Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Zulu in the Flea Pit
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:57 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
You May Remove the Cause but Not the Symptoms
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:56 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
by G. B. Singh (July 2009)
Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War (Hardcover)
by Moorthy S. Muthuswamy
(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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:55 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Social Engineering Through Architectural Change
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:54 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Anti-Israel Culture War of British Liberal Elites Is Not a Grassroots Movement
or, Explaining 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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:52 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Fiction, Fact, and Faked Memoirs
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:51 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
England People Far Too Nice
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:50 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Al-Qaeda threatens France over Burqa
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.
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:01 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Zakat and Terrorism
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:49 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
What Obama and the Media Don?t Know or Care to Report
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:48 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Sir Walter Scott's Treatment of Jews in Ivanhoe
by Ibn Warraq (July 2009)
It was argued by Leon Poliakov and others 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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:46 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Steady As She Goes
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>>>
Posted on 06/30/2009 5:45 PM by NER
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Dispatches - Mumbai
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.
Posted on 06/30/2009 4:07 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Recognizing Israel As A Jewish State
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.
Posted on 06/30/2009 2:28 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Michael Jackson: A Tragedy of Our Times
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
Posted on 06/30/2009 12:19 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Saudis Funded And Supplied Aideed
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...
Posted on 06/30/2009 9:56 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
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.
Posted on 06/30/2009 8:41 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Wilders' Popularity Makes Muslims Want To Emigrate From The Netherlands
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.
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.
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.
Posted on 06/30/2009 8:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
[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".
Posted on 06/30/2009 8:21 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Security guards Jason Cresswell and Jason Swindlehurst 'were shot dead'
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.
Posted on 06/30/2009 7:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Unveiling Obama?s American Muslim partner - the ISNA
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.
Posted on 06/30/2009 4:55 AM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 29 June 2009
Columbia gives tenure to controversial Professor, Joseph Massad
Today’s New York Post had this disquieting revelation by columnist Jacob Gershman: Columbia University has granted tenure to notorious Israel and gay bashing, Professor Joseph Massad. Massad was a central figure in the David project documentary, “Columbia Unbecoming” that roiled the Morningside Heights campus in 2005 and 2006. The film portrayed allegations by Columbia students about anti-Semitism and anti-Israel statements by faculty in the Middle East Arts Language and Culture (MEALAC) program . In the film a former IDF soldier and Columbia Student relates how he was rebuked by Massad and questioned, “ how many Palestinians did he kill.?”
Massad’s appointment is not the first Columbia University tenure controversy. Last year we had another event, the tenure of Nadia Abu el Haj of the anthropology faculty at Barnard College. Abu El Haj had published a controversial book denying the ancient Jewish heritage and provenance of Israel. That was preceded by the appointment in 2005 of Rashid Khalidi to the Edward Said Chair of Middle East History endowed with significant Saudi money. Khalidi was a colleague of President Obama in his days as a junior Illinois Senator, when they were both on the faculty at the University of Chicago.
Massad, as the Gershman New York Post column points out, has bizarre views on Israel and gays:
Columbia's process for reviewing tenure candidates is as rigorous as any Ivy League school's. Ordinarily, an academic of Massad's caliber would be bounced from Morningside Heights. And in fact, the system did work -- it denied Massad tenure two years ago.
But now the school's academic standards have succumbed to ideological tensions and campus politics -- in what appears to be a remarkable manipulation of the tenure process and a breach of fiduciary trust.
First, a little background on Massad.
A Christian secularist of Palestinian-Arab descent, Massad has dedicated his academic career primarily to encouraging the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Criticism of Israel is far from unusual in his field, but Massad goes much further, taking arguments to bizarre ends. "The ultimate achievement of Israel," he writes, is "the transformation of the Jew into the anti-Semite, and the Palestinian into the Jew." In a book, he rails against the "Zionist theft of Palestinian Arab food (e.g., hummus, falafel)."
In a recent work, "Desiring Arabs," Massad claimed to expose yet another plot against the Muslim world -- the "Gay International." He 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.' "
So, if Massad’s tenure was side tracked two years ago, how did he gain a tenure appointment, now? Gershman reveals how:
But faculty members opted instead to lionize Massad as a supposed martyr of academic freedom. A crucial ally for him was Dean of Arts and Sciences Nicholas Dirks, whose wife taught a class with Massad.
In 2007, months after Massad completed his latest book, a committee rejected his tenure application. Tenure candidates rarely get a second shot at Columbia, but Dirks intervened and pushed for a second committee, sources say.
Oddly, the professor who led the first review of Massad refused to serve again. Even odder, the administration justified the do-over by claiming that Massad had switched his field of specialty from political science to cultural studies.
After the second committee approved Massad, President Lee Bollinger and Provost Alan Brinkley took extraordinary measures to protect the secrecy of Massad's tenure case and guard against an outcry from Jewish alumni and donors.
The last step in the process was the trustees. The administration refused to share with the trustees any list of who was on the two tenure committees. The board was also kept in the dark as to why Massad failed the first review. Bollinger and Brinkley also refused to discuss in detail why Massad was permitted another shot.
Massad's tenure appointment puts the nail in the coffin about what passes for academic leadership and governance at Columbia.
For those fellow alumni who had thought that vocal opposition and supporting evidence of Massad's lack of qualifications would prevent this turn of events, they were naively wrong.
Bollinger and Brinkley have connived with the cabal of left radical academics on the College and University tenure and promotion committee to reward Massad’s Gobbelian anti-Israel, anti-Gay and anti-Semitic screed. Surely, Obama's former University of Chicago colleague Rashid Khalidi, Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia's School of International Public Affairs must be overjoyed at the prospect of tenure for Massad.
Like the tenure appointment of Nadia Abu el-Haj in the anthropology at Barnard, the Massad tenure appointment is all about rewarding Meta fiction and degradation of the merest scholarly standards at Columbia .
Massad at Columbia's MEALAC faculty, Abu El-Haj over at Barnard and the late Edward Said are Christian dhimmis supporting cultural Jihad and the myth of Orientalism. (See Ibn Warriq’s critical analysis of Said and Orientalism in his book, “ Defending the West. “) Is this the equivalent of a Stockholm syndrome? After all these Christian Arabs are supporting the Jihadi killers of their own threatened minority in the Middle East. I suspect they are misguided Arab nationalists like the late Orthodox Christian George Habash, who co-founded the Marxist terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They have adopted the Islamic Jihad creed and are consumed with hatred towards Jews who had the chutzpah to reclaim the ancient Jewish homeland.
Good thing the recession has diminished Columbia's endowment. Now fellow alum who gave freely of their largess can claim that their purses are closed for economic self preservation reasons. Jewish alumni in particular, ought to have turned away in disgust back in 2005 with the Khalidi appointment. Last year’s Abu El-Haj appointment at Barnard College and now this Massad tenure appointment at Columbia are mounting evidence that President Bollinger and Provost Brinkley have abetted the cultural jihad on campus. They have kept trustees in the dark about the shenanigans employed in the Massad tenure announcement this month and besmirched both the university’s and their professional reputations. Bollinger as you may recall was a First Amendment legal scholar.
Columbia has clearly become a post-modernist academic institution par excellence. Massad's tortuous tenure track is just the latest evidence of the devolution of academic freedom and scholarship on Morningside Heights. Pity!
Posted on 06/29/2009 8:32 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 29 June 2009
More on the Dismissal of the MAS case against Joe Kaufman:
Joe Kaufman, Chairman of Americans Against Hate is one courageous guy. I had the privilege of standing beside him during an Anti-Terror Coalition press conference organized to protest Muslim Day on the west steps of the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahasse in March. At the time the frivolous case brought against him by the Muslim American Society (MAS) in Texas, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, was still unresolved. His defense, although costly, was an important First Amendment matter that finally was dismissed by the Texas court, last week.
Intrepid Dr. Paul Williams discusses the MAS-Kaufman case in this article, "Allah in Agony," on his blog, The Last Crusade. Williams rightly calls Kaufman "one of the heroes in the fight against Radical islam." Others who have been similarly sued by Radical Islamics that Williams cites are Rachel Ehrenfeld, our colleague Bruce "Beowulf" Tefft, Mark Steyn, and Williams himself. To that group I would add Andy Whitehead, who forced CAIR to drop its lawsuit against him, as well as those in the American for Peace and Tolerance organization, Dr. Charles Jacobs, Prof. Dennis Hale, Sheik Ahmed Mansour and others, who caused the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) to withdraw their defamation case in 2007. The connection between Kaufman's Texas case brought by the MAS and the ISB matter is made clear by the fact that one of the founders of the MAS, Jamal Badawi is also a trustee of the ISB Cultural Center formally opened last weekend in the Roxbury section of Boston.
Here is the account by Williams of this important victory for Kaufman and for all those rightly made anxious by those pushing the Stealth Jihad:
There is great elation deep in the bowels of the Last Crusade bunker this afternoon. Corks are popping in celebration of Joe Kaufman’s victory over the forces of Islamic hatred and intolerance. The lawsuit that was initiated against him by seven Muslim groups, including the Muslim American Society (MAS), was kicked out of court by the Texas Court of Appeals.
Mr. Kaufman is one of the heroes in the fight against radical Islam and the proliferation of terrorist groups and organizations throughout the country.
His legal problems arose when he led a small protest against Muslim Family Day at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement part. The event was sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a group with ties to such terrorists groups as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan.
At the protest, Mr. Kaufman and ten other protestors carried signs which read “Americans against Hate,” “ICNA – Bugs Bunny’s Terrorist Friends,” and “No Jihad in Our Backyard.” This activity proved to be highly unsettling for many Muslims in attendance. And Mr. Kaufman was slapped with a restraining order.
Upon returning to his office in Florida, Mr. Kaufman wrote an article about the ICNA event (which was closed to Jews and Christians) for Front Page Magazine, an on-line news publication.
The article resulted in the lawsuit from MAS and the other Muslim groups.
The case ended up in Texas Appellate Court, after the presiding judge refused to rule on whether or not Kaufman was a “media defendant” and to determine if the case should go to trial.
In their appearance before Appellate Court, members of MAS and other Islamic groups that initiated the suit admitted under that neither Kaufman nor his group had ever threatened them in any way, shape or form. The Appellate, therefore, decided that the restraining order should be lifted.
The Court also ruled that Mr. Kaufman is a “media defendant” and deserves all the rights provided to print journalists and moved to dismiss the case, on the grounds that the article written by Kaufman was not about the plaintiffs.
Despite the favorable ruling, the lawsuit took a financial toll on Mr. Kaufman.
A lesser man would be acquiesced to the Islamic demands by issuing an apology.
But Mr. Kaufman is not a journalist with weak knees and a rubber spine.
Other journalists in recent years have been sued for writing and speaking about Islamic terrorists. The list includes Mark Steyn, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Bruce Tefft, and, last but not least, Paul L. Williams.
What about the Muslim American Society (MAS), the group that initiated the suit against Mr. Kaufman? Is it a peaceful Islamic organization that fosters peace on earth and good well toward men?
We think not.
A visitor to a MAS website will be treated to the following quotes from the Koran and the Hadith:
- “The Holy Prophet (and through him the Muslims) has been reassured that he should not mind the enmity, the evil designs and the machinations of the Jews …”
“In view of the degenerate moral condition of the Jews and the Christians, the Believers have been warned not to make them their friends and confidants.”
“If you gain victory over the men of Jews, kill them.”
“The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”
“May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship.”
“A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death in order to reach his ultimate goal … Regularly make the intention to go on jihad with the ambition to die as a martyr.
In May 2005, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross reported in The Weekly Standard that MAS is a U.S. front group for the Muslim Brotherhood — a claim supported by a September 19, 2004 Chicago Tribune story. “The message that all countries should be ruled by Islamic law,” Gartenstein-Ross writes, “is echoed throughout MAS’s membership curriculum. For example, MAS requires all its adjunct members to read Fathi Yakun’s book To Be a Muslim. In that volume, Yakun spells out his expansive agenda: ‘Until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful.’”
MAS’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood were confirmed on August 14, 2007 at the terror-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation. FBI agent Lara Burns testified that a phonebook found at the home of Ismail Elbarrasse — un-indicted co-conspirator and former assistant to HAMAS leader Musa Abu Marzook — listed the names and numbers of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the United States. On the first page of the phonebook under the title ‘Members of the Board of Directors’ were fifteen names. Among those names are Ahmad Elkadi, Jamal Badawi, and Omar Soubani: the founding incorporators of the Muslim American Society (MAS).”
Joe Kaufman’s victory and his courage under fire merits celebration.
But it should not serve to give true believers the assurance that the last Crusade can and will be won.
When Mr. Kaufman went to Texas to protest ICNA’s Muslim Family Day, we called Christian groups throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area to support Mr. Kaufman in his protest of Muslim Family Day. Only ten out of the thousands who had been summoned showed up to carry placards and to decry the parks exclusion of non-Muslims. The rest believed that the ICNA event which was taking place in their backyard was of no spiritual or patriotic importance.
Posted on 06/29/2009 6:04 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 29 June 2009
Anyone for tennis?
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.
Posted on 06/29/2009 5:43 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 29 June 2009
Belgian headscarf ban sparks heated reactions
From Ex Patica
The state secondary schools in Antwerp and Hoboken (also part of Antwerp) are in the midst of heated discussion regarding a decision taken by the school administration to ban all religious symbols from the next school year.
The principal of the state secondary school in Antwerp, Karin Heremans, explains that the decision to ban religious symbols stemmed from a growing pressure on Muslim girls to wear veils, even if they don't want to. The idea behind the ban is to take away the growing peer pressure.
"We have noticed that certain students have started feeling less comfortable over the past few years," says school principal Karin Heremans. "We have the impression that some students are under social pressure to conform and wear religious symbols."
The decision to ban religious symbols from the public schools has drawn criticism from the immigrant community. The public schools have many students of different ethnic backgrounds. "This is an emotional decision but the students are at the centre of the discussion. It is a decision that is in the interest of the students."
When Karin Heremans addressed the students in the courtyard to explain the measure her words were met with booing. The police were massively present in the neighbourhood, but no incidents were reported.
During a protest action in the school the Antwerp imam Nordine Taouil, also chairman of the Muslim Executive, called on muslim parents to keep their children at home and not send them to school as long as there is a ban on headscarves. "I'm calling on all parents, muslim parents, not to send their children to school from the first of September until our rights are guaranteed," said the imam.
The Flemish conservative nationalist N-VA party (the big winners of the recent regional elections), thinks the imam has gone too far. The N-VA labels the imam's call to keep children at home "irresponsible".
"Mr Taouil talks about rights, but there are other rights too. Like the right of children to get an education," says Flemish MP Kris Van Dijck. "Calling on parents not to send their children to school threatens their future."
As it is, many students of foreign origin (children who do not speak Dutch at home especially) are somewhat behind at school.
And from Al Arabyia
About a hundred people gathered in Antwerp Sunday to protest a ban on veils imposed over the weekend at the only remaining high school in Belgium that permitted them, according to press reports over the weekend.
The protesters held placards bearing slogans like "Freedom for all, except us" and "Democracy not discrimination," according to a local TV station
It is expected affect about 50 percent of the school’s female students according to Nordin al-Taweel, former president of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, the official national organization of Muslim Belgians, told the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat.
"We notice that the equality and freedom of our students is suffering," the school administrations said in a statement. "It is possible that students feel obliged due to social pressure to wear political and religious symbols. Therefore we will not allow it anymore."
Taweel said that out of 148 elementary and middle schools, only 23 allowed the veil, and that the high schools were the only remaining that permitted students to wear it.
About 100 Muslims, including several students, gathered at Antwerp’s Sint-Jansplein to protest the ban, according to local press reports, following a call by Taweel to stage a demonstration. He also urged parents to boycott the school by not sending their children.
"We feel that the identity of the Muslim woman is targeted," he told the paper. "Women bring up generations. If they are lost, all Muslims will be lost, too."
According to the far right Vlaams Belang party, Taweel is paving the way for founding an Islamic school, a step the party considers unacceptable.
He denied those allegations in several media statements.
His detractors accuse him of appearing moderate to the public while behind the scenes he portrays fundamentalist views.
I would like to see a similar ban in UK schools and institutions.
Posted on 06/29/2009 12:12 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax