How wonderfully appropriate. But surely someone is going to get sacked.
Video at Weasel Zippers (thanks to James).
How wonderfully appropriate. But surely someone is going to get sacked.
Video at Weasel Zippers (thanks to James).
This shouldn't surprise anyone, given the sharp dichotomy between believers and unbelievers that runs through all of Islam.
From the Herald Sun (thanks to JE):
ONE of the three Bali bombers on death row in Indonesia has admitted crying for Muslim victims of his crime, but remained unrepentant for taking other lives. Bali bombings mastermind Imam Samudra told an Indonesian television station he was "very sorry" and had wept because he had killed Muslims in the 2002 attack.
But he remained unrepentant for the other innocent lives he had ended, when he masterminded the twin nightclub bombings, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Indonesian television station Lativi has broadcast footage from a hidden camera, filmed this week when two journalists gained access to the tightly-guarded island prison at Nusakambangan island, by pretending to be relatives.
Family of the three - Samudra, the "smiling assassin" Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, and his brother Ali Ghufron alias Mukhlas - visited the prison on Monday in what could be their last meeting with the death row convicts before their executions.
Samudra used the gathering to deliver a set of 10 final wishes to his family.
He asked his family to not cry out loud in front of his body.
"Nobody, neither family, nor parents, nor wife or children can cry out loud in front of my dead body," he told relatives.
"I asked you to buy the cheapest white cloth to cover my body, but it should be bought from clean money.
"And when I am dead, I don't want to be autopsied," he said.
The 10 wishes included a request he be buried in his home village in Serang, West Java and that his funeral be conducted by fellow muslims.
Meanwhile, Amrozi had been fasting for two consecutive months inside the prison to ask God's forgiveness for killing the Muslims, the program said.
"Tell the others that I am sorry for the Muslims that had become victims," Amrozi said.
But the terrorist, who was scorned for laughing at the carnage during his trial, said that the blasts had gone as planned, and only regretted there weren't more victims.
"When I was caught, no one in the coastal area knew what jihad was," he said.
"But right now, everyone is saying it, and I really feel it.
"This evidence was (shown) when I am still alive, (so) it would be even more when I die."
No, man. Everyone in the Western world knows that jihad is an interior spiritual struggle. Get with the program, will you? You're just another of the multitudinous Misunderstanders of Islam.
What race are Muslims again? And why must Western culture always give way to the cultural demands of Muslim immigrants?
Me, I think Labour's heart is three sizes too small.
"Christmas should be 'downgraded' to help race relations says Labour think tank," by James Chapman in the Daily Mail (thanks to Brenda):
Christmas should be downgraded in favour of festivals from other religions to improve race relations, says an explosive report.
Labour's favourite think-tank says that because it would be hard to 'expunge' Christmas from the national calendar, 'even-handedness' means public organisations must start giving other religions equal footing.
The leaked findings of its investigation into identity, citizenship and community cohesion also propose:
• 'Birth ceremonies', at which state and parents agree to 'work in partnership' to bring up children
• Action to 'ensure access' for ethnic minorities to 'largely white' countryside
• An overhaul of Britain's 'imperial' honours system
• Bishops being thrown out of the House of Lords
• An end to 'sectarian' religious education
• Flying flags other than the Union Jack.
I get lots of hate mail, and indeed, I've gotten a particularly large amount from a frequent commenter on the articles at FrontPage magazine, who sent me this one. But this is one of the oddest:
I am a just and fair person, so I must inform you that I have resources backing me that have pockets far deeper and wider than yours will ever be, Insha Allah. I will be watching very closely.
Well, my friend, you know what the man says: All the money you've made will never buy back your soul.
And they didn't mean an interior spiritual struggle.
"Expert: Miami Group Ready for Holy War," by Curt Anderson for Associated Press (thanks to Block Ness):
MIAMI (AP) -- A group of men accused of plotting to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower were in the final stages of forming a homegrown terrorist cell dedicated to waging an Islamic holy war before they were arrested, a prosecution terrorism expert testified Tuesday.
Raymond Tanter, a Georgetown University professor and terrorism scholar for 40 years, said suspected ringleader Narseal Batiste and the other six had nearly completed the "radicalization process" and moved toward acts of terrorism before their arrests in June 2006.
Hallmarks of this process include religious conversion, operation within a military-style hierarchy and adoption of goals shared by al-Qaida and other terrorist groups to destroy U.S. landmarks, Tanter said. The final stage - which he called "jihadization" - means the group is ready to plan, recruit and prepare for an attack.
"I believe that Mr. Batiste falls in the jihadization, or final stage of the radicalization process," Tanter said, adding the other members of the "Liberty City Seven" also fall into that category.
Evidence introduced at trial shows that Batiste "was talking only about violent jihad" and not other meanings of the Arabic word, such as self-examination, Tanter said.
The oath of allegiance to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden taken by the seven men - captured on an FBI videotape - "is the manner in which al-Qaida binds individuals to the organization," Tanter said.
The oath was administered by a man Batiste's group knew as "Brother Mohammed" who claimed to be an emissary sent by al-Qaida to assist in the purported terror plot. In reality, "Mohammed" paid FBI informant Elie Assad, who testified earlier that he was playing a role under close watch of FBI agents.
Several people have sent me this item from The Corner:
Constant Reader [John Derbyshire]
An astonished reader:Mr. Derbyshire—You read Human Events? You think abortion is ok, Intelligent Design is bunk, Christianity is false, and Robert Spencer is nuts, yet you read Human Events? Why?
[Me] Well, for great political reporting like the John Gizzi piece I quoted, for one thing. For Ann Coulter. For Jed Babbin. For the Capital Briefs. Perhaps more than anything, for the stats. I'm a sucker for numbers, and HE doesn't stint on them. (In that Oct. 22 issue, there's an entire page of numbers on the fund-raising efforts of the presidential candidates.)
And I don't think Robert is nuts. In my exchanges with him, he has always come across as courteous, civilized, and perfectly sane. His zeal for his own religion, and scorn for other people's, is the kind of thinking that, in my opinion, gets us nowhere we should want to be; but it's a point of view, and I respect Robert's scholarship. Nuts? No way.
Why, thank you, John. I don't think you're nuts, either.
I must have been nuts, however, when I did something I had never done before and will never do again: announce that a piece was coming before I had written it. On September 21 I promised an imminent reply to Derbyshire's "Islamophobophobia" article, and haven't delivered yet. One day it will appear, but this yawning gap between promise and fulfillment is getting to be embarrassing.
Anyway, one thing for now: this business about my "zeal" for my own religion, and "scorn for other people's" is wholly false. I don't have scorn for anyone's religion, and lots of people would question my zeal for my own. In this I expect that Derbyshire is referring to my last book, Religion of Peace?, which he seems to have taken as some kind of proselytizing tract or exercise in religious one-upmanship. It is neither. I explain in the book that I believe the same book could have been written by any atheist, or Jew, or Hindu, or Buddhist who was interested in the facts of the case, and in setting them forth in a neutral manner.
The book does not proselytize, and doesn't analyze the truth or falsehood of Christianity or Islam. All it does is evaluate from various angles the question of whether Christianity and Islam are equally threatening to a pluralistic society that respects non-establishment of religion, as Rosie O'Donnell and many others contend. It was an attempt to respond to the "Religion is the Problem" types like Christopher Hitchens by exploring whether it is really useful to lump all religions together, and to the Christian Theocracy scaremongers by examining whether there is really any comparison between Islamic supremacism and the alleged desire of Christians to replace the U.S. Constitution with Biblical law.
And for all that, we hear that it because I am zealous and scorn other religions. John, with respect, that's a particularly pungent pile of hooey. I don't scorn any religion, particularly Islam. In fact, I have been fascinated by Islam for many years now, which has led to my doing this work. And I respect Islam enough to tell the truth about it, including its warlike and supremacist doctrines -- these are matters of verifiable fact, and it is not "scornful" to point out their existence. I believe it is a particular act of scorn for Islam to adopt the patronizing pap and wishful thinking that marks the work of so many analysts of Islam and terrorism today. When I hear a non-Muslim judge lecturing a jihadist about how he has twisted his own religion, out of a mistaken and condescending distorted view of Islam that he has picked up from the deceivers (both Muslim and non-Muslim), I see scorn for Islam in action.
Speaking about something honestly is not scorning it, much less hating it. I do not wish to become a Muslim or live as a dhimmi under Sharia; I prefer Western notions of human rights. But "scorn" Islam? Not by a long shot. As I say here, I would like nothing better than a flowering, a renaissance, in the Muslim world, including full equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies: freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, equal employment opportunities, etc. If all that is "anti-Muslim," as some have said it is, so be it.
The indefatigable Harrison Sonntag of Dartmouth notifies me that Google has removed the video of my talk at Dartmouth, with this explanation:
As set forth in the Terms & Conditions, Google Video is not required to host or display uploaded content. Google Video may refuse to host content that violates its policies, including:
invasions of personal privacy
pornography or obscenity
hate or incitement of violence
graphic violence or other acts resulting in serious injury or death
violations of copyright. Please see our DMCA policy for more information.
Please note that we also reserve the right to not show mature content to users with their safesearch activated. This includes content that would typically not be shown to users under 18 years of age.
We may change these policies at any time without notice.
Of course, my speech was none of those things. It just caught the attention of someone who disagrees with it politically, and rather than engage in reasoned discussion or debate, or mount a rebuttal, he or she just made sure I would not be heard.
The fascist thugs aren't just at Emory. Some of them apparently work for Google.
UPDATE: Charles at LGF kindly vouches for me:
I watched the video, and there was absolutely nothing in it that violated these terms of service. It was a calm, well-reasoned speech that contained nothing hateful, no incitement to violence, no invasion of privacy, no pornography or obscenity, and certainly no violation of copyright.
Thanks, Charles. I'm glad I decided to take out that bit about Paris Hilton, but obviously it didn't do any good anyway.
SECOND UPDATE: Harrison has now kindly made the video available here.
"Millions of Iranians ready for martyrdom: Ahmadinejad," from Reuters:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday millions of Iranians would be ready to sacrifice themselves fighting the country's enemies, in an apparent reference to the United States and its allies.
Ahmadinejad's statement came a day after an Iranian commander said the Basij religious militia and their spirit of martyrdom could disrupt strategic Gulf oil shipping routes with a small operation.
But, alas: No houris for economic suicide.
They both spoke at annual ceremonies marking the death of a 13-year-old Basij, Mohammad Hosseini Fahmideh, who died trying to destroy an Iraqi tank in the 1980s war with Iran's neighbor.
"Enemies of the Iranian nation must know that by the passing away of martyrs like Fahmideh, the hands of the Iranian people are not empty," Ahmadinejad told a crowd of student Basij members in Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"And today millions of Fahmidehs are standing fresher and more prepared," he said.
So, more child soldiers, too? That's not generally something people are proud of.
Iran is locked in a standoff with the West which accuses Tehran of seeking atomic bombs. The United States has said it would not rule out force if diplomacy fails to end the row.
Iran says it nuclear aims are peaceful and says it would respond to any U.S. attack, including targeting U.S. interests.
On Monday, Brigadier General Ali Fahdavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' naval force, told a rally of Basijis: "The area of Persian Gulf and strategic Strait of Hormuz is such that a small operation can have a big outcome."
The Revolutionary Guards, the ideological wing of Iran's military which commands the Basij militia, has previously suggested it could, if pushed, disrupt oil flows in the Gulf and the narrow Strait of Hormuz at its mouth of the oil-rich region.
This is just weird. Why would someone bring a Saudi flag to the Boston Red Sox victory rally?
(Thanks to Hot Air.)
An anti-dhimmi panel in Washington speaks truth to power. By Nathan Burchfiel for CNSNews (thanks to Twostellas):
(CNSNews.com) - Muslim extremists are branding opponents "Islamophobes" in an effort to paint themselves as the victim and silence dissent and opposition to their political and religious beliefs, according to a panel convened in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.
"'Islamophobia' has become ... the new battleground in this war" on terrorism, Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, said at the panel discussion.
She said the term "inverts victim and perpetrator" by portraying Islamic fanatics as the victim, thus allowing them to label dissent as a violation of human rights and, in effect, silence dissent.
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the United Nations has been lobbying hard for bans against "Islamaphobia, which are "tantamount to blasphemy strictures that have been used to curtail freedoms of expression, press, and religion by some of the OIC's most repressive member states," noted the Hudson Institute in its preview to the panel discussion.
The term "Islamaphobia" will be a major focus of the 2009 U.N. World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa.
Bayefsky said the goal of conference organizers, including Libya, Cuba and Iran, is to "deflect attention from the human rights abuses" and "to circle the wagons, to invoke mass hysteria, to suggest to people that they are under threat, which is in fact imaginary."
She said that by labeling themselves victims of Islamophobia, leaders of Islamic regimes can justify harsh crackdowns on internal dissent and legitimize calls for similar crackdowns on outside criticism - such as calls for the punishment of cartoonists who depict the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
"If you can claim the other guy is the human rights violator," Bayefsky said, "if you become the victim of racism and Islamophobia, then you justify the so-called struggle against the enemy of human rights."
And the Leftist thugs who shouted down David Horowitz were nowhere in evidence, of course. Not that they would have wanted to turn out to protest a speech by an apologist for jihad terror -- and meanwhile, Emory's President James Wagner pretended that conservative students were just as likely to behave like fascist thugs as liberal ones, and took precautions to protect Ashrawi's speech that he did not take for Horowitz.
"Ashrawi defends Hizbullah and Hamas," by Gil Hoffman in the Jerusalem Post (thanks to all who sent this in):
Veteran Palestinian Authority lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi, who represents PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad's Third-Wave party, defended both Hamas and Hizbullah in a speech at Emory University in Atlanta on Monday night.
"The [Second Lebanon] War proved [Israel] could not defeat a nation fighting for freedom," Ashrawi said. Later, the Christian lawmaker blamed Hamas's January 2006 election victory on Israel, saying the occupation bred extremism.
Ashrawi also discussed the plight of the Palestinian people, saying they had plunged into a deep depression with unemployment and poverty at record levels, and that peace was the only answer.
Palestinians are experiencing "one of the most difficult phases in our history," she said. "Violence and [the] extreme ideology of Israel feed violence and extremism on the other side. And that's what led to the election of Hamas."
"Now we see not just a political and economic battle, but a battle over the soul of Palestine," she told an audience of about 200. "We find ourselves in the grip of... the deconstruction of Palestine."
Nearly 75 percent of Gazans were dependent on welfare and the Strip's unemployment rate had skyrocketed to 50%, she said, adding that conditions there had worsened since Hamas seized power in June.
She said peace talks must be moved forward rather than waiting for the violence to subside.
"You cannot hold peace hostage and say, 'Until every single Palestinian becomes peaceful, I'm not going to have talks,'" Ashrawi said. "You have to talk in order to bring about peace."
Hey, this is great! Alexander Van der Bellen won't associate Islam with terrorism! Now if we can just get all the Islamic jihadists around the world to agree not to do so either, we'll really be making progress!
VIENNA, Oct 31 (KUNA) -- Head of the Green Party and National Spokesman Alexander Van der Bellen said he is against the attempts of some bodies to associate Islam with terrorism.
Der Bellen told KUNA that it is in everybody's favor that 400,000 Moslems living in Austria do not turn into hostages as a result of the acts of a few extremist Moslems in the country.
He said the Austrian Green Party, the third largest party in Austria, has expressed its support for the Islamic community in many gatherings.
The eminent politician praised the initiative of the Austrian President Heinz Fischer to organize a reception for the representatives of the Islamic community in Austria and considered it an example to promote Inter-religious and cultural coexistence.
And after a month, what will prevent her from spreading "provocative texts" again?
"Five freed on jihad charges," from Dutch News (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
A court in Rotterdam has freed five out of six people charged with recruiting for an armed jihad, or holy war.
The court said the public prosecution department had failed to prove the men were trying to persuade people to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The one female defendant, Michelle Y, was sentenced to one month in jail for spreading provocative texts.
Maybe he thinks that if we throw enough money at Fatah, it really will become moderate. "Aid Request Emphasizes U.S. Support of Palestinian Authority Leadership," by Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post (thanks to Pamela):
President Bush has proposed a sixfold increase in aid to the Palestinians, including $150 million in direct cash transfers to the Palestinian Authority, in an effort to bolster the government in advance of a Middle East peace conference planned for later this month in Annapolis.
The $435 million in additional aid, on top of $77 million requested earlier this year, has attracted little notice in the president's $45.9 billion supplemental request last week to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, if approved, it would constitute the administration's largest amount of direct aid to the Palestinian Authority. Previously, the administration had limited cash transfers to $50 million at a time.
The Bush administration largely cut off aid to the Palestinian government when the militant group Hamas unexpectedly won legislative elections in 2006. But earlier this year, a unity government deal between Hamas and its Fatah rivals collapsed. Hamas forcibly took over the Gaza Strip, leaving the Fatah-led government in charge of only the West Bank.
Since Hamas seized Gaza, the Bush administration has sought to demonstrate support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and new Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The Annapolis conference is designed to show that the Fayyad government is on track to create a Palestinian state, with the backing of Arab leaders, and State Department officials said the money sought by Bush is designed to signal that substantial aid will flow to leaders who reject terrorism.
Great, except for the fact that they haven't rejected terrorism. But the facts have never gotten in the way of Bush's fantasy-based foreign policy.
All the recent controversy about who is and who isn't a neo-Nazi in Europe should consider whether or not the EU itself can be counted into the neo-Nazi group, or at very least harbors policymakers with such sentiments.
"Guess who Europe's subsidizing?" by Manfred Gerstenfeld in the Jerusalem Post (thanks to Looney Tunes):
The European Union and its member countries have been subsidizing various opponents of Israel for many years. A study, just published by the Dutch Center for Documentation and Information on Israel contains perhaps the most detailed investigation of one such case.
A group called United Civilians for Peace is a joint venture of five Dutch NGOs. Fifty to 90% of their budgets are funded by the Dutch government and the European Union. A sixth partner left UCP in view of its extreme anti-Israeli activities.
UCP - among other things - publishes research about "Dutch economic links in support of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and/or Syrian territories."
Journalist Joost de Haas, writing in the Dutch Telegraaf summed up the 50-plus page report by the Dutch Center for Documentation saying: "A peace organization financed with taxpayers money is guided by the Palestinian terror organization Hamas and supports the Iranian atom bomb."
The EU and the Dutch government thus indirectly finance Dutch opponents of Israel.
This story is the tip of a European iceberg of financial support for anti-Israeli bodies. NGO Monitor has exposed various state agencies which finance extreme anti-Israeli organizations. In an article in the Swiss daily Le Temps, Gerald Steinberg, who heads NGO Monitor cited examples of such support by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation.
Read it all.
It's OK. I'm sure they all dress as monks and nuns for Christmas.
"Teachers' Muslim dress order," from The Sun, with thanks to all who sent this in:
A SCHOOL was yesterday accused of MAKING teachers dress up as Asians for a day – to celebrate a Muslim festival.
Kids at the 257-pupil primary have also been told to don ethnic garb even though most are Christians.
The morning assembly will be open to all parents – but dads are BARRED from a women-only party in the afternoon because Muslim husbands object to wives mixing with other men.
Just two members of staff – a part-time teacher and a teaching assistant – are Muslim.
Yesterday a relative of one of the 39 others said: “Staff have got to go along with it – or let’s face it, they would be branded racist.
“Who would put their job on the line? They have been told they have to embrace the day to show their diversity. But they are not all happy.”
The day aims to belatedly mark Eid, the end of Ramadan.
Sally Bloomer, head of Rufford primary school in Lye, West Midlands, insisted: “I have not heard of any complaints.
“It’s all part of a diversity project to promote multi-culturalism.”
I suspect Ms. Bloomer may be hearing a complaint or two soon.
Not really, of course. I never called for him to resign, much less force him to do so. I did call attention to things that he admits to having said. But AP, characteristically, puts the blame on Jihad Watch and Patrick Poole, as if we trumped up the charges.
Just imagine if an anti-jihadist made reference to some ancient text that says that in the last days, Jews will kill Muslims -- not that any such text exists -- and resigned from his job amid the ensuing controversy. Do you think AP would run a weepy story depicting the anti-jihadist complaining about what a "nightmare" his critics have created for him, and the critics themselves as relentless head hunters bent on doing in a good man?
I don't think so either.
You'll note also that AP doesn't seem to have made any attempt to contact Central Ohioans Against Terrorism or Jihad Watch for comment. This article is wall-to-wall Alzaree, who doth bestride this narrow world like a colossus, a Julius Caesar done in by his mad, craven, jealous opponents.
"Blog critics force imam to resign at Ohio mosque," from The Associated Press (thanks to all who sent this in):
PARMA, Ohio (AP) — An imam who was to become the new spiritual leader of Ohio's largest mosque resigned because of allegations by bloggers that he is anti-Semitic, he said.
Imam Ahmed Alzaree said the Web postings so poisoned the atmosphere in the community that he and his wife, Marwa, decided to look elsewhere.
"Cleveland now is a nightmare for her," Alzaree said Monday, three days before he was to start at the Islamic Center of Cleveland in suburban Parma. "It will never be a good start for me and the Jewish community."
Alzaree, 38, an Egyptian-born cleric, was to be the mosque's first permanent imam since Fawaz Damra, who was deported in January after a 1991 videotape surfaced showing him disparaging Jews and raising money for the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.
Damra apologized and said his views had changed but was shunned by the interfaith leaders who once worked with him.
Alzaree, who previously led a mosque in Omaha, Neb., said bloggers such as Central Ohioans Against Terrorism and Jihad Watch continued to attack him for a 2003 sermon in which he referenced the Hadiths, a collection of Prophet Muhammad's sayings.
"The hour of judgment shall not happen until the Muslims fight the Jews," the sermon quotes a Hadith. "The Muslims shall kill the Jews to the point that the Jew shall hide behind a big rock or a tree."
Alzaree has said the sermon gave many examples of Islamic teaching on the Day of Judgment and that it is clear that Muslims in the present are required to "strive and struggle in the world doing the good."
Bloggers also attacked him for an appearance at the Omaha mosque by Wagdy Ghoneim, an Egyptian and former imam at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in California who was forced to leave the United States in 2005 because of immigration violations.
Ghoneim had come to the attention of the U.S. Homeland Security Department, which believed his speeches could be considered supportive of terrorist organizations.
Alzaree said it was the administration of the Omaha mosque that had invited Ghoneim to speak.
Leaders of the Ohio mosque said they investigated Alzaree's background and that a major reason they hired him was his commitment to interfaith work. And just last week, Alzaree said he still planned to come to Ohio and make an extra effort to reach out to Jewish and Christian leaders.
But Alzaree said bloggers made it impossible for him to have a good beginning.
"I leave the field" to the bloggers, he said. "I have peace now." Alzaree said he will decide among a half-dozen other job offers....
"I leave the field...I have peace now." And so the noble man rides off into the sunset, without ever having explained whether he actually believes that Muslims will spend their days during the end times killing Jews, or, for that matter, what he believes about Islamic supremacism in general. And no AP reporter, or any reporter, is informed enough or free enough of PC blinders to ask him.
Emblematic of the general unserious response in the West to the ideological challenge from the jihadists. You'll notice that the problem all comes from the young man being unable to find a job -- in other words, jihadism is all the West's fault, and the West can put an end to it with the proper welfare and jobs programs.
"Germany Battles Terror in the Classrooms," by Yassin Musharbash in SpiegelOnline (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Interior Ministry of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is taking a new tack in the fight against homegrown terrorism. It's using a comic book -- complete with colorful images and "youthful" language -- to battle nasty jihadism.
Creativity is often found in the most unlikely places. Take, for example, a couple of German state domestic intelligence offices charged with tasks such as tracking far-right extremism and terrorist cells. In Baden-Württemberg, they recently constructed a mock Pakistani terror camp for a touring exhibition about Islamism. And their colleagues in North Rhine-Westphalia are no slouches either: They've commissioned a comic book, in which kids talk about Islam, the ideology of Islamism and terrorism. Its hero is a young German named Andi.
Andi has all the accoutrements needed to mark him as your run-o-the-mill hipster kid -- baseball cap, hoodie and messy hair -- and he has a Turkish girlfriend, Ayshe. Her brother -- and Andi's buddy -- Murat, is going through a bit of a crisis because he can't find a position as an apprentice, and he blames his rejection letters on xenophobia. That makes Murat the perfect prey for the strange new kid on the playground, Harun, with his serious demeanor and steadfast belief in what he's been fed from Islamists. Harun, in turn, beats it into Murat's head that he will be discriminated against because of his religion.
My New Homie, the Jihadist
Huran takes Murat under his wing, and it's not long before he makes some progress by convincing him that he shouldn't have any infidel friends because Islam forbids it. Basketball is taboo, too. And he also needs to make sure that his sister doesn't go to the movies with Andi.
After a while, Harun even takes Murat to meet his favorite sheik, whose sermons are filled with hatred. His preaching goes along these lines: "God has ordered the Muslim to neither associate with nor befriend the infidel!" Huran also shows Murat radical Web sites showing videos of attacks on coalition forces in Iraq. "But a lot of Muslims get killed in those attacks, too," Murat ventures to comment. "They are all hypocrites and liars!" comes the response of the Jihadist sheik. And even if a Muslim were among the dead, he would have died a martyr. What more could a man want?
Of course, after 38 pages, there is the inevitable happy ending: Murat transforms himself from a potential public enemy number one back into a cheerful chap. And, joy upon joy, an apprenticeship position appears out of nowhere, just to hammer home the moral of the story.
Realism and Reality
It's hard to say whether school kids are going to laugh themselves silly while reading this stuff or if their slippery attention can be held. There will be 170,000 copies of Andi's first adventure and Hamburg is also planning to use them. The second issue in the Andi series is set to hit schools soon.
One thing is for sure: the officials have given it a good shot. The story is a bit too short and sweet but, at the same time, it's half-way believable because you can see that a lot of the details are a fairly faithful reflection of reality.
That said, the character of the headscarf-wearing Ayshe is a bit exaggerated and too good to believe: She's friendly, smart, versed in the Koran, pious ... and on top of that she's a rock-solid believer in the tenets of liberal democracy....
Ah, yes, of course, the great Unicorn, the Western Muslim we are all commanded to believe exists in large numbers, but whom virtually no one has ever actually seen.
My column this week in Human Events:
The Arab American Institute held its national conference in Detroit over the weekend, and presidential hopefuls Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul were there. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards addressed the conference via video hookup. Obama also sent an adviser, Tony Lake, and Edwards sent his campaign manager, David Bonior. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean was there as well.
A Detroit Free Press article noted how much this was indication of changing times: “In 1988, Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis rejected the endorsement of a major Arab-American group.” But now? “This year, Democratic party leaders gave the candidates permission to address the conference despite a campaign boycott of Michigan because legislators moved up the date of the state’s primary.”
"The sect believes that praying once a day is sufficient for Muslims and also calls for a revision of the current interpretations of the Koran."
Oh, the horror!
Wouldn't it be refreshing if somewhere, anywhere, Muslim authorities cracked down this hard on the jihadists?
From AKI (thanks to Twostellas):
Jakarta, 30 Oct. (AKI) – Ahmad Mushaddeq, the leader of the controversial Muslim sect, Al Qiyadah Al Islamiyah, and six of his followers have been arrested in Indonesia.
The Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), Indonesia’s main state religious institution welcomed the arrests of the Al Qiyadah Al Islamiyah sect members, but asked the police to do more.
“We are asking the police to limit the spreading of these beliefs,” Anwar Ibrahim, head of the MUI Fatwa division told AdnKronos International (AKI).
“The teachings are dangerous and we must be vigilant.”
The sect is regarded as a heretic organisation by the MUI and several other religious organisations also complained to the police.
Al Qiyadah was founded by Haji Salam, later known as Ahmad Moshaddeq several years ago in Bogor, West Java.
It first surfaced in 2000 and has rapidly grown to count some 4000 followers across Java and Sumatra.
On July 23, Ahmad Moshaddeq claimed to be a prophet. He said he had the revelation after he spent 40 days and nights in meditation at Mount Bunder, Bogor, West Java.
The sect believes that praying once a day is sufficient for Muslims and also calls for a revision of the current interpretations of the Koran.
As with the Brown story, this story from the Dartmouth college newspaper is accompanied by a bogeyman photo obviously designed to portray me as a Hitlerian rabble-rouser. There was a campus photographer at the Darmouth talk who was, I was told, taking "hundreds" of photos. I responded at the time that he was no doubt taking so many pictures so he could find one that made me look as bad as possible. And here we are.
Anyway, in the story, a Muslim student blandly retails falsehoods about what the Qur'an says, and where I stand. More comments below.
"‘Islamo-fascism’ speaker met with controversy," by Thomas Bukowski in TheDartmouth.com (thanks to Harrison Sonntag):
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and author of two New York Times bestsellers on Islamic jihad, gave a speech to an audience of around 70 in Dartmouth Hall on Friday on the subject of “Islamo-fascism.” Amid much controversy over the week’s advertising, the keynote speech received a standing ovation and was the concluding event of “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” at the College.
During his speech, Spencer called on the audience to end the silence on the subject of what he called Islamo-fascism.
“Now is the time for every person of conscience to call what oppression and injustice are —- oppression and injustice,” Spencer said. “That’s why we need Islamo-fascism Awareness Week.”
Chloe Mulderig ‘05, who identifies as a “moderate Muslim” and works for the anthropology department, said that Dartmouth disagrees with Spencer’s assertion that Dartmouth needs such a week.
“Part of their agenda is to illicit [sic] a response, but we’re smarter than that,” Mulderig said. “Debate about terrorism is very important, but Robert Spencer is unfortunately bringing hate speech on campus and hates Islam itself.”
Of course, no evidence is offered for this. I ask anyone and everyone, including Chloe Mulderig, to listen to the talk I gave at Dartmouth and to come up with even a single example of "hate speech."
Spencer defended the term “Islamo-fascism” and denied that the term equates Islam to terrorism. He added that terms such as Italian and German fascism used during World War II did not apply to the entire populations of Italy or Germany.
“Saying that Islamo-fascism tars all Muslims simply defies all common sense,” he said.
Spencer said that there was a growing movement of fundamentalist Muslims within the Islamic world who are “claiming the mantle of Islamic purity”.
“Without an authority on who can say what is ‘true Islam’ and when they can base their words on the Koran, then it can and does have a great effect on the Islamic world.”
Spencer claimed that Al-Qaeda and Hamas, who feel “the need for waging war against Christians and Jews until they submit,” sprang from this disagreement about the finer details of Islam.
Spencer also emphasized that in the society that jihadists would implement, women would be one of main groups to suffer .
Though Mulderig was impressed by Spencer’s knowledge of Islamic theology, she questioned the accuracy of his comments concerning the Koran in regards to women.
“[Spencer’s assertion] that the Koran says it is okay to beat women is incorrect and offensive,” she said.
Is that so?
Qur'an 4:34 tells men to beat their disobedient wives after first warning them and then sending them to sleep in separate beds. This is, of course, an extremely controversial verse, so it is worth noting how several translators render the key word here, وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ, waidriboohunna.
Pickthall: “and scourge them”
Yusuf Ali: “(And last) beat them (lightly)”
Al-Hilali/Khan: “(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)”
Shakir: “and beat them”
Sher Ali: “and chastise them”
Khalifa: “then you may (as a last alternative) beat them”
Arberry: “and beat them”
Rodwell: “and scourge them”
Sale: “and chastise them”
Daryabadi: "and beat them"
Asad: “then beat them”
Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, Al-Hilali/Khan, Shakir, Sher Ali, Khalifa, Daryabadi and Asad are Muslims. Are their translations all "incorrect and offensive"?
Laleh Bakhtiar, in a new translation that has received wide publicity, translates Qur'an 4:34 as “go away from them.” In light of this unanimity among the translators, both Muslim and non-Muslim, this seems difficult to sustain – all of these authorities got the passage wrong until Bakhtiar? But her impulse is understandable, as many Muslims today regard this verse with acute embarrassment. Asad adduces numerous traditions in which Muhammad “forbade the beating of any woman,” concluding that wife-beating is “barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided.”
Unfortunately, however, this is not a unanimous view. Sheikh Syed Mahmud Allusi in his commentary Ruhul Ma’ani gives four reasons that a man may beat his wife: “if she refuses to beautify herself for him,” if she refuses sex when he asks for it, if she refuses to pray or perform ritual ablutions, and “if she goes out of the house without a valid excuse.”
But Mulderig would apparently prefer to pretend that I made this up rather than deal with Muslim approval of wife-beating.
Muldering also wished that a speaker without an agenda was brought in to ignite discussion about terrorism.
“Though a part of Spencer’s agenda is to increase awareness [of terrorism], the other part is to hate on Muslims,” she said.
Once again: prove it. These are false and libelous charges. I argued during the talk that peaceful Muslims were among the victims of jihadists who deem them insufficiently Muslim. It is an act of hate to make false and libelous charges against someone one opposes. Mulderig should back it up if she can, or retract it.
In the question and answer session following the speech, Spencer was asked by a member of the audience if having an Islamo-fascism Awareness Week meant that the College should also have a week for other countries, including a “CIA-fascism awareness week”.
“You guys have that every week here,” Spencer replied, a comment that was met with applause from the mostly-conservative audience.
Spencer was introduced by Professor Meir Kohn of the economics department, who highlighted how the effects of Islamo-fascism was brought to the world’s attention by Sept. 11, 2001 and criticized the ambivalent view of Islamo-fascism by the “left”.
“Marxism currently exists in only three places: North Korea, Cuba and American universities,” said Kohn. He went on to call the academic left a “watered-down version of Marxism.”
Kohn also said that the silence about Islamo-fascism by the academic left is a form of passive approval, and that the front of the war for awareness of this issue is waged on American university campuses.
At one point during the speech, two Safety and Security officers came into the auditorium. They said that they were “not here in official capacity”, but there “just to make sure things were OK,” adding that they found the speech interesting.
Mulderig felt that the presence of the Safety and Security officers was the most offensive part of the event.
“The College clearly has a lot of faith in the muslim community,” she said sarcastically.
Sorry. I know Noam Chomsky and Tom Friedman could go to any campus and speak without needing guards, given the Leftist fascist thugs who dominate so many campuses today, I am not going to have faith in anyone.
These Islamophobes: how dare Imam Samudra, Mukhlas and Amrozi link Islam with terrorism! I trust they will be getting a strongly worded letter from Ibrahim Hooper. Or at least that CAIR will issue a strong denunciation of these statements.
"No regrets for the smiling murderers," from the Times (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
The three Indonesians sentenced to die for the 2002 Bali blasts say that they are ready to be executed and their only regret is that Muslims were among the 202 killed in the attack.
Imam Samudra and the brothers Mukhlas and Amrozi are held at the top-security Batu prison, off the southern coast of Java. They were allowed to meet relatives yesterday in what is likely to be the last such visit before they face a firing squad, probably within the next two months.
Amrozi became known as the smiling bomber because of his constant grin during his trial. “People ask me, why am I smiling? I am happy because I will be united with 72 angels in heaven,” he said in an interview with Reuters and a local television network. “I have killed many with my bombs. I have been tested by spending time in this prison, but if you make infidels angry you will be rewarded.”
The Bali bombings, blamed on the South East Asian Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah, were intended to scare away foreigners so that Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, could eventually become part of a larger Islamic caliphate. Instead, the attacks in Bali and Jakarta pushed Indonesia into a closer security and intelligence relationship with the US and Australia.
The bombers said that Indonesia’s ties to Washington and Canberra did not mean that they had failed. “What we did was to fight the soldiers of Zion and the cross,” said Samudra, who is considered to have been the chief planner of the Bali attack. Mukhlas added: “If there are victims among Muslims it was just an error. Muslims’ blood is not halal [allowed to be killed] and their killing was not intentional.”
I just emailed this to Wall Street Journal reporter Elizabeth Holmes, who wrote this morning's wildly biased story about those horrible Republican Presidential candidates linking Islam with terrorism:
Dear Ms. Holmes,
In light of the considerations I voiced in my Jihad Watch post about your article, I'd like to interview you for an article I'm writing about journalistic bias.
I'd be very grateful if you'd take a moment to answer these questions via email, or call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
1. When we spoke, I explained to you that the linkage between Islam and terrorism did not come from Republican presidential candidates, but from the terrorists themselves, who consistently point to Islamic teachings to explain and justify their actions, and told you that if we refuse to explore this, and to speak about it honestly, we are voluntarily declining to make use of the only key that they themselves have given us to understanding their own motives and goals. You did not quote or refer to anything I said; nor did you quote anyone else saying anything similar. Why did you think these observations irrelevant to the question of the Republican candidates' usage of terms like "Islamic terrorism"?
2. Why did you quote four authorities against the Republicans' usage and only two in favor, and both of those were "man-on-the-street" quips as opposed to four recognized analysts and spokesmen on the other side?
3. On what grounds do you and/or your editors believe that the religion of a particular analyst might color his understanding of the appropriateness of the usage of the adjective "Islamic" in front of the word "terrorism"?
4. Do you yourself believe that if terror groups take names like "Islamic Jihad" or "the Party of Allah" (Hizballah) or "The Islamic Resistance Movement" (Hamas), that non-Muslim officials and writers have the responsibility to find other names by which to refer to them, so as to obscure the Islamic content of their message and appeal within the Islamic world? If so, why?
5. Do you yourself believe that referring to "Islamic terrorism" tars all Muslims as terrorists? If so, can you please explain why this usage is different in substance from common terms such as "white racism" and "Italian fascism," which no one has ever understood as referring to the entire group involved?
I look forward to hearing from you.
I'll let you know if I get any answer.
UPDATE: Elizabeth Holmes writes:
Robert, All interview requests must go through our public relations department in the New York office – please contact Robert Christie (cc’d here). Thanks and best, Elizabeth Holmes
So I wrote Christie and asked for permission. He responded:
Mr. Spencer, Respectfully, we need to decline your interview request for Ms. Holmes. Please feel free to quote from her reporting and if you need any information or fact checking about The Wall Street Journal, please don’t hesitate to ask. Regards, Bob
I wrote back:
How very interesting, Bob. How very, very interesting. Thank you.
Would you yourself then be willing to answer the questions below?
And he responded:
The story speaks for itself and we have no further comment on the matter. Regards, Bob
Indeed it does speak for itself. It speaks volumes.
James W. Wagner, President of Emory University, where the self-proclaimed proponents of free speech and free inquiry behaved like the fascist thugs they really are and shouted down David Horowitz last week, has apologized to the College Republicans for the disruption of the event they sponsored.
In the course of his apology, Wagner says this:
It is worth reminding ourselves and others, in this context, that Emory invites speakers to our campus primarily for the interest and enrichment of the campus community. We open our doors to others as a courtesy. One regrettable consequence of Wednesday night’s assault on free speech is our decision to restrict admission to Glenn Auditorium on Monday afternoon for a lecture by former Palestinian minister of higher education and research Hanan Ashrawi. Admission will be open only to persons with a valid college or university photo ID from Emory or elsewhere. In order to accommodate the interest of persons from the general community, an off-site video feed will be made available in White Hall 208.
Hey, thanks, Dr. Wagner. That's terrific. One speaker's address got disrupted, so you're taking extra precautions for the next speaker. Admirable foresight, sir!
Just a few questions: does your determination to make sure Hanan Ashrawi's speech goes off without disruption have anything to do with her status as an apologist for Palestinian jihad terror against Israel?
And aren't your precautions regarding her speech a suggestion that conservative students are likely to engage in the same fascist silencing tactics that the Emory student Leftists engaged in when they torpedoed Horowitz's speech?
Yet where and when have conservative students ever behaved in such a manner?
If you are really interested in free speech and free inquiry, as you say, wouldn't it make more sense not to trumpet your protections of Hanan Ashrawi, which are not needed in any case since Leftist and pro-jihad speakers are never in physical danger on college campuses, but to invite David Horowitz back to Emory and make sure he is allowed to speak without being shouted down by thugs?
More balanced, objective journalism: at the end of a story on Britain's first Muslim minister, Shahid Malik, being detained at a U.S. airport (thanks to PRCS for the heads-up), the BBC adds this:
Are you a Muslim who has been detained in an American airport? Did you think it was justified? Send us your comments using the form below
Has the BBC ever run any requests like these?
Are you a victim of Islamic terrorism? Did you think it was justified? Send us your comments using the form below
Are you a non-jihadist who has been detained and questioned in an airport because of Islamic terrorism? Are you willing to put up with inconveniences in order to head off another terrorist attack? Send us your comments using the form below
Somehow I doubt it.
Women in Saudi Arabia do not have human rights. As Amnesty International puts it, "The abuse of women's rights in Saudi Arabia is not simply the unfortunate consequence of overzealous security forces and religious police. It is the inevitable result of a state policy which gives women fewer rights than men, which means that women face discrimination in all walks of life and which allows men with authority to exercise their power without any fear of being held to account for their actions."
For instance, women in Saudi Arabia cannot choose whom they marry and they have no real power to divorce their husbands. Men on the other hand can lawfully marry up to four women and divorce any of them simply by announcing that they have divorced them. And once they are divorced, they are by law and practice denied custody of their children.
Marital rape and physical abuse are not generally considered crimes and therefore women have no legal recourse for dealing with abusive husbands, or fathers or brothers. Since they are legally barred from serving as lawyers, and Islam weighs a woman's court testimony as worth half the testimony of a man, even if they were able to press charges against their male tormentors, Saudi women are effectively denied recourse in the local courts.
Women of course are not the only victims of the Saudi regime. Non-Muslims are denied the right to worship. Shi'ite Muslims' right to worship is subject to draconian limitations. Jews are officially barred from entering the kingdom. Then too, there are no real elections in Saudi Arabia, no press freedom, no freedom of assembly. Yet even against this totalitarian backdrop the position of women stands out in its severity.
Take education for example. As the State Department's 2006 Human Rights report notes, there is little academic freedom in Saudi Arabia. For instance, "The government prohibited the study of Freud, Marx, Western music, and Western philosophy." Yet women's educational opportunities are even more constrained. Due to gender apartheid, women may only study in all female institutions. There they are prohibited from studying fields like law and engineering and petroleum sciences. In 2005 the BBC reported, "Although women make up more than half of all graduates from Saudi universities, they comprise only 5 percent of the kingdom's workforce."
Saudi women have no freedom of movement. They may not drive. And they may not move around in public unless escorted by their husband, father or brother. Women found in public unescorted by suitable males are subject to arrest and corporal punishment.
The limitations placed on public appearances are mind boggling. As Freedom House reported in 2005, "Visible and invisible spatial boundaries also limit women's movement. Mosques, most ministries, public streets, and food stalls (supermarkets not included) are male territory. Furthermore, accommodations that are available for men are always superior to those accessible to women, and public space, such as parks, zoos, museums, libraries, or the national Jinadriyah Festival of Folklore and Culture, is created for men, with only limited times allotted for women's visits."
TO THE extent that women in Saudi Arabia are allowed leave their homes, they are prohibited from actually being seen by anyone through the rigid enforcement of Islamic dress codes. As the State Department 2006 report explains, "In public, a woman was expected to wear an abaya (a black garment that covers the entire body) and also to cover her head and hair. The religious police generally expected Muslim women to cover their faces and non-Muslim women from other Asian and African countries to comply more fully with local customs of dress than non-Muslim Western women. During the year religious police admonished and harassed citizen and noncitizen women who failed to wear an abaya and hair cover."
Perhaps it is because it is so offensive to the Western eye to see women covered like sacks of potatoes, the abaya has become a symbol of Islamic oppression and degradation of women. Although outlawing their use, as the French have attempted to do in recent years, is itself a form of religious oppression, the sentiment informing their ban is certainly understandable. The fact is that a free society should not be able to easily stomach the notion that women should be encouraged, let alone obliged to wear degrading garments that deny them the outward vestiges of their humanity and individuality.
Due to the fact that the abayas convey a symbolic message of effective enslavement of women, Mrs. Bush's interaction with women clad in abayas was the aspect of her trip most scrutinized. In the United Arab Emirates, Mrs. Bush was photographed sitting between four women covered head to toe in abayas while she was wearing regular clothes. The image of Mrs. Bush sitting between four women who look like nothing more than black piles of fabric couldn't have been more viscerally evocative and consequently, symbolically meaningful.
The image told the world that she - and America - is free and humane while the hidden women of Arabia are enslaved and their society is inhumane.
But then Mrs. Bush went to Saudi Arabia and the symbolic message of the previous day was superseded and lost when she donned an abaya herself and had her picture taken with other abaya-clad women. The symbolic message of those photographs also couldn't have been clearer. By donning an abaya, Mrs. Bush symbolically accepted the legitimacy of the system of subjugating women that the garment embodies, (or disembodies). Understanding this, conservative media outlets in the US criticized her angrily.
Sunday morning, Mrs. Bush sought to answer her critics in an interview with Fox News. Unfortunately, her remarks compounded the damage. Mrs. Bush said, "These women do not see covering as some sort of subjugation of women, this group of women that I was with. That's their culture. That's their tradition. That's a religious choice of theirs."
It is true that this is their culture. And it is also their tradition. But it is not their choice. Their culture and tradition are predicated on denying them the choice of whether or not to wear a garment that denies them their identity just as it denies them the right to make any choices about their lives. The Saudi women's assertions of satisfaction with their plight were no more credible than statements by hostages in support of their captors.
As the First Lady, Laura Bush is an American symbol. By having her picture taken wearing an abaya in Saudi Arabia - the epicenter of Islamic totalitarian misogyny - Mrs. Bush diminished that symbol. In so doing, she weakened the causes of freedom and liberty which America has fought since its founding to secure and defend at home and throughout the world.
Pamela has a post this morning, "CAIR Plays Presidential Politics With Our Lives," about CAIR complaining that "while Democrats tend to talk about terrorism in general, Republicans increasingly pin the threat directly on Islam." That quote comes from a piece posted on CAIR's website, "CAIR: Republicans Pin Terror on Islam, Democrats Don’t."
This is not, however, a CAIR press release. CAIR has simply reposted a Wall Street Journal article, "Linking Terror on the Trail: Republicans Point To Islam, Democrats Take Different Tone," by Elizabeth Holmes.
Elizabeth Holmes interviewed me at some length for this article, and I explained to her that the linkage between Islam and terrorism did not come from Republican presidential candidates, but from the terrorists themselves, who consistently point to Islamic teachings to explain and justify their actions. If we refuse to explore this, and to speak about it honestly, we are voluntarily declining to make use of the only key that they themselves have given us to understanding their own motives and goals. And without understanding the motives and goals of an opponent, you cannot defeat him.
Does speaking of "Islamic terrorism" defame or demean all Muslims? Not unless speaking of "Italian fascism" classified all Italians as followers of Mussolini. In fact, if groups like CAIR really wanted to fight against the use of Islamic texts and teachings by jihad terrorists, they would not ignore that use, and criticize those who note it, but would confront it head-on and develop comprehensive programs for mosques and Islamic schools in America to teach against it.
Anyway, I explained all this, and more, to Elizabeth Holmes. But I am not mentioned in the article. Now, that's fine -- it doesn't have to come from me, as long as the perspective I articulated is represented. But in fact, this perspective doesn't appear in the article at all, although it's the best, and indeed the only, defense of the Republican candidates' usage.
The article is thoroughly stacked: in defense of the Republicans speaking of "Islamic terrorism," we hear from "a 62-year-old retiree who heard Mr. Romney speak in Clinton, Iowa, earlier this month," who just offers a quip, and "Henry Eldridge, the past chairman of the York County Republican Party in South Carolina." On the critical side there are four full paragraphs devoted to the negative reactions of David Halperin, a senior vice president at the Democratic-leaning think tank Center for American Progress; James Zogby of the Arab American Institute; Gary Sick, an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs; and CAIR's Nihad Awad.
This is fairness? Balance? Objectivity? Journalism?
To top it off, Elizabeth Holmes followed up with me late last week, sending me this email: "Robert – my eds wanted me to ask you what religion you are – would you mind?"
I responded: "I don't mind -- it's a matter of public knowledge -- but why? Is this something that changes the understanding and usage of the word 'jihad' by Islamic supremacists?"
Holmes: "No, it's just something I mention with others, a trait they used in explaining their reactions to Romney."
Spencer: "My reactions to Romney aren't a result of my religion. They result from my readings of Islamic texts and study of how those texts are used by the jihadists to justify terrorism and Islamic supremacism."
I didn't hear from her after that. But the question itself indicates how thoroughly such reporters, who guide and control so much of what we know about the world, misunderstand the jihad threat in all its dimensions.
And the whole episode illustrates once again why I so dislike talking with reporters, who so often just don't care to report on matters fairly or accurately.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined a growing movement to criminalize forced marriages in Germany, which is growing less tolerant of practices among Muslim immigrants that clash with the nation's liberal social values.
Forced marriages are generally imposed by young women's families to keep them from dating. Prosecution is rare and must take place under assault laws that also outlaw threats and coercion.
Women's' groups have been increasingly pushing for forced marriages to be specifically criminalized, to ease prosecution and to send a strong signal that the practice violates German laws and traditions.
"I completely agree that forced marriages should be punishable as a criminal act," Merkel said in a speech at a women's conference held by her conservative Christian Democrats over the weekend, surprising and pleasing activists.
"We are thrilled that the chancellor has made such a clear statement," said Sibylle Schreiber, a spokeswoman for the women's rights group Terre des Femmes. "Finally she's given a signal to the people that forcing your daughter into marriage is a crime."
Approximately 3.3 million Muslims live in Germany, 70 percent of them of Turkish origin. Many lead secular lifestyles but some make strong, even extreme, efforts to preserve conservative values.
In recent years, several courts have upheld state-level bans on headscarves for Muslim women teaching in public schools. Immigration laws now require that foreign spouses be at least 18 years old and already have a basic knowledge of the German language.
No one should be surprised by this. But of course they are surprised, because they refuse to look into the contents of Islamic teaching for themselves. By Toby Helm in the Telegraph (thanks to all who sent this in):
Extremist literature that encourages hatred of gays, Christians and Jews can be easily found at many of Britain's mosques, according to a new survey.
Researchers for the centre-Right think tank Policy Exchange claims it found the literature in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions they visited.
Many of the publications allegedly called on British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims and for unbelievers to be treated as second-class citizens wherever possible.
The literature also allegedly contained repeated calls for gays to be thrown from mountains and tall buildings and for women to be subjugated.
These things are not "extremism." They are mainstream, traditional Islam. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, directed his followers to “kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him” (‘Umdat al-Salik, p17.3). And the Qur'an says that "men are in charge of women" and that disobedient women should be beaten (4:34).
Thus the absence of literature teaching these things in three quarters of the mosques in Britain is good, but it is not enough. If the Muslims in those mosques don't hold these views, they should explicitly disavow and teach against them.
Policy Exchange said that among the documents were the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and other publications peddling bizarre conspiracy theories.
Anthony Browne, the director of Policy Exchange, said: "It is clearly intolerable that hate literature is peddled at some British mosques.
"I am sure the majority of moderate Muslims will be as horrified as everyone else that pamphlets advocating jihad by force, hatred for insufficiently observant Muslims, Christians and Jews, and segregation have found their way into the UK's mosques."
Yes, I'm sure they're thoroughly horrified that any Muslim takes Qur'an 9:29 as instructions for action today. "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge 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."
Policy Exchange visited more than 100 mosques and other Islamic institutions and said it found the literature was accessible both openly and "under the counter". Altogether some 80 books and pamphlets were collected over the course of a year.
Under the counter. So they knew they had something to hide.
And they were funded well -- another manifestation of the Saudi money weapon:
Many of the institutions were among the best funded and most active of Britain's 1,500 or so Islamic establishments. In several cases they had received official visits from politicians and even members of the royal family.
In response, we get excuses, not the taking of responsibility:
Dr Yunes Teinaz, of the London Central Mosque, said: "Any book or literature like this found in the mosque will reflect the views of the author and not at all the view of the mosque." He added that the bookshop in the mosque was not run by the mosque, but was a franchise.
Iqbal Sacranie says it's all because verses of the Qur'an have been -- you guessed it -- taken out of context:
Iqbal Sacranie, a former secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, criticised the report. He said: "The majority of Muslims will totally dismiss this because it is written by the Policy Exchange, who have an agenda to denigrate the mainstream of Islam in this country.
"If there is any material which falls foul of the law, then the law should take its course. We cannot accept messages of hate - there is zero tolerance on that. But it is irresponsible to target religious texts and take them out of context. These texts can be found not just in mosques but in ordinary bookshops - the report overlooks that."
Why Pakistan's estimated 20,000 madrassas are the country's biggest jihad threat.
"Pakistan's problem child recites the Koran," by Colin Freeman in the Telegraph (thanks to Joe):
Like many younger pupils at Karachi's Jamia Binoria madrassa, 12-year-old Imran Mohammed is a shy, quietly spoken child who is all but tongue-tied in front of his elders. One thing can get him talking though – for hours if need be.
"God is one and he is our creator," he intones, his faltering voice suddenly breaking into fluent Arabic. "He has not given birth of anyone, nor did anyone give birth of him."
It is a verse from the Koran, a tiny part of four entire chapters he has learnt by heart since arriving at the madrassa, or religious school, two years ago. Four chapters is roughly 60 pages, and to recite it fully – as he can do – takes up to two hours.
However, when it comes to non-religious learning, such as the alphabet or multiplication tables, Mohammed is somewhat behind for his age. Asked to add 10 and 11 together, he uses his fingers to reach the right answer, and the only words he can write are his own name and his father's.
For much of the past two decades, though, this has been what passes as education for hundreds of thousands of young Pakistanis. With secular, state schools all but non existent in much of the country – six million children never see a classroom – growing numbers of parents "opt out" their children for religious education instead.
That, though, is what makes Pakistan's estimated 20,000 madrassas the country's biggest threat. By teaching religion to the exclusion of almost everything else, they are blamed for training a generation of youngsters whose only job prospects lie in preaching and zealotry, fuelling the Islamic fundamentalism that many Pakistanis fear could turn their country into another Afghanistan. The more militant madrassas are also accused of recruiting volunteers for the Taliban and al-Qaeda, among them Britons such as Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammed Sidique Khan, who are thought to have attended them before going on to commit the July 7 London bombings in 2005.
Read it all.
"Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess..." (Qur'an 4:3).
Do any Muslims still take female captives and feel themselves justified in doing so by this teaching of the Qur'an?
For background, see this site.
"Madeleine: New hope for McCanns as kidnapped American girl 'is found safe in Morocco,'" from the Daily Mail (thanks to Doc Washburn):
Private investigators searching for Madeleine McCann found a blonde girl who had been kidnapped by a Moroccan family, it was claimed yesterday.
The discovery will give new hope to Kate and Gerry that their daughter is still alive and in a "similar situation".
Sources inside Spanish detective agency Metodo 3, which has been hired by the McCanns, said Interpol is investigating the discovery of the blonde girl living in the Rif mountains — the area where they are searching for Madeleine.
An insider said: "She was not Madeleine but she was an English speaker, possibly an American."
The boss of Metodo 3 said he believed Madeleine was abducted by a care worker on the instruction of a paedophile gang who stole the child to order.
He believes another girl matching Madeleine's description, who has been spotted with a woman aged about 60 in the Rif mountains by 10 different people, could well be the four-year-old who went missing from the Algarve on 3 May.
Francisco Marco, Metodo 3's director-general, said: "My own feeling is that this woman is some sort of carer who is working on behalf of other people. We can't be certain it's Madeleine but several unconnected people have told our informers of the same girl with the same woman.
"The only difference is that she has slightly shorter hair than Madeleine had when she disappeared. Everything else matches.
"They've been seen over a wide area but always within the confines of the Rif mountains."
Madeleine was six days short of her fourth birthday when she went missing from the family apartment at Praia da Luz. Her parents, named as official suspects in her disappearance, have always insisted that she was abducted from her bed while they dined nearby.
The insider at Metodo 3 said of the American girl: "Investigators came across her as they were working to find Madeleine and have tipped off Interpol. There is a long history of girls being kidnapped from Europe and ending up in Morocco."
"Iranian general warns of Gulf suicide bombings," from Agence France-Presse:
TEHERAN - A top general in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Monday warned that the Basij militia were ready ‘if necessary’ to carry out suicide operations in the Gulf, amid rising tensions with the United States, the Fars news agency reported.
‘If necessary we will take advantage of the element of martyrdom-seeking,’ said Brigadier General Ali Fahdavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards’ naval forces.
‘This spirit is prevailing now throughout the Revolutionary Guards,’ he added. The Basij militia is part of the Guards’ military apparatus.
‘They have taken an example from Shahid (martyr) Fahmideh,’ Fahdavi said, referring to 13-year-old Iranian Hossein Fahmideh who became a national hero after blowing himself up under an Iraqi tank in the 1980-1988 war.
One can tell a lot about a society from the figures it regards as heroes. Here, we have a 13-year-old suicide bomber.
‘The scene of the Persian Gulf and strategic Strait of Hormuz is such that even a small operation can have a big impact,’ he added.
Several presidential candidates and other prominent politicians appeared at this weekend's Arab American Institute conference, and they appear to have indulged in a good deal of sobbing and handwringing over the alleged human rights abuses that Arab Americans currently suffer, while saying nary a word (at least from the looks of this story) about our shared responsibility to resist the jihad threat. But of course, candidates like Richardson, Paul and Kucinich would say, "What jihad threat?" It has all been cooked up by the State Department to provide a foundation for their imperialist project, doncha know.
And those boys over at CIA and State are good: look at all the violent material they've managed to finagle into the Qur'an and Sunnah.
"Arab Americans host hopefuls: Richardson, Paul, Kucinich attend conference, speak," by Niraj Warikoo in the Detroit Free Press:
After three days of networking and political speeches, Arab Americans who attended a national conference in Detroit say they went home committed to continuing their fight for constitutional rights and restoring the United States' image in the world.
The conference reflects the growing clout of the Arab-American community, which not too long ago was avoided by presidential candidates: In 1988, Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis rejected the endorsement of a major Arab-American group. This year, Democratic party leaders gave the candidates permission to address the conference despite a campaign boycott of Michigan because legislators moved up the date of the state's primary.
A mix-up over the boycott might explain why none of the leading candidates appeared at the conference, institute head James Zogby said.
"We ran into this cross fire with the early states versus Michigan," he said.
But he noted that the campaign teams sent high-level surrogates, including Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's adviser, Tony Lake, and former Sen. John Edwards' campaign manager, former Michigan congressman David Bonior.
The candidates who did appear were warmly received.
"I will follow the Constitution of the United States," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democratic presidential candidate, said Sunday to loud applause. "The erosion of our civil liberties is not just something that is felt by minorities -- it affects all Americans."
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, was the first candidate to speak Sunday. He spoke about meeting with victims of war in Lebanon and criticized current U.S. foreign policy.
Republican candidates were also invited, but only Ron Paul addressed the conference.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean slammed those who divide the nation by scapegoating those with Middle Eastern ancestry.
"You have been singled out unfairly and unjustly ... by politicians who hope to have a cheap electoral trick," Dean said.
He cited successful Arab Americans such as former Sen. Majority Leader George Mitchell and Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.
"It is important for us to stand and recognize these leaders at a time when this community is under siege by those who would divide America in order to win elections," Dean said.
...it was "a radical Islamic group." Oh, will the Islamophobia never end?
"US embassy targeted by Azerbaijan terror," by Aida Sultanova for Associated Press:
BAKU, Azerbaijan - The U.S. and British embassies suspended operations Monday in Baku, where the government said it thwarted a radical Islamic group's plot to conduct a "large-scale horrifying terror attack" against diplomatic missions and government buildings.
The Azerbaijani National Security Ministry said one suspect was killed and several others were detained in a weekend sweep in village outside the capital. The ministry said the Islamic group included an army lieutenant who stole 20 hand grenades, a machine gun, four assault rifles and ammunition from his military unit and made them available for the planned attack.
The British Embassy in Baku temporarily closed Monday, and the U.S. Embassy sent out an announcement to American citizens saying it had closed its consular office for an indefinite period because of a security threat. No specifics were given.
National Security Ministry spokesman Arif Babayev told The Associated Press that the radical Islamic group had planned to launch a "terror attack against several government structures in Baku and the U.S. Embassy."
Here is video of my Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week talk at Dartmouth College last Friday night, courtesy Harrison Sonntag, the fearless and redoubtable Dartmouth student who was largely responsible for making it possible for me to speak there.
Please watch this video. Compare and contrast it to this email that was sent around by Kurt Nelson, "Multi-Faith Program Advisor, The Tucker Foundation, Dartmouth College":
As interested folks, many of whom have pledged support for Dartmouth's Muslim community, I wanted to update you on the goings on.
Instead of responding directly to Robert Spencer's presence on campus or the violent and hateful posters associated with Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week, al-Nur with the help of the Multi-Faith Council and Hillel is planning a collection of events for the near future.
We have a bare-bones sense of them at this point, but under the title "Islamo-Fashion Awareness Week" al-Nur, the Multi-Faith Council and Hillel (and any other groups interested in co-sponsorship) will host the following:
Friday November 2, Sundown in the Muslim Prayer Room, N Fairbanks all are welcome to come to Maghrib prayer with an introduction and question and answer hosted by al-Nur
Monday November 5, time and location TBD a showing of the Oscar Winning WEST BANK STORY with discussion. A musical comedy about competing Hummus restaurants in the West Bank. A must see. (MFC folks, this will take the place of our regular meeting)
Wednesday November 7th 6:00 PM Collis Commonground hear students Muslim students about the Muslim faith and what unites this unique and diverse group, eat dinner and discuss.
It appears that Mr. Nelson is dismissing my talk as hateful and violent without even bothering to listen first to what I said. So I ask you to do so, and to write in the comments field below if you believe anything I said was hateful or violent, or even false.
We'll discuss it here, if Nelson and his ilk won't discuss it at Dartmouth. They apparently would rather content themselves with talk of hummus restaurants, as if that will make the global jihad go away. No one is bothering to refute what I said, because, of course, they can't. But if they want to try, I can be reached at email@example.com.
The murderous Khartoum regime, which has been butchering Christians in Southern Sudan for years and is now waging a jihad against those it deems insufficiently Muslim in Darfur, has now accused the West of "lacking ethics and morals," and promised to "export" them to us.
Omar Al-Bashir must be one of those whom Dinesh D'Souza has dubbed "traditional Muslims," whom he believes are waging jihad in order to protect the traditional morality of their societies from being contaminated by Britney Spears. But unfortunately for the estimable Dinesh, and the rest of us, Omar's methods of restoring morals to those he deems immoral are not quite as non-lethal as, say, Pat Robertson's. "We are," says Omar, "waiting on Allah’s promise to obliterate them.” How beautifully moral!
By Wasil Ali in the Sudan Tribune (thanks to Stacey):
October 28, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir lashed out at Western countries and accused them of “lacking ethics and morals”.
“Western nations have no ethics or morals and we will export it to them. These countries have the political, military and economic strength. We are strong with our values and we are waiting on Allah’s promise to obliterate them” Al-Bashir said while addressing crowds at the White Nile state capital.
And of course, the responsibility for that lies solely with the police, not with the Muslim community in Australia.
AUSTRALIA faces a "London-type bombing" if relations between Muslims and the intelligence and police authorities do not improve, an influential Islamic youth leader has warned.
Fadi Rahman, who runs one of Sydney's biggest youth centres at Lidcombe in the city's west, said overseas Islamic elements were attempting to radicalise Muslim youth with their hardline ideologies.
But in a warning that will resonate with Australian authorities, Mr Rahman said Muslims did not trust ASIO or the Australian Federal Police and that the bungled terror case against Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef had worsened the situation. "The biggest problem ASIO and the federal police have is that no one in the Islamic community trusts them enough to give them a heads-up about anything," Mr Rahman told The Australian.
"Look at the Haneef thing - why would we trust these guys when all you see is one fumble after another? People are afraid."
Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of Jihad Watch, and we are beginning our second term with things pretty much the way they always have been: the jihadists are still plotting, their allies and dupes are still lying and covering for them, the mainstream media (liberal and conservative) is still cowering in fear, and we are still telling the truth.
This is not a struggle that will take up to five or ten more years, as the learned analysts have predicted to the horrified gasps of the media. The jihadists believe they are continuing a 1,400-year-old struggle. They will not be bought off or negotiated away. And they are advancing in myriad ways that aren't even on the radar screen of law enforcement and government officials in the West.
And so whether it takes four more years, or eight, or sixteen, and whether we will have to pass this struggle for human rights and human dignity on to our children and our children's children, we will never give up. We will not be subdued, we will not be shouted down, we will not be subjugated.
Thank you for reading the site, and for your own efforts for the Counterjihad Resistance.
Yes, you read that right. I would venture to say that the Chutzpah level of this one far surpasses anything we have seen in four years of jihad watching at this site.
"Saudi king chides UK on terrorism," from the BBC (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has accused Britain of not doing enough to fight international terrorism, which he says could take 20 or 30 years to beat.
He was speaking in a BBC interview ahead of a state visit to the UK - the first by a Saudi monarch for 20 years.
He also said Britain failed to act on information passed by the Saudis which might have averted terrorist attacks.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says Whitehall officials have strenuously denied this.
Speaking of the assertion that Islam is a Religion of Peace, which all good Brown University students know is axiomatically true, despite the cascades of Qur'an verses and claims of Islamic purity that shower upon us on a regular basis courtesy Osama bin Laden and his ideological kin, here is some evidence of the fact. In this installment of my Blogging the Qur’an series, I discuss the first thirty verses of Sura 8, “Booty,” in which Muhammad confronts the forces of the pagan Quraysh at Badr and...turns the other cheek! Exhorts his followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them! And begins a Gandhi-esque nonviolent protest!
Sura 8, Al-Anfal — “Booty,” or “The Spoils of War” — dates from the second year of the Medinan period, the second part of Muhammad’s prophetic career. It was revealed not long after the Battle of Badr, the first great victory of the Muslims over their chief rivals of the time, the pagan Quraysh tribe. The title of this sura is better known than most, since Saddam Hussein used Al-Anfal as the name for his genocidal 1988 campaigns against the Kurds, in which between 50,000 and 100,000 people were murdered.
At Badr, the Quraysh came out to meet Muhammad’s three hundred men with a force nearly a thousand strong. Muhammad had provoked the battle by sending his men out to raid a Quraysh caravan, telling them: “This is the caravan of Quraysh carrying their property, so march forth to intercept it, Allah might make it as war spoils for you.” As the battle loomed, according to Muhammad’s earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, the Islamic prophet strode among his troops and issued a momentous promise — one that has given heart to Muslim warriors throughout the ages: “By God in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, no man will be slain this day fighting against them with steadfast courage advancing not retreating but God will cause him to enter Paradise.” One of the Muslim warriors, ‘Umayr bin al-Humam, exclaimed: “Fine, Fine! Is there nothing between me and my entering Paradise save to be killed by these men?” He flung away some dates that he had been eating, rushed into the thick of the battle, and fought until he was killed.
"Polemics don't advance the debate," says the Brown Daily Herald in "Ignoring 'Islamofascism' hype," a vicious little polemic that accuses the organizers of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week of wanting a "fight." The editorialist preens: "We're glad that the debate is being carried out at this level, not with signs and shouting."
Of course, there was shouting when I spoke at Brown last week, although not too much, so the Daily Herald has every right to be proud. Very proud, considering the immense provocation they had to suffer through:
Fortunately, despite confrontational remarks made by Robert Spencer, who said in his lecture here Thursday that he does not believe "that Islam at its core is a peaceful religion," Brown's campus remained largely calm.
Anyway, this was not an assertion I made without evidence. I drew a distinction between teaching and practice and explaining the vulnerability of peaceful Muslims to jihadist recruitment on the basis of the jihadists' use of various passages of the Qur'an and Hadith (which I cited), I explained that all the schools of Sunni and Shi'ite jurisprudence have a doctrine involving warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers.
This was and is a statement of fact. If it is false, the Brown Herald, or the Muslim community at Brown, should refute it. Anyone is welcome to refute it if they can. I can and have (in my books and elsewhere) explained it at length, with abundant citations from the Qur'an and Sunnah, as well as from mainstream Islamic commentaries on the Qur'an and Islamic jurists.
But they don't refute it. No one ever has refuted it. Instead, here the Herald treats it as if the very statement constitutes incitement to violence against Muslims. And in an unconscious irony, the Herald expresses relief that the campus remained "largely calm," rather than erupt into violence over someone daring to assert that Islam is not a religion of peace.
Well, bravo, Brown students! What admirable, nay, noble restraint! But if you really want a debate on the key issues, as you say in this editorial, simply heaping abuse and contempt on your opponent and being glad that nobody popped him one is not actually a demonstration of the falsity of his arguments. If you are willing to engage in a genuine discussion and debate of this question -- does Islamic doctrine actually teach peace? -- I am at your service, and will return to Brown.
If you do not wish to engage in such a debate, as appears clear, then be assured that you will not forever be able to ignore this question, or to act as if the mere asking of it is the equivalent of burning a cross on someone's front lawn. Unfortunately, those Muslims who do not believe that Islam is a religion of peace, who are the ones who benefit most from the ruling of this question out of polite discourse, will continue -- unimpeded by their peaceful coreligionists -- to commit acts of violence in order to advance the cause of Islamic supremacism. It is more than likely that this conflict will touch you personally, and your vilification of the anti-jihad movement and your refusal to engage it intellectually may at that point look very different to you from the way it looks today.
From our Which Side Are You On Department comes Patrick Poole's story about Ohio Muslim activist and U.S. Air Force veteran Mahmoud El-Yousseph, who declares in video at the Central Ohioans Against Terrorism site (scroll down) that the Death-to-America chanting jihadists of Hizballah are actually freedom fighters. Poole also provides substantial background on Hizballah's war against the United States.
Osama bin Laden is now attacking the government in Khartoum, decrying the permission given by the fanatical Arab Muslims in Khartoum to the "infidels" -- i.e., allowing in some completely ineffective troops from the African Union to "keep the peace" in Darfur.
He needn't worry. Turabi is still Turabi, and the Muslims of Khartoum are just as fanatically vicious as they ever were. They are just willing to be a bit more mindful of Muhammad's "war is deception" as they attempt to diminish Western pressure on them. Hence that "peace treaty" with the Christians and animists in the southern Sudan, which "treaty" is, of course, merely a hudna or "truce" treaty and, for the past six months at least, has been grossly violated by the Sudanese government -- and with seeming indifference by the Western powers, which content themselves with the notion that there is now an agreement, a "peace agreement," in the southern Sudan, and they can all forget about that part of the Sudan.
Those words are spoken by a Muslim woman, apparently a student of George Washington University, in this Incorrect U video (the top one) of GWU Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week festivities. It's at right about the five-minute mark.
Maybe she doesn't mean the United States. Hard to say. But she may.
"Imposed." Not "voted in," or even "instituted." "Imposed." The forcible subjugation as inferiors of women and religious minorities. "Imposed." An Islamic supremacist system that denies the freedom of conscience, stones adulterers, and amputates the hands of thieves.
Well, at least she's honest about it.
Don't miss the interview with ex-spy Bruce Tefft at FrontPage, and contribute to his legal defense fund. He is being victimized by an effort at legal intimidation the likes of which Jihad Watch readers have seen many times before.
By Adam Smeltz in CentreDaily:
UNIVERSITY PARK - The Western world may not hear this too often, but nothing in Islam justifies terrorism, a scholar on the Middle East said Thursday night.
WRONG. We hear all the time that "Islam is a religion of peace." See remarks by President Bush, President Clinton, Senator Reid, Secretary Rice, Prime Minister Blair, and just about every academic and journalist who have opened their mouths on the question.
“The root of terrorism — it doesn’t have anything to do with Islam,” Medhi Noorbaksh told a gathering of about 60 people in the Forest Resources Building. “ ... Terrorism in any shape is to be condemned.”
Noorbaksh, an associate professor of international affairs at Harrisburg University, appeared here as part of the “Peace, not Prejudice” seminar series. Put together by the Penn State Muslim Student Association, the series is a reaction to “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.”
Not THEM again!
That national theme week of events, inspired by conservative activist David Horowitz, brought former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum to campus on Tuesday.
Santorum issued warnings against radicalized Islam, saying that most Americans don’t fully understand the threat. He also drew distinctions between Judeo-Christian culture and Islam in general, and painted the latter as a religion built more on control and dominance.
Noorbaksh, an expert in Middle Eastern politics and its intersection with Islam, offered a dramatically different presentation.
He underscored the religion’s past in education, capitalism, consensus-building and equity.
In fact, the faith promotes respect for diversity, including religious diversity, he said, quoting from Muslim texts.
“Muslims are obliged. ... You have to respect people of other faith,” Noorbaksh said.
Radical elements in Muslim countries — such as those that promote female genital mutilation or ban women from driving — do not stem from the religion itself, Noorbaksh said.
“Of course, we have a lot of authoritarian regimes in the Islamic world,” he said. “But it doesn’t have anything to do with the faith.”
Nope. Just coincidence.
He went on to tweak the U.S. government over its relationships with a number of those regimes. Some radical Muslims develop extreme ideologies because they’ve felt left out of the political process, Noorbaksh said.
You see, they had their feelings hurt. Well, that explains it. Murdering civilians is a perfectly understandable reaction. Could happen to anybody.
He said terrorists make up far less than even 1 percent of the global Muslim population of 1.3 billion.
Rest assured, an associate professor who couldn't identify a violent religious ideology if it walked up and bit him on the fanny promises us that there are absolutely not more than 13 million Muslim terrorists in the world today. I feel much better.
Actually, they knew it would be about waging war, but they found out no war needed to be waged: "They'd followed the call from a religious leader in Pakistan to come in and wage jihad. They were told believed that the 'infidels' -- the NATO forces -- were running this country now, and they came in to help drive them out...they suddenly realize that Afghanistan is not ruled by infidels, that this very much still a Muslim country, and they were proclaiming their naivete."
Or that's what they say, anyway.
All week during my Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week talks at DePaul, the University of Rhode Island, and Brown (I also spoke at Dartmouth, but this didn't happen there), I was confronted by people who had been lied to and who fervently believed the lies and were acting upon them. This is apparently -- if the claims of these men are to be believed -- happening in jihad recruitment in Pakistan also.
These men may well be lying, but in theory it is completely believable that these men would have been told that Afghanistan was being trodden under by infidels, with no mention made of how anxious those infidels are not to do anything to give offense to Islam or Muslims. But when the propagandized saw that their propaganda didn't match reality, their eyes began to be opened. Perhaps that will begin to happen on college campuses also.
"Arrested Taliban bombing jihadists claim naivety," from CTV.ca (thanks to DSH):
Three self-confessed, 20-something Pakistani jihadists arrested in Afghanistan have an odd story to tell -- assuming it's true.
"They'd followed the call from a religious leader in Pakistan to come in and wage jihad," CTV's Paul Workman told Newsnet on Saturday from Kandahar.
"They were told believed that the 'infidels' -- the NATO forces -- were running this country now, and they came in to help drive them out.
After their arrest, "they suddenly realize that Afghanistan is not ruled by infidels, that this very much still a Muslim country, and they were proclaiming their naivete," he said.
An Afghan security official told a news conference that three suspected Taliban 'trainers' from Pakistan had been arrested as they travelled to Kandahar province.
Security agents picked up the three men on the highway between Uruzgan province and Kandahar to the south, Abdul Qayoom, of the National Directorate for Security, said Saturday in Kandahar City.
Authorities said they believe the men are trainers for the Taliban, who have been trying to recruit more members to become suicide bombers.
"The intelligence services say they knew they were coming and that they are not just naive foot soldiers, that they very much are involving in training people to make and set roadside bombs," Workman said.
The arrests actually happened a week ago but only made public now. However, the Afghan security forces want to show that they are doing their jobs, he said.
"Out of context." "Anti-Muslim prejudice." Not: "We repudiate now and forever any Islamic tradition or teaching that teaches hatred of and/or violence against Jews, and pledge to do all we can to offer benign reinterpretations of this material if it cannot be rejected outright, and to work against the effects of such teachings within the Muslim community."
"New Cleveland imam hopes to ease Muslim-Jewish relations," by David Briggs in the Cleveland Plain Dealer blog (thanks to Mary):
Ahmed Alzaree was looking forward to his new job as spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland. The stocky, spirited 38-year-old, who five years ago left his job as a physician in Egypt to become an imam in Omaha, Neb., wanted to be a voice for "tolerance, harmony and understanding."
No sooner did Ohio's largest mosque announce Alzaree's hiring last month, than bloggers posted a portion of a 4-year-old end-times sermon in which the imam quoted the Prophet Muhammad saying one sign of the approach of the Day of Judgment is that "the Muslims will kill the Jews."
Yes indeed. And it's all the bloggers' fault, you see. No would ever have gotten the idea that "The Muslims shall kill the Jews" meant anything crazy like "The Muslims shall kill the Jews" if it hadn't been for those evil bloggers. Alzaree himself was "stunned" that anyone could have mistaken this as anything but an appeal for peace, love, and understanding:
Alzaree was stunned by the ensuing uproar. The Islamic Center of Omaha took his sermons off its Web site as allegations circulated on the Internet that Alzaree associated with an Egyptian cleric suspected of having terrorist ties.
In interviews this week, the imam said he and his wife considered backing out of the Cleveland offer. He said he knew about the lingering tension in Cleveland, where his predecessor, Fawaz Damra, had been deported, but "I did nothing wrong to defend myself [against]."
After lengthy conversations with his family and mosque leaders, the imam put aside his worries and will begin work Thursday at the center in Parma. He has vowed to make an extra effort to meet area Jewish and Christian leaders "to explain Islam, to explain myself to them."
Muslim-Jewish relations in Northeast Ohio have been troubled since fall 2001 when a decade-old videotape of Damra, the previous imam, surfaced. It showed him railing against Jews "as the sons of monkeys and pigs" and raising money for Palestinian militant groups. Damra apologized, saying he made the remarks when he did not know the Jewish and Christian communities, and the mosque retained him as imam. But some members left in protest, and the center's interfaith work was severely curtailed. In January, Damra was deported to the Middle East on charges he falsified his citizenship application by failing to disclose ties to extremist groups.
The celebration over Alzaree's hiring was short-lived.
Bloggers quickly posted the 2003 sermon in which the imam included a controversial Hadith, a saying of Muhammad. "The hour of judgment shall not happen until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims shall kill the Jews to the point that the Jew shall hide behind a big rock or a tree," the Hadith reads in part.
Bloggers such as Patrick Poole of Central Ohioans Against Terrorism noted that Wagdy Ghoneim, a controversial cleric who left the country after being charged with violating his visa, spoke at the Omaha mosque when Alzaree was imam. Many in the Islamic community believe Ghoneim is a respected scholar, but some terrorism watchers say he preached hatred against Jews and raised funds for militant groups. Poole also wrote that the mosque's Web site contained photographs and statements comparing Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the Holocaust.
Steven Emerson, executive director of the Washington-based Investigative Project On Terrorism, said based on his study of Alzaree's sermons and the mosque's speaking invitation to Ghoneim, the imam "is a fairly typical Islamic fundamentalist who believes in a literal translation of the Koran. . . . In our parlance, he would be called a militant."
Yehudit Barsky, director of the Division on Middle East and International Terrorism for the American Jewish Committee in New York, said the Hadith in Alzaree's sermon is used today in the Muslim world to legitimize suicide bombings. "If one believes in interfaith dialogue, one should not use that Hadith," she said.
Others offer a different view.
Zeki Saritoprak, professor of Islamic studies at John Carroll University, said the Hadith is part of the ambiguous, allegorical sayings of the prophet. He said Alzaree seemed to be using the saying as part of a discussion of the end times, and not in a political sense encouraging violence against Jews.
"We shouldn't immediately accuse someone just for saying a saying of the prophet," Saritoprak said.
Ashfaque Hussain, treasurer of the Islamic Center of Omaha, said Alzaree visited temples and participated in interfaith programs and gave no indication of being anti-Semitic. "When you talk to some people, you can feel that. He's nothing like that," Hussain said.
Alzaree said the allegations against him are unfounded.
He said the sermon gave many examples of Islamic teaching on the Day of Judgment, including such signs as the rising of the sun from the West, the appearance of an animal or beast to face the unjust and three eclipses. Alzaree said it was clear he was not urging action against any group, and the end-time events the prophet spoke of were in the future. The sermon began with a reminder that no one but Allah knows when judgment day will occur, and in the interim people are encouraged to "strive and struggle in the world doing the good and avoiding the bad and forbidden."
Alzaree also said it was the administration at the Omaha mosque that invited Ghoneim to speak, and the cleric said nothing inflammatory. He said he was unaware of the Holocaust photographs and commentary on the Web site.
Islamic Center of Cleveland leaders defended Alzaree. Abu-Shaweesh said the Islamic teaching was taken out of context, and the bloggers' response is an example of anti-Muslim prejudice that undermines the mosque's efforts to rebuild interfaith and community relations.
Out of context. Are we ever going to be told the context in which such statements become harmless?
"It is the fate of an American agent. Whoever works for America will face the same fate."
"Pakistan militants behead guards," from the BBC (thanks to Davida):
Militants in north-west Pakistan have beheaded six security officials and killed seven civilians in apparent reprisals for an army attack.
The army attack on the stronghold of pro-Taleban militant Maulana Fazlullah on Thursday left at least 17 soldiers and a number of civilians dead.
The bodies of the guards reportedly had notes saying they were American agents.
Swat is one of a number of areas near the Afghan border where militants have been gaining control in recent months.
Reports say the civilians who were killed were dragged out of a minibus.
A local resident told Associated Press news agency the bodies of the security officials had notes on them reading: "It is the fate of an American agent. Whoever works for America will face the same fate."
I linked last week to the indefatigable and courageous Pamela's video of the same talk, given in the Flemish Parliament building in Brussels during the Counterjihad Summit. This new video comes courtesy of Steen.
Of course virtually the entire discussion of the Counterjihad Summit has degenerated into accusations and counter-accusations revolving around the alleged neo-Nazi ties of some of the people who attended. CAIR has attempted to make hay with this, of course, but their dishonesty is well known and abundantly established; deeply unfortunate is the split in the anti-jihad ranks over this. At this point it bears repeating that if there were any actual racists or neo-Nazis or neo-Nazi sympathizers at this meeting, which is based on evidence that is hotly contested, I completely repudiate them and all that they stand for.
More importantly, the Counterjihad Summit was about the Islamization of Europe, which concerns us all, and concerned just the opposite of what CAIR and its allies and dupes have suggested: it was a conference concerned with defending Western societies and civilization. There was, contrary to the neo-Nazi claims, a strong emphasis on the plight of the Jews in Europe and in general. Full reports are being assembled here. The attention should be focused on what we discussed and accomplished there.
And the money will flow, in exchange for still more empty promises that will be broken practically before they're even made. "France to host Palestinian donors conference," from AFP (thanks to Sr. Soph):
PARIS (AFP) - France will hold a special conference of donors for the Palestinians at the end of the year which will be co-hosted by the Mideast Quartet special envoy Tony Blair and Norway, a joint statement said Wednesday.
"France will host a major donors' conference for Palestine at the end of the year at the request of (Palestinian) President (Mahmud) Abbas," the statement said.
"Tony Blair and Norway will co-chair the conference with France," it said, adding: "Tony Blair in his capacity as special representative of the Quartet and Norway as chair of the ad hoc liaison committee (AHLC)."
"This conference will aim to mobilise the donors ... to provide political and financial support to the Palestinian Authority by creating the capacities and the conditions for building a viable Palestinian state."
Kouchner added that a meeting has been organised by Blair next week in Jerusalem to give out invitations to the donors' conference.
"A state is not a negotiation about territory, it has also got to be about what that state does, the nature of that state, how it runs its security, its social, educational and health systems, encouragement of the private sector and economic development," Blair told reporters.
"It also means changing what is happening on the ground so that...the prospect of jobs and prosperity, particularly for the Palestinian people, as well as security for the Israeli people can come about."
Things didn't go precisely the way he had planned. "Afghan Suicide Bomber Kills Own Family," from Associated Press (thanks to DFS):
KABUL, Afghanistan - A mother who tried to stop her son from carrying out a suicide bomb attack triggered an explosion in the family's home in southern Afghanistan that killed the would-be bomber, his mother and three siblings, police said Monday.
The would-be bomber had been studying at a madrassa, or religious school, in Pakistan, and when he returned to his home in Uruzgan province over the weekend announced that he planned to carry out a suicide attack, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said.
Surviving family members told police that the suicide vest exploded during a struggle between the mother and her son, said Juma Gul Himat, Uruzgan's police chief. The man's brother and two sisters were also killed.
...between the two parties.
...is at the Washington Times' Fishwrap, where Robert Stacy McCain has collected news from all over. A few of the don't-miss items are:
1. Video of Umar Lee, a Muslim writer who has charged me with harboring secret racist tendencies. (His evidence? Why, I run Jihad Watch!) It looks as if maybe Umar was projecting, for in the Incorrect U video he directs several racial slurs at the black policeman who was evicting him from the IFAW event at George Washington University.
2. Then there's Hot Air video of YAF phenom Jason "CAIR can go to hell and take their 72 virgins with them" Mattera speaking with Adam Kokesh, the GWU student who posted "satirical" flyers that have been taken as real IFAW publications all over. Mattera questions Kokesh brilliantly, tying him up into knots with the contradictions in his thinking, getting him to acknowledge essentially that one may speak in terms of Fascism in an Islamic Context, but not, good heavens, Islamo-Fascism. Here again, on lavish display, is the intellectual bankruptcy of the opposition, and why they must resort to slander, intimidation, and the shouting-down of speakers.
McCain has a great deal more on the Fishwrap page also. Read it all.
Last night I ended Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on an unexpectedly high note at Dartmouth. Even the hostile questions had less of an edge to them than they had at Brown, DePaul, and the University of Rhode Island, and the overwhelming majority of questioners were sympathetic to the perspective I was representing.
I think the people in the audience who had come planning to ask angry questions were caught flat-footed by the stark difference between the Spencer they read about in their propaganda and the Spencer of real life. Which is an object lesson in why the Leftists and jihad sympathizers who have so thoroughly propagandized American campuses at this point will ultimately fail. Those they have propagandized will begin to experience cognitive dissonance, noticing the increasing disparity between the lies they've been fed and the realities of the world -- and then the nasty, foolish little empire will begin to crumble.
No worries. He renounced terrorism!
From AP (thanks to all who sent this in):
(AP) Yemen has set free one of the al Qaeda masterminds of the USS Cole bombing in 2000 that killed 17 American sailors, a senior security official said Thursday.
Jamal al-Badawi, who is wanted by the FBI, was convicted in 2004 of plotting, preparing and helping carry out the USS Cole bombing and received a death sentence that was commuted to 15 years in prison.
He and 22 others, mostly al Qaeda fighters, escaped from prison in 2004. But al-Badawi was granted his freedom after turning himself in 15 days ago and pledging loyalty to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The official said police were told by the government to "stop all previous orders concerning measures adopted against al-Badawi."
Witnesses told The Associated Press that al-Badawi was receiving well-wishers at his home in the al-Buraika district in Aden.
The Interior Ministry said earlier that al-Badawi voluntarily gave himself up to police, but media reports said tribal chiefs mediated his surrender after he renounced terrorism and pledged allegiance to the Yemeni leader.
I am just about on my way out of the hotel room (no Pinot Noir in mine, Greg) to Dartmouth College for my final Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week talk, but I thought I'd relay some good news I just heard from the crack legal team over at The Becker Law Firm.
My lawyer, William J. Becker, Jr., just got off the telephone with Fred Gonzales, general counsel for SonicWall, one of the main netfilters responsible for the blocking of Jihad Watch on computers all over. Gonzales was responding to Becker's letter to SonicWall explaining about some salient Constitutional rights and asking that the block be removed. Gonzales informed Becker that Jihad Watch has been recharacterized by Sonic Wall as "political/advocacy" rather than "violence/hate/racism." Gonzales and Becker had a pleasant discussion, during which Gonzales explained that it is always useful to know specifically where a site is being blocked ( e.g., a library computer). So if this happens again, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will inform Becker so he can take appropriate action.
Gonzalez also told Becker that if requests to come in to block Jihad Watch in the future (as they are likely to do given that a campaign is being waged to suppress the truths we tell here), the matter will be reviewed by an executive committee. He assured Becker that his company does not deliberately target ideological content.
So if your place of work uses SonicWall, you should be able to access Jihad Watch now. If you cannot, please let me know, and we will inform Mr. Gonzales per this conversation and the letter he has already received from the Becker Law Firm.
Nice to know the First Amendment still lives, even if it is breathing a bit heavily.
This is perfectly consonant with the Islamic worldview. The earth belongs to Allah and His Messenger Muhammad -- which means, in human terms, those who are the Believers in Allah and that Messenger. Everyone else must either convert, be killed, or in some cases be permitted to live, but only in a condition of permanent humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity, as "dhimmis."
Nothing else has value. Nothing else is of interest. And since everyone since time began -- a nice bit of backdating -- is in the Muslim view born a Muslim, but for one reason or another falls away (talk about a bad environment!) -- every claim by those of other faiths are meaningless.
Well, it seems I got the easy job this week. My visit to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo was all in all very pleasant. I was hosted by the Cal Poly College Republicans, and we shared a lively dinner before the showing of the movie, Islam: What the West Needs to Know, during which I was able to steal furtive glances at the big-screen of the Red Sox's game one slaughter of the Rockies (yes!).
At the hall, there was a collection of protesters with the predictable signs excoriating David Horowitz and the evil Freedom Center, but for the most part they seemed pretty mellow (must have been the heat). So, with plain-clothes security guards mingling in the crowd and naval and air support standing by, we began. I wonder if we'd need all that for What the West Needs to Know about Unitarianism?
I spoke to the 150 or so crowd for a few minutes by way of introduction. My point -- as it has been for some time -- is that we must be willing to speak plainly about the thing itself, namely, Islam. Mumbling on about "extremism," "radicalism," "Islamism," etc. only serves to obscure what is really going on. I even had to dissent from the term "Islamo-Fascism," which, while it helpfully indicates the repressive political agenda of the Islamic supremacists, nonetheless gives the impression that we are dealing with a sort of bastard love-child of Sayyid Qutb and Benito Mussolini. The jihadis aren't cutting people's heads off because they are fascists but because they are faithful Muslims acting in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran and the example of Muhammad. Or so I have argued. (For pics and details go here.)
With that, I ducked out while the movie played (I know how it ends -- it was the butler), during which the 180-capacity hall filled to overflowing.
Following the applause -- and there was applause, really -- I took questions. There were only a few really noisome people in the audience, who turned out to be College Democrats. They sent up the usual smokescreen, going on about Christian wackos bombing abortion clinics, etc. Fortunately, we were able to get into the nitty-gritty of the movie's claims, and I think for the most part the questions (tinged with hostility as they were) contributed to a clearer understanding.
After the questions, several audience members came up to thank me, and I had an extensive discussion with a Muslim undergrad about Muhammad's massacre of the Quraiza tribe in the Islamic year five. He pointed out some of the nuances of the situation that he felt changed the meaning of the massacre from what we had made it out to be. I, as you might imagine, disagreed. But everything stayed civil. And I don't think there is any easy answer to the fact that Muhammad hacked off anywhere from 600 to 900 heads in a single day and took the surviving women and children as slaves, which he did not dispute.
So I retired to my room in the pink-themed Madonna Inn in San Luis with the pinot noir thoughtfully provided by my hosts. Counter-jihad has its perks!
Anjem Chaudary, poor misunderstood lamb, is on this videotape explaing that no non-Muslims are innocent. None.
A LEADING Islamic fundamentalist, who said previously Ireland was a target for terrorist attack because of the US military’s use of Shannon, claimed last night he was a victim of propaganda.
However, Anjem Choudary, a British-born self-styled cleric who has been investigated numerous times by the British police for his extremist pronouncements, repeated his assertion to a gathering in Trinity College, Dublin, last night that followers of Islam could not accept secular authority.
Mr Choudary said democratic, liberal states were plagued by rape, paedophilia, pornography, bestiality, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide. “When you push the boundaries of freedom and liberalism, that is the result. That is how people practice their freedom. We do not want that imported into our community.”
Paging Dinesh D'Souza: Dinesh, I think I've found you a Traditional Muslim. If you meet with Anjem, however, just...watch your back.
The audience at the Dublin University Philosophical Society debate also heard a radical Muslim cleric, who has been banned from Britain for promoting extremist views, say that followers of Islam could not accept the authority of a secular state.
Omar Bakri Mohammed spoke in a video message to the debate where Muslim fundamentalists and moderates argued the motion that Islam is incompatible with western liberal society.
Lebanon-based Mr Mohammed, who lost his asylum status in Britain after saying the British people brought the London bombings on themselves, said Islam was a complete way of life that could not yield to any other way. “Islam is a complete system of living, the Sharia system. Islam has political beliefs — it cannot co-exist with another political belief.”
He added: “There will be strife. It could be political, it could be ideological, it could be military struggle.”
Moderate Muslims follow in the story, saying that Chaudary and Bakri are twisting Islam, but not explaining how or why, or what can be done to blunt their appeal among Muslims.
From our bulging "Grow Up" File. By Paul Sims for the Daily Mail (thanks to Josephine):
Scores of Muslim inmates at a high security prison are set to launch a multi-million pound claim for compensation after they were offered ham sandwiches during the holy month of Ramadan.
They say their human rights were breached when they were given a special nightly menu - drawn up to recognise their specific dietary requirements - by officers at HMP Leeds last month.
More than 200 Muslim inmates at the jail are believed to have been offered the meat which is strictly forbidden by Islam.
The sandwich was one of three options on the menu card which was created to cover the religious festival during which Muslims are required to fast during daylight.
They later complained to prison officers on duty but say they were told that the menus had been printed in error.
Yet when they opened the sandwiches, having ordered cheese, some claim they were still filled with boiled ham.
They are now launching legal action, insisting that their human rights were breached and could each be entitled to up to £10,000 in compensation if they win their case at court.
One Muslim inmate, a 28-year-old who was serving a 16-week sentence for driving whilst disqualified, said: 'When I opened my meal that night I found I'd been given a ham sandwich. I'd asked for cheese.
'It was a breach of my human rights and I want compensation.'
The idea that Bush will only be safe if he converts to Islam is in accord with Muhammad's words to the Jews of Bait-ul-Midras: "If you embrace Islam, you will be safe." But otherwise: "You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle."
Abu Bakar Bashir also says that the Bali bombers were counterterrorists. This is one reason why it is not enough for Muslims to condemn "terrorism," when those identified as "terrorists" reject the label. But so far spokesmen for CAIR, for example, have resisted calls to be specific and condemn Hamas and Hizballah particularly as terror groups.
Note also the repeated emphasis on Islam, the declaration of fidelity to the Qur'an, the affirmation of Osama bin Laden's Islamic orthodoxy. Yet all week, all over the country, Muslim and non-Muslim college students, full of righteous indignation, have loudly protested against the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week speakers as if it were we who have made the equation between Islam and supremacism and violence. They would do better to take up their arguments with people like Abu Bakar Bashir.
"The voice of the Bali blast speaks: Abu Bakar Ba'asyir," by Philip Smucker in Asia Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
ATol: What role does the US play in the war against radical Islamic groups in Indonesia and beyond?
Ba'asyir: The US is a tool for the Zionists. The US has a program and has a crusade that is being carried out in an unfair way, which is by spreading the message that there is Islamic terrorism in this world and basically all the enemies, all the terrorists are Islamists and all the people who fight for sharia law. Everyone who is active is left with the stigma that they are terrorists. They are being arrested and imprisoned.
Yes, there are cases when some persons in some Islamic groups carry out bombings here in Indonesia. It is also unfortunately the case that they are bombing places that are relatively safe. It is easy for them to become prey to US efforts to stigmatize all Muslims.
What "US efforts to stigmatize all Muslims"? Note that this is being said by one of the intigators of the Bali bombing. He is doing quite well to stigmatize Muslims without any outside help.
ATol: Have you rethought your initial approval of the Bali bombings?
Ba'asyir: The bombers were carrying out their acts in Indonesia, a relatively safe place. When events occur, they [are] taken as justification by the government and US. They say, "See what the Muslims are doing, this is why we have to fight terrorism!"
ATol: So you are saying that bombings in safe places - like Bali and at the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta - are bad ideas that give ammunition and fuel to the Americans?
ATol: Are there young Indonesian Muslims bent on engaging in jihad against the United States? How strong is this movement?
Ba'asyir: Among the youth, many want to fight the US because of the aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. And in Indonesia they attack US interests, but I think it is a mistake to do that here in Indonesia against US interests because Indonesia is a safe place, a safe country, safe from conflict.
So I, for instance, I prefer that it be done through dakwa, through preaching. America is instigating a war of ideas, therefore we should fight back with our own war of thoughts, issues, preaching.
ATol: So you are condemning the Bali bombers?
Ba'asyir: No. The bombers are actually counter-terrorists because they are opposing US terrorism. They are mujahids.
ATol: How do you fight back against what the US government is doing and saying? What is your strategy?
Ba'asyir: What we try to do is counter the lies, break down the lies. We want to uncover the truth that the Koran teaches. This activity in and of itself is much more productive and efficient than bombing because just by doing that - preaching the truth - I am being called all kinds of things. There was even an attempt to take me to Guantanamo, [Cuba] but fortunately I was saved by Allah.
ATol: You call the Bali bombers counter-terrorists, but some would argue that by calling them counter-terrorists, you are encouraging them to engage in this activity.
Ba'asyir: What I was saying before is that what they were intending to do was right. However, the method was wrong, they were bombing a safe place, so the point here is how you do it as well - the method you use.
ATol: Don't you think you are encouraging more young men to bomb?
Ba'asyir: They are not terrorists, they are not instigating terror, that is not their intention. They want to fight terror. I don't think that by saying this that it will encourage them. Only the method is wrong. But it is not right to call them terrorists. Theirs is a reaction, not an action.
ATol: Many people think that students who have attended your school here have taken their inspiration from Osama bin Laden. Can you tell me what kind of an influence he has been on students in your school and on young people in Indonesia?
Ba'asyir: Generally, the influence of [bin Laden] is good. His intention to fight the US is good. However, the methods and steps that he uses are not necessarily to be applied here in Indonesia. You have to take heed of the situation, but generally speaking it is good.
Again, the steps he uses in other countries are not necessarily applicable here. Some young Muslims here clearly idolize him and others would not. There are also students who have quit the school, my school, because they would not necessarily agree with his teachings.
ATol: Do you think [bin Laden] is a positive inspiration on young people in Islamic world in general?
Ba'asyir: Generally it is positive. What he is trying to teach, to pass on, is jihad against the US. He opposes US terrorism against countries. Jihad can be done through arms and can be done through words as I'm doing now - as preaching.
ATol: Has the US military's failure to catch bin Laden made him even more of a hero in the Islamic world?
Ba'asyir: As long as his intent is to uphold Islam, God willing he will always be safe and saved by God. You can start to see the effects now. Western power is weakening and, on the other hand, Osama has linked up with the Taliban and others and is gaining power. I always believe that in the end Islam will have victory. Whoever is trying to block or fight Islam will eventually lose. Therefore all the sacrifices will bear fruit.
ATol: What are the tools you use to fight back against George W Bush's "war on terror"?
Ba'asyir: For Islam, the truth is Islam. There were many prophets but Mohammed was the last and he trumps the others. We spread the truth, or dakwa, orally, over the radio and Internet; through all kinds of technical tools.
ATol: Do you think the US is getting the message that [in regards to Iraq] it may be inspiring more terrorists than it can possibly kill?
Ba'asyir: I'm sure that many Americans understand they are losing the battle in Iraq. We can see - at least domestically - that there is more pressure against the war. And there is no doubt that the US is failing and losing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, President Bush is a very stubborn man. He is very extremist. But this is also one of God's ways of destroying his entire crusade. Allah is letting him be stubborn, be himself and, in doing so, he creates all this mess and therefore eventually it will end in defeat.
ATol: So, you think it is a message from God but that Bush doesn't understand the message?
Ba'asyir: I have written a letter to Bush saying he should not use God's name to destroy Islam. The only way that Bush can survive is for him to do what is being ordered by God which is to believe in Islam, to convert to Islam. If he wants to be safe he should take up Islam.
ATol: Do you think it is possible for the US to change foreign policy and to live in peace with Islam?
Ba'asyir: In Islam, you cannot force someone to convert to Islam. But what is fair and just is Islamic law. It is quite possible to have peace with the US, but the US has to distance itself from Israel or decide not be used as a tool by the Zionists. But peace is the objective of Islam - to live in peace.
Under the rule of Sharia, that is.
This is part of the ongoing effort to rewrite history and appropriate the holy sites of Jews and Christians. It gains a principal impetus from the Qur'anic delegitimization of Judaism and Christianity, and presentation of Islam as the true message of the founders of those religions.
"'Western Wall was never part of temple,'" by Mike Seid in the Jerusalem Post (thanks to JS):
The former mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrema Sabri, has made the claim that there never was a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall was really part of a mosque.
"There was never a Jewish temple on Al-Aksa [the mosque compound] and there is no proof that there was ever a temple," he told The Jerusalem Post via a translator. "Because Allah is fair, he would not agree to make Al-Aksa if there were a temple there for others beforehand."
Sabri rejected Judaism's claim to the Western Wall as part of the outer wall of the Second Temple.
"The wall is not part of the Jewish temple. It is just the western wall of the mosque," he said. "There is not a single stone with any relation at all to the history of the Hebrews."
Asked if Jews would ever be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount under Muslim control, he replied: "It is not the Temple Mount, you must say Al-Aksa. And no Jews have the right to pray at the mosque. It was always only a mosque - all 144 dunams, the entire area. No Jewish prayer. If the Jews want real peace, they must not do anything to try to pray on Al-Aksa. Everyone knows that."
"Zionism tries to trick the Jews claiming that this was part of a Jewish temple, but they dug there and they found nothing," Sabri added.
Archeologists overseeing Islamic infrastructure work on the Mount announced this week that they had unveiled a sealed archeological level dating back to the First Temple period.
The First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century BCE, and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The Second Temple was built 70 years later, enlarged during the first century BCE by Herod, and destroyed by the Romans in the year 70.
The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aksa Mosque were constructed on the Temple Mount site in the late seventh century.
While Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week speakers have been yelled at and hectored by self-righteous tools, in Denmark one takes his life into his hands for daring to resist Islamic supremacism.
Last night I spoke at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. There were few disruptions during the talk itself, although there was a loud group of louts toward the back, one of whom during the question period told me angrily that he didn't want to listen to what I was saying. I assured him that no one was forcing him to listen at all, and that he was quite welcome to leave.
The question period was full of the usual self-righteous lecturing by thoroughly propagandized students who have no training in critical thinking and quite obviously feel deeply threatened when their cherished ideas, which rest on such shaky intellectual and evidentiary foundations, are questioned. I see that one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Left, and their Islamic supremacist allies, is that they believe their own propaganda, and don't even have the conceptual apparatus required to help them recover when its inaccuracy and dishonesty is exposed. Even at their best the questioners were clearly playing "Gotcha," trying to get me to say something they could use against the Week and the perspective I represent, rather than engaging in real intellectual give-and-take. This too is a function of how thoroughly they have been propagandized, for they have been taught that those who oppose them are morally evil, and can't even conceptualize the possibility that people of good will might disagree with them and thus should be engaged with ideas, not rants and attempted traps.
I didn't expect anything else at the beginning of the Week, and of course I have not been greeted with anything like the reception that Nonie Darwish and David Horowitz have received at other universities. In general, the hysteria, the lies about the Week and the intentions of its organizers, and the attempts to silence us all indicate how much the Week is needed, how threatened the Left and its jihadist allies are by our shining this light upon them and pointing out the hypocrisy of their "bigotry" talk, and how vitally important it is that we keep up this kind of pressure.
Here is a report from the Brown newspaper about the event, supplemented with bogeyman photo, although all in all the article is not nearly as bad as it could have been. There are a few inaccuracies and distortions: no mention is made of my explanation of the term "Islamofascism" as having originated by Algerian pro-democracy Muslims fighting against the exponents of political Islam, and being buttressed by the pro-Nazi sentiments of Hasan Al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood), Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and others. Instead, we get the impression that it's something non-Muslims like Horowitz have cooked up.
A Muslim student, Osman Chaudhry, is referred to as saying "that he thought the lecture unfairly cast suspicion on the entire Muslim community," which suggests that he was reading from his prepared notes from before the talk, not reacting to the talk itself -- in which I spoke repeatedly and at some length about the need for peaceful Muslims to confront and resist the jihadists.
The College Republicans President Mark Frank is quoted as saying of me that "where he was very provocative, he largely backed his arguments with solid evidence."
Largely? Memo to Brown students: wherever you may have thought evidence was lacking for points I made (and I can see how you might have missed some of the evidence I gave while attempting to talk over me), contact me at email@example.com, and I will supply it.
It's never easy when you become estranged from a loved one.
Al-Qaida sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq.
Users of a leading Islamic militant Web forum posted thousands of insults against the pan-Arab station for focusing on excerpts in which bin Laden criticizes insurgents, including his followers.
From David Horowitz's blog
The fascists came out in force tonight at Emory University and broke up what would have been an interesting conversation. I hardly got through fiteen minutes of my scheduled talk before members of the audience who come to protest rather than to listen became so unruly that it was impossible to go on. (Video and reports on Islamo-Fascism Week available at www.incorrectu.com)
This is too bad, particularly for the students at Emory, which is a good school and whose student audiences have always been civil when I spoke there in the past. After the event became a shambles, I went over to the local Starbucks to indulge in a tall Orange Mocha. While I was sitting there the president of the Muslim Students Association came over and introduced herself, and shared her regrets at what had happened. I thanked her for that and told her I would like to continue conversation another time.
Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week continues to make apologists nervous, resulting in a slew of case studies in all the usual devices they use in hope of diverting discussions away from the elements of Islamic texts and teachings that fuel the jihad ideology: Fear of "backlash," denial of the connection between Islamic jihad doctrine and Islamic jihad violence, and, of course, good old slander.
"Commentary: On propaganda and Islamophobia in the US," by Abukar Arman, "a freelance writer who lives in Ohio," (whose writings have come under scrutiny at Jihad Watch before), for the Middle East Times:
The daunting reality facing people of conscience is the seemingly impossible task of controlling propaganda in a free society, and how the protected freedom of the perpetrators increases the vulnerability of their potential victims.
Interesting choice of words there: "controlling" propaganda. Not recognizing it, answering it, or critically engaging it, but controlling it. But the "control" of information and discussion is itself an exercise in indoctrination, propaganda, and the mark of a patronizing government that feels it knows better than the citizens whose consent gives it power.
In the past few years, while many positive things have happened to Muslims in America, dark clouds continue to gather over them as a result of relentless propaganda by certain special interest groups. All one has to do is to randomly listen to AM talk show radio to hear the overtly-expressed hatred that hundreds of thousands - or perhaps millions - in America internalize each day and night. And this, needless to say, makes the backlash of any terrorist attack in the US soil a nightmare scenario for all Muslims.
More on "backlash" here.
'But, these are mere words,' the proponents of the status quo argue. 'It's not like they're throwing Molotov cocktail bombs at Muslims' homes' they insist, in an attempt to minimize the power of words.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali recently made an observation about another common charge that is aimed at silencing criticism of Islam, namely, that noting the Islamic underpinnings of the jihad ideology creates more jihadists. Part of her response also applies here: "If we continue that reasoning, we’ll never scrutinize anything. Can we ever write? Can we ever criticize anything?"
Indeed, there is a difference between incitement to violence, and criticizing an ideology. That is, unless we're now going to treat all criticism and disagreement as a prelude to violence. I (Marisol) would disagree with that. (Uh oh. Duck!)
In this age of Reality TV where the real, the unreal, and the surreal are deeply entangled, few have the ability to decipher disinformation or propaganda for what it truly is. Few would ask themselves: is stereotyping a major religion in its entirety ethical or even prudent? Is there any historical or even a current trend supporting the so-called "Islamo-fascism" propagated by certain vociferous political and religious provocateurs?
Yes. If you like, we can just call it jihad, too. We're flexible.
And assuming their charges were correct, the question that begs an answer is: why are the millions of Muslims in the US not wreaking "fascistic" havoc? More importantly, why are these provocateurs and their Grand Wizards such as Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, Televangelist Pat Robertson, Daniel Pipes, and Steve Emerson, and the cottage industry of fear, online outfits such as FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, and Little Green Footballs keep spewing hate speech that indiscriminately offends Muslims and only provides more fuel to the radical elements?
Hate speech is described as words uttered, recorded, written, pictured, or communicated in any other means (softly or loudly) that are "intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or a group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion."
But Arman does not bother to attempt to provide any quotation of something he finds "hateful" from any of the men he mentions.
However, as a result of the heinous aggression of 9/11 and the subsequent fear industry, a number of people have become desensitized to the dangers of Islamophobia and its mirrored image, anti-Americanism.
And in the political spectrum, early this summer, while being critical of how, in their first two debates, the democratic presidential candidates avoided connecting terrorism with Islam, one of the frontrunner republican candidate's, Rudy Giuliani, recently had this to say: "During their two debates, they never mentioned the word Islamic terrorist, Islamic extremist, Islamic fascist, terrorist, whatever combination of those words you want to use - [the] words never came up ... Maybe it's politically incorrect to say that. I don't know. I can't imagine who you insult if you say Islamic terrorist. You don't insult anyone who is Islamic who isn't a terrorist."
Now imagine if media routinely described the widely-reported sexual abuses committed by individual members of the Catholic clergy as 'Catholic-pedophiliac culture' and blamed everything on Roman Catholicism or the church doctrine. Or, imagine the Zionist brutal oppression of the Palestinian people being routinely referred to as Zio-Nazism or being blamed on Judaism and the teachings of the Torah.
Cheap shot. But here's the problem: Where does Catholic teaching endorse molesting children? Nowhere. It's a scandal which Catholics from the Pope to the rank-and-file parishioner have denounced forthrightly and want to eliminate with all the urgency in the world. Where does the Islamic faith demand the conversion, subjugation, or waging of war against unbelievers? Qur'an 9:29, for one.
Recently, however, realists such as Gen. John Abizaid, who have realized that the venomous rhetoric employed by anti-Muslim propagandists is in no way in the US' best interest, have also started to speak out.
"Adding the word 'Islamic' extremism, or qualifying it to Sunni Islamic extremism ... all make it very, very difficult because the battle of words is meaningful, especially in the Middle East to people," said the former commander of the US Central Command, adding that it was crucial to: "figure out how we don't turn this into Samuel Huntington's Battle of Civilizations, and we work toward an area where we respect mainstream Islam. There's nothing Islamic about [Osama] Bin Laden's philosophy, there's nothing Islamic about suicide bombing. I believe that these are huge difficulties that we need to overcome, this notion of Christianity versus Islam. It's not that, it doesn't need to be that."
In its true essence, propaganda is different than other forms of communication, as it consciously employs half-truths, falsehoods, and misleading information to manipulate feelings and attitudes. Propaganda mainly targets the emotions, precisely because they stir the targeted subject into a frenzy of impulsive actions.
Time to play the "Hitler" card. Never mind the continuing popularity of Mein Kampf in places like Turkey, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries.
Adolf Hitler clearly understood this. In his infamous Mein Kampf, he wrote: for propaganda to be more effective, it: "must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect. We must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public. The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous."
That said, Arman moves on to single out one of the aforementioned "Grand Wizards" as a "Jewish American conservative writer."
Ironically and, perhaps, while counting on the herd mentality of the frightened masses, this same propaganda machine is promoting Jewish American conservative writer and activist David Horowitz's spread-the-hate campaign, the so-called "Islamo-fascism Awareness Week," coming to a university campus near you.
And now, outright slander. It is a well-substantiated fact that the flyers Arman mentions next were produced as a smear tactic by students opposed to the event.
Horowitz and his affiliates' hateful mission was first unveiled in George Washington University, when students promoting the event plastered provocative fliers all over the university, the most despicable among them being a poster bearing the image of a Muslim man with Islamic attire that read "Hate Muslims? So Do We!"
A retraction would be nice.
Political posturing, to be sure, but it certainly would be good to hear more candidates -- Democrat and Republican -- begin to call the jihad what it is.
"Romney: Dems have accepted defeat in war against 'violent jihad'," from the Associated Press:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Speaking in Philadelphia, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says Democrats are accepting defeat in the battle against what he calls "radical violent jihad."
Not that mainstream, passive-aggressive jihad would constitute an improvement.
In recent polls, Romney has lagged behind former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Senator John McCain - despite spending more than $17 million from his own fortune. But after attending several fundraisers in the Philadelphia area today, Romney focused his attacks mostly on the Democratic front-runners.
It's easier to score propaganda points firing on the Israelis than to confront the problem with Hizballah and the group's Iranian and Syrian backers, whose ongoing activity is the reason for such reconnaissance flights by Israel.
"Officials: Lebanese troops fired on IAF jets," from the Associated Press:
Lebanese troops opened fire Thursday on Israeli warplanes flying low over southern Lebanon, but no hits were reported, Lebanese officials said.
Lebanese soldiers opened up with machine guns and light anti-aircraft weapons mounted on armored vehicles at two planes that flew by just east of Marjayoun town near the border at midmorning, a Lebanese security official said.
A total of 150 rounds were fired, he added. A senior military officer also said the army "confronted" the Israeli planes, but gave no details.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity in the absence of a formal announcement from the military command.
Israeli warplanes frequently fly over Lebanese airspace in what Israel says are reconnaissance missions, but this was the first time the army has [fired] on the aircraft since an August 14, 2006 cease-fire ended a month-long war between Israeli and Hizbullah guerrillas.
It is also the first time since February that the Lebanese army, which deployed in the south after the fighting, has fired on the Israelis.
All they've done is pass a bill "that would institute language exams and potential DNA testing for prospective immigrants, making it more difficult for families to join loved ones in France," and the Socialists and Greens are acting as if they committed genocide. The possibility of France being overwhelmed and transformed by immigrants who bring with them a radically different societal model, one that many are determined to impose upon the larger population, is not for them a matter of concern.
By Nathalie Schuck for Associated Press (thanks to Special Guest):
PARIS - French lawmakers adopted a hotly contested bill on Tuesday that would institute language exams and potential DNA testing for prospective immigrants, making it more difficult for families to join loved ones in France.
The DNA amendment, the most controversial aspect of the legislation, is meant to ensure that claims of family ties are true. It was added as a way to ensure that visa-seekers were not using fraudulent papers, common in some African countries.
While the expensive test is optional, critics fear it would be viewed as mandatory by those hoping to join family members in France.
The opposition Socialist Party has said it would take the issue before the Constitutional Council, which ensures that all laws conform with the constitution, in the hopes of getting the DNA amendment dumped. The move delays the bill's formal passage into law.
"This law is aimed at institutionalizing xenophobia," said Communist Party lawmaker Patrick Braouezec.
France's National Ethics Committee, a consultative body, has also said it has serious reservations about the DNA amendment for fear it could erode individual freedoms.
In a bid to appease critics, the DNA amendment was watered down to an 18-month experiment in several countries, with a genetic comparison only being made between a child seeking to join a mother already in France.
The legislation is a step toward fulfilling Conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy's goal of increasing the proportion of skilled immigrants in France from 7 percent to 50 percent and generally tailoring the profile of the immigrant community.
In September, Sarkozy proposed immigration quotas by regions of the world and by occupation.
"I want us to be able to establish each year, after a debate in parliament, a quota with a ceiling for the number of foreigners we accept on our territory," he said at the time....
"You are reimbursing your debt to the extreme right," Greens Party lawmaker Noel Mamere said Tuesday ahead of the vote, a reference to the far-right party which voted massively for Sarkozy at the expense of its own candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen.
The rest of the bill requires that prospective immigrants take a language test and an exam on fundamental French values. It also sets a minimum income level for the relative in France to ensure the person arriving has enough financial support.
Hey, wait a minute, Osama. This Darfur thing is supposed to be all about racism. Don't disrupt the media dogmas, please.
By Mike Pflanz in the Telegraph (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
Osama bin Laden has issued a fresh call for a "holy war" against a new 26,000-strong peacekeeping force for Darfur, which will include British support staff.
In an audio recording issued by al-Qa'eda this week, bin Laden also said that Muslims in Sudan and its neighbours must target the Khartoum government for agreeing to the deployment.
"This is a brazen occupation, and only an infidel apostate seeks it or agrees to it," bin Laden said.
"It is the duty of the people of Islam in the Sudan and its environs, especially the Arabian peninsula, to perform jihad against the crusader invaders and wage armed rebellion to remove those who let them in."
He always couches his appeals in this kind of language: "the people of Islam," etc. Yet the one thing the West is determined not to notice or to take into account is the religious nature of those appeals.
I am set to speak tonight at the University of Rhode Island, and a group calling itself Protest College Republicans has sent around this email. Clearly they're planning a lively intellectual exchange, marked by the civility and high standards of evidence and exposition that are the hallmark of the Left, particularly on campuses these days:
The same URI College Republicans who brought you a White, Heterosexual Male Scholarship are now bringing you an Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. The racism, sexism and bigotry continues.
The URI College Republicans must be stopped!
Join myself and dozens of other students as we protest the URI College Republicans tomorrow night at 7PM when they host Robert Spencer, a Muslim-Hating, Bush propogandist in the Memorial Union Ballroom.
Let's put an end to this racism, sexism and bigotry!
This man wrote "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam". What a sicko!
What: Robert Spencer Speech
Where: Memorial Union Ballroom
When: Wednesday Oct 24 @ 7 PM
Of course, little do these academic titans know that I neither hate Muslims nor am a Bush "propogandist" -- whatever a "propogandist" is.
UPDATE 11PM: Just got in. The College Republicans and I were not stopped. No protests or disruptions materialized, just the usual windy bloviating during the question period, trying to hijack the presentation with an alternative lecture. But the evening as a whole went smoothly.
Originally, you'll recall, we were told by CAIR's Ahmed Bedier that they were a couple of "naive kids" carrying "fireworks." Now we hear that Megahed had no idea what was in the trunk. Did Mohamed? Or did the Tooth Fairy drop by and leave 20 feet of fuse, a box of .22-caliber bullets, a drill, several gallons of gasoline, PVC piping and gun powder in their car without either one knowing about it?
Mohamed and Megahed Update: "Student Pleads Not Guilty to Bomb Charge," by Mitch Stacy for Associated Press (thanks to Block Ness):
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - An Egyptian college student accused of making an Internet video demonstrating the construction of a detonator for terrorist bombs pleaded not guilty to federal charges Wednesday.
Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 24, remained jailed on charges of distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction. His arraignment was set for Thursday.
Mohamed, an engineering student suspended by the University of South Florida, and another Egyptian student, Youssef Samir Megahed, 21, also are charged with carrying explosive materials across state lines.
They were arrested during an Aug. 5 traffic stop in Goose Creek, S.C., about 15 miles northwest of Charleston and near a Navy weapons station.
In the trunk of their car, according an FBI agent's statement, police found 20 feet of fuse, a box of .22-caliber bullets, a drill, several gallons of gasoline, PVC piping and gun powder.
The agent also said Mohamed's laptop contained a video he made demonstrating how to convert a remote-control toy into a detonator.
Mohamed said he made the video "to assist those persons in Arabic countries to defend themselves against the infidels invading their countries," according to the agent's statement. He said "he considered American troops, and those military forces fighting with the American military, to be invaders of Arab countries," the statement said.
The students told authorities they were carrying fireworks; Megahed's attorney now contends that his client didn't know anything about the items in the trunk.
And I'll bet you didn't even have to read the story to know why that was. You, you, you - islamaphobes.
One Saudi woman ignored the cancer growing in her breast because she didn't want to risk a referral to a male doctor. Another was divorced by her husband on the mere suspicion she had the disease, while a third was dragged away from a mammogram machine because the technicians were men.
Breast cancer is still considered a taboo in oil-rich Arab Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia even as the disease claims more and more victims, but some women are pushing for greater openness about the illness.
That is, a "world jihad" cell.
"Police seize 'world jihad' team," from CNN (thanks to all who sent this in):
MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Six suspected Islamic militants were Wednesday arrested in northern Spain on suspicion of using the Internet to recruit for and plot a 'world jihad,' a Ministry of Interior statement said.
The arrests came in Burgos province, a few hours' drive north of Madrid.
The six, allegedly linked to international Islamic terrorist activity, were seized in an operation involving U.S., Danish and Swedish intelligence agencies, the statement said.
"A large part of the activity was carried out on restricted Internet 'chats' and forums, which shows that the cell arrested was the first one detected and dismantled in Spain that promoted 'world jihad' through the Internet," the statement said.
Police were searching the homes of the six suspects and also a butcher shop run by one of them. Documents and computers were seized, the statement said.
Some of the money raised by the group allegedly was sent to Islamic terrorist convicts or suspects in prison, it said.
The alleged ringleader is Abdelkader Ayachine, an Algerian, and his top aide, Wissan Lotfi, a Moroccan. They were allegedly preaching violent jihadi ideology to promote an international "holy war," especially in Iraq, the statement said.
If only the frothing denunciations of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week were directed at the Muslims who keep stubbornly committing acts of violence in the name of Islam -- then we might actually be getting somewhere. Salam Al-Marayati? Umar Lee? Anyone? Anyone?
"Russia detains two Muslims for train blast," from Reuters (thanks to Twostellas):
NAZRAN, Russia - Russian forces detained two Muslim men in the southern republic of Ingushetia in connection with the August bombing of a train between Moscow and St. Petersburg, an interior ministry source said on Wednesday.
Investigators had previously said Russian nationalists were the most likely culprits in the August 13 explosion that derailed the main passenger train between Russia's two largest cities. There were no fatalities in the blast.
Trail Of Terror: The Council on American-Islamic Relations is cheering a mistrial in a major terror case as a "stunning defeat" for the U.S. government. But the celebration may be premature.
Federal prosecutors say they'll retry the case against leaders of the Holy Land Foundation, the nation's largest Muslim charity, which they accused of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas terrorists.
CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the case, also cheered a similar outcome in a federal case against Muslim activist Sami al-Arian in Florida. As in the Holy Land case, jurors deadlocked on several terror counts. But prosecutors threatened a retrial and al-Arian later pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
He was defended by the same lawyer defending one of the accused Holy Land leaders, Ghassan Elashi, who happens to also be a founding member of CAIR.
Barring plea bargains, the U.S. will narrow its charges and refile them — hopefully with a new judge. U.S. District Judge Joe Fish barred key evidence helping prosecutors prove willful intent to support terror on the part of defendants.
For example, he threw out a dozen documents seized by the Israeli government in raids of Hamas fronts that would have tied the Dallas-based charity closer to the terror group. Fish also allowed defendants to intimidate jurors.
Not long after the trial opened, after a morning of testimony by government witnesses, a visibly angry Elashi shouted and pointed as jurors exited the courtroom for lunch. The judge scolded him for the outburst — which included a rant about "a Zionist conspiracy" — but decided not to kick him out of the courtroom.
No doubt they'll streamline their evidence, highlighting the more powerful exhibits, including:
• FBI wiretaps of a meeting in Philadelphia between Holy Land and Hamas big shots in which Holy Land's director is overheard scheming to disguise payments to Hamas as charity, noting that "war is deception."
• Testimony from FBI agents that Holy Land flew Hamas clerics to the U.S. to help raise funds at mosques.
• Videos of a Holy Land defendant pretending to kill an Israeli during a Hamas fundraising skit held at one mosque.
• Key chains, videos and posters praising suicide bombers found inside the Hamas front "committees" that Holy Land helped bankroll.
The defendants also kept two sets of records at their Dallas offices — one in English, the other in Arabic — which they destroyed during the FBI's probe.
Lawyers for the accused expect us to believe that all this suspicious activity was merely an attempt to help needy Palestinians with "vaccinations" and "rice." Civil juries haven't fallen for the subterfuge.
The evidence is clear. Now it's up to the PC-plagued Justice Department to present it to jurors in a way that doesn't make their eyes glaze over. Retry the case. Only this time, don't try their patience.
Using US-made attack helicopters. "Turkish Troops Bomb Suspected Rebel Positions in Iraq," from AP:
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships attacked positions of Kurdish rebels along the rugged Iraqi-Turkish border on Wednesday, the country's official Anatolia news agency reported.
Several F-16 warplanes loaded with bombs took off from an air base in southeastern city of Diyarbakir, private Dogan news agency and local reporters said.
U.S.-made Cobra and Super Cobra attack helicopters chased Kurdish rebels some 3 miles into Iraqi territory on Sunday but returned to their bases in Turkey after a rebel ambush killed 12 soldiers near the border, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Awhile ago the Muslim Public Affairs Council released a handbook for dealing with Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, centered around these six tips:
The guide includes information about the need for student groups to:
* demonstrate Islamic ethics and restraint
* support free speech
* not respond
* contact campus administrators
* talk to other student groups
* report hate crimes and hate incidents
Last night I was on Radio Islam out of Chicago with Salam Al-Marayati of MPAC, and I think he may want to add a seventh:
* engage in character assassination of your opponents rather than respond to the substantive points they raise.
For when I spoke of the need for peaceful Muslims to counter actively Salafist efforts at recruitment, which proceed by appealing to the Qur'an and Sunnah, he responded by likening me to Osama bin Laden.
Of course, he has done this on many radio shows we've been on together in the past, and perhaps nothing better can be expected from a colleague of Edina Lekovic, who has lied about me on national television and ignored my requests for a retraction.
As long as Al-Marayati and his allies continue to engage in this kind of mudslinging instead of dealing with the issues at hand, more and more people will wake up to his utter intellectual bankruptcy, the hollowness of his calls for dialogue, and the unhelpfulness of his organization in the struggle against Islamic supremacism. Nice going, Salam!
Robert Spencer of 1984 says, Not so fast, Umar
The Muslim American Society has declared victory in a piece by Umar Lee that characterizes Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week as a "week of incitement." That's a neatly deceptive label for an efforts that features a series of speakers and programs designed to draw attention to the deprivation under Sharia of the human rights of women, religious minorities, and homosexuals, and even Muslims whom the jihadists deem to be insufficiently orthodox.
We have thus focused on the Left's pet causes and thereby exposed its hypocrisy. All that Leftists and their allies have done in response -- and all they apparently can do -- is attack us personally and attribute to us, without a shred of evidence, all sorts of sinister motives and intentions, while simultaneously claiming that no one is paying attention to us anyway. Umar Lee is a case in point: he has never hesitated to engage in the most vile defamation of me and others, and appears incapable of holding a civil, rational discussion with those with whom he disagrees or arguing his case solely on its merits. His new MAS piece is more of the same. He wants his hapless readers to believe that we're engaging in incitement -- thus diverting their attention away from the fact that we're calling attention to oppression, and he is by his opposition to us aiding and abetting that oppression. He combines this with a bit of chest-thumping:
As the week of incitement began one of the biggest critics of Islam, Robert Spencer, gave a speech at DePaul University in Chicago and was greeted by more people in opposition to his message than supporters and from the reports that I am getting on most campuses turnout is very light for these events and in many cases those coming out to counter the event are outnumbering those in support of it.
Maybe so. But Lee may be premature in declaring victory. When I myself was in college, I held views very different from those I hold now. I would have opposed Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, had such an event existed. But the force of events and continued study over the years led me to change my views.
Most of all, however, I believe Umar Lee's crowing is premature for one primary reason: we are telling the truth, and he and his cohorts aren't. Monday night at DePaul a questioner referred to my invoking Sahih Muslim 4294, the hadith in which Muhammad tells his followers to offer unbelievers conversion, subjugation, or war. Then he asked, "What qualifies you to speak about the contents of Islamic texts?" I answered, "I can read."
And so can a lot of other people -- unfortunately for Umar Lee.
UPDATE: Several people have notified me that the MAS has pulled this article. What's the matter, Umar? Too many people able to read?
MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge indicted 22 suspected Islamic terrorists Tuesday, charging them with recruiting and sending fighters to Iraq, including one who killed Italian troops there in a suicide attack in 2003, according to a copy of the indictment viewed by CNN.
A court source said the suspects managed to send four fighters to Iraq.
It notes the suicide attack on Nov. 17, 2003, by a man identified as Bellil Belgacem "against Italian troops that left 18 people dead and various others wounded," in Nasiriya, Iraq, the indictment said.
Eighteen of the 22 suspects are charged with membership in a terrorist group. The others face the lesser charge of collaborating with a terrorist group. All but two of the suspects are either in custody or out on bail.
The defendants aimed to establish their network in Spain, Belgium, Holland, Turkey, Morroco, Syria and Iraq, with "the precise aim of sending people to Iraq to join the terrorist activity directed by al Qaeda, to attack vital military and civilian, public and private targets," the indictment says.
Judge Baltasar Garzon, an investigating magistrate at Spain's National Court who has tried to untangle the web of suspected Islamic terrorist cells in Spain, issued the 38-page indictment.
The suspected leaders include Abdeladin Akoudad, alias Nadufel, identified as an alleged coordinator of a group called the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, "a terrorist group of Salafist ideology," the indictment says.
Akoudad and another defendant, Ahmed Hissisni, are being sought on Spanish arrest warrants, the indictment says.
Another suspected leader identified in the indictment is Mohamed Mrabet Fashi, alias Aldeghafour, who allegedly had responsibility in Spain for sending fighters to Iraq to attack Western targets, the indictment says. The indictment maintains pre-trial prison for Mrabet Fashi and nine co-defendants.
Ten other defendants have provisional liberty, including three with bail of 6,000 euros ($8,400) each, the indictment says. No trial date was announced.
He wanted to commit "suicide by cop," you see. He was mentally ill, like Bilal Bajaka and so many others. It's funny how this particular mental illness so often runs in this same pattern. Tahmeed Ahmad is a mentally ill honor student who, by the way, had already been added to a terror watch list.
"Teacher who attacked base had death wish, FBI says: A Miami Central High math teacher was arrested after attacking the Homestead Air Reserve Base in a failed suicide bid, authorities say," by David Ovalle in the Miami Herald (thanks to Brad Thor):
Wielding two butcher knives bought at Wal-Mart and vodka bottles to use as explosives, Tahmeed Ahmad chanted ''Death to America'' and told Homestead Air Reserve Base guards he wanted to kill soldiers.
But Ahmad was no terrorist, authorities believe.
Rather, the Miami Central High School math teacher wanted to ''commit suicide by cop'' when he attacked military policemen stationed at the west gate just before midnight Sunday, the FBI said.
Ahmad did not get his wish. One officer fired his handgun at Ahmad. He missed.
''We take security very seriously at the base, but this was quite an unusual event,'' said Lt. Col. Tom Davis, a base spokesman. ``Our security forces are well trained and responded appropriately.''
Police quickly arrested Ahmad, 22, whose mother says is mentally ill and had recently been in a mental institution. The FBI charged him Monday with assaulting a U.S. government employee.
Ahmad is in his first year teaching math at Miami Central High, 1781 NW 95th St....
Ahmad had been added to a federal terrorist watch list, but officials had long since concluded he was not a credible threat, Davis said.
He graduated in June from City College of New York's honors program in mathematics, his mother, Gulnaz Ahmad, said from East Flushing, N.Y.
She said her son was a smart, quiet man who was elected as a student government-faculty liaison three years in a row. He was born in Kuwait and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
He had been recruited to teach by Miami-Dade schools. Ahmad also wanted to coach football.
But last week, a mental hospital called to say Ahmad, who had been on psychiatric medication, tried killing himself but didn't know how.
''I don't why he was depressed and why he was so sad,'' his mother said, tearfully. ``He needs help.''
”Karlsruhe, Germany - A Jordanian has been indicted in Germany over a plot to set up a school for terrorists in Sudan, prosecutors said Tuesday. Thaer A, aged 33, who was picked up by Swedish police in March and extradited to Germany the following month, is the second member of the alleged ring of five men to face trial.” -- from this news article
What are the German police, the Swedish police, the Danish police, the Norwegian police, the Belgian police, the Dutch police, the French police, the Italian police, the Spanish police, the British police, and their equivalents of the FBI, and the CIA, or MI5 and MI6, all doing these days? What are the courts doing? What are the prosecutors and taxpayer-funded lawyers doing? What are all those extra security details for -- at airports and train stations and bus stations and in front of government buildings, and near embassies of the United States and Israel and Australia, and in front of churches and synagogues, and Christian and Jewish schools, and symbolic structures expressive of the nation-state's Infidel history (as at St. Denis, where the French kings are buried)? What?
And how much does all this now cost the Infidel nation-states of Europe? And how much will it cost, if the Muslim immigrants continue to come and those already here are permitted to remain, even if they do not, and cannot possibly, offer their unfeigned allegiance to Infidels, and to the political and legal institutions of the Infidel nation-state?
Europe’s no-go zones or SUAs (“sensitive urban areas”) are multiplying. These are areas where the police no longer dares to venture and where Islamists hold sway. Every night since the beginning of last week, immigrant youths have been torching cars and clashing with police in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart district. The incidents started on Oct. 14 when a policewoman shot dead Bilal Bajaka, a 22-year old ethnic Moroccan, whilst he was stabbing her and a colleague with a knife. The officers were stabbed in the breast, face, neck and back. Surgeons could only narrowly save their lives.
Since the incident, Slotervaart has seen rioting almost every night. The Amsterdam Moroccans are “shocked” because one of them has been killed by an infidel woman. According to his family, Bilal Bajaka was mentally deranged and had a suicide obsession. Ahmed Marcouch, the Moroccan-born Socialist mayor of Slotervaart, criticized the Dutch authorities for failing to provide adequate health care for Bajaka’s mental problems.
Bilal Bajaka was, however, a personal friend of Mohammed Bouyeri, the Jihadist who ritually slaughtered the Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh in 2004. Bilal’s attack on the two police officers came exactly two years after the arrest of his brother, Abdullah Bajaka, the leader of an alleged plot to blow up an El-Al Boeing at Amsterdam airport. Bilal’s family background is not at all deprived. One of his sisters is a medical doctor, another sister is a Dutch judge.
Similar events are currently taking place in Brussels, the capital of neighbouring Belgium and of the EU. Last Sunday, demonstrating Turkish youths ransacked an Armenian restaurant in the Sint-Joost-ten-Node borough. According to the owner the police was present at the scene but did not interfere while his establishment was being demolished. The Armenian had to flee for his life.
Another man who had to run for his life was the Belgian journalist Mehmet Koksal, an ethnic Turk. He was attacked around 11 pm on Sunday evening by a group of some twenty Turkish youths in front of the American embassy in Brussels, a few yards from the Belgian parliament building. The Parliament and the US Embassy are less than one kilometer from Sint-Joost-ten-Node. Koksal fled to a nearby police car, but a female police officer refused to let him into the car, whereupon the youths savagely beat him up. Fearing that they were about to lynch him, the police officers changed their attitude and allowed the journalist to seek refuge in their car....
In this article in The American Muslim, Sheila Musaji decries “a rash of supposed Muslims or pseudo-Muslims (at least they have Muslim names) using the [the Jewish Voices for Peace Petition against intolerance and Islamophobia] petition site as a means to leave derogatory comments about Jews, Christians, America, etc.”
The “Pseudo-Muslim” entered on the petition site actual quotes from Ahmad Bahr, acting Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker; Mahmoud Al Hasan of the Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen, a group aligned to the Jamaat-e-Islami party of Pakistan; Dr. Ismail Radwan, who spoke on official Palestinian TV on March 30, 2007; Anjem Choudary, a Muslim leader in the UK; and Ahmad Bahr again.
How much did this juror know about Hamas' terror attacks against Israeli civilians -- attacks which Hamas openly celebrated? How much was this juror influenced by media whitewashing of jihad terror by the "Palestinians"?
The prosecution's key witness was a lawyer for the Israeli domestic security agency Shin Bet who testified under a false name. He said Palestinian charities that got Holy Land money were controlled by Hamas.
Neal, the juror, said he found the Shin Bet officer's testimony unconvincing — that he would expect an Israeli official to condemn an ally of Palestinians.
At least it's a direct and honest appeal: Want peace? Pay the jizya. "Muslims in 'money not words' message," by Tom Smithard in the Yorkshire Post (thanks to Twostellas):
A Government Minister was told yesterday to stop talking and start funding as he addressed a group of young Yorkshire Muslims battling to prevent members of their community becoming extremists.
Community Cohesion Minister Parmjit Dhanda was told that young Muslims were still annoyed about the war in Iraq and tensions in the Middle East.
And, in what he described as a "robust debate", he was told by members of the Leeds Muslim Youth Forum (LMYF) that they were fed up of having meetings with Ministers that appeared positive at the time but never resulted in the funding they were after.
Mr Dhanda visited the Hamara centre in Beeston, Leeds, yesterday to learn about grassroot schemes developed there to engage young people.
Representatives told him of the positive work to build links with other Leeds communities, including organising football tournaments and multi-faith visits to mosques, churches and synagogues.
They said they were about to organise a community cohesion awards night, featuring prizes for local role models, and had also recently run a cultural awareness week to help stop the feeling of alienation.
But, while tensions in Beeston had eased since the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings, carried out by members of the community, the representatives said there were still many problems that needed addressing.
Mohammed Kamran said: "We need to get young Muslims to understand the big picture. Young Muslims are p***** off with our foreign policy and the community gets all irate about politicians not engaging at a local level. We're trying to get people to engage at a local level themselves, because that's the only way it will change things."
P***** off with foreign policy? Politicians not engaging at the local level? Hmmm. I guess I'll have to become a suicide bomber myself!
Speaking afterwards, 20-year-old Fahad Khan said that it was vital for the LMYF to engage at the grassroots, through mosques and youth clubs, to reach young people before they became alienated and turned to extremism.
He said: "There is no escaping the fact that there is a lot of tension in this community, the Muslim youth is disenfranchised. They are being pulled three ways, the religious culture at home, the secular culture at school, and in-between the tension of the streets.
"Parents don't understand, many do not speak English, yet there's no translators available at parent-teacher evenings at schools. Young people also have grievances with other faiths, they focus too much on the differences rather than looking at the similarities.
"We also have 'consultation fatigue', with Ministers coming to see us but never getting anything done. We had a meeting with a Treasury Minister earlier in the summer, it was a positive meeting, but when we applied for funding afterwards it was rejected.
"We don't want to sound money hungry but we need it to progress as an organisation, to allow us to get our voices heard within the community. The problem at the moment is Ministers listen to what we say, but never act upon it."
But, but, says the government official, we've already ponied up plenty:
Mr Dhanda, a Sikh, told the Yorkshire Post: "We have invested £6m of money nationally in our Preventing Violent Extremism programme, with £17m over three years behind that.
"We had a good, frank discussion today. It's really important that we listen to what active young people in the Leeds Muslim community have to say because the projects they've been involved in locally have made a real difference.
"It's not a case of what goes wrong that we need to spend all our time focusing on. We need to find examples of what can be done to improve things. Where we have projects of real energy and vitality we need to utilise that and support that."
Why not tell them this, Dhanda? "We're going to enforce British law. You are in Britain. You must obey it. Poverty and disenfranchisement are no excuse for mayhem. Renounce Islamic supremacism and any hope to impose Sharia, accept the parameters of British society and law, work with law enforcement officials to root out jihadists from your community, and things will go well with you."
ISTANBUL, October 22 (Compass Direct News) – Two Iraqi priests kidnapped more than a week ago said they returned to their Mosul parish in good health yesterday morning and immediately celebrated mass.
Captors freed Father Pius Affas and Father Mazen Ishoa at an undisclosed location in Mosul at 11 a.m., Fr. Affas told Compass today. The release came a day after two other Christians were abducted and an Orthodox priest’s son was shot to death.
“They were very good to us,” the Syrian Catholic priest said in broken English by telephone from Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad.
Fr. Affas said that he and Fr. Ishoa had not sustained any injuries while in captivity and repeatedly thanked all those who had prayed for their release.
Kidnappers have tortured several of the seven Iraqi priests kidnapped in Baghdad during the past year.
The priests said they were healthy enough to celebrate mass for their congregation at St. Thomas’ church on the day of their release. But another Mosul clergyman told Compass that he was uncertain whether the captors had actually treated the priests well.
“It’s normal for [Fr. Affas and Fr. Ishoa] not to explain everything on the telephone, because their kidnappers have probably told them not to talk about [torture],” said the clergyman, who requested anonymity. He said that the priests’ telephones were likely tapped and their movements monitored..
“We won’t know the exact details until we meet them [in person],” the priest said..
Fr. Affas did not comment on whether the church had paid a $1 million ransom initially demanded by the kidnappers. The priests’ captors had given Syrian Catholic Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa until Saturday (October 20) to raise the money.
A Mosul priest told Compass that prior to his capture, Fr. Affas had received letters threatening to attack his congregation if they did not leave the city. Christians in Iraq continue to report attacks targeting their community amid the greater violence between Sunni and Shiite militias and U.S. forces..
A Vatican spokesperson registered the Pope’s happiness over news of the release and said he hoped similar kidnappings would not continue in the future. Pope Benedict XVI had appealed for the liberation of the two clergymen during a papal address in Rome last week.
Two Christians from a village outside of Mosul were kidnapped on Saturday afternoon (October 20) in Mosul city, according to a Christian source.
The captors demanded a large ransom from the family, who requested that the names of the Christians not be published for security reasons.
Separately, the son of a Syrian Orthodox priest was shot to death yesterday morning in the town of Basheeqa, 15 miles northeast of Mosul, according to Iraqi Christian website Ankawa.com. The website reported that he had just returned from the city of Dohuk and had stepped out of his car when he was killed by a single bullet.
Last night I had the great honor of speaking on a panel with Iranian freedom fighter Amir Abbas Fakhravar. We were at DePaul University, where the crowd was hostile but only made a few attempts actually to shout us down. They restricted their chanting about racism -- an absurd charge to hurl in any discussion of Islam and jihad, but particularly inappropriate to shout at a former inmate of the mullah' prison cells -- to before and after the event. It was hard to be heard at less than a shout level during the book signing after the event, when the peaceful, tolerant folks' moronic chanting made it almost impossible to carry on a conversation.
Should I be glad that nobody got hurt? On one level, I suppose so. But that that kind of gratitude would even cross my mind (and not just mine) is in itself an indication of how bad things have gotten on our college campuses. The posturing, yelling, and windy self-righteous lecturing during the question period indicated just how thoroughly the DePaul student community, with a few courageous exceptions, has been propagandized.
Freedom Folks, whom I had the pleasure of meeting there, has coverage of the evening, plenty of pictures, and video of the talk I gave.
And that reminds me: if you really like that tie, you can see it again in Atlas' video of a talk I gave at the Counterjihad Summit in Brussels last week, which comes at the end of a long and informative post about the summit itself.
Kano - An Islamic court in Nigeria on Monday lifted a ban it placed almost three weeks ago on a play written by a civil rights activist which satirises the implementation of sharia law in 12 mainly Muslim states, lawyers said.
The judge of the upper sharia court in the Tudun Wada neighbourhood of the northern city of Kaduna, Mustapha Umar, ruled that his court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit filed by "Concerned Sharia Forum", a pro-sharia group based in Zaria, 70km north of Kaduna.
Umar issued a motion restraining playwright and activist Shehu Sani on October 3 from selling or circulating his play, Phantom Crescent and banning performances of the play.
Defence lawyer Muhammad Sanusi said: "The court has thrown out the case on the grounds that it lacks jurisdiction. With this ruling the earlier orders given by the court have no legality."
The play is a satire depicting how politicians, especially governors of the states implementing the sharia legal system, use it "as a tool for looting the public treasury and for stifling opposition", Sani told AFP.
"We have started preparations to appeal the upper sharia court ruling before the Kaduna state high court because we believe circulating the book and staging performances has the potential of causing a sectarian rift, not only in Kaduna but in many parts of the north," counsel to the plaintiff, Aliyu Ahmad Sharif, said.
What a guy. But the "extremism" he is addressing in this tape, addressed to Iraqi jihadists, is not religious fervor per se, but more temporal loyalties that get in the way of unity among the jihadists.
"Bin Laden Asks Iraq Insurgents to Unite," by Lee Keath for the Associated Press:
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Osama bin Laden called for Iraqi insurgents to unite and avoid divisive "extremism," speaking in an audiotape aired Monday and apparently intended to win over Sunnis opposed to al-Qaida's branch in Iraq.
In the audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera television, bin Laden said insurgents should admit "mistakes" and that he even advises himself not to be extreme in his leadership.
The tape appeared to be in response to moves by some Sunni Arab tribes in Iraq that have joined U.S. troops in fighting al-Qaida members, as well as other Sunni insurgent groups that — while still attacking Americans — have formed coalitions opposed to al-Qaida.
"Some of you have been lax in one duty, which is to unite your ranks," bin Laden said in the audiotape. "Beware of division ... Muslims are waiting for you to gather under a single banner to champion righteousness. Be keen to oblige with this duty."
"I advise myself, Muslims in general and brothers in al-Qaida everywhere to avoid extremism among men and groups," he said, saying leaders should not build themselves up as the sole authority, and that instead mujahedeen should follow "what God and his prophet have said."
Bin Laden used the Arabic word "ta'assub," which in traditional Islamic thought means extremism in allegiance or adherence to a group, to a degree that excludes others — apparently advising flexibility to overcome divisions.
There's no "I" in "team":
"Everybody can make a mistake, but the best of them are those who admit their mistakes," he said. "Mistakes have been made during holy wars but mujahedeen have to correct their mistakes."
U.S. counterterrorism authorities were studying the content and authenticity of the audiotape. However, officials often note that no one has faked a bin Laden recording in the past.
Al-Jazeera did not say how it obtained the tape.
Islamic Tolerance Alert. "I'll be Bak-ri," by Daniel Jones for The People:
Outlawed Islamic fanatic Omar Bakri Mohammed has vowed to defy a ban on him returning to Britain - and challenged anti-terror cops to charge him or leave him alone.
The cleric - accused of turning young British Muslims to al-Qaeda with hate-filled sermons - claims he must fly to London to see his sick 12-year-old daughter.
Bakri begged Government officials to give him a two-week visa, insisting he'd had NOTHING to do with terrorism during the 20 years he lived in the UK.
But then he shot himself in the foot by launching a bizarre videoed rant against the country which still shelters his wife and six children.
The video can be seen here.
Amazingly we captured him on video as he exploded. He shook his fist and shouted: "You are just a people of fish and chips and hot dogs.
"Don't tell me you are the best nation. This idea you are the best nation. You are the best nation for your culture. What is your culture?"
Later, at a seaside restaurant, he said he hoped Islam's draconian Sharia law would be global.
He said: "Yes, I do want to see the black flag of Islam over 10 Downing Street as I want to see it everywhere in the world. That is God's will.
"It doesn't matter if not everyone is Muslim so long as we get rid of this man-made law.
"Man-made law is corrupted. One minute you say homosexuals are banned then they are allowed. Man changes his mind. Sharia law is based on a message from God." And he dismissed claims he had urged Muslims to blow up Dublin airport last November, insisting it was a "sarcastic" joke because he knew he was being monitored by government agents.
Bakri - currently living in a posh three-bedroom flat overlooking the Mediterranean - was mobbed by supporters when he gave us a tour of the area and bragged: "I have got a very strong influence here."
Asked about the crowds waiting to greet him, he told us: "You are used to seeing that only when people do it with a star, a pop star. But for them they do it out of respect. They treat me like a spiritual leader."
Bakri claimed British backers help fund his lifestyle.
He said: "When people like you they have an Islamic bond with you - it is so powerful. They treat you like a brother or father - sometimes more than that."
Bakri's rants sparked fury in Britain last night.
Top Tory MP David Willetts said: "He should never be allowed to set foot on British soil again."
And the Lib Dems' Home Affairs spokesman Jeremy Browne said:
"We are a welcoming nation - but our distinctive hospitality should not be abused."
That's what the jihad is about -- imposing Islamic law. From Israel Today:
A leading Israeli Arab Muslim cleric said at the weekend that the Jewish state will very soon cease to exist and the whole of the country will come under Sharia (strict Islamic) law as another piece in the puzzle to reconstituting the Islamic Caliphate.
Indeed. "Palestine" is only a means to an end -- a "no-state solution," if you will, where nationalism is concerned.
In an interview with a local Arabic-language newspaper, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, deputy head of northern Israel's Islamic Movement, insisted that the world is "on the threshold of a new era. The future belongs to Islam and the Muslims."
Khatib said that in preparation for the coming Islamic takeover, Muslims who hold Israeli citizenship like himself should begin to actively rebel against the state by refusing to cooperate with and forming alternatives to the Israeli authorities.
Sedition. Is anyone in Tel Aviv listening?
Also at the weekend, Khatib's boss, Sheikh Raed Salah denounced current peace negotiations leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict as an "evil Israeli scheme." Salah, who is also an Israeli citizen, has long maintained that that Muslim world must not recognize Israel's right to exist.
Islamic Tolerance Alert. In the U.S., if you dare note that Christians do not enjoy full equality of rights with Muslims in any majority-Muslim country today, you will be vilified as an "Islamophobe." Unfortunately, however, those who do the vilifying don't say a thing when stories like this one come out.
"Asylum for Eritrean gospel singer," from the BBC (thanks to Meilor):
An Eritrean Christian gospel singer who was tortured and detained without charge for two years in her homeland has been granted asylum in Denmark.
Helen Berhane was imprisoned inside a metal shipping container and beaten in an effort to make her recant her faith.
And just what faith did her captors want her to adopt, O BBC?
Freed in December 2006, she took refuge in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, before being granted asylum.
Ms Berhane uses a wheelchair because of severe injuries to her legs and feet sustained in prison beatings....
Her account of the cruel and inhumane treatment she suffered is echoed by the testimony of hundreds of others persecuted for their religious beliefs.
Prisoners say they are routinely subjected to extremes of heat and cold, denied water and sanitation, according to testimony collected from exiles by Release Eritrea, an organisation that campaigns for the rights of religious minorities.
Charles at LGF has a roundup of the increasingly shrill and hysterical reactions to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week from campus Leftists at Columbia, Indiana, Minnesota, Penn State, Washington State, and Wisconsin.
So the campus Left is placing itself squarely on the side of those who want to implement the institutionalized oppression of women and religious minorities sanctioned by Islamic Sharia law, who deny the freedom of conscience, and want to impose upon the world a supremacist and totalitarian code.
Why am I not surprised?
Meanwhile, while calling us "fascists" and "bigots" and the like, they are going to shout us down, hurl abuse at us, and do all they can to interfere with our ability to speak freely, thus validating for themselves the "fascist" part of the Week's name.
It promises to be an interesting week.
Jihad for Kids Update from MEMRI (thanks to Twostellas):
In an investigative article in the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yousef, journalist Asma Nassar revealed that a popular Koran commentary for children published in Egypt contains virulent incitement against Christians and Jews, and calls on both children and adults to fight them. Nassar's critical article presents excerpts from the book and comments from Muslim scholars who participated in its writing and from senior Al-Azhar figures.
The following are excerpts from the article: 
How Could Al-Azhar Approve This Book for Publication?
The article stated: "This Koran commentary, intended for children, includes erroneous ideas which incite against the followers of the [other] monotheistic religions. For instance, the interpretation of the Al-Fatiha Sura [the first Sura of the Koran], states that [the expression] 'those who earn Thine [i.e., Allah's] anger' refers to the Jews, and [the expression] 'those who go astray' refers to the Christians.  This [rendering] contradicts the tenets and the tolerant character of the Islamic faith....
I'm glad to see someone complaining about this. Unfortunately, however, those who produced this edition were working from a strong, mainstream Islamic tradition. See here for my detailed discussion of the Fatiha, in which I list some of traditional Islamic authorities who believe that the Fatiha does indeed refer to Jews as those who have earned Allah's anger and Christians as those who have gone astray.
"We discovered that the book was first published 10 years ago by Dar Al-Sahaba Lil-Turat in Tanta, and was edited by Sheikh Magdi Fathi Al-Sayyed. Since then, there have been five more editions, and the book has been translated into several languages, including Indonesian, Malaysian, and Turkish. The question arises: How could the [Al-Azhar] Academy of Islamic Research allow the publication of such ideas? After all, [one of its] duties is to monitor [publications] that misrepresent Islam and disparage the [other] monotheistic religions. Considering [the Academy's] involvement in cultural conflicts, and its persecution of anyone who has innovative ideas in areas of thought, culture and philosophy, its [scholars] ought to revert to their original role.
Here again, the Al-Azhar scholars were just repeating a mainstream tradition. I am not defending them: the tradition itself militates against Muslims accepting the principle that they should coexist peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis. But I am not sure Nassar is taking the best tack by acting as if the Al-Azhar scholars invented this tradition, and that it's something out of left field. Because then all they need do is point out its traditional roots, and then what comeback can she make?
"The hidden poison [of extremism] has seeped into the pages of this book, which was approved [for publication] by the Al-Azhar Academy of Islamic Research... [after being] examined by four of its scholars. [One of the authors] of the introduction is the president of Egypt's Koranic schools, and a hadith expert at Al-Azhar University, Dr. Ahmad 'Issa Al-Ma'sarawi..."
Deliberate Inculcation of Extremist Ideas
The article continued: "Overall, the book is characterized by incitement to extremism and by extremist interpretations that do not reflect the true meaning of the verses... [For example,] the book divests Islam of its most fundamental principle - [the principle of] peace - and even incites against this [notion] in its interpretation of the [following] verses: 'Forgive them, and overlook [their misdeeds], for Allah loveth those who are kind [5:13]'; 'And if the enemy inclines towards peace, then incline towards it and trust in Allah, for He is all-hearing and all-knowing [8:61].' [The book states that] these verses are abrogated by the 'Verse of the Sword,' which descended later, and which says: 'Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the Latter Day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book [i.e. among the Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the Islamic poll tax on non-Muslims] and they are in a state of subjection [9:29].' [According to the book], peace and reconciliation agreements [with Christians and Jews] have been forbidden since this verse was revealed.
Funny. All the Muslims who have been emailing me these days to chide me about my alleged misuse of Qur'an 9:29 and the principle of abrogation should henceforth direct their emails to the imams of Al-Azhar.
"In its interpretation of this verse, [the book] says: 'Allah commands the believers to fight all the infidels who do not believe in Allah and in the Latter Day [i.e. in the Day of Judgment], who do not follow His instructions regarding what is allowed and prohibited, and who do not believe in the true faith, which is Islam - i.e. the Jews and the Christians'...
"One of the most appalling parts of the book is a section quoting several verses from the Al-Maida Sura ['The Table Spread'], which the book labels as 'proof of the heresy of the Christians.' The ideas planted [by this section] in the children's minds are like a time bomb that will lead to civil war, since the children learn by heart [verses that indoctrinate them] to accuse the Copts of heresy. This is totally inexplicable, and also contradicts [the spirit of] the Egyptian constitution...
"In its interpretation of verse [9:41] - 'Go forth light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah's way with your property and your persons; this is better for you, if you know' - the book says: 'Allah the Almighty told the believers - both young and old - to set out and fight for the sake of Allah.
"In explaining verse [9:66] - 'O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end' - the book says: 'Allah commanded the believers to wage jihad against the infidels by [fighting them] with the sword, and to wage jihad against the hypocrites by imposing upon them the punishments and constraints mandated for those who violate the commands of Islam..."
The article further stated: "The expected consequence of this [book] is that, in future, thousands of young children will be willing to blow themselves up [in terrorist operations] against [non-Muslims]. This is the danger [that this book represents]. [The book's aim] is not to interpret verses, but to deliberately instill children with ideas that incite [to extremism]. This is evident from its deliberate ignoring of other verses... that reflect the true [face of] Islam, which does not discriminate among the followers of the monotheistic religions but [calls for] brotherhood among them..."
A positive sign:
Dr. 'Abd Al-Mu'ti Bayoumi, member of the Al-Azhar Academy for Islamic Research, likewise expressed reservations about the book, saying: "It is ignorance on our part [to rely on] old and erroneous [Koran] commentaries without examining and contemplating [the verses anew]. Islamic thought needs to be reformed..." Bayoumi went on to warn against instilling these poisonous ideas in the younger generation.
Nassar also presented statements by Islamic scholar Gamal Al-Bana, who exposed the book in August 2007. He said: "The interpretations [found in the book] are generally similar to commentaries by [the Muslim Brotherhood theorist] Sayyed Qutub and other [Islamic scholars] of his ilk, who harmed the image of Islam with their erroneous interpretations of the Koran. Islam is pluralistic by nature, and does not aim to judge other religions or accuse others of heresy - that [role] is reserved for Allah on the Day of Judgment..." On the interpretation of the "Verse of the Sword," Al-Bana commented: "Conciliation, tolerance and peace are principles of the Islamic faith, and whoever rejects them, rejects the postulates of that faith... Children must not be exposed to these commentaries, just as they should in general be left out of arguments they cannot understand, since [religious disputes] concern only the experts."
This is all good, but just saying that we must not rely on old commentaries is not enough. There needs to be comprehensive re-examination and reform, and explicit rejection and replacement of those commentaries.
A judge declared a mistrial Monday for most former leaders of a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorism, after chaos broke out in the court when three jurors disputed the verdict that had been announced.
From WFAA's Holy Land trial blog
11:35 a.m. The Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial ended in a mistrial Monday after the jurors deadlocked on most of the counts. But a government prosecutor said the Justice Department would retry the case.
Only one official – Mohammad El-Mezain, the Holy Land's original chairman and endowments director — was acquitted on most of the counts by a unanimous jury. But he could still face prosecution on a charge of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.
Just in from the Dallas Morning News:
The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was found not guilty of supporting terrorism by sending money to charity committees controlled by Hamas. The judge will now announce the jury's verdicts on each Holy Land official. In all, the jury must make 197 decisions on guilt or innocence this morning.
Update: "Holy Land Foundation found not guilty of financing terrorism," by Jason Trahan, also from the Dallas Morning News:
The jury in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial was unable to reach unanimous decisions on three of the six defendants, U.S. District Judge Joe Fish said Monday as he unsealed their verdicts.
On two others, they were able to reach unanimous decisions on some of the counts. And on only one defendant were they able to reach unanimous decisions on all counts.
The judge is now beginning to announce the jury's verdict on each defendant. In all, the jury must make 197 decisions on guilt or innocence this morning.
Ongoing updates at WFAA's Holy Land trial blog.
At last, an anti-Sharia ruling by a U.S. Court. This ruling is significant far beyond this particular case, because there is always more Sharia to accommodate, and someone has to draw the line somewhere if we don't want to end up accommodating the whole thing.
From Associated Press (thanks to WriterMom):
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A Franklin County judge ruled that a man does not have to pay his former wife $25,000, promised as part of a dowry before their traditional Muslim marriage.
The judge says the payment is part of a religious agreement, not a legal contract.
The decision is the first of its kind in Ohio, and a departure from rulings in other states, which have enforced dowries as part of Islamic marriage contracts.
Will the Islamic response to this be more hatred and violence in the name of their religion?
"Religion must never be used to promote hatred and violence, declares Pope Benedict," from CNA (thanks to JJD):
Naples, Oct 21, 2007 / 12:23 pm (CNA).- After celebrating an outdoor Mass at the Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, the Pope met with Jewish, Muslim, Orthodox and Protestant leaders as well as the presidents of numerous African and Latin American countries and some Nobel Peace laureates. He reminded the assembled leaders that religions must never be exploited to promote hatred and violence....
Addressing the religious leaders, Pope Benedict said, “Faced with a world torn by conflict, where the name of God is still used to justify violence, it is important to reiterate that religions must never be exploited to promote hatred and violence.” Rather, “religions can and must offer precious resources for the peaceful future of humanity.”
The Holy Father affirmed that the Catholic Church is committed to pursuing peace through dialogue. “The Catholic Church intends to continue follow the path of dialogue to encourage understanding between different cultures and religious traditions.” The Pope prayed that this spirit of dialogue, which was begun by Pope John Paul II at the first gathering for peace in Assisi, “will be spread especially in those areas of the world where tensions prevail, freedoms are denied, and where men and woman suffer the consequences of intolerance and incomprehension.”
Woe betide you if you dare to point out that in Islamic history and theology jihad has always had, and still has, a violent aspect. This in itself will be enough to earn you the label of "Islamophobe" and worse. Unfortunately, however, all too many Muslims around the world seem to have no difficulty believing that jihad involves violence against unbelievers.
Why don't those 138 Muslim scholars who wrote to the Pope and other Christian leaders write to these Muslims and explain to them how they're getting Islam all wrong?
"Nigeria: Two Christians Murdered In Kaduna," from Compass Direct (thanks to Davida):
KADUNA, Nigeria, October 22 (Compass Direct News) – One man has been killed with a sword and another bludgeoned to death in this city in central northern Nigeria following Muslim leaders’ appeal to wage violent jihad against youthful Christians.
Muslim extremists on October 12 murdered Henry Emmanuel Ogbaje, a 24-year-old Christian, at an area known as Gamji Gate. The following day, church leaders said, a young Christian identified only as Basil was beaten to death with wooden clubs in the same area.
Ogbaje was a Sunday school teacher with the Military Protestant Church at Kotoko Barracks in Kaduna, while Basil, church leaders said, was a member of the Our Lady of Apostles Catholic Church. He was from Kagarko Local Government Area.
Elder Saidu Dogo, secretary of the northern Nigeria chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told Compass that Islamic leader Sheik Gumi had urged Muslims to wage jihad against Christians during Tafsir, the reading and interpretation of the Quran, in televised broadcasts during the Islamic month-long observance of Ramadan.
“I saw Sheik Gumi on the television, NTA [Nigeria Television Authority], during that period preaching this inciting sermon – in fact, the same sermon was again broadcast by NTA Kaduna, on September 21 and 22,” Dogo told Compass. “He specifically called for a jihad, and that when they go killing they should not kill the elderly people, because the elderly have spent their years already, but that Muslims should kill young Christians.”
Dogo said that Sheik Gumi justified his call for jihad by saying in the same way Muhammad captured the Arabian peninsula, and Usman dan Fodio influenced northern Nigeria. Sheik Gumi concluded that because the British took northern Nigeria from the Islamic reformer (1754-1817) by force, Muslims “should fight to take over Nigeria by going to war against Christians.”
The New York (aka New Duranty) Times reads Jihad Watch. A note from another Jihad Watch reader, Paul:
The Gray Lady quoted you today in a story about Internet jihadis, including the Saudi whelp Samir Khan:
The story omits altogether the revelation by Rusty Shackleford that the Times’ earlier report revealing Khan’s identity compromised an ongoing investigation into his activities:
Pursuant to which, Shackleford notes, “I was specifically asked by more than one FBI agent, and on more than one occasion, not to publicly identify Inshallahshaheed as Samir Khan.”
The Times quoted me from this Jihad Watch post, referring to their interviewing a North Carolina jihadist whom law enforcement officials seem unwilling or unable to do anything about.
Greetings, Times reporters! Please be advised that I am available for interviews. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As I've placed two books on your bestseller lists, and yet never seen those books reviewed or the perspective they represent discussed fully and honestly in your pages, perhaps your readers would be interested in learning the facts about the jihad ideology, Islamic supremacism, and more. I'll be waiting to hear from you!
This week's Jihad Watch column at Human Events:
The Vatican responded Friday to the open letter sent at the end of Ramadan by 138 Muslim scholars to Pope Benedict XVI and a wide array of other Christian leaders. The response was somewhat deflating, given the mainstream media’s enthusiasm over the Muslim letter -- an enthusiasm which the senders must have anticipated. Noting the Muslim scholars’ declaration that “the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians,” the Telegraph‘s headline was typical of the coverage: “Muslim scholars’ olive branch to Christians.” Reuters burbled about an “Unprecedented Muslim call for peace with Christians.” But was it really?
This week’s response from Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, hardly seemed sporting. Tauran observed that the possibility of serious dialogue between Muslims and Christians was limited by the traditional Islamic understanding of the Muslim holy book: “Muslims,” he said, “do not accept that one can discuss the Koran in depth, because they say it was written by dictation from God. With such an absolute interpretation, it is difficult to discuss the contents of faith.”
Mike S. Adams hits the nail on the head again.
When, in class one day, a student said that “hate speech” was not free speech, I asked him the following: “Can you even define hate speech?” After a long silence, I assured him that I, too, was unable to define hate speech. But, since then, I think I have come up with a suitable definition that helps me understand both the failure of speech codes and the success of Islamic terrorism.
Everything was put in proper perspective when a liberal sociologist properly characterized references to “civility” in higher education as intentional efforts to avoid substantive discussions. In other words, he seemed to be generalizing beyond DePaolo to all of those who play the “civility card.” I resisted the temptation to talk about sociologists who play the racism card and feminists who play the sexism card.
But I recognized immediately the connection between the sociologist’s observation and the campus speech code movement, which seeks to ban “hate speech.” And, after letting his words sink in, I formed this new definition of hate speech:
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener’s inability to offer an intelligent response.
Because this inability to offer an intelligent response is due to one of two reasons, there are really two different types of hate speech: 1) Speech that is too dumb to merit an intelligent response, and 2) Speech for which the listener is too dumb to offer an intelligent response.
Instances of the former are numerous in the society-at-large. For example, when a member of the KKK says “I may not be much, but at least I’m not a nigger” there is really no way to respond intelligently. Nor is there much hope that any response will be understood and appreciated by someone ignorant enough to make such a remark. So the speech can be properly characterized as hate speech.
Instances of the latter are numerous in academia. For example, three years ago this week, I wrote a piece explaining how speech codes produce a form of reverse Darwinism. I argued that only those who are emotionally unfit are likely to become uncomfortable simply by hearing a contrary point of view. I argued further that they are indeed quite emotionally unfit if they actually remain upset long enough to file a complaint aimed at enforcing a speech code.
Of course, after I wrote my piece a feminist started crying and went to the feminist (now former) chair who, in turn, gave me a lecture about civility. In other words, the feminists weren’t smart enough to address the substance of my remarks. Shocking, isn’t it?
Hence, I accurately predicted that the codes seek to weed out the speech of the emotionally stable majority - those who do not cry at work - through the vehicle of complaints filed by the emotionally unstable - those who cry at work but never file complaints directed towards the suppression of their own views.
The similarity between the two principal forms of hate speech is obvious:
They both induce anger in the listener, regardless of whether the speaker expressed his view with any feeling of hatred or animosity.
And this leads to an understanding (see bold sentence below) of the apparent hypocrisy of gays and feminists who a) cry “hate speech” (while actually crying in some cases) against conservatives who do not wish to kill gays and feminists, and b) tolerate “hate speech” by Islamic fascists who really do wish to kill gays and feminists.
Islamic advocacy of violence is not classified as “hate speech” because it induces fear, not anger.
This, of course, explains the failure of speech codes (and probably multi-culturalism in general). Since the enforcement of the codes relies largely on the emotional reaction of the listener rather than the content of the speech, the codes create insurmountable problems within both the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
And, of course, it explains the success of Islamic terrorism. It is indeed a strategy that induces fear in an effort to destroy the proper function of the First Amendment through threats and intimidation too serious to simply ignore.
But, of course, this is not as it should be. And I intend to offer a solution to the problem when I speak during Islamic Fascism Awareness Week. Like true First Amendment terrorists, some Muslims are trying to prevent the week’s events from happening. But the true American patriots who outnumber them will not be deterred. They simply will not provide the fear necessary for the survival of their tyranny and the destruction of our precious liberty.
Dr. Adams’ speech will take place at Clemson University on Thursday, October 25th. It will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 100 of Hunter Hall. Anyone in the audience who does not want to risk being shot should wear an orange cap.
Basic psychology: Behavior that is rewarded is more likely to be repeated. "Nasrallah's deputy: We will continue to fight, take captives," by Roee Nahmias for Israel News:
"Experience has taught us that we will only get our prisoners back through sticking to our positions, engaging in combat and coordinated hostage-taking attempts," Hizbullah's deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qasim said in a speech Sunday.
"If you want to know the value of the latest exchange—listen to what Olmert said regarding (paying) 'a high price' for what happened," Qasim said in his speech, which marked a week since the latest prisoner/body exchange with Israel.
Meanwhile, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the Israeli soldiers whose abduction sparked last year's war, are still being held as bargaining chips over a year later.
In his speech, the deputy also discussed Lebanese internal politics and Hizbullah's weapons arsenal.
"The problem in Lebanon is Israel and its supporters and not the 'resistance.' The 'resistance' is defensive and it is a response to Israeli aggression and thus he who wants to take care of this must solve the problem by starting with the Israeli threat and Israeli aggressiveness and not with the organization's weapons," the leader said.
Not that we expected him to say, "Y'know, I think we might be part of the problem here."
While the opponents of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week excoriate us for claiming that women face oppression under Sharia, the jihadists continue to...oppress women under Sharia.
"Girls’ school blown up in NWA," from Agence France Presse (thanks to Dav):
MIRANSHAH: Pro-Taliban militants blew up a girls' school in restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan, security officials said on Sunday.
The school building was destroyed in the attack in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan region, after militants planted explosives there late Saturday, a security official said on condition of anonymity. "There were no casualties as the building was empty," he added. The attack came amid an upsurge in violence in Pakistan's deeply conservative tribal zone where militants consider female education un-Islamic.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has never cared much for the truth when speaking about me. The organization's spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, has defamed me on national television, and the organization's website even featured a link, for a time, to a tissue of lies penned by a pathetic convicted felon.
But now CAIR has reached a new low, in a press release entitled, "'Islamo-Fascism' Week Speaker Meets With European 'Neo-Nazis.'"
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealed today that the main speaker for an upcoming series of "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" lectures at university campuses nationwide recently offered a keynote address at a European gathering that included representatives of racist or "neo-Nazi" political parties.
The gathering was organized by American bloggers. It was about the Islamization of Europe. I had no hand in the selection of attendees, and was meeting most of them for the first time. No racist or neo-Nazi themes were discussed. If any of the people there are actually racists or neo-Nazis, I completely disavow them and all racist and neo-Nazi ideas. Now: will CAIR do the same thing regarding Hamas?
What's more, the real neo-Nazis of the Aryan Nations have said: "Islam is our ally, and the 1500 cults all claiming to be 'Christian' are our opposition."
Author Robert Spencer, who is scheduled to appear beginning next week at universities such as Brown, DePaul and Dartmouth, is regarded by American Muslims as one of the nation's worst Islamophobes. His virulently anti-Islam website promotes the idea that life for Muslims in the West should be made so difficult that they will leave.
Here again, there would be no "Islamophobes" if there were no Islamic jihad terrorism. The whole concept of "Islamophobia" is designed to divert attention away from Islamic terrorism and onto those who resist it. And we do not actually promote the idea that life will be made so difficult for Muslims that they will leave. In reality, I have consistently asked that American Muslim advocacy groups like CAIR help implement comprehensive programs in American mosques and Islamic schools to teach against the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism, and that they renounce now and for the future, in deed as well as word, any intention to impose Sharia here. Why is that too much to ask? Why does that make me an "Islamophobe"?
Spencer recently spoke at a so-called "Counterjihad Brussels 2007" conference in Belgium attended by those with links to far-right parties such as Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang (Belgium) and Ted Ekeroth of Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden). Both parties have been accused of either having a racist platform, a neo-Nazi past or having links to neo-Nazis and other racists....
I know very little about Dewinter and virtually nothing about Ekeroth, and I am not going to be held responsible for all the ideas and associations of people with whom I shared a platform, any more than they should be held responsible for mine. It is noteworthy that the New York Times, in a profile of Dewinter, found no grounds to call him a neo-Nazi, which they surely would have if they could have. It is also perhaps worth noting that his father was in the anti-Nazi resistance. But ultimately, I said it all above: if there were any actual neo-Nazis there, I disavow them, and ask CAIR likewise to disavow the terrorists of Hamas.
Later on they quote Hugh Fitzgerald (why the quotation marks around his name?):
Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch Board Vice President "Hugh Fitzgerald" wrote on that hate site: "Only one group, only one belief-system, distinguishes itself by appearing incapable of fitting in. And that is Muslims, and Islam ... if one really knew what Islam contained ... then how could any decent person remain a Muslim?"
"Only one group, only one belief-system, distinguishes itself by appearing incapable of fitting in." Right. That's why there was a "Muslim Accommodations Task Force" (that was an MSA initiative; they're doing their best to erase all traces of it, but it's still mentioned on this Google Cached page). Why no "Hindu Accommodations Task Force"? "Buddhist Accommodations Task Force"? Because such groups don't seem to have so much trouble...fitting in.
"...if one really knew what Islam contained ... then how could any decent person remain a Muslim?" So Hugh doesn't think Islam is true. This is hate speech? Christopher Hitchens says the same kind of thing about Christianity every day. Would CAIR recommend locking him up?
He also recommended that western nations be "Islam-proofed the way a house is child-proofed," compared Muslims to Nazis and urged that they be boycotted: "[I]t should not be hard to find ways to limit the spread or practice of Islam. And if in addition to whatever local, state and federal government officials do, private parties simply conduct their own boycott of goods and services offered by Muslims, in the same way that they would have refused to buy, in 1938, a German Voigtlander camera..."
This is the kind of suggestion that arises from the spread of Islamic supremacism and increasing demands for Muslim accommodation. If CAIR would renounce Sharia and political Islam, and accept the Western model of a society based on non-establishment of a religion, and ensure that these ideas are propagated among American Muslims, there would be no problem, would there? No need to think about how to protect our societies from Sharia.
But ultimately, I am not going to answer for Hugh Fitzgerald. Contrary to rumor, I am not Hugh, and he is not me -- we both attended the Horowitz Center's last Restoration Weekend, and this conflation of us is absurd. He may choose to answer for himself, or he may not. But if I am such a terrible "Islamophobe," why can't CAIR, after all these years, come up with any quotes from me to fill their hit piece with? It is not Hugh who is speaking this week at DePaul, Dartmouth, Brown, and URI. It is I. I've written seven books and hundreds of articles. You'd think they could find something in that huge mass of material, but no...they have to drag out some old musings by Hugh, that were just searching for a solution to a problem CAIR has resolutely refused to address.
Other speakers on the "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" tour include Ann Coulter, who refers to Muslims as "rag heads," and Daniel Pipes, a supporter of the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II and of the views of French racist Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Why didn't CAIR mention Hugh Fitzgerald's criticism of LePen's racism and antisemitism?
"All those who value religious tolerance and diversity should be concerned about the growing links between European racists and American Islamophobes," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Right, Ibrahim. But not in the least concerned about your own group's record of associations with jihad terrorists, eh?
Publicity for the tour got off to a bad start when it was revealed that the poster promoting the campus events used a photograph that purportedly showed a Muslim woman being stoned to death, but which was in fact an image from a fictional movie.
CAIR, of course, does not mention that eight women are right now awaiting stoning to death in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
UPDATE: Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal sends me this information:
It is simply not true that "Vlaams Belang's founders were Nazi collaborators in WW II."
Vlaams Belang founder Filip Dewinter was born in 1962 in a family that cannot be accused of Nazi sympathies. His father and uncle were members of the anti-German Resistance. Vlaams Belang was founded in 2004, sixty years after the end of WW II.
The Vlaams Blok, predecessor to the Vlaams Belang, was founded in 1977 by Karel Dillen (1925-2007). Mr Dillen came from a non-political background. His father, an Antwerp labourer, abandoned his wife and their two sons when when Dillen was still a baby. He was raised by his mother. Neither he, nor his brother nor his mother were involved in any political activities at all during the war, let alone that they belonged to pro-Nazi and collaborationist groups.
Sura 7 continues the accounts of the prophets with the longest of all these accounts, in verses 103-171: the story of Moses and his people. It begins with a retelling of the story of Moses and Pharaoh, told in a way that suggests that the hearers have heard it before: for example, we see Moses telling Pharaoh to “send the Children of Israel with me” (v. 105), but it is assumed that the reader will know that the Israelites were at this time oppressed as slaves in Egypt. Moses performs various miracles before Pharaoh, as in the Biblical account – although when Moses’ hand becomes “white to all beholders” (v. 108), Ibn Abbas says this was “not because of leprosy,” which is contrary to Exodus 4:6. The Ruhul Ma’ani says that Moses’ hand shone brighter than the sun. But Pharaoh, as in the Biblical story, is unimpressed. But Pharaoh’s magicians are, and when they profess belief in “the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron” (vv. 121-122), Pharaoh threatens to cut off their hands and feet on opposite sides and crucify them (v. 124) – the same punishment Allah prescribes for those who wage war against Allah and Muhammad (5:33). The magicians pray that Allah will “take our souls unto thee as Muslims” (مُسْلِمِين, v. 126) in another reminder that the Qur’an treats the Biblical prophets all as prophets of Islam, whose messages were later corrupted to create Judaism and Christianity.
As Pharaoh threatens Moses and his people, Moses tells them that “It may be that your Lord is going to destroy your adversary and make you viceroys in the earth, that He may see how ye behave” (v. 129) – and of course, the Jews fail the test. Allah does indeed destroy their adversary: he sends plagues upon the Egyptians, again enumerated as if the hearers are already familiar with the story: “wholesale death, locusts, lice, frogs, and blood” (v. 133), drowns Pharaoh’s men in the sea (v. 136), and makes the Jews, “the folk who were despised,” the inheritors of “the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We had blessed” (v. 137). But the Jews, encountering idolaters in their new land, immediately turn to idolatry themselves (v. 138). Moses goes up on Mount Tur (28:46) to converse with Allah and receive laws, which the Qur’an does not enumerate, on stone tablets (v. 145). Moses’ people, meanwhile, are worshipping the “image of calf” (v. 148).
Short answer: not much. At an April 17, 2007, hearing on Kosovo, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) called upon “jihadists of all color and hue” to see Kosovo as “yet another example [sic: presumably a reference to Bosnia] that the United States leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe.” President Bush's utterances on Kosovo have been indistinguishable.
But an anti-dhimmitude counteroffensive is on the way. This week (October 23) a high-powered conference in Washington will vivisect the pro-jihad U.S. policy and call for a reversal. “KOSOVO: A PREVENTABLE DISASTER: CAN AMERICA STEP BACK FROM THE BRINK?" will feature the noted diagnosticians Srdja Trifkovic (“Sword of the Prophet,” “Defeating Jihad”), Professor John Schindler of the U.S. Naval War College (“Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad”), and Bill Warner, Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam.
There is no cost for attendees – well worth participating if you can be in DC next week. See more details at http://www.savekosovo.org/documents/071023Conference.pdf
If the police had just peacefully consented to being stabbed, none of this would be happening. "Violence flares again in Amsterdam," from the Sydney Morning Herald (thanks to all who sent this in):
Disturbances broke out for a sixth successive night in an immigrant quarter of Amsterdam when four cars were set on fire, police said.
The unrest started after police shot dead a man of Moroccan origin last weekend who had stabbed and injured two officers.
The fires brought the total number of burnt cars to 11, a police spokesman said.
The 22-year-old Moroccan had been undergoing treatment for psychiatric problems and had in the past been questioned over contacts with Islamic militants linked to the murderer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.
I was in Belgium all last week, and was kindly given guided tours of the Muslim neighborhoods in Antwerp and Brussels. In Antwerp I took many photos, but alas, I stupidly left the camera in a hotel room in Brussels (I am trying to get it back). It was in Antwerp that I shot a photo of an Islamic butcher shop, thereby greatly angering the proprietor, who questioned me insistently about who I was, where I was from, and why I was taking pictures. First, looking suspicious, he said to me, "As-salaamu aleikum." I thought fleetingly about answering back "Wa aleikum as-salaamu," but decided against it -- and when I didn't, his suspicions were confirmed. (Why would he be so suspicious, if he had nothing to hide?) If I get the camera back, I will show you his shop. These photos, meanwhile, come from the Brussels sections of Schaarbeek, Koekelberg and Molenbeek.
This picture was taken right in front of the Brussels parliament.
A wall mural depicting the flags of various nations, all together in multiculturalist harmony. This is the dream of Europe, of course, which will soon become a nightmare at the hands of Islamic supremacists.
An Islamic butcher shop in Brussels, photographed from a safe distance.
One of the many private, and almost certainly unregistered, mosques that operate outside official supervision.
The Aya Sofya: greatest cathedral in Christendom, now after Islamic jihad conquest a museum in Constantinople -- and a halal snack shop in Brussels.
Islamic dress on sale. Just outside the field of vision of this photo were an array of mannequin heads sporting various stylish hijabs.
"I know that the gap between the honest and fair intentions of Abu Mazen and (Palestinian Prime Minister) Salam Fayyad, and their ability to translate that into reality is troublesome and arouses concerns." - Ehud Olmert, in this story.
"Reports: Gunmen planned to kill Olmert," by Amy Teibel for the Associated Press:
JERUSALEM - Palestinian gunmen planned to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when he went to the West Bank in August to meet with the Palestinian president, a security chief told Israel's Cabinet on Sunday, a meeting participant said.
Shin Bet security police director Yuval Diskin said gunmen loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement planned to attack Olmert's convoy as it entered the West Bank town of Jericho on Aug. 6. Israel notified Palestinian authorities and they arrested an unspecified number of Fatah militants, the participant said.
It was not clear why Israel, whose military operates freely in the West Bank, left it up to Palestinian security sources to apprehend would-be assassins if they thought Olmert's life was in danger — or why they allowed the trip to proceed.
Although the men admitted they planned the attack, the Palestinian Authority released them last week, said the meeting participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose details of closed-door meetings.
Olmert's office has protested their release to Abbas, he said. But Tawfiq Tirawi, the Palestinian intelligence chief, denied they were freed.
Another Palestinian security official confirmed that Israel notified the Palestinian Authority that a militant cell planned to target Olmert, and that an unspecified number of militants were arrested. But he said that while the gunmen said they considered attacking the Israeli leader, they had no operational plan.
An Israeli government spokeswoman had no immediate information on the assassination plot, and it was not clear how close the militants got to carrying it out. It also was not clear why Israel waited 2 1/2 months to disclose the alleged assassination plan.
Which mosque did these students attend? What do they teach there? Who funds it? Did the imam know about these students' plans? Did he approve? Does anyone know? Does anyone care? "Student faces more charges in 'battlefield jihad' case," by Cindy George for the Houston Chronicle (thanks to all who sent this in):
Federal prosecutors have filed additional charges against Adnan Mirza, one of the four Muslim students accused of preparing to join the Taliban to fight U.S.-led forces overseas.
Mirza, 30, was accused of planning to engage in "battlefield jihad" in the Middle East and financially supporting the terrorism group....
The charges include 10 firearm possession offenses, the alleged purchase of ammunition at a gun show for use during a paramilitary exercise and two conspiracy counts related to the training and financial support. He is accused of failing to secure a work visa before starting a job and overstaying his visa.
The indictment also alleges that $1,000 earmarked for Taliban fighters and their families passed through Mirza's hands.
Mirza, who had been studying biomedical technology at Houston Community College before his arrest last November, engaged in firearms training eight times at Houston-area campsites and shooting ranges from May 2005 through June 2006, the indictment alleges.
Why would a student of biomedical technology want to join the jihad? Doesn't poverty and alienation cause jihad? What's that? Study after study has shown that jihadists are generally wealthier and better educated than their peers, and that they're actually ideologically motivated? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?
"His [Sheik Ali Bapir's] bestselling memoir has gone into a second printing and has been translated into Arabic. He leads a large political movement with its own satellite channel, news publications, six seats in the Kurdistan regional parliament and a plush compound on the outskirts of this predominantly Kurdish city....
"'I took the occasion to study Islam with my fellow prisoners,' he says during a rambling chat with a reporter he first met before the Iraq war. "I held Koranic classes. I succeeded in teaching them to recite the Koran by heart." -- from this news article
Meanwhile, the American soldiers who removed Saddam Hussein, thus making possible the publication of Ali Bapir's "bestselling memoir," and his "political movement with its own satellite channel" and "news publications" and "six seats in the Kurdistan regional parliament" and a "plush compound" on the outskirts of Irbil, do not, in Iraq, or before they go to Iraq, learn a thing of use about Islam.
Oh, now, a few years into the Iraq war, they are being told that there are "Sunnis" and "Shi'a." And they are taught a little of what is called demurely "cultural sensitivity" having to do with knocking down doors when there are women inside, and what hand to eat with when you are with Arabs, and so on. But that's it.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice does not understand Islam. At this point she apparently still must watch football games (we are always told that she is a fan of football -- it's designed to soften, to popularize, her image, one presumes), or practice the piano, or do those other things that the "multi-talented" "scholar of Russia" who "knows Russian" does. In fact, her Russian is halting, as her one disastrous attempt to conduct an interview in Russian proved to Russian television viewers. Her specialty was not "Russia" but the Russian military. That made her, just like Paul Wolfowitz, someone untrained in, and unaware of, the influence of history, of culture, of their own particular culture and history, on people who, strange to say, do not all want to become little Americans and wouldn't know how to do so if one presented them with the possibility.
She has been foolish on Iraq, suggesting that the Sunnis and Shi'a will just have to "get over it" because -- well, because that is the only way the Bush Administration's grand plans for Iraq could ever conceivably be successful. But Sunnis and Shi'a will not "get over it." And what's more, the Muslim Arabs will not "get over it" when it comes to their absolute refusal to consider Israel as a permanent presence. An Infidel nation-state in the middle of Dar al-Islam? Impossible. If there is a chance to destroy Israel militarily, it will be acted on. And the likelihood of the Muslim Arabs thinking that such a chance will arise again will be much greater if that so-called "Palestinian" state comes into being, with all the control over invasion routes and West Bank aquifers. Why not just cause a famine in Israel by polluting or destroying or diverting those aquifers?
"Bush's move came in a memorandum to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, required under US law to free up aid from Washington to Riyadh." Aid from Washington to Riyadh? Why is Washington giving aid to Riyadh? Riyadh is rich enough already not to need any kind of aid, isn't it? And why are warnings like Levey's continually unheeded?
From Agence France Presse (thanks to DFS):
WASHINGTON: US President George W. Bush certified Saudi Arabia as an anti-terrorism ally on Friday, weeks after a top US Treasury official sharply criticized the kingdom's record. Bush's move came in a memorandum to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, required under US law to free up aid from Washington to Riyadh, that the White House released to reporters.
"I hereby certify that Saudi Arabia is cooperating with efforts to combat international terrorism and that the proposed assistance will help facilitate that effort," the president said.
In September, Stuart Levey, charged that Saudi Arabia has failed to prosecute the bankrollers of terror groups.
Levey, the undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, told the US network ABC that not a single individual identified by the United States or the United Nations as a terror financier had been prosecuted by Saudi Arabia.
"If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia," Levey told the ABC one day. "When the evidence is clear that these individuals have funded terror organizations ... then that should be prosecuted and treated as real terrorism because it is."
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal dismissed the criticism, saying Levey's public rebuke was at odds with private praise from US officials.
Yes, but is it at odds with the facts?
And they're not happy.
In "University of Columbia students oppose Hatred Week in US," from the Islamic Republic News Agency, it's all about "Islamophobia," of course, with no recognition whatsoever that any Muslims might have done anything that might have given rise to "Islamophobia," or that Muslims worldwide have any ability or responsibility to do anything to stop jihad violence and Islamic supremacism.
By Shelley Emling in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Ehsan Jami sees himself as the legendary Dutch boy who used his finger to plug a leaking dike.
Jami, a Dutch politician, is trying to prevent a flood of what he views as intolerant Muslim immigrants threatening to overrun the Netherlands and all of Europe.
He's not alone. In France, Germany and across Western Europe, a vigorous public debate is under way over preservation of national identities, the assimilation of minorities and tolerance of different cultures.
A former Muslim who was born in Iran, Jami is a right-wing member of the Dutch parliament who has used his position to issue strong criticism of Islam.
He's especially critical of "radical" Muslims but he also takes issue with Islam's treatment of women and homosexuals.
The harsh rhetoric has made him the most talked-about public figure in Holland and provoked physical attacks and death threats, forcing him into hiding.
"I don't mind if people are Muslim, but I do mind when their values go against Western values," Jami said in a recent interview, under the watchful eye of his bodyguards. "We have to be very clear with Muslim immigrants that we will not negotiate our values."
The Netherlands has one of the largest populations of Muslims in Western Europe — about 1 million, roughly 6 percent of the population, second only to France. The largest groups are people with origins in Morocco or Turkey.
The country has long taken pride in its religious, political and social tolerance, as well as its acceptance of ethnic minorities. And many in the Netherlands' new coalition government boast a pro-immigrant stance.
But the threats of terrorism and sheer demographics are challenging traditional Dutch open-mindedness. Studies estimate that Muslims will form the majorities in the Netherlands' four biggest cities by 2020.
Many Muslims say they don't feel at home here.
I have a suggestion!
"I've lived here for 40 years and I still don't feel welcome," said Atel Alireza, a taxi driver from Turkey. "But I would say things have gotten a lot worse since 9/11.
"People around here look at you more suspiciously then they used to," he said. "People look at all Muslims like they are about to do something bad."
Where do people get these crazy ideas?
The tensions have spawned legislative proposals to ban the Quran, make it illegal for women to wear burkas in public and create more legal options for closing mosques known to be hotbeds of radicalism.
So far none of the proposals has gained traction. And Jami's Dutch Labor Party has distanced itself from Jami and his statements on Islam.
Gregory Maniatis, an expert on immigrant integration issues at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., said the coalition government formed earlier this year has signaled it will take a softer approach to immigration than the previous government.
Softer? One would have thought "marshmellow" was soft enough.
For example, Maniatis pointed to the amnesty for illegal immigrants approved in June by the Dutch government that will benefit up to 30,000 people.
"I think this is a sign that they're moving from a fortress Europe mentality to a more pro-immigrant sentiment," he said. "There is still a backdrop of outspokenness that exists in the Netherlands. But they are realizing that immigration is an important part of Europe's future."
"Fortress Europe" -- you will recall -- was Hitler's Europe, bristling with artillery, Panzers, and machine guns. To equate the anti-immigrant sentiments expressed in Holland with the German occupation of Western Europe is just another example of the hysteria that grips the media when anybody breaths a word out of step with the multicultural party line. One wonders where the rhetorical hyperbole will end.
Now I'm still not quite sure what to make of this article, but, I think you'll agree, that the headline is curious if nothing else.
By Sheila Musaji in the American Muslim:
The American Muslim has supported the Jewish Voices for Peace Petition against intolerance and Islamophobia, and encouraged our readers to sign. This petition initiated by JVP and signed by individuals from many faith groups denounces the current Islamo Fascism Awareness Week being held on 200 college campuses in the U.S. On October 19th we put a note in the Editors Column reminding Muslims that this is their issue and they need to get involved and support this petition.
This morning I checked the petition site to see if there were many more signatures and was pleased to see that the number of signatures is increasing, and then took a quick glance through some of the comments, and went from feeling hopeful that there were more bridge building people in the world than there were extremists to feeling dismayed and hopeless.
Signatory #1534 had left a comment: This plea is a joke!! Look at what the Muslims say: a call for murder on a plea against bigotry and intolerance?? If anything it only shows Muslims don’t deserve that rights. Geez… You people are oblivious. Respect is earned. This is not how you earn it. Why should we tolerate an intolerant religion with intolerant bigoted followers who are bent to kill us??
I wondered what this was referring to, and then scanned backwards a few pages on the list and saw a rash of supposed Muslims or pseudo-Muslims (at least they have Muslim names) using the petition site as a means to leave derogatory comments about Jews, Christians, America, etc.
Here is what these Pseudo-Muslims said:
#1513 Bahr Ahmad Bahr Gaza Palestine, As acting Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker (appointed by the elected Pslestinian government) please note my speech on Palestinian TV from April 13, 2007: “Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, vanquish the Americans and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one”
#1525 Mahmoud Al Hasan Pakistan, Of course there is no such thing such thing as Islamo Fascism. By the way,in my position as leader of the Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen, a group aligned to the Jamaat-e-Islami party, I was quoted yesterday as saying “Benazir Bhutto was totally talking like an infidel. What should be the reaction of jihadis? They should definitely kill her. She is an enemy of Islam. She is an enemy of jihadis.”
#1527 Dr. Ismail Radwan Gaza Palestine, Yes, these terrible bigotd seek to spread hatred instead of peace. I hope you have seen me on official Palesitian TV on March 30,2007 when I said:. “The Hour – the Islamic Resurrection and End of Time– is literally dependent on the killing of Jews by Muslims. The remaining Jews will unsuccessfully attempt to hide, as the rocks and trees will expose them, calling out “there is a Jew behind me, kill him!” 3. “Palestine… will be liberated through the rifle”
#1528 Anjem Choudary, Attorney London, UK, Islam is a Religion of Peace. The racists of Islamo Fascism Awareness week will pay the price. Those who insult it should be beheaded. In my press release of October 2000 (after a shahid elminated a local Jew youngster) I stated “We would like to make it abundantly clear that it is an Islamic obligation upon Muslims everywhere to support the Jihad against those who fight Muslims anywhere in the world or who occupy Muslim land and that this support must be financial, physical, military or verbal”
#1530 Ahmad Bahar Palestine, Allah, take hold of the Jews and their allies, Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies… Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don’t leave even one.
These criminals do not represent me, they do not represent any Muslims I know, and they certainly don’t represent Islam. As an American Muslim I am deeply ashamed that anyone calling themselves a Muslim could show such disrespect to the very people who are holding out the hand of friendship, and allying themselves with Muslims in a common cause against intolerance. I am also angry at whoever did this.
I'll leave it at that.
A highly instructive remark, unlike the exceptionally odd title of the article: "Pakistani militants share deep beliefs."
By Kathy Gannon for the Associated Press:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Some are al-Qaida, some are Taliban and others are homegrown. But all of Pakistan's militants share a vision and unshakable beliefs that include a ban on a woman leading the nation and opposition to a close alliance with America.
Militants contacted by The Associated Press in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province Friday called Thursday's suicide attack revenge for the Pakistani military operations in the area and the support Bhutto and Musharraf have offered the United States in its fight against terrorism.
Mahmoud Al Hasan, a leader of Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen, a militant group aligned to Pakistan's religious Jamaat-e-Islami party, condemned the bombing because of the civilians who were killed, but attacked both Bhutto and Musharraf as a "slaves" of the United States.
He castigated Bhutto for her comments against extremism and her recent statement that she would accept U.S. assistance in targeting Osama bin Laden if he is found on Pakistani territory.
"Benazir Bhutto was totally talking like an infidel. What should be the reaction of jihadis? They should definitely kill her. She is an enemy of Islam. She is an enemy of jihadis. She is an enemy of the country. This is the reaction," said Al Hasan. "If it had killed only Benazir Bhutto then it would have been OK."
A businessman in the northwestern city of Peshawar who finances militant groups said the attack against Bhutto was well-coordinated and planned. The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being arrested by authorities, said there are hundreds of would-be bombers in Pakistan who are ready to blow themselves up in such attacks.
He said they find sanctuary in the tribal regions along the Afghan border where like-minded tribesmen under the Taliban banner hold sway.
"Muslim Tories: 'Iran has right to nuclear arms'," by Andrew Porter for The Telegraph:
A body set up by David Cameron to advise the Conservatives on Muslim issues has criticised the Government's relationship with Israel and concluded that Iran has "legitimate" reasons for wanting nuclear weapons.
The Conservative Muslim Forum also wants the compulsory history curriculum in schools changed to give "full recognition to the massive contribution that Islam has made to the development of Western civilisation".
Human rights and equality commission chair Trevor Phillips recently proposed a similar idea. But the list goes on:
It also argues that preachers who advocate a rejection of democracy and its institutions should not be denied entry into Britain.
The findings are in a response to this summer's report by the Tory National and International Security Policy Group chaired by new adviser, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones.
But the way it addresses certain key issues — completely at odds with Tory policy — will embarrass Mr Cameron. Its comments on Israel, in particular, will be seized on.
The report says: "Regardless of whether one finds Israel a congenial country or not, on any objective assessment of the type of unqualified support given to Israel by the current government it is not conducive to British national interests as this could damage Britain's relationships with 15 billion Muslims worldwide, including those in Britain."
Surely they and/or the Telegraph meant 1.5 billion, though even that is debatable. Still, given Muslim activists' penchant for inflating their numbers, there's something rather amusing about that typo.
Of course, any attempts to do away with the custom of child marriage will encounter resistance based on the example of Muhammad, who married 9-year-old Aisha (Sahih Bukhari 5.58.234). And any attempts to do away with domestic violence will encounter resistance based on the Qur'an's sanction of wife-beating (4:34).
From the United Nations' Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN):
KANDAHAR, 16 October 2007 (IRIN) - Fifteen-year-old Razia (not her real name) has been imprisoned in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, for escaping from her husband's house and eloping with another man.
She was only 12 when her father married her to an elderly man for a significant dowry payment. "He [her husband] was very brutal and was treating me violently," Razia said. "No one was helping me escape my husband's cruelty," the distraught teenager said, adding that her only resort was to elope with a young man whom she thought would give her a new life.
Months later Razia registered for divorce from her elderly husband. "As I filed for divorce the police arrested me and put me in prison," she told IRIN.
Not only is elopement unlawful for a married woman in Afghanistan, it is also taboo.
It is unclear how long Razia will remain in prison. She could be sentenced to death or get 10-15 years. Sexual relations outside marriage are considered a serious offence in Afghan civil law, which is derived from Islamic Sharia law.
Afghanistan recently ended a three-year moratorium on the death penalty.
If sexual relations outside marriage are not proved, she could still face an unspecified sentence for running away from her home with a stranger (`na-muhram’), said Kandahar judge Haji Karim.
Sidestepping Islamic aspect of the issue:
According to the AIHRC, conservative traditions, widespread illiteracy among parents (up to 70 percent of Afghanistan’s 24.5 million people are reportedly illiterate) and nationwide poverty are some of the factors driving families to wed their underage daughters.
Up to 70 percent of registered cases of violence against women have their origins in early marriages, Hashimi said.
"Young children and teenagers often do not fully realise the complexities of marriage and mostly fail to comply with their wedding vows, and this can lead to both physical and mental violence," said Fawzia Amini, director of the legal affairs department at Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs.
Then, what about Razia's much-older husband: Is he immature, failing to "realize the complexities of marriage?" Does Amini believe he ultimately has the right to beat her for alleged disobedience?
Child marriage is also considered to be contributing to the country's high maternal and child mortality rates, health experts say.
Widespread illiteracy, poverty and conservative traditions are some of the major factors, which contribute to underage marriages in Afghanistan, experts say.
Suraya Subhrang, a women's rights expert working for the AIHRC, says child marriage is a complex social phenomenon which can only be tackled by the long-term educational, economic and cultural development of the whole Afghan nation.
"We need strong institutions to ensure the rule of law in society and reliable access to justice for all, regardless of gender," Subhrang told IRIN.
And as long as Sharia is enshrined in the constitution of Afghanistan, that will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible.
Because a Muslim youth entered a police station and began stabbing two police officers. One of them, after having been stabbed multiple times, shot him to death. Rioting has followed. If the police officers had simply consented to being stabbed, there would have been no problem, you see.
"Nine days in Slotervaart: Immigrant youths turn to violence in Amsterdam," by Georg Schreuder Hes for Radio Netherlands:
It has been an unusually violent week for Amsterdam's western Slotervaart district. Cars were torched and youths clashed with police on several consecutive nights after a 22-year-old ethnic Moroccan was shot dead at a police station. He was killed by a policewoman he had just stabbed a number of times. The riots that followed reminded Amsterdam's Chief Commissioner Bernard Welten of a major nightmare for Western European cities: violence on a Parisian scale. Every major town in the Netherlands has its share of so-called problem youths, the type of violent adolescents who gang up to terrorise the neighbourhood. Many of them are the children of migrant workers of Moroccan descent who arrived in the Netherlands in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Dutch called them guest workers, the operative idea being that they would return to their country of origin when they were no longer needed. So nobody bothered to teach them Dutch, or much of anything else for that matter. The guest workers had their wives come over, but they, just like their husbands were not expected, or encouraged, to integrate into Dutch society....
This article from the Dutch mainstream press never considers the possibility, of course, that the immigrants may not have wanted to assimilate, or that they may have a model of society that they prefer to the Dutch one, and eventually hope to impose in The Netherlands.
The situation was substantially exacerbated by successive governments that chose to ignore what people in the streets knew was an increasingly serious problem. For years, political correctness dictated that problems with migrant children could not be openly discussed. Anybody trying to do so would be accused of blatant racism and Islamophobia. So by the time the social climate began to change, in the late 1990s, the situation had spun well and truly out of control. Violent incidents
Slotervaart, a district in the west of Amsterdam, is not very different from any other poor district in the Netherlands' major cities. What sets it apart from similar districts is a recent series of violent incidents. On 11 October, a 16 year-old Moroccan boy died of a stab wound he sustained in a fight with a 14-year-old classmate after the two got into an argument over a pen. Only three days later, a disturbed Moroccan man walked into the local police station and, without any provocation, stabbed and seriously injured a police woman and one of her colleagues. The man was shot dead by one of the officers.
In the following days, local Moroccan youths torched four cars in the district and smashed the windows of the police station. Since then, police have been intensively patrolling the district, which led to the arrests of eight youths who were detained when officers found jerry cans full of petrol in their vehicle. In the past few days, senior police officers have been making comparisons with the riots that raged in Paris in which more than 9,000 cars were torched two years ago.
Accommodating Sharia is a full-time job. There is always more Sharia to accommodate. Just when you think you've got it covered and peace and multiculturalist harmony will ensue, another demand comes down the pike, and then it's hop to it, dhimmis.
"Booze with halal menu causes controversy," by Joanna Smith for The Star (thanks to all who sent this in):
Muslim student leaders are appealing for understanding in the wake of a controversy surrounding the halal menu at a U of T Scarborough campus restaurant.
"It's being blown out of proportion," said Emad Alarashi, president of the campus's Muslim Students Association.
The controversy began last May when the student-subsidized Bluff's Restaurant, owned by the student union and located in the student centre, began offering halal-certified meat options to cater to Muslim customers.
Halal ("lawful") foods are those that adhere to Islamic conventions on diet and meat and dairy preparations.
However because Bluff's serves alcohol, the 500-student Muslim association has refused to endorse the restaurant for its membership.
As well, some Muslim students feared the Bluff's menu addition would undermine ongoing efforts to persuade the Scarborough Campus Students Union to find space for an all-halal eatery on campus.
Student union president Rob Wulkan said that possibility still exists and the Bluff's operates as an arm's-length company and makes its own decisions.
As I noted here, the letter from the 138 Islamic scholars, despite the ululations of joy it has inspired in the West, is extremely problematic. By not even mentioning the Qur'an's characterization of key elements of orthodox Christianity as "unbelief," even to explain them away, the scholars have left themselves open to charges of, at the very least, disingenuousness.
By Tom Heneghan for Reuters (thanks to Sr. Soph):
PARIS (Reuters) - The top Vatican official for Islam has praised a novel Muslim call for dialogue but said real theological debate with them was difficult as they saw the Koran as the literal word of God and would not discuss it in depth.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, in an interview on Friday with the French Catholic daily La Croix, also said Christians would have to discuss curbs on building churches in the Islamic world in the dialogue advocated by 138 Muslim scholars in the appeal.
His interview, coming after mostly positive comments by other Catholic Islam experts, signaled the world's largest Christian church wanted a serious dialogue with Muslims that did not avoid some fundamental issues dividing the religions.
"Muslims do not accept that one can discuss the Koran in depth, because they say it was written by dictation from God," Tauran said. "With such an absolute interpretation, it is difficult to discuss the contents of faith."
The fact that Muslims can build mosques in Europe while many Islamic states limit or ban church building cannot be ignored, he said. "In a dialogue among believers, it is fundamental to say what is good for one is good for the other," he said.
The adherents of a supremacist creed, on the other hand, don't believe that what is good for one is good for the other. So the response to this, if any comes, will be interesting.
A press release from Vigilant Freedom Europa:
EUROPEAN ORGANIZATIONS GATHER IN BRUSSELS TO ORGANIZE RESISTANCE TO ISLAMIZATION AND SHARIAH
On October 18 and 19, over 70 organizations and individuals joined together in the European and Flemish Parliaments to create a European network of activists from 14 nations to resist the increasing Islamisation of their countries. Keynote speakers included Bat Ye'or, author of Eurabia and Islam and Dhimmitude and Robert Spencer, author of Religion of Peace, Why Christianity is and Islam Isn't. Additional speakers included David Littman, Dr. Arieh Eldad, member of the Israeli Knesset, Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, Sam Solomon, Director of Fellowship of Faith for Muslims and author of the Charter of Muslim Understanding, Dr. Marc Cogen, Ghent University,...and Laurent Artur du Plessis, author of a forthcoming book on shariah finance. Many participants worldwide also attended the first day of presentations online through webex conferencing.
Armando Manocchio of the Italian organization Una Via per Oriana ("A Way For Oriana") presented an award to Bat Ye'or in honor of Oriana Fallaci, including a 5,000 Euro scholarship for young journalists.
Additional anti-islamisation experts and activists from the fourteen European countries presented reports on the current state of Islamisation and jihadism in their nations, and citizen efforts to mount a defense of constitutional liberties and national sovereignty, including:
Austria: Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
Belgium: Filip Dewinter
Czech Republic: Matyas Zmo
Denmark: Lars Hedegaard
Finland: Not disclosed publicly
France: Nidra Poller
Germany: Stefan Herre
Italy: Adriana Bolchini Gaigher
Netherlands: Dr. Johannes J.G. Jansen
Norway: Jens Anfindsen
Romania: Traian Ungureanu
Sweden: Ted Ekeroth and Reinhard
Switzerland: Dr. Arnaud Dotezac
United Kingdom: Gerard Batten
Other countries represented included Canada, Israel and the United States.
The first day of the Counterjihad Brussels 2007 conference was held in the European Parliament, and the second day of working groups was held in the Flemish Parliament. Selected texts, videos and supplementary documents including charters, existing laws and draft legislation as well as country and issue updates will be posted in the coming week at the conference website at http://counterjihadeuropa.wordpress.com. Assistance was provided by many organizations and individuals over the last six months including David Littman, Bart Debie, Fjordman, Baron Bodissey of http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com and Philip Claeys.
And Pamela has some detailed accounts of the proceedings.
Probably the work of the courageous mujahedin, targeting women going shopping. "Blast Kills at Least 8 in Manila Mall," by Carlos H. Conde in the New York Times (thanks to Provoslavni):
MANILA, Oct.19 — Eight people were killed and as many as 130 others wounded Friday when a powerful explosion ripped through a shopping mall in Makati City, the Philippine capital’s financial district.
“This was a bomb,” the country’s police chief, Avelino Razon, said at the scene. “But we can’t say anything else yet because we are still investigating.”
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in a statement late today, gave assurances of a swift and full-blown investigation. She said the police and the military were “on their highest alert” and that 2,000 more security officers had been deployed to secure public places.
“I warn those who seek to destabilize our government not to exploit this incident for their selfish political motives,” Mrs. Arroyo added, apparently referring to her political opponents, who have been calling for her ouster because of accusations of corruption. “This is the time for all of us to unite. We urge all sectors to remain vigilant as the government steps up security measures to protect our people.”
An initial police report attributed the destruction to the explosion of a tank of liquefied petroleum gas in a restaurant, but that theory was soon discounted. “It appears that this was caused by a bomb,” Mrs. Arroyo said....
The Philippines is home to Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group linked with Jemaah Islamiyah, the terrorist network based in Indonesia that is suspected to have ties to Al Qaeda. According to the police, the two groups are responsible for some of the worst attacks in the country.
Anti-dhimmitude. Many other Islamic schools will have to be closed if this is the criterion: the teaching of "jihad and intolerance toward other religions." By Greg Simmons for FoxNews (thanks to Threat of Islam):
WASHINGTON — A congressionally mandated panel that promotes religious freedom is recommending the Bush administration close a Virginia-based Islamic school run by the Saudi government if school officials don't comply with demands to turn over textbooks that may include lessons on jihad and intolerance toward other religions.
"Significant concerns remain about whether what is being taught at the (school) promotes religious intolerance and may adversely affect the interests of the United States," said a report released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Saudi embassy officials say the books long ago were cleaned up and made available to commission members, but the commissioners never bothered to go to The Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., to check them out for themselves.
Escalation. "Official cites Qaida link in Bhutto bomb," by Ashraf Khan for Associated Press:
KARACHI, Pakistan - The suicide attack that killed up to 136 people and shattered former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's joyous return from exile bore the hallmarks of a warlord tied to al-Qaida and the Taliban, authorities said Friday. Forensic experts studied a severed head to determine the bomber's identity.
Baitullah Mehsud — a top militant leader on the unstable Afghan border — threatened this month to meet Bhutto's return to Pakistan with suicide attacks, according to local media reports. An associate of Mehsud, however, denied Taliban involvement.
The top security official in the province where the attack took place suggested that Bhutto's camp had not seriously considered the need for security for her return after eight years in exile.
"They got carried away by political exigencies instead of taking our concern seriously," said the official, Ghulam Muhammad Mohtarem.
Not wise -- particularly not now, with the resurgence of jihadist sentiments all over Pakistan.
In the lead story in FrontPage this morning I discuss the persecution of Muslims by Muslims (news links in the original):
Islamic jihad violence has captured worldwide attention when focused on unbelievers – in the Twin Towers, as well as in London, Madrid, Bali, and in so many other places. But the jihadists don’t hesitate to target fellow Muslims as well, when they regard them as insufficiently Islamic.
The most notorious example of this throughout Islamic history is the Sunni-Shi’ite strife that has broken out in many times and places – and today in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Sunni suicide killers and Shi’ite death squads have targeted one another since the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Nor have they hesitated to target holy sites: Sunni jihadists destroyed the tenth-century Shi’ite Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq, in a two bombings in 2006 and 2007. Some estimate that 4,000 have been killed in Sunni-Shi’ite strife in Pakistan since the late 1980s, and in Afghanistan, while the Taliban was in power they waged relentless jihad warfare against the Shi’ite Hazaras.
"U.S. commander warns of Latin America terrorist threat," by Angus MacSwan for Reuters:
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Islamic terrorist groups have networks in Latin America and the Caribbean and could use the region as a base to launch attacks on the United States, the senior U.S. military commander for the region says.
"For sure, members, facilitators, and sympathizers of Islamic terrorist organizations are present in our hemisphere," Adm. Jim Stavridis, head of the U.S. Southern Command, wrote in an article in the fall edition of Americas Quarterly journal, obtained by Reuters before publication.
"We consider Latin America and the Caribbean as being highly likely bases for future terrorist threats to the U.S. and others."
The Trinidadian and Guyanese connections to the JFK airport plot of this past summer, mentioned below, lend credence to that.
U.S. officials have warned of a militant presence in Latin America since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. They have provided little concrete evidence and Brazil, which has a large Arab population, and some other regional governments have played down the threat.
But Stavridis was reiterating U.S. concerns after police said in June they had foiled a plot to sabotage New York's John F. Kennedy airport by suspects linked to the Caribbean.
The Lebanon-based Hezbollah was the most prominent group in Latin America, Stavridis said. Most of its activity appeared to be fund-raising but "there are indications of an operational presence and the potential for attacks."
A multinational task force has been set up in the so-called tri-border where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet, an area reputed to be a hotbed of money-laundering and smuggling.
Venezuela, a known area of Hizballah activity, must also not be overlooked, particularly when one considers Hugo Chávez' close relationships with figures like Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The head of border controls for Brazil's Federal Police disagreed with the admiral's contention.
"If I were a terrorist I'd launch an attack from England. Latinos face 10 times the controls that Europeans do at U.S. borders," Mauro Sposito said in an interview.
Brazilian authorities had no indication of terrorist cells in the tri-border region, he said, although they were aware of financial contributions to groups such as Hezbollah, which Brazil does not classify as a terrorist organization.
"They legally send money through Paraguay to the Hezbollah - it's a political party," Sposito said.
That would be most welcome progress, if it materializes. "Pakistan plans all-out war on militants," by Syed Saleem Shahzad for Asia Times:
An all-out battle for control of Pakistan's restive North and South Waziristan is about to commence between the Pakistani military and the Taliban and al-Qaeda adherents who have made these tribal areas their own.
According to a top Pakistani security official who spoke to Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity, the goal this time is to pacify the Waziristans once and for all. All previous military operations - usually spurred by intelligence provided by the Western coalition - have had limited objectives, aimed at specific bases or sanctuaries or blocking the cross-border movement of guerrillas. Now the military is going for broke to break the back of the Taliban and a-Qaeda in Pakistan and reclaim the entire area.
The fighting that erupted two weeks ago, and that has continued with bombing raids against guerrilla bases in North Waziristan - turning thousands of families into refugees and killing more people than any India-Pakistan war in the past 60 years - is but a precursor of the bloodiest battle that is coming.
Lining up against the Pakistani Army will be the Shura (council) of Mujahideen comprising senior al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders, local clerics, and leaders of the fighting clans Wazir and Mehsud (known as the Pakistani Taliban). The shura has long been calling the shots in the Waziristans, imposing sharia law and turning the area into a strategic command and control hub of global Muslim resistance movements, including those operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"All previous operations had a different perspective," the security official told ATol. "In the past Pakistan commenced an operation when the Western coalition informed Pakistan about any particular hide-out or a sanctuary, or Pakistan traced any armed infiltration from or into Pakistan.
"However, the present battle aims to pacify Waziristan once and for all. The Pakistani Army has sent a clear message to the militants that Pakistan would deploy its forces in the towns of Mir Ali, Miranshah, Dand-i-Darpa Kheil, Shawal, Razmak, Magaroti, Kalosha, Angor Ada. The Pakistani Army is aiming to establish permanent bases which would be manned by thousands of military and paramilitary troops."
According to the security official, an ultimatum had been delivered to the militants recently during a temporary ceasefire. The army would set a deadline and give safe passage into Afghanistan to all al-Qaeda members and Taliban commanders who had gathered in Waziristan to launch a large-scale post-Ramadan operation in Afghanistan. They, along with wanted tribal warrior leaders, would all leave Pakistan, and never return.
After their departure, under the direct command and surveillance of newly appointed Vice Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani (who will replace President-elect Pervez Musharraf as Chief of Army Staff), fresh troops and paramilitary forces would be sent in to establish bases at all strategic points and disarm the local tribes. The Durand Line (the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan), would be fenced and border controls would be tightened.
The militants rejected the ultimatum.
What's at stake
A qualified estimate by intelligence officials is that Pakistani military pacification of the Waziristans would slash the capability of the Afghan resistance by 85% as well as deliver a serious setback to the Iraqi resistance.
According to intelligence sources, during Ramadan, the Taliban's entire top command, including Moulvi Abdul Kabeer, Jalaluddin Haqqani, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Nasiruddin Haqqani, and Mullah Mansoor Dadullah were in North Waziristan to launch a post-Ramadan offensive in southeast Afghanistan. The Pakistani military engaged the militants well in advance to block their offensive plan, but the same militant command is believed to still be in North Waziristan.
In addition, the town of Shawal hosts the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’s command. The Uzbeks are trying to reorganize themselves to stage an armed revolt against the government of Uzbekistan.
There is also a Kurd presence in the area, which has a direct bearing on the US's Iraqi occupation. A small number of fresh Kurd recruits come through Iran into Waziristan, get few months' training, and then return to Iran before infiltrating Iraq to fuel insurgency in Iraqi Kurdistan against this important US ally.
The safety of Taliban and al-Qaeda assets in Waziristan is a matter of life and death and, therefore, the militants have devised a forward strategy to target the Pakistani cities of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, hoping to break the will of the Pakistani armed forces. The Pakistani military, meanwhile, is trying to break the will of the militants with ongoing bombing raids.
Underscoring the seriousness with which the military is planning for the coming battle, it is reported that Shi'ite soldiers from northern Pakistan are being sent to the Waziristans. In the past, the Pakistani Army has been plagued by desertions of Pashtun and Sunni troops who refuse to fight fellow Pashtuns or Sunnis.
We'll have to wait until Monday morning when the judge returns. "Verdict reached in Dallas terror-funding trial," by Jason Trahan and Michael Grabell for the Dallas Morning News:
After 19 days of deliberations, the jury in the Holy Land trial terror finance returned a verdict Thursday afternoon. But it will be three days before we find out if they ruled for guilt or innocence.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Stickney said the verdict will remain sealed until Monday morning when U.S. District Judge Joe Fish returns.
"I do not have the authority or the power to read it to the court," he said.
"Mtikila stated that the Kadhi Court was an instrument of the Islamic religion in the Holy Q’uran (sic). Its establishment, therefore, should not involve the government and parliament as Tanzania was a [secular] state. "
Exactly. "Mtikila petitions against Kadhi court," from Daily News-TSN:
Full Salvation Church’s Rev. Christopher Mtikila has petitioned the High Court in Dar es Salaam challenging the move to establish Kadhi Court for Islamic Sharia law in Tanzania.
A "kadhi," also spelled qadi, is a judge who rules according to Sharia law.
Rev Mtikila has asked the court to declare unconstitutional the involvement in any way whatsoever of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Law Reform Commission and the Parliament in issues involving the Kadhi Court.
The High Court, according to the petitioner, should also declare unconstitutional the establishment of the Kadhi Court or separate legal systems for separate or other groups of citizens of the country.
Rev Mtikila, who is also the chairman of the opposition Democratic Party (DP), also said he had decided to seek the court’s intervention so as to protect the constitution and laws of the land against moves seeking to establish the Kadhi Court in extreme violation of the constitution.
The requests comes only a few days after the National Muslim Council of Tanzania (Bakwata) renewed its appeal for the establishment of the Kadhi Court on Tanzania Mainland during the Eid Baraza last Saturday.
Mtikila stated that the Kadhi Court was an instrument of the Islamic religion in the Holy Q’uran [sic - it's Qur'an]. Its establishment, therefore, should not involve the government and parliament as Tanzania was a [secular] state.
Article 26 (1) of the constitution requires every person, including members of parliament, the president and the judiciary to observe and abide by the constitution, which they swore to defend.
According to the petitioner, establishment of the Kadhi Court, a separate legal system for Muslims in the country, tramples the constitution as opposed to Articles 12 and 3, which promugate human equality before the law.
All too unsurprising news from CNN:
KARACHI, Pakistan (CNN) -- At least 35 people were killed Thursday night in two explosions that went off near a motorcade carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who returned to the country earlier in the day after eight years of self-imposed exile, police sources told CNN.
Bhutto and those with her were not hurt.
Her companions said she reached her destination safely.
"I can see body parts strewn all over the road," said CNN's Dan Rivers, at the scene. "There are dead bodies everywhere. ... It is a large-scale attack, by the looks of things."
Rivers said police told CNN they believe they found the body of a suicide bomber.
"We have no way of confirming that, but it has all the hallmarks of some sort of terrorist attack," River's told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Rivers said there was remarkably little security near the motorcade considering the sizable security risk Bhutto presents. Bhutto's return angered some sectors in Pakistan because she was a female head of state who is perceived as being aligned with the United States.
"We remarked on how lax security was around her," Rivers told Blitzer after the explosions. "We got within touching distance of her vehicle. There was no security around, nobody stopping vehicles getting close to [the motorcade]."
Video footage from the scene showed the street jammed with emergency vehicles, and injured victims writhing in the middle of the road.
CNN Producer Syed Mohsin Naqvi said the death toll is likely to rise, as he had seen more than 35 bodies in the aftermath of the blasts.
McLEAN, Va. - A private Islamic school supported by the Saudi government should be shut down until the U.S. government can ensure the school is not fostering radical Islam, a federal panel recommends.
In a report released Thursday, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom broadly criticized what it calls a lack of religious freedom in Saudi society and promotion of religious extremism at Saudi schools.
Particular criticism is leveled at the Islamic Saudi Academy, a private school serving nearly 1,000 students in grades K-12 at two campuses in northern Virginia's Fairfax County.
The commission's report says the academy hews closely to the curriculum used at Saudi schools, which they criticize for promoting hatred of and intolerance against Jews, Christians and Shiite Muslims.
"Significant concerns remain about whether what is being taught at the ISA promotes religious intolerance and may adversely affect the interests of the United States," the report states.
A past valedictorian of the ISA was implicated in a plot to assassinate President Bush in 2005.
The commission, a creation of Congress, has no power to implement policy on its own. Instead, it makes recommendations to other agencies.
The commission does not offer specific criticism of the academy's teachings beyond its concerns that it too closely mimics a typical Saudi education.
The report recommends that the State Department prevail on the Saudi government to shut the school down until the school's textbooks can be reviewed and procedures are put in place to ensure the school's independence form the Saudi Embassy.
Read it all.
The Maldives' reliance on one major industry has undoubtedly accelerated its recognition of the threat jihadists pose to its existence. Larger countries with more diversified economies should also note the measures this Muslim-majority country has taken to protect itself: Are the Maldivians a bunch of Islamophobes? "Maldives cracks down on Islamic extremism," by Amal Jayasinghe for Agence France-Presse:
MALE (AFP) - The Maldives unveiled tough measures to combat Islamic extremism and protect its vital luxury tourism industry after an unprecedented bombing wounded British, Japanese and Chinese holiday makers.
An order from President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said fundamentalists should not be allowed to conduct religious services and that foreign clerics should not be able to enter the country without special permission.
The decree, which also outlaws head-to-toe covering for women, comes in the wake of a bombing on September 29 which wounded two Britons, two Japanese and eight Chinese tourists visiting a park in the island capital of Male.
The bombing has unsettled the Maldives, a nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims who have been practising a liberal form of the religion and built South Asia's most successful economy with the region's most exotic and upmarket destination.
Officials said Gayoom's order underlined a desire to stem fundamentalism that could undermine the tiny atoll nation's status as one of the world's top destinations for well-heeled tourists.
"The president addressed letters to the ministries of education and higher education and the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs outlining the measures to curb religious extremism," the government said in a statement.
But the opposition Adhaalath Party said banning the full covering and the full veil for women could not stop "terrorism."
"The government is going to fight terrorism by banning the beard and the burka," Adhaalath party leader Abdul Majeed Abdul Baari told AFP. "We are asking the government to study the causes of terrorism and extremism.
"Economic conditions also form part of the problem, but the main issue is the ideological differences and we need to address them."
Under the tough new measures, the government will also not recognise educational qualifications obtained from madrassas, or Islamic seminaries.
Maldivian authorities are holding more than 50 people suspected of links to a radical Islamic sect in connection with September's bombing.
Authorities are concerned that a small but growing number of youngsters are being drawn to religious extremism with some educated in radical forms of their religion in Pakistan.
Women enjoy equal status in education and jobs in the Maldives, but more of them have been covering their faces in recent years.
The punishment for those who continue to wear the head-to-toe covering was not specified, but officials said those who violate the decree are initially expected to be warned and that tougher action could follow.
Former education minister Mohamed Zahir Hussain said a minority of people believed that tourism was against Islam and were keen to disrupt the mainstay of the economy.
A controversial Muslim cleric will remain in custody until his deportation next week after the Immigration and Refugee Board declared him a flight risk.
Imam Said Jaziri was ordered detained Wednesday following a nearly four-hour hearing in Montreal. He will be deported to his native Tunisia next Monday.
The cleric, who heads the Al-Qods mosque in Montreal, was ordered deported last year when officials revoked his refugee status, originally obtained in 1998.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is claiming the Tunisian-born cleric presented false information to get into Canada, and lied about having a criminal record in France, where he served jail time.
Jaziri has drawn attention to himself in the past for what his critics call extreme views on Islam.
He has defended sharia law on CBC’s French language radio service, and recently proposed the government fund a $20-million mosque in Montreal.
Jaziri also spearheaded protests in the city in 2006 over the publication of Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper.
Is the glass half full, or half empty? Are 158 prosecutions a lot, or not that many? This study from NYU takes the latter position, and takes a critical stance on more urgent assessments of the threat. But those numbers aside, the study also does not appear to take into account the threat posed by individuals or groups in the U.S. who may not personally plot and carry out attacks, but who may sympathize with the prospective attackers, and enable them to function either actively, through providing funds and engaging in legal intimidation and coercion, or passively, through covering over and refusing to engage the ideology that drives the jihad.
And lastly, we don't know who may not yet be on the radar screen, and we cannot assume we have accounted for every threat to the country and its people.
"Law center: Little evidence of jihadists in the U.S.," from CNN:
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Six years of investigations and prosecutions have turned up little evidence of Islamic jihadists at work in the United States, according to a study released Monday.
The study, conducted by New York University's Center on Law and Security, tracked 510 cases billed as terrorism-related when arrests were made.
But it found only 158 of those people arrested since al Qaeda's September 11, 2001, attacks were prosecuted for terrorism.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the Justice Department said the report "reflects a serious misunderstanding" of anti-terrorism efforts and includes "wildly inaccurate" statistics.
The study found only four people -- including confessed al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid -- were convicted of planning attacks within the United States.
"The vast majority of cases turn out to include no link to terrorism once they go to court," the report found. The analysis "suggests the presence of few, if any, prevalent terrorist threats currently within the U.S."
The Justice Department disputed the law center's figures in Monday's study, saying more than the 62 people who the study cited have been convicted of terrorism-related offenses since the September 11, 2001, attacks.
But the law center said most of those 62 cases involved people planning attacks overseas, not inside the United States.
So we should care less if a particular attack won't happen here?
And looking at possible attacks worldwide, just 7 percent of those arrested in what authorities called terrorism-related cases have been convicted of terrorism charges or providing material support for terrorism, the report said.
Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said that as of late September prosecutors had won 312 convictions in "terrorism and terrorism-related cases with an international nexus" since the 2001 attacks. And Justice Department statistics found far fewer defendants had been charged with terrorism offenses between September 11, 2006, and September 11, 2007, than the 109 the report asserted.
Symptomatic of a larger problem, namely, the frequent lack of respect for secular law among Muslims living in the West. "Judge slams car-racket mum who blames Islam," by Kate Jones for the Herald Sun (thanks to Supercargo):
A young mother has argued her Muslim beliefs forced her into a life of crime.
Shahida Karim-Hawchar, 24, sold stolen cars to unsuspecting buyers because it was her cultural duty to obey her father and her husband, a court heard.
Her lawyer, Tom Danos, said her father, Omar Zayden, and husband Imad pressured her to join their car rebirthing racket.
"This was a religious Muslim family, where the hierarchy was the father, the husband, and then the wife," Mr Danos told the County Court. "It's an additional pressure on her to be involved."
But Judge Felicity Hampel, suspending a 2 1/2-year jail term because the young mum has three sons aged under five, said that argument was an abuse of religion.
"It's a very sad and debasing thing to hear it suggested that adherence to a religious tenet can justify criminal behaviour," Judge Hampel said.
"I don't accept that Islam requires a daughter to obey a directive of the husband or the father, where the directive involves the commission of a criminal offence."
However, Judge Hampel accepted the obedience argument last year when she allowed Karim-Hawchar to change her plea to the charges.
In August 2006, the Karim-Hawchars both asked to change pleas of guilty to not guilty.
Imad was refused, and was later jailed.
But Shahida was successful: Judge Hampel accepted she'd only admitted guilt because Imad had told her to.
The judge was told Shahida was also only obeying Imad in changing her plea.
But Judge Hampel was satisfied Shahida's original plea had not been made freely or with an understanding of what it would mean, but in accordance with her religious or cultural duty.
Last month, Shahida appeared before Judge Hampel yet again -- this time to change her plea a second time, back to guilty.
Welcome to Western Civilization: You are responsible for your own behavior.
Sharia Alert: Dumb laws, especially those with draconian penalties, can cause additional rash, desperate, and costly behavior. "Young Muslim Couple Causes Five Car Pileup While Fleeing Police for Making Out," from the Associated Press:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A young Muslim couple tried to speed off when Malaysian police caught them making out in their car but got into an accident, causing a five-car pile up, a report said Wednesday.
A police patrol car spotted the couple locked in an intimate embrace late Monday in their car parked at a hypermarket in Muar town in southern Johor state, The Star newspaper said.
As the patrol car neared them, the couple sped out of the car park onto a main road and collided with a passing car, causing three other vehicles to crash, the report said.
The unidentified couple, both in their 20s, have been detained and the man has been booked for reckless driving, it said.
Muar traffic police officer Lim Aik Sin told the daily that the couple have been referred to the district Islamic religious department. The man is a factory worker in nearby Malacca state while the woman, from Johor, studies in a college in Kuala Lumpur, Lim was quoted as saying.
Lim couldn't be reached for further details and other Muar police officers declined to comment.
Unmarried Muslim couples found alone together in a private place can be charged for "khalwat," or "close proximity," which is a crime under Malaysia's Islamic laws and carries a jail sentence of up to two months.
And that's what makes this story newsworthy: It's not clear from the article exactly how "intimate" the couple was, but their simply being alone together was, under Sharia law, all the police needed to pursue them.
Whoops! "Syrian Official Says Israeli Airstrike Hit Nuke Facility," by James Rosen for Fox News:
DAMASCUS, Syria — A high-ranking Syrian official confirmed that Israel's airstrike last month in northern Syria hit a nuclear facility, according to a document obtained Wednesday by FOX News.
"Israel was the fourth-largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction and a violator of other nations' airspace, and it had taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria," Syrian representative Bassam Darwish is quoted in the document as saying.
Diplomats familiar with the document cannot explain why July 6 was invoked, instead of Sept. 6, the date both countries say an incident occurred. A State Department source tells FOX News the best explanation is that Darwish misspoke.
The document, released by the General Assembly's Department of Public Information, recounted Tuesday's proceedings at the annual gathering of the U.N.'s Disarmament and International Security Committee.
What is clear is that this is the first time Syria has acknowledged its nuclear efforts.
One U.S. delegate told colleagues he could not believe his ears when the Syrian diplomat made his statement and that the resulting document was close to verbatim, and another source told FOX News the document reinforces what people heard [the Syrian representative] say in the actual debate.
Syria already has disowned the remarks, adding "such facilities do not exist in Syria."
The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, quoting an unnamed Foreign Ministry source, said the U.N. press release misquoted the diplomat and that Syria had made it clear that there are no such facilities in Syria.
Syrian President Bashar Assad said earlier this month that the target is an "unused military building."
Yes, Israel did its best to ensure that.
Whatever one may think of the current congressional leadership, one had to give them credit for pushing ahead with the non-binding resolution to acknowledge one of the great crimes of history, the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks during World War I. The shame is that it has taken so long.
Now it seems they are getting cold feet. In a reasonable world, it would not be necessary for a legislative body to pronounce on matters properly left to historians and individual conscience. Alas, this is no longer a reasonable world. That Turkey insists on continuing to deny the genocide is an affront to decency and the memory of the dead. How would the world react to a German government refusing the epithet "genocide" to describe the destruction of European Jewry during World War II?
By Daniel Dombey in the Financial Times:
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, on Wednesday backtracked on her support for a US Congressional resolution that has infuriated Turkey’s government, amid increasing doubts over whether the measure would ever be approved.
As recently as the weekend, Ms Pelosi said that she planned to take the bill, which denounces mass killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as genocide, to the full House this year. Ms Pelosi is a long- standing backer of the measure, despite the anger it has caused in Turkey.
But on Wednesday, facing increasing criticism and a series of high-profile defections from the ranks of the bill’s supporters, she toned down her commitment to take it to a full House vote.
“Whether it will come up or not and what the action will be remains to be seen,” she said.
During this week, declared support for the bill has fallen below the level needed for House approval, with at least 10 Congressmen withdrawing their backing in addition to several others who peeled off earlier this year. As of yesterday, the bill had 215 sponsors or co-sponsors in the 435-member House.
“One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire,” said President George W. Bush on Wednesday, after having spoken by phone to Ms Pelosi on the issue the day before. “Congress has more important work to do than antagonising a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that’s providing vital support for our military every day.”
Funny, one recalls the Allied governments pretty well "sorting out the historical record" of the Third Reich at Nuremberg and elsewhere. And I don't think Pelosi is proposing to hang anyone. Maybe she should.
I had earlier responded to a disgraceful piece in National Review Online by Barbara Lerner, "Judgement Time", that counseled against recognition of the genocide. (I used to work at NR so watching them lapse into moral autism bothers me.) To wit:
Barbara Lerner's "Judgement Time" on the movement to recognize the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey during World War I left me rubbing my eyes in disbelief. Is this the same National Review started by William Buckley to counter the popular lies of anti-Western ideologies and expose their brutal nature? Did Barbara Lerner really write, "All things considered, this doesn’t look like a propitious moment for America to take a stand on the Armenian genocide question"? When, pray, would be "a propitious moment"? Should we wait another ninety years to pass before taking a stand on a gruesome, state-sponsored mass-murder that the Turkish government continues to insist never happened? Where are earth have NR's moral scruples gone?
For anyone who still retains doubts on the question of the genocide, they should take up Peter Balakian's "The Burning Tigris." The genocide was attested to at the time by numerous Western eyewitnesses, many of them Americans, and widely reported in the American press. The only outstanding issue is whether the West will continue to connive with the Turks' lies.
It astonishes that one should need to remind NR about the perils of continuing to abet official lies, whatever their character. It is significant that the Armenian Genocide has been compared with the Jewish Genocide during World War II, but not for the reasons given. As I have written, "On the eve of unleashing his genocidal war machine on Europe, Adolf Hitler reassured his subordinates, 'Who, after all, remembers the Armenians?'" Who indeed?
Speaker Pelosi may contacted via her website at: http://www.house.gov/pelosi/contact/contact.html.
More from the Middle Eastern tour of our indomitable Secretary for Wishful Thinking.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prayed at the Biblical birthplace of Jesus Christ on Wednesday, promoting religion in the quest for Middle East peace during intense diplomacy.
"Being here at the birthplace of my lord and saviour Jesus Christ has been a very special and moving experience," said the top US diplomat, a devout Christian whose father and grandfather were Presbyterian ministers.
Wearing a light green trouser suit, Rice spent about half an hour inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, visiting its Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Catholic chapels and the exact spot where Christians believe Christ was born.
She prayed and later emerged, saying her visit had been a personal reminder of the power of religion to heal and reconcile those who live in the Holy Land -- where Rice has said it is time for a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
The Almighty was not available for comment.
"These great monotheist religions that have inhabited this land together have an opportunity to overcome differences, to put aside grievances, to make the power of religion a power of healing and a power of reconciliation.
"What these great holy sites remind us of is that the three great religions indeed share a common vision of peace and a common vision of our humanity. That is what I will ultimately take away from this visit," she said.
As bad as US policy is, it is compounded immeasurably by these soapy attempts at theological diplomacy. What on earth do a Galilean Carpenter, who explicitly rejected violence and voluntarily went to His death, and a conquering warlord responsible for the massacre of between 600 and 900 men (the Jewish Bani Quraiza, according to the canonical Islamic sources) and numerous other deaths and atrocities have in common? "A common vision for humanity"? Are you kidding me?
"The sheikhs blamed Washington for giving Shi'ite Islamists a free hand in the south." There's certainly a strong element of truth to that, but at the same time, we cannot be expected to do everything for them. In particular, communities must have the will to resist Sharia law themselves from within.
"Tribal leaders warn Islamism on rise," from Reuters:
Shi'ite Islamist political parties are imposing strict Islamic rules in the oil-producing southern provinces of Iraq and using their armed wings to create a state of fear, a group of tribal Shi'ite leaders said.
The four tribal leaders approached on condition of anonymity, fearing assassination if their names or even their home provinces were made public.
"Fear rules the streets now," said one of the sheikhs.
"We cannot speak our minds, people are not allowed to oppose them. They would immediately disappear or get killed. The evidence of that is I am talking about it but cannot use my name."
The fear is not unfounded - two provincial governors and a police chief were blown up by roadside bombs in August, apparent victims of infighting between the Shi'ite parties for political dominance in the region, source of most of Iraq's oil wealth.
Aides to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the reclusive religious leader of Iraq's Shi'ites, have also been killed.
The sheikhs said the conservative religious attitudes meant only religious music was now allowed to be played in public places and dancing was forbidden, as was drinking alcohol.
Women were also harassed for wearing clothing deemed inappropriate.
Photographs of secular political leaders like former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi could not be displayed in shops and other public areas.
Street committees that were set up to protect neighbourhoods from al Qaeda attacks were being misused to spy on residents and report infractions to the militias and the police, they said.
"The people of the south are religious, we are believers, but at the same time we like to live our lives and we like freedom," said one sheikh.
The growing strength of the parties in the south has weakened some secular tribal leaders and excluded them from power structures, a source of patronage and revenues.
"Some say the Shi'ites are lucky because they are now ruling Iraq, but that is wrong. It is the Islamist Shi'ites who are ruling Iraq. Their victory was a curse for us," said one sheikh.
The sheikhs blamed Washington for giving Shi'ite Islamists a free hand in the south.
US forces are concentrated to the north, focused mainly on Sunni Islamist al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab militants and so-called rogue Mehdi Army groups.
Washington has thrown its weight behind Baghdad's Islamist-led government despite misgivings about its failure to push ahead with national reconciliation and the close ties between some parties and Iran, the United States' long-time foe.
Somalia Jihad Update. "Heavy fighting rocks Somali capital," from Agence France-Presse:
MOGADISHU (AFP) - A civilian was killed in heavy fighting that rocked the Somali capital on Tuesday, shattering a week-long lull in clashes between Ethiopia-backed government forces and Islamist-led insurgents.
Rival sides pounded each other with heavy artillery, mainly in southern Mogadishu, an AFP correspondent reported.
"A mortar landed in a house where it killed a civilian and wounded four others," said Ahmed Abdullahi, a resident of northern Sanaa neighbourhood.
Abdullahi said the shell was a stray fired from the battle zones that were inaccessible due to the fighting.
Ethiopian-backed government forces have been battling Islamist-led insurgents since the beginning of the year, when the guerrillas were ousted from the country's southern and central regions.
Note to the West: This is what lies at the bottom of the slippery slope of any special legal status afforded Islam and Muslims with respect to freedom of speech and expression. From Agence France-Presse:
TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday handed down jail sentences of at least two years each to three students imprisoned since May on charges of insulting Islam, the Mehr news agency reported.
The three students from Tehran's Amir Kabir University - Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli and Ahmad Ghassaban - were among eight arrested on suspicion of publishing anti-Islamic images in four student reformist newspapers.
"The verdicts for the accused Amir Kabir students were issued today," their lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah said, according to the Mehr news agency.
"Ehsan Mansouri has been sentenced to two years in prison, Majid Tavakoli to three years and Ahmad Ghassaban to two-and-a-half years," he said.
Dadkhah,who is a member of Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi's group of human rights defenders, said that it was not clear whether the sentences issued by Tehran's revolutionary court meant prison or suspended terms.
The other five arrested have since been released, but this trio has been detained since May with the authorities saying they have not been freed because of the gravity of the charges against them.
Dadkhah vowed to appeal against the verdicts.
In August, Mansouri's mother publicly accused the authorities of torturing the young men at Tehran's Evin prison in an effort to obtain confessions. The judiciary insists that torture is not used in Iran.
Amir Kabir University has long been a hotbed of student activism, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the target of heckling in a stormy address to the university last year.
I think Ibrahim Hooper is slipping on a banana peel in this one. After all, we are all supposed to believe, on pain of denunciation as "Islamophobes" and bigots, that Muslim student associations and all Muslims in America already support the freedom of Americans from Muslim terrorists. Heaven forfend that we should ever breathe the shadow of a hint that any Muslim in America could possibly, in any way, shape, or form, ever have even so much as cast a glance in the direction of Osama bin Laden, or harbor even the tiniest bit of sympathy for the global jihad. Yet here is CAIR, big as life, posting an article from the Minnesota Daily called "David Horowitz Intends to Spread Fear, Hatred," which contains this paragraph:
The Freedom Center will provide all materials necessary to any college student willing to host a week at their campus, including a pre-made petition - which unabashedly invites Muslim student associations to support the freedom of Americans from Muslim terrorists.
O horror! O shame! Not that! They're actually offering Muslim student associations an opportunity to come out against terrorism? It's an affront! An insult! An offense! Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war! What racist Islamophobic bigots they must be, asking Muslims to condemn terrorism! Don't they realize we're all multiculturalists now?
From Human Events:
In a new TV commercial, Mitt Romney utters one of television’s new forbidden words. “It’s this century’s nightmare: jihadism. Violent, radical Islamic fundamentalism,” he says. “Their goal is to unite the world under a single Jihadist caliphate. To do that, they must collapse freedom-loving nations like us.”
The forbidden word? Jihadism. Romney says in the commercial that in response to this threat he’ll beef up America’s intelligence services, monitor Al-Qaeda’s calls into the U.S. (a clear reference to a controversial Patriot Act provision), strengthen the armed forces, and stop Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. None of these recommendations, however, are likely to arouse as much controversy as his use of that word. Romney has now grasped the third rail of the public discourse by using a word related to jihad in a clear reference to terrorism, and throwing in “Islamic fundamentalism” on top of that.For we all know and must always avow, you see, that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and that jihad is a spiritual struggle, a fight within the soul of the believer to conform his life to the will of God. It has nothing whatsoever to do with attacks like 9/11.
This has nothing to do with the jihad, but I had so much fun doing this interview, that I thought I'd go ahead and post a link here. After all, in a strict Sharia state music will be illegal anyway, so I guess it does have something to do with this site.
"Artist defiantly draws Prophet Mohammed," from CNN (and yes, that's their headline, with no "Islamic" qualifier):
HOGANAS, Sweden (CNN) -- Swedish artist Lars Vilks says all he's doing is taking a stand in the name of artistic expression. But because of that stand, on this afternoon he's lying low -- on the ground, in fact -- looking for bombs under his car.
Al Qaeda has put a $100,000 price on his head and offered an extra $50,000 for anyone who murders him by slitting his throat after the eccentric artist and sculptor drew a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.
"I don't think it should not be a problem to insult a religion, because it should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way, " says Vilks from his home in rural Sweden.
"If you insult one, then you should insult the other ones."
His crude, sketched caricature shows the head of Prophet Mohammed on the body of a dog. Dogs are considered unclean by conservative Muslims, and any depiction of the prophet is strictly forbidden.
Vilks, who has been a controversial artist for more than three decades in Sweden, says his drawing was a calculated move, and he wanted it to elicit a reaction.
"That's a way of expressing things. If you don't like it, don't look at it. And if you look at it, don't take it too seriously. No harm done, really," he says.
When it's suggested that might prove an arrogant -- if not insulting -- way to engage Muslims, he is unrelenting, even defiant.
"No one actually loves the truth, but someone has to say it," he says.
Vilks, a self-described atheist, points out he's an equal opportunity offender who in the past sketched a depiction of Jesus as a pedophile.
Obviously, that's appalling, to say the least. But if nothing else, it offers an instructive basis for comparison of how the two religions' respective followers handle being offended. Not to mention that the cartoon of Jesus (whom CNN afforded no honorifics, unlike Muhammad) is far worse.
Still one could argue Vilks should have known better because of what happened in Denmark in 2005, when a cartoonist's depictions of the prophet sparked violent protests in the Muslim world and prompted death threats against that cartoonist's life.
Vilks' cartoon, which was published in August by the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda, hasn't reached that level of global protests, although it has stoked plenty of outrage.
Muslims in Sweden demanded an apology from the newspaper, which has stood by Vilks on his freedom of expression stand. Pakistan and Iran also lodged formal protests with Sweden.
One Swedish Muslim woman who lives just an hour-and-a-half drive from Vilks said she hopes to make good on the al Qaeda threat and slaughter Vilks like a lamb.
"I can do this in the name of Allah, and I will not fail. I could slaughter him in the name of Allah," says the woman who identified herself only as Amatullah.
She adds, "If I get the opportunity."
Dressed in a black burqa from head to toe and uttering death threat after death threat, the woman -- a wife and mother -- says she is defending her religion and her prophet if she manages to kill Vilks.
Amatullah has already been fined for issuing death threats. Still, she claims she will never stop taunting him.
Swedish police, who declined CNN's request for an interview, have advised Vilks to abandon his home.
But the artist still works there by day and travels to a safe house by night. Vilks knows his defiance could get him killed, but he says his art is worth dying for.
As he sits at his computer, his phone buzzes with a text message. Another death threat has just come in, this one from Pakistan.
"I will kill you, you son a bitch," he reads.
Now, UNFIL and the terms of last year's ceasefire have been pretty good for Hizballah and other jihadist groups in the region. So it will be interesting to learn the rationale for attacking here (though, as always, infidel troops are infidel troops). "Suspected terrorists detained in Lebanon," from the Associated Press:
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanese military intelligence officials have detained members of a suspected "terrorist network" for plotting attacks against U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, the army said Monday.
The group had planted a bomb near the southern city of Tyre in an attempt to target a U.N. patrol, but it did not explode because of a problem with the trigger, the army said in a statement.
The suspects also admitted they planned to plant two other bombs in the area and detonate them within a short period "in order to cause maximum casualties among the forces," the statement said.
Two bombs were confiscated and several detainees were referred to judicial authorities, the statement said.
Officials did not say how many people were detained but added they included foreigners.
There have been two attacks against U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon in recent months.
In June, a U.N. armored personnel carrier was struck by a bomb, killing six Spanish peacekeepers in the first such attack against the U.N. force. A month later, a roadside bomb exploded near a U.N. jeep in the village of Qassimiyeh, causing damage but no casualties.
Reading, 'riting, and RDX. "Germany indicts man for plans to found terrorism school," from Deutsche Presse Agentur:
Karlsruhe, Germany - A Jordanian has been indicted in Germany over a plot to set up a school for terrorists in Sudan, prosecutors said Tuesday. Thaer A, aged 33, who was picked up by Swedish police in March and extradited to Germany the following month, is the second member of the alleged ring of five men to face trial.
German federal prosecutors said the group believed a guerrilla- style war was approaching and divided up the tasks of establishing a camp where volunteers could train for "jihad" or holy war.
A was put in charge of fund-raising and remitting money abroad and was also involved in recruitment of new members.
Another man, Redouane e-H from the northern city of Kiel, has been on trial since July. A third accused, Abdel Ali M, was extradited from Sweden to Germany in May.
Have the Sikh separatists really thought through the long-term consequences of siding with the jihadists? Do they really think that, if the jihadists had their way, they would honor the desire for a separate Sikh homeland?
"India police see Islamic militants in cinema bomb," from Reuters:
CHANDIGARH, India - Indian police say they suspect Muslim militants allied with Punjab separatists were behind a blast that killed six people and injured 32 at a crowded cinema hall in northern India.
The multiplex Shingar Cinema in the industrial city of Ludhiana in Punjab state was packed with about 600 people at the time of the blast on Sunday. Police say plastic explosives were used in the bomb.
‘The leads into the blast indicated Muslim fundamentalists could have collaborated with Babbar Khalsa International and Khalistan Commando Force (both Punjabi militant groups) to plant the bomb,’ senior police intelligence officer Jagdish Mittal told reporters in Ludhiana.
Security forces have increased vigil in areas like multiplexes, and railway and bus stations since the attack.
The Indian province of Punjab saw over a decade of violence in the 1980s when Sikh militants demanded a separate Sikh homeland they called Khalistan.
Indian intelligence agencies also say Islamist militant groups, backed by Pakistani spy agency ISI, increasingly target Muslim and Hindu religious places to trigger communal clashes between the two communities.
Sunday’s blast followed a bomb explosion last week after evening prayers at the Muslim Ajmer Sharif shrine in northwestern India, in which at least two people were killed.
Newspaper reports say police suspect Bangaldeshi militants were involved in that blast, again backed by Pakistani militants and the ISI.
Using its outrage over the House resolution on the Armenian genocide as a pretext to flout its alliance with the United States.
By Kenneth R. Timmerman at NewsMax (thanks to Dav):
U.S. ally Turkey and U.S. arch-enemy Iran have formed a military alliance to drive opposition Kurds from bases in northern Iraq they have used since 2004 to launch guerrilla operations inside Iran, rebel leaders told Newsmax at a secret base in the Qandil mountains.
Both Iran and Turkey have vowed to send troops into northern Iraq, but until now evidence of active military cooperation between them has remained a closely-held secret.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up political and diplomatic threats in recent days, telling the United States he would cut off U.S. access to the strategic Incirlik airbase in eastern Turkey if the U.S. tried to prevent Turkey from sending troops against the Kurdish bases in northern Iraq.
"Rice declared that creation of a Palestinian state is a key U.S. interest." She and many others continue to operate on the assumption that the creation of such a state, seen as a necessary condition for peace, will actually bring peace. Never mind the track record so far, with respect to Fatah's trustworthiness (which is laughable), the Palestinians' ability to govern themselves in a stable entity that does not threaten Israel, and what success prior withdrawals and land concessions have brought.
By Matthew Lee for the Associated Press:
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Saying the time is now for a Palestinian state, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday prodded Israel and the Palestinians to agree at a U.S.-sponsored conference this fall on how and when to start formal peace talks.
In one of her strongest statements yet on the issue, Rice declared that creation of a Palestinian state is a key U.S. interest and urged the two sides to drop contentious demands and reach consensus on a substantive joint statement ahead of the international conference.
"Frankly, it's time for the establishment of a Palestinian state," Rice told a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who she saw on the second of a four-day intense Middle East shuttle diplomacy mission.
"The United States sees the establishment of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution as absolutely essential for the future, not just of Palestinians and Israelis but also for the Middle East and indeed to American interests," she said.
"That's really a message that I think only I can deliver," Rice said, explaining her mission to prepare for the conference to be held in Annapolis, Md. as early as late November.
The secretary is facing daunting challenges in trying to bring the two sides close enough to make the conference worthwhile.
Rice, who expects to return to the region at least once before the conference takes place, played down the chances for any breakthroughs before she traveled here.
Rice met with Israeli officials on Sunday and will see both sides again on Wednesday after visiting Egypt on Tuesday and finally traveling to London to meet Jordan's King Abdullah II in a bid to build support for the meeting among skeptical Arab nations.
In her talks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, she is seeking to bridge wide gaps between Israel and the Palestinians over the declaration to be endorsed in Annapolis that President Bush hopes will lead to negotiations for a final settlement of the long-running conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he does not see the document as a prerequisite for the conference. He wants it as vague as possible on critical so-called "final status issues" like the borders of a Palestinian state, the status of disputed Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinians, meanwhile, have said they will not attend the conference without a document that contains details on these matters as well as a specific timeline for their resolution. Arab states share the Palestinian concerns.
That sounds like it would more or less defeat the purpose of negotiating, though the very idea of negotiations implies the Palestinians would have something to offer, too. Are they, for example, prepared to recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce further claims on Israeli territory? Highly unlikely, as Israel is always expected to make the first move, and then await further demands.
"No doubt that before we go to (the conference), the document will be ready," said Abbas, whose authority has been limited to the West Bank since the militant Hamas movement seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.
"The negotiations should not be open-ended, but subject to a certain time period," he added.
And then what?
Sura 7, “The Heights,” is another Meccan sura, dating from around the same time as sura 6: Muhammad’s last year in Mecca before the Hijra to Medina. It begins, as do several other chapters, with a first verse consisting of mysterious Arabic letters – the meaning of which, we’re told, is known only to Allah. Then follows Allah telling Muhammad not to doubt the Qur’an, for it is “a Book revealed unto thee, so let thy heart be oppressed no more by any difficulty on that account” (v. 2). Verses 3-10 contain yet another warning of the dreadful judgment, when those whose good deeds outweigh their evil deeds will enter Paradise, while those who “wrongfully treated Our signs” – that is, ayat, or verses of the Qur’an – will be condemned. Allah reminds Muhammad of cities he has destroyed for their disobedience (v. 4).
Then comes the story of Satan (verses 11-25). It begins with the creation of Adam, and Allah’s command that the angels prostrate themselves before this new creation. Muhammad informs us that when Allah created Adam, he made him 60 cubits tall – that is, about 90 feet. “People,” he said, “have been decreasing in stature since Adam’s creation.” However, Muhammad also tells us that the first inhabitants of Paradise will be Adam’s size: “The first group of people who will enter Paradise, will be glittering like the full moon and those who will follow them, will glitter like the most brilliant star in the sky. They will not urinate, relieve nature, spit, or have any nasal secretions. Their combs will be of gold, and their sweat will smell like musk. The aloes-wood will be used in their centers. Their wives will be houris. All of them will look alike and will resemble their father Adam (in statute), sixty cubits tall.” The houris, of course, are the fabled virgins of Paradise.
"This is the first time since the 9/11 attacks that FBI counterterror officials have revealed an al-Qaida presence in North Jersey."
"Kelly: Al-Qaida associates in N.J.," from Record of Bergen County:
Osama bin Laden may be hiding in the impenetrable mountains near the Afghanistan border, but FBI counterterror officials say they have identified several of his associates in a far more accessible spot -- northern New Jersey.
The FBI's elite Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark says it is not only monitoring a number of North Jersey residents with ties to al-Qaida, but that agents have quietly "disrupted" their activities and even deported a few.
These glimpses into North Jersey's war on terrorism, from a series of interviews with task force leaders, come on the heels of revelations last summer that Bin Laden's terror network had regained strength. But that rebuilding was thought to have taken place overseas.
This is the first time since the 9/11 attacks that FBI counterterror officials have revealed an al-Qaida presence in North Jersey.
"There are definitely facilitators in this state," said Kevin Cruise, the veteran FBI counterterror agent who directs Newark's 100-member terrorism task force of FBI and CIA agents as well as state police and even local beat cops.
One of Cruise's deputies was even more specific.
"There are people in your county who are affiliated with known al-Qaida members overseas," said Jack Jupin, the FBI agent who heads the counterterror squad for Bergen County.
Cruise, who supervised FBI investigations of terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole before taking over the Newark task force, cautioned that his agents have no information about an imminent attack here. But he said several al-Qaida sympathizers would try if given the chance.
Tiny Minority of Extremists Alert:
"There are many people who are like-minded who want to commit acts of terrorism and have just not taken that extra step," said Cruise, who keeps a "wanted" poster of Bin Laden on his office wall.
Sometimes, he said, counterterror agents "disrupt" these North Jersey residents with al-Qaida ties.
Cruise declined to describe any case in detail. But in general, such disruption methods ranged from outright deportations to quiet visits by FBI agents in which suspected terrorists are told their activities are being monitored.
"There are many disruptions that occur that the public does not know about," Cruise said.
Read it all.
UPDATE: Putin has confirmed the trip will go ahead in spite of the plot. More here from the Associated Press.
No word on who might employ the would-be bombers, but the Iranian government is plenty indignant about the allegation.
"Russia divulges Putin assassination plot," by Lynn Berry for the Associated Press:
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has been told about a plot to assassinate him during a visit to Iran this week, a Kremlin spokeswoman said Sunday.
The spokeswoman, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, refused further comment.
Interfax news agency, citing a source in Russia's special services, said suicide terrorists had been trained to carry out the assassination.
A spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, denied any such plot had been uncovered, characterizing the news as disinformation spread by Iran's adversaries.
"These sort of reports are completely baseless and in direction with psychological operations of enemies of relations between Iran and Russia," Hosseini said in a statement.
More from "Doubts surface about Putin's Iran trip," by Vladimir Isachenkov for the Associated Press:
TEHRAN, Iran - Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared ready to cancel his first trip to Iran following reports about a possible assassination attempt — a move that would badly strain Moscow's relations with Tehran.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Tehran that he couldn't confirm that Putin would arrive in the Iranian capital late Monday as earlier scheduled.
"There is no information that the visit is still planned," Peskov told The Associated Press. He refused to elaborate, but the statement was a strong signal that Putin may cancel his visit. Just a few hours before, Peskov said that Putin's plan to arrive on Monday evening still held. Iran's Foreign Ministry also said earlier Monday that Putin's visit was still scheduled.
If Putin cancels his trip, it would anger Iranian officials, who have rejected reports about the assassination plot. Iranian officials had no immediate comment on Peskov's statement.
Islamic Tolerance in the Islamic Republic. From AINA (thanks to Sparta):
London -- A Christian couple were flogged in Iran for participating in an "underground Church", an Iranian Christian group said in a report on its website earlier this week.
The unnamed couple were arrested on September 21, 2005, the report said, adding that a Revolutionary Court reviewed their case in July 2007.
Even though the couple had decided to marry seven years ago, the country's marriage laws - which prohibit the union of ex-Muslims and members of other religious minorities -- prevented them from obtaining a certificate of marriage.
The report said that the woman was born a Christian in an Assyrian-Iranian family and the man was a convert to Christianity prior to getting married.
The court ruled that both the man and the woman were Mortad, a description of someone who has committed apostasy by leaving Islam.
They know that Muhammad said, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him," and they take it seriously.
"Egypt: Islamists Join Case Against Convert To Christianity," from Compass Direct:
ISTANBUL, October 10 (Compass Direct News) – Conservative Islamic lawyers came out in support of the Egyptian government last week at the opening court hearing of a Muslim convert to Christianity.
In a move that has caused national uproar, former Muslim Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy is suing Egypt to change the religion listed on his identification papers to Christianity.
Islamist lawyers associated with radical cleric Youssef al-Badry attended the October 2 hearing in Cairo and legally joined the case on the government’s side, Hegazy told Compass.
Hegazy’s lawyers confirmed that Magdy al-Anany and at least three other fundamentalist Muslim attorneys filed to support the government.
Al-Badry was one of several clerics who called for Hegazy’s death in Egypt’s national media, following the announcement of the case in early August. The radical Islamist also filed charges of inciting sectarian strife against Hegazy’s original lawyer, Mamdouh Nakhla.
Under public criticism and death threats, Nakhla withdrew from Hegazy’s case days after it became public. Fanatics began harassing Hegazy and his pregnant wife, also a former Muslim, with angry telephone calls, forcing the couple into hiding.
“It’s quite sensitive,” Hegazy’s new lawyer, Rawda Ahmad, told Compass through a translator. “It would be the first time that someone who converted to Christianity would be able to change his ID card.”
Though Egyptian law does not forbid conversion from Islam to Christianity, it provides no legal means to make the change. Converts to Christianity usually hide their identity to avoid torture and forced recantation at the hands of family members and security police.
“I’m full of heartache that in my own country, society has been radicalized to such an extent that I can’t have the right to convert,” Hegazy told Compass this week.
Isn't there anything this fellow can be charged with, or is he completely free to aid the global jihad from North Carolina and give interviews to the New York Times? In 1942, would a young Nazi have been allowed to propagandize freely for Hitler in Hoboken or Sioux City? "An Internet Jihad Sells Extremism to Viewers in the U.S.," by Michael Moss and Souad Mekhennet in The New York Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
When Osama bin Laden issued his videotaped message to the American people last month, a young jihad enthusiast went online to help spread the word.
“America needs to listen to Shaykh Usaamah very carefully and take his message with great seriousness,” he wrote on his blog. “America is known to be a people of arrogance.”
Unlike Mr. bin Laden, the blogger was not operating from a remote location. It turns out he is a 21-year-old American named Samir Khan who produces his blog from his parents’ home in North Carolina, where he serves as a kind of Western relay station for the multimedia productions of violent Islamic groups.
In recent days, he has featured “glad tidings” from a North African militant leader whose group killed 31 Algerian troops. He posted a scholarly treatise arguing for violent jihad, translated into English. He listed hundreds of links to secret sites from which his readers could obtain the latest blood-drenched insurgent videos from Iraq.
His neatly organized site also includes a file called “United States of Losers,” which showcased a recent news broadcast about a firefight in Afghanistan with this added commentary from Mr. Khan: “You can even see an American soldier hiding during the ambush like a baby!! AllahuAkbar! AllahuAkbar!”
Mr. Khan, who was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in Queens, is an unlikely foot soldier in what Al Qaeda calls the “Islamic jihadi media.” He has grown up in middle-class America and wrestles with his worried parents about his religious fervor. Yet he is stubborn. “I will do my best to speak the truth, and even if it annoys the disbelievers, the truth must be preached,” Mr. Khan said in an interview.
While there is nothing to suggest that Mr. Khan is operating in concert with militant leaders, or breaking any laws, he is part of a growing constellation of apparently independent media operators who are broadcasting the message of Al Qaeda and other groups, a message that is increasingly devised, translated and aimed for a Western audience.
Terrorism experts at West Point say there are as many as 100 English language sites offering militant Islamic views, with Mr. Khan’s — which claims 500 regular readers — among the more active. While their reach is difficult to assess, it is clear from a review of extremist material and interviews that militants are seeking to appeal to young American and European Muslims by playing on their anger over the war in Iraq and the image of Islam under attack.
Nothing to suggest that he's breaking any laws? Really? Enemy propaganda is perfectly legal?
Here he is on video.
Over more than fifty years the American military has poured money and weapons into various Muslim states, and built expensive bases in Muslim states, assuming that certain alliances would last.
What has been the result? Along with the British, the Americans poured money and weapons into the ill-fated and essentially worthless CENTO -- with Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq being the recipients of money and weaponry. That whole thing came to a final end with the 1958 coup in Baghdad, in which young King Faisal was killed, and "strongman" (that was the Homeric epithet Time magazine applied to him) Nuri es-Said's mutilated corpse was dragged through the streets of Baghdad. The alliance with those straight-shooting, highly reliable Pakistani generals continued (they were so much more trustworthy than left-wing Nehru and Krishna Menon), and the Pakistani military is essentially the creation of American aid, that sustains it, absurdly, to this day. And American economic aid made possible the development of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. American planes may make possible the delivery of such weapons to others -- either other Muslim states or groups that might use them, or the attempted dropping of such weaponry on an Infidel enemy, India or Israel.
I know that US Captain Jason Coughenour's intentions are good: he wants to be respectful to the Afghanis, and avoid enflaming hair-trigger tensions. But it does seem to me that assuring them that if an American did this, he will be punished, just feeds into the idea that rioting and killing, or starting an "uprising," because of the desecration of a book is a perfectly proportionate and reasonable response.
Would I, then, have them do nothing, and thereby risk an insult to the Afghanis that could cost lives and erode the American position there (whether or not our presence there is really a wise measure for the overall American defense against the global jihad)? No. Maybe there is a third way. Maybe this could be, as they say, a "teachable moment." Maybe this could be an opportunity for the Americans to explain that yes, they understand how the Afghanis revere the Qur'an, and that they have a policy of respecting that reverence -- but that if one individual acts in a way that is not in accord with that policy, it does not harm them, or the Qur'an, or Muhammad, or Allah, and that American good will ought to be readily verifiable all over Afghanistan, in the form of roads, schools, and other gifts of the American presence. And that even if they are insulted, and angered, by this event, if it did occur, to riot and to destroy and to kill in response is not called for, not helpful, not productive.
They could say even more, much more, than that. But they will not even say these things.
THE US military said it would investigate claims that its soldiers had burnt a copy of the Koran in Afghanistan, as angry locals demanded action and threatened retaliation.
Allegations that troops tore up and burnt the Muslim holy book during a raid in the eastern province of Kunar yesterday led several hundred villagers to demonstrate the same day, blocking a main road for hours.
Locals repeated the charges at a heated meeting today in the provincial capital Asadabad of representatives of the US military, Afghan officials and more than a dozen men from the area near the raid site in Narang district.
“You have desecrated our religion,” resident Azim Khan told the US delegation.
“If the perpetrators do not apologise to Afghans and to all the Muslims of the world, and if they are not brought to justice and punished for what they have done, we will stand against you, you will see an uprising,” he said.
US Captain Jason Coughenour said the allegations would be treated seriously.
“We respect your religion,” he said.
“We will launch an investigation and find out who has burnt the Koran. If it has been done by an American, we will punish him.”
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Insurgents in Iraq targeted Shiite Muslims on Sunday -- the second day of the Eid al-Fitr festival -- in separate attacks that left at least 24 dead, Iraqi officials said.
The deadliest attack happened in Samarra, north of Baghdad, where a car bomb detonated near a mosque in the city's center. The explosion was followed by clashes between gunmen and Iraqi security forces, according to Samarra police.
At least 18 were killed -- 10 civilians and eight security officers -- and 37 were wounded in the blast and gunfight in Samarra, police said.
Insurgents on Sunday also bombed a minibus in Baghdad as it carried pilgrims to one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines, killing at least six and wounding nine others -- including women and children -- Iraqi officials said.
It was unclear where the bomb was placed. An Iraqi Interior Ministry official said the device was planted on the bus heading to the Imam Musa al-Kadhim shrine in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district. But the Ministry of Defense said car bomb parked near the bus was behind the blast.
Sunday is the second day of Eid al-Fitr for Shiites, the feast marking the end of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Baghdad bombing happened near Aden Square, where Iraqi security forces had dismantled another parked car bomb earlier Sunday.
Iraqi police found and defused an explosive device in a van parked near an air base in central Baghdad.
The deadly bombing in Samarra was the second this weekend in the Shiite holy city, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Baghdad in Salaheddin province.
The two attacks happened less than a mile (about a kilometer) apart.
"Violence does not resolve the tensions." Indeed not, but the abductors no doubt believe that it pleases their God. From the BBC (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
Pope Benedict XVI has called for the release of two priests kidnapped in Iraq during his prayers on Sunday.
The two clerics of the Syrian-Catholic diocese of Mosul were kidnapped while attending a funeral on Saturday.
Pope Benedict, speaking in Italian outside the Vatican, asked that they "quickly let the two religious men go".
He said the news from Iraq "rattles the consciences of all those for whom the good of the country and peace in the region is held dear".
The pontiff was speaking during his traditional Sunday Angelus blessing to pilgrims and tourists at St Peter's Square in Rome.
"I learned today that two priests from the archdiocese of Mosul were kidnapped and threatened with death," Pope Benedict said.
"I call on the abductors to rapidly liberate the two clerics and I reiterate that violence does not resolve the tensions," he said.
We dhimmis are expected to lie about so much: Islam as a religion of peace, Muslim Spain as a proto-multicultural paradise of tolerance, the Turks as guiltless of genocide. Wouldn't it be refreshing if we started telling the truth about history as well as present-day realities, and let the devil take the hindmost? "Turkish army chief says U.S. ties at risk," by Paul de Bendern for Reuters (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's powerful military chief said on Sunday if the U.S. Congress approved a resolution branding the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide ties between the NATO allies would never be the same again.
Ankara is a crucial ally for Washington, which relies on Turkey as a logistical base for the war in Iraq.
Some analysts believe the vote could weaken Washington's influence over Turkey and increase the likelihood of a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish separatist rebels, who use the territory to stage attacks into Turkey.
"If the resolution that has passed in the U.S. committee is accepted by the assembly of the House of Representatives our military relations with the United States can never be the same again," chief of General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit, told newspaper Milliyet in his first public comments on the issue.
"We could not explain this to Turkish public opinion."...
Ankara recalled its ambassador from the United States for consultations after the U.S. congressional committee vote, which was condemned in predominantly Muslim but secular Turkey.
The non-binding Armenian bill now goes to the floor of the House, where Democrat leaders say there will be a vote next month. The resolution, the culmination of decades of pressure, was proposed by a lawmaker who represents many Armenian-Americans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a long-time supporter of such a move.
Potential retaliatory moves by Turkey could include blocking U.S. access to the Incirlik air base, cancelling procurement contracts, denying airspace to U.S. aircraft and halting joint military exercises, diplomats say.
"I'm the chief of General Staff. I deal with security issues, I'm not a politician ... in this respect the United States has shot itself in the foot," Buyukanit said.
Turkey rejects the Armenian position, backed by many Western historians and some foreign parliaments, that up to 1.5 million Armenians suffered genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks.
A highly instructive incident, where obstacles to Mideast peace are concerned. "Tel Aviv peace concert cancelled," by Etgar Lefkovits for the Jerusalem Post:
A Tel Aviv concert in support of a two-state solution, based on the 1967 lines, has been cancelled, organizers said Sunday.
The move comes just days after a simultaneous concert planned in the West Bank city of Jericho was called off due to security concerns.
The two events, which were scheduled to take place on Thursday, had been planned for over a year by the US-based One Voice organization as part of an international campaign to collect a million signatures in favor of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the 1967 lines.
A spokesman for the Tel Aviv office of the organization was not immediately available for comment.
The group had previously said as late as this weekend that the Tel Aviv concert would take place even after the Jericho event had been cancelled.
"For security reasons we cannot hold the concert at this time," Nisreen Shahin, Executive Director, One Voice Palestine said on Friday.
Shahin added that Palestinian participants had been threatened, and noted that the political situation in the Palestinian territories was too unstable for such an event at this time.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement late Thursday distancing himself from the planned event, and emphasizing that his office had no connection to the concert.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and his son are members of the group's honorary board of advisors, Shahin said.
The Jericho event had previously drawn criticism by a Palestinian terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, for its attempt to normalize ties with Israel.
A Palestinian internet posting had threatened to "wipe out" the Palestinian offices of the organization, a group spokeswoman said.
Here's a chance for peaceful Muslims to stand up and call upon their coreligionists to keep a sense of proportion. However, watch for the predictable reaction. From Agence France Presse (thanks to Sr. Soph):
ASADABAD, Afghanistan, 14 October 2007 — Hundreds of angry villagers demonstrated in eastern Afghanistan yesterday alleging that US troops had burned the Holy Qur’an, a charge the US-led coalition rejected. Residents of Kunar province blocked a road for several hours before parliamentarians, in their home districts for the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, were able to calm the crowd, an AFP reporter said.
The protesters alleged coalition forces had torn and burned a Qur’an copy during an overnight raid in which they had arrested four men. The reporter saw torn pages of the Muslim holy book in the village of Kodu, which is about 20 kilometers south of the provincial capital Asadabad.
The owner of the house where two men were arrested said the soldiers had burst into his house in the early hours of the morning and gone through his books. “They tied up and took two of my sons with them,” the man, Char Gul, said. “They went through our books, spread them on the floor. They tore and set ablaze a Holy Qur’an and they took another Qur’an with them.”
An elder, Haji Mumtaz, said the raid started at midnight and lasted until early morning. “They took them with four people and they desecrated the Holy Qur’an,” he said. The coalition, which is rounding up Taleban and Al-Qaeda militants, confirmed there had been an operation and that four men were detained but rejected the allegations about the Qur’an.
“The coalition force involved in this incident didn’t desecrate any religious articles,” said coalition spokesman Army Maj. Chris Belcher. “We respect all religions and treat the holy articles with the respect they deserve.” Afghanistan is a deeply devout country and allegations of abuse of Islam have in the past touched off protests that have turned deadly.
The Taliban uses South Korean hostage cash to buy weapons. What did the South Koreans think they would buy with it? Cotton candy? Should Western states really be handing jihadists "God-sent" opportunities?
"Taliban use hostage cash to fund UK blitz," by Massoud Ansari in the Telegraph (thanks to Sr.Soph):
Millions of dollars handed over to secure the release of South Korean hostages in Afghanistan have been used to buy weapons deployed against British and American forces in the country, the Taliban claims....
According to Taliban fighters interviewed by The Sunday Telegraph, the money has also been used to train recruits to carry out terrorist attacks in Britain and America.
South Korea has repeatedly denied claims by Afghan officials that it paid cash to secure the release in August of 21 Christian volunteers who were held for nearly six weeks. But in a recent meeting, three Taliban fighters involved in the conflict with the British in Helmand province said that $10 million cash handed over in two instalments had been used to boost operations in Afghanistan and abroad.
"It was a God-sent opportunity," said Mullah Hezbollah, 30. "It has helped us to multiply our stockpile of weapons and explosives to wage battle for at least a year or so."
He said the money had been paid in August, shortly before the Taliban's fugitive spiritual leader, Mullah Omar, ordered Operation Nusrat (victory), an offensive against coalition troops which ran throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which finished last week. During the operation, four British soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan, including Major Roberts.
"We were really concerned when we received orders to launch Operation Nusrat, because we had hardly any funds to buy weapons to carry out such a major offence," said Mullah Hezbollah. Thanks to the ransom payments, however, the operation proceeded with "full vigour"....
Hezbollah, however, gave what appeared to be precise details of the transactions. "They gave us $7 million as a first instalment the day we released 12 hostages, and the remaining money was paid soon after we released the remaining hostages on August 31," he said.
He added that another main source of income was opium produced by poppy farmers in Helmand, thanks to a Taliban fatwa, or holy order. "Our scholars have given a religious decree saying that things which are usually abominable in Islam are permitted to wage jihad against the enemies of Islam," he said.
Funny thing. I have pointed out exactly that. In The Truth About Muhammad, I discuss the phrase "persecution is worse than slaughter" (Qur'an 2:191, 2:217) in historical context (yeah, yeah, I know I'm never supposed to read Qur'an verses in context, but I just can't help myself) as referring to the permissibility of a raid carried out by the Muslims against their enemies during one of the sacred months of the pagan Arab calendar, when fighting was forbidden. The phrase enunciates the principle than since the Muslims were being persecuted, or thought they were, it was all right for them to slaughter the pagans even during the sacred month. Thus a moral principle could be set aside in the interests of jihad.
Of course, this is one of the things that gets me and the book labeled "Islamophobic," but if I'm forcing the interpretation, or making it up out of whole cloth, then where do you think Mullah Hezbollah got this idea? When guys like him and Sheikh Ali Bapir study the Qur'an, don't you think they find in it what you or I or anyone else would also find in it, if we actually read it? Of course there are differing interpretations. There are differing interpretations of any book. But as long as both liberal and conservative analysts persist in ignoring or downplaying the fact that Mullah Hezbollah and Sheikh Ali Bapir and innumerable others who think like them make their case on the basis of the Qur'an and Sunnah, we will be both misdiagnosing the problem and offering the wrong remedies. We need to be calling upon Muslim groups in America to renounce the jihadist interpretations of the Qur'an and Sunnah and to institute comprehensive and transparent programs in American mosques and Islamic schools to teach against those interpretations, even if it means rejecting Qur'anic literalism and the example of Muhammad as normative in certain particulars. And if they refuse, we should evaluate the political aspects of Islam and regard these groups as political organizations, with full and open recognition of their plans for American society.
Instead, we're pretending that this isn't even a problem, and if you think it is, you're a "bigot" and an "Islamophobe." While Mullah Hezbollah goes on his merry way.
His comrade, Mullah Mohibullah, 32, disclosed that some of the ransom funds were being used to train volunteers from Britain and America to carry out attacks in their homelands. "We want to destroy them, the way they have destroyed our country," he said. "Most of these youths are suicide bombers."
The group said that suicide bombers, either in vehicles or wearing explosive-laden vests, were also becoming the Taliban's main weapon against occupying forces in Afghanistan. Up to 3,000 volunteers, they claimed, had signed up for the religious training necessary for martyrdom operations.
"We do not have gunship helicopters, nor do we have B-52s," said Mullah Hameedullah, 48. "We will carry out suicide attacks everywhere in the country, be it by waistcoats, cars or other ways."
Wait a minute, Hameedullah. Sean and Alan will tell you that Islam forbids suicide. Get with the program, man. It's a Religion of Peace.
It's common sense in an age of hijacking terror, but watch for the cries of "Islamophobia."
"Feds want Muslim headwear banned from airports," by Chris Tinkler in The Sunday Telegraph (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
THE Federal Government believes wearing Islamic scarves should be banned at Australian airports, senior government sources have revealed.
Under the radical security proposal, even the most inoffensive Muslim scarf, the hijab, which covers a woman's hair and neck, would be banned, along with several other types.
Security officials are especially concerned by two other very concealing types of scarf, the niqab and the burka....
Yes, they are, but probably not in the way Sheikh Ali Bapir thinks. The main way they're ignorant is that here we have an Iraqi warlord explaining how he studied the Qur'an and Islam, and is ready to wage a war of ideas, while American TV talking heads (both the "liberal" and the "conservative" one) go out of their way to make sure that everyone understands that the equation of Islam and violence is offensive, and that in any case guys like this Sheikh are purveying a "twisted version of Islam." Yet I doubt that Sheikh Ali Bapir, if he were to see this clip, would find it daunting. He knows a lot more about Islam than either Alan Colmes or Sean Hannity, and he is secure in his knowledge that he is following the correct religious path.
Can we meet the ideological challenge he is intending to present, or do anything to counter the influence of his religious appeal to peaceful Muslims, by pretending that his appeal isn't religious at all, or that his appeal is self-evidently false on Islamic grounds and that most Muslims will immediately see it as such? Wouldn't it be more effective to discuss realistically the basis of his appeal within the teachings and traditions of Islam, so as to gauge the strength of that appeal and formulate effective ways to counter it?
"Iraqi warlord's defeat only hardens his resolve," by Borzou Daragahi for the Los Angeles Times (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
IRBIL, Iraq — The Muslim warlord reclines in suburban opulence. He smiles mischievously despite his recent troubles.
Over the last five years, his once heavily armed Kurdish militia has been disbanded, his mountainside base crushed by U.S. cruise missiles, his movement thrown into chaos. He was locked up at Baghdad's notorious Camp Cropper with his former blood enemies, including former President Saddam Hussein.
But Sheik Ali Bapir, the charismatic 46-year-old leader of a Kurdish organization called the Islamic Group, believes he has come through his travails as a winner.
His bestselling memoir has gone into a second printing and has been translated into Arabic. He leads a large political movement with its own satellite channel, news publications, six seats in the Kurdistan regional parliament and a plush compound on the outskirts of this predominantly Kurdish city.
Even his time in prison wasn't a waste.
"I took the occasion to study Islam with my fellow prisoners," he says during a rambling chat with a reporter he first met before the Iraq war. "I held Koranic classes. I succeeded in teaching them to recite the Koran by heart."
Bapir says he remains every bit the warlord. But he now sees himself as a general waging a battle of ideas against secular forces. His 22-month detention without charge, widely chronicled in the Iraqi press, only hardened his resolve against the West and what he calls its hypocrisies.
"According to their own laws as well as Sharia [Islamic law], it's not legal to put someone in jail without any evidence. Yet there I was, though I was never charged with committing any crimes."
He added: "The Americans are very ignorant about us Islamists."
Happy holidays, Taliban-style.
A suicide bomber killed seven people and wounded 29 in Afghanistan Saturday in an attack during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that was similar to scores of others by Taliban extremists.
The attack in the town of Spin Boldak in the southern province of Kandahar came as President Hamid Karzai made a short visit the provincial capital, less than 100 kilometres (60 miles) away.
The bomber was on a motorbike and blew himself up in a crowded part of the town as people were shopping, Kandahar province police chief Sayed Aqa Safed told AFP.
His target appeared to have been two pick-ups filled with policemen parked in the busy street.
By Azadeh Ensha in the Huffington Post via Yahoo!:
The far right is taking its favorite catchphrase on tour. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is coming to a campus near you.
According to FrontPage magazine's David Horowitz, the event was designed to "confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the 'war on terror' and that global warming is a greater danger to Americans than global jihad and Islamic supremacism." The week's events will include "awareness" speeches by Michael Ledeen, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter as well as Horowitz himself. With such a fair and balanced list, Islamo-Fascism Week will be the perfect environment to proselytize anti-Islamic propaganda to the under 30 crowd.
Of course, Robert Spencer and yours truly will also be on hand to rattle the bars of academia. I'll be at Cal Tech, San Luis Obispo on Weds, Oct 24 and maybe Stanford sometime during the week.
The official poster of Islamo-Fascism week shows a photo of a teenage girl being stoned to death in Iran (disclosure: my country of birth) and will also feature speeches from Iranians who were victims of persecution. As an Iranian-American, I appreciate that they're spreading the word about human rights abuses in my native country. Unfortunately, I think their goal has less to do with spreading awareness than it does with fostering fear, suspicion and bigotry.
Islamo-Fascism Awareness week is about telling you that Islam is evil and that Muslims are out to get you. When in fact, some crazy and violent people have hijacked the religion of billions of peaceful people.
This old saw -- and the concomitant absence of supporting evidence. In fact, the speakers for the week hold differing opinions on the question of whether Islam is itself intrinsically violent (me) or whether it has indeed been "hijacked" -- an ironical use of the word if there ever was one.
As part of the festivities, the event will feature a series of one-sided films including Islam: What the West Needs to Know, which extols the worldview of good (Christianity) versus evil (Islam). According to FrontPage, the movie is designed to reveal the "violent, expansionary ideology of the so called 'religion of peace' that seeks the destruction or subjugation of other faiths, cultures, and systems of government."
Something like that. Order yours today!
I haven't posted about this sooner because I agree that "he's playing a game with someone. If he's doing that, he's doing it for the reaction." I have no idea what particular game he's playing, although obviously this is most likely a bid for more lenient treatment within the prison. Highly committed believers don't often discard their faith, but of course, it does happen. "Twentieth hijacker" Zacharias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid are in the same prison; will they now try to kill him for his apostasy?
"Al-Qaeda terrorist 'converts to Christianity,'" from News.com.au (thanks to all who sent this in):
THE mastermind of the first terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Centre claims to have converted from Islam to Christianity.
Ramzi Yousef, a self-proclaimed Muslim extremist with past links to al-Qaeda, plotted with others to blow up the twin towers in lower Manhattan. Six people died in the February 26, 1993, bombing.
Yousef was sentenced to life in prison plus 240 years for the New York bombing and another on a Philippines Airlines plane in 1994 in which a Japanese man died.
A report to be broadcast on 60 Minutes in the US this weekend claims Yousef has now converted to Christianity but the former warden of the supermax prison in Colorado has scoffed at the claims....
Robert Hood, its warden from 2002 to 2005, told 60 Minutes Yousef was a special case.
He never left his cell because he did not want to face the indignity of a strip search required for recreation, he said.
When told that Yousef had begun leaving his cell and now claimed to be a Christian, Mr Hood said: "He's playing a game with someone. If he's doing that, he's doing it for the reaction ... he is the real deal.
As a Muslim, Yousef prayed almost every hour, Mr Hood said.
Sanctioned by Muhammad's example:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).
Oh to be a Muslim in Britain, and to enjoy the fruits of being a protected class! "Army forks out for 95 hijabs," by Tom Newton-Dunn in The Sun:
POLITICALLY correct MoD officials are to issue free hijabs to female Muslim troops — while front line soldiers are having to buy their own kit.
Under new service dress regulations, six of the Islamic hijabs will be given to each Muslim servicewoman wanting them.
But it has sparked fury amid an MoD cash crisis. Squaddies also claim the hand-out is unfair as they pay out of their own pockets to observe strict military dress rules.
The Sun can also reveal that so far, NONE of the ten serving female Muslims even wants to wear hijabs at work.
But MoD officials have ordered a batch of 95 — costing hundreds to the taxpayer — just in case new recruits do.
One serving NCO told The Sun last night: “It’s stupid officials being too PC again, spending money on pointless things rather than on the front line.”...
Earlier this year squaddies in Iraq were forced to buy their own kit.
One dog handler forked out £85 for new boots after his feet were left in agony by ill-fitting kit.
The EU demonstrates again its utter lack of any moral compass. By Tovah Lazaroff for the Jerusalem Post :
The European Union would support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas if he reconciled with Hamas, according to Christina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana.
Speaking to visiting Israeli reporters in Brussels on Thursday, she said the EU, nonetheless, still held firm to its policy not to recognize Hamas until it recognizes Israel.
Gallach said it was up to Abbas to find a way to handle Hamas. "What we tell him [Abbas] is that he is the one we recognize, the one we support," she said. "We work very well with him and [PA] Prime Minister Salaam Fayad."
In the past, Gallach said, the EU found a way to move forward with Fatah when it sat in a government with Hamas, dealing solely with Abbas and some of his Fatah ministers.
Her statements came in response to media reports of possible talks between Hamas and Fatah just one month before the US-sponsored Middle East meeting expected to be held in Annapolis on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"We tell [Abbas] he has to do what he thinks is right," Gallach said. "On this issue, we will not take the lead."
That's for sure. You will be led, and to places that will surprise you.
So says the Imam Samudra, not me. Of course, the learned analysts will say that the Imam Samudra doesn't understand his own religion, which is actually quite easily compatible with democracy. Perhaps that is so, but the learned analysts continue to posit it as an established fact, without ever bothering actually to establish it. Meanwhile, Muslims who agree with the Imam Samudra continue relatively unimpeded to make recruits among peaceful Muslims.
And in the West, the learned analysts don't even allow "Islamic" to be used in conjunction with "terrorism" or "Fascism," as if it is non-Muslim Westerners who have made the equation, when actually it is Muslims who have done so. Watch Steve Emerson shredding Alan Colmes on this very point here.
"Bombers ready to die," from the Sydney Morning Herald (thanks to David):
The three death row Bali bombers say they are ready to die and won't be asking for a presidential pardon.
They also expressed delight at the recent controversy surrounding their impending executions, saying the more pain they cause the greater their reward in heaven.
"I'm very happy especially after hearing that John Howard is very regretful, very angry with us," the so-called smiling assassin, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim said today at the island prison where he is held.
"The more he is angry, the more I will get rewards from god, right?
"The more I make infidels angry, the more I will get my reward, so I'm more relaxed."
Islamic militants Amrozi, his elder brother Ali Ghufron (alias Mukhlas) and Imam Samudra were today briefly let out of their isolation cells at Batu Prison, on the island of Nusakambangan in Central Java, to pray for the holy Islamic day Idul Fitri.
They walked the 100 metres to the prison mosque, At-Taubah, unshackled, in their best robes, to pray with other inmates - murderers, terrorists and drug dealers - for today's holiday which marks the end of the fasting month Ramadan.
But as the one-hour ceremony wound up, the three began shouting "god is great", rallying support from other prisoners, before they were told to stop by the guards.
The trio could face execution within weeks for their roles in the October 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians.
The three key players in the bombings remain unrepentant, although they apologised to Muslim victims of the terrorist attacks, to mark the holy day, in which Muslims traditionally apologise for their wrongs.
"We apologise for the victims of the Bali bombings, but the Muslims," Samudra said.
"The infidels will go to hell anyway."
Samudra said the three were not afraid to die, adding he would prefer beheading.
"Absolutely we are not afraid," he said.
"That's what I've been waiting for ... firstly with execution we will go to heaven and then our wish to see God and the angels is far higher than the wish of the infidels for our death.
"Why would we be scared of death? Even now we are not scared to be executed.
"(US President George) Bush and his allies, you all will go to hell but me and all my friends in the world will go to heaven."
"No, no, no there won't be any clemency because its not Islamic law - that is part of democracy and the law of democracy, and we are totally against democracy."
Jihad for Kids Update. "London bomber twisted Belafonte's `Banana Boat' song to preach jihad to kids," by ANI (thanks to Dendenizen):
London, Oct.12 (ANI): Caribbean singer Harry Belafonte's popular "Banana Boat" song was twisted by terror camp leader Atilla Ahmet to preach jihad to kids at the Jameah Islamic school, near Crowborough in Sussex.
Ahmet, according to the Daily Mail, called it his "Jihad Calypso", and convinced children at the school to sing it along with him at a performance. That performance was later recorded, a court here was told.
The lyrics of the 84-worded song went as follows:
"Come Mr. Taliban, come give me kuffir...my Kalasnikov. Come Mr. Taliban, come bomb England... before the daylight come, you wanna see Ten Downing Street.
Come Mr. Taliban, come implement Shariah. Come Mr. Taliban, come bomb England before the daylight come, Insh'Allah, it will be done.
Hey Mr. Taliban, come kill the dirty kuffir, get rid of the haram, because we want halal.
Hey Mr. Taliban, boom, boom, boom, come bomb England before the daylight come. Insh'Allah, it will be done.
Ahmet, a former preacher at Finsbury Park Mosque, has pleaded guilty to three counts of soliciting murder in connection with a case now being heard at Woolwich Crown Court.
I listened to the Q2 debate once through yesterday morning, and took no notes, but I remember some important details. The resolution, about being unafraid to assert the superiority of Western values, had on one side, supporting the resolution, Ibn Warraq, David Aronovitch, and Douglas Murray, and opposing it, Charles Glass, Tariq Ramadan, and William Dalrymple.
Ibn Warraq opened with a nine-minute non-stop summary of why the values of the West -- a thing different from the present-day West, or parts of it -- are superior to those of the non-West. Once he had finished, it was all over.
What other candidate has ever uttered the word "jihad"? This is not an endorsement -- it is just a plea for a rejection of fantasy-based analysis and fantasy-based policymaking. They should all be discussing the jihad, openly and freely, and what can and must be done about it -- so frequently that this shouldn't even be news at all. The fact that six years after 9/11 I am dumbfounded when a presidential candidate uses the word "jihad" is a measure of the fix we're in. "Romney vows to confront radical jihad," from the Boston Globe (where you can watch the video of his commercial):
Mitt Romney returns to a call for a robust military and intelligence network in his newest TV ad, in a week that he has been on the defensive for saying he would consult lawyers on presidential authority to launch military attacks.
In the ad, which begins airing in Iowa today, Romney says the US must confront radical Islamists and vows to strengthen US intelligence services, add 100,000 members to the military, and stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"It's this century's nightmare, Jihadism –- violent, radical Islamic fundamentalism," Romney says in the spot. "Their goal is to unite the world under a single Jihadist caliphate. To do that, they must collapse freedom-loving nations like us."
He had two Arabic-language letters praising jihad? So what? Everyone knows it's an inner spiritual struggle. "Spanish police foil bomb attack by French Muslim," from the Belfast Telegraph (thanks to all who sent this in):
Spanish police say they have foiled a planned suicide bomb attack by a French Muslim.
The 30-year-old man, who is of Moroccan origin, was stopped at a routine motorway checkpoint on Sunday after crossing the border from France.
His car contained a samurai sword and two butane gas canisters fitted with large fireworks.
The man claimed to be a suicidal jilted lover, but the police say he had two Arabic-language letters praising jihad and saying goodbye to his family.
That would be siding with the occupier. But the Muslim Scholars' Association doesn't seem to have noticed all of Al-Qaeda's Islamic heresies -- you know, the ones that every Western non-Muslim TV talking head knows all about. "We reject their ideas," says Al-Dhari, but that is not quite the same thing as saying that they've betrayed or "hijacked" Islam. Indeed, if he really thought they have done so, it's doubtful he'd be urging cooperation with them. From AFP (thanks to Twostellas):
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Leading Iraqi Sunni cleric Harith al-Dhari has urged Iraqis not to join US forces in fighting al-Qaeda, arguing that by doing so they are siding with the occupier.
"A decision to stand beside the occupying enemy in order to achieve a wish to stay in Iraq under the pretext of destroying al-Qaeda is neither accepted legally nor on patriotic or rational grounds," said Dhari, head of the influential Muslim Scholars' Association.
"We do not accept the acts of al-Qaeda," Dhari said in an interview with Qatari-based television channel al-Jazeera posted Tuesday on the website of the Muslim Scholars' Association, Iraq's main Sunni clerics' organisation.
"We reject their ideas but al-Qaeda remains part of us and we are part of it. Ninety per cent of al-Qaeda members are now Iraqis," he added. "We can talk to them. We can reform them." Dhari is living in exile in Amman.
“Becoming Christians means permanent separation from their families if they must remain alive,” he said. “If they return to their families they would certainly be killed.” Feel the love.
"Nigeria: Muslim Threat To Attack Church Raises Tensions," from Compass Direct:
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, October 10 (Compass Direct News) – Militant Islamists in this city in the northern state of Borno have sent three letters to a church warning that members would be attacked in the next few days, raising tensions where 50 Christians were killed and 57 churches destroyed last year.
Leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria told Compass that the letters were dropped onto the premises of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN), in the Polo Area of Maiduguri, on separate days last week.
Mosque calls to prayer were sounded at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. last night, hours when Muslims do not usually observe prayers, putting police and security agencies on alert. By 6 this morning, police armored tanks were patrolling the streets to thwart any plans to attack Christians.
The Rev. Daniel Mbaya of the Polo Area Church of the Brethren, which has about 3,000 members, had reported the threat to police and Christian leaders. Nigeria’s security agencies and Christian leaders held an emergency meeting yesterday on ways to protect Christians in the event of an Islamic strike on the church.
Most of Muslim converts to Christianity in the city, Mbaya said, have been threatened with death from family members and other Muslims.
“Recently, we had one Muslim convert, Hussaini Mohammed. But, because of the threat to his life, we were forced to take him to another state in order to protect him,” he said. “We also have another convert by the name Musa Mohammed Tukur, who has been disciple and has to be taken into hiding because of the threat on his life.”
Whenever Muslims convert, the church takes them into hiding because it is not possible for them to return to their families, he said.
“Becoming Christians means permanent separation from their families if they must remain alive,” he said. “If they return to their families they would certainly be killed.
“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..." -- Qur'an 16:125
A sampling of the mail I have received in the last few days from one of the people who claim to want to debate me, but shy away when it comes to actually doing so:
...Also, why should anybody debate you? You are a gutter-vermin. You are better off in your kennel. Bring bones to your Puppies and howl and growl. You should be left alone by human beings.
Best and most gracious.
Note to the Turkish government:
1) The Cold War, or at least the First Cold War, is over. It is no longer 1950, or 1960. There is no longer a need for Turkey's help in confronting Russia, which, while it has reverted to unpleasantness and despotism, is not the menace it once was. And Turkey is not quite so important a place for listening-posts and other bases.
2) Turkey was seen, not quite correctly, as a staunch ally against Communism, because, you see, "Islam is a bulwark against Communism." American policymakers liked the Turkish generals, with their stolid soldiers (who fought in Korea). But they failed to realize that they got along so swimmingly with those Turkish generals not because they were such good Muslims (and therefore positively bulwarkish against Communists), but because they were not -- because they were in fact "modern Turks," bearers and preservers and protectors of the Kemalist legacy.
The Turks are irked. Wipe off that smirk. They think we're jerks, for this genocide work. They will sulk and they may cry, and we will know the reason why: we've told the truth about their past, and so their deceptiveness can't last.
"Turkey recalls US ambassador for talks," by C. Onur Ant for Associated Press (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey ordered its ambassador in Washington to return to Turkey for consultations over a U.S. House panel's approval of a bill describing the World War I-era mass killings of Armenians as genocide, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.
The ambassador would stay in Turkey for about a week or 10 days for discussions about the measure, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Bilman.
"We are not withdrawing our ambassador. We have asked him to come to Turkey for some consultations," he said. "The ambassador was given instructions to return and will come at his earliest convenience."...
Wouldn't you be?
FAMILIES of Bali bomb victims have expressed disgust that those behind the attacks have been allowed out of jail to party and pray at a senior policeman's home.
In Bali for today's anniversary of the 2002 bombings, several Australians who lost relatives in the blasts demanded Canberra protest and Jakarta keep the terrorists in jail.
News that the head of Indonesia's anti-terror unit, Surya Dharma, hosted 20 convicted terrorists and released Muslim radicals late last month emerged yesterday, with an Associated Press report and photographs from a journalist who attended the Muslim fast-breaking party.
Guests included Ali Imron and Mubarok, who received life sentences for their roles in the first Bali bombings, which took the lives of 202 people including 88 Australians.
Brigadier-General Dharma said the gathering was part of a strategy to win over terrorists.
"We approach the terrorists with a pure heart," he said. "We are all Muslims. We make them our brothers, not our enemy."
Craig Salvatore, who lost his wife, Kathy, in the attacks described the news of the gathering between police and terrorists as a "slap in the face".
"Indonesia should have a bloody good look at itself," he said.
Yep. It should.
Ashkan Dejagah, the Iranian-born German soccer player who sparked an international controversy for his refusal to play in Israel, has been permanently suspended from the German Under-21 team, Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German Football Association (DFB) announced on Thursday.
In his meeting with Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon, Zwanziger seemingly backtracked from a statement he made earlier in the week in which he supported the Dejagah's right to refuse to play, saying instead that the DBA "will not let this slide; he will be taken care of and suspended."
The decision comes one day after a spokesperson for the German government condemned Delagah's position.
"The interior minister is of the opinion that all members of German soccer teams must agree to play in any nation that Germany has a sports connection with," the spokesperson said. "It is forbidden that political circumstances would influence this."
I hear there's rumors on the, uh, Internets that I am refusing to debate various Islamic spokesmen who have challenged what I've reported here and in my books about the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism.
This is false. I stand by the words I wrote several years ago here: "I would, of course, be happy to debate any scholar about Islam and jihad; this is a standing invitation." In reality, several Islamic apologists have recently approached me with challenges to debate, and I've told them I'm willing to debate them all -- whereupon they all ran as fast as they could in the opposite direction, all the while claiming that I had declined their challenge.
The sticking point in two of these cases was my suggestion that we debate first in print, at FrontPage magazine if they'd be willing to host it -- as they have in the past.
I offered this for two reasons: first because my speaking schedule is quite full for the rest of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, so we wouldn't be able to meet for a face-to-face debate for many months. We could, however, meet in print right away. Also, a print debate tends to lessen the grandstanding, emotional appeals, and playing to the galleries that mar many real-time debates (Dinesh D'Souza, call your office). Readers can evaluate the arguments presented by both sides at their leisure, and the debaters, if they're wise, will supply more evidence for their points than they have a chance to do when speaking within a time limit.
But this was too much for these stalwart champions, even though I also agreed to meet them face-to-face when it could be arranged: because I asked for a print debate, they ran away, all the while accusing me of ducking them -- as is now posted on several Islamic websites. And that made me think that grandstanding, emotional appeals, and playing to the galleries, rather than deal in real evidence, was exactly what they intended to do.
All the more puzzling was the fact that one of the challenges came from an associate of a man who has admitted to me that he thinks an Islamic state should subjugate non-Muslims under the rule of Islamic law, relegating them to an inferior status and collecting the jizya from them. Yet his friend wanted to debate me on this topic (which I suggested): "Do the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the hadith, and the Qur'an teach that Muslims must make war against the People of the Book and subjugate them under the rule of Islamic law, or not?" He would have been arguing against the idea that the Islamic sources teach dhimmitude -- yet his friend had admitted to me that they do teach it.
Similarly, another challenger cheerfully avowed to me that "stoning will remain forever, jihad will remain forever, verses condeming christians and jews and your false faiths will remain forever," but still wanted to debate me. Since I'm routinely vilified for pointing out that these ideas have sanction in the Qur'an and Sunnah, and that peaceful Muslims must acknowledge this and work toward reform, I don't know what this man and I would have to debate about. Usually those who want to debate me want to dispute the contention that Islam contains such teachings -- which is probably why debate challengers have been thin on the ground until recently: it's hard to debate in favor of a manifest falsehood. I guess this man and I could debate whether or not these are positive things, since obviously he believes there are, but I am not going to discuss whether putting people to death by stoning or subjugating them under the rule of an alien and draconian law are good things or not. Anyone with a conscience can see that they are not.
Anyway, I am not going to name or link these people, but if you come across someone saying that I have refused to debate, know that the claim is absolutely false.
Now this is what we need to see: a dhimmi alliance.
"Pope attacks Iran at Jewish Congress," by Ruth Gledhill for the Times (thanks to Fjordman):
The Pope hit out at Iran as he pledged to help world Jewish leaders in their fight against anti-Semitism.
Pope Benedict XVI told leaders of the World Jewish Congress that Iran was “an issue of big concern” to him.
At a meeting at the Vatican, the Pope spoke of his concern about rising anti-Semitism and described how he wanted to use educational tools to counter the hatred of the Iranian leadership towards the Jewish people and Israel.
Maram Stern, secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, said after the audience: “We thanked the Holy Father for everything he did for the Jewish people, and more importantly what he will do.”
Speaking to journalists in Rome, he said the Pope had “recognised the question of Iran as an issue of big concern for him.”
Members of the congress discussed the critical problem of “resurgent anti-Semitism” in Europe. Britain itself has seen a marked rise in anti-Semitism, linked to increasing anti-Zionism and to events in the Middle East.
In a statement after the audience, the congress said members of the delegation “called on the Pontiff to take action against those in the Church who wanted to do damage to the close and positive relationship between Christians and Jews”....
Islamist radicals in Pakistan have attempted to destroy an ancient carving of Buddha by drilling holes in the rock and filling them with dynamite.
The 23ft high image was damaged during the attack, which brought back memories of the Taliban's destruction six years ago of the giant Buddhas at Bamiyan, in neighbouring Afghanistan.
The Buddha, in the Swat district of north-west Pakistan, is thought to date from the seventh century AD and was considered the largest in Asia, after the two Bamiyan Buddhas.
The explosion on Monday night damaged the upper part of the rock.
Pakistani troops have stepped up recent operations against militants in the fertile Swat valley, where thousands of locals are in thrall to Mullah Fazlullah, a rabble-rousing cleric who has called for suicide attacks and holy war. Fazlullah's men have continued to wage an offensive against what they deem 'un-Islamic' activity, last week blowing up dozens of music, video and cosmetics stalls at a market.
Two words: Anger management. "Austrian Man Shoots Colleague, Slices off Penis in 'Honor Killing'," from the Associated Press:
VIENNA, Austria — Austrian authorities said Thursday they arrested an elderly Turkish-born man suspected of fatally shooting a younger Turkish associate and slicing off the victim's penis in what investigators called an "honor killing."
Police in the town of Wimpassing in the province of Lower Austria made the arrest shortly after the Wednesday night slaying, and said the suspect — described only as a 76-year-old native Turk — did not resist.
Officials said witnesses claimed the man allegedly shot the victim, a 58-year-old Turkish-born man, in the street with a shotgun at point-blank range and then cut off his penis with a knife, leaving him to bleed to death.
Two teams of surgeons worked at the scene to save the man but were unable to revive him, authorities said.
Investigators believe the suspect apparently was jealous that the younger man had flirted with his wife, and had sought him out as "a question of honor," said Franz Polzer, head of the region's criminal investigations office.
Honor killings, driven by the view that a family's honor is paramount, are an ancient tradition associated with Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq and Iran as well as tribal areas in Pakistan and some Arab societies.
The suspect initially fled into a nearby house after the slaying, but witnesses alerted police to his location and he walked out and surrendered shortly thereafter, Polzer said.
Police said the man appeared to have purchased the shotgun earlier on Wednesday. They said he had disposed of the knife, but that officers recovered the weapon after searching the area.
It was the first known attack of its kind in Austria, which is home to about 200,000 Turks — Europe's third-largest Turkish expatriate population after Germany and France.
But so-called honor killings have occurred elsewhere in Europe:
— In August, a federal court in Germany ordered a retrial for two brothers acquitted of fatally shooting their sister —an attack that prosecutors said was meant to punish the Turkish-German woman for her Western lifestyle.
— In Britain in July, the father and uncle of an Iraqi Kurd woman who was murdered for falling in love with the wrong man were sentenced to life in prison for ordering the killing.
— In 2006, a Danish court sentenced a Pakistani man to life imprisonment for ordering the slaying of his 19-year-old daughter, who was gunned down two days after her wedding because her family allegedly disapproved of her choice of husband.
And there will undoubtedly be more in Europe and the rest of the West, all the more if countries do not openly and firmly insist on individual rights over and above collective "honor," regardless of the culture or country of origin in question.
Here's a glimpse of what life will be like in Europe in a few decades. From Reuters (thanks to Kemaste):
TEHERAN - Iranian police have warned 122,000 people, mostly women, about flouting strict Islamic dress codes since April and nearly 7,000 of those attended classes on respecting the rules, a newspaper said on Thursday.
Such crackdowns, on the women as well as on men deemed to have haircuts considered too Westernised, are an annual event and usually last a few weeks. But this year’s measures have been longer and more severe than in recent years.
Some government critics see the crackdown as part of broader measures to quash dissent in the media and other areas. Others see it as part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s efforts to revive values from the early days after the 1979 revolution.
“Since the beginning of the crackdown from Ordibehesht (the Iranian month that started in April), 122,000 people have been given a warning for improper dress and 6,947 of them have taken part in guidance classes,” the daily Jomhuri-ye Islami reported.
Some women, particularly in cities during the hot summer months, test the boundaries of the dress codes requiring a woman’s hair to be covered and the shape of her body to disguised by a loose coat by wearing skimpier outfits.
Finding new ways to placate their new masters. "Muslim graves could displace 350,000 bodies," by Ed Harris in the Evening Standard (thanks to Isabella the Crusader):
A third of a million bodies could be dug up from a historic east London cemetery to make way for a new Muslim burial site.
Tower Hamlets council is considering reopening its Cemetery Park in Mile End in response to a long-running campaign for a Muslim graveyard in the area.
The park, off Bow Common Lane, was deconsecrated as a Church of England cemetery by Parliament in 1966, after being deemed full with about 350,000 bodies buried there....
The Rev Alan Green, chairman of the Tower Hamlets Inter-Faith Forum and dean for the borough, has warned of the "emotional, practical and ecological issues of removing thousands of bodies".
You can find a pdf of the letter from the Muslim scholars here. My immediate impression is that while saying it wants to build on common ground, the letter (amid copious Qur'an quotes) never mentions Qur'an 5:17, which says that those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers, or 4:171, which says that Jesus was not crucified, or 9:30, which says that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are accursed, or 9:29, which mandates warfare against and the subjugation of Jews and Christians. It would seem to me that verses like these would need to be addressed in some way, even if only to give them some benign interpretation, if there is to be any true and honest dialogue.
"Pope told 'survival of world' at stake if Muslims and Christians do not make peace," by Ruth Gledhill for The Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
The "survival of the world" is at stake if Muslims and Christians do not make peace with each other, leaders of the Muslim world will warn the Pope and other Christian leaders today.
In an unprecedented open letter signed by 138 leading scholars from every sect of Islam, the Muslims plead with Christian leaders "to come together with us on the common essentials of our two religions" and spell out the similarities between passages of the Bible and the Koran.
The scholars state: "As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them - so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes."
That's from Qur'an 60:8.
The phrasing has echoes of the New Testament passage: "He that is not with me is against me" - a passage used by President George Bush when addressing a joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11.
The Muslims call instead for the emphasis to be on the shared characteristics of world's two largest faiths.
The letter, addressed to Pope Benedict XVI, to the Orthodox Church's Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew 1 and all the other Orthodox Patriarchs and to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and the leaders of all other Protestant churches worldwide, will be rolled out around the world this morning in a series of press conferences beginning in Jordan. It is supported by the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres.
It is expected to be followed by a joint conference between Muslim and Christian world leaders at on "neutral" ground, such as at a university in America.
"Finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a matter for polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders," the Muslim scholars say, noting that Christians and Muslims make up over a third and a fifth of humanity respectively.
"Together they make up more than 55 per cent of the population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace."
The Muslims even quote passages verbatim from the Bible, extremely rare in a publication of this kind and at this level and an indication of their resolve to bring the two faiths together and end the present tensions between them.
The letter continues: "With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world's inhabitants. Thus our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake."
It says: "And to those who nevertheless relish conflict and destruction for their own sake or reckon that ultimately they stand to gain through them, we say that our very eternal souls are all also at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony."
Concluding with a quote from the Koran, the scholars say: "So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works."
Terrific. But this can only truly proceed with full openness and honesty on both sides.
The letter is being sent out today by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman, Jordan.
The first reaction to the letter, from the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, a leading Anglican expert on Islam, appeared to be critical.
Dr Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan, welcomed the Muslim scholars' deisire for a dialogue, but said that the appeal was based on the Muslim belief in the oneness of God.
"What I would say to that is that Christians uphold belief in one God vigorously but our understanding of the oneness of God is not the Muslim understanding," he told The Times. "We believe in God as source from whom everything is brought into being. Jesus is God's word and presence for us but is also human."
He added: "One partner cannot dictate the terms on which dialogue must be conducted. This document seems to be on the verge of doing that."...
New York's iconic Empire State Building is to be lit up green from Friday in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid, the biggest festival in the Muslim calendar marking the end of Ramadan, officials said.
"This is the first time that the Empire State Building will be illuminated for Eid, and the lighting will become an annual event in the same tradition of the yearly lightings for Christmas and Hannukah," according to a statement. -– from this news article
Et Tu, Empire State Building?
It is not going green to express the sympathy of well-off skyward-thrusting scrapers lording it over the less fortunate -- the trees, the rivers and brooks, the meadows – everywhere. Instead, the Empire State Building is going green to express sympathy or solidarity or respect or some goddam thing like that for Islam, wonderful Islam, some of whose most sincere adherents just a few years ago laid low a whole group of fellow skyscrapers, and murdered 3,000 Americans while they were at their desks, on their phones, in the conference room, sipping a quick cup of coffee, or merely shooting the breeze, or flirting or perhaps even giving a co-worker a furtive glance, or a furtive kiss, or showing pictures to a sympathetic supervisor of their daughter's wedding or their son's camping trip with the Boy Scouts.
The Empire State Building, green for Islam?
There are all sorts of problems with this, problems of the too-numerous-to-mention variety.
Dhimmi Britannia Update: "Airport supervisor suspended for hanging picture of Jesus on staffroom wall," from the Daily Mail (thanks to Doctor Bulldog):
A senior airport supervisor was suspended from his job after he hung a picture of Jesus on a staffroom wall.
Gareth Langmead was escorted from Manchester Airport and suspended from his job after a Muslim colleague complained about the image.
The supervisor found the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - the subject of devotion by many Catholics - in a desk draw while cleaning out an office, and hung it on the wall
Mr Langmead, a 40-year-old Catholic, decided not to throw the picture away but to put it on the wall of the staffroom.
But just days later the team leader in the car parks department at the airport was escorted off the site and suspended from his job....
"We approach the terrorists with a pure heart.''
A Which Side Are You On Update from Indonesia: "Bali bombers party with top cop," from News.com.au (thanks to all who sent this in):
CONVICTED Bali nightclub bombers have feasted on kebabs with Indonesia's anti-terrorism chief at an evening party held at his house.
The party, which brought together more than 20 Muslim hardliners and former terrorists who have shown "regret" for their actions, was the latest "soft" strategy in Indonesia's anti-terror campaign to try and turn former militants into informers, or advocates of religious moderation.
"We approach the terrorists with a pure heart,'' Brigadier General Surya Dharma, the head of Indonesia's anti-terror unit and host of the party, told Associated Press.
"We are all Muslims. We make them our brothers, not our enemy."
Islam's Trojan Horse is also to be seen in the Pentagon. There are within it American generals who have their Muslim aides. There are Saudi generals -- you know, the kind who have never held a rifle in their lives, but are connected to the Al-Saud and thus to the arms buying that is the only way, or the easiest way, the Americans can think of to recycle those petrodollars.
The Trojan Horse can be seen in Congress, where Ellison (of Minnesota) and Meeks (of New York) and Eddie Johnson (of Texas) introduced and got passed a resolution to get the members of Congress to "commend" the world's "1.5 billion" (!) Muslims for their celebration of Ramadan, phrasing the thing so that some Congressmen, if it came to a vote (it is now in committee) would undoubtedly simply sign it, thinking its easier to do so rather than not, and of course what's the harm in praising, they will think, the "celebration of Ramadan"?
That Chapel Hill Muslim, Taheri-Azar, the one who tried to run down and murder fellow students standing in The Pit, within walking distance of Silent Sam, now is attempting to plead insanity.
But he left handwritten pages showing that he was anything but insane, and holds, as he so proudly quoted the Cartesian phrase, "clear and distinct ideas." That was possibly the only thing he did remember about Descartes from the Intro. to Western Phil. he must have taken as an undergraduate. His handwritten nonsense does not show insanity. It shows a Muslim Believer who takes his Islam seriously, and who is prepared to act on it. There is not one thing in those handwritten notes that he was so proud of -- they can be found online, possibly in the Archives of this very website -- that would be taken as insanity by, say, "Mike" (Maher) Hawash, or John Walker Lindh, or Richard Reid, or, for that matter, Sheikh al-Azhar (that is, the head of Al-Azhar), or Al-Qaradawi, or any Muslim cleric anywhere.
Here's one for the moral equivalence, All-Religious-Traditions-Could-Give-Rise-to-Terrorism crowd: a convert from Islam to Judaism who was aiding the jihad! But you have to read way down in this article before discovering that Ben David "apparently" returned to Islam.
"Palestinian-born Jewish convert convicted of aiding Islamic Jihad," by Fadi Eyadat for Haaretz (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Haifa District Court convicted Asaf Ben David, a Palestinian who converted to Judaism, of contact with a foreign agent and conspiring to aid the enemy.
The 39-year-old Ben David (originally Hussam Sawatmeh) was convicted of trying to help his brother Salah, an activist in Islamic Jihad, attain nitric acid for the purpose of preparing explosives.
Ben David was born in the West Bank town of Kfar Tuba. However, after converting to Judaism he married a Jewish woman and moved to the Haifa area. The youngest of his four children is currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
According to the court's ruling, Ben David was in contact with his brother regarding the supply of nitric acid between October 2006 and until his brother's death in December of 2006. Following his brother's death, Ben David apparently returned to Islam.
According to the verdict, while mourning his brother's death Ben David lamented the fact that he did not have a chance to supply him with the acid before he died....
GOP presidential candidate John McCain says America is better off with a Christian President and he doesn't want a Muslim in the Oval Office.
"I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it," he said. "But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith." -- from this news article
McCain is an innocent. Physically tough, able to withstand years of imprisonment, refusing to collaborate in any way with his North Vietnamese captors, he apparently is not tough enough to sit down and read, and begin to think clearly, about the tenets and attitudes and atmospherics of Islam. These can only begin to be understood after one has thoroughly familiarized oneself with the Qur'an (read with an understanding of naskh, and with the ability to discern that even such seemingly innocent phrases as "fi sabil Allah" -- "in the path of Allah" --- are only superficially similar to such Christian phrases as "walk in the way of the Lord," because the "way of Allah" is quite different). McCain should spend just a few weekends reading The Dhimmi and Islam and Dhimmitude and Onward Muslim Soldiers and The Truth About Muhammad and Why I Am Not a Muslim and The Legacy of Jihad and Infidel and Ibn Warraq's essay comparing "Islam and Fascism."
He should permit himself what may seem to some to be a luxury but is in fact a necessity -- the time to study Islam, and not through the medium of the small army of apologists, both Muslim and non-Muslim. And here the dozens of Western scholars of Islam, their texts preserved and reprinted, will stand him in good stead, so that he need not repair to, need not rely on, and need not trust the eager to please, smiling, outwardly plausible, members of MESA Nostra, beginning with the espositos and the ernsts, and ending with the dabashis and the safis and the massads and tutti quanti.
No, it wasn't Hillary or Romney who said that. It was Ala Senakreh, chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank.
Saying Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani "doesn't deserve to live," Palestinian terror leaders are threatening to harm the former New York mayor for his hawkish stance toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for his previous treatment of late-PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
"If I had the occasion to meet him (Giuliani), I would hurt him," said Ramadan Adassi, chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group in the West Bank's Anskar refugee camp. "For the sake of the American people, Giuliani shouldn't be elected. He is a disgusting guy and I think Americans must think very hard about their future and their soldiers who will be killed when they come to elect their leaders."
Adassi was one of several terrorist leaders quoted threatening Giuliani in the new book, "Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!," by author and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein.
Klein asked dozens of senior terrorists from several groups to sound off on U.S. politics and whom they prefer to see in the White House.
Multiple leaders of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades had harsh words for Giuliani, who in 1995 famously booted Arafat from an invitation-only concert at New York's Lincoln Center celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.
Arafat attempted to crash the event, and when Giuliani saw the PLO leader and his entourage making their way to a private box seat near the stage, the mayor immediately ordered Arafat off the premises, calling him a murderer and a terrorist.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization, was founded by Arafat. The Brigades, together with the Islamic Jihad terror group, took responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years and for hundreds of shootings and rocket attacks.
Giuliani 'doesn't deserve to live'
Ala Senakreh, chief of the Brigades in the West Bank, is quoted in "Schmoozing" stating Giuliani "doesn't deserve to live or even to be mentioned."
"He wants war and he will most probably receive war. He hates Palestinians and we hate him. He hates Arafat and I tell him that it is Arafat who brought us to be very close to our independent state after decades during which Israel and your government did everything in order to prevent us from having our state," Senakreh stated.
...breeding jihadists out of the dead land, mixing takfir and desire, stirring dull munafiqun with spring rain.
"‘Lyrical terrorist’ stored a library of hate, court told," by Adam Fresco for the Times (thanks to Watling):
A worker at Heathrow airport who called herself the “lyrical terrorist” wrote a poem entitled How to Behead and another on martyrdom, a court was told yesterday.
Police discovered the poems and a library of documents relating to terrorism in Samina Malik’s bedroom in Southall, West London. One document in her handwriting read: “The desire within me increases every day to go for martyrdom, the need to go increases second by second.”
Jonathan Sharp, for the prosecution, told the Old Bailey that Ms Malik, 23, liked to be known as the “lyrical terrorist” or “a stranger awaiting martyrdom”. He said: “She is a committed Islamic extremist, who supports terrorism and terrorists. She had a library of material that she had collected for terrorist purposes.”
Ms Malik, who is British born, was arrested in October last year after an e-mail that she had sent was found on another person’s computer. When her bedroom was searched police found a ringbinder full of documents that included poems and a list of weapons, Mr Sharp said. He added that Ms Malik had joined an extremist organisation called Jihad Way, which was set up explicitly to disseminate terrorist propaganda and support for al-Qaeda....
Let us go then, you and I
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a kuffar beheaded upon a table...
Freedom of expression and hair-trigger self-righteous outrage do not mix. Western campuses that value the former concept should take note. "Hyd teacher's anti-Islam remarks sparks debate," from IBNLive:
Hyderabad: There was unrest in the streets of Hyderabad on Wednesday after a college teacher allegedly made anti-Islamic remarks.
The students of Narayana College protested against the remarks made by their Vice Principal, Naresh Reddy.
“The Vice principal said that Islam is useless also that 25 per cent of Islam is useless. He spoke against Islam. He cannot say anything religious. This is the second time he has said this,” says a student, Narayana College, Shahabuddin.
Police say Reddy made the comments while pulling up two students for coming late to college after offering namaz.
The angry students reacted by pelting stones at the college And local Islamic groups were quick to step in support of the students.
“Their job is to teach, why are they speaking against Islam. We do not compromise with people who speak against Islam,” says MIM leader, Afsar Khan.
The protestors even forced shopkeepers in the area to down shutters. A battalion of the Rapid Action Force had to be deployed and normalcy was restored only after the college management suspended vice principal Reddy.
This is the second incident when a teacher has landed in trouble for making alleged remarks on Islam.
The government has chosen to maintain a stoic silence at least till the festive season is over, but what is troubling is the ease with which students are agitated and choose to go on a rampage.
It sure is, isn't it?
They seem to be the ones calling the shots in classrooms.
The problem with this is the unexamined assumption that Islam is exactly the same kind of thing as Judaism and Christianity, and must be welcomed into the United States with no examination of the ready-made societal alternative that it offers, and which some Muslims have made clear that they are determined ultimately not just to offer but to impose upon the West. In light of the dim view that some Muslims have of Western holidays, can we expect that in an Islamic New York, as some would like to see exist someday, the building will still be lit up for Christmas and Hanukkah?
Another unexamined assumption is that most Muslims abhor what happened on 9/11, and so this is no insult to the memory of those who died on that day. But I can't help but think how nice it would have been to light up the World Trade Center towers also.
From AFP (thanks to all who sent this in):
New York's iconic Empire State Building is to be lit up green from Friday in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid, the biggest festival in the Muslim calendar marking the end of Ramadan, officials said.
"This is the first time that the Empire State Building will be illuminated for Eid, and the lighting will become an annual event in the same tradition of the yearly lightings for Christmas and Hannukah," according to a statement.
Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month, is expected to be celebrated in New York from Friday, depending on when the new moon is sighted, and the city's tallest skyscraper will remain green until Sunday....
An estimated seven million Muslims live in the United States.
Estimated by the American Muslim advocacy groups, that is. The Pew Research Center found 2.3 million.
"This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings." Evidently kowtowing to the Turks is the right response. By Tabassum Zakaria for Reuters (thanks to Stlreader):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Wednesday urged U.S. lawmakers to reject a congressional resolution calling the 1915 massacres of Armenians genocide, saying it would do "great harm" to U.S. relations with Turkey.
"This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings," Bush told reporters at the White House.
The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee is to consider the Armenian genocide resolution later on Wednesday. If it passes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a longtime supporter of the measure, could then decide to bring it before the full House for a vote.
Friend and Ally Update. What status do these "three individuals based in Saudi Arabia" enjoy within the Kingdom? Have they been investigated or arrested by the Saudi government? Did the House of Saud cooperate in the Treasury Department's investigation?
"Treasury Designates Three Key Terrorist Financiers," from the Treasury Department (thanks to Sr. Soph):
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) three individuals based in Saudi Arabia who have served as significant sources of financial and other support to individuals and entities in Southeast Asia previously named as SDGTs and listed pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1267.
"These three terrorist financiers were instrumental in raising money to fund terrorism outside of Saudi Arabia," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. "In order to deter other would-be donors, it is important to hold these terrorists publicly accountable."
Abdul Rahim Al-Talhi, Muhammad `Abdallah Salih Sughayr, and Fahd Muhammad `Abd Al-`Aziz Al-Khashiban were designated for providing support to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), an al Qaida-affiliated terrorist group responsible for multiple bombings, kidnappings and other terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia.
Today's action was taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224. E.O. 13224 is aimed at financially isolating terrorists and their support networks. Designations made under this authority freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit transactions by U.S. persons with the designees. This action under E.O. 13224 also implements yesterday's decision by the UN 1267 Committee to include these three persons on its Consolidated List of persons and entities associated with al Qaida, the Taliban, or Usama bin Laden. This UN decision obligates UN member countries around the world to freeze the assets of the designees.
The complete Ayaan Hirsi Ali interview, about which I wrote briefly here, is up at Reason. Read it all, but one thing that particularly caught my eye was her response to a charge that is frequently levelled at me also: that if we speak about the elements of Islam that give rise to violence, we will drive peaceful Muslims into the arms of the jihadists.
Reason: Are you concerned about the efficacy of your message? Do you worry that, at least in the short term, you have exacerbated the miserable treatment of women under much of mainstream Islam by prompting moderate Muslims to turn inward to their religion because they really don’t want to follow the path of the apostate Hirsi Ali?
Hirsi Ali: Young men now want to become terrorists in response to something I’ve written, that sort of thing? I don’t think that is the case. If we continue that reasoning, we’ll never scrutinize anything. Can we ever write? Can we ever criticize anything?
Reason: Tolerance is probably the most powerful word there is in the Netherlands. No other word encapsulates better what the Dutch believe really defines them. That makes it very easy for people to say that when they’re being criticized, they’re not being tolerated—and from there it’s only a small step to saying they’re being discriminated against or they’re the victims of Islamophobia or racism or what have you.
Hirsi Ali: We have to revert to the original meaning of the term tolerance. It meant you agreed to disagree without violence. It meant critical self-reflection. It meant not tolerating the intolerant. It also came to mean a very high level of personal freedom.
Then the Muslims arrived, and they hadn’t grown up with that understanding of tolerance. In short order, tolerance was now defined by multiculturalism, the idea that all cultures and religions are equal. Expectations were created among the Muslim population. They were told they could preserve their own culture, their own religion. The vocabulary was quickly established that if you criticize someone of color, you’re a racist, and if you criticize Islam, you’re an Islamophobe.
Reason: The international corollary to the word tolerance is probably respect. The alleged lack of respect has become a perennial sore spot in relations between the West and Islam. Salman Rushdie receiving a British knighthood supposedly signified such a lack of respect, as did the Danish cartoons last year, and many other things. Do you believe this is what Muslims genuinely crave—respect?
Hirsi Ali: It’s not about respect. It’s about power, and Islam is a political movement.
Reason: Uniquely so?
Hirsi Ali: Well, it hasn’t been tamed like Christianity. See, the Christian powers have accepted the separation of the worldly and the divine. We don’t interfere with their religion, and they don’t interfere with the state. That hasn’t happened in Islam.
But I don’t even think that the trouble is Islam. The trouble is the West, because in the West there’s this notion that we are invincible and that everyone will modernize anyway, and that what we are seeing now in Muslim countries is a craving for respect. Or it’s poverty, or it’s caused by colonization.
The Western mind-set—that if we respect them, they’re going to respect us, that if we indulge and appease and condone and so on, the problem will go away—is delusional. The problem is not going to go away. Confront it, or it’s only going to get bigger.
Some serious Inner Spiritual Struggle training going on in the UK: "Terror suspect: 'I'm Osama bin London....and I've got a bomb,'" from the Daily Mail :
A muslim organised terrorist training camps which were attended by members of the failed 21/7 plot to blow up the Tube network, a court heard today.
Mohammed Hamid was arrested at a stall in Oxford Street with Muktar Said Ibrahim, the self-styled "Emir" of the bombing plot, the jury was told.
Hamid told police he was "Osama bin London" adding, "I've got a bomb and I'm going to blow you all up." He was among five defendants who went on trial today at Woolwich crown court on terrorist charges.
For the first time it can be revealed that the man described as Hamid's "partner in terrorist conversions" has admitted soliciting murder in the training camps across the UK. A court order was lifted today to allow reporting of Atilla Ahmet's guilty pleas last month at the Old Bailey to three counts of encouraging others to commit murder.
David Farrell, prosecuting, told the jury that Hamid had been involved in radicalising Muslim youths for two years.
The terrorist training took the form of camping and paint-balling trips in Sussex and the New Forest but had a serious intent, the court heard. They were designed to "foster within the participants that they were training for 'Jihad' against the 'Kuffir', or nonbelievers".
The prosecutor added: "To put it another way, their statements and actions resulted in the encouragement, direct and indirect, of the commission of acts of terrorism.
"As you will hear, a number of young men who attended camps organised by Hamid were in fact involved in attempts to kill and seriously injure passengers on the London transport network on 21 July 2005."
"He was no longer capable of being their father because he had become a Christian." From Compass Direct:
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, October 9 (Compass Direct News) – It has been more than a year since Allabe Kaku Chibok lost his three daughters because he became a Christian – paradoxically, he lost custody of them only after his ex-wife died.
An Islamic court in this city in the northern state of Borno granted custody to Chibok’s wife’s Muslim relatives after a chain of events that began in November 2004, when he allowed his daughters to attend the funeral service of their mother; she had divorced him when he left Islam.
The girls stayed for a week with Muslim relatives at his former wife’s house, but when Chibok arrived there to take them to school, he found that a retired female police officer, Hajiya Maryam Aliyu, had helped his ex-wife’s Muslim relatives abduct them.
Not knowing the whereabouts of his Christian daughters, Chibok on December 8, 2004 petitioned the Borno State police commissioner, asking that his three daughters be found and rescued from Aliyu.
Chibok, now 50, had kept custody of the children after Malama Botul Grema divorced him in 1996, and when she remarried in 2000 he had maintained custody of Zara, now 14, Fati, now 12, and 11-year-old Aisha.
A member of the Church of Christ in Nigeria in the Gambaru area of Maiduguri, Chibok told the police commissioner that his efforts to rescue the girls had met with the blunt assertion that he was no longer capable of being their father because he had become a Christian.
An all too familiar trend emerges in the "peaceful and tolerant" Maldives. "Soldiers storm Maldives mosque," from The Guardian:
More than 50 people have been arrested after hundreds of soldiers besieged a makeshift mosque on one of the small islands that make up the Maldives, it emerged yesterday.
Security forces stormed the Dhar-ul-Khair mosque on Himandhoo island, after a policeman had been captured by "70 masked men" carrying swords and iron rods. In the ensuing battle one soldier suffered head injuries and a policeman lost his hand.
The showdown comes just a week after tourists, including a British couple, were caught in a bomb blast on the capital island Male. Himandhoo is one of the 1,190 islands that make up the tourist paradise of the Maldives and lies 50 miles from Male.
Government officials sa