Nigeria mosque bombing: At least 50 killed as people arrive for morning prayers
From the Independent and Nigerian newspaper The Vanguard
At least 50 people have died after a suicide bomber struck a Nigeria mosque as worshippers arrived for morning prayers in one of the deadliest attacks in the region in years, police said.
The attack in northeastern Adamawa state was carried out a young man carrying explosives. According to eyewitnesses, suspected suicide bomber carried out the attack around 5 a.m., during the Muslim early morning prayers.
“I counted 27 dead and 49 injured people as they are being evacuated to the hospital,” said one Mubi resident, who simply identified himself as Danladi.
Suspicion fell on Islamist insurgents Boko Haram, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Police spokesman Othman Abubakar said the young man detonated his explosives while mingling among the worshippers.
Tuesday's attack bears all the hallmarks of the terrorist group, whose modus operandi has been attacks on mosques and markets to inflict maximum damage.
French authorities will stop Muslims from praying in a street north of Paris, the country's interior minister said on Sunday, after a series of protests by lawmakers and locals over what they view as an unacceptable use of public space.
"They will not have prayers on the street, we will prevent street praying," Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told Questions Politics (Franceinfo, France Inter, Le Monde).
Prayers in the street have taken place every Friday in the multiethnic suburb of Clichy-la-Garenne since March to protest the closure of a popular local mosque that had operated in a government building but since been turned into a library.
Gerard Collomb reiterated his opposition to prayers staged by the Union of Muslim Worship and Cultural Associations of Clichy-la-Garenne (UAMC) every Friday in the city center since March after a hall they had rented from the town was remodeled into a multimedia library under the new mayor. A dedicated worship center has been built since then, but local Muslims are unhappy about its location and size.
...going on since March, when police were called to expel the UAMC from the premises pursuant to a court order, reaffirmed by the Council of State in November of last year. In response to the eviction, the UAMC called for street prayers to be held in front of the building, which is located in downtown Clichy.
...the interior minister acknowledged the need for an alternative: "Muslims must have a place of worship to pray...We will make sure we resolve this conflict in the next few weeks," he added.Clichy Mayor Rémi Muzeau from The Republicans (LR) party, who is responsible for the repurposing of the premises, says there is no need for a new prayer room, as there is already a new center – the Clichy Muslim Cultural and Worship Center (ACCCMC) to the north of the town.
A local Muslim association has said it intends to hold prayers in the city centre next Friday.
France has around five million Muslims, and concern about the religion challenging the country's strict secular laws was a major theme in this year's presidential election.
Muslim Placenames, “Seeds of Divisiveness” in the Qur’an, and the American Constitution
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Finally, there is the argument, from toponyms, of a Muslim presence in America before there was a United States. Here John Hamed, Jr. descends into the absurd: “Islam was here even before there was a U.S.A. There are more than 500 places in the U.S. today with clearly Islamic names: Mecca, Indiana; Medina in New York, Ohio and Texas; Toledo, Ohio; Mahomet, Illinois; Islamorada, Florida; etc.”
Note that Hamed does not give any dates for when these place names were first used. All of them appear to belong to the post-colonial period. Apparently Hamed is also unaware that there is a long tradition in this country of appropriating place names from the Bible, history books, gazetteers from all over the globe. We have many Old Testament “Zions” and “Canaans” and “Jerichos” and “Lebanons,” and many towns called “Paris,” “London,” “Berlin,” “Moscow,” “Amsterdam,” “Madrid,” ‘Rome,” Milan,” “Venice,” “Naples,” or “Holland,” “Denmark,” “Sweden,” names chosen because the town’s founding fathers liked their sound, or because someone came from there, or in some cases they wanted to signify another kind of link, as with devout Christians who might choose to give their settlement a Biblical place name. There’s a China, Texas, which has nothing to do with China, and two Calcuttas, one in Ohio and another in Indiana, but no one from India was among their founders. It’s hardly surprising that some settlers chose to name their town “Mecca.” The very word has entered the language as a “center” for something, as, “Silicon Valley is a Mecca for entrepreneurs” or “Nashville is a Mecca for country-and-western singers.” It could have sounded significant to the people who first settled there. A “Muslim presence” does not enter into it. “Medina,” like “Calcutta,” has been chosen as a town name for its exotic sound. You can be confident that the people who named “Medina, Ohio” or six other “Medinas” were not thinking of Muhammad or of Islam; we can be certain that none of those who founded and named “Medina” were Muslims, for had they been, Muslim writers would have made much of it.
As for the place name “Toledo,” it comes from the Roman “Toletum,” and though for centuries Muslims ruled the city, “Toledo” is not, as John Hamed thinks it is, a Muslim name. And “Islamorada,” which Hamed cites as a Muslim name because of the appearance in it of “Islam,” comes from the Spanish “Isla morada” or “purple isle.” Should you wish to see where John Hamed, Jr. obtained his list of “500 U.S. towns that have Muslim names,” many of which are not Muslim at all (including all the Indian tribes whose names are bizarrely claimed to be Arabic, and thus offered as some kind of crazed proof that Islam has been in America practically forever) simply go here. Read the “evidence.” You won’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Back to John Hamed, Jr.:
One has to ask what is the value of writing such unlearnéd and negative material, filled with hatred and bigotry. Christianity forbids hate. Muslims are not an enemy; hate is. It is ironic that he [the writer of the letter to which Hamed takes exception] writes at a time when hundreds were killed and maimed by Stephen Paddock, a Christian man in Las Vegas, causing the worst case of domestic terrorism in our history. Alas, it is not called terrorism, just because it’s not committed by a Muslim.
John Hamed, Jr. claims that “Christianity forbids hate.” That’s not quite true, but it is certainly true that “love” takes pride of place in Christian teachings. But why didn’t he add that “Islam forbids hate”? He didn’t, because he couldn’t, because the Qur’anic cup runneth over with hate, and he knows it. And were he to deny it, the paper would be deluged with Qur’anic quotes proving quite the opposite. So he quickly moves to the example of Stephen Paddock, whom he describes as “a Christian man” guilty of “domestic terrorism.” But Stephen Paddock was not a “Christian” at all; according to his brother, he was an atheist. Some suggest that his antipathy to religion may explain why he targeted a Christian country music event. But even if we were to assume that Paddock had been a believing Christian, his killing could not have been prompted by any Christian text or teaching, for no such violent Christian texts, commanding killing of innocents, exist. Muslim terrorists, on the other hand, when they attack Unbelievers, are doing so according to what the Qur’an and Hadith command — that is, to kill Unbelievers because they are Unbelievers..
We would be remiss if we did not also take exception to the decision of the editorial board of the New Castle News to publish the letter. Of course, it is everyone’s right to express one’s opinion, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
This is a given. But it is also the right of a privately owned paper to choose the material in publishes, especially in a time when we are trying to unite the country, not fracture it. This is not the first time the paper has published disparaging letters about Islam and Muslims, but enough is enough. Imagine if the paper were to publish disparaging letters about Jews or Judaism. We think it would never happen. Why Muslims, then?
Why, indeed? Could it have something to do with 9/11? Or the nearly 32,000 terrorist attacks by Muslims around the world since 9/11? Might it have something to do with Muslim terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, Orlando, Chattanooga? Or other attacks in London, Manchester, Paris, Nice, Toulouse, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Malmo, Helsinki, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Beslan? Or in Mumbai, Delhi, Beijing? Might these be reasons enough why the New Castle News printed a letter that does not baselessly “disparage” Islam, as John Hamed says, but merely describes, in unflattering but truthful terms, the commandments in the Qur’an and the observable behavior of some Muslims?
We depend on the propriety of the editorial board to chose material that advances the benefits and comity of its readers, not sowing the seeds of divisiveness and inter-religious warfare.
The press has one obligation: to tell the truth. It is under no obligation to act as an apologist for Islam or for any other faith or cause. It certainly should not be deliberately censoring any negative material about Islam because this displeases some Muslims, who complain that this sows “the seeds of divisiveness and inter-religious warfare.” The “public relations officer” for the local Muslim Society appears not to understand, even as he claims to respect, the freedom of speech, which of course must include the freedom to criticize. And the “seeds of divisiveness” and “inter-religious warfare” which John Hamed, Jr. complains were being sown in a single letter that was critical of Islam, are in fact re-sown among 1.5 billion Muslims, who in their daily prayers curse the Kuffar, that is, Jews and Christians, seventeen times a day.
Robert Spencer explains:
In the course of praying the requisite five prayers a day, an observant Muslim will recite the Fatihah, the first surah of the Qur’an and the most common prayer in Islam, seventeen times. The final two verses of the Fatihah ask Allah: “Show us the straight path, the path of those whom Thou hast favoured; not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.” The traditional Islamic understanding of this is that the “straight path” is Islam — cf. Islamic apologist John Esposito’s book Islam: The Straight Path. The path of those who have earned Allah’s anger are the Jews, and those who have gone astray are the Christians.
This is not my [Spencer’s] interpretation; it comes from the classic Islamic commentaries on the Qur’an. The renowned Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir explains that “the two paths He described here are both misguided,” and that those “two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why ‘anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as ‘led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians.”
Ibn Kathir’s understanding of this passage is not a lone “extremist” interpretation. In fact, most Muslim commentators believe that the Jews are those who have earned Allah’s wrath and the Christians are those who have gone astray. This is the view of Tabari, Zamakhshari, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, the Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, and Ibn Arabi, as well as Ibn Kathir. One contrasting, but not majority view, is that of Nisaburi, who says that “those who have incurred Allah’s wrath are the people of negligence, and those who have gone astray are the people of immoderation.”
But that “divisiveness” that every practicing Muslim engages in by saying those five daily prayers, and cursing Jews and Christians, is only one small part of the hostility toward Unbelievers that Islam inculcates. There are at least 109 verses that command Muslims to engage in Jihad warfare against the Infidels; they are unambiguous in their meaning.
Here are a representative handful:
2:191-193: “And kill them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is worse than slaughter. But do not fight them by the holy mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, kill them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is all-forgiving, all-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no hatred except for evildoers.”
4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore do not take friends and protectors from them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and kill them wherever you find them; do not take any of them as friend or helper.”
5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.”
8:12: “When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast terror into the unbelievers’ hearts; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!”
8:39: “Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s entirely; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do.”
8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to strike terror thereby into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”
9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”
9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and do not practice the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book — until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.”
9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”
Would it be wrong — would it be “divisive”? — if the newspaper were to publish those verses just above? Should a newspaper be in the business of protecting Islam, or any other faith? What of Muhammad’s reported words — “I have been made victorious through terror”? Would that be useful for non-Muslims to learn about, as they try to comprehend Muslim terrorism, or is it deemed by John Hamed, Jr. as too incendiary, tending to “divide people” rather than to “bring them together,” which he apparently believes is what reporting is all about? By that logic, none of the thousands of terror attacks by Muslims should be reported, for they only increase “divisiveness.”
Shouldn’t we want to help readers understand the nature of Islam? And wouldn’t the best and fairest way be to quote from Islamic texts? Are we not to learn what is in the Qur’an, because of the negative effect that might have on how Islam and Muslims are perceived? Should protecting Islam from prying eyes be the goal of the newspaper? Where, in all this, do we place the truth? Should we be satisfied with what John Hamed, Jr. provides, when he tells us he has counted up the appearances of the words “mercy,” “love,’ and “peace” in the Qur’an, without explaining to whom — Allah, and fellow Muslims — those words are meant to be applied?
We look forward for more reasoned and civic minds to prevail. We hope that “We the People” means that we are all on this land to “make a more perfect union” in peace and humility to one another and to The One God of all.
This letter is a naked attempt to suppress speech about Islam in a newspaper, written by the “public relations” officer of the local Islam Society, who would prefer that nothing linking the teachings of Islam to violence or terrorism be printed. He misrepresents the contents of the Qur’an, choosing not to recognize that the “mercy,” “peace,” and “love” he finds mentioned in it are directed only at Believers, and he avoids altogether the many verses commanding Jihad warfare, and the sowing of terror in the hearts of the Unbelievers (see 3:151, 8:12, 8:60), and the insistence that Muslims must not take Jews and Christians as friends, “for they are friends only with each other.” John Hamed, Jr. misrepresents and backdates the Muslim presence in the New World, first to Columbus’s voyages (with his claim of “two Muslim captains, the Pinzons,” on the Nina and Pinta, and of “an Arab navigator” on the Santa Maria), and then, even more preposterously, backdates Muslims in the New World all the way back to 700 and 800 A.D., basing this on the fraudulent claims of the semi-demented Barry Fell, a zoologist who, out of his field and out of his depth, “found evidence” of inscriptions in the New World by a dozen Old World peoples, including, apparently, Arabs. And in addition to Fell, there is Youssef Mroueh, and others who claim that Muslim Chinese arrived in 1178 (a date favored by Erdogan), and that Muslim Africans, speaking Mandinka, arrived from Mali in 1312. In addition, there are the reports of the Chinese Admiral Zheng He, born a Muslim, who supposedly landed in the New World circa 1420, though he never claimed to have done so.
Hamed even manages to bring in, as his final appeal to “comity,” the preamble to the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.” Of course, the Constitution is a sober political document, and the “more perfect union” it aims for is a political union formed by the states, that had been imperfectly joined under the Articles of Confederation. It has nothing to say about getting groups to get along by suppressing information that could cause “divisiveness.” It does not end, as Hamed no doubt wishes it would, in a call for limits on free speech where they would cause offense to any group.
Since he has brought up the Constitution, perhaps we should remind John Hamed, Jr. that in many important respect the Constitution is antithetical to Muslims. The American government owes its legitimacy to how well it reflects the will of the people, however imperfectly expressed through elections. For Muslims, a government is legitimate if the ruler is a good Muslim, even if he is a despot; democracy is not necessary. Furthermore, under our Constitution, freedom of religion for all is guaranteed in the First Amendment. In Muslim states, Islam and Muslims are privileged, and non-Muslims are made to understand and feel their inferior status. Our Constitution prevents that. Nor does the Constitution recognize the right to punish “blasphemy” as happens in Muslim states. We are guaranteed the freedom of speech, including the freedom to mock any and all faiths. That, in the view of John Hamed, Jr., is one more freedom we ought to choose not to exercise. Many readers of the New Castle News will, one hopes, beg to differ.
Muslim girls wearing the hijab in primary school will be asked why by inspectors. The reason they give will then be written in schools reports amid fears girls are being forced by their parents.
The chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, announced the move today. She wants to make sure schools are not breaching equality laws by requiring only girls to wear religious garments. 'In seeking to address these concerns, inspectors will talk to girls who wear such garments to ascertain why they do so in the school,' said Spielman.
Spielman says ... that primary school hijabs could be seen to be sexualising children because the headscarf is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty in front of men when Muslim girls reach puberty.
Spielman asked to meet the campaigners after a Sunday Times survey revealed that nearly a fifth (18%) of 800 state primary schools, in 11 regions of England list the hijab as part of their uniform policy, mostly as an optional item.
One of the country’s top state primary schools revealed it had banned the hijab for girls under eight last autumn, despite protests by parents, and intends to ban it for girls under 11 from next September.
Neena Lall, head teacher of St Stephen’s School in Upton Park, east London, where most pupils are of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage, said children aged three to five were turning up at nursery wearing the hijab. “There is no requirement for girls to wear the hijab until puberty. It is not appropriate in a primary school,” she said.
Toby Howarth, the bishop of Bradford, a city where some Church of England primary schools permit the hijab, said: “Banning the hijab would be counter-productive in Bradford. It would be telling parents we know better than them what their children should wear.”
Amina Lone, a former Labour parliamentary candidate and one of the activists who met the chief inspector, said: “Covering of young girls is often the first sign of young people being treated unequally. This often leads to girls being pulled out of swimming lessons, dance classes or other creative lessons.”
Aisha Ali-Khan, a Muslim feminist campaigner and a teacher for 13 years, told MailOnline: 'The hijab should be banned from primary schools but local authorities are afraid of causing offence to the Muslim community and afraid of being branded as racist.
'A headscarf or hijab, is usually worn by girls who have reached puberty, to prevent unwanted sexual advances from men. How can a four or five year old child make an informed choice? It's not allowed in Islam so why is it being allowed in schools? You should only do something if you want to and understand the concept behind it. But the local authorities are too scared to go back and our government has allowed this to be part of the school policy and that's wrong. They are allowing decisions to be made by schools and local authorities which is worrying and they are trying to wash their hands of all responsibility.'
Gina Khan, a children's rights campaigner in Birmingham, added: 'Schools are allowing it because they are afraid of being called Islamophobic and they have been told that this is a religious garment - but they need to support Muslim girls to have free choices, not to be set apart from other children.'
The Department for Education refused to comment but indicated that it was up to schools to set their own uniform policies.
Professor Christian de Moliner claims that a second society has formed in France, which he described as: “A branch that wants to settle their lives on religious values and is fundamentally opposed to the liberal consensus on which our country was founded.
“We can never convert the 30% of Muslims who demand the introduction of sharia law to the merits of our democracy and secularism.
“We are now allowing segregation to take place that does not say its name. Rather than veil the face or adopt unimaginable measures in democracy (remigration, forced evictions of the most radical), why not establish a dual system of law in France?”
De Moliner writes that Emmanuel Macron winning the Presidential election will not make the problems disappear, it will only kick the can down the road.
“We will never be able to eradicate the radical Islamism,” he says, adding: “While we are not yet at open war, the faithful of the Prophet are already regrouping in areas sometimes governed by special rules.”
The academic’s ‘solution’ is to create a “state inspired by colonial Algeria and Mayotte of the twentieth century: one territory, one government, but two peoples: the French with the usual laws and Muslims with Qur’anic status (but only for those who choose it).”
“The latter will have the right to vote unlike the natives of colonial Algeria, but they will apply Shariah in everyday life, to regulate matrimonial laws (which will legalize polygamy) and inheritance.”
“They will no longer apply to French judges for disputes between Muslims, but to Cadis. On the other hand, conflicts between Christians and believers will remain the responsibility of ordinary courts.”
“However, this system would involve schools or hospitals reserved for believers and therefore the creation of local committees that will manage them independently. A council of ulemas will fix the religious law, but the autonomy will stop there.”
“It is obviously out of the question that an embryonic Muslim government is settling in France.”
“This system worked without too many problems from 1890 to 1940 in Algeria.”
It’s sad that this is now openly being regarded as a solution to Europes Islamism problem…
Trump is already the most successful U.S. president since Ronald Reagan
The Canadian media has failed in its coverage of the biggest political news in the world in many years. Trump is the most effective U.S. president since Reagan
by Conrad Black
It is distressing to read and listen to the nonsense in the Canadian media about Donald Trump. It is too early to predict whether he will be a successful president or not. But no one relying on the Canadian media would be aware that he has more than doubled the economic growth rate, reduced illegal immigration by about 80 per cent, withdrawn from the insane Paris Climate accord, helped add trillions to U.S. stock market values, created nearly two million new jobs, led the rout of ISIL, and gained full Chinese adherence to the unacceptability of North Korean nuclear military capability. He will probably pass the greatest tax cuts and reforms since Reagan, if not Lyndon Johnson, by Christmas, and may throw out the most unpopular feature of Obamacare, the coercive mandate, with it.
He can be a tiresome and implausible public figure at times, and the reservations widely held about him, in the United States and elsewhere, are understandable and not unfounded. He is, however, the most effective U.S. president since Reagan. In the 20 pre-Trump years, over $5 trillion and scores of thousands of American casualties were squandered in Middle East wars (while most Iraqis were handed over to Iranian influence), an immense humanitarian refugee tragedy was provoked, along with the greatest world economic crisis since the 1930s, American GDP per capita growth and capital investment shrunk by 75 per cent, the work force lost over 15 million people, millions of unskilled, illegal migrants were admitted, and the national debt of 233 years of American independence more than doubled in the last seven years of Obama. Those 20 years were the only time of absolute decline in American history, as well as a period of prolonged economic stagnation. Americans, unlike the older great nations of Europe and the Far East, have never experienced such setbacks and stagnation, and don’t like or accept them. It was in these circumstances that this unusual president was elected.
It is distressing to read and listen to the nonsense in the Canadian media about Donald Trump
In addition to these American problems, there is the international phenomenon of ever-widening disparity of wealth and income, with no obvious solution — taking money from people who have earned it and giving it to those who haven’t will just drive out the high economic achievers who provide most of the personal income tax revenue already. And there is the problem that, for the first time, higher technology produces unemployment rather than employment, and increased productivity, unlike in the Reagan years, has not, until Trump was elected, led to job creation.
In many advanced democratic countries, the political systems have begun to fragment. The German Social Democrats have half-disintegrated, the British Labour Party has been taken over by outright Marxists, France has practically obliterated its traditional parties except for the residue of the Gaullists, and in elections where only 30 per cent of eligible voters voted, the French handed the legislature to a party that was only invented, out of whole cloth, 15 months ago. The Austrian and Czech electorates have divided their support among a variety of parties and elevated, as France has, men in their thirties, who could be young nephews of Justin Trudeau. It was in these circumstances that Hillary Clinton narrowly kept her Democratic Party out of the hands of Senator Bernie Sanders and his socialist option, and Donald Trump, as he smashed the Bush-McCain-Romney tweedle-dee near-Democrats, also defeated the Ted Cruz far-right Republicans.
The Canadian media has almost uniformly bought into the line of the Trump-hating national U.S. media, that he is already a failed and probably illegitimate president. I was on CTV with my friend Evan Solomon about 10 days ago, and the preceding commentators claimed that “the noose is tightening around (Trump’s) neck,” and another said that it all “reminded (him) of Nixon,” as if Trump were about be convicted of “high crimes and misdemeanours.” The stupidest of these inescapable divinations of impeachable skullduggery I have seen is Scott Gilmore’s Maclean’s piece of Nov. 11, titled “Donald Trump; Putin’s Manchurian Idiot,” though he in fact excuses Trump from the charge of being a Manchurian candidate. Gilmore baldly states that there was heavy collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, though Trump, in his simplicity may not have known of it. The only person in American history elected president who has made billions of dollars and had never sought or held a public office, elected or otherwise, or a high military position, is dismissed as an imbecile who has no concept of what forces, treasonous as they obviously were, propelled him to his great office.
Canadians should recognize that a tawdry political charade is going on in the United States
One of Canada’s most eminent emeritus journalistic personalities approvingly just sent me a really insane piece from the droolingly Americophobic (U.K.) Guardian, fortunately on the verge of bankruptcy and reduced to a pitiful variation of crowd-funding, which asserts that Putin has manipulated the entire American political system for many years. This astounding surge of Russia to the status of a bogeyman greater than it ever enjoyed in the febrile ravings of Joseph R. McCarthy is piquant. Russia is an economic basketcase with a GDP smaller than Canada’s though it has more than four times our population. It is a geographically important country and a distinguished culture but has no durable political institutions, has never had a day of good government by Western standards, and could be bankrupted and swept out of the seas and skies of the world by the United States in a couple of weeks. The only danger it presents to America is that, if the Americans rebuff Russia too robustly, it will drive them into the arms of the Iranians and Chinese in a way that would be counter-productive to the U.S. national interest.
Canadians of all people should recognize that what is really going on in the United States is the tawdriest political charade in the country’s history. The Clinton campaign commissioned, through intermediaries, a dossier of salacious gossip and outright fabrications about Trump, from unidentified, unverifiable Kremlin sources, desperately shopped it to the U.S. media (remember the “Golden Shower” of Trump-synchronized urinating prostitutes in a Moscow hotel?), and managed to hand off the dossier to the FBI, politicizing that organization. Trump fired the FBI director, James Comey, who, in revenge, removed a government document, a much contested memo to himself about a conversation with the president, to force the appointment of a special counsel, who turned out to be none other than Comey’s chum and mentor and preceding FBI director, Robert Mueller.
Mueller is reduced to the usual fascistic shakedown of American prosecutors
Mueller has thrashed around with the Trump-collusion nonsense, which Obama launched a year ago, and which has not produced a shred of probative evidence of collusion. Mueller is reduced to the usual fascistic shakedown of American prosecutors: a pre-dawn Gestapo-style raid on Trump’s former campaign manager’s home (Paul Manafort), with armed men in his bedroom with his wife in sleeping attire (not uncommon for people sleeping at night in their own bedrooms), and then threw all the spaghetti at the wall — “conspiracy against the United States,” but for alleged financial activities years before Manafort knew Trump. It has emerged that this false dossier commissioned by the Clinton campaign is the only evidence there is of Trump-Kremlin collusion, all that is supposed to be “tightening a noose around (Trump’s) neck.” It is a stupendous farce confected by Kremlin low-lives for $10 million dollars paid over by the Clinton campaign, a partisan smear job. But you would ransack the Canadian media in vain to find it exposed as such, because they have all drunk the hand-me-down Kool Aid of the Never Trumpers and the anti-Trump Resistance. Canada’s media have almost totally failed in its coverage of the biggest political news in the world in many years.
Note: Last week, after my my reflections on Wilfrid Laurier University, someone among the editors omitted my reference to the outrageous criticism of graduate student Lindsay Shepherd, for showing a seminar a podcast of a debate between Professor Jordan Peterson and Nicholas Matte, about whether Peterson could be compelled to address trans-gendered people and those of ambiguous sexuality in specific prescribed terms. I recommended Christie Blatchford’s column in the same edition of the National Post on that subject, and I still do. It is scandalous that our universities are being assaulted by, and are caving in to, these enemies of freedom of free rational expression. The taxpayers must not be required to continue to pay billions of dollars annually to transform our universities into centres of censorship and enforced bigotry and ignorance.
If there were one word that we should expunge from the political lexicon, it would be “cowardly.” This is not because there are no acts or deeds to which it can rightly be applied, but because our politicians and officials have lost the ability to use it aptly. They fail to make the proper moral distinction between cowardice and other qualities.
Time and again this description is given to acts which, though repellent or evil, are certainly not cowardly, indeed are conspicuously brave. The latest instances are Mayor de Blasio’s comments after an Uzbek man driving a rented truck killed eight people and injured a dozen others on a busy bicycle path in New York City on Tuesday, and the United Nations Special Envoy to Somalia, Michael Keating, and the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, responding to the slaughter of at least 239 people in a bombing in Mogadishu by a suspected al-Shabaab terrorist on October 14.
Mr. Keating said: “Such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners.” Mr. Johnson condemned “in the strongest terms the cowardly attacks in Mogadishu.” Would either of them care to fill a truck with explosives and deliberately blow it up with himself inside in order to kill as many other people as possible? Certainly it would take more courage than I possess to do such a thing: though I hasten to add that I have reasons other than lack of courage to inhibit me.
Nonetheless, it is an important point in moral reflection that what is ordinarily thought of as a virtue, namely courage, is not virtuous in a free-standing way, independent of its purpose. Messrs. Keating and Johnson, and Mr. de Blasio, too, forget this. Many a moral monster has been courageous, but his courage in no way lessens his moral reprehensibility. Whether it actually adds to it is another question; it may certainly increase its effect in practice.
The danger of using the word “cowardly” in so obviously mistaken a way is that it gives the impression that, if the attack were not cowardly, if to the contrary it were brave, it would not be as bad and indeed might even be worthy of admiration. And since to blow yourself up in a truck is conspicuously brave by comparison with what most of us would be prepared to do, it follows that these denunciations perversely invite us to consider terrorists acts as in some way admirable—which, I need hardly add, they are not.
Somalia has played only a very small part in my life: I visited its capital in the 1980s, when Mohamed Siad Barre was still President. Brief as was my visit, however, it was instructive.
I flew from Riyadh to Mogadishu on Saudi Arabian Airlines. For the first and only time in my life I flew first class, for lack of seating anywhere else. As soon as the plane took off, the black niqabs of the women were thrown off with a flourish, revealing the women underneath to be stylishly, expensively, and in some cases scantily dressed in tight-fitting designer clothes, as well as heavily made up. The reality of a society is often different from at least some of its appearance; and many years later, a doctor who had worked in Saudi told me that the inviolability of the women’s quarters in a Saudi household and the niqab itself were conducive to extramarital affairs, provided the male lover was prepared to don a niqab himself, which he often was.
The strongly Italian atmosphere and influence in Mogadishu, despite the many years and dramatic events since independence in 1960, surprised me. Whatever else might have been said of the Italians as colonial overlords, they knew how to build a graceful city (now, of course, comprehensively destroyed), and they had a beneficial effect on the cuisine.
I received a lesson in the politics of aid in Mogadishu that I have never forgotten. Siad Barre was a dictator, and though from a later perspective his reign may have seemed almost like a golden age, this is not how it seemed then (history being experienced forwards and not backwards). The country was not prospering. Far from it; there were reports of famine, there was a cholera epidemic raging in the north, and there was fighting with Ethiopia in the Ogaden.
I went to the offices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to obtain information about what was happening, but the staff of that august office were on strike and there was no one to receive me. According to the notice board, the staff of the UNHCR had two grievances. The first and lesser of the two was that the portions of food in the staff canteen were too small; the second and more serious was that the Somali government wanted to force the staff to convert their hard currency salaries into Somali shillings at the official rate, which was many times that of the open, or black, market rate.
The Somali government wanted to use what amounted to aid money as a source of foreign currency, not of course for the benefit of the country or its population as a whole, but for that of its own elite, while the aid workers expected to live at least at the standard of the former Italian colonialists. I repeat: There was a famine and cholera epidemic at the time of the strike. Aid certainly aided, but it did not aid the poor.
Another lesson I learned was that neither alliances nor political friendships were permanent, but rather as mutable as a gestalt switch. For many years, Somalia had been an ally of the Soviet Union, as Ethiopia had been that of the United States. Indeed, Siad Barre came to power promising, and trying to implement, a regime of “scientific socialism” as it was then still called. What Marx and Engels would have made of it is anybody’s guess. Somalia was not home to much of an industrial proletariat, to put it mildly.
But then Ethiopia had its revolution and tried a little collectivization of its own (leading to millions of deaths), and in the process became a firm ally and client of the Russians. Since the mutual hatred of Somalia and Ethiopia ran far deeper than mere ideology, Somalia promptly forswore the Russians and now sided with the democratic West in the Cold War. It would have been comic if it had not been tragic.
Interestingly, in Somalia, there was no nostalgia for Soviet days (as there was for the days of Italian rule). The one remnant of Soviet influence that I found was an English-Somali phrase book which I still treasure, with such useful phrases as, “How many workers are there on your collective farm?” and “Hand me the opera glasses, please.”
Finally, my brief visit to Somalia taught me to be skeptical of one theory purporting to explain why post-colonial Africa had experienced such difficulties in its development: namely that the borders of countries were the purely arbitrary constructions of the colonial powers, such that the polities contained within them attracted no loyalty from their populations.
In fact Somalia was not so arbitrary a construction. Its borders corresponded—not perfectly, but reasonably well—with the extent of the Somali population. But the clan nature of the Somali people led to seemingly perpetual conflicts over who should control the state. Other African polities that more or less coincided with their “natural” borders varied greatly in their fate, from Botswana (formerly Bechuanaland), by far the most successful country in Africa, to Rwanda and Burundi, long bywords for the most vicious and devastating of catastrophes, passing through Lesotho (formerly Basutoland) and Swaziland.
Occasionally I encounter Somali immigrants, and though my experience of their country was very limited, they are (unless I delude myself) delighted to meet someone who has even a brief firsthand experience of their homeland. It creates at least a momentary connection or understanding between us; and that must come as some slight relief to people living in a social world that is alien, and frequently hostile where it is not indifferent, to them.
The meaningful, if unstated, question is whether the Beatles, the enormously sucessful rock band formed in Liverpool, northern England in 1960, can save William Gladstone, the British politician and leader of the Liberal Party who served as prime minister for 12 years in non-consecutive four terms between 1868 and 1894, the only person in Britain to serve four terms.
Now, students at the University of Liverpool, led by a 20 year old named Alisha Raithatha, are petitioning the University to have Gladstone's name removed from a dorm, a hall of residence, which also carries the name of Roscoe, in a building which is currently being demolished to be re-developed. Raithatha may be regarded as one of the increasing number of "snowflakes" among British students, youngsters who are part of, and live according to, the prescriptions of grievance culture, judging the past by the standards of today, more prone to take offence than previous generations, disinviting or preventing controversial speakers at their universities. The sad situation now is, as Professor Robert George has said, "too few have courage to stand up to those who want to shout down dissenting speech."
Snowflakes are falling and keep falling all over the political place, bringing with them an atmosphere of self-righeouness, temper tanrums and unwillingness to engage in any robust debate on issues not to their liking. The snowflakes are attempting to "decolonize" the English Department at Cambridge University in England, to remove the 19th century imperialist, though generous, philanthropist Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College, Oxford, to influence the BBC TV production of Howard's End by incorporating black characters who never appear in the famous novel by E.M. Forster published in 1910. Curiously, a sentence from the book seems relevant to present circumstances : "Actual life is full of false clues and signposts that lead nowhere. We nerve ourselves for a crisis that never comes."
The issue of past slavery is a compelling one in Britain as in the U.S. One surprising target in recent years has been and remains Lord Nelson, the heroic and widely admired admiral, whose tall statue in Trafalgar Square, London, is the welcome home for pigeons who rest on his head. Snowflakes have called for the removal of he statue. The pigeons should not suffer because Nelson used his seat in the House of Lords to support friends who ran slave plantations in the West Indies. And now in New York City, Italian-Americans and others may soon be saying Goodbye Columbus to the great 16th century Admiral from Genoa.
The Liverpool snowflakes were "horrified" that were living in a building that was made unpleasant by the name of Gladstone. The students evidently lack any real knowledge of this austere figure, educated at Eton and Oxford, member of Parliament at age 23, a reformer who switched parties from conservative to liberal, and grew more radical with age. In many ways he laid the basis of the British welfare state, introduced the secret ballot for voting, expanded in 1884 the vote to working men in rural areas, critic of imperialism, and a person who spent a lifetime trying to obtain Home Rule for Ireland, a project that was defeated in the House of Lords in 1893.
The snowflakes did not know all this but they perhaps know that William's father, Sir John Gladsone, owned sugar plantations in the Caribbean, British Guyana and Jamaica, for which he was compensated with £100,000 for losing hundreds of slaves when slavery was abolished in 1833. As an MP, William Gladsone who favored banning the slave trade, had also favored owners getting compensation as well as calling for the improvement of the conditions of the slaves.
Instead of Gladsone, the snowflakes suggested the name of their building should be changed to Jon Snow, a Channel 4 newsreader. Paradoxically, Snow ,now 70, had been expelled from the Unversity in 1970 while a law student there for participting in a demonstration against the Universiy's investments in apartheid South Africa. However, later in 2011 he got an honorary degree from the University.
This call for change of name in the case of Gladstone resembles that a few years ago when the Colston Girls's School in Bristol, west England, had to grapple with the call to change the name of the School because of the link to Edward Colston, a prominent slave trader in the 17th century. He had shipped 100,000 African slaves to the West Indies and America, but was also a leading philanthropist in Bristol and had financed the creation of the School. The Colston name remains.
In the case of Gladstone in Liverpool, the Beatles may come to the rescue. One of their well-known songs is Penny Lane, written in 1967 probably by Paul McCartney. Penny Lane is a bus terminus and a shopping area in Liverpool where McCartney and John Lennon used to meet. The possible problem is not the sexual allusions in the song, but that the area is named after James Penny, a slave ship captain, a local slave trader who opposed the abolition of the slave trade.
Liverpool public authorities are not likely to entertain, and thousands of Beatle fans would agree, any call to remove the name Penny Lane, "in my ears and in my eyes." It must remain, irrespective of past slavery. Similarly, Liverpool University authorities should act in similar fashion. And perhaps the remaining Beatles might write another song, Gladstone is my bag.
The Liverpool snowflakes should go back to their dorm and their studies and be informed of the amusing words of Benjamin Disraeli on Gladstone, his fierce political rival, "he had no single redeeming defect." From a meterological point of view, snowflakes are light and pleasant, but in mass they are dangerous, and may cause a blizzard and obstruction. Liverpool should take care.
It takes courage – although Prof. Phyllis Chesler probably doesn't think twice about it – to decide to raise the level of public awareness on Muslim treatment of women in a period during which any criticism of Islam is immediately branded as "Islamophobia" and some of the people who utter criticism are either in hiding or protected by bodyguards.
Just as much courage is required to expose the false world of liberal feminists who ignore real Islamic Gender Apartheid and reserve the "A" word for lies, lies and more lies that condemn Israel.
Chesler is in a unique position, as this selection of her articles on Muslim women, published from 2005 to 2016, shows. She is truly familiar with the topic due to her own personal experience as a college student who married a Muslim fellow student and found herself in purdah in Kabul. That story is told in the book's opening article, powerful because it is recounted from within by someone with a Western, non-Muslim world view. She is also able to write on the different aspects of the topic objectively due to her illustrious academic career and thorough methods of research.
And she is first and foremost a woman who really cares about women the world over and thus cannot help crying out emotionally about what happens to some of the women she describes. Neither could I, nor will the reader.
Chesler's style is, as usual, flowing and immensely readable, and her way with words makes for interesting reading in addition to the interest created by the topic itself.
She deplores the fact that women living in Islamic countries are increasingly covered in burqas – or "body bags" to Chesler, who also criticizes the limits on what they are allowed to do. Nonetheless, she is fair about the dilemma this raises, because after all, there are Muslim women who want to wear burqas and burkinis and who identify with the restrictions imposed on their lives and appearance. How, she asks, leaving the question open, does one differentiate between "free choice and forced choice" without limiting choice on the one hand and abandoning forced women on the other? In Western countries at least, she feels strongly that one cannot take a chance and that these total coverings should be banned.
What Chesler makes abundantly clear, however, is what happens to Muslim women who defy that forced "choice". The book includes horrendous and documented examples of deprivation and atrocities, one of the hardest to bear the stoning of a 13-year-old and other helpless women for being raped (in Sharia-ruled regimes, rape is seen as the woman's fault while the men are barely punished, if at all). "A shudder of joy went through the crowd" she quotes from a description of the stoning, evoking the macabre crowds who gathered to witness witch burnings during Europe's Dark Ages.
Honor killings for speaking to a man or other behavior deemed unacceptable to Islam, genital mutilation as a matter of course, acid thrown on the faces of women who do not succumb - this is the way ordinary women in Islamic countries live. It is all in this book, for Western romantics to see. The well worn mantras about "the peaceful, real Islam" are exposed for what they are, certainly when it comes to women.
Worst of all, many of the women are fanatically cruel to their sisters, just as the men are. Chesler, a world-famous expert on honor killings, quotes women in Khan Yunis, Gaza, who declare that "a woman who makes a mistake deserves to die." Palestinian women, she concludes sadly, seem to have internalized misogyny - and one cannot blame that on Israel.
When women resisted the hijab they were forced into the blazing sun in Gaza and Chesler's irony is cutting: "Free Gaza?" she asks - "From whom?"
The West does not go out of its way to interfere in a sovereign nation's internal activities, nor does the UN, whose purview it is. Chesler, however, demands one standard of human rights for everyone.
A particularly shocking article tells of the pitiful young Afghani boys forced to dance and entice the homosexual acts ostensibly banned by Islam. "Neither UNICEF nor Karzai will rescue them," she writes.
However, as Chesler documents, minding your own business doesn't really work in today's global village. Early on, she predicted the slow but steady acceptance and turning of a blind eye to the misogynist aspects of multiculturalism, now that the world is flooded with Muslim immigrants and refugees. Muslims, as opposed to other religious immigrants with similar practices, bring their customs with them to Europe and the USA, she says, tracing the process country by country in Europe, also exposing Islamization in America. She asks - prophetically, as it turns out - "When will the West wake up and smell the bomb?" adding that "the liberal left, Jews included, does not really believe a war has been declared on the West."
Chesler reminds us that Western women have found that when they are in Islamic countries for whatever reason, Muslim men do not consider them off limits – journalist Lara Logan and other victims' ordeals are brought to show that it is, in fact, quite the other way. America, under Obama, she says, did nothing and actually added fuel to the fire, citing the US sailor who donned a hijab when a US vessel was stopped in the Persian Gulf.
It is in her analysis of the West's reaction to Islam and the hypocrisy of Western feminists that Chesler is at her most incisive. The liberal penchant for blaming the period of colonialism for all the ills of the Islamic world leads to her wry remark that "stoning cannot be blamed on colonialism." She exposes the lengths taken to avoid writing Muslim/Islam – e.g. 'Afghan' atrocities – although no one is fooled anymore by the word-laundering.
She also shows how uncritical postmodern acceptance of other cultures leads to liberal feminist hypocritical refusal to condemn murders of women of color or Muslim women, defining them as internal issues unless perpetrated by whites, and to their subsequently ignoring that all women, including white and Jewish ones, are created equal. Being pro-Israel precludes one's being a feminist today, it seems.
Chesler laments the demise of a feminism that cared about all the world's women. Today's feminists studiously ignore all the discrimination and atrocities of Muslim women described so thoroughly in this book. They do not demonstrate in support of Yazidi women and other non-Muslim female victims in areas conquered by ISIS. Instead, they are occupied with condemnation of Israel's fictional mistreatment of the few Palestinian Arab women under its jurisdiction in Area C of Judea and Samaria (4% of the Arab population in the region) - who never had it so good. The other 96% suffer real discrimination in the Palestinian Authority, but that is considered internal and acceptable.
Conservatives, she concludes, are today's feminists, while liberals have become misogynists. And intersectionality means that the Israeli "occupation" leaves no room on the feminist agenda for the evils of Islamic Gender Apartheid.
Read this book. You owe it to the West and to downtrodden women the world over
The Important Symbolism, but Probable Futility, of the Taylor Force Act
by A.J. Caschetta
The Taylor Force Act (TFA) passed the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on Wednesday and is expected to pass the full house with wide bipartisan support. The Taylor Force Act marks a noble and long overdue departure from the “anything goes” attitude toward Palestinian terror incitement of previous administrations, but it’s unlikely to have a decisive impact on how the PA operates.
The bill is named for US Army veteran Taylor Force, who was murdered while studying in Israel by Palestinian terrorist Bashar Massalh in March 2016. As it does with all other Palestinian terrorists who die carrying out their attacks, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been making monthly payments to Massalh’s family ever since. These funds, from the PA’s “Martyr’s Fund,” are directed through the PLO, which Abbas also controls.
U.S. congressional leaders responded to Force’s murder with rare unanimity and determination to put an end to the so-called “pay-to-slay” program and other forms of PA incitement. Sort of.
The Taylor Force Act is designed to trigger a cutoff of US aid to the Palestinians unless the PA takes steps to end terrorism by “individuals under its jurisdictional control,” publically condemns and investigates terror attacks, and stops paying monthly stipends to the families of terrorists.
First, authority to certify PA compliance with these three criteria is vested solely in the State Department (in both House and Senate versions), which for years had refused to budge from its traditional depiction of the PA as a force of moderation and peace partner. Fear of the alternatives to PA President Mahmoud Abbas (now in the 12th year of his 4-year term) has led the department to engage in absurd defenses of his regime in the past, and there is no sign of that changing. Indeed, State has already all but certified PA compliance with the first two of the three criteria in its 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism, which commends Abbas’s counter-terrorism efforts.
Moreover, the legislation has been watered down to allow some public entities and projects in Palestinian areas to continue receiving US funding on humanitarian grounds regardless of whether the PA is in compliance. Palestinian water projects, childhood vaccination programs and East Jerusalem hospitals are untouchable. “What good is there in punishing women and children for something they did not do?” explained Senate co-sponsor Lindsay Graham in August.
While no one wants Palestinian women and children to go without medical care, vaccinations, or clean water, the history of terrorism funding teaches us that all aid is fungible. With a little imagination, most aid dollars can be construed as benefiting innocent Palestinians somehow or another. The real peril for ordinary Palestinians is a governing apparatus so indifferent to their welfare that it spends over $190 million annually encouraging them to sacrifice their lives.
Like most autocracies, the PA isn’t likely to change its ways until its grip on power becomes unsustainable. Nothing short of a total cessation of US funding has much chance of instigating such change.
Palestinian leaders aren’t impressed by what they’ve seen so far. Shortly after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved TFA in August, the Abbas-led PLO Executive Committee issued a blistering statement pledging to continue providing “aid to the families of the martyrs and prisoners,” which it called a “national, moral, and humanitarian responsibility towards the occupation's victims.”
Others will surely step in to make up for any shortfall of funding in the “pay-to-slay” program. During the Second Intifada, Saddam Hussein sent $10,000 checks (later raised to $25,000) to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, and the King of Saudi Arabia held telethons to raise money for them. Perhaps this time around, as Daniel Pipes succinctly tweeted: “#Qatar will pay.”
But at least it won’t be us subsidizing terrorist blood money. If nothing else, the Taylor Force Act marks an important first step in divesting America from nearly a half-century of failed PLO leadership. That alone makes its passage worth celebrating.
A.J. Caschetta is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum and a senior lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Phyllis Chesler's new collection of articles, Islamic Gender Apartheid: Exposing a Veiled War against Woman, is shot through with a notes-from-the-front-lines urgency and a righteous rage. The earliest of these pieces date back to 2003; the most recent are a few months old. Together, they form a chronicle of the post-9/11 era as observed by the only top-tier second-wave American feminist who – as the pernicious patriarchy of the Muslim world was increasingly introduced into the West – remained true to her values, consistent in ideology and in principles. Other feminists, including the entire academic Women's Studies establishment, have linked arms with the sharia crowd. They've preached that it's wrong for Westerners, operating from positions of post-colonialist privilege and power, to profess to “save the brown woman from the brown man.” They've made a heroine out of the vile, hijab-clad Linda Sarsour, a booster of sharia and apologist for jihad whose star turn at the Women's March on Washington last January catapulted her to international fame. Even to suggest that such a person can be a feminist in any reasonable sense of the word is, of course, right out of 1984: war is peace, freedom is slavery, Sarsour is a feminist.
But that's the consensus now. And Chesler? Well, Chesler, in the eyes of her former sisters, is a traitor to the movement. Just ask feminist blogger Ellen Keim, who in a 2011 rant called Chesler “a rabid Islamophobe” and pronounced her “ignorant” of the very subject on which Chesler is, in fact, a walking encyclopedia. Quoting factual statements by Chesler about women under Islam, Keim said they were “typical of a person who cares more about justifying her own prejudice than in adding something constructive to the debate.” As for Chesler's account of Muslim sex slavery and trafficking, Keim flat-out refused to buy them: “Where does she get her ideas??” In the same year, another feminist blogger similarly mocked Chesler's “ideas” about women and Islam. Triumphantly, the blogger cited a recent lecture in which an “Islamist Feminist” explained it all: Egypt's January 25, 2011, revolution had actually been spearheaded by “highly-educated, professional, working women” who helped install Morsi's “Islamic, patriarchal society” because they knew the latter would afford better protection “from gropings on the street” – plus better health care and day care – than Mubarak's secular state did. (No, this is not a joke.)
This foolishness, this madness – this outright patriarchy-worship in the guise of feminism, this perverse insistence that political virtue always consists in taking the side of “the other,” even if “the other” is out to oppress or rape or even kill you – this is what Chesler is up against. And her only weapon is the facts. That's what this book is – 462 pages of facts about a culture whose systematic abuse of women she refuses to stop talking about. In these pieces, she takes us to Iran and Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Syria and Turkey, Nigeria and Pakistan, and France and Britain and the U.S. She attends to such phenomena as forced marriage, underage brides, honor killings, female genital mutilation (FGM), Muslim family rapes, female suicide bombers (and their Western defenders), splenetic Muslim cabdrivers in New York, slaveholding by a Muslim millionaire on Long Island, and much else. Not to mention plenty about burkas – about a burka ban in Syria, proposals for burka bans in the West, opponents of burka bans in the West, fights over the burka in Nantes, riots over the burka in Paris, and so on.
It's all there in Chesler's book. But the people who most need to read this stuff and take it to heart – the Women's March marchers, the pussy-hat wearers, the would-be glass-ceiling-breakers like Lena Dunham and self-described “nasty women” like Ashley Judd – they'll probably never go near this book. As for Women's Studies, of which Chesler is one of the founding mothers, it has – as Chesler herself laments in these pages – been “Stalinized,” shifting its concern from “the 'occupation' of women's bodies worldwide” to “the alleged occupation of a country that has never existed: 'Palestine.'” In 2015, the Women's Studies Association (WSA) actually voted to boycott Israel, the only country in the Middle East where women actually enjoy full equality. Meanwhile, as Chesler points out, the WSA hasn't bothered to condemn the brutal treatment of women by Hamas, ISIS, Boko Haram, or the Taliban. It hasn't condemned forced veiling in Saudi Arabia or FGM in Egypt. Across the Muslim world, little girls are forced into “marriages” with elderly men who already have other wives – but the WSA considers it inappropriate for Western women to comment on the practices of non-Western men.
This is official feminism in 2017. It is a mark of her strength of character, her enduring warrior spirit, and her fierce, abiding devotion to freedom and equality for all women that Phyllis Chesler refuses to be a part of it and isn't cowed for a moment by any of the noxious name-calling she's routinely subjected to. Islamic Gender Apartheid is an informative and illuminating piece of work; it is also a noble work – an act of moral duty and, yes, of love by a woman who (make no mistake) is the real thing.
At Phyllis Chesler's Book Release Party in New York, Sunday November 12
I'm afraid I don't have pictures of everyone there. Notable NER authors missing in the pictures below are James Como, G. Murphy Donovan and Evelyn Hooven.
It was held at the beautiful and spacious home of Nahma Sandrow and William Meyers
The food was delicious. Catered by Pini Ben-Ari of Olive Tree Caterers
Kendra Mallock and Phyllis Chelser
Samuel Hux and Daniel Mallock
Daniel Mallock, Kendra Mallock, Ibn Warraq and Rebecca Bynum
The room was bursting with scholars, lawyers, judges, psychoanalysts, novelists, psychotherapists, playwrights, poets, photographers, philanthropists, the retired President of a university, a Yiddish literature professor and a few beautiful little children. A good time was had by all.
That face, that face, that wonderful face. It shines, it glows, all over the place. Who would have thought that this face was the contenance of a Hollywood siren who was also a brilliant scientist whose invention helped pave the way for present day Wifi, GPS, and Bluetooth?
We know there is no official competition or Oscar for the title of the most beautiful woman in the world, and especially one who would shine anywhere. If the search was confined to Hollywood actresses in the mid 1900s, the Golden Age, the likely winner would be Hedy Lamarr, a close winner over other beauties, Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth.
Lamarr, born Jewish as Hedwig Kiesler in Vienna in November 1913, the daughter of a bank director and a pianist, grew up in the Jewish quarter of Vienna. She began her acting career as a teenager, aged 17, and gained notoriety for her role in the controversial Czech film Ecstasy in 1933 with its sensual passages. In one of them she appeared riding naked on a horse, and in another she simulated female orgasm. Almost certainly she was the first non-porn actress to do this on screen. The film was attacked by Pope Pius XI.
After a brief unhappy marriage with Fritz Mandl, a wealthy Austrian munitions manufacturer who sold arms to Nazi Germany, the young Kiesler escaped from Vienna, disguised as a maid and went to Paris, London, and then on the same ship as Louis B. Mayer, head of M.G.M., to New York and Hollywood where he signed her to a long term contract as Hedy Lamarr. In spite of the unhappy marriage she did however acquire from Mandl some understanding of military technology.
Few would consider Hedy a great actress with exceptional scope but her beauty led to roles in 37 films with Hollywood's galaxy of leading men, starting in 1938 with Charles Boyer in Algiers, and then with Robert Taylor, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Victor Mature among others. Interestingly, she was the first choice for the lead in Casablanca, but the role went to Ingrid Bergman.
On November 15, a documentary film, Bombshell: the Hedy Lamarr Story, produced by Susan Saradon is opening in London's Jewish Film Festival, and in Tribeca in New York. It brings to light the little known fact that the film star, mostly known for off screen romances and six marriages in her colorful life, was more than just a pretty face. The film in itself is a delightful shift from the ongoing distasteful revelations or allegations of sexual abuse in Tinsel Town.
Perhaps disarmingly, Lamarr herself complained about Hollywood's obsession with appearances, and mentioned her face was her "misfortine" and a "mask I cannot remove." Brains she insisted were more important than looks. In an earlier ghost written autobiography she identified herself not only as an actress but also as a scientist who found inventions easy to do. Among others she introduced a device to help people with limited mobility to get in and out of a bath. She helped the producer Howard Hughes create a kind of wing shape to make his planes go faster.
Lamarr deserves a place in the American story because of her invention, in partnership, of a device which can be regarded as an important key to present day wireless communication. Hedy partnered in this research with George Antheil, born in Trenton, New Jersey, an avant garde composer, with many film scores, but also a versatile person with other interests including film reporting, author of murder mysteries, and works on military affairs. Before World War II he was a member of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, and sponsored an exhibition of art banned by Nazi Germany.
Antheil purported to be an expert in female endocrinology and this brought him in touch with Hedy who was concerned to enhance her upper torso. But their relationship quickly moved from gland treatment to torpedoes.
Hedy had realized the signifiance of radio controlled torpedos that could damage or sink enemy ships. She also realized these torpedos could be easily detected and jammed, thus causing the torpedo to go off course. She had some knowledge of these matters from her first husband, Friedrich or Fritz Mandl, a munitions manufacturer, and she devised the idea of "frequency hopping." This meant using a piano roll to change randomly the signal sent to the torpedo with a range of 88 frequencies (the keys on a piano). The code was held by both the controlling ship and the torpedo, thus encrypting the signal because the enemy could not jam the constant changes in radio signals in all 88 frequencies. Lamarr and Antheil worked out controlling the frequency hopping in a player-piano mechanism.
The pair were granted a patent for developing the system on August 11, 1942. However, the project was not immediately adopted by the U.S. Navy. Not until 1962 was the Lamarr idea used by U.S. military ships during the Cuban blockade crisis. And not until 1997 was the contribution of Hedy officially recognized when the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave her an award. The electronic business adopted her device, and the U.S. Navy has used her invention to help transmit the underwater positions of enemy submarines.
It is now clear that Hedy Lamarr should be honored as a pioneer of wireless communication, as a heroine who aimed to combat Nazi Germany and prevent classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel. Her frequency hopping idea overlaps with spectrum communication technology and Wifi network connections, and cellphones, cordless and wireless telephones. Her work is an early form of spread spectrum techniques in which a signal generated in a particular bandwidth is spread over a wide frequency range. Her mechanism to synchronize changes between 88 frequencies was ahead of the efforts of Nazi engineers working on similar activity.
Every youngster today takes advantage of Hedy's contribution to innovative technology and their electronic devices and e-phones. They may be unfamiliar with her performances in the films of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but they can now honor her as a pioneer of wireless communications. They can appreciate that the most beautiful girl in the world can shine anywhere.
“It’s not just about sexual violence. For some students it’s just another way for Europeans to gang up against a prominent Muslim intellectual. We must protect Muslim students who believe and trust in him, and protect that trust.”
The statement by Eugene Rogan, director of the Middle East Centre at Oxford, explaining a few weeks ago his initial decision to allow Tariq Ramadan to continue teaching at Oxford, after the first set of his female accusers came forward, charging Ramadan with extreme violence, sexual assault, and rape, was an extraordinary example of moral confusion.
To be clear about the timeline of the cascading charges made against Tariq Ramadan: when Eugene Rogan made his fatuous remarks about Ramadan in early October, he did not know that in addition to the four women in Paris who have accused Ramadan of sexual violence and rape, three of whom have gone public (the fourth is still considering it), four other women would come forward in Geneva, where Ramadan taught at a high school in the 1980s and 1990s, to accuse him of seducing them when they were his trusting pupils, aged between 14 and 18.
But Rogan already had enough information to justify limiting Ramadan’s one-on-one interactions with female students. The women in Paris who have publicly charged Ramadan with extreme violence and rape are all Muslims. Far from being “Europeans” who chose to “gang up against a prominent Muslim intellectual,” a belief that Rogan ascribed to “some [Muslim] students,” there was no “gang-up.” The women came forward, obviously with palpable fear, and only dared to do so years after the sexual violence and rapes, for they had been frightened by the threats Ramadan made, that “if they dared say anything” about what he had done, harm could come to them. He threatened to blackmail one victim with compromising photos he possessed. For another victim, Henda Ayari, he made physical threats not just to her but, even more terrifying, threatened to harm her children. The wanton violence he inflicted on them gave them every reason to believe that he would carry out such threats. Henda Ayari was the first to break through her own carapace of fear, and then the other women followed. Indeed, her revelation about Ramadan came in two stages. First, she described in detail Tariq Ramadan’s behavior, a man whom she had so admired, once she was alone with him in his hotel room, in her book I Chose To Be Free. But in the book, she called him by the alias “Zoubeyr”:
“This man, Zoubeyr, transformed before my very eyes into a vile, vulgar, aggressive being – physically and verbally,” she wrote. “For modesty, I will not give the precise details here of the acts he made me submit to. But it is enough that he took great advantage of my weakness and the admiration I felt for him. ”
“He allowed himself gestures, attitudes and words that I could never have imagined.”
“And when I resisted,” she writes, “when I cried to him to stop, he insulted and humiliated me. He slapped me and attacked me. I saw in his crazy eyes that he was no longer master of himself. I was afraid he would kill me. I was completely lost. I started crying uncontrollably. He mocked me.”
These statements, and others from Henda Ayari, described his violence: “He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die.” She also described him as threatening that her children might be harmed if she were tell anyone.
His other victims also described Ramadan as violent and threatening.
Mr Ramadan is also accused of raping another woman in a hotel room in 2009. The unnamed 42-year-old, who is reported to have disability in her legs, said on Friday that the professor had subjected her to a terrifying and violent sexual assault.
A third complainant, identified as Yasmina, told Le Parisien in an interview on Saturday that Mr Ramadan sexually harassed her in 2014 and blackmailed her for sexual favors.
There is still a fourth woman, a Belgian known as Sarah, who is apparently thinking of filing a complaint, according to the RTBF radio network. In a testimony about her relationship with Mr Ramadan, she said she was scared for her life. “He can be very, very violent, grabbing you very violently, expecting from you any sexual practice and demanding it aggressively enough, and then it comes down again, but these moments are very difficult to live.”
The same extreme physical violence, including grabbing and choking, the same threats, the same aggressive and humiliating sexual demands, including rape — his modus operandi appears to have always been the same.
But as we have seen, these were all Muslim women, not “Europeans” with a score to settle against Islam, nor did they “gang up” on Ramadan, but only with difficulty managed to summon up the courage to denounce this powerful monster, who with his connections and ability to tap the limitless wealth of his Muslim admirers to pay for the best lawyers, will certainly do all he can to blacken their names to brazenly deny everything, and even to sue for libel.
What finally pushed his first accuser, Henda Ayari, to go public was what happened after the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, with women everywhere complaining about sexual aggressors, and naming names in Europe (with #balancetonporc) as in America (with #metoo). The three other women were no doubt inspired by Ayari’s bravery to reveal what Ramadan had done to them, but there was no “gang up.” Nor was there, as Ramadan’s supporters have been ludicrously claiming, a “Zionist plot” to go after him.
On hearing of the charges of rape against Ramadan, Bernard Godard, an Islamic expert, known as the “Monsieur Islam” at the French Ministry of the Interior, where he served from 1997 to 2014, told the French magazine L’Obs that while “he [Ramadan] had many mistresses, that he consulted sites, that girls were brought to the hotel at the end of his lectures, that he invited them to undress, that some resisted and that he could become violent and aggressive yes, but I have never heard of rapes, I am stunned.”
Surely it is we who should be stunned at the apparent willingness of the French government to protect Tariq Ramadan’s public image from being sullied, even though everyone advised by “Monsieur Islam” knew for years that Ramadan was a sexual predator, with multiple mistresses, a penchant for prostitutes (ordered up from those “sites” he consulted), and girls [groupies] “brought to the hotel” after his lectures, as a kind of extra honorarium, and if those girls resisted, “he could become violent and aggressive.” Why did the French government allow this to go on? Why did it not investigate to find out more about Ramadan’s behavior? Why did Monsieur Godard claim to be “stunned” by the charges of rape when everything he admits he did know about Ramadan surely points ineluctably in that direction?
When Eugene Rogan made his first bizarre remarks about “protecting Muslim students who believe and trust” in Ramadan — by not disciplining or limiting him in any way — Ramadan had already been accused of monstrous behavior, including extreme violence and rape, by three Muslim women (and a fourth was considering whether to go public). Each of his attackers independently described being the victim of similar behavior — the same kind of demands, the same kind of extreme violence, the same threats to ensure that they keep quiet. He has not yet been tried, but everything we, and Eugene Rogan, had learned about him, including the revelations of Monsieur Godard, make those charges most plausible.
Let’s repeat Rogan’s words;
“It’s not just about sexual violence. For some students it’s just another way for Europeans to gang up against a prominent Muslim intellectual. We must protect Muslim students who believe and trust in him, and protect that trust.”
Actually, it is just about sexual violence, which four women charged was inflicted by Ramadan on them, and the way those charges of sexual violence against Ramadan were initially handled at Oxford’s Middle East Centre. Eugene Rogan, the director of that Centre, deflected attention away from the charges made, and focused on the harmful effect of these charges on his Muslim students because of their extreme sensitivity to any possible unfair treatment of Tariq Ramadan: “for some students it’s just another way for Europeans to gang up against a prominent Muslim intellectual.”
Since those who in Paris initially charged Ramadan are all Muslim women who came forward with great hesitation, and since there is no evidence of a “gang-up” by “Europeans,” Rogan had a duty not to endorse such a claim by Muslim students — if indeed such a claim was ever made (which now seems doubtful) — but to refute it. What he should have said is this: “Some students, supporters of Tariq Ramadan, claim that the very serious charges made against him are part of a campaign by ‘Europeans’ to ‘gang up against a prominent Muslim intellectual.’ I can assure them that not a scintilla of evidence exists of such a campaign, that these are serious charges, made by Muslim women, against Professor Ramadan, with no hint of collusion among them. We have a duty to ensure the safety of all of our students, and not to ask them to endure conditions where they might be afraid. As head of the Middle East Centre, I, of course, will treat Professor Ramadan exactly as I would treat a non-Muslim faculty member facing the same charges. That is, I have relieved Professor Ramadan of his tutorial and supervisory duties of female students and all other teaching duties.”
Rogan went on to say that we [in Oxford] need to “protect Muslim students” who “believe and trust in him [Ramadan], we need to “protect that trust.” So apparently Oxford has a duty to reassure Muslim students who believe in him, to “protect [their] trust” in Tariq Ramadan. Why? Why should Oxford want to “protect the trust” of students in a man whom, if we are to believe the growing number of his accusers (now up to four in Paris, and four in Geneva), betrayed the trust of many? He betrayed the trust of the Muslim women in Paris who so admired him, and whom he had invited back to his hotel room, ostensibly to talk more about the morality of Islam, his abiding theme, and once they were there he subjected them, they all claim in similar accounts, to extreme sexual violence and rape. He apparently betrayed too, the trust of pupils in their teacher, for a day after Rogan spoke, other charges against Ramadan surfaced, as those four women in Geneva told the Journal de Geneve that when Ramadan was their teacher at a high school in the 1980s and 1990s, he seduced them.
Once the news from Geneva had come out, Eugene Rogan ought to have himself acknowledged the new charges, and continued his remarks above with something like this: “The new claims made against Professor Ramadan, that he seduced four underage girls who were his pupils, has led me to reconsider the issue of trust. We now have eight women who have come forward; those who were older at the time of their encounters with Ramadan claim violent assault and rape, while those who were underage recall his serial seductions. All of the women vividly remember Ramadan’s violent outbursts. Several of the women have mentioned not just the sexual violence, but have referred to the threats he made to them should they ever tell anyone. Given all that, I have decided to suspend Professor Ramadan from all of his duties, and I am recommending that he take a leave of absence until these charges are dealt with in a court of law.” But of course he did not.
Instead, it was Oxford itself, the institution, that asked Professor Ramadan to take a “leave of absence.” It was, to save Ramadan’s face, described as “by mutual agreement.” It was nothing of the sort: Oxford could not, after the revelations about his behavior with four underage girls, keep him on. Here is how Oxford officialese put it:
“The University has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against Professor Ramadan, while emphasising the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process.”
Oxford did not “consistently” acknowledge the gravity of the allegations against Tariq Ramadan. The initial reaction, by the director of the Middle East Centre, was not even to mention the allegations, but to come to Ramadan’s defense. Rogan refused at first even to limit Ramadan’s teaching duties with female students, lest it be taken as a sign of “mistrust.”
If a non-Muslim professor at Oxford were accused by several women of rape and sexual violence, would that professor be allowed to continue to teach until a trial and a verdict? There is a presumption of innocence in the legal system, but outside that system, common sense should be used to determine when it is reasonable to limit the encounters of those who have been charged with sexual crimes. These were not trivial charges against Ramadan.
Given these charges, and the picture they paint of Ramadan, his students, especially his female students, deserved not to have to endure either the attentions or even the louche presence of Tariq Ramadan, especially in those one-on-one tutorials. We already know what he is like, even without these rape charges, from Monsieur Godard’s testimony, which confirms that the French officials have long been aware of his violent behavior with women, but chose to keep quiet. Indeed, far from going after Tariq Ramadan, the French government has seemed eager to protect him, and keep such information from the public. One reason might be that Ramadan is a friend of the ruler of Qatar, who paid for his chair as the H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies and Senior Research Fellow at St Antony’s College. Qatar has invested nearly $25 billion in France, and the French government would not wish to damage its relations with Sheikh Hamad.
Another reason why the French government actually protected Ramadan by not revealing what it knew about his unsavory behavior with women was the continued dreamy belief of some in the West that Ramadan really is what he keeps claiming to be, that is a voice for a reforming and “moderate” Islam, and that the government needed to keep quiet about his appalling sexual behavior.
When Eugene Rogan claimed that “We [Oxford University] must protect Muslim students who believe and trust in him, and protect that trust” he had things topsy-turvy. How were Muslim students, those who Rogan claims “believe and trust in him,” helped by having their belief and trust in Ramadan undeservedly reinforced by the refusal of Rogan and others at Oxford to relieve Ramadan of his teaching duties? Oxford has a duty, not to reinforce “trust” in someone who is clearly eminently untrustworthy, but to make a judgment as to the likelihood of his presence endangering students. In recognizing that, given the many victims, the similarity of the details in their charges of sexual violence and of rape, it would have been prudent, after the first revelations, to at least not have Ramadan continuing to meet, as he had been doing as a tutor and supervisor, with female students one-on-one. The students need to “trust” not Ramadan, but those who should be protecting them from Ramadan. Not to bar him was, at that point, a dereliction of duty on Oxford’s part.
Eugene Rogan described the Muslim students “who believe and trust in him [Ramadan]” and claimed he needed to “protect that trust.” Is this even true? All the reports from the Middle East Centre describe students who are anxious and angry not about false charges being made against Ramadan but, rather, about the fact that Ramadan was being allowed to continue teaching, and they were further disturbed that he could be seen laughing with his colleagues. Not a single student was described as coming to Ramadan’s defense; many were critical of how the university, that is, Eugene Rogan, had handled this matter after the first charges were made public. The student newspaper, The Cherwell, reported that “students at the Middle East Centre have reacted in anger to the University’s response to the mounting accusations of rape against Islamic professor Tariq Ramadan, accusing senior figures of acting ‘as if nothing had happened.’ In response to requests from students, senior figures in the faculty held a meeting on Tuesday to address implications for student welfare arising from the allegations. At the meeting, held at St Antony’s College, several students expressed anger at the ‘lack of communication’ from the University, claiming they had heard of the allegations by ‘word of mouth’ without any acknowledgement from the department.” In other words, Eugene Rogan was ascribing to students views that were the very opposite of those they held.
Could it be that Eugene Rogan was initially afraid to limit Ramadan’s encounters with students in any way because he could already imagine Ramadan and his supporters turning on him and accusing him of “Islamophobia”? Or could Rogan, as director of the Centre, have been worried about offending that big donor to the Middle East Centre and friend of Ramadan, H.R.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani? Both are possible. Neither is a reason to which Rogan could admit. Far better to pretend that in refusing to limit Ramadan’s meetings with female students, Rogan simply wanted to support the Muslim students in their own mental distress at Ramadan’s possible mistreatment. (Remember, students were reported to be angry, but only at the way the Centre’s director was refusing to discipline Ramadan or to curtail his teaching duties). There was no need for Rogan to explain that he was fearful that Ramadan might turn on him, or that Sheikh Al-Thani, who has already given the Middle East Centre $11 million and put Ramadan in the named chair he endowed, might stop funding the Centre if Ramadan complained of being mistreated.
But let’s now turn again to the second wave of scandal involving Tariq Ramadan, which came from the Tribune de Geneve. That respected newspaper conducted its own investigation and found that Ramadan, who taught in a high school in Geneva in the 1980s and 1990s, had seduced (in one case not succeeding) four of his underage pupils, who were willing to talk about it on the record (one can just imagine how many others, quite understandably, may still be unwilling to come forward). Here is what the paper reported:
One, known as Sandra, was 15 when Mr Ramadan made advances towards her. She said he told her: “I feel close to you. You are mature. You are special. I am surrounded by many people but I feel lonely.” She started spending time with him outside of school, and “two or three times we had intimate relationships. At the back of his car.” She added: “He said it was our secret.”
Another, Lea, said she was 14 years old when the teacher approached her during a trip. “He put my hand on my mouth telling me he knew I was thinking about him in the evening before falling asleep. Which was wrong. It was manipulation. He said he thought of me but he was married.”
In her case, she says nothing physical happened. She described him as a “crooked, intimidating man who used perverse relational ploys and abused the trust of his students. There was such an impression [pressure] on us.”
A third woman, known as Agathe, was 18 and described being “captivated by the speech of this charismatic teacher.” She said Mr Ramadan invited her for a coffee outside of school, “and then I had sex with him. He was married and a father. This happened three times, especially in his car. It was consented but very violent. I had bruises all over my body.”
Agathe says the scholar[!] threatened her and demanded she tell no one about the encounters. “It was an abuse of power, pure and simple.”
The fourth woman, Claire, was 17 when the pair started a relationship and 18 when they first had intercourse. “I was fascinated, under his control. He took me, threw me [around], established a relationship of dependence.”
None of these incidents was made public before now, with one of the women expressing feelings of “disgust” and “shame” which made her stay quiet.
How many more non-Muslim women in Geneva remain too “disgusted” and “ashamed” for what they allowed themselves to endure as schoolgirls from their respected “‘prof” Tariq Ramadan to come forward even now? How many more Muslim women in Paris, who were admirers of the famous “scholar” Tariq Ramadan — Robert Spencer has described Ramadan’s Hallmark-card bromides masquerading as profundities here — were invited to discuss further the subject of Islam in his hotel room, but were choked, beaten, raped, and then threatened if they were ever to report him? Eight have come forward, submitting to various degrees of publicity, but how many, in both Paris and Geneva, will never come forward, out of shame, disgust, horror, a desire not to reveal such humiliating events to a husband or children? Yet there is always the possibility that more women, in Geneva, in Paris, possibly in Oxford itself (surely he would have taken advantage of students there, if he thought he could get away with it), will step forward. A permanent sword of Damocles hangs over the head of the once seemingly invulnerable Tariq Ramadan. No one deserves it more.
And what about Eugene Rogan? By now everyone, and not just at the Oxford Middle East Centre, knows about Ramadan and the latest chapter in the unfolding scandal of those underage girls in Geneva. The students at the Middle East Centre would not be able to control their fury at the pusillanimity of Rogan and his colleagues, were they at this point to have allowed Tariq Ramadan to remain at his post. The accusations about Ramadan’s sexual exploitation of underage girls crossed a line that even Rogan could not ignore. At this point, the whole Ramadan affair has received worldwide coverage, and is no longer a matter for the Middle East Centre alone. It was the University of Oxford that demanded that Tariq Ramadan take a “leave of absence” until his problems with the law, both in Paris and Geneva, are cleared up. Face-savingly for Ramadan, Oxford declared it was ”by mutual agreement.” But he “will not be present at the university or college.”
It’s hard to see how even Ramadan, who has been so adept at shedding his snake-skins, can recover from this. In the past, Ramadan always managed to overcome setbacks. Soft-spoken and sinister, he puts one in mind of the figure of Treachery in Chaucer’s “Knight’s Tale”: “the smiler with the knyf under the cloke.” He was given an appointment at the University of Leiden, but after he was accused of being a “radical Islamist” and a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” he did not take it up. Ramadan landed on his feet, by then being made a guest professor of Identity and Citizenship at Erasmus University and for the city of Rotterdam. He was again dismissed, this time by both the City of Rotterdam and Erasmus University, from his positions as “integration adviser” and professor, because both the university and the city’s leaders felt that the program he hosted on Iran’s Press TV, Islam & Life, was “irreconcilable” with his duties in Rotterdam. A book about his forked tongue, his defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, and his refusal to condemn outright such Islamic punishments as the stoning of women to death for adultery, and his ambiguous response when asked about the execution of apostates, Caroline Fourest’s devastating Frere Tariq, did not prevent Ramadan from becoming a professor at Oxford’s Middle East Centre, where he was given a chair named, and paid for, by the ruler of Qatar. But now his past, with these many accusations that he is a violent sexual predator, seducing girls, brutally attacking women, has caught up with him.
He’s being deserted by his former friends, who have not merely left him, but put out scathing messages. There is, for example, Stephane Lathion, a Swiss specialist in Islam who spent years accompanying Mr Ramadan on his trips across Europe, who told the Tribune de Geneve that he had heard various rumors and suspicions about his former close associate’s behavior over the years.
Lathion told the paper: “I’m not surprised to see testimonies coming from everywhere. Not only are the reported facts shocking, but they also reveal the discrepancy between his attitude and his discourse on a moralising Islam, which advocates sexual relations in the exclusive context of marriage.”
He continued: “Tariq Ramadan is a predator who has abused his power as a teacher, preacher and intellectual to seduce women and girls, who have suffered.”
After all that has been revealed, Tariq Ramadan may have run out of academic places willing to employ him, though there’s always Qatar University in Doha, which no doubt would be happy to hire him as a “leading Muslim intellectual.” But he may not get that chance. Judges in Paris and Geneva, who will soon be deciding his fate, may finally give Tariq Ramadan his just deserts. And it will have had nothing to do with Islam.
It is hard not to look upon the Roy Moore imbroglio as another well-timed hit-job from a familiar and well-practiced source — the same people who thought they had destroyed the Trump campaign by releasing the Billy Bush tape from eleven years before, and, when that didn’t finish Trump off, tried the nuclear option very late in the campaign by shopping to the media the Steele dossier, which the Clinton campaign had commissioned, with its salacious and seditious elements. The dossier was so extreme in its allegations and so thoroughly unsupported and unverifiable that even the most rabid Democratic mouthpieces wouldn’t touch it.
They could only get a nibble from Yahoo before the election, despite Democratic senator Harry Reid’s publicly writing to the well-traveled FBI director, James Comey, who was sitting on the dossier like a toad. The Clinton campaign engaged retired British spy Christopher Steele and sent him on a denunciation-buying tour of the Kremlin, with a thickly packed wallet, and worked hard to get it into the hands of the FBI and the media. Their choice of media recipients confirmed the general belief that their most slavish influential media supporters were the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, CNN, and Yahoo. The omission of MSNBC must be a hurtful reflection on its ratings for Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Rachel Maddow.
I don’t like Moore as a candidate; I think it is outrageous for any candidate for a serious office to flourish a firearm at an election meeting, and some of his comments, especially about gays, have been completely unacceptable for a candidate for the U.S. Senate. I have no problem with his putting a large and unauthorized monument to the Ten Commandments in the court-house rotunda as chief justice of Alabama, and the removal of him from that office for doing so is reprehensible. His opponents were inviting him to seek a high electoral office, and his most sophisticated opponents were ready for him. With the other earmarks of a well-planned assault, disposing of Moore and slicing the Republican Senate majority to a knife-edge, the Democrats and their media allies left it to just one month before the runoff election.
Moore has denied the allegations, but some of the answers he gave to Sean Hannity on Fox News about “dating teenage girls” when he was in his thirties were unimpressive. It is an issue because of the acute sensitivity to physical harassment of women and even greater public outrage about any form of abuse of minors. Both are well-founded and justly righteous public attitudes. Their application in this case is mitigated by the absence of authoritative corroboration, any seriously alleged pattern of repeated misconduct (as in the Weinstein allegations), and the fact that the alleged incident is violently denied by the former chief justice of the state, occurred 38 years ago, did not involve any direct physical grope or probe, was not reported to law authorities (and was not necessarily illegal if it happened at all and certainly is not actionable now) and was given instead to the trusty first battery of reliable Democratic artillery in the media. (After the Watergate character assassination, the Washington Post holds that status permanently, like the nuncio of the Holy See being the dean of the diplomatic corps in all countries that attended the Congress of Vienna.)
It is a reasonable supposition that most people in public life have something not much less embarrassing than this in their backgrounds that remain unknown, one form of misconduct or another. It is also true that even if this incident occurred, as long as it was not repeated, it does not disqualify Moore from being a senator, if he has had 38 subsequent years of unexceptionable sexual and romantic conduct. However, the Democrats and their media allies can usually be relied upon to drum up some sort of after-outcry of the long-silent aggrieved, and they started to come out of the woodwork on Monday. If further accusers are credible, Moore is doomed. If it looks like an orchestrated take-down, he may have a chance. Obviously, if Moore is likely a serial sex-criminal, he must be stopped.
As I wrote above, I don’t like Roy Moore as a candidate, but I don’t like premeditated political character assassinations either, and in a parallel of the fact that impositions on underage girls by grown men should be punished, if there is proof that they occurred, electioneering by severe partisan defamation unleashed at critically timed pre-electoral moments should not be rewarded with success. They have not been with the Steele dossier, which Kimberley Strassel correctly described in the Wall Street Journal on November 10 as the greatest political dirty trick in American history. The great investigation of Trump-Russian election collusion was just Hillary Clinton’s instant excuse for her electoral defeat, and the entire country has had to pay for this nonsense, which may stumble on to some financial or impropriety missteps by secondary individuals, but is basically just a long-running smear job against Trump, instigated and launched by his scheming and sulking opponent, who may now, finally, be facing her own special counsel.
Electioneering by severe partisan defamation unleashed at critically timed pre-electoral moments should not be rewarded with success.
The president can’t get involved in the Moore affair. If the cascade of subsequent allegations is plausible, his candidacy will be overwhelmed, and his withdrawal will have to be secured and a mighty effort made to write in the name, probably, of his unsuccessful primary opponent, Luther Strange, on the ballot, or the governor persuaded to defer the date of the special election again while the Republicans get another candidate. The fact that John McCain ran for the tall grass and said Moore had to go on the basis of the first allegation alone, like the absence of support for Moore from the Republican Senate leadership (which, along with the president, supported Strange), is unsurprising, but not much attention should be paid to it. (Mitch McConnell is entitled to some revenge.) If the Republicans lose the Senate seat, scratch it up to a poor candidate, abetted by an unscrupulous opposition. With no lack of sympathy for the alleged victims, it is no consolation and will serve no purpose to rake over Bill Clinton’s peccadilloes again. But like the judge-shopping to find flakey leftist judges to attack the president’s rights in immigration, hoping Trump would ignore them and facilitate impeachment talk, the Democrats are trying to bait him again, into the misogyny issue, another complete fabrication.
At some point, this practice of denunciation being insuperable and due process just an irritant and a useless antiquity, like an appendix — as it has been in the Weinstein and Moore cases — will have to stop, if the U.S. wishes to retain any credibility as a society of laws. This status is badly impaired already by the 99 percent conviction success rate of U.S. prosecutors, 97 percent without a trial; but if the current controversy over Trump-Russian collusion does not lead to a sharp rebuke of the Democratic party and a clean-out of the FBI, for allowing the phantasmagoric Steele dossier to become the basis for a monstrous defamation of the president and his administration by the frenzied anti-Trump media, the United States will have justly lost that status.
The election of the government of Virginia was a setback for the president, but not a representative one, given that the Republican candidate was a rich Bushie lobbyist who kept his distance from Trump, and considering also the role of the Charlottesville riot, which was exploited to the hilt by outgoing governor Terry McAuliffe (a dyed-in-the-wool Clintonian) and Charlottesville mayor Michael Signer (a charter member of the anti-Trump Resistance). It is possible to overthink that type of off-off-year vote; it need not portend much more than did the election of Republican John Lindsay as mayor of New York in 1965 (though the founder of National Review, William F. Buckley Jr., having gained 13 percent of the vote in that election, made the best victory speech). Though it has died as the phony issue it was (about whether Trump condoned Nazis and the KKK), it lingers yet, unpleasantly, in the minds of Virginians. If — as seems likely, though there has been no shortage of despairing commentators — the Republicans pass a tax cut and reform bill, and economic growth continues at between 3 and 4 percent, barring a foreign-policy debacle, the Republicans will do well at the polls next year, despite current analysis of voting trends.
The president’s Asian trip has gone well. The South Korean leader, President Moon Jae-in, seen as an antagonistic leftist when he was elected, is in lock-step with the president; relations could not be better with Japan, and Chinese president Xi Jinping claims to agree that a nuclear-military North Korea is as unacceptable to China as to the U.S. There was progress on trade, and though the president could be less declarative about the banefulness of multilateral trade agreements, an aggressive stance as a starting point in these matters can’t produce worse results than the suavity of his predecessors has in the same area. All those who loudly claimed that Trump would embarrass America abroad have been proved mistaken. The hypocrisy of those who claimed he would mortally antagonize China, and now accuse him of kowtowing to the Middle Kingdom, is exposed, like those who said his tough talk with Little Rocket Man would make things worse, and he is perfectly correct that constructive relations with Russia, if attainable, are preferable to a resumed Cold War with a diminished Russia. This fake collusion charade must not get in the way of the pursuit of the U.S. national interest.
One of the most popular arias in the opera catalogue, sung by the licentious Duke of Mantua in Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto is the tenor song, La donna a mobile. Its opening, qual piuma al vento ( woman is fickle like a feather in the wind) , is a cynical masculine put down sung by a scoundrel. But its later lines, muta d'accento e di pensier (she changes in voice and in thought) are curiously applicable to a real life Donna, the Democratic Party politician Donna Brazile.
This Donna is no novice to local and national party politics in the U.S. She has long been an insider in Democratic party politics. She has been a regular contributor to newspapers and political commentator on TV network programs including CNN, NPR, and ABC. She was campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000 making her the first African-American-American to direct a major campaign.
She was appointed interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, DNC in spring 2011 again from July 2016 to February 2017 in the Clinton campaign 2016. Her sole aria derives from that experience. With the publication on November 7, 2017 of her new book Hacks: the Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that put Donald Trump in the White House, and public utterances about it and her activities in the 2016 presidential campaign, she is experiencing her 15 minutes of fame in the national spotlight.
The emergence of Brazile in the limelight and the story she has been telling about the Hillary Clinton campaign 2016 and her own reflections on it has been astonishing partly because of its forthrightness and partly because of its variation in substance from time to time. Yet, as a story it is titilating because it has everything, race, gender, flaming ambitions, moral corruption, and what she calls "titanic egos" of leading Democrats, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton , and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the ill fated chair of the DNC, who was obliged to resign as a result of leaked emails showing Democratic party officials trying to sabotage the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.
Brazile pulls back the curtain on the electoral campaign with revealing insights, but at the same time the problem is that the curtain is strained and partly torn. There are a number of controversial aspects of the story. Perhaps the central one in the book is that she found an "unethical" agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC. This was a joint fund-raising agreement of August 26, 2015 between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America. It specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, the Clinton campaign would control the party's finances, strategy, and money raised. The campaign would be consulted on staff appointments, budgeting and data. Brazille considers this agreement unethical because it was signed in August 2015, almost a year before Hillary was the official nominee of the party.
The questions of ethics aside, the agreement allowed Clinton to influence or control the party long before she became its official nominee. This factor is related to a second issue, the serious question of the rigging of the election in the Democratic primaries. On this Brazille has been ambivalent, even contradictory, stating on November 5, 2017 that she had found no evidence of the party primaries being rigged in favor of Hillary. Yet, in July 2016 she started looking for evidence that rigging had taken place, and found some. As a result Donna replaced Debbie W-S after emails showed she was working to help Hillary and deny Sanders the nomination.
This rigging may not have been a criminal act, but it compromised the integrity of the Democratic Party, since it broke the rule that the party would stay neutral until a nominee had been chosen by vote.
Connected with this is the problem that Brazile does not come with clean hands in this issue as earlier in the Dukasis campaign when she accused George H.W. Bush of racism and of having an extra-marital affair, and was fired.
She finally confessed she had given the Hillary campaign advance warning of expected questions to be raised in Town Hall meetings. On this the evidence is clear as shown by the March 5, 2016 email to John Podesta, the chair of Clinton campaign and Jennifer Palmieri communications director informing them of questions directed to Hillary at the Town Hall meeting the next day. One would come from a "woman with a rash" about the problem of lead poisoning in Flint. A later one was about the death penalty. Indeed, both questions were asked of Hillary. On October 14, 2016, Brazille was fired by CNN which felt uncomfortable about her interaction as a journalist with the Clinton campaign.
A highly controversial issue is Brazile's remarks on the deficiences and problems of Hillary. Brazille is critical of the campsaign. Hillary took minority comstituencies for granted, and made mistakes with "stiff" and "stupid" messages. The campaign was badly mismanaged, and lacked passion. The lack of enthusiasm was even felt in black areas.
But it was the physical problem that most concerned Brazile. After observing that Hillary was suffering from pneumonia and being unsteady on her feet on September 9, and fainting at a 9/11 ,memorial service at Grand Zero in NYC on September 11, 2016, she considerd that VP Joe Biden should replace Hillary on the ticket together wth Senator Cory Booker to replace Tim Kaine. Former Clinton staffers have expressed surprise that Brazile had considered replacing Clinton on the ticket, and brought in the familiar Russians. They argue that Brazile had accepted fake Russian fueled propaganda, spread by Russians and political opponents. The caveat in all this is that Brazile as interim chair could not unilaterally replace the ticket, though she could start the process by which the whole DNC could do this.
But flaming egos and political differences are not the whole story. Donna is African American, unmarried, with no evident companion and ambiguous about her sexual orientation. She complained that Hillary staffers treated her like a slave, Patsey, the slave character in the film 12 Years a Slave: "I'm not going to be your whipping girl." She considered the Clinton staff was condescending and dismissive towards her. She suggests allegations of sexism by male staffers, though Harvey Weinstein is not mentioned.
The whole affair is revealing for the light shone on leading political characters, and it is good to notice the absence of any collusion with the Russians by anybody, but the story remains perplexing. Was there significant rigging in the Democratic primaries, that Donna at one point calls a "cancer," in favor of Hillary and against Bernie? The next, and hopefully, final chapter in the saga should come from Bernie and from Biden, the king in waiting thoigh not in Camelot. The opera is not over, even though the "not thin" has sung.
The TRUTH about the Polish Independence Day March in Warsaw on Saturday
There is a HUGE problem with the coverage that Poland's Independence day has received in Israel and in the wider west. The usual far-left media, the same media that lies NON STOP about Israel and calls almost any patriotic movement "far-right" has decided to portray 60,000 Poles with flags as Nazis. It's quite clear most Polls are fans of neither Nazis or Communists or any other totalitarian systems (like the EU today).
I walked around 6km across Warsaw on Friday night (the eve of Independence day) and as I walked I saw many people including families arriving in the city and going to accommodation with suitcases. They were all wearing Polish flag hats and scarves.
(photograph from Rebel media)
I spent a couple of hours with Tommy Robinson and the others from Rebel Media. They stayed and attended the rally. I'll watch THEIR coverage when they post it probably later today or tomorrow. Until then I'm certainly not calling everyone in Poland a Nazi. Especially as I spent a few hours in the Warsaw Uprising Museum - which is all about how the Poles fought back against the Nazis (finally, and too long after the Jews had been exterminated from Warsaw).
I'm sure there are some nasty, Jew hating Poles in that huge crowd but then there are plenty of those at the UK Labour Party conference too! I'm also pretty sure that doesn't define their march. They are proud of Poland! Pride in one's country, just like we have here in Israel on Yom Ha'atmaut in Israel is an absolute ANATHEMA to the far-left who would eradicate all nations in their insane globalist dreams.
So don't fall for the far-left media crap, and I'm very disappointed that The Israel Project (in this example) is pushing this kind of crap out without the necessary thought.
Sudan President Bashir defies ICC Arrest Warrant on visit to Uganda, signatory of the Treaty of Rome
Ever the defiant indicted war criminal President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan arrived in Uganda for a three day state visit. This despite Uganda being a signatory of the Treaty of Rome that founded the International Criminal Court implemented in 2002 and two outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants issued in 2009 and 2010 for his arrest. These warrants were based on indictments for committing war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur in 2003 resulting in the deaths of 300,000 indigenous African people. The death toll in Sudan in Darfur and the conflict zones of the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan and Blue Nile State is now estimated to be in excess of 600,000.
The Nigerian Prestige Times report noted the circumstances behind Bashir’s Uganda visit in defiance of the ICC indictments and arrest warrants:
"Uganda is not planning to arrest al-Bashir, in spite being a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s press secretary Don Wannyama said.
“Uganda’s position is that the arrest warrant is uncalled for, which is the position of the African Union,” said Wannyama.
“Our position is that Africa can solve its own problems.’’
Al-Bashir and Museveni were meeting to hold bi-lateral talks on the issues of trade, regional security and migration, according to the press secretary.
It is al-Bashir’s second visit to the East African nation since the warrants were issued.
In May 2016, the Sudanese leader attended a re-election ceremony held for Museveni.
Other African nations, including South Africa, have ignored the ICC’s demands to detain al-Bashir.
In July, the ICC ruled that South Africa violated its rules when failing to arrest al-Bashir during his visit to Johannesburg in 2015.
The court did not, however, refer the case to the UN Security Council, saying that would not foster cooperation with South Africa.
Allegedly a week following Bashir’s controversial visit to South Africa for President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration one of Kuwait made a grant of $100 million to the Republic.
These monstrous crimes against the indigenous African people in Sudan continue despite the lifting of 20 years of sanctions by the trump Administration on October 6, 2017. That was allegedly pursuant to five tracks of performance established by Obama Administration and issued in an Executive Order No. 13761 on January 13, 2017. Allegedly, it was because of progress in five tracks involving human rights, counterintelligence about fugitive Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army and peace negotiations with several Sudan resistance groups in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State.
The effects of this calamitous and unwise act by the Trump Administration are presented in Genocide in Sudan: Caliphate threatens Africa and the World, co-authored by Lt. General M. Abdallah, Ms. Deborah P. Martin and this writer. “Genocide in Sudan” presents a veritable dossier of facts. It details a web of deception by the Bashir Muslim Brotherhood regime reflected in secret documents including a captured plan to complete genocidal ethnic cleansing of indigenous black African peoples by 2020. The Arab Coalition Plan details replacing them with a 150,000 force drawn from Arab tribes and jihadists from across the Sahel region of Africa and Islamic State fighters from the Middle East. The objective is create a new Caliphate ruled under Sharia Supremacism from Khartoum backed by billions of dollars in weapons and grants from across the Arab League. Further, the authors reveal that Qatar and Sudan have engaged in the overthrow of regimes in neighboring Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR). The Sudan human toll under Bashir speaks for itself: 600,000 dead, 5 million internally displaced several hundred thousands who have fled to UN refugee camps in Chad and the CAR.
1917: From Palestine to the Land of Israel: The Extraordinary early struggles of Jewish and Christian heroes to establish the State of Israel - a Review
November 2, 2017 marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. It was a 63 word document issued by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild. It is considered one of the legal pillars of the Jewish nation of Israel. Israel on May 15, 1948 in the midst of an invasion by five Arab Armies that failed through seven successive conflicts to extinguish the return of a people to a land they once occupied.
The 100th anniversary of this fortunate event was celebrated in London at a gala dinner with both Israeli PM Netanyahu and UK PM Theresa May and representatives of the UK Jewish community and the Rothschilds.
The Balfour declaration was the culmination of a series of heroic acts by Yishuv Jews. It was assisted by Dr. Chaim Weitzmann, a leader of British Zionist and discoverer of acetone. His friendship with British Prime Minister Lloyd George who as Munitions Minister approved the manufacture of cordite that materially aided the British WWI effort on the Western front in Europe. PM George like Foreign Secretary Balfour and others in Cabinet and Ministerial positions such as Mark Sykes were also committed to Jewish aspirations to return to the biblical land of Ha Shem's covenant with his people.
A month prior on October 9, 1917, a Jewish heroine and leader of the Nili spy ring Sarah Aaronsohn succumbed to a self inflicted gunshot wound after being tortured by Turkish authorities. They were trying to destroy this important spy ring that enabled the British to liberate Palestine. The critical information that had been passed onto British courier ships offshore of Atlit were relayed to her brother in Cairo, the world renowned Botanist Aaron Aaronsohn, a personal aide to British Commander of the combined British and ANZAC forces. This story and a host of heroes led to the destruction of the combined Turkish and Central Powers Army in Palestine. They liberated what ultimately became the Jewish Nation of Israel.
1917 conveys in compelling detail the exploits the successful conquest of Palestine and Syria that represented the first major Allied victories following the disaster at Gallipoli in 1915 . Shaw reveals the significant contributions of the Nili spy ring organized by Yishuv Zionists under the direction of Aaron Aaronsohn and his valiant sister and colleagues in Turkish occupied Palestine.
The information they obtained at great personal risk from Turkish and Arab sources, coupled with their understanding of the terrain and its hidden water resources enabled the mobility of the allied Desert Mounted Force. With that information and Nili trackers they achieved stunning victories and rapid advances.
Shaw introduces us to Christian Zionists among the field commanders and intelligence cadres of the Desert Mounted Force. Commanders like General Edmond Allenby, “Lord of Armageddon”, who crushed the combined German and Turkish forces liberating Jerusalem on December 9th. Major General Sir Harry Chauvel and his ANZAC Mounted Division of formidable Australian and New Zealand Light Horsemen enabled the rapid advance and liberation of Jerusalem and the coastal plain.
That formation stunned the combined German Turkish force with the mounted bayonet charge by Australian Light Horsemen the pivotal Battle of Beersheba on October 31, 1917. The Beersheba victory was the due in some important measure to the highly inventive and enterprising chief of intelligence Major later Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen. He created the deception plan that tricked German Commander Kress von Kressenstein into believing that Gaza was the target.
Watch this 1978 Australian docudrama of the Battle of Beersheba, The Light Horsemen.
Meinertzhagen was the Christian Zionist supporter of the Jewish Homeland and friend of Weitzmann who stoutly defended the Jewish cause against the post-war maneuverings of British Mandatory authorities colluding with Arab opponents of Jewish aspirations for a state of their own. Meinertzhagen befriended T.E. Lawrence at the Versailles Peace conference. Lawrence had been the promoter of the Arab revolt and the cause of the Hashemite Prince Faisal. He ultimately failed to establish Faisal’s Hashemite rule in French Mandated Damascus. Faisal was later rewarded with a Kingship in Iraq created by Gertrude Bell from three Ottoman vilayets in 1921. The Hashemite Kingdom in Iraq lasted less than four decades with its bloody fall in 1958.
Meinertzhagen’s prescient evaluation in a memo to British PM Lloyd George captured the emerging contest between Jews and Arabs at the Peace Conference: “This Peace Conference has laid two eggs- Jewish Nationalism and Arab Nationalism. These are going to grow up into two troublesome chickens; the Jew virile, brave, determined and intelligent , the Arab decadent, stupid, dishonest and producing little beyond eccentrics.”
Aaron Aaronsohn, was involved in preparation of maps to be used at the Versailles Peace Conference in furtherance of the Jewish Homeland was tragically lost in a British mail flight that crashed in the English Channel.
The virile aspect is reflected in the combined efforts of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Joseph Trumpeldor and British Zionist Lt. Col. John Patterson who had commanded the Zion Mule Corps that gave commendable service at the ill fated Gallipoli campaign. That was realized in the formation of five battalions of British, American and foreign Jewish volunteers that formed the Royal Fusiliers. Patterson commanded the Jewish legion, the first “Jewish fighting force in two millennia.” They who fought valiantly during the campaigns that assisted in routing Turkish occupation of the Jordan Valley. The ashes of Patterson, who is considered the “godfather of T’zhal”, were interred at Beit Hagdudim ,the Museum of the Jewish Legion in Netanya, Israel in 2014.
Watch this video of Israel PM Netanyahu remarks at Patterson interment.
Shaw has done a masterful retelling of this incredible saga about the critical year of 1917 during WWI that ultimately led to the modern Jewish nation of Israel.
A French mayor and dozens of other MPs and elected councillors from around the Paris region sang the Marseillaise on Friday as they marched towards around 200 Muslim worshippers in a bid to stop them praying in the street.
The stand off which was caught in several video clips (see link) took place in the Paris suburb of Clichy on Friday afternoon.
The local right wing mayor Remi Muzeau led the march after growing infuriated by the presence of hundreds of Muslim worshippers praying on the town's market square every Friday for the past nine months.
Images relayed from the scene near Clichy Town Hall shows around 60 elected officials, including MPs and the president of the greater Paris region of Île-de-France, Valerie Pecresse marching with their tricolore sashes as they sing the Marseillaise. Video here.
They head towards around 200 Muslim worshippers who are observing their Friday prayer outside in protest against the town's decision to close a prayer hall.
A line of riot police separate the two groups and at one one point tensions appear ready to boil over. Mayor Muzeau was happy with the protest: "We did what the police should have done a long time ago."
Muslim worshippers had been using the square to pray in a protest against a recent decision by the mayor to close their usual prayer hall nearby, which had welcomed up to 5,000 Muslim worshippers each day.
Authorities opened a new mosque for the community, but it was 1.5km away and worshippers said it was hard to reach. Their Friday protests have been aimed at pressuring the local council to agree to open a prayer hall in the centre of Clichy.
But those protests have infuriated local officials, who have called on the government to intervene, pointing out that praying in the street is illegal in France.
"The public space cannot be taken over illegally," said President of Île-de-France Valerie Pecresse. "We are in a country where we do not pray in the street, the rules of law are being flouted."
Can you imagine the Mayor, MP and local councillors of Newcastle joining officials of the University in their official regalia, taking Union Jack flags or the Cross of St George and drowning out the pests blocking free access outside the King George building with their prayer every Friday? No, I can't either.
Canada must address our bad education system and overreaching courts
The realm of higher learning is a tenebrous thicket of extravagance, faddishness and oppressive political correctness
by Conrad Black
Last week, I discussed deteriorating results in Ontario students’ mathematics tests, but had little space to lay out broader views on education. Apart from decertifying the teachers’ unions and banning the right to strike in the public service, and invoking the notwithstanding clause where necessary to vacate judicial decisions that would impede those steps, I think the school boards should be abolished as useless and redundant, the teachers’ colleges should be seriously reoriented, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education should be entirely repurposed, teachers and students should be tested objectively every year, and those who fail should be allowed to fail. Teachers have to be treated with respect as learned professionals, but they must also behave as learned professionals, and irresponsible emulation of industrial trade unions should be responded to by impounding their immense pension funds pending resolution of all material issues.
The realm of higher learning is such a tenebrous thicket of extravagance, faddishness and oppressive political correctness that it is almost a no-go area for anyone seeking any reforms. It must be established that any university that does not promote reasonable freedom of expression is ineligible as a recipient of taxpayers’ money and is liable to human rights prosecutions under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The saga of my courageous and erudite friend Jordan Peterson, who has faced recurrent threats and demands that he conform to confected adaptations of language and restrictions, is now notorious. I have written here before that he must not be required to face this assault alone and the entire thoughtful community must support his right to free speech. Recently, Wilfrid Laurier University has been the scene of many spectacles of administrative and faculty cowardice before the juggernaut of political correctness, including removing a statue of John A. Macdonald because of the whining and carping of militant aboriginals.
School boards should be abolished as useless and redundant
Wilfrid Laurier did not agree with much of what the Salvation Army said, but he famously offered to lead their parade in Ultramontane Catholic Quebec in the late 19th century to establish their right to march peacefully and speak freely. The university that bears his name now regularly dishonours it.
Much undergraduate activity generally can be moved to the Internet at immense saving to the country, and the whole basis of post-secondary curriculum should be flipped from candidate preferences to labour market requirements. Instead of endlessly proliferating numbers of degree-bearing authorities on esoteric subjects, we should encourage more trades and crafts, and their status can be made more prestigious and lettered. Plumbing is almost as much an academic subject as business is, and these vital and skilled occupations are relatively under-populated and are reliably gainful. Our entire society is hobbled by an over-investment in service industry, and in too many activities and occupations that don’t add value to anything. Factory workers, farmers, those who extract and process or refine natural resources, and a significant number of white collar occupations, such as doctors, serious researchers, and competent executives, add value. But large numbers of consultants, lawyers, academics, do not.
Of course, we must be a society of laws and have enough lawyers to operate it, and a society that values and encourages all useful cultural activity. Higher learning and the arts must be generously supported and we must always be on guard against being or becoming an ignorant or professionally under-served society. We have substantially fewer doctors per capita than almost all other advanced countries, mainly because Pierre Trudeau and Monique Begin drove large numbers of our doctors out of the country by banning private medicine in 1984. The legal profession and legislative and regulatory authorities should be required to operate a constant statutory and regulatory consolidation service to moderate the steadily increasing profusion and complexity of laws and regulations and reduce society’s need for an ever larger number of lawyers, and incentives should be offered through a more flexible and less compulsively universalist health-care system to encourage the graduation of more doctors.
Plumbing is almost as much an academic subject as business is
We live in an era where technological advances create more rather than less unemployment, and new high-tech companies like Facebook have huge capitalizations but don’t employ many people. It is one of the best features of the last 30 or so years that there have been tremendous advances by democratic government and the free market, generally as a result of the Western victory in the Cold war and the rout of the international Marxist left. The pursuit of economic growth in China, India and Indonesia, representing about 40 per cent of the world’s population, has boot-strapped a billion people out of poverty and into productive economic life over that time. This has increased economic competition and Canada must respond to it. There has never been any excuse for Canada to have a lower standard of living than Australia and the Netherlands, and we should focus as goals on leading all indicators of economic strength (except size, which is unattainable to a country of 36 million people). This should start in the schools and require better performance from everyone, then move to the universities and generate what society needs in an academic atmosphere of traditional tolerance and not a fascistic pressure-cooker of politically correct censorship.
The country is at a turning point now, between a humane, planned drive for greater competitiveness and prosperity for the pursuit of a higher and fairer quality of life in this very rich country of exceptional achievement, or a politically correct, high-tax, highly regulated, government-heavy, benefit-addicted state effectively governed by the high courts, and a ring of judges swaddling themselves in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and reinterpreting legislation to accomplish public policy goals defined by the elected statist elite. This is the course Canada is now on, and it was highlighted last week by the Supreme Court Symposium and the address of the new Governor General, Julie Payette, to a science forum in Ottawa.
The symposium championed the interpretation of Section 7 of the Charter, which guaranties that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of the person,” subject only to “fundamental justice,” as the enabling text for the proclamation of positive rights, and particularly the promotion of aboriginal self-government, enforcement of climate change policy, and a redoubled assault on poverty. The theory of outgoing Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin is familiar; she considers her court to be the supreme legislator in the country, and claims the Charter makes it so. This is rubbish and was not intended by Pierre Trudeau, the Charter’s chief author; and of her policy goals at this valedictory symposium, only the attack on poverty is even desirable, but that is not the task of a court. The Governor General, in her address, denigrated any notion of a divine role in the beginning of life, and disputed that there was any possible argument against the belief that the world is getting warmer and that man is partly responsible for it.
Both the high court and the Governor General seem to be in lockstep with the federal government, but it isn’t going to work. Handing legislative powers to courts is anti-democratic and unconstitutional and the Governor General (an admirable person in this case) should not be aligning herself with atheism and antitheism, which are views the majority of Canadians do not share, and she should not be publicly skeptical of global warming doubters, since the entire allegation of global warming has effectively retreated into the less vulnerable and precise claim of climate change.
The federal government is urging or tacitly approving the outgoing chief justice and incoming Governor General to plunge into areas where they are mere and rather unenlightened trespassers. The government should reassert the law-making power of the high court of Parliament. Ultimately, the people will decide; appointed officials will not make up their minds for them as stars in a puppet show directed from the prime minister’s office.
John Hamed, Jr., Barry Fell, and the Backdating of Islam in America
by Hugh Fitzgerald
John Hamed, Jr.’s letter criticizing a previous correspondent’s assertions about Islam first made the point that the Qur’an is full of references to “love” and “mercy” and “peace,” that where in the Qur’an violence appears, it was merely descriptive of what the early Muslims, suffering from the “relentless onslaught” of its enemies, were forced engage in to survive, that Islam teaches monotheism and “accepts the prophecies Moses and Jesus,” and that 7 million Muslims now live in America, “educated and middle-class,” and this part of his letter ends on a defiant note: “we are not going anywhere.”
He now proceeds both to backdate the presence of Muslims in America to many centuries before Columbus, and to claim that Muslims served important roles in Columbus’s voyages. He brings in, as his chief authority for the backdating, Dr. Barry Fell, to support the astonishing claims of his finding “the ruins of Muslim schools” in the American West:
Muslims have been here for a very long time. Dr. Barry Fell, an American historian, discovered the ruins of Muslim schools in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Indiana dating back to 700 to 800 C.E. In 1492, Columbus had two captains for the Pinta and the Nina who were Muslim. Columbus and others later discovered ruins of mosques and minarets with inscriptions of Qu’ranic [sic] verses in Cuba, Mexico, Texas and Nevada. We can go on and on, but suffice to say, Islam was here even before there was a U.S.A. There are more than 500 places in the U.S. today with clearly Islamic names: Mecca, Indiana; Medina in New York, Ohio and Texas; Toledo, Ohio; Mahomet, Illinois; Islamorada, Florida; etc.
Let’s start with the reference to Dr. Barry Fell. He was not an historian, though John Hamed, Jr. describes him as “an American historian.” Nor was he a professional epigraphist, nor an archaeologist. He was a professor of invertebrate zoology, who concentrated on sea urchins and starfish. An amateur student of epigraphy, he claimed to have found evidence, all over America, of writings using the alphabets of many Old World peoples who, he said, had arrived in America many centuries before Columbus. These included Celts, Phoenicians, Libyans, Minoans, Basques, Carthaginians, Egyptians, Minoans, and Arabs. None of the well-regarded scholars of epigraphy, none of the archaeologists who specialized in the New World, found his work the least bit convincing. But they did not just reject it; many called Fell a crank, a loony, while others accused him, in print, of deliberate fraud, by which they meant that he created the rock inscriptions he claimed to have discovered. Some scholars wondered if he was trying through these sensational and baseless claims to win readers, and thus fame and some fortune, for his books, especially America B.C. Ancient Settlers in the New World.
But among Muslims, Barry Fell is not a crank, not a loony, not a fraud. He is presented as a respected authority, because of his claim of a Muslim Arab presence in America dating back to 700 or 800 A.D. That would be as far back as the first century of Islam. We are being asked to believe the bizarre claims of Barry Fell that he found “writings” in Arabic (and in ten other alphabets, including the Ogham of Old Irish, which was the major focus of his epigraphic studies) on rocks in the American Far West. He initially dated these (he does not tell us how) to between 700 and 800 A.D., later claiming that not only did he find inscriptions in Arabic, but also the ruins of mosques and madrasas. One other detail: Barry Fell did not know any Arabic. Here is how one Muslim, a certain “Dr.” Youssef Mroueh, described Fell’s claims:
Dr. Fell discovered the existence of the Muslim schools at Valley of Fire, Allan Springs, Logomarsino, Keyhole, Canyon, Washoe and Hickison Summit Pass (Nevada), Mesa Verde (Colorado), Mimbres Valley (New Mexico) and Tipper Canoe (Indiana) dating back to 700-800 CE. Engraved on rocks in the arid western U.S, he found texts, diagrams and charts representing the last surviving fragments of what was once a system of schools – at both an elementary and higher level. The language of instruction was North African Arabic written with old Kufic Arabic scripts. The subjects of instruction included writing, reading, arithmetic, religion, history, geography, mathematics, astronomy and sea navigation. The descendants of the Muslim visitors of North America are members of the present Iroquois, Algonquin, Anasazi, Hohokam and Olmec native people.
So not only did Muslim Arabs, according to Fell, arrive in the New World during Islam’s first century and somehow travel to the American West, but also had the ability to set up a whole system of schools, both for elementary and higher education. And they had the time to engrave on rocks not simple inscriptions, but copies of “texts, diagrams and charts” used in these schools, where a vast gamut of subjects, including history, geography, mathematics, astronomy, sea navigation, and so on — far more than would have been taught in schools at home — were all taught. Dr.Fell does not, however, mention religious studies. Does he think that any school for Muslims anywhere could exist without study of the faith?
All of this is fantasy.
Barry Fell did not know Arabic. He did know how to copy Arabic writing out of books, and could make inscriptions on rocks. Barry Fell made large claims, but his work has not been accepted as valid by professionals in the field. A survey of 340 teaching archaeologists in 1983 showed 95.7% had a completely “negative” view of Barry Fell’s claims (considering them pseudo-archaeology), 2.9% had a “neutral” view, and only 1.4% had a “positive” view (regarding them as factual). It is only his studies of writings in Ogham, the early Irish alphabet, that might explain that figure of 1.4%, for a handful of people thought he might actually have discovered real examples of writing in Ogham.
Fell has been accused of many things. Archeologists have been highly critical of Fell’s conclusions and methodology. As noted, the only area where he was deemed to have even the tiniest hint of possible credibility was in his study of Ogham, the Early Irish alphabet. Yet even here he was severely criticized. In a 1983 article, the archaeologist and historian W. Hunter Lesser described Fell’s claims for an Ogham inscription in West Virginia as “pseudoscientific and unreliable.” In 1989, lawyers Monroe Oppenheimer and Willard Wirtz wrote an article based on opinions of academic archaeologists and linguists to dispute that the inscription [in West Virginia] was written in Ogham script. They further accused Fell of deliberate fraud. David H. Kelley, an archaeologist at the University of Calgary who is credited with a major breakthrough in the deciphering of Mayan glyphs, complained about Fell in a 1990 essay: “Fell’s work [contains] major academic sins,” including “distortion of data.” Many have simply called him a crank, crazed, or a fraud. He was most likely all three.
Let’s understand what Barry Fell, and his uncritical admirer John Hamed, Jr., are claiming. In the first century after the death of Muhammad, Muslim Arabs were fully occupied in conquering Iraq (the first victim of Jihad warfare outside Arabia), and then the Sassanian Empire to the East, and Egypt to the West. And while doing this, not just conquering but subjugating peoples far more numerous than the Arabs themselves, they apparently had the ability, according to Barry Fell, even though they were a desert people without any seafaring experience, all of a sudden to be able to build vessels capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and found experienced seagoing navigators (from where?) and maps (drawn by whom in 700 or 800 A.D.? The Muslim maps of Al-Idrissi (1099-1166) came several centuries later). Then we are expected to believe that these same Arab seafarers landed safely, somewhere on the coast of North America and, encountering no insuperable difficulties, managed to cross the Continent, and make it all the way to Colorado and Nevada. By what means of transportation did they make that journey? Did they travel on foot? Did they have horses or wagons? And how did they cross the Mississippi or other rivers? Did they have to scale the Rockies in Colorado, or did they stay to the east of that forbidding mountain range? Where did they get their food? Their water? What weapons did they possess? How did they avoid any trouble with the Indians whose paths they would have crossed? With what material did they build those “mosques and madrasas,” the ruins of which Barry Fell claims he found? Who were the students in those schools? Did Muslim women accompany men on these journeys? He never asked, much less answered, any of those questions.
John Hamed, Jr. then repeats the astonishing claim of Barry Fell that “the descendants of the Muslim visitors of North America are members of the present Iroquois, Algonquin, Anasazi, Hohokam and Olmec native people.” In other words, Muslim Arabs supposedly interbred with Indians all across America, from what is now northern New York State (Iroquois) to Colorado (Anasazi), and to southern Mexico (Olmecs). There is no evidence presented, linguistic or through DNA testing, by Barry Fell for this claim, but for John Hamed, Jr., no evidence is needed. The claim again places Muslims far back in pre-Columbian history, and even claims they intermarried with many different tribes of indigenous Indians.
John Hamed, Jr. appears not to know — why did he not bother to spend a minute googling in order to find out? — that almost all archaeologists completely rejected Barry Fell’s work as without merit, “negative,” pseudo-archaeology, and that he has further been accused of deliberate fraud by noted archaeologists, epigraphists, and historians. Others regarded him as “crazy,” and still others, as ‘“devious.” Not a single reputable scholar has endorsed any of Barry Fell’s claims about “Old World settlers” in the New World before Columbus. But for John Hamed, Jr., Barry Fell is a legitimate scholar of epigraphy in the New World, and his “evidence” somehow “proves” that Muslims were not only in the New World by 700 or 800 A.D., but were already building schools with a curriculum far broader than that in madrasas today. If Mr Hamed would like to read any of the scathing comments by epigraphists and archaeologists on Fell’s work, many of whom believe he was a fraud or “crazed,” he can find them here. Of course, if Hamed has a modicum of sense, he will cease to cite Barry Fell as an authority. It only invites, because it deserves, ridicule.
In 1979, while planning an international women’s conference, I was raped by my supervisor
by Phyllis Chesler
I stand with the hundreds of women who have come forward to name their sexual harassers and rapists.
I have been sexually harassed and propositioned as a teenager, a college and graduate student, and as an employee, by strangers on the street, and by neighbors, professors, visiting dignitaries, employers. This Stuff is par for the course in most women’s lives.
However, one episode sexual harassment and rape-on-the-job stands out. It took place at the United Nations.
UN Peacekeeping troops in Cambodia, Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Uganda have been accused of raping vulnerable girls and women whom they were supposed to protect. UN peacekeepers and their hired military contractor trafficked underage girls into Sarajevo for profit and pleasure. Kathryn Bolkovic, a Nebraska policewoman who worked for the military contractor, dared expose this sordid enterprise for which she was threatened and her employment terminated. (A film, The Whistleblower, was made about her, starring Rachel Weisz).
Many women who have worked at the UN have themselves been sexually harassed and assaulted by their employers. When they complained, they were treated as whistleblowers: Fired, or, if lucky, forced into expensive, lengthy, UN in-house tribunals. Ultimately, charges are rarely brought, the accuser is usually fired or sent back to her home country. Sometimes, the perpetrator is whisked away overnight to his home country. High ranking UN officials have diplomatic immunity.
In 1994, after years of in-house litigation, one woman, Catherine Claxton, finally won a UN-brokered settlement against her boss, Argentinian Luis Maria Gomez, an Assistant Secretary General. In 2003, another woman, Joumana Al-Mayhani, in Kuwait, sued, was fired, but won a very small settlement against her UN boss, Yusuf Mansur.
John Hamed, Jr. and the Misrepresentation of Islam
by Hugh Fitzgerald
John Hamed, Jr. is the public relations officer of the Islamic Society of New Castle, Ohio, who wrote a letter, purporting to correct misperceptions about Islam, to the New Castle News:
We write this to take exception to the letter published Oct. 4 in the New Castle News, titled “America not the place for Muslims.”
The writer obviously considered himself an expert on the text of Islam’s Holy Book, the Koran (sic). He quotes verses from Al-Qu’ran without any historical or contextual knowledge, and concludes that Muslims do not belong in America.
The Bible contains many verses of extreme violence, but does this disparage [sic] the whole of Christianity? Of course not. The writer can neither translate nor explain properly the verses he quoted. These verses were allowances from God for the early Muslims to defend themselves against the relentless onslaught of horrors served upon them by their enemies and idol worshippers. Without those allowances, Muslims would have perished.
How does John Hamed, Jr. know that the writer to whom he objects “can [not] translate…properly the verses he quoted”? Does Hamed know the Arabic of the Qur’an? And does he not realize that the verses quoted by that writer were not translated by him, but taken from one of the accepted translations of the Qur’an into English?
More disturbing is Hamed’s failure to distinguish between prescription and description. The Bible contains descriptions of violence limited in time and place, but does not prescribe open-ended violence by Christians. The Qur’an, however, prescribes extreme violence, commanding Believers to engage in Jihad warfare against all Unbelievers; these commands are in force until the entire world succumbs to Islam. These commands were not, as Mr. Hamed wants us to believe, temporary “allowances from God for the early Muslims”; nor do 1.5 billion Muslims, who are taught that the Qur’anic verses are valid everywhere and for all time, agree, as John Hamed, Jr. insists, that they are limited in time and place.
Nor was there, as John Hamed, Jr. claims, any “relentless onslaught of horrors served upon [the early Muslims]”; the “relentless onslaught” was entirely by, not against, Muslims. Islam was a fighting faith that was imposed, in a ferocious fashion, through warfare, first in Arabia, and within sixty years of the death of Muhammad ,that “relentless onslaught” by Muslims brought vast territories, including Iraq (the first victim of Muslim Arab jihad), and the Sassanian Empire of Persia, in the east, and Egypt, and then most of North Africa, in the west, under Islamic control.
“The writer fails to mention any of the 156 verses of mercy in the Qu’ran (2:182, 7:51, 12:92, 23:118) or the 65 verses of peace (2:182, 4:90, 6:127, 8:61, 49:9) or the 93 verses of love (2:195, 3:31, 4:36, 19:96).
“Mercy” and “peace” and “love” in the Qur’an are directed at fellow Muslims, or describe Allah; they are not directed at Unbelievers. “Allah is forgiving and merciful” ends 2:182, which is what the writer would have us believe is a “verse of [universal] mercy,” though Allah is “forgiving and merciful” only to Believers. When Allah is described as the “Most Merciful” — toward Believers — as in 19:96, this is treated by John Hamed, Jr. as a “verse of love,” but again, it is directed only to Believers. While 49:9 is about making “peace,” that “peace” is only between Believers. “Mercy,” “peace,” and “love” do not apply to Unbelievers except insofar as those Unbelievers are inclined either to convert (revert) to Islam, or to fully accept the status of dhimmi under Muslim masters. Mr. Hamed has simply gone to an online concordance to the Qur’an, found where the words “mercy,” “peace,” and “love” and their variants appear, listed those verses, and paid no attention to whom those sentiments are supposed to be directed. If he had done so, he would have understood how unrelenting Islam remains in inculcating hatred of those Unbelievers who refuse either to convert to Islam, or to submit, as dhimmis, to subjugation by Muslims.
Briefly, Islam teaches the worship of One God and it accepts the prophecies of Moses and Jesus and others mentioned in the scriptures. There are 7 million American Muslims, half of whom are U.S.-born. We are educated, middle-class citizens who work in every profession. America is our home, and we’re not going anywhere.
This statement misleads in several ways. Muslims, Christians, and Jews are all monotheists, but the Allah of Islam is a much more violent and uncompromising figure than the God of the Christians or the Jehovah of the Jews. Hamed wishes readers to believe in that soothing untruth that “we all worship the same God.” We don’t. The Muslim Allah is long on war, short on peace, long on hatred, short on love; the Christian God is the exact opposite. The Qur’an, with its emphasis on warfare, conquest, subjugation of Infidel enemies, with its rules for dividing up loot, including both property and sex slaves, is a very different text from the Christian Bible. As far as Islam accepting Moses and Jesus as prophets, that is true, but they are understood in ways quite different from what Christians believe. The “prophecy” of Moses that Islam accepts is that of Deuteronomy 18:18, where Muslims believe he is foretelling the appearance of “the Prophet Muhammad,” while Christians take his “prophecy” as referring to the appearance of Christ. And in Islam, Jesus is only a “prophet” and not the Son of God, as Christians believe. Muhammad, while the “Perfect Man,” is still just a man, a mere mortal. Thus do Muslims avoid the sin of “shirk” (polytheism, idolatry), ascribing a “partner” to God, of which Christians, who take Jesus to be the Son of God, are guilty.
Notice, too, the writer’s unsubstantiated claim that “there are 7 million Muslims in America.” According to the Pew Research Foundation, there are 3.35 Muslims in the United States as of August 2017, or less than half the number so casually claimed by John Hamed, Jr. He offers no source for his figure, for there is none. The attempt to exaggerate the number, and hence the perceived power, of Muslims, is a staple of Muslim propaganda. Hamed is hoping that his readers will not bother to check; he may well, alas, be right.
The bizarre claim Hamed makes, based solely on Fell’s wild remarks about Muslims being “the descendants of the Muslim visitors of North America [who] are members of the present Iroquois, Algonquin, Anasazi, Hohokam and Olmec native people,” has to be understood as one more attempt to backdate a Muslim presence in America, as if that were itself a guarantee of “belonging” in America, by being more connected to the indigenous Indians than are the descendants of the comparatively late arrivals from Europe.
What of John Hamed, Jr.’s claim that “we [Muslims] are educated, middle-class citizens who work in every profession.” That is no guarantee of good behavior. Muslim terrorists are on the whole better educated, and better off economically than the average Muslim, as noted in this report by Giulio Meotti. Osama bin Laden came from a family of billionaires. Ayman al-Zawahiri, a doctor, came from one of the most prominent and prosperous families in Egypt. We have all read of the doctors, lawyers, professors, students at good universities, who went off to join the Islamic state. Telling us that Muslims are economically “middle-class” is no reason for us to feel relieved. The “middle-class” Dr. Nidal Hasan, who had had his medical education paid for entirely by the Army, and was earning $90,000 a year, remained unswayed in his murderous hatred of Infidels. “Mike” Hawash, who was convicted in 2003 of trying to help his fellow Muslims in the Taliban, had been earning $360,000 as an Intel engineer. Aafia Siddiqui had attended MIT, had a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis, and a brilliant career before her when she decided to trade it all for life as “Lady Al-Qaida.” There are many more such examples.
Perhaps sensing that he has not won us over with his claims about the Qur’an’s contents — all that mercy, love, and peace — nor disabused us of our fears about Muslims by insisting that they are “well-educated and middle-class,” nor impressed us with the claims that they arrived in America 800 years before Columbus, he ends the first part of his letter with the unpleasantly defiant “we are not going anywhere.”
That defiant note that Mr. Hamed adds, that “we [Muslims] are not going anywhere” sounds disturbingly like a challenge: “just you try to get rid of us, no matter what we believe, or how we act.” It does not sound like the sentiment of someone trying to decrease “divisiveness.” He might have written “we are glad to be here, and we love what this country offers us.” Instead he offered, tellingly, a veiled threat: “we are not going anywhere.”
Islamic Gender Apartheid: Exposing a Veiled War Against Women. Phyllis Chesler. Published by New English Review Press, 2017. $29.99 pp.462
Phyllis Chesler is a true liberal – and as such, she is a thorn in the side of the politically correct crowd who style themselves as liberals but are simply inconsistent socialists who think that loving the underdog is what liberalism means.
Chesler knows what she is talking about. In 1961, she fell in love and married a sophisticated Afghan man who took her to Afghanistan to “meet his family.” Thus began a months-long virtual imprisonment and first-hand experience with how Muslims treat women – even in a time before most Afghan women were veiled.
When she managed to escape after months of being debased and mistreated, Chesler started her career as a feminist, authoring dozens of books on the topic over the years.
As she says:
When I returned to the United States, there were few feminist stirrings. However, within five years, I became a leader of America’s new feminist movement. In 1967, I became active in the National Organization for Women, as well as in various feminist consciousness-raising groups and campaigns. In 1969, I pioneered women’s studies classes for credit, cofounded the Association for Women in Psychology, and began delivering feminist lectures. I also began work on my first book, Women and Madness, which became an oft-cited feminist text.
Firsthand experience of life under Islam as a woman held captive in Kabul has shaped the kind of feminist I became and have remained—one who is not multiculturally “correct.” By seeing how women interacted with men and then with each other, I learned how incredibly servile oppressed peoples could be and how deadly the oppressed could be toward each other. Beebee Jan was cruel to her female servants. She beat her elderly personal servant and verbally humiliated our young and pregnant housemaid. It was an observation that stayed with me.
While multiculturalism has become increasingly popular, I never could accept cultural relativism. Instead, what I experienced in Afghanistan as a woman taught me the necessity of applying a single standard of human rights, not one tailored to each culture. In 1971—less than a decade after my Kabul captivity—I spoke about rescuing women of Bangladesh raped en masse during that country’s war for independence from Pakistan. The suffering of women in the developing world should be considered no less important than the issues feminists address in the West. Accordingly, I called for an invasion of Bosnia long before Washington did anything, and I called for similar military action in Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Sudan.
In recent years, I fear that the “peace and love” crowd in the West has refused to understand how Islamism endangers Western values and lives, beginning with our commitment to women’s rights and human rights. The Islamists who are beheading civilians, stoning Muslim women to death, jailing Muslim dissidents, and bombing civilians on every continent are now moving among us both in the East and in the West. While some feminist leaders and groups have come to publicize the atrocities against women in the Islamic world, they have not tied it to any feminist foreign policy. Women’s studies programs should have been the first to sound the alarm. They do not. More than four decades after I was a virtual prisoner in Afghanistan, I realize how far the Western feminist movement has to go.
This book is an exploration of Chesler’s fight against Islamic gender apartheid – the burqa and chador, honor killings, lashings and stonings of women in Islamic countries who stand up for themselves, routine rapes, female genital mutilation and other horrible crimes against women in Muslim countries.
These are the stories that the Western media usually refuses to cover. Chesler has an encyclopedic knowledge of Muslim crimes against women in the Muslim world as well as in the West.
And, Phyllis Chesler knows the history of the women’s movement – since she has been there from the beginning of the Second Wave. She can recall a time, back in 2001, when Oprah Winfrey could help remove a burqa from a young woman in front of 18,000 cheering women at Madison Square Garden – a scene that is literally impossible to imagine today as these same “feminists’ are defending the burqa as just another fashion choice and not a moving sensory-deprivation prison.
She also talks about the brave Muslim (and ex-Muslim) feminists who are fighting the good fight against this systematic discrimination and abuse. These are her friends. She defends them against the hypocrites of today’s Left who insult these incredibly brave women. And, in her characteristic fearlessness, Chesler excoriates the modern Left who are willing to give Muslim crimes against women a pass.
One of my favorite passages is where Chesler responds to a faux-feminist who accuses her of racism for her criticism of the sexual assault of CBS News reporter Lara Logan in Cairo:
Where were you when I began marching for civil rights of African-americans in the early 160s and tutoring black children in Harlem? …. Read all or any of my articles about what life is like for women in the Middle East and in central Asia, read my studies about honor killings and about the work I’ve been doing on behalf of girls and women who have applied for asylum in the United States and who are in flight from being honor murdered.
These girls and women are not white women. They are all women of color. Do you believe that men of color have the right to treat “their” women barbarically? And that we are obliged to collaborate in sexism in order to be on the right side of racism?
Marcotte: Your accusation of “racism” constitutes a new and terribly fashionable McCarthyism, one that plagues our world. (Yes, I know: McCarthy was also before your time.)
Today, when real racists (think of the ethnic Arab Muslims in Sudan who have committed genocide and gender cleansing against the African Muslims and Christians in Darfur), real fascists, real totalitarians, real barbarians, want to brand, shame, delegitimize, and silence anyone who dares to expose their racism and misogyny, they simply call her a “racist.” The accusation functions as a leper’s bell around one’s neck. It is meant to keep others away, meant to warn people that if, they, too, say similar things or associate with a known “racist,” that they will also be branded as “racists.”
The accusation of “racism” is the new, politically correct version of the old accusation of “communism.” Today, those who level this accusation tend to be leftists, socialists, “progressives,” faux feminists, and real communists.
Most of the articles chosen for the book are relatively short pieces that Chesler published at sites like FrontPage, Pajamas Media, Israel National News or even the Huffington Post. She sparkles, though, when she is given the space to show her scholarship in the longer pieces she wrote for Middle East Forum and other journals, with footnotes.
I recently stumbled across a ridiculous book put out by a university press that claims that anyone who says that they support women’s rights in Muslim countries is really an Islamophobe. Chesler proves this thesis wrong, decisively, by fearlessly standing up for Muslim women and defending Muslim reformers.
Islamic Gender Apartheid is a fearless defense of Western liberal values in the face of political correctness and modern witch hunting.