dealer que travailler", dit-il. L'insécurité, corollaire de l'immigration, revient aussi comme un leitmotiv. "Trop d'immigrés, trop d'insécurité, trop de chômage", titre Laurent F., commissaire aux comptes parisien. "Qui n'a pas été victime d'une agression ou d'un vol ? Tout le monde sait qu'une bonne partie des crimes et délits est le fait des immigrés ou de population d'origine immigrée", assure ce trentenaire. "J'habite les Vosges et, depuis quelques années, il y a de plus en plus de délits et d'agressions, beaucoup de chômage, aussi, et on en a tous ras-le-bol", s'écrie Franck, jeune commercial de 22 ans.

Marine Le Pen a réussi à attirer ceux qui se sentent les laissés pour compte de la mondialisation, en liant la question sociale à la question identitaire. Les petits récits explicatifs disent cette exaspération diffuse mais palpable, qui s'exprime de manière brutale. "On souffre, la vie est dure. Depuis l'arrivée de l'euro, les prix ont explosé, et nous savons que tout ceci vient de l'Europe", témoigne encore Franck, qui, avec ses 1 200 euros de salaire mensuel, vit toujours chez ses parents.


Les diatribes contre les "assistés" reviennent également en boucle. "Moi qui bosse toute l'année, j'en ai marre de l'assistanat, de l'argent facile à regarder la télé", dit un autre Franck, ouvrier de 46 ans habitant la Haute-Savoie, ajoutant ironiquement qu'il ne peut "même pas [s]'acheter une Porsche Cayenne ou une Rolex pour arriver à l'heure à [son] travail". Certains expliquent leur vote par leur exaspération au sujet du permis à points et des radars. D'autres en veulent à l'Europe "portée par les élites". Chez beaucoup, le rejet des partis traditionnels, en particulier l'UMP et le PS, est vif. Ils ont voulu donner "un coup de pied dans la fourmilière" d'un jeu politique qu'ils exècrent. Les titres des messages sont sans équivoque : "choquer les esprits", "gauche droite blabla", "du fond des tripes".

Anciens électeurs de Nicolas Sarkozy ou fidèles jusqu'alors à la gauche, ils ont trouvé en Marine Le Pen la porte-parole de toutes leurs colères. "J'ai choisi de protester en choquant. Mon vote est un électrochoc, sans courir le risque d'aggraver la situation", raconte Nicolas K., restaurateur à Vincennes (Val-de-Marne), qui ajoute espérer "que les choses changent ou que l'on me donne l'impression qu'on y travaille". " J'aimerais que mon vote serve de leçon à cette classe politique qui se moque de notre pays et de ses habitants", assène Patrice B., cadre à Choisy-le-Roy (Val-de-Marne). "Peut être me suis-je trompé, mais le monde politique nous trompe tellement !", ajoute cet homme de 59 ans.


Leurs mots sont crus et acerbes. "Je ne supporte plus les mensonges, la suffisance et ces promesses en permanence non tenues", lance ainsi Christian C., ingénieur à la retraite à Ugine (Savoie), qui a "décidé de 'leur' faire peur". "Que ce soit Nicolas Sarkozy ou François Hollande, nous ne sommes que des chiffres susceptibles de les faire gagner. Ils oublient que, derrière un bulletin, il y a un homme ou une femme avec ses peurs, des espoirs et des attentes", écrit Jean D. cadre nantais de 30 ans. En votant Le Pen, ils rêvent encore : "d'un grand changement", "de faire bouger les choses" ou "d'envoyer un signal", soit à l'UMP, soit au PS, selon leur vote antérieur.

En tout cas, ils ont eu envie de crier leur rage face à un monde qui leur devient étranger et qu'ils ressentent comme incompréhensible et hostile. A leurs yeux, Mme Le Pen est la seule à les entendre. Son slogan "la candidate des invisibles" touche juste, et de nombreux messages font part d'une véritable admiration pour la personnalité de la candidate. Ils la trouvent "pugnace", "courageuse", "proche des gens". "Marine Le Pen apporte une dimension humaine à la politique. Elle nous parle", plaide Marcel C., ouvrier à l'usine de Renault de Flins (Yvelines). "Elle nous défend, ses mesures nous touchent tous", ajoute ce quinquagénaire, qui a toujours voté "traditionnellement" pour le PS.

"C'est la seule qui m'a fait vibrer", avoue, de son côté, Alfred P., directeur d'une boutique de luxe sur la Côte-d'Azur, qui avait voté pour Ségolène Royal en 2007. "Je ne suis pas pauvre, je ne suis pas en colère, mon vote n'est pas protestataire", continue-t-il pour démentir les études des politologues. Non, rien de tout cela, assure ce trentenaire. Simplement, avec Marine Le Pen, il se sent "visé, impliqué dans [ses] soucis quotidiens".

Posted on 04/26/2012 7:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Sarkozy's Rightward Turn Welcome To UMP


April 26, 2012

Les militants UMP : derrière Sarkozy coûte que coûte

  21 réactions

Si quelques rares militants voient dans la droitisation du candidat UMP une "tactique", beaucoup d'autres la revendiquent fièrement.


Des militants au meeting de Nicolas Sarkozy au Raincy Estelle Gross - Le Nouvel Observateur

Des militants au meeting de Nicolas Sarkozy au Raincy Estelle Gross - Le Nouvel Observateur

"On est près de 5.000 personnes aujourd'hui ", entend-on depuis l'entrée de la salle qui accueille le meeting de Nicolas Sarkozy au Raincy, mardi 26 avril. "Pour la presse, ça sera 2.000", réplique une militante aux journalistes qui se dirigent vers les tables de presse. Les quelques pas nécessaires pour parvenir à l'endroit dédié aux médias sont agrémentés de réflexions désobligeantes, voire d'insultes, à l'adresse des "commentateurs". Force est de constater que le discours très critique du candidat contre les médias imprime tout autant dans l'esprit des militants UMP que ses propositions en matière d'immigration et ses attaques contre le droit de vote des étrangers aux élections locales proposé par François Hollande.

"Une France gauloise"

"Tous les médias sont contre nous", assure Lou, 60 ans venue assister au discours. "J'ai peur que mimolette passe", poursuit-elle en parlant de François Hollande. Clichy-sous-Bois s'est transformé, selon ses mots, en "dépotoir", la faute à "l'immigration intensive", explique-t-elle. Et d'ajouter : au moins Sarkozy "veut une France nationale, une France gauloise". La proximité avec le Front national ne la dérange pas : "Les deux électorats vont dans le même sens".

Les critiques de François Bayrou à l'encontre de Nicolas Sarkozy n'intéressent pas Corine, 48 ans et tous les autres militants interrogés sur le sujet font presque la même réponse. "Il est ridicule ; il est toujours entre la poire et le fromage !", dit-elle avant de continuer : "C'est sûr que Sarkozy appelle les électeurs du FN et à sa place, je ferais pareil !"

"Faut pas prendre les électeurs du FN pour des andouilles"

"Faut pas prendre les électeurs du FN pour des andouilles, ils ont exprimé des attentes sur la sécurité et l'emploi", tempère Monique deux rangs plus loin. "Les thèses du FN ont évolué avec Marine Le Pen, il n'y a pas 6 millions de fachos en France". Anne, qui l'accompagne, laisse exploser sa colère contre la proposition de François Hollande d'accorder le droit de vote aux étrangers lors des scrutins locaux. "On ne va pas laisser les étrangers venir ici et voter, c'est chacun chez soi !", s'indigne-t-elle. "Sans ça on est vraiment un pays poubelle !", conclut-elle.

Un accord avec le FN ? Yvette, 74 ans n'est pas contre. "Ca fait 40 ans que Le Pen dit tout haut ce que les Français pensent tout bas", explique-t-elle. "Dans ma rue, je suis la seule Française, il y a trop d'étrangers mais surtout ils restent entre eux", regrette cette femme née en Afrique du Nord et qui s'est installée à Villepinte en 1963. "J'ai vu la France se dégrader, on est un beau pays, c'est dommage".

Une question de "tactique"

A la sortie du meeting pendant lequel Nicolas Sarkozy a repris la proposition du Front national d'une présomption de légitime défense pour les policiers, Adrien, jeune militant du Raincy est bien plus mesuré. La droitisation du discours n'est qu'une question de "tactique", qui "permet de faire plaisir aux plus âgés, aux plus conservateurs". Il reconnaît que "ça le dérange un peu" mais que cela ne l'empêchera pas de voter pour Nicolas Sarkozy au second tour. Pour les législatives, s'il devait choisir entre le FN et PS, il regardera de près le programme du candidat socialiste. "Il y a parfois de bonnes idées au PS", reconnaît-il. Pour lui, ce sera PS ou abstention.

Hamine et Yani, deux étudiants en prépa qui sont venus "pour voir" ne sont pas déçus. "Il parle très bien mais c'est un peu trop beau", dit le premier impressionné. Pour le second, le discours n'a pas changé et François Hollande en refusant de débattre "souligne sa faiblesse". Quant à "l'immigration choisie", elle n'a rien de choquante, selon Yani. "Ils le font bien aux Etats- Unis !"

Posted on 04/26/2012 5:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Maghreb Muslim Rally To Praise Merah The Child-Killer


Guéant veut interdire une vidéo à la gloire de Merah

Par Jean-Marc Leclerc Mis à jour Réactions (85)

Le tueur de Toulouse y est encensé, lors du prêche d'un ex-chef du Front islamique du salut.

L'affaire Merah n'en finit pas de rebondir des deux côtés de la Méditerranée. Le ministre de l'Intérieur, Claude Guéant, vient de signer une lettre adressée au garde des Sceaux, Michel Mercier, lui demandant d'engager des poursuites contre les participants à un prêche filmé du 30 mars 2012 et diffusé sur YouTube. Le tueur de Toulouse, Mohamed Merah, y est érigé en véritable modèle pour les musulmans, qualifié de «lion», ses crimes étant justifiés par des interprétations du Coran.

Or cette prière collective, organisée quelque part au Maghreb, n'est pas orchestrée par n'importe qui. À l'image, le maître de cérémonie n'est autre que le Tunisien Ali Belhadj, cofondateur, avec Abassi Madani, du Front islamique du salut (FIS), ce parti islamiste radical interdit en Algérie dans les années 1990. Belhadj avait été longtemps emprisonné, avant d'être amnistié par Alger, puis de retourner quelque temps en prison pour «atteinte à la sûreté de l'État». Aujourd'hui libre, il n'a pas renoncé à l'action prosélyte. Son fils Abdelkahar Belhadj, membre d'al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), a été tué le 25 juillet 2011 par l'armée algérienne alors qu'il se dirigeait vers Alger pour préparer un attentat, selon les autorités du pays.

Dans la vidéo provocatrice, on voit ce religieux influent, visage de cire, assis en tailleur, ouvrir la séance des détestations. «Hier, j'ai vu cet homme méprisable, le Français Sarkozy…», lance-t-il aux fidèles. «J'ai vu le père de Merah, Allah ait pitié de lui», dit-il. Et d'ajouter, évoquant le tueur de Toulouse: «Il devrait être enterré en terre musulmane et des prières devraient être dites pour lui.»

Une sorte de transe collective

Puis vient la séquence où il invite ceux qui l'entourent à dire tout le bien qu'ils pensent du terroriste de Toulouse et Montauban, qui fit sept victimes, dont trois enfants. Au cri d'«Allah akbar», dans une sorte de transe collective, l'un des participants, binational, brûle son passeport français, insulte les «ennemis de l'islam», traitant le président de la République française de «juif», de «porc» . Il défend aussi ses «frères» de Forsane Alizza, le groupe islamiste radical dont une dizaine de membres ont à répondre de leurs actes devant la justice en France, notamment pour des détentions d'armes.

«Qu'Allah te bénisse!», l'encourage l'ancien numéro deux du FIS, son ouaille intarissable ponctuant sa diatribe en lui disant: «Cheikh, que ce lion de Merah réponde de moi pour le Jugement dernier.»

Pour le ministre de l'Intérieur à Paris, qui a visionné ce document, l'affaire ne saurait rester sans suite. Dans sa lettre au ministre de la Justice, il écrit: «Un certain nombre de déclarations, dont certaines émanant de M. Ali Belhadj, ancien vice-président du FIS, m'apparaissent constitutives du délit de provocation et apologie aux actes de terrorisme.»

Parmi «les propos incriminés», il relève «un soutien non équivoque à Mohamed Merah, présenté comme un héros et au fondateur du groupe Forsane Alizza désormais dissous par décret pris en Conseil d'État». Par ailleurs, l'hôte de Beauvau dénonce dans cette vidéo «un appel au djihad à l'encontre du président de la République».

«Compte tenu de la gravité des faits», Claude Guéant a sollicité la suppression de la vidéo auprès de son principal diffuseur, YouTube. Si la suppression n'intervient pas «dans les meilleurs délais», demande-t-il à son collègue de la Justice, «je vous serai reconnaissant de prendre toutes dispositions utiles, en urgence, dans le cadre de l'enquête pénale que vous ne manquerez pas de faire ouvrir». La Place Vendôme fera-t-elle diligence? Sur la vidéo, le plus virulent des participants à cette prière pour Merah lâche méprisant: «Je me moque qu'ils me dénoncent.»

Posted on 04/26/2012 5:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 26 April 2012
In Iraq, Kurds May Throw Off A Re-Imposed Arab Yoke
From AP:
April 25, 2012
Iraqi Kurd leader hints at secession

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — The president of Iraq's self-rule Kurdish region demanded Wednesday that Shiite leaders agree on sharing power with their political opponents by September or else the Kurds could consider breaking away from Baghdad.

The warning by Kurdish President Massoud Barzani in an interview with The Associated Press underscores that Shiite domination in Iraq's government is reviving secession dreams that the now departed American military had tried to contain.

"What threatens the unity of Iraq is dictatorship and authoritarian rule," Barzani said in a 45-minute interview in his sprawling office outside of Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region he leads in northern Iraq. "If Iraq heads toward a democratic state, then there will be no trouble. But if Iraq heads toward a dictatorial state, then we will not be able to live with dictatorship."

He called it a "very dangerous political crisis in the country" and said the impasse must be broken by September, when voters in the Kurdish region may consider a referendum for a state independent of Iraq.

"They have to decide if they are willing to accept to live under a dictatorial regime or not," Barzani said. "They have to make that decision. It is their natural right."

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's media adviser, Ali al-Moussawi, declined immediate comment.

The specter of a divided Iraq has been discussed — and dismissed by many — for months. Barzani said Wednesday that he is still committed to negotiating a compromise before promoting secession. But he insisted it will be an option if the government logjam continues for much longer.

Barzani is the highest-ranking Iraqi official to disavow al-Maliki's government for sidelining its political opponents and, in some cases, persecuting them in what critics call an unabashed power grab. He stopped short of demanding that al-Maliki step down to ease the crisis. But he left little doubt that tensions between the central government in Baghdad and the three-province Kurdish region have reached a new high.

Iraq expert Ramzy Mardini, with the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, said Barzani's comments likely are aimed more at getting al-Maliki to bend to Kurds on some positions instead of containing a real threat to secede. He noted that Kurds are years away from having enough oil and gas infrastructure to produce the resources necessary to support an independent state.

Oil disputes — specifically Baghdad's blacklisting of ExxonMobil from bidding on new projects as punishment for plans to work in Kurdistan — have been at the heart of recent feuding between the two sides.

"A unified Iraq is at the center of U.S. policy and concerns every neighboring state," Mardini said. "Despite the real financial barriers, the very talk about Kurdish independence still makes everyone uneasy. It's unwise to underestimate the role Kurdish aspirations and fears play in their calculus regarding statehood."

The Kurdish region in Iraq's north is politically autonomous, although it does receive a share of the nation's $100 billion annual budget. It was created as a haven for the country's ethnic Kurds in the 1970s after years of fighting with the central government. Kurds account for up to 20 percent of Iraq's population; it is unknown how many of them live in the northern region since there has been no census taken for years.

Neighboring Turkey and Iran have been concerned that an independent and prosperous Iraqi Kurdistan might promote separatism among their own Kurdish minority populations. Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency reported Wednesday that four troops from Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards were killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels in western Iran the previous day.

During the early years of the Iraq war, the U.S. worked hard to ensure that the Kurds remained part of the Iraqi state, encouraging all parties to give the Kurds a major role in the government. Kurdish approval of the Iraqi constitution in 2005 was hailed as a major victory for U.S. policy.

Relations between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish region long have been strained, and Barzani has threatened previously to break off the region from Iraq.

But Barzani may feel more emboldened now that the U.S. troops have gone, and since talks last week in Ankara signaled a burgeoning partnership between the Kurdish region and neighboring Turkey.

On Wednesday, Barzani signaled he was impatient with requests by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for the Kurds to work with the al-Maliki government.

"They reiterated they support a federal, democratic, pluralistic, united Iraq. And I reassured them that certainly if Iraq is democratic, federal and pluralistic, it will be united," Barzani said. "Certainly, we have reservations about their policy and their attitude."

"We cannot sit and do nothing or try nothing to remedy the situation."

Barzani also said he "wholeheartedly" supports Sunni desires to create their own self-rule regions in Iraq. Sunni lawmakers, whose Iraqiya political coalition won the most seats in 2010 parliamentary elections but were outmaneuvered by al-Maliki for the right to form the government, bitterly complain they have no say in Iraq's power structure.

Sunni lawmaker Hamid al-Mutlaq said many of his constituents have been lukewarm about creating a self-rule Sunni region.

"But because of the injustice they are experiencing, due to the practices of the government security forces especially concerning arrests, marginalization and double standards, that makes them call for creating these regions," al-Mutlaq said.

Iraq's top Sunni official, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, is wanted on government terrorism charges that his supporters call trumped up and Barzani said Wednesday were politically motivated.

Lawmaker Ali al-Alak, a member of the State of Law political coalition that al-Maliki leads, said Kurdish secession should not be an option.

"The problems can't be resolved by issuing threats, but through dialogue," al-Alak said. "If one party tries to impose solutions on others, then this a dictatorship scenario. We are with unity of Iraq and we strongly reject dividing Iraq and its people."

Others feel it is al-Maliki who is dividing the Iraqi people.

Al-Maliki kept his job in 2010 only after corralling enough support from Kurdish lawmakers and the hardline followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Now, even Sadrist lawmakers are increasingly irritated with the government's long-standing dismissal of their concerns.

"The current political situation in Iraq is like a time bomb that could explode at any moment," said Sadrist lawmaker Bahaa al-Araji.

He said the political strain between al-Maliki and the Kurds could be the first domino to fall in a broken Iraq: "Baghdad has the same problems with other provinces," al-Araji said. "This will lead to dividing Iraq, and there will be no Iraq on the world map."

Posted on 04/26/2012 5:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Exclusive: George Galloway's conversion to Islam

From the New Statesman - its not really a surprise. HT EDL Buck

Jemima Khan, in an interview with the Bradford MP, reveals the background to his Muslim conversion. In a wide-ranging interview in this week's issue of the New Statesman, George Galloway MP talks about his spectacular by-election victory, Ed Miliband's fortunes, Middle East dictators and mass unemployment. Interviewer Jemima Khan also exclusively reveals the background to Galloway’s conversion to Islam:

"George Galloway, MP for Bradford West, is a Muslim. He converted more than ten years ago in a ceremony at a hotel in Kilburn, north-west London, attended by members of the Muslim Association of Great Britain. Those close to him know this. The rest of the world, including his Muslim constituents, does not.

Over a halal, alcohol-free lunch at a cafe on Bradford’s main high street, Khan tells Galloway: “I know someone who attended your shahadah [the Muslim conversion ceremony]. . . his new bride, Gayatri Pertiwi – a Dutch-born Muslim of Indonesian descent 30 years his junior, seated beside him throughout the interview – smiles at me.

George and Gayatri performed the nikah, the Muslim marriage ceremony, four weeks ago at the Royal Theatre in Amsterdam, the day after his sensational and unexpected victory in Bradford. This means, presumably, that they are unmarried under British law. Galloway has had two previous Muslim marriages (and this marriage to Gayatri is his fourth marriage in total). However, a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man under Islamic law – although the other way round is allowed.

Khan and Galloway were scheduled to meet at the local mosque for juma (Friday) prayers, “where Galloway usually meets the community each week, but the plan was cancelled when it transpired that I was coming with a photographer”. Although Galloway denies it was only the Muslim vote that won him the Bradford seat, Khan writes:

Galloway may have successfully out-Muslimed Labour’s Muslim British-Pakistani candidate, Imran Hussain, during the election campaign, with his speeches full of “inshallahs”, his invocations of the Quran – “the people who invaded and destroyed Iraq . . . will burn in the hell-fires of Hell” – and his smattering of Arabic words: “We stand for justice and haq [truth].” Pamphlets were distributed declaring: “God knows who is a Muslim and he knows who is not. Instinctively, so do you . . . I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have.” (Galloway has denied he was responsible for these.)

In the media, Galloway is often referred to as a Catholic. However, as Khan finds, the Muslim constituents of Bradford knew otherwise:

There must have been some white constituents in Bradford, who, although natural Labour supporters, preferred to vote for the white Catholic candidate rather than the brown Muslim one representing Labour. Meanwhile, his Muslim constituents delighted in the hints – “a Muslim is somebody who is not afraid of earthly power but who fears only the Judgement Day. I’m ready for that, I’m working for that and it’s the only thing I fear.” Many favoured a possible or a potential Muslim over a “lapsed” one, such as Labour’s Hussain, who, Galloway claimed in his campaign, was “never out of the pub”.

In the Guardian he denies any such thing.

The New Statesman responds:

“It is notable that Galloway does not deny being a Muslim convert – and he did not deny it when it was put to him at the time of the interview, which is on tape. Contrary to his press release, nor did he deny that the ceremony took place when it was put to him during the interview. This is also on tape. Furthermore, he failed to clarify how, by his own admission, he had a 'nikah' (a Muslim marriage ceremony), despite the fact that a non-Muslim man cannot marry a Muslim woman under Islamic law. As for calling his 'secretary' his 'special adviser', this is how she asked to be described in an email to Jemima Khan."

 I have been saying this for years - it was obvious from his second 'wife', a niece of Yasser Arafat and thus of the family of Al Husseini the wartime Mufti of Jerusalem. No way would a woman of a family of that status in the Middle East be allowed to marry a non Muslim, be he ever so useful.

Posted on 04/26/2012 2:47 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Holy Land's Pressured Christians

Originally published in the NY Post December 27, 2008.


I AM sitting on stone stairs fac ing the Jaffa Gate, a 10-minute walk from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional spot of the crucifixion. Christianity began here, some 2,000 years ago, and is still practiced here by Arabic-speakers in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

I am on the phone with a Palestinian Christian who is talking to me from Bethlehem, Jesus' birthplace. "My friend," he says, "6,000 Palestinian Christians have left Bethlehem in the last six years.

"There is growing [Islamic] fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza. Tell the people of America that we fear that we Christians in the territories and Gaza will become the forgotten people."

Christians are leaving in increasing numbers. Fifty years ago, they were 15 percent of the total population of Gaza and the West Bank; now, they're less than 2 percent. Where Christians were the majority in Bethlehem, they're just a fifth the town's population, and falling.

American lawyer J.R. Weiner has been collecting evidence from a variety of sources on the kind and quantity of persecution of Palestinian Christians. It includes social and economic discrimination as well as boycotts and extortion of Christian businesses; forcing Christian Arab women to wear the veil and follow Muslim dress codes; using laws that forbid land sales to Israelis to obstruct the sale of land from one Palestinian Christian to another, and incitement against Christians by Palestinian Authority officials.

One man told Weiner: "I know many businessmen who have been extorted. There wasn't a Christian businessman exempt. Many of them are now out of business - nearly 90 percent. Christian vendors have been forced to pay protection money to stay in business . . . most of the bribes and extortion are . . . of course, paid in cash."

The owner of a café near Manger Square, who'd lived in Bethlehem for 30 years, refused to pay bribes to a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade - and was shot. He survived and fled the country.

Many Americans know that sermons in mosques in Gaza often malign Jews, using the most medieval anti-Semitic stereotypes - but few are aware that Christians are often equally maligned.

For example, official Palestine Authority TV in Oct., 2000, broadcast a live anti-Christian sermon at the Gaza mosque by the former rector of the Islamic University of Gaza, Ahmad Abu Halabiya. A brief excerpt:

"From here, Allah the almighty has called upon us not to ally with the Jews or the Christians, not to like them, not to become their partners, not to support them, and not to sign agreements with them . . . as Allah said, 'O you who believe, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies.' "

A Christian Arab citizen of Israel whom I've known for years tells me, "Something has changed during the last three to five years. All my life I simply thought of myself as an Arab. I did not distinguish between Muslim and Christian. I have discovered that, all of a sudden, I am a Christian!

"I have never really thought of myself in this way but now I do, and it is not out of choice but out of necessity. I am being pushed toward it by rising Muslim intolerance. They no longer see us as their equals."

Arab nationalism (largely a creation of Arabic-speaking Christians) is being replaced by radical Islam, which has no plans for the existence of Christian minorities holding full citizens' rights. It is not surprising then that Christians of the West Bank and Gaza are discovering that the official Palestinian idea is now that of an Islamic state under sharia law.

In this brave new Palestinian world, Arabic-speaking Christians are neither equal nor welcome, and this largely explains the exodus.

Quite soon, "that little town of Bethlehem" may have no more Christian residents. They will become one more in a list of "forgotten people."

(Also see Pierre Rehov's film, Holy Land: Christians in Peril.)

Posted on 04/26/2012 7:54 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
Thursday, 26 April 2012
More On The New Pusey Minister And Plummer Professor At Harvard

Among the course offerings of Jonathan Walton, newly-appointed to a leadership role as the Pusey Minister at Memorial Church, and the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, at Harvard, is this:

HDS 3260

Martin, Malcolm, and Masculinity

Jonathan L. Walton


The aim of this course is to not only engage the theological, philosophical and social thought of these men, but to interrogate the implicit assumptions about race, gender and sexuality that animated masculinist organizing strategies. We will critically unpack the gender politics that underlay the thought and praxis of Martin King and Malcolm X while assessing the implications for contemporary black politics and faith. Readings will include Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Manning Marable, Clayborne Carson, Danielle McGuire, Barbara Ransby and others.

Posted on 04/26/2012 7:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Drew Faust: Jonathan Walton To Assume A New Leadership Role
Dear Members of the Harvard Community:

I am very happy to announce the appointment of Jonathan L. Walton, Professor of Religion and Society at Harvard Divinity School, as Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, effective July 1.

Professor Walton is an outstanding scholar whose research explores the intersection of culture, media, and theology in the African American religious tradition.  In addition to publishing widely in scholarly venues, he has reached broad audiences in journals such as Christian Century and Salon, as well as on NPR and CNN.

His scholarly and ecclesiastical callings are mutually enriching in the best traditions of campus ministry.  Ordained in the Baptist tradition, Professor Walton served as the officiating pastor at Memorial West United Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey from 2001 to 2006.  During his time as a faculty member, Walton has continued to preach actively.  Recent engagements have included Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, once led by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

For more information, please see the Harvard Gazette announcement.

I am delighted that Jonathan Walton will bring his remarkable talents to a new leadership role in the Memorial Church, and I hope you will join me in congratulating him.

Drew Faust
Posted on 04/26/2012 6:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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