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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
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
















Sunday, 21 December 2014
Saudis, Like Pakistanis And Many Muslims, Like To Marry Relatives
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In Muslim lands, or among Muslim peoples even in lands not yet ruled by Islam, that is an environment where despotism, violence, aggression, deception are made familiar through the texts and tenets of the faith that suffuses everything, and of which one is made constanty aware by the references to Muhammad and Allah, trust does not extend very far. It is tribal rather than national, and sometimes it is not even tribal but extends only to the family. Hence the desirability of marrying cousins. And that means all kinds of congenital defects. You have only to see who comes, draped entirely in black, to the Children's Hospital in Boston, or to Harley Street specialists in London.

And if those Muslims who marry their cousins live in Western countries, and those Western countries supply them with free or subsidised health care, the costs to the system, that is to those non-Muslims who do not practice consanguinous marriage, is great and ever-growing

Perhaps a politician or a celebrated doctor might dare or care to discuss this matter in public? It is only getting worse.

Story here.
 

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Posted on 12/21/2014 11:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 21 December 2014
North Carolina High School Vocabulary Lesson
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This woman is mad as a wet hen over this "vocabulary lesson" in given in the local High School - good for her.

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Posted on 12/21/2014 9:52 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 21 December 2014
As in Murfreesboro, Justice Department Strong Arms Small Town City Council in Georgia to Force Mosque Approval
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Hugh Fitzgerald suggests that someone should sue the Justice Department and force them to defend their forcing of Islam on America. RT:

City Council officials in Kennesaw, Georgia, voted to approve the opening of a mosque in a local shopping center, despite some opposition from local residents, after supporters threatened to sue the city for violating their religious freedom rights.

The proposal passed by a vote of 5-0, reversing a 4-1 decision against the mosque that was made in early December.

Originally, the council argued that approving the land use permit sought by the Suffa Dawat Center could create serious traffic concerns at the shopping center in question, and that zoning regulations prohibited the construction of religious buildings, Reuters reported.

According to WSB TV, the shopping center local Muslims wanted to use is “mostly vacant.” The Suffa Dawat Center wants to open its mosque there for two years while it looks into building a more permanent place of worship elsewhere.

After the City Council’s original vote, though, Muslim residents threatened to sue the city for violating their First Amendment right to freedom of religion. They argued that a Christian church was permitted in another shopping center, and a complaint was filed with the Justice Department.

City clerk Pam Davis told Reuters that the Christian church was approved, but it was operating in a “completely different zoning” area.

Nevertheless, council members reconsidered their vote and decided to approve the mosque.

“I think we have achieved success for the whole community including those who oppose us,” mosque member Khalid Hashmi told WSB.

“The Bible says love thy neighbor. Our religion teaches love your neighbor,” said Samir Malik, another member.

Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews told MSNBC that while council members did not detail their reasons for changing their votes, he believes the decision is a positive one for the city.

“My hopes are that Kennesaw will continue to be viewed as a family-friendly city that is also a great place to live, work, learn, play, and worship,” Mathews said.

Still, many residents were unhappy with the council’s flip-flop. Before the decision was announced, protesters gathered outside of City Hall to express their opposition. They held signs that read “Ban Islam!” and “No Mosque!” according to WND.com, and also waved American flags.

“The imams in the mosques are all striving towards the establishment of a caliphate and you can’t have a constitutional republic along with a caliphate,” said local resident Linc Doberman to the website. “So you can allow it to continue creeping in, until you feel the deep, red welts of domination.”

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Posted on 12/21/2014 9:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 21 December 2014
Mshad Al-Zaydi: Sharing the World With The Islamic State And The Islamic Republic
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Mshad Al-Zaydi fears the world of those Muslims -- Sunni in the case of the Islamic State, Shi'a in the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran -- who take Islam most to heart. But he cannot yet, or perhaps never will be able, or allow himself to admit, that what is wrong is what is in the Qur'an, what is in the Hadith, what is in the Sira, what it is about thaving  Muhamamd, as, for Musilms that permanent  Model of Conduct ("uswa hasana"), that Perfect Man ("al-insan al-kamil"), who must never ever be criticized in the slightest. Can such a man as Mshal Al-Zaydi ask himself what is wrong with Islam? Can he ask himself: what would the Arabs themselves have been like, what art, what music, what science, might they have developed, had not Islam contained or discouraged or forbidden or punished any art but calligraphy and mosque architecture, any music but, very occasionally, the folk songs, the wedding singers, the odd Umm Kalthum of the last century, any science if that science required, as science (but not technology) does, the habit of skepticism and independent thought. Many non-Arabs are, or soon will, come to realize that islamization means forced arabization, and that means a loss of one's own pre-Islamic history, and the adoption of a factitious Arab identity, or at least the attempt to emulate and pretend to be Arab. But what of the Arabs themselves? What about all those Saudis and Emiratis and Kuwaitis and Qataris rich enough, and presumably now worldly enough, to have seen and lived in London, Paris, and New York. Do they not ever stop counting their banknotes, and in those between-banquet moments, and after shopping, and before the grouplets of call girls arrive, meditating -- even if for only a moment -- in their hotels particuliers or Plantagenet hunting-lodges, about Islam and its effect on Arab civilization, on the Arabs themselves, and what they might have accomplished had they not submitted to Islam long ago? 

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Posted on 12/21/2014 9:08 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 21 December 2014
Asian father-of-four raped pub worker for three hours after dragging her off the street saying 'you white women are good at it'
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From the Mail on Sunday

An Asian MUSLIM father-of-four dragged a young pub worker off the street and raped her for three hours saying 'you white women are good at it'. The woman, who is in her 20s, was walking home from work in Bedford at around 11pm when she was grabbed by Abdul Ghafoor, 33, and forced her into undergrowth, a court heard.

Picture of Ghafoor from the South Beds News agency via the Mail on Sunday. His face is pixelated out in a report from Bedford Today. But in line with the reasons given by Mr Justice Keehan in a case last week we have used the plain sight version. 

The victim had sent a WhatsApp message to her sister when she left work on May 30 this year to say she was walking to their flat.

But the married father-of-four, who had earlier propositioned two other white woman, demanded that the woman perform a sex act on him saying 'you white girls are good at it'. She was able to send a second message to her sister saying 'help me' before he smashed her phone.

At one point she managed to make a run for it when Ghafoor vomited as a result of the alcoholic drinks he had downed, but he caught her and took her back into the undergrowth. Her sister had raised the alarm and the victim heard the police helicopter overhead as a major search was launched to find her. 

Prosecutor at Luton Crown Court, Sally Hobson, said Ghafoor's attack had a racial aspect as he had made comments about the sort of behaviour white women would engage in.

'He made racially aggravated comments to the effect that this is the sort of behaviour that white women would engage in. If he saw her again she would give him a blow job,' she said. 'She was a white woman and he believed it was okay to behave in this way. It was a stranger rape of a young woman going about her business in her home town  she ought to feel safe.'

Ms Hobson said the victim had been 'like a frightened rabbit in the headlights' when she gave evidence in the witness box.'  She has been seeing a specialist counsellor and is now on medication and suffers from nightmares. But she described her as 'extremely brave young lady who conducted herself with dignity'. 

The victim listened to the sentencing from another room in the court building via a link.

Last month a jury found him guilty by majority verdicts of three offences of assault by penetration, two offences of rape, false imprisonment and assaulting the woman occasioning her actual bodily harm.  They found him not guilty of a third offence of rape but guilty by a majority of an alternative offence of attempted rape.

Ghafoor, of Nash Road, Bedford, told the jury he had drunk around five rum based drinks during the evening. He claimed she she consented to sexual activity. Asked to explain her Whatsapp message, he said the victim was asking her sister to arrange a birthday party to which he would be invited.

Judge Richard Foster said the victim had been subjected to a 'nightmare of unimaginable proportions'. He told Ghafoor he had been on the lookout for a victim that night and subjected the woman to the most appalling sexual abuse for over three hours.  'You forced her to perform oral sex and you said: "you white girls are good at it." To some extent the offence was racially aggravated.'

He passed a life sentence for public protection saying he regarded Ghafoor as a dangerous offender. 

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Posted on 12/21/2014 7:48 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 21 December 2014
Tariq Almohayed: More Sanctions On Iran A Good Idea
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Not Mark Kirk, not Robert Menendez, but Tariq Almohayed, a well-known Saudi journalist, suggests that since Iran is the fons et origo of much of the Middle East's current distempers  (the "root cause" of those distempers is Islam, but it would be unfair to expect Tariq Almohayed to discuss that) , suggests that now is the time for the sanctions placed on Iran by the American government to be strengthened.

Here.

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Posted on 12/21/2014 7:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 21 December 2014
'Racist' Respect leader a serving JP
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Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph

A man expelled from George Galloway’s Respect party for racism and anti-Semitism is serving as a magistrate in London’s most multiracial borough. On his Facebook page, Abul "Abz" Hussain, a British Bangladeshi, condemns "ignorant" people who "want me to ‘integrate’ into a decadent [Western] lifestyle."

As a sitting Justice of the Peace (JP) at Stratford magistrates’ court in Newham, east London, Mr Hussain is called upon to enforce British law, a key tenet of the society he appears to question. Sitting with two other magistrates, he passes verdicts and sentences in most criminal cases, with the power to impose up to six months’ imprisonment. More serious cases are also first heard by magistrates, who can grant or deny bail.

A resident of neighbouring Tower Hamlets, Mr Hussain is a strong supporter of Lutfur Rahman, the borough’s extremist-linked independent mayor, who was re-elected by a narrow margin in May. 

During the campaign, Mr Hussain stated on Twitter that Tower Hamlets had been treated by the Labour Party as the "last outpost of the British Raj" and added: "I’m definitely not a racist but I’ll admit to voting on racial lines… this is a show of BD [Bangladeshi] strength to Labour HQ!"

He claimed Bangladeshis were treated by Labour as "colonial subjects" and said the borough under the party was a "collection of bantustans", artificial states created by the apartheid regime in South Africa to segregate black people. A recent entry on his Facebook page shows a man hitting a woman with a mallet. 

Mr Hussain was expelled by Respect two weeks before polling day after posting in a Facebook exchange: "You know the world’s coming to an end when a Jew accuses you of being of his kind… I should have put u on that convoy to Gaza, could have traded the Jew with the Israelis to let the aid through."

Despite Mr Hussain’s expulsion, he was appointed a magistrate in September 2011. 

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Posted on 12/21/2014 7:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
A Musical Interlude: How Come You Do Me Like You Do? (Marion Harris)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 9:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
ISIS Is Islam On Stilts: Once You Are In, You Can't Get Out
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100 "deserters" from Islamic State --people who became demoralized and tired of fighting --  have apparently been executed in Raqqa.

Story here.
 

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Posted on 12/20/2014 9:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Was Mufti Menk Gustakh E Rasool?
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You decide.

Story here.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 9:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
The Zemmour Affair
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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Erdogan: Shahak And Pamuk Agents Of The West
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Erdogan endows the phrase "literary agent" with new meaning, here.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Iran And Its Supersonic Missiles
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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Conspiracy-Theory-Crazed Antisemitic Muslim Supremacist Fuhrer Erdogan
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Even The New York Times has taken notice, here.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Advent Calendar XX
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There was one of the not so good film/TV adaptations of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol on television tonight.  So bad that my husband turned over and I turned to the book.  The description of the fruiterers watched by  Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present caught my eye.

The poulterers’ shops were still half open, and the fruiterers’ were radiant in their glory. There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. There were ruddy, brown-faced, broad-girthed Spanish Onions, shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars, and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by, and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. There were pears and apples, clustered high in blooming pyramids; there were bunches of grapes, made, in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks, that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed; there were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance, ancient walks among the woods, and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through withered leaves; there were Norfolk Biffins, squat and swarthy, setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons, and, in the great compactness of their juicy persons, urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner.

I had never taken much notice before of the ‘Norfolk Biffin’ but liking Norfolk as I do, and liking my food as I do, tonight was obviously the night to find out.

The Norfolk Biffin (or beefing) is a type of apple, originating in Norfolk, now rare in orchards but still available for cultivation in gardens. It was exported to the US in 1840 – our US readers may well advise whether it is still cultivated there, maybe under another name.  They are round, slightly flat with a tough skin. Some descriptions say the skin is yellowish – others purple. These for sale here are purple. The name biffin is said to be derived from peau fine, the French for  beautiful skin, which surprised me as the skin is said to be tough. Maybe it refers to the colour.

They became sweet enough to eat as a dessert apple after some months storage but they were a delicacy baked. They were baked very slowly in ovens weighted down with an iron plate, or according to one receipt, covered in straw. Then the skin was removed and they were rubbed with sugar, and eaten cold or at room temperature. In Dickens day they were sent from Norfolk to London for the Christmas trade.

The Pigs pub near Holt serves biffens, but made from Bramley apples, so rare is the Norfolk tree. 

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Posted on 12/20/2014 4:58 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
France: Police Shoot Dead Man Who Attacked Officers
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From Sky News

Police have shot dead a man who stabbed three officers in a police station in central France. The 20-year-old reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic) as he carried out the attack in Joue-les-Tours, near the city of Tours, on Saturday.

He ran into the station and pulled out a knife and stabbed three officers who tried to calm him down, Le Figaro newspaper said. He wounded a female police officer, injuring her cheek and ear, and then stabbed two other officers.

A police officer pulled out a gun and shot him twice, killing him instantly, the newspaper reported.

The Burundi-born man had a criminal record and was known for his "radical Islamic views", Le Figaro said. Anti-terror investigators are probing the incident, a source told AFP news agency.

The source said the man "shouted 'Allahu Akbar' from the moment he entered until his last breath".

He was not on any terror watch lists run by France's main domestic intelligence service, the General Directorate for Internal Security. But the source said his brother was known to security agencies for his radical beliefs and had at one point planned to travel to Syria.

"The investigation is leading towards an attack on police forces on radical Islamist motives," another source told AFP.

A police spokesman said the three officers are in a stable condition.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 1:44 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Do Drug Trials Often Fail to Reveal the Harmful Side Effects They Discover?
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The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: that is what one swears to tell in a court of law. One lies there and then. It is a noble ideal that one swears to, but one that in practice is impossible to live up to. Not only is the truth rarely pure and never simple, as Oscar Wilde said, but it is never whole, even in the most rigorous of scientific papers.

Not that scientific papers are often as rigorous as they could or should be. This is especially so in trials of drugs or procedures, the kind of investigation that is said to be the gold standard of modern medical evidence.

Considering how every doctor learns that the most fundamental principle of medical ethics is primum non nocere, first do no harm, it is strange how little interest doctors often take in the harms that their treatment does. Psychologically, this is not difficult to understand: every doctors wants to think he is doing good, and therefore has a powerful motive for disregarding or underestimating the harm that he does. But in addition, trials of drugs or procedures often fail to mention the harms caused by the drug or procedure that they uncover.

This is the royal road to over-treatment: it encourages doctors to be overoptimistic on their patients’ behalf. It also skews or makes impossible so-called informed consent: for if the harms are unknown even to the doctor, how can he inform the patient of them? The doctor becomes more a propagandist than informant, and the patient cannot give his informed consent because such consent involves weighing up a known against an unknown.

A paper in a recent edition of the British Medical Journal examined a large series of papers to see whether they had fully reported adverse events caused by the drug or procedure under trial. It found that, even where a specific harm was anticipated and looked for, the reporting was inadequate in the great majority of cases.

But in fact the reality was probably worse than this: for many of the harms done by drugs or procedures are not anticipated, not inquired after and therefore not recorded. Moreover, most (though not all) trials last only a short time, and the drugs or procedures may have long-term ill effects that short-term follow-up by definition cannot reveal. Many side effects of drugs do not manifest themselves until years after prescription and become obvious only in retrospect; indeed, they may never be acknowledged, because no one has ever looked for them.

The same edition of the journal points to two other problems with informed consent, to say nothing of proper treatment. The first is that the way doctors give information can affect a patient’s decision, because words have connotations as well as denotations. To say that 90 percent of people survive an operation is implicitly to recommend it; to say that 10 percent of people die after it is implicitly to advise against it.

Another problem is that trials of drugs that are supposed to be double blind – neither the patient nor the investigator knowing who is an experimental subject and who a control – are often less blind than is supposed, leading to bias in the results. For example, in trials of statins against placebo, the investigator may notice that a patient’s low density lipoprotein may have fallen, guess that he is taking statin rather than placebo, and hence minimize his complaints. He may also inadvertently communicate his guess to the patient. The benefits of statins will then be overestimated.

Accentuate the positive, underplay the negative. At least it’s good for business, if not for the patients.

First published in PJ Media.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 1:43 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
A Musical Interlude: Old Man Time (Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Durante)
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Listen, here, to their Mutability Canto.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 9:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Houthis Against Al-Qaeda In Yemen -- Each Is Worse Than The Other
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And if you were a woman, and not brainwashed by Islam, which side would you want to prevail?

Story here.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Brendan O'Neill: Those Unable To Face Up To Islam Instead Make Europe Unwelcoming For Jews
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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
French Television Channel i-Tele Removes Zemmour In Order To Shut Him Up
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Not being able to find anyone -- or a whole group of opponents, who often appear together for a televised gang-up -- capable of convincingly refuting the propos of Eric Zemmour, the Grande Armee de la Pensee Unique has decided to simply remove Eric Zemmour from the lesser screen, and to hope that somehow that will deal with the problem.

The fantastic tale here.

And a few days ago, Ivan Rioufol read the writing on the wall, as the Regulators of French Thought prepared to deal with Zemmour in the only way they know how.
 

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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Hamas Benefits from Absurd Judicial Decision
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In Oliver Twist, published in 1838, Charles Dickens has one of his characters, Mr. Bumble, declare, “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass, an idiot.”  One hundred and seventy-six years later Mr. Bumble would have used the same words in referring to a decision of the General Court (GC) of the European Union. On December 17, 2014 GC ordered the EU to remove Hamas from its terrorist blacklist.

The Council of the European Union in Luxembourg on December 27, 2001 adopted a common position as its response to combating terrorism. This meant freezing the funds of individuals and groups on a list adopted by the Council. The list included Hamas on the list and has maintained that group on the list since then. Other countries, including the U.S. in October 1997, and Australia, Canada, Japan, Egypt, and Britain regarding the military wing, have put Hamas on their terrorist list.

The GC is an independent court, attached to the European Court of Justice, composed of one judge from each of the 28 member states of the EU.  It is regarded as the second highest tribunal of the EU, and its decisions can be appealed on a point of law to the ECJ.  It took the case C 400/10, Hamas v. Council of the EU and delivered judgment.

But that judgment is bizarre if not hypocritical in making a political decision. The GC called its decision a procedural one, a “technical issue,” not a political one by it or by the EU countries. The decision, it said, did not “imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group.” It said nothing substantial about the status of Hamas. Yet, it challenged the very basis of the EU political decision that put the al-Qassam Brigades (the militant Hamas military wing) in its first terrorist blacklist in December 2001. As a result of a number of Hamas suicide bombings during the second Intifada, the EU added the political wing of Hamas to its terrorist list in 2003. Hamas in 2010 and again in 2013 appealed its designation as a terrorist group. It claimed that it had not been given a hearing when it was put on the terrorist list.

The GC had made almost exactly the same ruling on October 16, 2014 concerning the Tamil Tigers group in Sri Lanka. Arguing that that the decision was based on a technicality, it held that the blacklisting of the group, that had killed at least 40,000 Tamil civilians, was based on “factual imputations derived from the press and the internet,” and this was insufficient. In other actions, the European court has struck down EU decisions on sanctions of Syrian and Iranian companies. EU sanctions against Syria are imposed on people and companies who are responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population in Syria and persons associated with them. Nevertheless, the GC annulled the inclusion of some persons on the list.

The GC said that EU decisions on Hamas were not proper. They were based on factual elements that the EC may have derived from the press or the internet, not “on elements which have been concretely examined and confirmed in decisions of national competent authorities.” Therefore, the GC annulled the contested measures to keep Hamas on the list of terrorist groups but it held that they were to be maintained for a period of three months or until appeals against the decision were ended. The assets of Hamas will thus for the moment remain frozen in the EU.

The consequence is that the GC has made not simply a legal ruling, but indeed a political decision that is the responsibility of the EU governments.  The decision implicitly insulted the intelligence of the EU officials who had designated Hamas as a terrorist group. That designation resulted from the EU’s Council Common Position of December 27, 2001 that clearly defined those involved in terrorist acts as seriously damaging a country, seriously intimidating a population, attacking a person’s life which may cause death, and kidnapping or hostage taking.

One wonders what evidence the European Court needs as appropriate, or what it called “facts previously established by competent authorities” for a designation of terrorism to be made in the case of Hamas. Is the indiscriminate and disproportional firing by Hamas of thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians insufficient? Hamas has been guilty of all the offences mentioned in the Common Position. Plentiful evidence about Hamas will be forthcoming during a number of criminal cases concerning it that will take place in some European countries.

Ironically, the Court’s decision coincided with a massive rally celebrating the 27th anniversary of Hamas. In a speech on the occasion in Gaza City on December 14, 2014 Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, declared, “The illusion called Israel will be removed. It will be removed at the hands of the al-Qassam Brigades.” He reaffirmed the Hamas Charter that calls for the destruction of Israel.

The General Court hears cases brought against EU institutions. European Union now has to decide on its options, one of which is to appeal the ruling. It certainly must uphold the principles of the Middle East Quartet that Hamas must renounce violence and recognize the existence and legitimacy of the State of Israel.

By coincidence, the European Parliament on December 17, 2014 voted by 498 to 88 with 111 abstentions in favor of a watered-down, non-binding resolution. It called for the recognition of Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution.  It also called for this recognition to go hand in hand with the “development of peace talks which should be advanced.” The General Court has not been helpful in this advancement. By proposing that Hamas no longer be regarded as a terrorist group it has in effect given a green light to Hamas activity which still regards Israel as an “illusion,” and aims at the elimination of the State of Israel.

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 8:29 AM by Michael Curtis
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Mohammad Rafiq Of Birmingham, And The British Underclass
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The 19-year-old girl whom 80-year-old Mohammad Rafiq apparently managed to control or enslave, the English cretins who for 50 pounds did his bidding and threw acid in the girl's face, the girl's half-sister who led the police astray -- an unedifying picture of the underclass in England today.

Here.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 5:53 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
Arab States Have Yet to Transfer Funds Pledged for Gaza
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I'm shocked, shocked! From the Times of Israel:

Less than two percent of the $5.4 billion of aid pledged by international donors to help rebuild Gaza following Operation Protective Edge has been transferred, and none of the Arab states have come through yet on their promised share, according to Palestinian officials.

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Posted on 12/20/2014 5:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 20 December 2014
ISIS reportedly selling Christian artifacts, turning churches into torture chambers
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  Perry Chiaramonte writes in Fox News:

The Islamic State is turning Christian churches in Iraq and Syria into dungeons and torture chambers after stripping them of priceless artifacts to sell on the black market, according to reports.

Ancient relics and even entire murals are being torn from the houses of worship and smuggled out through the same routes previously established for moving oil and weapons in and out of the so-called caliphate, a vast region the jihadist army has claimed as sovereign under Sharia law.

"ISIS has a stated goal to wipe out Christianity,” Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice and the author of "Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore," told FoxNews.com. “This why they are crucifying Christians -- including children -- destroying churches and selling artifacts. The fact is, this group will stop at nothing to raise funds for its terrorist mission.”

It’s not clear what items have been stolen, but the terrorist group has sought to destroy religious groups that don't embrace its twisted and violent interpretation of Islam, and has already blown up several revered Christian sites and monuments.

Last July, ISIS militants used sledgehammers to destroy the tomb of Jonah in Mosul. Around the same time, they were destroying Sunni shrines and mosques in the northern province of Ninevah, including the Shia Saad bin Aqeel Husseiniya shrine in the city of Tal Afar and the al-Qubba Husseiniya, as well as Christian churches in Syria. The group follows a strict interpretation of the Sunni faith which is against idolatry of anything other than God. ISIS has also threatened to destroy the holy sight of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Christianity, like Judaism and Islam, have powerful historical ties to the region, and some of its most treasured sites and relics are in Iraq and Syria, according to experts. Their destruction or dispersal is tragic, said Shaul Gabbay, senior scholar at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

“The Middle East is where the three monotheistic religions begun and anything that can inform us about the history and chronology of the development of religion is of unparalleled significance to the core identity of anyone who is Christian,” Gabbay told FoxNews.com. “This is where Abraham, the forefather of the three monotheistic religions, came from, where Moses led the Hebrews to the Promised Land and where Jesus Christ was born, walked, died and was resurrected.

“Anything physical part that exists from the past including more modern artifacts is of extreme value to Christianity both at the informative and educational level as well as the spiritual/faith level,” he said.

Experts believe Islamic State's trafficking in religious artifacts is both to make money and to culturally cleanse the region. The Islamic militants have converted churches in Qaraqosh and other Iraqi cities into torture chambers, according to the Sunday Times. One priest from the region, who gave his name as Abu Aasi from Mosul, told the newspaper earlier this month that prisoners were being held in the Bahnam Wa Sara and Al Kiama churches.

“These two churches are being used as prisons and for torture,” he said while in hiding. “Most inside are Christians and they are being forced to convert to Islam. Isis has been breaking all the crosses and statues of Mary.”

Christianity is believed to be practiced by just three percent of the population of Iraq. They lived in relative religious freedom while under Saddam Hussein's rule, but have faced persecution from Islamic State in the last two years. In particular, the Yazidi, a Kurdish Christian people, have been hounded and murdered by the extremist group, leaving many of them becoming refugees trying to escape the region.

“We know that ISIS considers several groups -- including Christians -- as 'infidels without human rights,'" Sekulow said. "ISIS jihadists commit violence against fellow Muslims in violation of Islamic law. They routinely commit war crimes and engage in torture in violation of international law; and they also kill and threaten Christian, Jewish, and other religious communities.”

“In short, ISIS is composed of religiously motivated psychopaths," he said.

 

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Posted on 12/20/2014 4:54 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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