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














Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Zulu in the Flea Pit
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by Esmerelda Weatherwax (July 2009)


I wrote in May of a trip to the pictures with my teenager (aka The Luggage) to see The Ship That Rocked. And I didn’t mean to cause a kerfuffle, honest, and I am pleased that we are on good terms again. We saw that film in a complex on the outskirts of town with 10 (or more) screens all showing different films. A central car park is handy for the branches of MacDonalds, Pizza chains, other restaurants, other leisure facilities.

I was reminded afresh how much picture going has changed since I was a teenager. more>>>

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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:57 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
You May Remove the Cause but Not the Symptoms
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by Liraz Taler (July 2009)


As a library owner it often happens that I stand baffled in front of the long rows of colorful spines and wonder. First, I feel like the people who pick at their overcrowded closets and exclaim that they have nothing to wear. This is far from the truth, as, like other bibliophiles, I keep buying books at a rate that exceeds my reading speed limit in any given time. Then, when I look at all those books pressed tightly together, mounting horizonically and vertically in double lines, I feel a slight (ok, a strong) tingle of shame. I wonder what makes me different from any other collector. In some dark moments, I rebuke myself that I am no different from someone who collects vintage key holders. Is the passion I have for this library contained within itself, for the reading itself; the great ideas, the language, the vast escapist landscape, or is it just gluttony combined with covetousness, disguised and excused as an intellectual front? more>>>
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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:56 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Recognizing Israel As A Jewish State
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Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon talks about why there is a need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. View the video here.

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Posted on 06/30/2009 2:28 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Michael Jackson: A Tragedy of Our Times
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I must be one of the few people in the western world who would not recognize a song by Michael Jackson. No doubt I have heard one or several of his songs, pumped inescapably into a public place like poison gas, but I have spent a number of decades reducing my exposure to this kind of thing to an absolute minimum.

 The other people in the western world who would not recognize his songs are my friends.

continue reading here

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Posted on 06/30/2009 12:19 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Saudis Funded And Supplied Aideed
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Now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of the 9/11 families vs. Saudi Arabia, I imagine more of these documents will hit the press. From the Philadelphia Inquirer

A Defense Department intelligence document on weapons trafficking in Somalia suggests a prominent Saudi government charity supplied arms and other aid to a Mogadishu warlord whose forces killed 18 U.S. soldiers in the notorious Black Hawk Down battle in 1993.

The heavily redacted memo said that the Saudi High Commission, a Saudi government agency, had been a conduit for arms shipments to forces allied with Mohamed Farah Hassan Aideed, and that the arms had come from both Iraq and Sudan.

Fighters allied with Aideed engaged in a fierce street battle on Oct. 3-4, 1993, with U.S. troops on a mission to capture top Aideed lieutenants believed to be blocking efforts to stabilize the country.

The document was provided to The Inquirer by lawyers for plaintiffs in a huge lawsuit that alleges the government of Saudi Arabia bears responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because, over a period of a decade or more, it financed Islamic charities that in turn helped fund al-Qaeda. The lawsuit alleges the Saudi government knew it was funding charities that supported terrorism. Saudi Arabia denies the allegation.

"The Saudi Arabian High Commission has received humanitarian supplies from Sudan and Iraq; however the crates from the Sudan and Iraq have also contained military weapons, ammunition and supplies, usually hidden in false bottom containers," the intelligence report said.

The intelligence document does not make clear when the arms shipments took place or whether the weapons were employed in the Mogadishu battle. It also warned that its findings were raw, "not finally evaluated intelligence."

A U.S. District Court judge in Manhattan ruled in 2005 that the Saudi government and members of the Saudi royal family could not be sued for promoting terrorism under U.S. law; that decision was upheld last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide shortly whether to hear arguments in the case. [News came this morning that the Court will not hear the case]

The Defense Intelligence Agency memo was obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by the Federation of American Scientists in the mid-1990s, when researchers had been examining the impact of an international arms embargo on Somalia. The Defense Department forwarded the records to FAS in 1997, and they went largely unnoticed until they were discovered by plaintiffs' lawyers on an FAS blog.

"Based on evidence we have gathered through our own investigation into the Saudi High Commission's links to al-Qaeda, including testimony provided to us by an admitted al-Qaeda member, we are hardly surprised to see an intelligence report linking it to the arming of Gen. Aideed," said Sean Carter of the Cozen O'Connor law firm in Center City, which has sued Saudi Arabia on behalf of dozens of insurers seeking to recover billions in losses at ground zero.

"Unfortunately, this report only serves to underscore that the American public has been deprived of access to evidence relating to Saudi Arabia's support for al-Qaeda for far too long."

The Saudi government denies that any of its agencies knowingly provided funds to al-Qaeda or any other terrorist group.

A lawyer for the Saudi High Commission did not respond to a request for comment by The Inquirer.

According to the affidavits of Saudi officials filed in the litigation, the Saudi High Commission was formed in 1993 to assist refugees displaced in the Balkans war among indigenous Muslims, Croats, and Serbs, and has distributed about $448 million for relief efforts.

The agency's executive director, Saud Bin Mohammad al-Roshood, said that the commission was the primary instrument of Saudi government policy in the Balkans, but that it also had undertaken relief efforts in Egypt and Somalia. Elsewhere in the litigation, the agency is described by a senior Saudi official as a branch of the Saudi government.

Two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters were shot down by rocket-propelled grenades during the 1993 battle in Mogadishu; hundreds of Somalian civilians and fighters were killed in the battle, which was reported in a 1997 series in The Inquirer by reporter Mark Bowden. The series was made into a book in 1999 and a movie in 2001.

Seventy-three U.S. soldiers were wounded in addition to the 18 who were killed.

"Given [Osama] bin Laden's affirmation of al-Qaeda involvement in killing American troops in Somalia in 1993, and the accumulated evidence of the Saudi High Commission's support for al-Qaeda, this report certainly raises to the forefront the issue of whether the bullets that killed the 18 American troops in the battle of Mogadishu were Saudi sponsored," said Robert Haefele, a lawyer with the South Carolina plaintiffs' firm of Motley Rice, which is representing thousands of individual victims of the 9/11 attacks and family members in the litigation.

The Saudi High Commission is not the only Islamic charity that has been accused of promoting terrorism, but it is a particularly sensitive issue for the Saudis because it is a government agency and is headed by a senior member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, NATO forces hunting for terrorists raided the commission's office in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to congressional testimony. They seized before-and-after pictures of the twin towers, pictures of bombed U.S. embassies in East Africa, photos of the U.S.S. Cole after a bomb had ripped a gash in the destroyer's side, killing 17 U.S. sailors, and materials for forging State Department identification badges.

In addition, a former al-Qaeda commander during the Balkans war testified during a U.N. war-crimes trial that his unit was funded by the Saudi High Commission. Ali Hamad, the al-Qaeda commander, said the commission had poured tens of millions of dollars into mujaheddin units led by al-Qaeda operatives who had fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan...

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Posted on 06/30/2009 9:56 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Pseudsday Tuesday
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God knows what kids get up to at summer camp. God and Nabokov, who may be one and the same. Richard Dawkins doesn't believe in Him - God, that is - and so his camp is of an altogether different kind. From The Sunday Times:

India Jago, aged 12, and her brother Peter, 11 [...] are among 24 children who will be taking part in Britain’s first summer camp for atheists.

The five-day retreat is being subsidised by Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, and is intended to provide an alternative to faith-based summer camps normally run by the Scouts and Christian groups.

[...]

While afternoons at the camp will involve familiar activities such as canoeing and swimming, the youngsters’ mornings will be spent debunking supernatural phenomena such as the formation of crop circles and telepathy. Even Uri Geller’s apparent ability to bend spoons with his mind will come under scrutiny.

The emphasis on critical thinking is epitomised by a test called the Invisible Unicorn Challenge. Children will be told by camp leaders that the area around their tents is inhabited by two unicorns. The activities of these creatures, of which there will be no physical evidence, will be regularly discussed by organisers, yet the children will be asked to prove that the unicorns do not exist. Anyone who manages to prove this will win a £10 note - which features an image of Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary theory - signed by Dawkins, a former professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University.

That would be one of those £10 notes that "promise to pay the bearer" with gold that doesn't exist. And what if the unicorns only come to life if you don't believe in them? And what the heck is a "professor of the public understanding of science"?

The whole point of organised kids' camping is to rebel, with secret chats about Rude Things among the guy ropes. What will these children, doubtless innoculated against Christianity from the cradle, rebel against? One thing's for sure, if I were a twelve-year-old boy and some camp leader tried to tell me there were no unicorns, I would get the horn and give it to him straight. 

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Posted on 06/30/2009 8:41 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Wilders' Popularity Makes Muslims Want To Emigrate From The Netherlands
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They're not actually emigrating, just considering it, according to a poll. Radio Netherlands:

More than half of the people with Turkish and Moroccan backgrounds in the Netherlands say they would consider leaving the country due to the growing popularity of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders. A third say they would definitely like to emigrate.

The figures emerge from a survey by research bureau Motivaction for public service broadcaster NCRV’s current affairs programme Network. The programme commissioned the survey in response to the success of Mr Wilders' rightwing Freedom Party in the recent European parliamentary elections. Since March this year, leading pollster Maurice de Hond's Peil.nl has measured support for the populist Freedom Party at more than 30 percent, which would theoretically make it the largest party in the Dutch parliament if there were an election.
 
Discrimination
Although three quarters of the Turkish and Moroccan Dutch people questioned in the Motivaction survey said they felt at home in the Netherlands, 57 percent said they now felt less comfortable in the country due to the growing popularity of the Freedom Party. Two out of five said they felt they were now discriminated against more often, and almost a quarter said they regularly experienced discrimination. Nearly three quarters said they thought Mr Wilders had intensified negative feelings towards Muslims among the Dutch public.
 
Nearly twenty percent said they agreed with Mr Wilders on some points and could appreciate why people would vote for him. However, half of the respondents said the growing support for Mr Wilders made them feel angry and disappointed, and 22 percent said he aroused feelings of fear and hatred. Ninety per cent said they thought a Wilders government would be a fiasco, and only 4 percent thought he would be able to offer any solutions to the country's problems.
 
The survey asked respondents what they saw as the best strategy to counter Mr Wilders. Forty percent thought the best policy was simply to ignore the Freedom Party. Thirty-five percent favoured entering into debate with Mr Wilders and his supporters. Twenty five percent saw vociferous protest as the answer, and 11 percent wanted to see a Muslim political party established to represent their interests.
 
Not accepted
The survey’s findings echo remarks by Turkish-born Rotterdam councillor Hamit Karakus in Monday’s de Volksrant newspaper. Mr Karakus says that although his children speak Dutch, understand Dutch culture and customs, and are well educated, they still feel they are not accepted in Dutch society. “They also wonder whether they have a future in this country,” he adds. The councillor says he believes the popularity of the Freedom Party is fuelling support for a small but growing minority of radical Muslims in the Netherlands.

Notice how the "poor us, we're so victimized" line is coupled with a veiled threat. The next terror attack will be all your fault because you're making us become radical by resisting Islam.

Figures cited by the annual Emigration Fair, which provides information to would-be emigrants, put the findings of the Motivaction survey of Dutch Moroccans and Turks people in perspective. According to the fair’s organisation, around 30 percent of the entire Dutch population say they are considering emigrating, for a wide range of reasons. However, only a tiny proportion of them ever actually take the plunge and move to another country.

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Posted on 06/30/2009 8:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Eh?
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[Massad] describes how a vast conspiracy of gay activists descended on Arab countries and endangered the lives of "practitioners of same-sex contact" by transforming them into "subjects who identify as 'homosexual' and 'gay.' "  (From the New York Post column linked here)

What is the difference, at bottom, between a "practitioner of same-sex contact", someone who is "homosexual" and someone who is "gay"? Does the first blunder into it, while the last two blunder out, one happily and one not?

One thing's for sure - If the lives of "out" homosexuals are in danger, this is the fault of the ideology, Islam, which commands their murder, not of Western - Zionist, why not? -  "gay activists".

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Posted on 06/30/2009 8:21 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Security guards Jason Cresswell and Jason Swindlehurst 'were shot dead'
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This was reported by The Times earlier this morning but I didn't have time to post it. Now I have returned home I see that this cause of death has been confirmed by the Coroner. I now have no qualms whatsoever about repeating the information.
Two British hostages whose bodies were flown home from Iraq last week were shot dead, The Times has learnt.
The news dispels speculation that the security guards Jason Swindlehurst, 38, from Lancashire, and Jason Creswell, 39, from Glasgow, died of natural causes or suicide.
It also heightens fears about the fate of three other Britons kidnapped at the same time in Baghdad two years ago.
Canon Andrew White, a vicar in the Iraqi capital, (he is the Anglican Vicar of Baghdad and a friend of the men) was contacted by family members of one of the three remaining hostages.
The clergyman told The Times: “They said that the police had been to see them and told them that both Jasons were shot.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office declined to comment. Both men were killed some time ago.
British officials in Baghdad received their bodies earlier this month. It is thought that the kidnappers — who call themselves the League of Righteousness — handed them over in a goodwill gesture after a suspected insurgent linked to the group was released from US detention.
Two British hostages killed in Iraq died from gunshot wounds, a coroner has concluded.
The Oxfordshire Coroner opened inquests into their deaths and is expected to release the men's bodies to their families so their funerals can be held.
A Foreign Office spokesman declined to comment on the inquests, saying: "This is an ongoing matter for the coroner."
Inquests into the deaths of personel which occur in Iraq and Afghanistan are deal with by the Oxfordshire Coroner because their bodies arrive in England at RAF Brize Norton, which is in Oxfordshire. He and his team now have a section dedicated to war deaths. The previous Deputy Coroner had a reputation for speaking his mind in relation to poor equipment issued by MOD and the like. Sadly his contract was not renewed last year.
While there was a faint possibility that the two Jasons might have died from illness while in captivity (although as fit young men not long out of the army the scope for heart disease brought on by shock or similar was reduced) I hoped that release of their bodies was a prelude to release of the other hostages alive.
Other than my disgust that the Foreign Office seems to have allowed itself to be run rings round. If there is any truth in the claims in this Daily Mail article which I decided not to use here over the weekend resignations are in order and careers should be finished.
Oh look there goes a flying pig.

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Posted on 06/30/2009 7:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Unveiling Obama�s American Muslim partner - the ISNA
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Given the controversy surrounding US Department  of Justice (DOJ) representation at the  annual convention in Washington of, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA),  Patrick Poole  unveils in today’s Pajamas Media links by this Muslim advocacy group  to terrorism finance, racism, Holocaust denial .  His investigative report, “ A Closer look at Obama’s Islamic Partners,” chronicles two decades of extremist activities, terror support and  leadership in this Muslim Brotherhood front. The ISNA was  listed by Federal prosecutors among several unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Trial.  It had filed motions endeavoring to expunge its name from the Federal prosecutor evidence at the HLF rial.

Jennifer Rubin in an earlier Pajamas media article had exposed the efforts by the DOJ to recruit personnel to man its booth at this year’s annual convention.  We had posted on an Indianapolis NBC  TV affiliate , WHTR investigative series into the ISNA, headquartered in the area , and IPT news revelation about dissension within the DOJ regarding representation at this ISNA convention.  IPT reported a meeting between the FBI and an officer of the ISNA as a furtherance of Obama’s Muslim outreach initiative, the centerpiece of his Cairo speech

Among Poole’s revelations about the ISNA:

Thomas Jocelyn of the Weekly Standard observed that ISNA’s name has come up in a current German terror finance investigation. It is believed that the Islamic group had donated $100,000 to the Third World Relief Agency at the very same time that TWRA was funding the terror network behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The Bush administration came under fire after ISNA official Muzzamil Siddiqi and other known supporters of Islamic terrorism appeared with Bush at a prayer service just three days after the 9/11 attacks. One of those leaders, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was later convicted on terrorism support charges and is serving a 23-year federal prison sentence. Alamoudi was identified in 2005 by the Treasury Department as the top al-Qaeda financier in the U.S. He too had been a leading Islamic partner of the U.S. government; he was personally responsible for establishing the Department of Defense’s Islamic chaplain program. He served as a State Department “goodwill ambassador” to the Islamic world, taking half a dozen trips to the Middle East at taxpayer expense before his arrest and conviction.

According to Steve Emerson in his New York Times bestselling book, Jihad Incorporated, ISNA was also responsible for providing $170,000 in start-up cash for the Islamic African Relief Agency. The U.S. Treasury Department designated them a global terror finance entity in 2004 for providing direct support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and Hamas.

 

Last summer I reported that Pakistani terror leader Qazi Hussein Ahmad, a close ally of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, was scheduled to be a featured speaker at ISNA’s Canadian convention. Due to pressure by the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, he was denied entry to the country and couldn’t appear at the ISNA event. He had, however, appeared at previous ISNA conferences, but he is now banned from entering the U.S. as well.

Another article published here at Pajamas Media back in January noted that Salah Sultan, a member of ISNA’s Fiqh Council, had appeared on Egyptian TV threatening that America was destined for death and destruction. Sultan also invoked a notorious Islamic hadith promising that the Day of Judgment would not come until Muslims killed all of the Jews, and he cited approvingly the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

One speaker at this year’s ISNA conference is long-time ISNA favorite Hamza Yusuf, who at the 1995 ISNA conference denounced Judaism as a “most racist religion”:

The Jews would have us believe that God has this bias to this little small tribe in the Middle of the Sinai desert and all the rest of humanity is just rubbish. I mean that this is the basic doctrine of the Jewish religion and that’s why it is a most racist religion.

Another featured speaker this year is Yasir Qadhi, who in 2001 delivered a sermon claiming that Hitler never intended to exterminate the Jews and promoted a book entitled The Hoax of the Holocaust. Curiously, Qadhi’s name does not appear on ISNA’s conference website, but is included in the official compilation of ISNA speaker biographies. Qadhi has been a main attraction at ISNA conferences for the past several years.

One speaker at this year’s ISNA conference who has first-hand knowledge of genocide and holocaust is Abubaker Al-Shingeiti. As I reported exclusively here at Pajamas Media, Al-Shingeiti is the appointed outreach coordinator for ISNA and a number of other Muslim Brotherhood front groups to the Obama administration. Al-Shingeiti served as the official spokesman for the regime of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir when it was waging a war of genocide against Christians in southern Sudan, which claimed the lives of over two million people. He was also a top advisor to Bashir when his regime was giving shelter to Osama bin Laden and was listed by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.

But no doubt the belle of this year’s ISNA ball will be ISNA president Ingrid Mattson, who spoke at Barack Obama’s inaugural prayer service despite her organization’s ties to Hamas. That invitation was opposed by a number of American Islamic leaders, who issued a statement chronicling Mattson’s extensive record of denigrating other religious faiths and her support of Islamic extremism.

Mattson, a Canadian convert to Islam, also heads one of three programs certifying chaplains for the US military that convicted terror financier Alamoudi had helped to establish. Mattson is on the faculty at the venerable Hartford (CT) Seminary, Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Muslim Christian Relations.  Alamoudi had been a co-founder with Washington conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, of the Islamic Institute.  He  also had been a  founder of the Islamic Society of Boston.

The investigations of Poole, Rubin, IPT News and others have  compiled a stunning dossier that begs the question of why the Obama Administration under Attorney General Holder have opened up liaison with the ISNA, given this record of extremism, racism and support for terrorism.

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Posted on 06/30/2009 4:55 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Dangerous Policy
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by G. B. Singh (July 2009) 

Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War (Hardcover)
by Moorthy S. Muthuswamy
Prometheus Books
(May 6, 2009) 

About two years ago, Major General (U.S. Army Ret.) Paul Vallely (Chairman, Stand Up America, US Project) introduced to me a piece of writing authored by a US-based Indian person, named Dr. Moorthy S. Muthuswamy. Reading that article convinced me to alert Gen. Vallely to keep a safe distance from this author. Lately a few of my friends asked me if I had read Dr. Muthuswamy’s latest book “Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.” Noting the reputable Prometheus Books as its publisher, and in addition, finding that the book pursues the doctrine of Cold War against Islam persuaded me to procure a copy despite my doubts of its author.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:55 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Social Engineering Through Architectural Change
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by David Hamilton (July 2009)

 

Since the end of World War Two, Britain’s towns and cities have been transformed for the benefit of local councils and commerce. Grievous damage was done by Luftwaffe bombs, but the Nazis were outdone in gratuitous destruction by postwar urban planners.

After the war, a sense of shame at our past and achievements became widespread amongst the intelligentsia, and led to an ineluctable weakening of our national identity. Our elites began wittingly or unwittingly to dismantle the very idea of England. Social engineering started to be used in architecture and planning as much as in education and entertainment. Its aim was to change the physical and mental environment, and thereby change people, who were seen as plastic and malleable. The theory was that planned council estates could change people for the better. 
more>>>
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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:54 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Anti-Israel Culture War of British Liberal Elites Is Not a Grassroots Movement
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orExplaining the British-Led Culture War on Israel

 
by Peter C Glover (July 2009)
 

It's not just Hamas rockets that regularly strike Israeli interests these days. It is just as likely to be the long-range politicized 'ordnance' of British liberal elites, given the British Left's penchant for pursuing cultural boycotts against Israel.
 
Over the past few years the unions for British journalists, architects, doctors, even the Synod of the Church of England, have all sought boycott or censure motions against Israel. In 2007 British academics added themselves to the list - imposing a boycott of relations between British and Israeli universities at a conference of the British University and Colleges Union (UCU). more>>>
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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:52 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Fiction, Fact, and Faked Memoirs
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by Thomas Larson (July 2009)

 


Never let the truth get in the way of a good story is the claim every storyteller is admonished to believe. What our ten-thousand-year-old tale-telling tradition (most of it oral) instructs us to do is to be good dramatists and let the story have its sway. This law of the tale, and our drama-loving DNA, is why the Bible has survived so long: its well-told stories were the means by which its morally sound messages were delivered and, tellers and scribes hoped, stuck. When disputes about a story’s authenticity arose, the Bible authors were less keen to preserve history or embrace veracity than to make the drama central, via legend, fantasy, parable, and the fictionalized life, based on Egyptian mythology, reified as well as purified, of Jesus Christ. The Bible is a work of narrative literature and a work of fiction. But, the problem is, its fiction has almost always been thought of as fact. more>>>

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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:51 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
England People Far Too Nice
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by Mary Jackson (July 2009)



“F*ckin’ Frogs,” exclaims the Cockney barmaid in Richard Bean’s play
England People Very Nice, which I saw at The National Theatre in March. Fair enough – after all, they came over ‘ere with their looms, takin’ aaah jobs. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and the barmaid, East Ender to the core, despite her Huguenot blood, now rails against “F*ckin’ Micks”, the bog-trotting Irish immigrants who keep pigs in their lodgings and mate with their brothers and sisters – “at least you know where they’ve been”. Next up are “F*ckin’ Yids”; refugees from the pogroms receive a less than warm welcome. But love conquers all, and the Irish girl who is now as Cockney as they come, marries a Mr Klineman: “Jews and Irish? That’s the worst kind of marriage! You end up with a family of pissed-up burglars managed by a clever accountant." Bawdy humour and an undertone of menace save the first half of this play from being a Zadie-Smith-meets-United-Colours-of-Benetton multicultural mush, but it is not yet saying anything new. Mocking of both stereotypes and stereotyping, so far the play is scrupulously even-handed in its offensiveness, and will therefore offend only those determined to be offended. Then, in the second half, come the “F*ckin Pakis”. more>>>

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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:50 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Al-Qaeda threatens France over Burqa
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Reader Alan kindly sent me a link to this story at France 24. (The page was taken down and is now back up.) Apparently it's Al-Qaeda's "North Africa Branch". Is this a wholly owned subsidiary of Al Qaeda Global Inc, or is it merely an associate or joint venture? Watch the clip here.

In a piece at Pajamas Media, Phyllis Chesler asks:

Does anyone really believe that al-Qaeda is a religious group? Or that their religious pronouncements are holy and should be protected by American or European laws?

[...]

I hope that the “muhajideen” are just blowing smoke-rings, rattling their swords. I fear this is not the case. Women in face masks and sheets are symbols of how jihad looks today.

Indeed:

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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:01 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Zakat and Terrorism
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by Jerry Gordon (July 2009)


Zakat (Alms in Arabic) is one of the
five pillars of Islam and an obligation on all Muslims under Shariah Law. In President Obama’s June 4th “New Beginnings” speech in Cairo, he spoke of the obligation of American Muslims to perform Zakat in the context of Religious Freedom:

Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.  more>>>
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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:49 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
What Obama and the Media Don�t Know or Care to Report
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by Norman Berdichevsky (July 2009)



President Obama’s Cairo speech was equally misleading about what he said and didn’t say regarding both Israel and what he so fondly calls “The Muslim World”, the most misleading term in the entire lexicon of political geography. Looking at the conflicts in the world today and since the end of World War II, a significant portion of the deaths, destruction and unrest caused have been the result of inter-Muslim disputes, most notably the eight year long war between Iraq and Iran resulting in more than a million killed, the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, the Pakistan-Bangladesh conflict (following civil war and secession), Lebanese, Yemeni and Somali Civil Wars, inter-sectarian Muslim violence between Shias and Sunnis in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq,  border disputes between Syria and Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, Jordan's crackdown on "Black September" , Syria's suppression of the Muslim Brothers and opponents of the Assad regime, inter Palestinian factionalism, the decade long mass violence by Muslim religious extremists in Algeria or between Muslims and Christians and between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Lebanon, Iraqi and Turkish suppression of Kurdish autonomy, Muslim terror against civilians in Chechniya, and massive violence between Muslims and Hindus in India - partition and three India-Pakistan wars, terrorism in Kashmir and India, Muslim secessionist activity and terrorism in the Philippines, Muslim grievances in Thailand and China and Somali piracy agaimst the merchant ships of all nations. Where Muslims have been at risk of displacement and under attack in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait, their rescue was made possible only by the efforts of the United States. more>>>

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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:48 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Sir Walter Scott's Treatment of Jews in Ivanhoe
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by Ibn Warraq (July 2009) 


It was argued by Leon Poliakov and others
[1] that the portrait of Isaac the Jew in Ivanhoe is generally an unfavourable one, indeed an unflattering stereoptype derived from The Merchant of Venice and Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta of the Jew as a contemptible or comic miser. Scott introduces Isaac in chapter five which bears the well-known words from The Merchant of Venice as its motto, “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?” However, it seems highly unlikely that an author would choose just such a passage from Shakespeare if he meant to solely denigrate Jews, or that he picked this particular passage at random. One has to feel the fine tone of the entire novel, and its moral nuances before dismissing Scott’s portrait of the Jew as an anti-semitic stereotype. more>>>
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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:46 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Steady As She Goes
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by Theodore Dalrymple (July 2009)

 

The relation of language to thought has long been a philosophical puzzle, one to which no universally accepted answer has yet been given. Is language a precondition or determinant of thought, or thought a precondition and determinant of language? For myself, I incline to the latter view, on the no doubt simplistic grounds that, when writing, I often have the following experience.
 
I know that there is something I want to say, but at first the right words do not come to express it. They are, I realise, only an approximation to my idea; then suddenly, dredged from I know not where (though it feels like somewhere located near the base of my skull), the right words arrive and I know at once that they are the best possible words in my possession for what I want to say.  more>>>
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Posted on 06/30/2009 5:45 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Dispatches - Mumbai
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Channel 4 tonight.  A very disturbing hour.
Controller in Pakistan to terrorist  in Mumbai
Remember where you are going now (The Jewish Chabad house) , whoever you kill is worth 50 of the people you have already killed.
 

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Posted on 06/30/2009 4:07 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 29 June 2009
Iran slams 'terrorist attack' on embassy
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From the Swedish edition of The Local
Iran's official news agency, IRNA, described a protest outside the Iranian embassy in Stockholm on Friday as a “terrorist attack" after around 100 protesters stormed the compound and a staff member was injured.Iran summoned Swedish Ambassador Magnus Werndstedt following the incident.
"Following the terrorist attack by anti-revolutionary groups on Iran's embassy in Stockholm on Friday, the Swedish ambassador was summoned immediately," the IRNA report said.
The employee, whose nationality was not known, was hurt when protesters entered the compound and attacked him, according to Stockholm police.
He was punched and kicked and received medical attention at the embassy.
The protest outside the Iranian embassy in Stockholm broke out on Friday afternoon. Around 150 demonstrators, some of them wearing masks, began throwing rocks and trying to break into the embassy.
“People were yelling chants and cheers at the Iranian embassy for about an hour, and then about an hour later around 100 of the protesters entered the embassy compound through a gate,” Massood Mafan, a witness at the scene, told news agency TT.
“We are here because we demand that Sweden shut down the embassy and suspend all relations with Iran,” Mohammad Mohammad Bagheri, 29, told TT.
Ulf Höglund of the Stockholm police said the number of protesters inside the compound remains unconfirmed. Two people have been arrested on suspicion of vandalism.

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Posted on 06/29/2009 3:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 29 June 2009
Terrorism conviction upheld
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From The Copenhagen Post
One of the two men who had appealed a conviction for a planning a terrorist attack will serve an extra year in jail
The Eastern High Court upheld the sentence of two men convicted last year of planning terror attacks and increased the sentence of one man by a year.
Hammad Khürshid and Abdoulghani Tokhi were arrested in 2007 after domestic intelligence agency PET learned that one of the two had attended an al-Qaeda training camp.
Khürshid, of Pakistani background and Tokhi, of Afghan background, were sentenced in October to 12 and seven years respectively. Tokhi’s sentence was increased to eight years today.
The court also upheld Tokhi’s deportation to Afghanistan, ruling that that the seriousness of his crime outweighed his weak ties to his native country. He will be expelled from Denmark after serving his sentence.
The two are convicted of making explosives to be used in a terror attack. The men had admitted to making triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which is commonly used in terrorist bombs, but claimed that the explosive was to be used for fireworks.

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Posted on 06/29/2009 2:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 29 June 2009
Of tangential points and mission statements
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I just posted this comment at the Nashville Scene.  I just got back into town after taking the kids out for the weekend to a large amusement park in California (no, the other one), to splash around, try to stay cool, eat lots of unhealthy food, and generally have fun.  Just like all extreme-right-wing Islamophobic extremists are wont to do when not mongering fear.

Jack Silverman said:

"Imagine that! Right-wing extremists grasping onto one tangential point having little or nothing to do with my central argument, then obsessing over it to divert attention from the flimsiness of their own argument."

Jack, Jack, Jack.  Right-wing extremists?  If you say so, you're the self-appointed expert.  But I must tell you that I voted for Barack Obama in the general election, Hillary Clinton in the primary, and have voted Democratic ever since I was old enough to vote.  I am pro-abortion-rights, pro-gay-rights, pro-gay-marriage, pro-universal-healthcare, pro-womens'-rights, pro-free-speech, pro-religious-tolerance, anti-war-in-Iraq, and so on.  Which is exactly why I am ... against Islam.

Islam is the viewpoint of a 7th Century paedophilic, misogynist, looting, raping, slave-taking warlord, (and I can back each of those terms up with quotes from the holy Qur'an and the ahadith) codified for eternity, with no mechanism for a Reformation such as what Christianity went through.  Islam is what it is, and it is not subject to changing values as society develops over time.  Mohammad makes GWB look like a card-carrying ACLU/NAACP/NOW member by comparison.

Here is my prediction:  One day, it may be 1 year from now, or 10, but one day you  will come to realize (because of future events, or maybe even because despite yourself you will begin to investigate what Islam actually teaches) that you have been defending a belief system that stands against everything you believe in.  In your desire to be open-minded and tolerant, you have supported a fascist belief system that stones gays to death, beats women for going in public without being covered head-to-toe, encourages forced marriage (i.e. rape) of pre-teen girls, and so on.  Think of me then, Jack.  I won't say "I told you so."  I just happened to figure it out before you did, but many others figured it out before I did.  But the day will come, because Islam will not change for you or anyone else, it will not swerve.  Investigate what the "Gates of Ijtihad" are, and why they are important.

And now on to your main point (I wouldn't want to be accused of ignoring your main point in this post), that I was grasping on to one tangential point etc.  I don't know how you do it, but you've got it exactly backwards again.  Here are some quotes:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090530/NEWS01/905300331/1001/NEWS
"The group's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."

http://www.rantburg.com/poparticle.php?D=2009-05-30&ID=270832
"The group's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."

http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=963415&lang=eng_news
"The New English Review's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."

http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20090531/NEWS/305319965/-1/RSS%26rssfeed=RSS
"The New English Review's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."

And of course, some words that might sound familiar:
http://thesop.org/index.php?article=16351
"What is the New English Review, you ask? I`m still scratching my head on that one, too. There`s no discernible mission statement or "about us" page..."

(Thanks to Mary Jackson for compiling this list)

In other words, the media is simply parroting the same lines, over and over.  They are grasping onto one tangential point having little or nothing to do with New English Review's central argument, and obsessing over it as if it has any significance whatsoever.  Instead of putting some effort into investigating, let alone trying to rebutt, the writings at the New English Review, they (or should I say you) are acting as if this is some sign of hidden malevolence.

"New English Review, they're comin' to gitcha!"

As for what your central argument was in your original post, I'm not sure what it was.  That Islam is not responsible for Islamically-justified terrorist attacks, and that New English Review should not be allowed to have a meeting in Nashville?  Unfortunately for you, our gathering went along quite nicely.  The speakers were fabulous, and I met some fascinating people from across the globe who are all well-educated about Islam.

I'll cross-post this at New English Review, since most NER readers, like me, don't often read the Nashville Scene, except for the rare occasion when Rebecca Bynum is kind enough to provide a link.

Oh, BTW, I don't want to insult the other writers at New English Review by giving the impression that they all share my liberal views.  I speak for myself, and so do they.
 

(Don't miss the comments from Rebecca, Mary, and John!)

UPDATE: After four attempts since last night, my comment is still not showing up at the Nashville Scene, while others' comments are.  Typical of the type of free and open conversation about Islam that we are allowed to have in the West.  What are you so afraid of, Jack?

UPDATE: The post not appearing was due to technical issues.  Jack Silverman manually pushed it through, and the post now appears.

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Posted on 06/29/2009 2:25 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Monday, 29 June 2009
Anyone for tennis?
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In a tense, drawn out match, Andy Murray, sometime consort of Lady Mondegreen, battled his way through to the Wimbledon quarter final with scarcely a grunt. He deserves to make a mint (geddit?), unlike the unsporting fakers in the latest racket from Newsbiscuit:

Michelle Larcher de Brito, the latest tennis grunting sensation, was booed off the court at Wimbledon yesterday when it was revealed that she was miming. The crowd turned on the teen star when her ‘wounded fox’ recording began to skip, and continued playing while she was seen to be sitting down eating an energy bar between games.

Martina Navratilova, the former champion best remembered for her between sets renditions of ‘Old Man River’ during her 1980s heyday, complained that Michelle was ‘cheating, pure and simple’. Meanwhile, Wimbledon institution Cliff Richard was asked for his views on the controversy, but was unavailable for comment in the wake of revelations that he had provided the vocal track for the Chinese girl lip-syncing at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

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Posted on 06/29/2009 5:43 PM by Mary Jackson
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