Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky














Saturday, 31 May 2008
A Musical Interlude: When Your Lover Has Gone (Lee Wiley)
clear
clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 8:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Avi Shlaim Doesn't Quite Know What To Do
clear

Benny Morris's new book on Israel's war of survival against the Musllm Arabs, has been reviewed by Avi Shlaim, of St. Antony's College (Middle East Division), which until recently was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Arab League (Local Director: Albert Hourani, who behaved like a plump abbot dispensing his favours).

At the end of his review Shlaim writes:

"The only major departure from the evidence, and from common sense, is the stress on the jihadi character of the two-stage Arab assault on the Jewish community in Palestine. Echoing Samuel Huntington's silly and superficial notion of a "clash of civilisations", Morris depicts the 1948 war as "part of a more general, global struggle between the Islamic east and the west". The empirical evidence for this view is utterly underwhelming, consisting as it does of a collection of random quotes. The bulk of the evidence presented in the book suggests that the first Arab-Israeli war was essentially a contest between two national movements over a piece of territory. Despite this one serious lapse of judgment, the book is likely to stand out for many years as the most detailed, dispassionate and comprehensive account we have of the war for Palestine."

So for Avi Shlaim it is a "departure from common sense" to think that Muslim Arabs would go to war against Israel for Muslim Arab reasons. He thinks that the Total Belief-System of Islam, which is far more than a religion in the Western sense, that offers the Complete Regulation of LIfe, that contains a Politics and Geopolitics at least as important as the rituals -- the Five Pillars -- of worship, that sets out quite clearly the duty of Jihad, pursued traditionally through qitaal or combat, but at present is pursued most effectively neither through qitaal nor that version, for Muslims, of qitaal that we Infidels have no difficulty in descrying, and describing, as terrorism,  but rather through deployment of the Money Weapon, of campaigns of Da'wa, and of demographic conquest -- no, for Avi Shlaim and all the non-Muslim apologists for Islam, not only the assorted avi-shlaims but the john-espositos and karen-armstrongs of this world, the hundreds of Western scholars of Islam, from Joseph Schacht to C. Snouck Hurgronje, and  Henry Lammens and Edmond Fagnan, and Arthur Jeffrey and K. S. Lal,  and St. Clair Tisdall, and so many others, samples of their work now available in the source-book "The Legacy of Jihad" -- all of that, in the view of Avi Shlaim, doesn't matter.

He is not, Avi Shlaim, a scholar of Islam. He's a disaffected Israeli, who finds his life endowed with meaning in that very disaffection. He's an ilan-pappe type, a dreary type, and now he must regard with unease, or even dread, the re-discovery, not by Muslims (they never had to re-discover it) but by those who, aware that so many centers of "academic" learning have been slowly infiltrated by apologists for Islam, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and very often the comfortably endowed chairs, or the still more plush private fiefdoms of such things as the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (Esposito's operation, carefully positioned at Georgetown), are paid for, lock, stock, and barrel by Saudi crude, by Muslim masters, all daggers and dishdashas, with their sneers of cold command, and the ten trillion dollars, or what's left of it, that they have managed to receive, without making the slightest effort, since 1973 alone.

As long as the Israeli leftists were merely fighting other Israelis, you know, the bad ones, the Likudniks, the crazed defenders of Israel, they could do just fine in their own little world. But now that Israelis -- and horribile dictu, not only Israelis but all kinds of other people, even non-Jewish people, all over the world, have started to investigate the texts, tenets, attitudes, and atmospherics of Islam, the avi-shlaims don't quite know what to do, and since they know nothing about Islam, for to them this "Palestinian people" business which got going after the Six-Day War to disguise the truth (as Arafat, for Western audiences, would disguise the language he used for Arab audiences, the same language as that employed by his predecessor Ahmed Shukairy).

What the avi-shlaims of this world do not understand is that the ground has shifted. It has been a long time coming, And it has shifted not because of any brilliance on the part of any Israeli propagandist or government official or the "Jewish lobby." Magari. No, it has shifted because we Infidels are now paying attention to what  is written and spoken in Muslim lands (see MEMRI), and not only what is written and spoken now, but what is in the Qur'an, what is in the Hadith, what is in the Sira. If people on the street are now beginnning, thanks to the Internet, to visit the Muslim websites and see what Islam is all about, if they are reading the news and, despite the best efforts of apologists, seeing right through to the Jihad-News of the day, if they are learning what "Jizyah" is, and what a "dhimmi" is, then of course they will come to understand the war on Israel as what it always was: a classic Jihad against an Infidel nation-state, on land once possessed and therefore always to be possessed, by Islam.

The only differences now between the Slow Jihadists of Fatah (who want the tap of Western aid turned on, and therefore are prepared to "chose peace as a strategic option" for a little while, just as long as necessary but not a moment longer) and the Fast Jihadists of Hamas, is over tactics and timing.

No, Islam in the future, and Islam now, and Islam in 1948, and Islam in 1930 or 1920, explains the attitudes of the local Arabs (who became after 1967 that "Palestinian people"), and of the other Muslim Arabs, and other Muslims too, to the extent that those Muslims were fervent. That fervency explains why, for example, Pakistan could never have been courted by Israel but, on the other hand, for a while Israel could establish close relations with the Shah of Iran (essentially, a secular and Westernizing figure who for all of his faults, and they were many, was compared to what followed, practically Winston Churchill), and with Turkey, but not just an abstraction called Turkey, but the Turkey of secularists, Kemalists. And it didn't hurt that both Iranians and Turks prided themselves on not being "desert Arabs," and were quick to proclaim to any Western visitor who might mistake them for others, that "we are not Arabs."

Of course, in the end the entire world belongs to Allah and his people. No doubt. But still, on the To-Do List of Islam, those lands now possessed by Infidels that were once in Muslim possession stand highest.

There were always those who understood that Islam explained Arab hostility to Israel -- a hostility that is not to be assuaged, not to be ended, but should simply be accepted as a permanent fact, yet a fact, or rather a situation, that is manageable if Israel does not further surrender tangible assets. In "The Question of Palestine" Edward Said, reproduced  from Ma'ariv in 1951 a summary of the doctrines of Islam. Said, who knew nothing about Islam, was content to be its islamochristian apologist , for he felt keenly that "Arabness" that reinforced even among, or especially among, "Palestinian" Arab Christians, a loyalty to the Islamic worldview, one which naturally arises originally from a  need to get along by placating the circumambient and ever-threatening Muslims. Christian Arabs who were not part of a self-confident and numerous group (as, in first place, the Maronites or, slightly less sure of themselves, especially when still in Egypt, the Copts) would always adopt the view of Muslims; it was the only way to get along. And they were enthusiasts for pan-Arabism, for it was only by stressing that ethnic identity that one could escape from the dangers of too great a stress, for Christian Arabs in a Muslim sea, on religious identity. It is no puzzle that Michel Afaq, a Christian, should have been the moving spirit (or one of three) behind Ba'athism; he forefelt the need of Christian Arabs to have, or to create, an ideology that would allow them to participate in political life, and not be reduced to the status of passive, and politically powerless, dhimmis.

Another good article, from 1947 and therefore, like the piece in Ma'ariv, nearly contemporaneous with the 1948 war, was by Bishop Moubarac of Beirut. That article, reproduced as an appendix in Bat Ye'or's "Islam and Dhimmitude," makes clear the connection, as this intelligent Maronite saw it, between the fate of Christians in the Muslim Middle East and the fate of the Jews of what was to become, within months, the State of Israel.

No doubt the Rediscovery of Islam, and the rediscovery as well of all the great Western scholars of Islam, is driving the avi-shlaims up this world crazy. For can Avi Shlaim, or a hundred avi-shlaims, take issue with Joseph Schacht? With Snouck Hurgronje? With Arthur Jeffrey? For that matter, what can the avi-shlaims of this world do in response to that other new phenomenon, the intelligent and articulate apostates from Islam -- Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Magdi Allam, some of them non-Arab, some of them Arabs, but all of them -- and contrary to Muslim propaganda, they were not all suddenly struck with amnesia the moment they decided to jettison Islam, did not suddenly forget everything that they had read, had heard, had taken in, when they lived, as Muslims, in states or societies or families suffused with Islam.

And finally, there are the Muslims themselves, and what they say about Israel, and why they oppose it. And they are very clear, for their own people, and now it is no longer a case of finding this or that blue-papered FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service) report. A click, and you can have all the stuff, reproduced not only at www.MEMRI,org, but at hundreds of websites run by Muslims or, for that matter, by ex-Musilms.

It hardly matters. The evidence is there. Nothing for avishlaims to do, but to utter a dismissal without any evidence, and hope that no one bothers to study, or to read, or to think, about Islam.

Too late.

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 1:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Taxi driver banned ... because he can't use apostrophes
clear

What next? Bus driver fined for using an Oxford comma in a built-up area? From the Daily Mail:

As an experienced cabbie, Laurence Kirk knows his home town like the back of his hand.

But he has been refused permission to resume his old job  -  because he isn't sure where to place an apostrophe.

He was denied a private hire driver's licence after failing an English exam designed to test his grammar.

'It's barmy,' said Mr Kirk, a 50-year-old grandfather. [Not "Its barmy" then? - M.J.]  'I have spoken to a number of taxi firms and they are screaming out for drivers. There are so few coming through because of this bureaucracy.'

Mr Kirk was a taxi driver in Bournemouth six years ago but had to give it up because of family commitments.

His private-hire licence has since expired and so he applied to Bournemouth Borough Council for a new one but was told he would have to take a three-hour test.

It was a GCSE English exam, which consisted of 40 questions covering six pages. Mr Kirk, a former scaffolder and roofer, got a mark of 60 per cent  -  the pass rate was 70.

He said: 'The last time I went to school was 35 years ago and I didn't pass my exams then. If I couldn't pass them then what chance had I of passing one now?

'Most of the questions were, "Where does the apostrophe or semi-colon go in this sentence?" or, "Here are four sentences but which is the right way of writing it?"

'I did my best but it was not enough. So now I can't drive a taxi because I don't know where an apostrophe goes.'

Mr Kirk must now attend a taxpayer funded, four-week, part-time college course studying GCSE English before he can re-sit the exam.

Perhpas they'll start setting similar exam's for greengrocer's.

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 1:05 PM by Mary Jackson
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
A Musical Interlude: Me Grandad's Flannelette Nightshirt (George Formby)
clear
clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 12:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
George Formby's Banjolele At Auction
clear

From The Times of London:

George Formby's favourite banjolele — a hybrid instrument based on a banjo but strung like a ukulele — is expected to fetch up to £45,000 when it is auctioned next month at Bonhams in West London. Formby, whose music hall songs made him a superstar in the 1930s, used it for concert and studio work, including the recording of his most famous song, When I'm Cleaning Windows and called it his “Little Strad.”

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 12:45 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Why Do Muslims Really Object To The Phrase
clear

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Government officials should depict terrorists "as the dangerous cult leaders they are" and avoid words that aggrandize them, like "jihadists," "Islamic terrorists," "Islamists" and "holy warriors," the Department of Homeland Security says in a paper released Friday. 

"Words matter," the agency says in the paper, which also suggests avoiding the term "moderate Muslims," a characterization that annoys many Muslims because it implies that they are tepid in the practice of their faith.

"Mainstream," "ordinary" and "traditional" better reflect the broader Muslim American community, it says."

    --- from a paper released on May 30 by the Department of Homeland Security

 

No, that is not why Muslims are "annoyed." It is not the implication that they are "tepid in the practice of their faith." That is merely a plausible way of phrasing the objection in an acceptable way for Department of Homeland Security apparatchiks. Muslims are "annoyed" (if that is the word), rather, with any implication that there is something in Islam itself that menaces, something that therefore can only be accepted in less-than-full or “moderate” amounts,  for the very construct  "moderate" Muslim implies that we, the Infidels, recognize-- among ourselves at least --that only in that taken-in-moderation form as  “moderate” Muslims do, can Islam conceivably not have results dangerous for Infidels. The phrase, then, is understood by Muslims (and, by the way, rightly), as expressing the thought that Islam is dangerous if  taken straight up, and can only be tolerated by Infidels when it is, in every sense, on the rocks. 

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 11:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Boer War Ends On This Day In 1902
clear

May 31, 1902: Boer War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging.

 

One week short of the 39th anniversary of that Treaty, on May 23, 1941, Field Marshal Jan C. Smuts asked Afrikaners to join the South African Defence Force during the Second World War:

 

 http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rbNYVenb8NU

 

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 9:53 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Negotiating Our Stay In Iraq
clear

President Bush made a terrible error by publicly stating we would stay in Iraq until they ask us to leave. Maliki's motivation for wanting us to stay is 1) to keep him in power,  2) to keep the dollars flowing, billions of which are "missing" and 3) to keep arming and training the Shi'a government. The Sunnis want us to stay in order to protect them from the Shi'a. The Saudis are no doubt warning us on every side about the ascendance of Iran and Iranian influence in the new Shi'a dominated Iraq and how we have to guarantee a Sunni "balance" otherwise the region will "explode." Therefore, the vital interests of the United States are being subordinated to the interests of various groups of competing and mutually hostile Muslims. We need to step back and examine our own interests and hopefully we will come to our senses and leave them to their own devices.  

NYTImes: BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is facing growing opposition to a proposed security agreement that would set out how long American forces and military bases stayed in Iraq...

Tens of thousands of Shiites in Baghdad and southern Iraq who are loyal to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr denounced the negotiations in rallies after noon prayers on Friday, criticizing any pact that would allow American troops to establish a long-term presence in Iraq. “No America! No Israel!” demonstrators shouted in Sadr City, the Baghdad district that is Mr. Sadr’s base of power.

“This isn’t an Iraqi government, it’s an American government,” said Muhammad Mohsin, a 25-year-old laborer who attended prayers in Sadr City, where clerics delivered sermons condemning the negotiations and demonstrators later burned American flags. “The Americans keep pressuring Maliki to carry out what they want. The agreement will only serve the Americans’ interests.”

Mr. Sadr, who appears to be using the controversy to build his support after the Iraqi military occupied Sadrist strongholds in Baghdad and Basra, has demanded that whatever agreement emerges from negotiations be put to a national referendum.

But there are many Iraqi politicians who support the negotiations, including Sunni leaders who view an American military presence as a bulwark against what they fear could be an attempt by Shiite leaders backed by Iran to renew a sectarian grab for Baghdad and the mixed areas around the capital.

“We think that this agreement will guarantee the rights of Iraq and the United States,” said Adnan al-Dulaimi, a leader of Tawafiq, the largest Sunni political bloc. “If the American forces withdraw from Iraq before the right time, a state of chaos and civil war will ensue.”

But opposition to the security pact is not confined just to the Sadrists. Officials from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, an important Maliki ally, said several parts of the proposal violated Iraq’s sovereignty...

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 6:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
A Musical Interlude: Black Bottom (Howard Lanin Orch.)
clear

 

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kBrZ8bfqUv0&feature=related 

and here is Ginger Rogers giving a little demonstration in "Roxie Hart":

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=nDGN78kS9X0&feature=related

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 6:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Publish and be damned
clear

Paul Johnson writes in The Spectator about “things that get into print and make us shudder”:

 

Hard to remember an occasion when an author has aroused such unanimous distaste as Cherie Blair’s revelation that the birth of her son Leo was due to her unwillingness to take her contraceptive kit to Balmoral, where the royal butler would unpack her suitcase and see it. ‘Ugh!’ or ‘Oh dear!’ were the universal responses; and ‘Poor Tony! How embarrassed/ashamed he must feel!’ To the dismay of her friends, and the delight of her enemies, Mrs Blair has been made to realise the sheer adamantine power of cold print. A tale which might be tolerable, even amusing — or touching — when told, mouth to ear, in gossip, becomes offensively leaden when spelt out on the page and read by countless firesides. All professional writers learn by bitter experience, or helpful censorship by their elders, that there is a rubicon which divides private speech from public print: cross it at your peril…

 

It is some consolation that most, perhaps all, authors, even the greatest, have committed comparable blunders, have put into irrevocable and perpetual texts phrases, whole sentences or even entire paragraphs which return to haunt them on sleepless nights, or blot records for good taste, fine judgment and literary decorum…

 

In her canonical novels Jane only once plunges across, or rather into, the rubicon. She is close to the brink once or twice, notably when she has the sophisticated, town-bred Mary Crawford, speaking of junior admirals she knows, say that of ‘rears and vices’ there are plenty. This is a deliberate double entendre, the only one in the entire corpus, and must have caused Jane to hesitate long before she penned it. But I would not have it cut for words. The one real disaster occurs in Persuasion, a novel of her experienced maturity and therefore all the more surprising. She writes: ‘The Musgroves had had the ill fortune of a very troublesome, hopeless son; and the good fortune to lose him before his twentieth year.’ This is a shocking, detestable sentence — no argument about it — and she follows it up by adding: ‘he had been very little cared for at any time by his family, though quite as much as he deserved’. All Austen’s admirers shudder when they think of this horrible lapse.

Then there is the case of Evelyn Waugh, a writer who used words, and the images they convey, with immense care and precision, and often got up in the middle of the night and padded downstairs to alter a term or a phrase in his exquisitely handwritten copy. But he, too, once or twice, made hair-raising mistakes. Thus in Brideshead Revisited, where he used words like jewels as a rule, and produced unrivalled metaphors in profusion, he fell off his horse when he came to describe the tender moment, on the transatlantic liner, when the hero and heroine first make love: ‘It was as though a deed of conveyance of her narrow loins had been drawn and sealed. I was making my first entry as the freeholder of a property I would enjoy and develop at leisure.’ Hard to think which is worse — that awkward phrase ‘narrow loins’, which becomes more embarrassing the more you think of it, or pronounce it (worse), or the gross idea of Charles Ryder as a sexual property developer. The book was an instant success, so it was some consolation to Waugh’s rivals and friends that they could snigger and gloat over this dreadful lapse. Bowra roared. Cyril Connolly read it aloud with relish. Nancy Mitford took to referring to her ‘narrow loins’ whenever she went to her dressmaker, or joked that Louise de Vilmorin was carting her narrow loins from one lover to another.

Finally, as yet more pitiful balm to the much-battered Cherie, there is the case of Shakespeare. Considering how much he wrote, and how quickly, and the vertiginous risks he took with words, often inventing them, he fell into the river remarkably seldom. But there was a big splash in Macbeth, his best-written play, albeit the text we have is corrupt. He has Lady Macbeth saying:

I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me,
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn
As you have done to this.

Such stuff is unbelievable, and unpleasant, and makes you worry horribly about the author.

Does it? Isn’t Lady MacBeth supposed to be unpleasant? In any case, might she not have been exaggerating to spur her husband on to dastardly deeds?

 

I have heard or read this passage a number of times without lingering too long on Lady MacBeth’s nipple, but, unless I’m missing something, perhaps this passage does indeed suck. It's the mechanics of it: you can’t smile and suck at the same time. Ah, you say, perhaps the baby sucked a bit then smiled a bit then sucked a bit more. But that won’t do. If the baby was “smiling in [her] face” she wouldn’t need to “pluck” her nipple to free it from those boneless gums: it would have slipped out already.  Perhaps Shakespeare was a bit numb and vague about babies and boobies.

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 8:36 AM by Mary Jackson
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Bottom-up approach
clear

Responding to Peter Jones' assertion that Greek philosophers ‘proceeded from hypotheses, which they never tested’, Spectator reader Andrew Pinsent writes:

Aristotle explicitly establishes as a general principle of scientific inquiry that first we must seek the fact, then we seek the reason why (Posterior Analytics, II, 1, 89b 29-31).

Clever buggers, those Greeks.

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 7:53 AM by Mary Jackson
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Standpoint - the New Encounter?
clear

Roger Kimball thinks so:

Judging by its first issue, it will amply live up to its promise “to celebrate and defend Western civilization, its achievements and its values.”

Edited by the distinguished journalist and historian Daniel Johnson, Standpoint eschews both the politically correct pieties that have insinuated themselves disastrously into so much serious cultural journalism over the past few decades as well as the tawdry commercialism that has rendered many hitherto vital periodicals indistinguishable from inflight magazines. There has been nothing as vibrant and engaging in English journalism since Encounter closed some two decades ago. “Give me a point on which to stand,” said Archimedes, “and I will move the world.” Welcome to Standpoint, which I expect will move and inform the world of cultural controversy and opinion. Click here to subscribe to Standpoint.

What is more, in its defence of Western values, it will not avoid the topic of Islam, as so many otherwise admirable magazines do. Esmerelda has already linked to two impressive pieces on the subject.

Is it the New Encounter? I wouldn't know. It's a very different kind of name, both rhythmically and etymologically. "Encounter", from Old French, once meant "confront", but now means "come across", and suggests open-mindedness. "Standpoint", a loan translation of German "Standpunkt", suggest resolution and clarity of thought. When encountering - or confronting - Islam, the latter is more appropriate.

Or perhaps it's just a name.

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 7:33 AM by Mary Jackson
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
More On The War Of The Words
clear

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Government officials should depict terrorists "as the dangerous cult leaders they are" and avoid words that aggrandize them, like "jihadists," "Islamic terrorists," "Islamists" and "holy warriors," the Department of Homeland Security says in a paper released Friday.

"Words matter," the agency says in the paper, which also suggests avoiding the term "moderate Muslims," a characterization that annoys many Muslims because it implies that they are tepid in the practice of their faith.

"Mainstream," "ordinary" and "traditional" better reflect the broader Muslim American community, it says.

Dan Sutherland, head of the agency's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and author of the paper, said the paper is a recognition that words can help the government achieve its strategic goals.

Sutherland said he is starting to see results, with government officials using the term "mainstream Muslims" in meetings.

Sutherland's nine-page paper says the government should be careful not to demonize all Muslims or the Islamic faith or depict the United States as being at war with Islam.

"The terminology the [government] uses should convey the magnitude of the threat we face, but also avoid inflating the religious bases and glamorous appeal of the extremists' ideology," the paper says.

The paper emphasizes that the recommendations do not constitute official government policy. Instead, they represent guidance from influential Muslim leaders who met with Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff in May 2007 to discuss ways that the Muslim community can help the department prevent the violent radicalization of Muslims.

The paper suggests that government officials may want to avoid using theological terminology altogether.

"Islamic law and terms come with a particular context, which may not always be apparent," the paper says. "It is one thing for a Muslim leader to use a particular term; an American official may simply not have the religious authority to be taken seriously, even when using terms appropriately."

The paper, titled "Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims," was designated "For Official Use Only" and distributed internally in January.

Sutherland said the paper was not released publicly because the Department of Homeland Security did not want Muslim leaders to believe their meeting was an attempt to garner publicity. But the document was widely distributed in government and was published in late April by The Associated Press, "The Investigative Project on Terrorism" and others.

A story about the terminology concerns on the "Jihad Watch" Web site was followed by dozens of comments, most critical of the suggestions.

"Every day, I read another story which angers me. This whitewash of Islam, by our highest-ranking officials is unacceptable!" one commenter said.

The paper is silent on one term frequently used by some people at the highest level of U.S. government but scorned by others: "War on Terror." Sutherland said there is not a consensus on the term.

Some argue that "war" is too grandiose and adds legitimacy to the other side, because there are two legitimate sides to wars.

"We really face a legitimate threat and we need to guard against complacency," Sutherland said, explaining the rationale supporting the use of the term.

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 6:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Is bin Laden really hiding among this pagan people?
clear
From The Scotsman
ON THE north-west tip of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan's Nuristan province, Chitral has long been thought a possible refuge for Osama bin Laden.
Rendered almost inaccessible by the high peaks of the Hindu Kush range and narrow valleys, its secret mountain routes make it easy to dodge between Afghanistan and Pakistan. .
This district of North-West Frontier Province is the home of the Kalasha a unique pagan community that has lived in the area for 2,000 years or more, and it is boxed in by an increasingly militant Islam.
This week, Afghan intelligence sources again named the area as a probable hiding place of the al-Qaeda leader. According to locals, bin Laden sheltered with a Kalasha family for some time during his first Afghan jihad, against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. With his now much more severe ideology, he would not be able to live easily among these polytheistic people, whose men and women mix freely. (I personally doubt he would ever have had any empathy with them).
Earlier this month, the Kalasha celebrated their spring festival, Joshi, with a verve and passion that few cultures, ancient or modern, could match. Men and women danced tirelessly to a pounding, primeval drum beat, haunting singing and rituals so old that their meaning is almost lost.
The women wear long black dresses with vividly coloured embroidery, their hair in long plaits and regal headdresses decorated with shells. Garish belts and layers of brightly coloured necklaces add to their exotic appearance. This is not a special costume for Joshi – it is what they wear every day. On their cheeks are painted dots and tattoos.
There are only about 3,000 Kalasha left now, pushed into three tiny valleys within Chitral by the advancing tide of settlers. There, they struggle to keep alive their faith and way of life, with creeping technology, poverty and the spread of Islam pushing their culture to the edge of extinction. But last week's Joshi showed Kalasha traditions remain strong and utterly unlike anything seen in the rest of Pakistan – perhaps unlike anything anywhere in the world.
"This is a religious ceremony. It celebrates spring. It is not a festival, it is much more than that – there is a spiritual meaning behind it," said Tach Sharakat, a Kalasha man, who is one of the few members of his community to receive a foreign university education.
One legend has it the Kalasha are the descendants of the army of Alexander the Great, who invaded India in the third century BC. No-one really knows their origins. Their religion may, in fact, be one of the early beliefs of the Indo-Persian area, embodying an early Hinduism and pre-Zoroastrian faith. They are known as kafirs – infidels – to most Pakistanis, but call themselves Kalasha.
That is why celebrations such as Joshi are so important to the Kalasha. It is a way of passing on their culture to younger generations. While it is easy to be mesmerised by the joyous dancing, round and round, the really important message is coming from within the circle, where old men in long golden coats sing and chant the Kalasha beliefs and narrate their history. The dancers then take up the song.
These are a people who love drinking wine – banned in Islam – and who can freely choose their husband or wife: arranged marriages are the norm in Pakistan. The women make no attempt to hide their faces and dance with gaiety in public, a sight now so rare in increasingly conservative Pakistan that it is shocking for most of their countrymen.
Bewildered Muslim tourists from other parts of the country, typically groups of men, stare at the festivities, seemingly unable to fathom that this, too, is a religion. Islamic culture is totally dominant in Pakistan and religious minorities are few. It seems it is lurid tales of the Kalasha women that have brought them here, confusing the women's freedom for free love.
"We marry who we like," said Gul Shaheen, a young teacher. "And there are no class distinctions in the marriage match. It does not matter if you are rich or poor. If a girl is ill-treated, she can leave for another man."
One reason the culture has been preserved is its geographical isolation. But that is coming under threat from domestic tourism – few foreigners venture to Chitral since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Much more serious disruption will follow, from the opening of a simple land route into Chitral, through the Lowari Tunnel, which should be completed by the end by next year.
clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 6:15 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Islam is off-limits for us, say brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman
clear
There is an article in the new Standpoint Magazine by Douglas Murray, not available on-line introducing a publication by the Centre for Social Cohesion, of which he is co-author and available shortly, entitled Social Jihad. This is to deal with the subject of censorship by intimidation across Europe. He mentions people like Ben Elton, who said of the BBC “they will let Vicar gags pass but not imam gags”, and Grayson Perry the potter who admitted he will not attack Islam because he doesn’t want his throat cut. He also mentions other artists who are unknown outside their own countries. He can add (he may have done so already in the book) the Chapman brothers.
Desperate to flaunt their "bravery" with their controversial depictions of Jews suffering in concentration camps and highly sexualised images of children, the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman have admitted to Mandrake that there is one subject area that remains off-limits.
Jake says they would not be prepared to touch Islam.
"It’s a very difficult and sensitive issue and we wouldn’t see it in our remit," he said at the private view of If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be at the White Cube gallery.
"That makes me want to shut up about Islam. . . we don’t feel we could address it.”
When the headmaster of the Christian Fellowship school in Liverpool complained about the brothers’ Bad Art for Bad People exhibition at Tate Liverpool, which included sexual images, scenes of violence and dismemberment, Jake threatened to "ban all Christians" from attending.
Not very impressive, only picking the targets who won’t use violence.
In 2004 the Chapman Brothers' Hell sculpture was burnt in the warehouse fire that destroyed more than 100 pieces owned by Charles Saatchi.
Jake Chapman said at the time: 'I hold God personally responsible and, on a scale of one to 10 of how annoyed I am, I'd say about 11.'
clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 5:27 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Unknown unknowns
clear

On Newsnight the other day, Environment Minister Phil Woolover - sorry, Woolas - said: "We have no plans not to implement our budget."

The un-laid plans of mice and men go not awry.

clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 4:54 AM by Mary Jackson
clear
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Outrage as French judge annuls Muslim marriage over bride's virginity lie
clear
The annulment of a young Muslim couple’s marriage because the bride was not a virgin has caused anger in France, prompting President Sarkozy’s party to call for a change in the law.
The decision by a court in Lille was condemned by the Government, media, feminists and civil rights organisations after it was reported in a legal journal on Thursday. Patrick Devedjian, leader of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement, said it was unacceptable that the law could be used for religious reasons to repudiate a bride. It must be modified “to put an end to this extremely disturbing situation”, he said.
The case, which had previously gone unreported, involved an engineer in his 30s, named as Mr X, who married Ms Y, a student nurse in her 20s, in 2006. The wedding night party was still under way at the family’s home in Roubaix when the groom came down from the bedroom complaining that his bride was not a virgin. He could not display the blood-stained sheet that is traditionally exhibited as proof of the bride’s “purity”.
Mr X went to court the following morning and was granted a annulment on the grounds that his bride had deceived him on “one of the essential elements” of the marriage. In disgrace with both families, she acknowledged that she had led her groom to believe that she was a virgin when she had already had sexual intercourse. She did not oppose the annulment.
Elisabeth Badinter, a philosopher and pioneer of women’s legal rights, said that she felt shame for the French justice system. “The sexuality of women in France is a private and free matter,” she said. “The annulment will just serve to send young Muslim girls running to hospitals to have their hymens restored.”
Although officially discouraged, the 30-minute operation is in increasing demand from Muslim women who fear the consequences of being unable to prove their virginity on their wedding night. Numerous agencies offer services for surgery trips to north African nations. One is offering a “hymenoplasty trip” to Tunis for €1,250 (£980). Internet sites and blogs are full of would-be brides in fear of the test of “the blood-soaked sheet”.
A different stand was taken by Rachida Dati, the Justice Minister, who has Moroccan and Tunisian parents. The law had, she said, protected the bride. “Annulling a marriage is a way of protecting the person who perhaps wants to undo a marriage. I think this young girl wanted . . . to separate quite quickly.
The annulment was defended by Xavier Labbée, the lawyer who acted for Ms Y. The decision was justified by the bride’s deception, not her sexual history, he argued. “Quite simply it is about a lie,” he said. “Religion did not motivate the decision . . . but it is true that religious convictions played a role.”
He has a point about the necessity of truthfulness in marriage. It is also good for husband and wife to share the same values and the young woman will be better off with a young man who does not subscribe to such a rigid code. This is one of the earliest comments - with which few later commenters agree.  Women are not chattels to be bought and sold.
If you spend to buy a product of certain criteria, yet you discovered you were robbed and deceived, would not you return the product and ask for refund. Yeah, I bet you all do.  Dr Ahmed, London, UK 
clear
Posted on 05/31/2008 2:23 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
The War Against The Qadianis
clear

That indispensable organization of translators, and analysts, of material from the Islamic world, MEMRI, today offers a piece about the campaign in Pakistan against the Ahmadiyya. Not recognized in Pakistan or in Saudi Arabia as Muslims the Ahmadiyya are persecuted for not regarding Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets, and also for refusing to accept the necessity of  Jihad:

 

 In Friday Sermons Across Pakistan, Islamic Clerics Accuse Jewish-Qadiani Nexus of Conspiring Against Islam
By: Tufail Ahmad

Introduction

On May 23, 2008, Islamic clerics aligned with Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan delivered sermons during weekly Friday prayers in different mosques across Pakistan to mark the Yaum-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, or the Day of the Finality of Prophethood of Islam's founder the Prophet Muhammad. [1]

The Day of the Finality of Prophethood was organized as part of the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat week that began on May 22, 2008. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (Assembly of Pakistani Clergy), which is organizing the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat week, had announced that imams and khutba'a (preachers) would especially highlight the role of the Jewish-Qadiani nexus during the Friday sermons. [2]

Ahmadi Muslims are sometimes called Qadianis by hostile Islamic groups, after the town of Qadian in India where their leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded the movement in the 1880s. They have been declared non-Muslims in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for allegedly not believing that the Prophet Muhammad is the final prophet of Islam.

At a Lahore press conference, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan Secretary General Qari Zawwar Bahadur said that public rallies would be held as part of the week-long programs to condemn anti-Islam conspiracies and blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad. He said that participants in the rallies would renew the pledge to combat anti-Islam conspiracies, among them the Qadianis, the Danish newspapers' reprinting of the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, and Geert Wilders's film Fitna. [3]

The following are details about the Friday sermons.

 

Qadianis Consider Jihad Haram (Forbidden by Islam) and Should Be Ejected from the Pakistan Army

In May 23 Friday sermons in various mosques, Islamic clerics said that the Jewish-Qadiani nexus was engaged in promoting conspiracies against Islam and Muslims. According to a report in the Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Express, they said that the Danish newspapers' publication of Prophet Muhammad's cartoons and Geert Wilders's release of the anti-Koran film 'Fitna' was proof that they surrendered before the truth of the Koran and Islam.

According to the report, the clerics said: "The Jewish-Qadiani nexus is busy with anti-Islam conspiracies. The Muslim Ummah will not permit these conspiracies to succeed, and will not tolerate the gutless and cheating leaders thrust upon the Muslim nations."

The Friday sermons were delivered in key mosques in towns across Pakistan: by Shah Muhammad Ans Noorani in Karachi, Dr. Muhammad Zubair in Hyderabad, Allama Shabbir Ahmed Hashmi in Patoki, Qari Zawwar Bahadur in Lahore, Hafiz Naseer Ahmad Noorani in Lahore, Mufti Hidayatullah Pasrori in Multan, Allama Muhammad Iqbal Azhari in Shujaabad, Sahibzada Ahmed Mian in Multan, and Mufti Ashraf Jalali in Kamonki.

Sermons were also delivered by Maulana Muhammad Aslam Rizvi in Gujranwala, Maulana Ghulam Mohiuddin Sultan in Rawalpindi, Mufti Abdus Subhan Qadri in Peshawar, Maulana Habib Ahmad Naqshbandi in Quetta, Maulana Abdul Quddus Sasoli in Quetta, Pir Hasnain Farooq in Attock, Sahibzada Saeed Daryasharif in Attock, Qari Ghulam Yasin in Mianwali, Haji Aslam in Rokhri, Qari Abdur Rahman Noorani, Malik Bashir Ahmad Nizami, and others.

According to the report, the clerics said that Qadianis are the enemies of Islam and Pakistan, and should be dismissed from top positions in the government and the armed forces. They said: "Qadianis consider jihad to be haram [forbidden by Islam]; therefore they have no right to be recruited by Pakistan's armed forces. They should be dismissed from army posts."

 

Qadianis Threaten Pakistan's Ideological Foundation

At another conference held by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, at the Minar-e-Pakistan (Pakistan Memorial) in Lahore, a number of religious leaders and clerics delivered speeches criticizing Ahmadi Muslims. During the conference, billed as the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat conference, the group announced that it had finalized a public awareness program against Qadianis, to be launched across the province of Punjab. [4]

According to a report, the speakers said: "A threat has been created against the ideological foundation of Pakistan. Qadianis have once again begun conspiring against Pakistan. No sacrifice will be spared in protecting the ideological foundation of Pakistan."

The speakers at the Minar-e-Pakistan conference blamed all Pakistan's current problems on the Ahmadi Muslims. Qari Zawwar Bahadur told the conference that Qadianis were created only to spread discord among Muslims. Sahibzada Muhammad Atiqur Rahman said that Qadianis were conspiring to end the Kashmir issue. Pir Muhammad Abdul Khaliq said that the Western powers were engaged in negative propaganda against Islam. Sahibzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair called the Qadianis were the biggest source of mischief against Islam in contemporary times.

The speakers expressed their dismay over the performance so far of the new coalition government in Pakistan under Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. They were worried over the new government's move to change Pakistan's current constitution back to its 1973 version - a step that could lead to the removal of the "non-Muslim" label from Ahmadi Muslims. It was in 1974 that the Ahmadi Muslims were declared non-Muslims in Pakistan.

Speaking at the conference, Justice (Retired) Nazir AKhtar said that the demand to restore the 1973 constitution in its original version originated with the Qadianis.

The conference also passed a number of resolutions, declaring the two-month-old coalition government the most incompetent and unsuccessful in Pakistan's history, demanding the release of disgraced nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, urging the restoration of the 60 judges fired by President Pervez Musharraf under an emergency law, and calling for strong ties between ruling coalition partners Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N), among others.

 

* Tufail Ahmad is the director of MEMRI's Urdu-Pashtu Media Project.

clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 4:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Lay Down Your Arms (voc. Anne Shelton, from Lipstick On Your Collar)
clear

This is the last bit of "Lipstick On Your Collar." The song, sung by Anne Shelton, was an English hit in 1956 and, since the characters in Dennis Potter's television series either work ,, or are related to those who work, at the War Office at the time of the Suez Crisis, it was a perfect choice. But even without knowing this, and even without having seen the series which this scene brings to an end,  a viewer can enjoy this song, in this scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8TQ4MqzTGc&feature=related

 

clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 3:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
They Sent The Jewish Monica
clear

More interesting ideas from that alternate universe: the Arab world.

MEMRI: Following are excerpts from an interview with Saleh Riqab, Hamas deputy minister of religious endowment, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on May 14, 2008.

Saleh Riqab: The goal of the Zionist movement is to establish a state in Palestine, which would become a base for ruling the entire world. Its other goals are to destroy the religions it opposes, particularly Islam, to corrupt values and morality, to spread permissiveness and sex, and to generate moral decline. They have come up with many means to achieve this, such as inventing philosophical theories that destroy religion and morality. The French sociologist Émile Durkheim founded the theory of the formation of religion, which attributes it to reason – which means that religion did not originate from God. This is known as the theory of "collective thought." Jean-Paul Sartre, founder of existentialism, which is based on atheism, was a famous French Jew. The psychologist Freud, who interpreted the infant's relations with his mother as sexual, said, when he was given an award: I have never renounced my Judaism.

There are also theories that were invented by non-Jews, but they disseminate them, knowing that they are scientifically false, such as the theory of Darwin. Darwin was not Jewish, but they exploited his theory. Even though new Darwinist theories have appeared, they spread the original theory, because the concept of "survival of the fittest" serves their colonialist needs.

Interviewer: That's what the theory says.

Saleh Riqab: Yes. It serves the goals of global Jewry. In addition, they established destructive movements to fight religion and morality, to corrupt the leaders throughout the world, and to break down social relations among nations. This was led by global Freemasonry, which was founded by three prominent Jews, the first of whom was Herod. This is a long well-known story – the role of the Jews in creating the Masonic movement. The Freemason movement used various methods to bring the political, philosophical, and literary leaders worldwide to their knees. I remember the names of Arab leaders – some are dead and others are still alive – who joined the Masonic movement. They were brought down. There were even Palestinians among them. By the say, I'd like to say something... I don't want to mention names. The viewers will know what I mean. There is a book called Les Fous de la Paix, which was written by two Jewish journalists. I have a copy. It was translated into Arabic, and I've read it. It mentions that one of the architects of the Oslo Accords was meeting with the Jewish negotiator at an hotel in Britain. According to the book, in an adjacent room, the son of the Palestinian negotiator was with the daughter of the Jews, and they locked the door. That's when the Palestinian negotiator was brought down.

[...]

We see this clearly in the U.S. elections. Both Democrats and Republicans compete to please the state of the Jews. That's why when a Democrat comes to occupied Palestine, he puts on a religious skullcap, goes to the Western Wall, bangs his head against the wall, and says: "Your philosophy and the need to please you is now inside my head." They all compete with one another, but the Jews maintain a balance, and they always prefer the Christian Zionists. If a Democrat comes to power, like [Bill] Clinton – who served them well in Oslo and elsewhere, and almost served them in the second Camp David, but then, he made statements [they didn't like] – what did Zionism do? It sent him the Jewish Monica, with whom Clinton had sex in the American White House. Clinton left [the White House], but there are thousands of pages documenting his sexual depravity, because he had sex in the White House. I read a report that Clinton used to call Arab leaders and talk to them, while she was having sex with him.

Interviewer: My God!

Saleh Riqab: These things are documented, but the Arabs don't read them.

[...]

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which are a product of the 1897 Basel Congress, discuss how the Jews should seize control of the world. In Europe, and especially in the U.S., there was a quick Jewish takeover of the major mass media, because in the West, the mass media shapes their mentality and their views. They don't read very much, they just listen.

clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 2:56 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
Geraldine Ferraro On Obamolatry
clear

Geraldine Ferraro in today's Boston Globe:

"Here we are at the end of the primary season, and the effects of racism and sexism on the campaign have resulted in a split within the Democratic Party that will not be easy to heal before election day. Perhaps it's because neither the Barack Obama campaign nor the media seem to understand what is at the heart of the anger on the part of women who feel that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly because she is a woman or what is fueling the concern of Reagan Democrats for whom sexism isn't an issue, but reverse racism is.

The reaction to the questions being raised has been not to listen to the message and try to find out how to deal with the problem, but rather to denigrate the messenger. Sore loser, petty, silly, vengeful are words that have dominated the headlines. But scolding and name calling don't resolve disputes. The truth is that tens of thousands of women have watched how Clinton has been treated and are not happy. We feel that if society can allow sexism to impact a woman's candidacy to deny her the presidency, it sends a direct signal that sexism is OK in all of society.

In response, a group of women - from corporate executives to academics to members of the media - have requested that the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University and others conduct a study, which we will pay for if necessary, to determine three things.

First, whether either the Clinton or Obama campaign engaged in sexism and racism; second, whether the media treated Clinton fairly or unfairly; and third whether certain members of the media crossed an ethical line when they changed the definition of journalist from reporter and commentator to strategist and promoter of a candidate. And if they did to suggest ethical guidelines which the industry might adopt.

That sexism impacted Clinton's campaign, I have no doubt. Did she lose a close election because of sexism? I don't know. But I do know that it will never happen again as long as women are willing to stand up and make sure that it is just a one-time bad experience.

As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory "Our Time Has Come" they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

Whom he chooses for his vice president makes no difference to them. That he is pro-choice means little. Learning more about his bio doesn't do it. They don't identify with someone who has gone to Columbia and Harvard Law School and is married to a Princeton-Harvard Law graduate. His experience with an educated single mother and being raised by middle class grandparents is not something they can empathize with. They may lack a formal higher education, but they're not stupid. What they're waiting for is assurance that an Obama administration won't leave them behind.

Hope, change, and inspiration don't do it. A speech on racism might persuade editorial boards, but to these voters it's "just words." Obama has less than six months to make the case."

clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 2:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
Harvey Korman Has Died
clear
For those of you who may not remember The Carol Burnett Show, here is a classic sketch where Korman plays the straight man trying to keep a straight face.
clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 12:33 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
Marines In Trouble For Handing Out Bible Verses in Iraq
clear

This goes to show how resistant Muslim are to learning anything about Christianity. They see any knowledge of it as a threat to Islam.

AFP: The US military said on Friday it was probing complaints that marines handed out coins inscribed with a verse from the Bible to a group of Sunni Muslims in Iraq, sparking outrage among local residents.

The coins probably said something like, "Love thy neighbor." Now they're ready to riot.
UPDATE: Emerelda finds that the verse was from the Gospel of John - "And God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have eternal life."

It said a service member involved in the incident in the former flashpoint city of Fallujah west of Baghdad was removed from his duties on Thursday.

"US forces initiated an investigation into reports that a coin with a Bible verse written in Arabic was distributed to Iraqi citizens as they passed through a Fallujah entry control point," the military said in a statement.

"A coalition force service member was removed from his duties Thursday amid concerns from Fallujah's citizens regarding reports of inappropriate conduct."

Residents of Fallujah, scene of one of the bloodiest post-invasion battles between insurgents and US forces in Iraq in 2004, said that marines had been doling out the token-like coins to residents to promote Christianity...

The marines are charged with promoting democracy but are forbidden to promote the religious understanding of universal brotherhood that make democracy possible. Is there any wonder why this isn't working?

clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 11:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Juanita Banana (Henri Salvador)
clear
clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 11:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Friday, 30 May 2008
That Prophetic Powerful Pulpiteer Michael Pfleger
clear

This "prophetic powerful pulpiteer" is merely Father Coughlin updated for the times. The target has been widened -- not "International Jewry" but "whites" -- those "whites" who in Michael Pfleger's view all have fat 401(K) plans and, bien entendu,  trust funds, and have had it so easy because, being "whites," they merely walk into family-owned businesses and sit right down at the desk that has been awaiting them -- oh, and that includes those whiners who have been made into burnt offerings on the altar of Affirmative Action. Yes, a veritable Father Coughlin. a "pulpiteer" doing a welcome guest turn at Trinity Church, offering the same demaoguery and the same viciousness and the same essential stupidity, and the crowd, the same crowd with whom Barack Obama has been attending that church for twenty years, just loved it.

And were Obama not now running for poltical cover, one can be sure that had he and his family been at the church that day, that at the very least his wife Michelle would have been clapping enthusiastically at every demagogic pause, while Obama might judiciously have held himself a little more in check, have merely mildly clapped but, at the same time, have looked on at his wife and at others, entirely un-disapprovingly.


clear
Posted on 05/30/2008 10:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
clear
Showing 1-26 of 582 [Next 25]


Guns, Germs and Steel in Tanzania
The Thinking Person's Safari
Led by Geoffrey Clarfield
Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
clear

 

The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
     1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
clear

Subscribe