"What a Shame on You so called ‘Humans,’" begins a hectoring message from the hackers who have taken over themoviefitna.com.
Well, I guess that proves it: Islam is a religion of peace!
"What a Shame on You so called ‘Humans,’" begins a hectoring message from the hackers who have taken over themoviefitna.com.
Well, I guess that proves it: Islam is a religion of peace!
Here is open bloodlust and Islamic supremacism, in a film produced by Muslims for Muslims -- indeed, for Muslim children. Will the OIC denounce this film? Will Ban Ki-Moon and Louise Arbour?
If not, why not?
Why exactly is Fitna worse than this?
"Child Stabs President Bush to Death and Turns the White House into a Mosque in a Hamas TV Puppet Show," from MEMRITV (thanks to all who sent this in):
Following is an excerpt from a puppet show, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on March 30, 2008.
Bush: Who are you? What brings you to my home? How did they let you in, boy? My guards! My soldiers! Get this boy out of here.
Child: Nobody will take me out of here.
Bush: Who are you to come here and threaten me?! You are on my own turf, you little child, you! Get out. My dear, bring your father, your grandfather, or your mother, so I can talk to them. Get somebody older and smarter than you. What, you came here on your own?
Child: You killed daddy in the Iraq war. It's true, you killed him in the Iraq war. As for my mom – you and the criminal Zionists killed her in Lebanon. You and the criminal Zionists also killed my younger and older brothers in the Gaza holocaust. I'm an orphan, you criminal!
Bush: What are you talking about? Where did you come from? Don't I have enough troubles already? Where did you come from?
Child: I have come to take revenge with this sword – revenge for my mother and my sisters. You are a criminal, Bush! You are despicable. You made me an orphan! You took everything from me, Bush! I must take revenge on you, with this sword of Islam, the Prophet's Al-Battar sword.
Bush: No... No, my dear. I give you my word that this is it. I repent, just don't kill me. Where are my guards? Where are my people? Help! Help! He wants to kill me. Help!
Child: There are no guards, and your people have surrendered, Bush. I have not come alone, Bush. I have brought thousands of thousands of children from Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. You have denied all these children their fathers and mothers. That's why I have come to take revenge on you and on all the criminal traitors who collaborated with you.
Bush: Okay, fine, that's enough. I will give you whatever you want from me.
Child: What can you give me? All I want is one thing. Bring back my father and mother. I don't want anything from you. I don't want anything from you, just bring back my father and mother. I place my trust in Allah. I need to kill you.
Bush: No, my dear. Enough. I will give you anything you want. I also... Enough with that. Come with all your friends to the White House. I will give you food and toys. We will sit in the White House and talk. You will get whatever you need.
Child: You are impure, Bush, so you are not allowed inside the White House.
Bush: What are you saying?! Why am I not allowed into the White House?
Child: Because it has been turned into a great mosque for the nation of Islam. I will kill you just like Mu'az killed Abu Lahab. I will kill you, Bush, because that is your fate.
Child stabs Bush repeatedly
Child: Ahhh, I killed him.
Abu Lahab is Muhammad's uncle, cursed in Qur'an 111.
But no, they have never taken this kind of action, never expressed this kind of indignation, against the violent Muslims depicted in the film.
"Islamic countries want Dutch to ban Wilders movie," by Sebastiaan Gottlieb for Radio Netherlands:
The ambassadors of 26 Islamic countries want the Netherlands to investigate whether the film Fitna made by Dutch right-wing populist MP Geert Wilders can be banned. They asked Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen whether it is possible to start legal proceedings against the anti-Islam film. The meeting at the ministry in The Hague was attended by ambassadors of countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Mr Verhagen told the 26 ambassadors he was pleased that responses from the Muslim world up to now had been moderate. He said the public prosecutor was investigating whether any offence had been committed, and the Dutch government clearly distanced itself from the film.
At the same time he called on the ambassadors to ensure Dutch citizens and organisations abroad were protected. "Let's keep heads cool and relations warm," he added. "We know about the concerns and feelings about this film among the international Muslim community, but hurt feelings must never be an excuse for aggression and threats."
Score one for freedom.
In an effort to calm things down, doncha know.
Death Of Free Speech Update: "Dutch minister tries to calm Muslims over 'anti-Koran' film," from RIA Novosti (thanks to Twostellas):
THE HAGUE, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - The Dutch prosecutor's office is preparing to take legal action against the maker of an 'anti-Koran' film in an attempt to ease tensions over the film's release, the Dutch foreign minister said on Monday.
Maxime Verhagen told ambassadors from 26 Muslim that he was happy with the relatively calm reaction he had witnessed since the short film was posted on sites Thursday by Dutch MP Geert Wilders, adding that the film in no way reflected the religious views of the Dutch government.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that "Russia... fully condemns the showing of the film and considers it a provocation," warning of negative consequences similar to those that occurred, following the notorious Danish 'cartoon' episode in 2006....
I just completed a phone interview with a FoxNews reporter (whom I will not name at this point) about Fitna. It was a bit strange that I gave long replies to his questions and then only heard him typing very briefly as I was speaking, but maybe he is a fast typist. In any case, I will be watching closely for misquotes, half-quotes, distortions, etc. -- I've had plenty of experience of this from reporters in the past.
But in the course of the conversation he told me that LiveLeak had put Fitna back up. However, searching around LiveLeak just now, I can't find it. That means nothing, since I am generally hopeless with computer issues, but does anyone know anything about this? Is the film back up at LiveLeak?
UPDATE: It's true. See here.
SECOND UPDATE: I apologize for being over-suspicious, although given what I've seen reporters do in the past, I don't think the suspicions were completely groundless. In any case, here is the article (thanks to all who sent this in), and it is generally OK -- I am not misquoted.
Registering an objection to the education of girls. "Security forces find 58 bodies in Kohat: Girls’ primary school attacked in Darra," from the Daily Times (thanks to Twostellas):
...School attacked: Meanwhile, militants blew up the gate of a girls’ primary school in the semi-tribal Darra Adam Khel area late on Saturday, a Daily Times staff report quoted local sources as saying.
They said that the explosives were planted at the school’s gate and exploded at around 11pm on Saturday, damaging it. However, the school building remained safe and no causalities were reported.
Militants also blew up a checkpost near Tandi Kalai late on Saturday. The checkpost was unoccupied at the time.
Security forces also defused two bombs in the Sherakai area, which appeared intended to blow up a bridge.
"Geert Wilders is a Christian terrorist" -- here again is the equation of the depiction of violent acts by Muslims with the commission of those acts.
"Muslim hardliners in Indonesia rally over Dutch film," from Reuters (thanks to Chris):
JAKARTA (Reuters) - About 50 members of a hardline Indonesian Muslim group held a rowdy protest outside the Dutch embassy on Monday, calling for the death of a Dutch lawmaker behind a film accusing the Koran of inciting violence.
Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party in the Netherlands, launched his short video on the Internet last week, drawing condemnation from Muslim nations.
Dozens of police, with two water cannon at the ready, did not intervene during the protest by white-clad members of the Islamic Defenders' Front, some of whom hurled eggs and plastic water bottles into the compound of the Dutch embassy in Jakarta.
"I call on Muslims around the world, if you run into the maker of the film, kill him," said one of the speakers at the rally, Awit Mashuri.
"Geert Wilders is a Christian terrorist," declared a placard held up by a protester. "Kill Geert Wilders," read another....
As I noted yesterday, the reactions of Muslim moderates to Fitna are illuminating in many ways. And so here is another, "The real Fitna," by the English convert to Islam Yusuf Smith ("Indigo Jo") at his blog (thanks to Jihad Watch reader Esther):
The flaws are not hard to spot. This is basically Jihad Watch or Little Green Footballs as a film, and is not intended to try and convince anyone not of that mindset.
Interesting. I didn't know that Yusuf Smith was a confidant of Geert Wilders. But how otherwise could he know what the film was "intended" to do?
For a start, only a small minority interpret the verses Wilders cites to justify the acts depicted; the majority of Muslims in the world simply do not behave like this and mainstream scholars reject such interpretations.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the majority of Muslims in the world simply do not behave like jihad terrorists. But how many of them actually and actively disapprove of those jihadist deeds? How many are working against the spread of the jihad ideology within Muslim communities?
And who are the "mainstream scholars" to which Yusuf Smith refers? Ali Eteraz offered a list of Muslims condemning terrorism that included Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has endorsed suicide attacks against Israeli civilians; Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, who has also endorsed such attacks; Mohamed Elmasry, who has limited the legitimacy of such attacks to Israelis over the age of 18; CAIR, which has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case and has had several of its officials convicted on various terror-related charges; and Siraj Wahhaj, who testified as a character witness for the jihadist Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
Can Yusuf Smith do better than that? Or must we resign ourselves to the proposition that Muslims who condemn terrorism may be involved with it themselves, or approving of it in other contexts?
The context of the verses' revelation is simply not discussed in this film (there are no words, other than those written on the screen or those spoken by people in the footage). There are shots of demonstrations in London with offensive banners (behead those who insult Islam, etc) and similar shouted slogans, but the fact is that these demonstrations were tiny, organised by a well-known and disliked small group of Muslims, and widely condemned within the community.
Great. How nice. The demonstrations were condemned. Were the sentiments condemned?
Let's remember, after all, that Yusuf Smith is the gentleman with whom I had a memorable exchange here a few years ago. I said: "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."
Yusuf Smith responded: "So, you would like to see us ditch much of our religion and, thereby, become non-Muslims."
In other words, he saw a call for equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, including freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, and equal employment opportunities, as a challenge to his religion. This makes me wonder whether his quibble with Fitna here is with the positions the demonstrators espoused, or simply with the demonstrators themselves.
In the "under the spell" section, the future of various groups such as women, children and gays are speculated on, and in the section on women there are images of girls who have just undergone genital mutilation, which most Muslims do not practise.
In short, it is a montage of the most violent stereotypes of Muslims.
But of course, women do undergo genital mutilation, by the millions, in countries in which the practise is justified by reference to Islam. Is it then simply a "stereotype" to call for an end to this barbarity? Should Yusuf Smith be directing his indignation toward Muslims who justify genital mutilation on Islamic grounds rather than against Geert Wilders, who is simply noting that some Muslims do this?
Here is another article I wrote on Fitna: "Geert Wilders' 'Fitna': Insightful and Inciteful," the featured piece at Human Events today:
Geert Wilders’ much-anticipated film on the Qur’an, Fitna, was released on LiveLeak.com on Thursday, pulled by LiveLeak on Friday after death threats, and by Saturday couldn’t be stopped: it had gone viral, having been posted in innumerable places all over the Internet. (You can watch it at my website Jihad Watch.)
But many, many people are still trying to make sure you don’t see it. Iran urged European leaders to block the film, and summoned the Slovenia representative in Tehran (Slovenia currently holds the EU presidency) to lodge an official protest, as Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini called it a “provocative and anti-Islamic movie,” revealing “continued enmity and deep hostility of such western nationals against Islam and Muslims.” The Pakistani government summoned the Dutch Ambassador in Islamabad to lodge a formal protest also. Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called on Muslims to boycott Dutch products in retaliation for the movie.
I discuss the fitna over Fitna today at Pajamas Media:
Fitna in Arabic means discord or upheaval; it is also the name of a new sixteen-minute film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders that appeared last Thursday, and has done nothing since then but…create fitna. The expected riots and violence did not materialize: in Karachi, a quixotic band of just over three dozen jihadists chanted “Death to the filmmaker,” but so far that has been about it on the street level.
Protests have instead been official. Iran and Pakistan lodged formal complaints - Iran with the European Union and Pakistan with the Dutch Ambassador to Islamabad - and as of this writing the anger is only growing. Other Islamic states and organizations also expressed outrage over the film. The multinational Islamic body and largest single voting bloc at the UN, the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, condemned Fitna in “the strongest terms,” claiming that Wilders’s movie was “a deliberate act of discrimination against Muslims” intended only to “provoke unrest and intolerance.”
This is another Meccan sura. In the first part of Muhammad’s career, a group of Muslims migrated from Arabia to Abyssinia. One of the Muslims recited the material here about Mary and Jesus to the Christian ruler of Abyssinia, showing him that Muslims believed in Jesus, but not as the Son of God.
After the mysterious letters in v. 1, verses 2-40 retell the story told in Luke 1:5-80 – with some important differences, of course. Vv. 2-15 begin, as does Luke’s account, with the story of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, encountering an angel (Luke 1:11; v. 9 of this chapter of the Qur’an establishes that Allah is not speaking directly with Zechariah). The angel tells him he will become a father despite his old age and his wife’s barrenness (v. 8). In the Qur’an, unlike in the Gospel, this comes as an answer to his prayer for a son (vv. 4-6). In both the Gospel (Luke 1:20) and the Qur’an (v. 10) he is unable to speak after this vision, although the Qur’an, unlike the Gospel, does not present this as punishment for his unbelief, but only as a sign of Allah’s power.
"'I equate evangelism with terrorism,' Religious Affairs Minister Ghoulamullah said in an article in L’Expression on February 12."
That's from "Algeria: Officials Order Closure Of 19 Protestant Congregations: Police in Muslim country detain Christians for carrying Bibles," from Compass Direct (thanks to DMartyr).
All right that does it. We need some people to infiltrate Islam with a Muslim version of the Glory and Praise hymnal ASAP.
(If you are not Catholic and don't get the joke, consider yourself...lucky).
The Vatican recently put the number of Catholics in the world at 1.13 billion people. It did not provide a figure for Muslims, generally estimated at around 1.3 billion.
Formenti said that while the number of Catholics as a proportion of the world's population was fairly stable, the percentage of Muslims was growing because of higher birth rates.
He said the data on Muslim populations had been compiled by individual countries and then released by the United Nations, adding the Vatican could only vouch for its own statistics.
Just imagine for a second if any of these MPs had gotten this angry at any one of the Islamic preachers and jihadists depicted in Wilders's film.
"Jordanian MPs want Dutch envoy dismissed over anti-Islam film," from DPA (thanks to Twostellas):
Amman - At least 53 deputies of Jordan's 110-member lower house of parliament on Sunday signed a memorandum urging the government to "dismiss" the Dutch ambassador to Amman following the screening by a Dutch lawmaker of a film deemed offensive to Muslims. "The memorandum calls on the government to sever diplomatic ties with the Netherlands and dismiss the Dutch ambassador," parliamentarians said....
Watch for the howls of protest to come, in which the possibility of Al-Qaeda's actually obtaining such viruses will be lost amid cries of "racism" and infringement of privacy, etc. "M15 in terrorist checks on 800 killer virus labs," by Jason Lewis in the Daily Mail (thanks to Sr. Soph):
MI5 and anti-terrorist police are carrying out secret background checks on thousands of scientists amid fears that Al Qaeda is trying to infiltrate British research laboratories to obtain deadly viruses.
The vetting, which includes checks on family backgrounds, political views and associates, is part of a review of some 800 laboratories in hospitals, universities and private firms where staff have access to incurable viruses such as ebola.
Last night, Whitehall sources confirmed the crackdown by MI5 and the police's National Counter Terrorism Security Office.
A series of spot checks and detailed inspections are also being led by experts from the Health and Safety Executive.
Last week one of the HSE's top inspectors revealed details of its investigation, which until now has been highly secret.
Dr Paul Logan, of its Biological Agents Unit, told a Commons sub-committee on biosecurity: "We work very closely with the security services. We advise them on toxins and pathogens.
"They are looking at very different things at the moment in terms of vetting of staff, looking at physical security and how easy it is to break into premises and the wider security issues."...
Yes, Mr. Smith! Geert Wilders made up that equation of Islam with violence all by himself! It isn't as if any Muslim ever quoted the Qur'an to justify violence! Oh, no! That has never happened!
"Australia denounces anti-Islam film," from The Age (thanks to all who sent this in):
Australia has added its voice to the international chorus of outrage over an anti-Islam film posted on the internet by a right wing Dutch politician.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Geert Wilders' film Fitna equated Islam with acts of terror and violence and was "highly offensive".
"It is an obvious attempt to generate discord between faith communities," Mr Smith said.
"Like leaders in the Muslim world and in Europe, I strongly reject the ideas contained in the film and deplore its release.
"In Australia we believe in the right to freedom of expression but we don't believe in abusing that right to incite racial hatred."...
What race is Islam again? I keep forgetting.
The reaction of Muslim moderates to Geert Wilders's film Fitna is in many ways just as illuminating as that of their fiercer coreligionists. In "The Fitna farce" in The Guardian's "Comment Is Free" blog, Ali Eteraz, with whom I've had several exchanges in the past, and whom I have not found to be a completely forthright or honest debater, yawns at the film, complains superciliously about "Islamophobia" and approvingly quotes a friend's conclusion that in the fifteen minutes it took to watch Fitna, he could have -- well, I've always thought that, at least in his interaction with me, Ali has been kind of a jerk, and now...this.
In The Guardian, he says:
...My initial reaction is a yawn. I blame production. The soundtrack is Tchaikovsky's mellow classical piece called "Arab Dance". Quick tip to future demagogues: when trying to incite riots, try not to use musical pieces that are based on Georgian lullabies. Quick tip to future Islamophobes: when trying to demonise Islam, try not to use elements of western culture that are inspired by Arabs and Muslims as that reveals that Muslims have contributed positively to the world.
Uh, maybe that was the point? I.e., look how far we have descended, from "Arab Dance" to the Twin Towers?
To his credit, unlike many other commentators -- indeed, virtually every other commentator on the film -- Eteraz doesn't pretend that the connection between the Qur'an and violence was invented ex nihilo by Wilders, and acknowledges that some Muslims have been responsible for this connection:
Anyone who has seen terrorist propaganda films is familiar with most of the scenes and most of the disgusting conflations of the Quran with acts of violence, murder, kidnapping and antisemitism. Such behaviour has been condemned resoundingly among Muslims. Those that use the Quran for illegitimate and criminal ends should be punished by the fullest extent of the law. [...]
But then a bit later on we get this:
One of the things the film did was to try and link some verses from the Quran to acts of violence. Most people familiar with the Quran, including Christian polemicists I've debated, accept that you can have the Quran say pretty much whatever you want. For example, there is among Muslims a pretty hefty industry of "scientists" who are constantly "proving" that various Quranic verses predicted the marvels of modern science. I once saw a presentation by one of these guys. It was, in a way, very similar to what Wilders has done. First there would be a slide with a Quranic verse. Then there would be a bunch of images of some modern scientific marvel. Apparently, everything from the space-time continuum, modern meteorology and congenital biology are supported by verses from the Quran. Like I said, when put into the hands of fanatics and fools, the Quran - like any book of religious scripture - can say anything. If suicide bombers wanted, they could even go into the Old Testament, cite to Sampson, and justify their heinous acts.
Yes, and if the moon were made of green cheese, I'd take a big bite, or if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. But in reality, suicide bombers aren't invoking Samson, but the Qur'an, and Wilders wasn't attempting to link the Qur'an to acts of violence, but was merely reporting on how the Qur'an has been linked to violence and supremacism by jihadists themselves. Eteraz says above that "those that use the Quran for illegitimate and criminal ends should be punished by the fullest extent of the law." If among those "illegitimate and criminal ends" he would include violence against non-Muslims and an openly supremacist agenda involving the imposition of Islamic law in the West, then why is he upset with Wilders for opposing these things?
Of course, his answer would be, "Because Wilders says these things come from Islam itself, whereas I myself am a Muslim and I oppose these things also." Very well. Eteraz then might more effectively discredit Wilders by directing his efforts within the Islamic community, against the jihadists and jihadism, rather than against those who hear the jihadists say repeatedly that they represent pure Islam, and don't see any large-scale significant countermovement opposing them among Muslims. It doesn't help that Eteraz links to a page entitled, "Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks," which features condemnations of terrorism by such luminaries as Sheikh Qaradawi, who has endorsed suicide attacks against Israeli civilians; Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, who has also endorsed such attacks; Mohamed Elmasry, who has limited the legitimacy of such attacks to Israelis over the age of 18; CAIR, which has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case and has had several of its officials convicted on various terror-related charges; and Siraj Wahhaj, who testified as a character witness for the jihadist Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
Is it too much to ask that Muslims who condemn terrorism not be involved with it themselves, or approving of it in other contexts?
What the film really shows to me is that Wilders doesn't know the difference between Islam and Islamism - and when it comes to the latter he is completely lost. This is his major attack against Islamism? He reminds me of those socially-awkward, marginalised, introverted children in a schoolyard whose solution to persecution at the hands of a bully is to write the bully's name in his notebook and then rip up the page.
Eteraz does not consider, characteristically enough, the possibility that -- as Hasan Al-Banna and others insisted -- "Islamism" was merely a reassertion of traditional political Islam. I would think that would be a point well worth exploring. But in Eteraz's world, who created "Islamism"? Why, the West, of course. Who else? But surprisingly enough, it wasn't the Zionists (that would be the "Islamist" line, and Ali Eteraz is not an "Islamist"), but the French and the Americans:
If Wilders really wanted to expose Islamism - the entire legacy of 20th century ideological Islam - he would start with how the French Suez Canal Company funded the Muslim Brotherhood's first mosque. That fact is casually mentioned in Hasan al-Banna's autobiography (which I am certain Wilders never bothered to consult). Or Wilders would have tried to begin some criminal proceeding in the international criminal courts against those men who came up with the genius idea of encouraging disaffected Arab youth into going into Afghanistan and then gave them $1 billion in machine guns, bombs and stinger missiles to play with. Or Wilders could have expressed some outrage over the drafters of the new Iraqi constitution - drafted in consultation with western lawyers - which makes sharia the law of the land (a fact bemoaned by Iraqi feminists, among others). Had he bothered to show some serious thinking he would have even found support among the millions of Muslims around the world who oppose Islamists.
About sharia in Iraq he is certainly right. Thanks, Noah Feldman!
Anyway, then comes Eteraz's inspiring peroration:
In terms of sheer originality, though, the best response to this film came from a friend of mine who watched the film - and calling it a film is to abuse both the English language and the legacy of cinema - on my computer with me:
"I could have masturbated in that time."
High level analysis indeed!
"If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions," with a picture of Osama bin Laden (I gather this is a quote from him), and the World Trade Towers burning in the background.
Now: Who in the West will respond appropriately? McAuliffe comes to mind.
UPDATE: Rusty Shackleford contends that the quote above refers to the Muhammad cartoons, not to Fitna. In either case, threat noted, robust response needed.
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin
"Dutch businesses threaten to sue over anti-Islam film," from Agence France-Presse:
THE HAGUE (AFP) — Dutch businesses Saturday threatened to sue far-right lawmaker Geert Wilders if his anti-Islam film led to a commercial boycott, as several more Muslim countries condemned it.
"I don't know if Wilders is rich, or well-insured, but in the case of a boycott, we would look to see if we could make him bear responsibility," Bernard Wientjes, chairman of the Dutch employers' organisation VNO-NCW, told the newspaper Het Financieel Dagblad.
"A boycott would hurt Dutch exports. Businesses such as Shell, Philips and Unilever are easily identifiable as Dutch companies," he was quoted as saying.
Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad suggested a boycott on Saturday, echoing a similar call by media in Jordan.
"If we boycott Dutch products, they will have to close down their businesses," Mohamad told reporters. "If the world's 1.3 billion Muslims unite and say they won't buy, then it (the boycott) will be effective."
Since the release of the 17-minute documentary "Fitna" on the Internet on Thursday, Muslim nations including Malaysia and Singapore have condemned the film, as has UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Although there were no mass disturbances in the Netherlands, in Utrecht two cars were set ablaze overnight, with a slogan calling for the death of Wilders.
New Delhi: Muslims in several countries are protesting a film by a Dutch lawmaker's film, saying it insults the Quran.
Hundreds of Islamists staged angry protests across Pakistan after the release of the film and a militant allegedly linked to al-Qaida's No 2 leader also warned that the film will spark reprisal attacks.
Small groups of demonstrators, mostly followers of hard-line religious groups, rallied in major cities, demanding Pakistan cut diplomatic relations with the Netherlands. A banner at one demonstration read, "We hate the uncivilized West."
The book has verses from the Quran against a background of violent images of terrorist attacks.
These include the 9/11 attacks in the US and the 2004 Madrid train bombings. The film starts and ends with the controversial Danish cartoons on Prophet Mohammad.
Religious activists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia and several European countries took out protest rallies against the film and the Pakistan government said the film deeply offended the sentiments of Muslims all over the world.
The European Union too has made critical observations on the film. But it was defended by Salman Rushdie, who was himself under attack from Islamic fundamentalists after his book Satanic Verses.
AP adds: The 15-minute film by Geert Wilders, who heads a reactionary political party with seats in the Dutch parliament, was posted on a Web site yesterday. It sets verses of the Quran, Islam's holy book, against a background of images from terrorist attacks.
Pakistan's government condemned the " defamatory film, which deeply offended the sentiments of Muslims all over the world." It summoned the Dutch ambassador to lodge a " strong protest."
Protests have been simmering for weeks over the recent republication in Danish newspapers of cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, and authorities are concerned the Dutch film could spark the kind of violent unrest that the cartoons originally provoked two years ago.
A militant believed linked to al-Qaida's deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahri told The Associated Press in the northwestern city of Peshawar last week militants would mount revenge attacks against foreigners because of Wilders' film.
"Foreigners will be attacked. The situation will change, change, change," said Qari Mohammed Yusuf, whose also said his two brothers died fighting alongside al-Zawahri.
UPDATE: This story is false. The Sun has retracted it and apologized. I apologize also, for linking to it in the first place.
Questions for Ms. Arbour: Is not being offended a human right? Should "appropriate restrictions" target the clear and present danger of possibly having one's feelings hurt? In that event, there will need to be a U.N. court on every elementary school playground. "Louise Arbour condemns the film 'Fitna'," from Kuwait News Agency:
GENEVA, March 28 (KUNA) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said Friday that she joins in the condemnation, as expressed by the Secretary-General and the three UN Special Rapporteurs, of the tone and content of the film 'Fitna' by Dutch Geert Wilders.
Arbour urged all those who understandably feel profoundly offended by its provocative message to restrict themselves to denouncing its hateful content by peaceful means.
"There is a protective legal framework, and the resolution of the controversy that this film will generate should take place within it," she added.
She also urged lawmakers everywhere to discharge their responsibility under Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
"They should offer strong protective measures to all forms of freedom of expression, while at the same time enacting appropriate restrictions, as necessary, to protect the rights of others," Arbour said.
She noted that equally, they should prohibit any advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.
Preeeeeee-cisely. The formerly UK-based jihadist hits the nail on the head: for all the rage from Muslims about how Fitna "links Islam with violence," that link has already been made by the jihadists, who never aroused any significant rage among their peaceful brethren. The jihadists quote Qur'an to justify their actions -- it wasn't Geert Wilders who had to go hunting in the Qur'an for verses that matched those actions.
Yet in all the furor over the film, from the EU, the UN, the OIC, and everyone else, no one seems to have picked up on that point.
"Muslim reaction to Dutch film is muted," by Michael Steen, Andrew Bounds, and Ferry Biederman in Financial Times (thanks to D):
The imam at Friday prayers in Amsterdam's El Tawheed mosque spoke of "enemies of Islam", but in spite of that clear nod to Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-immigration politician, and his film, the mood was decidedly relaxed.
"Wilders is laughable, he just wants attention," said Mohamed, a Moroccan welder among the 300 worshippers at the mosque listening to a sermon urging Dutch Muslims not to play into the hands of those who insult their religion by breaking the law. [...]
Across the Arab world, reaction to the film was muted and the subject was largely avoided in Friday sermons. A coalition of Jordanian media organisations said it would sue Mr Wilders and urged the government to review ties with the Netherlands and Denmark.
Iran called the film part of a "vendetta" against Islam. Several hundred people took to the street in Pakistan and the government summoned the Dutch ambassador. Muslim Bangladesh said the film could have "grave consequences", while the Indonesian government called it "racist" and "an insult to Islam", yet called for calm.
Omar Bakri, the Libyan-based radical Muslim cleric who is barred from Britain, did not think the film was very offensive. "On the contrary, if we leave out the first images and the sound of the page being torn, it could be a film by the [Islamist] Mujahideen," he said. [...]
Qaradawi yet again indulges in extreme rhetoric that can only mean one thing to all too many of his followers, just as he did last week with Wafa Sultan. "Five Ways to Defend Qur'an: Qaradawi," by Mohammad Sabrah for IslamOnline (thanks to Sr. Soph):
CAIRO — Prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi refuted allegations by a far-right Dutch lawmaker that the Noble Qur'an incites murder and hatred, outlining five ways to stand up to Islam offenders.
"What the Dutch politician did is tantamount to opening fire on the Qur'an," Qaradawi said in exclusive statements to IslamOnline.net.
"Calling the Qur'an a 'fascist book' is a groundless, fabricated allegation that can only come from an ignorant," added the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars. [...]
Sheikh Qaradawi outlined five ways to respond to insults to Islam and Prophet Muhammad by Wilders and his alike.
"We need scholarly refutations to claims that Prophet Muhammad incited the killing of men and women," he stressed. [...]
That will be tough, given the evidence of the early Muslim sources on Asma bint Marwan, Ka'b bin Ashraf, Abu Afak, the Jews of Khaybar, the Banu Qurayzah Jews, etc. etc.
"Heavyweight Muslim countries should have a manly stance in defense of Islam and its prophet," he added.
"The peoples need to pressure their governments to take such a stand and prove to the world that the Muslim Ummah is still alive."
In other words, strongarm the West into dhimmi silence.
Sheikh Qaradawi also underlined the need for artistic and media responses.
"Movies and TV shows play an important role in clarifying the true image of a much-stereotyped Islam."
Two young Dutchmen, Ersin Kiris and Vincent van der Lem, have already released a counter film on Youtube and MTNL.nl (official website of the Multicultural Television in the Netherlands).
It seeks the borders of freedom of expression and attacks Wilders with his own weapons.
Sheikh Qaradawi said the response is boycotting the products of countries that allow its citizens to bash Islam. [...]
Sheikh Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, regretted that many Muslims project a distorted image of their religion though their wrong understand of the Qur'an.
"We ask them to better understand the Islam's message of peace, mercy and human brotherhood," he added.
Yes, quite a few Misunderstanders of Islam running about, eh, Qaradawi? And do you really think that asking them to better understand Islam is enough?
So apparently if we all agree to ignore it, it will go away.
"A call for respect and calm," by Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations:
At the core of this situation is a trend towards extremism in many of our societies. We should indeed beware of overemphasizing it, because extremism anywhere is extremism everywhere, thanks to new media technologies. Few people think of themselves as extremists, but many can be pushed towards an extreme point of view, almost without noticing it, when they feel that the behavior or language of others is extreme.
We therefore deeply regret this offensive film.
They say the film defamed and denigrated the Qur'an. Yet when the acts of violence it depicts were justified by their perpetrators by reference to the Qur'an, what did they say then?
"OIC condemns "in the strongest terms" release of anti-Islam film," from the Islamic Republic News Agency:
The Organization of the Islamic Conference added its voice to the growing criticism of a film released by a Dutch lawmaker, which features disturbing images of terrorist acts superimposed over verses from holy Quran.
OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned "in the strongest terms the release of the film 'Fitna' by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders."
The organization added that the film defamed and denigrated "the Holy Quran, causing insult to the sentiments of more than 1.3 billion Muslims in the world.
"The film was a deliberate act of discrimination against Muslims" that aimed to "provoke unrest and intolerance," the organization said.
A boycott, of course, is better than an outpouring of violent rage, but it is still misplaced in this case, because as Mahathir "The Jews Run The World By Proxy" Mohamad well knows, this film is not a production of the Dutch nation. Boycotting Dutch products is simply an attempt to strongarm the Dutch as a whole into dhimmitude.
"Mahathir calls on Muslims worldwide to boycott Dutch products," from Bernama:
KUALA LUMPUR, Sat: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called upon Muslims worldwide to boycott Dutch products in protest of a film released Monday on the Internet which criticised Islam’s holy book, the Quran.
He said such a boycottt could result in The Netherlands having to “close shop”, as Muslims made up the wealthiest portion of the world’s population and were also the biggest importers.
However, in order to be effective, all 1.3 billion Muslims in the world must unite in the boycott and put the interest of Islam and Muslims over that of individual needs.
“We must not be afraid of losing trade with them. If we do, then we won’t be thinking as Muslims, but more for our own self intersts,” he told reporters after opening the Malaysian Islamic Welfare Organisation’s (Perkim) 46th annual general meeting at a hotel here, today....
Fitna Rage grows. "Muslim, UN outrage over Dutch MP's anti-Islam film," from AFP:
Muslim nations, the European Union and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday expressed outrage at an anti-Islam film posted on the Internet by a far-right Dutch MP. [...]
Morocco's Communications Minister Khalid Naciri said Wilders was "mentally retarded".
Iran said the 17-minute film showed Westerners were waging a "vendetta" against Islam, and warned of repercussions. A Jordanian media coalition said they would take Wilders to court and launch a campaign to boycott Dutch products.
In Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, about 40 supporters of the hardline Islamist party Jamaat-i-Islami staged a protest, chanting "Death to the filmmaker".
In an interview with AFP Friday Wilders rejected any responsibility for retaliation against Dutch nationals or interests abroad.
"I hope it doesn't happen but even if it does the people who commit such acts are responsible, not me," he said....
Balkenende however warned that people should not draw conclusions too quickly. "We are not past it yet ... Sometimes it can take months before the true repercussions are felt," he told journalists.
Yes. Or years, once Europe is fully Islamized, while Balkenende and his ilk spent their energy muzzling those who were trying to prevent it.
Nu in het Nederlands!
A hearty hello to our Dutch comrades-in-arms!
Thanks to a committed wooden-shoed JihadWatcher, we now have a full-length version of Islam: What the West Needs to Know up on Google Video with Dutch subtitles, here, just in time for all the excitement. Enjoy!
Or "We pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor"?
Here is LiveLeak's statement on why they pulled Fitna:
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
"In the end the price was too high" could be the epitaph of the Free West.
I understand their concern for their employees -- sure. The employees didn't sign up for this. But if Americans and Westerners and all people who are threatened by the global jihad and Islamic supremacism aren't willing to give their lives for this cause, then all is lost. Because the jihadists certainly are willing to give their lives for their cause. For them, no price is too high. And if any price is too high for us, then ultimately all we will have to pay is jizya.
I don't know for how long this will be up, but here it is for now. And many thanks to all the very kind Jihad Watch readers who emailed me this link and others over the last two hours, while for some reason unknown to me I could not get inside the site to update it.
The predictable dhimmis fall into predictable lockstep. "U.N.'s Ban condemns Dutch film as anti-Islamic," from Reuters (thanks to Twostellas):
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned as "offensively anti-Islamic" a Dutch lawmaker's film that accuses the Koran of inciting violence.
Ban acknowledged efforts by the government of the Netherlands to stop the broadcast of the film, which was launched by Islam critic Geert Wilders over the Internet, and appealed for calm to those "understandably offended by it."
"There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence," Ban said in a statement. "The right of free expression is not at stake here."
What exactly is "hate speech" about quoting Qur'an verses and then showing Muslim preachers using those verses to exhort people to commit acts of violence, as well as violent acts committed by Muslims inspired by those verses and others?
From our "Say Islam Is A Religion of Peace, Or We'll Kill You" Department comes this: click on the old Fitna link for the official LiveLeak statement.
And score another victory for thuggery and violent intimidation, and another defeat for freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and free inquiry.
Meanwhile, if anyone has, or can tell me where to get, the actual film, I will put it up again here, and the jihadist thugs can do what they're going to do, but I will not submit.
I can't stop laughing!
A profile of the wicked Jihad Watch director who is "at-times soft-spoken," -- that is, when he ain't screamin' like a banshee. (Seriously, this is a very nice profile and I thank Mindy Belz for it.) "Islamo-ignorance: We can’t defeat an enemy when we don’t know why he’s fighting," by Mindy Belz in World Magazine:
Robert Spencer is used to being called an Islamophobe. And when the noted director of Jihad Watch travels to a speaking engagement, he has the bodyguards to prove that he takes his critics seriously. In 2006 lieutenants of Osama bin Laden named him in what amounted to a fatwa, calling on him, President Bush, and others to join Islam or die. Other death threats arrive by email, he told WORLD recently, and matter-of-factly.
But his most noted attacker of late is the now-dead former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In her posthumous book Reconciliation, released last month, she spent a page venting against the popular blogger and author of seven books on Islam, who she said "uses the Internet to spread misinformation and hatred of Islam." This she said of an at-times soft-spoken Catholic whose grandparents were forced from Turkey for refusing to convert to Islam, in a book she completed just as her jihadist assassin was strapping on his bomb vest.
"You're kidding," Spencer said in an email when I asked him about her remarks. "I hadn't heard of this before." When Spencer looked up the passage, he discovered that where Bhutto had quoted him from one of his books, she quoted a passage that was actually written by Ibn Warraq (Spencer edited the book). Warraq, like Bhutto, is Pakistani and, like Spencer, is a noted (and also death-threatened) critic of Islamic teaching.
"Dear brothers, remember what happened to Ariel Sharon. Now let's hope that he (Wilders) ends up the same way."
"Islam: Al-Qaeda-linked sites post photo of Dutch MP behind anti-Koran film," from AKI (thanks to Insubria):
Dubai, 28 March (AKI) - A photo of Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders has been posted on several Islamist websites linked to al-Qaeda, after his anti-Koran film was released on a video-sharing website on Thursday.
Wilders' 17-minute film entitled Fitna, criticised Islam's holy book, the Koran.
The film sets verses of the Koran against a background of images from terrorist attacks.
"The Dutch, enemy of Allah, has done what he threatened to do and distributed his film," said a banner in an Islamist website.
The message is followed by dozens of posts by visitors of the site asking for Muslims to act against him.
"Dear brothers, remember what happened to Ariel Sharon. Now let's hope that he (Wilders) ends up the same way," says a member of the forum.
The growing Muslim indignation over Geert Wilders's movie Fitna manifests anew a phenomenon we have noted here many, many times: when non-Muslims point out that Islamic jihadists commit acts of violence and justify them by reference to the Qur'an, many non-Muslim and Muslim apologists for jihad, include many who are widely known as "moderates" respond by claiming that the one who is pointing out all this is committing an act of "hatred," "bigotry," "Islamophobia," and the like. They don't have a word to say about the actual acts of violence, hatred and supremacism committed by the jihadists -- no, the real villain is the one who reports on these actions.
This has only happened to me, let's see, about 50,000 times, but it never ceases to puzzle me. And now The Armchair Critic is doing the same thing to Kevin Weakley of The Amboy Times, for his celebrated "List of Things That Offend Muslims." The Critic, the illustrious Edroos Alsagoff, says:
You know how much I hate to wish that something really bad happen to anyone (though at times I have expressed my desire to have someone I truly hate suffer in death thanks to a speeding bullet train). But I think I have no excuse to pray that the author of this idiotic post have anything good for him or her.
This guy is a real muppet. I couldn't care to dig up his background or where he came from for that matter. Anyone who stirs shit like that deserved to be shot really. This is simply a case of asking for it. Don't even mention terrorists, this chap could be in real trouble even if he bumped into his Muslim neighbour, if he has any.
"Anyone who stirs shit like that deserved to be shot really." Never mind that everything on Weakley's list is linked, and based on actual events. It doesn't seem to occur to Edroos Alsagoff that it might be perfectly legitimate to point out the ridiculous rage-mongering that all too many Muslims engage in all too frequently, and to call them on it.
It doesn't seem to occur to Edroos Alsagoff that the ones who are actually stirring the s*** are the ones who fly into irrational rage at the sight of ice cream cones and sneakers, and that to say that someone who points out the silliness and irrationality of that rage deserves to be shot indicates that he has already surrendered to violent intimidation -- even as he engages in it himself.
Oh, and Kevin, if this Edroos Alsagoff character is right, it may be time for you to add "The List of Things That Offend Muslims" to..."The List of Things That Offend Muslims."
The offense deepens. "Pakistan protests over Islam film," from the BBC:
Pakistan has summoned the Dutch ambassador in Islamabad to lodge a protest over a controversial film on Islam, Fitna, published online.
The 15-minute film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders sets verses from the Koran against a background of violent images from terror attacks.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the film was defamatory and "deeply offended" Muslim sentiments.
Did Pakistan's Foreign Ministry ever say that about 9/11? 7/7? The Madrid train bombings? Any act of Islamic terror?
Funny how they never called the violence depicted in the film -- violence that the perpetrators justified with reference to the Qur'an -- "hateful, blasphemous, and un-Islamic."
"Iran, Indonesia angry over Dutch Koran film," by Niclas Mika for Reuters:
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Iran and Indonesia on Friday condemned a film by a Dutch lawmaker that accuses the Koran of inciting violence, while Dutch Muslim leaders urged restraint. [...]
Iran called the film heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic and called on European governments to block any further showing.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony, also condemned the film.
"We are of the view that the film has a racist flavour and is an insult to Islam, hidden under the cover of freedom of expression," a foreign ministry spokesman said. "We call on Indonesian people not to be incited."
What race is Islam again?
Dutch Muslim leaders appealed for calm and called on Muslims worldwide not to target Dutch interests. The Netherlands is home to around 1 million Muslims out of a population of 16 million.
"Our call to Muslims abroad is follow our strategy and don't frustrate it with any violent incidents," Mohammed Rabbae, a senior Dutch Muslim leader, told a news conference in a mosque in an Amsterdam suburb that is home to many Muslims.
"Looking for conflict there is looking for conflict with us," he added before an imam made a similar appeal in Arabic.
Dutch authorities reported a calm night in contrast to the unrest that swept the country after the murder by a militant Islamist in 2004 of Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who made a film accusing Islam of condoning violence against women.
Earlier this month, Dutch security officials raised the national risk level to "substantial" because of the forthcoming Wilders film and perceptions of an increased al Qaeda threat.
Wilders, who has been under heavy guard because of Islamist death threats since the murder of director Van Gogh, has seen support for his anti-immigration Freedom Party rise in anticipation of the film to about 10 percent of the vote.
The Dutch government has worked for months to distance itself from Wilders and try to prevent the kind of backlash Denmark suffered over the Prophet cartoons.
In a statement on live television on Thursday evening in both Dutch and English, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said he rejected Wilders' views and was pleased by the initial restrained reactions of Dutch Muslim organisations.
The European Union supports the Dutch government's approach and believes the film serves no purpose other than "inflaming hatred", the Slovenian EU presidency said in a statement:
"The European Union and its member states apply the principle of the freedom of speech which is part of our values and traditions. However, it should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions."
Mind you, the European Union has never, ever said anything like that regarding attacks on Christianity. The point is not just the double standard; it is that they are allowing violent intimidation to succeed, and that will only lead to more violent intimidation.
The predicted and predictable outrage begins -- over a film, mind you, that merely depicts how jihadists commit violence and justify it according to the Qur'an. Yet that fact itself has never aroused outrage among significant numbers of Muslims, such that they would be moved, say, to mount protests against it.
"Pakistanis protest Dutch film," from The Associated Press:
KARACHI, Pakistan -- Dozens of Islamists in Pakistan have staged a protest over an anti-Quran film made by a Dutch lawmaker....
Pakistan's largest Muslim party, Jamaat-e-Islami, organized Friday's protest outside a mosque in Karachi.
Some protesters demanded Pakistan cut diplomatic relations with the Netherlands over the film.
Stupidity and spinelessness at high levels. "EU condemns Dutch anti-Islam film," from CNN:
(CNN) -- The European Union on Friday condemned a new film by a Dutch lawmaker which is critical of Islam and features controversial images of the Prophet Mohammed.
Not "the Islamic Prophet." Just "the Prophet."
The 15-minute film, titled "Fitna," was posted on a London-based Web site Thursday. It immediately drew criticism from the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who said the film equates Islam with violence.
"We reject this interpretation," Balkenende said in a statement. "The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence. In fact, the victims are often also Muslims."
The film, as Balkenende well knows or should know, simply quotes Qur'anic passages, and then shows Muslims committing violent acts and justifying them with reference to those passages. That this happens, and has happened again and again, is simply a fact. The fact that other Muslims don't do this is nice, but that fact does nothing to mitigate the other fact. And in fact, it shows up the abysmal failure of peaceful Muslims to restrain their coreligionists.
Slovenia, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said it supported the Dutch government's position and believes the film does nothing to promote dialogue among religions.
"The European Union and its member states apply the principle of the freedom of speech which is part of our values and traditions. However, it should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions," the Slovenian presidency said in a statement.
"Respect," i.e., pretending that black is white and white is black.
"Mutual tolerance and respect are universal values we should uphold. We believe that acts, such as the above-mentioned film, serve no other purpose than inflaming hatred."
No. The acts depicted in the film inflame hatred. The film just reports on this.
The U.S. government warned the film could spark protests and riots....
"It's not a provocation, but the harsh reality and a political conclusion," Wilders told reporters Thursday....
The film concludes with scrolling messages reading in part: "The government insists that you respect Islam, but Islam has no respect for you" and "In 1945, Nazism was defeated in Europe. In 1989, communism was defeated in Europe. Now the Islamic ideology has to be defeated."
LiveLeak issued a statement Thursday saying there was no legal reason not to allow Wilders to post the film. It said the site's policy is to remain unbiased and allow freedom of speech.
Some in the Muslim community rejected the film as nothing more than dangerous anti-Islamic propaganda.
"This film is a direct attempt to incite violence from Muslims and help fan the flames of Islamophobia," Arsalan Iftikhar, a contributor to Washington-based Islamica Magazine, told CNN on Thursday. "Any reasonable person can see this is meant to spit in the face of Muslims and insult our religion."
Mr. Iftikhar, if you want to put out the "flames of Islamophobia," then work to stop Muslims from committing the acts of violence shown in the film.
"Defamation." Wink, wink.
UN OKs Islamic text against defamation," by Elaine Engeler for the Associated Press:
GENEVA - The top U.N. rights body on Thursday passed a resolution proposed by Islamic countries saying it is deeply concerned about the defamation of religions and urging governments to prohibit it.
The European Union said the text was one-sided because it primarily focused on Islam.
The U.N. Human Rights Council, which is dominated by Arab and other Muslim countries, adopted the resolution on a 21-10 vote over the opposition of Europe and Canada.
EU countries, including France, Germany and Britain, voted against. Previously EU diplomats had said they wanted to stop the growing worldwide trend of using religious anti-defamation laws to limit free speech.
The document, which was put forward by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, "expresses deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations."
Although the text refers frequently to protecting all religions, the only religion specified as being attacked is Islam, to which eight paragraphs refer.
Speaking for the EU, Slovenian Ambassador Andrej Logar said the 27-nation body was committed to tolerance, nondiscrimination and freedom of religion. But instead of a one-sided approach, it would be better to engage in dialogue with mutual respect.
The resolution "urges states to take actions to prohibit the dissemination ... of racist and xenophobic ideas" and material that would incite to religious hatred. It also urges states to adopt laws that would protect against hatred and discrimination stemming from religious defamation.
Glass houses, guys. You've got 'em.
Working to create the sense that they can move and take territory at will, as the Somalia Jihad continues its recent escalation.
"Insurgents Briefly Capture Key Town in Show of Defiance," by Stephanie McCrummen for the Washington Post:
NAIROBI, March 26 -- Islamist insurgents battling for control of Somalia briefly seized a strategic town Wednesday, the latest sign of how feeble the country's internationally backed transitional government has become.
The takeover of Jowhar, about 55 miles north of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, was the most recent in a series of advances by a radical Islamist faction of a broader insurgency against the transitional government and the Ethiopian military that installed it more than a year ago.
In the past month, the faction -- known as al-Shabab and recently designated a terrorist organization by the United States -- has briefly asserted control of at least six towns in southern Somalia, a show of force underlining the fact that the Somali government has little control over the Horn of Africa nation.
"They go in and expel whatever rudimentary authorities are there, then go back to the bush and go to another unassuming village or town," said Abdirizak Adam Hassan, an adviser to Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf. "To my mind, they are saying: 'Although you defeated u s, we are still a formidable force. We are undiminished, and we are here to stay.'
The film is accurate. Will Muslims rage against the truth?
The new FBI seal and motto?
It's time for a Jihad Watch contest! The FBI says they have ruled out terrorism. Still, I can't help but wonder what Iraqis would be doing with a bomb and a stolen car in New Mexico. I'll send a free autographed copy of one of my books (your choice) to the person who can solve this mystery for me, and come up with the best (most imaginative, most entertaining, loopiest, most outlandishly plausible) explanation.
Los Lunas, by the way, is just south of Albuquerque, slightly west of the center of the state. "Bomb, Iraqi currency lure FBI into stolen-car case," by Jeff Maher and Reed Upton at KOB.com (thanks to Mackie):
The FBI is now involved in the theft of a car after it was found in Los Lunas with an explosive device and Iraqi currency inside
FBI agents say that they have ruled out terrorism.
The car was reported stolen last week. After the theft, the car’s owner was fueling his motorcycle when he spotted his stolen car....
The car’s owner pulled the keys out of the ignition of his stolen car and the people in the car fled.
When police arrived, they found the explosive device and less than $1,000 worth of Iraqi cash.
“We don’t know what their intentions were,” said Nuanes. “We don’t know what they were planning on doing with any of this.”...
An Update on the Toronto Jihad Plot. Oh, and by the way, has the Muslim community in Canada gotten around to instituting transparent, inspectable programs in every school and mosque teaching against the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism? No? So then how can we be sure that there won't be other such plots?
The "shocking and sensational" inner workings of an alleged homegrown terror cell were unveiled yesterday in a Brampton court – and included the plotting of an attack "much greater" in scale than the London 2005 bombings that killed 52 people.
Here are some of the transcripts of the jihadists' conversations:
In a video, Person 1, shown sitting in the dark under what appears to be a tent, speaks to the group:
"We're here to kick it off man. We're here to get the rewards of everybody that's gonna come after us, God willing, if we don't (get) a victory, God willing, our kids will get it. If not them, their kids will get it, if not them, the(n) five generations down somebody will get it, God willing. This is the promise of Allah. . . .
Excerpts from a conversation in a car during
"Operation Badr," recorded covertly by police:
Person 3: "What happens, what happens at the Parliament?"
Person 1: "We go and kill everybody."
Person 3: "And then what?"
Informant: "And then read about it ..."
Person 1: "We get victory."
Informant: "And take, uh, Paul, um, what's his name ____. Paul loser."
Person 1: "Paul Martin."
Person 3: "Yeah."
Person 1: "Nah, I wish he had won guy."
Informant: "What you . . . what you talkin' about?"
Person 1: "Now it's the other guy, Harper."
Person 1 talks to the group:
"Rome has to be defeated. And we have to be the ones that do it, no holding back, whether it's one man that survives, you have to do it. This is what the Covenant's all about, you have to do it. And God willing, we will do it. God willing, we will get the victory."
"Rome has to be defeated" doesn't refer to an Italian plot, but to the necessity, as they see it, to take down the West, in accord with Muhammad's prophecy that Constantinople would fall to Islam first, and then Rome.
But he was really just trying to con the Al-Qaeda guy out of $50,000, doncha know.
Sears Tower Jihad Plot Update: "Prosecutor: War goal of terror plot," by Curt Anderson for Associated Press :
MIAMI - War with the U.S. government was at the heart of a terrorist plot to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices, a prosecutor said Wednesday during closing arguments in the retrial for six Miami men accused of conspiring with al-Qaida.
Alleged ringleader Narseal Batiste and the others in the "Liberty City Seven" conspired with an FBI informant who pretended he was from al-Qaida with the hope of starting an anti-government war, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Gregorie said.
"Narseal Batiste had a mission. His mission was to destroy the United States," Gregorie said. [...]
Batiste testified that he was never serious and only went along with the terrorism talk in hopes of conning the informant out of $50,000. His lawyers also claim he was entrapped by two FBI informants who orchestrated the entire plot.
But Gregorie said Batiste and the others would have pursued a terrorism attack no matter what, noting that they were captured on FBI videotapes taking an oath to al-Qaida in March 2006....
It could have led to having to allow their houses of worship to be buillt within the Kingdom, you see. "Of Fatwas and Infidels," by Abeer Mishkhas in Arab News (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
The Shoura Council last week defeated a proposal to adopt a law promoting respect for other religions and religious symbols. The proposal that would have had the blessings of the Arab League was opposed by 77 members and supported by 33.
In his reason for voting against the proposal, one member told Al-Watan newspaper that the negative effects might outweigh the positive ones as it would give legality to nonmonotheistic religions and consequently it would allow the building of houses of worship for those religions in Muslim countries.
The proposal was surely influenced by the Danish cartoon crisis that recently resurfaced. If we look at the consequences of approving such a proposal, we will see that it would have been an important step forward. It simply proposes respect for other religions and tolerance for those who practice them. The proposal suggests simply that people in the world need to learn to live together and to accept each other for what they are and that people must also remember that respect and tolerance work both ways....
It's good at least to see a Saudi columnist supporting this.
"Suspect in Bhutto parade attack freed on bail," from Agence France Presse (AFP) (thanks to DFS):
KARACHI: An alleged Al-Qaeda militant detained over the bombing of Benazir Bhutto's homecoming parade which killed 139 people has been freed on bail, police in Pakistan said on Wednesday. A court freed Qari Saifullah Akhtar, accused by the former premier of plotting against her in a book published after her assassination in December, was released "after the police failed to produce evidence against him," police investigator Nawaz Ranjha said. The court ordered police to produce evidence as soon as possible, he added....
Incidentally, I wrote to Bhutto's ghostwriter, Mark Siegel, informing him that in the book he had attributed words to me that I did not say and positions that I do not hold. I got no answer. What a surprise.
I got an email this morning from Yahoo informing me that the delivery of the Jihad Watch Daily Digest was being held up or blocked altogether to 545 Yahoo.com addresses because of "user complaints."
The Daily Digest is a voluntary email service. If you subscribe using the box at the upper left, you will receive once a day an email with the headlines and clickable links to the new posts at Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch. Since no one gets the Digest without subscribing, this means that someone or some group of people subscribed to the Digest using Yahoo addresses and then complained to Yahoo about receiving it, so as to try to block it from being received by all Yahoo users.
Pathetic. The jihadists and their Muslim and non-Muslim allies and dupes can't refute what we say, even when they try, so all they can do, again and again, is try to shut us up.
"The Madrid Police Department has stated that the murder took place a day after Farhangi had a dispute with a woman who had been putting up propaganda posters in defence of the Islamic Republic in the district of Alcobendas."
"Murder in Spanish capital by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry?" from Iran Focus:
London, Mar. 25 – Iran’s ultra-secretive Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has once again found itself under the limelight after it was accused of involvement in the murder of an Iranian intellectual in Spain.
Manouchehr Farhangi, 82, was murdered in La Moraleja, a suburb of the Spanish capital Madrid, on 19 March.
Evidence from a Spanish female eye-witness suggests that an unidentified woman fatally stabbed Farhangi at his doorstep and quickly fled the scene.
Local Spanish press reported that an autopsy found that he had been stabbed three times in the stomach.
Police camera footage from the vicinity of the murder indicated that the female suspect was between the age of 28 and 30.
Spanish police believe that the murder might have been politically motivated, and there have been suggestions in the press that Iran’s notorious Intelligence Ministry might have orchestrated the attack.
The Madrid Police Department has stated that the murder took place a day after Farhangi had a dispute with a woman who had been putting up propaganda posters in defence of the Islamic Republic in the district of Alcobendas.
Farhangi was born into a Zoroastrian family in 1926 in the south-eastern Iranian province of Kerman. Prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution, he founded one of Iran’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. In 1980, in Spain he founded the International College Spain (ICS), and later won the European Council for International Schools (ECIS) prize for the Promotion of International Education. He has two children.
More on this jihadist, who openly glories in the deaths of Americans from his home in Brooklyn.
"U.S. Based Revolution Muslim Website Spreading Messages of Hate," from FoxNews (thanks to all who sent this in):
NEW YORK, N.Y. — On any given day, log on to RevolutionMuslim.com and a host of startling images appear:
— The Statue of Liberty, with an ax blade cutting through her side;
— Video mocking the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl, entitled "Daniel Pearl I am Happy Your Dead :) ";
— Video of a puppet show lampooning U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq;
— The latest speech from Sheikh Abdullah Faisal, an extremist Muslim cleric convicted in the UK and later deported for soliciting the murder of non-Muslims.
Even more surprising is that RevolutionMuslim.com isn't being maintained in some remote safe house in Pakistan. Instead, Yousef al-Khattab, the Web site creator, runs it from his home in the New York City Borough of Queens.
And, because al-Khattab enjoys the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, all the authorities can do is watch.
Formerly known as Joseph Cohen, al-Khattab is an American-born Jew who converted to Islam after attending an Orthodox Rabbinical school, which he later described as a “racist cult.”
The 39-year-old New York taxi driver launched RevolutionMuslim.com with the mission of “preserving Islamic culture,” “calling people to the oneness of God” and asking them to “support the beloved Sheik Abdullah Faisal, who’s preaching the religion of Islam and serving as a spiritual guide.”
In 2003 Faisal was convicted in the U.K. for spreading messages of racial hatred and urging his followers to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners. In sermon recordings played at his trial, Faisal called on young, impressionable Muslims to use chemical weapons to “exterminate unbelievers” and “cut the throat of the Kaffars [nonbelievers] with [a] machete.”
Authorities believe Faisal’s sermons have influenced 2005 London transport bomber Germaine Lindsay and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who attended mosques where Faisal preached.
On his site al-Khattab appears to condemn the very democracy that guarantees him the freedom to express himself — a freedom he cites in a disclaimer on his homepage:
“We hereby declare and make absolute public declaration that revolutionmuslim.com operates under the first amendment right to freedom of religion and expression and that in no way, shape, or form do we call for war against the U.S. government or adhere to the enemies of the United States elsewhere.”...
But that is clearly false. There is no doubt that he adheres to the enemies of the United States.
Part 3 of this extraordinary series on CAIR. "Some CAIR Officials Convicted of Crimes, More Tied to Extremist Groups," by Steven Emerson for IPT News:
(note: The third installment of our CAIR dossier can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/111.pdf)
The questionable associations and actions by many of its leaders cast serious doubt on CAIR's claims of moderation and restraint. Some have committed criminal acts themselves; others have ties to organizations with connections to Islamic extremism.
Those convicted of direct criminal activity include Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR-Texas; Randall (Ismail) Royer, once a communications specialist for the national group, and Bassam Khafagi, the organization's one-time director of community relations.
In the more egregious cases, the organization has tried to distance itself from the individuals, contorting both logic and the English language. As the IPT's series on CAIR's history and activities continues, we look at the suspect nature of these examples and others close to the organization.
· Ghassan Elashi, who attended a 1993 Philadelphia meeting called by Hamas to discuss derailing U.S. peace initiatives, was convicted in 2004 on six criminal counts, including making false statements, conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Regulations and the Libyan Sanctions Regulations, and conspiracy to file false shipper's export declaration forms. He was a defendant again in the 2007 Hamas-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), where jurors were unable to reach unanimous verdicts on the charges against him.
Elashi served as HLF chairman and treasurer and vice president of Infocom, a computer export company. He was sentenced to 80 months in prison for making illegal computer shipments to Libya and Syria and conspiring to send money to Mousa Abu Marzook, an admitted Hamas leader.
Seeking to minimize Elashi's ties to CAIR, Executive Director Nihad Awad assured U.S. senators in 2003 testimony, "Mr. Elashi was never an employee or officer of our corporation. The fact that he was once associated with one of our almost twenty regional chapters has no legal significance…"
· Randall Royer, the former CAIR communications specialist, has a more colorful criminal history. Police who stopped his car for a traffic violation in 2001 found an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition inside. Then, in 2003, he was indicted on charges stemming from participation in the ongoing jihad in Kashmir -- specifically, doing propaganda work for Lashkar-e Taiba, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group, and personally firing at Indian positions in Kashmir.
Pleading guilty to weapons and explosives charges in 2004, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Again, CAIR reacted defensively, seeking to downplay both his ties to the organization and, indeed, the nature of his crimes. "Notwithstanding the fact that any criminal action to which he pleaded guilty was done when Royer was no longer employed with CAIR and not at CAIR's direction," the group said, "it is important to note that the only crimes that he pleaded guilty to were weapons charges, not charges of terrorism."
CAIR's timing point contradicts media reports indicating that Royer still worked for the group in October 2001; while the charges to which Royer pleaded guilty do not directly contain the word "terrorism," they involved his activities in support of the designated terrorist Lashkar-e Taiba.
Read it all.
Whence this suicidal impulse?
"Barak mulls weapons transfer to Fatah," by Yaakov Katz for the Jerusalem Post (thanks to all who sent this in):
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is considering approving a US plan to allow the transfer of weapons, protective gear and night-vision goggles for Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The American request, which is expected to be officially submitted to the Defense Ministry by Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton - the US security coordinator to Israel and the PA - in the coming days, will be one of the issues topping the agenda of Barak's meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad on Wednesday.
Defense officials in Jerusalem said it was likely that Israel would approve the request, noting that it had allowed the transfer of weapons to the PA in the West Bank since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June.
Next week, the officials said, the PA will finally receive the 25 armored vehicles from Russia that Israel approved for delivery in November....
Speaking of CAIR, here is part 2 of Steven Emerson's absorbing and all-important exposé of that sinister organization: "Funding Ties With HLF and Foreign Donors Show CAIR's True Agenda," from IPT News:
(Part II of our series on CAIR can be found here: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/110.pdf)
Summary: The Council on American-Islamic Relation (CAIR)'s financing over the years challenges its self-description as a benevolent group out to protect the civil rights of the Muslim community in the United States.
The clichéd admonition to "follow the money" gives a clear picture of the group's actual role as an enabler for organizations linked by the U.S. government to Islamic terrorism, prominently including the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF).
Indeed it shows a two-way flow of support both to and from HLF, which since has been named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization and indicted on charges of providing material support to Hamas. Our examination of CAIR focuses today on its finances.
· HLF made a $5,000 donation to the then-newly formed CAIR as early as 1994. Apparently sensitive to the impact public disclosure of their group's funding by HLF could have, CAIR's leaders repeatedly denied any such connection.
Asked during a 2003 civil deposition, "Did they [HLF] give you any money to help start CAIR?" Omar Ahmed, one of its incorporators, flatly responded, "No." CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad echoed that position in testimony prepared for a September 10, 2003 Senate hearing, declaring, "Our organization did not receive any seed money from HLFRD."
After IPT produced a copy of HLF's $5,000 check at the hearing, however, Awad acknowledged in supplemental testimony that CAIR had, indeed, received money from the group. Explaining, "CAIR is a nonprofit, grassroots organization. Our only source of income is through donations and the amount in question was a donation like any other," he added in mitigation that the "relatively small donation" had come seven years before the Justice Department froze HLF's assets.
· CAIR, in turn, repeatedly co-sponsored fundraisers for the Hamas-linked organization. Such funding appeals were made in 1999, ostensibly to help refugees forced to flee Kosovo, and again in 2000, at a time when the U.S. Agency for International Development already had announced plans to terminate HLF's USAID registration on grounds that it was "contrary to the national defense and foreign policy interest of the United States."
But those appeals were trumped by a further solicitation soon after the murderous attacks of 9/11. CAIR's website, advising readers "what you can do for the victims of the WTC (World Trade Center) and Pentagon attacks," urged them to donate to charities that included HLF....
CAIR gets Saudi cash, too. Read it all.
If you can stand all my coughin' and hackin', you may want to tune into last night's episode of Jawa Radio, for an hour I spent with Dr. Rusty, Jane, and friends.
Here is yet another episode of our sporadic series, "Why Can't Muslims Debate?" Jihad Watch reader Unknown sent me this yesterday, and since I just wrote about how Islamic apologists tend not to offer evidence for their views, but simply to indulge in ad hominem smears, I thought I should respond to this attempt to "expose" me, since it at least purports to show where and how I am wrong -- and I think a response is particularly called for since this comes from a representative of that bastion of integrity and fair dealing, the Council on American Islamic Relations. "Exposing Robert Spencer: Juvenlie [sic!] Hadith Interpretations," by Omer Subhani at his blog:
One very distinct similarity between Robert Spencer and modern day Salafis is their inability to distinguish between hadith and fiqh....
Yes, that's why I write things like this, in a post from May 2006: "This is a matter of fact, abundantly established by the texts not just of the Qur'an, but of Hadith and fiqh." Not that I know the difference between those last two. I'm just repetitive and redundant that way.
Anyway, there follows a paragraph stating commonplaces that I have never disputed, and so will not bother to reproduce here. And then:
One of the things that I have noticed about Robert Spencer is how similar he is in his interpretations of hadith to Salafis. [...]
I would guess that somewhere someone had a meeting and decided this was the line on me: I'm just like the Islamic extremists. Even that stooge who doesn't know that he is a stooge, Dinesh D'Souza, has picked up on this. I report on how jihadists use the Qur'an, Sunnah, and fiqh to justify their actions, so therefore I am validating their interpretation of Islam.
For example, when I noted in connection with my Blogging the Qur'an series that traditional Islamic theology denies free will, Zahed Amanullah of Alt.Muslim responded not by refuting my evidence or even offering evidence for an opposing point of view, but merely by saying, "Robert allies himself with the extremists in their common interpretation of Islam being a religion of endless conflict."
Oh. That must mean the Islamic texts I quote don't say what they say!
I guess it really does it exist. And yes, I would still be glad to post it here at Jihad Watch.
"Wilders Sticks to Film Release before April," from NIS News (thanks to Fjordman):
THE HAGUE, 26/03/08 - MP Geert Wilders says he is continuing to try to release his anti-Koran film before 1 April. How he will do so is unclear, as the Internet provider that was to have broadcast the film has pulled out.
Wilders is refusing to say what possibilities he still has up his sleeve now that his website has been taken off the air by the large American provider Network Solutions. It is not possible to broadcast the film via a small provider because the site would then immediately crash as a result of the large number of visitors expected at the moment of its release.
Nonetheless, Wilders said yesterday he was continuing to try to broadcast the film before March ends. He repeated for the umpteenth time that the film entitled Fitna is not an April Fool's Day joke. [...]
Meanwhile, attempts to censor it pre-emptively continue:
The Netherlands Islamic Federation (NIF) is applying this Friday for a preventative ban on the film. NIF is asking the district court in The Hague to have an independent expert see the film and to judge whether it is blasphemous. In that case, it cannot be shown, according to the Muslim group. No preventative ban on any product whatsoever has ever been imposed in the Netherlands.
This is how jihad apologists have responded to my work, and it seems as if this is how they respond to everyone, including this heroic priest.
"Islam’s ‘Public Enemy #1’: Coptic priest Zakaria Botros fights fire with fire," by Raymond Ibrahim in National Review (thanks to all who sent this in):
Though he is little known in the West, Coptic priest Zakaria Botros — named Islam’s “Public Enemy #1” by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid — has been making waves in the Islamic world. Along with fellow missionaries — mostly Muslim converts — he appears frequently on the Arabic channel al-Hayat (i.e., “Life TV”). There, he addresses controversial topics of theological significance — free from the censorship imposed by Islamic authorities or self-imposed through fear of the zealous mobs who fulminated against the infamous cartoons of Mohammed. Botros’s excurses on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition have become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East.
Botros is an unusual figure onscreen: robed, with a huge cross around his neck, he sits with both the Koran and the Bible in easy reach. Egypt’s Copts — members of one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East — have in many respects come to personify the demeaning Islamic institution of “dhimmitude” (which demands submissiveness from non-Muslims, in accordance with Koran 9:29). But the fiery Botros does not submit, and minces no words. He has famously made of Islam “ten demands,” whose radical nature he uses to highlight Islam’s own radical demands on non-Muslims.
The result? Mass conversions to Christianity — if clandestine ones. The very public conversion of high-profile Italian journalist Magdi Allam — who was baptized by Pope Benedict in Rome on Saturday — is only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, Islamic cleric Ahmad al-Qatani stated on al-Jazeera TV a while back that some six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually, many of them persuaded by Botros’s public ministry. More recently, al-Jazeera noted Life TV’s “unprecedented evangelical raid” on the Muslim world. Several factors account for the Botros phenomenon.
Typically, Botros’s presentation of the Islamic material is sufficiently detailed that the controversial topic is shown to be an airtight aspect of Islam. Yet, however convincing his proofs, Botros does not flatly conclude that, say, universal jihad or female inferiority are basic tenets of Islam. He treats the question as still open — and humbly invites the ulema, the revered articulators of sharia law, to respond and show the error in his methodology. He does demand, however, that their response be based on “al-dalil we al-burhan,” — “evidence and proof,” one of his frequent refrains — not shout-downs or sophistry.
More often than not, the response from the ulema is deafening silence — which has only made Botros and Life TV more enticing to Muslim viewers. The ulema who have publicly addressed Botros’s conclusions often find themselves forced to agree with him — which has led to some amusing (and embarrassing) moments on live Arabic TV.
Botros played the key role in exposing this obscure and embarrassing issue and forcing the ulema to respond. Another guest on Hala Sirhan’s show, Abd al-Fatah, slyly indicated that the entire controversy was instigated by Botros: “I know you all [fellow panelists] watch that channel and that priest and that none of you [pointing at Abd al-Muhdi] can ever respond to him, since he always documents his sources!”
Incapable of rebutting Botros, the only strategy left to the ulema (aside from a rumored $5-million bounty on his head) is to ignore him. When his name is brought up, they dismiss him as a troublemaking liar who is backed by — who else? — international “Jewry.” They could easily refute his points, they insist, but will not deign to do so. That strategy may satisfy some Muslims, but others are demanding straightforward responses from the ulema.
"They could easily refute his points, they insist, but will not deign to do so." Just this morning Jihad Watch reader James sent me this exchange from the Amazon.com page for my book The Truth About Muhammad. A reader review by "Fadi Alkhateeb" asserted: "This book is full of lies and mistakes. If you want to know the truth about Mohammad read the 'Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet' by Karen Armstrong."
To which a commenter, "Drumthwacket," replied: "Mr. Alkhateeb, over five dozen reviewers have given this book a one star reviews as of March 16, 2008. Substantially all of them charge that this book is 'full of lies and mistakes' or the like. None of those reviewers have been able to substantiate those charges. Why do you think that is the case, Mr. Alkhateeb? Say, while you are giving my question some thought Mr. Alkhateeb, why don't you list ten of those lies and mistakes. Describe each of those ten lies and mistakes clearly and give us the page and paragraph locations from Mr. Spencer's book, so we can look them up and check."
Bravo, "Drumthwacket," and thanks.
The most dramatic example of this occurred on another famous show on the international station, Iqra. The host, Basma — a conservative Muslim woman in full hijab — asked two prominent ulema, including Sheikh Gamal Qutb, one-time grand mufti of al-Azhar University, to explain the legality of the Koranic verse (4:24) that permits men to freely copulate with captive women. She repeatedly asked: “According to sharia, is slave-sex still applicable?” The two ulema would give no clear answer — dissembling here, going off on tangents there. Basma remained adamant: Muslim youth were confused, and needed a response, since “there is a certain channel and a certain man who has discussed this issue over twenty times and has received no response from you.”
The flustered Sheikh Qutb roared, “low-life people like that must be totally ignored!” and stormed off the set. He later returned, but refused to admit that Islam indeed permits sex-slaves, spending his time attacking Botros instead. When Basma said “Ninety percent of Muslims, including myself, do not understand the issue of concubinage in Islam and are having a hard time swallowing it,” the sheikh responded, “You don’t need to understand.” As for Muslims who watch and are influenced by Botros, he barked, “Too bad for them! If my son is sick and chooses to visit a mechanic, not a doctor — that’s his problem!”
But the ultimate reason for Botros’s success is that — unlike his Western counterparts who criticize Islam from a political standpoint — his primary interest is the salvation of souls. He often begins and concludes his programs by stating that he loves all Muslims as fellow humans and wants to steer them away from falsehood to Truth. To that end, he doesn’t just expose troubling aspects of Islam. Before concluding every program, he quotes pertinent biblical verses and invites all his viewers to come to Christ.
Botros’s motive is not to incite the West against Islam, promote “Israeli interests,” or “demonize” Muslims, but to draw Muslims away from the dead legalism of sharia to the spirituality of Christianity. Many Western critics fail to appreciate that, to disempower radical Islam, something theocentric and spiritually satisfying — not secularism, democracy, capitalism, materialism, feminism, etc. — must be offered in its place. The truths of one religion can only be challenged and supplanted by the truths of another. And so Father Zakaria Botros has been fighting fire with fire.
Excellent. Read it all.
Will riots follow?
"Italy: Islamist website attacks Vatican baptism," from AKI (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Rome, 26 March (AKI) - An Islamist website has condemned the controversial baptism of Italian Muslim journalist Magdi Allam and questioned the strength of his previous commitment to the Muslim faith.
The site, linked to the Islamist Hamas movement in the Palestinian territories says that Allam was nominally Muslim, and that he admitted to have never practised Islam and to have never prayed in his life.
The website also blasted the Western press for saying that Allam was "a prominent Muslim", and the "truth is that he was neither Muslim nor prominent."
"The problem lies in the vindictive atmosphere surrounding the conversion ceremony, including the anti-Islamic allusions and insinuations," says the article.
Allam was also quoted in a book that he wrote titled "Long Live Israel", saying that "the root of evil is innate in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual."
The article then responded to Allam's quote and spoke of Christianity's 'conflictual history', by naming bible passages, crusades, holocausts, pogroms, inquisitions, world wars and ethnic cleansings, "committed in the name of Jesus".
Bible passages? A dangerous game, as there is no open-ended and universal command in the Bible to wage war against unbelievers, as there is in the Qur'an (9:29).
"As to the issue of violence, Allam is equally ignorant of historical facts," said the article.
"Because if a religion is to be judged solely by the behaviour of its followers, then Christianity stands out as the main candidate for being the most violent religion under the sun."
Sure, after one whitewashes Islam's bloody history, this is perfectly true.
The article, written by a Palestinian commentator, concludes by saying that Muslims and Christians are compatriots all over the world, and that each community must be sensitive to the sensibilities and feelings of the other.
That only seems to go one way, however.
Meanwhile yesterday, the Milanese imam Yahya Pallavicini, vice-president of the Islamic Religious Community in Italy, described Allam's baptism as an "honest intellectual mistake" that had been committed with the complicity of the Vatican....
“We have reason to believe the guards or inmates are punishing him for what he did and trying to cast terror into his heart.”
"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies..." (Qur'an 8:60)
From Compass Direct:
BANGKOK, March 18 (Compass Direct News) – Liu Huiwen, a Chinese Christian sentenced to 18 months imprisonment last November for distributing a gospel leaflet to Muslims in Gansu province, is suffering mistreatment in a Muslim-majority prison, local sources told Compass.
After a recent prison visit (allowed only twice a month), Liu’s wife Miao Hui Lian said that he was limping badly and looked very thin. Liu, unable to speak openly, told his wife that the prison was a “very bad place” and that he was being “bullied constantly.”
When Liu’s wife attempted to travel to Beijing to report the suspected abuse, police warned her to stay at home and make no complaint.
She is under heavy police surveillance, a Compass source confirmed.
After his wife’s recent prison visit, a local source told Compass that, “We have reason to believe the guards or inmates are punishing him for what he did and trying to cast terror into his heart.”...
"Scholar denounces Muslim baptism," from the BBC (thanks to all who sent this in):
A Muslim scholar involved in high-level dialogue with the Vatican has denounced the Pope's baptism on Saturday of a prominent Italian Muslim convert.
Aref Ali Nayed, the head of Jordan's Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, called the baptism of journalist Magdi Allam a deliberate and provocative act.
The Vatican has not yet commented, but its official newspaper said the gesture aimed to promote religious freedom. [...]
In a stinging rebuke of Saturday's televised ceremony, Mr Nayed denounced what he called "the Vatican's deliberate and provocative act of baptising Allam on such a special occasion and in such a spectacular way".
"It is sad that the intimate and personal act of a religious conversion is made into a triumphalist tool for scoring points," he said in a written statement.
Mr Nayed said Pope Benedict XVI's actions came "at a most unfortunate time when sincere Muslims and Catholics are working very hard to mend ruptures between the two communities".
The Jordanian scholar has been at the forefront of an initiative gathering more than 130 Muslim scholars who recently wrote to the Pope and other Christian leaders calling for greater dialogue and good will between Muslims and Christians.
The Vatican has also been keen to repair relations with moderate Muslims, particularly after the crisis caused by a speech the Pope gave in Germany in 2006, in which he appeared to associate Islam with violence.
But Mr Nayed added that despite the Vatican's actions, the initiative for dialogue to improve relations would continue.
"Our basis for dialogue is not a tit-for-tat logic of 'reciprocity' but a compassionate theology of mending," he wrote.
Yes, of course there is no reciprocity. That would mean churches and full freedom for Christians in Islamic lands.
In National Review today I discuss the conversion of Magdi Allam:
Italy’s leading Muslim writer has become a Catholic. As Pope Benedict XVI baptized Magdi Allam during an Easter service at the Vatican, the glare of international publicity annoyed at least one Muslim, Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice president of Coreis, the Italian Islamic Religious Community. He told reporters: “What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion. Why could he have not done this in his local parish? . . . If Allam truly was compelled by a strong spiritual inspiration, perhaps it would have been better to do it delicately, maybe with a priest from Viterbo where he lives.”
Why should the exercise of a basic human right, the freedom of conscience, be a matter for delicacy? In voicing this complaint Pallavicini raised yet again the Islamic-supremacist specter that increasingly haunts Europe — for in traditional Islamic law, Christians in the Islamic state must be unobtrusive and submissive, eschewing bells, processions, and other public displays, and remaining private and unostentatious in their religious observances, so as to avoid offend the delicate sensibilities of Muslims. In suggesting that Allam would have done better to convert somewhere away from the flashbulbs and microphones, Pallavicini suggests that all this is part of his own mental baggage: In a perfect world, Christians may practice their faith, but they must do so out of sight.
The new convert himself, an editorial writer and deputy editor at the Italian daily Corriere della Sera and for years a vociferous critic of the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism, might agree that this is indeed part of the attitude that Islamic sharia law can inculcate in its adherents. “Over the years,” he wrote trenchantly about Islam in a letter to Corriere della Sera, “my spirit has been freed from the obscurantism of an ideology that legitimizes lies and deception, violent death that leads to homicide and suicide, blind submission to tyranny.”
Read it all, over at NR.
Our friend D. C. Watson updates his master list.
Here is an incomplete list of Muslims in the United States who have been arrested and/or convicted for either planning or acting out their "jihad" against unsuspecting, innocent men, women and children. Will the Muslim organizations in America ever stand up for once and address the facts, or will they continue trying to mask what's really going on within their own community by accusing Americans of practicing the biases and double standards that they themselves practice in accordance with their own beliefs?
Step right up, place your bets.
Abdel Azim El Siddig: Financing Islamic terrorism (Missouri).
Abdelhaleem Ashqar: Criminal contempt and obstruction of justice for refusing to testify in 2003 before a grand jury investigating the Palestinian militant movement Hamas. Telephone records presented in the case records showed that Ashqar was in contact with Hamas leaders.
Abdul Hakim Murad: Conspiring and attempting to bomb 12 airliners.
Abdul Rauf Noormohamed: Providing false terrorism tips to federal agents.
Abdurahman Alamoudi: Financing Islamic terrorism.
Adam Gadahn, convert to Islam: Treason.
Adham Hassoun: Conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people in a foreign country.
Adnan el-Shukrijumah: Wanted in connection with possible threats against the United States.
Ahmad Abdelmomen: Aggravated assault, for beating his younger sister, breaking her back, and leaving her wheelchair bound because he was upset about her relationship with a non-Muslim boy. Their parents did not immediately call for medical assistance, believing that the beating was justified. (Michigan)
Ahmad Saad Nasim: Filing a false 'anti-Muslim' hate crime (Arizona).
Ahmad Mustafa: Aiding Islamic terrorists (Missouri).
Ahmed Abdel Sattar: Assisting an Islamic militant imprisoned in the United States with communicating with his followers in Egypt (New York).
Ahmed Barodi: Smuggling bogus passports into Saudi Arabia for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali: Terror-related charges, plotting to kill a U.S. President (Virginia).
Ahmed Ressam: Plotting to bomb the Los Angeles Airport on the eve of the new millennium.
Ali Abu Kamal: Shooting seven people on the Empire State Building's observation deck, killing one because he wanted to "punish America for supporting Israel."
Ali al-Timimi: Recruiting Islamic terrorists.
Ali bin Mussalim: Investing funds for Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida.
Ali Mohamed Bagegni: Financing Islamic terrorism (Missouri).
Ali Warrayat: Aggravated assault and arson. Warrayat, a Muslim and former student at Arizona State, with a Qur'an and a Palestinian flag in his trunk, rammed his car through the doors of an Arizona Home Depot store, drove through the store to the section that stocks the flammable liquids, and sets it ablaze. Why? He was unhappy with his raise. Also noted in police statements was that Warrayat had referred to his religion on several occasions, and that a Qur'an was hanging from the rearview mirror inside his vehicle.
Amir Abdelgani: Seditious conspiracy, bombing conspiracy and attempted bombing.
Amjad Abunar: Arson, reporting a false 'anti-Muslim' hate crime (Texas).
Basman Elashi: Conspiracy, money laundering and dealing in property of a terrorist (Texas).
Bayan Elashi: Conspiracy, money laundering and dealing in property of a terrorist (Texas).
Christopher Paul, aka Abdul Malek, or Abdul Malik: Providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. (Ohio)
Clement Hampton-El: Seditious conspiracy, bombing conspiracy and attempted bombing (New York).
Dawud Salahuddin, convert to Islam: Murder of a critic of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, saying the killing was "an act of war and a religious duty." Fled to Iran after the murder he committed (Bethesda, Maryland).
Derrick Shareef, aka Talib Abu Salam Ibn Shareef: Attempting to damage or destroy a building by fire or explosion, attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons or property in the U.S.
Donald T. Surratt, convert to Islam: Conspiracy, terror support.
El-Sayyid Nosair: Seditious conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder of a postal police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.
Eljvir Duka: Conspiring to kill uniformed military personnel.
Emadeddin Z. Muntasser: Conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax violations, and making false statements by lying to the government to win tax-exempt status for Care International, an Islamic charity, and then using the nonprofit to distribute publications promoting jihad, and to support Muslim militants overseas. (Boston, Mass.)
Abdullah said: "With God's help we will meet our brethren from other religions, including those who believe in the Torah and in the Gospel, in order to find ways to defend humanity."
For lack of information, many people will look upon that statement and say, "Oh, how nice." The first question one should ask, however, is whether Abdullah is speaking of the Torah as it is understood and used by Jews today and in generations past, and of the Gospel as it is understood and used by Christians today and in generations past. Or, does he really mean the Taurat and Injil of which the Qur'an speaks -- Ur-Torah and Ur-Gospel books that preached Islamic monotheism before allegedly being corrupted by later generations?
Then, is this proposed "dialogue" to be with Judaism and Christianity as they are, or with the assumption that Jews and Christians, having corrupted their holy books, aren't even true Jews and Christians from an Islamic perspective? Moreover, what of the supersessionist attitude that Islam corrects, completes, and therefore overshadows Judaism and Christianity?
This issue -- "my" Torah or "your" Torah? "my" Gospel or "your" Gospel? -- and the resulting obfuscation and confusion partially underlies the frequent canard of "common values" on which interfaith discussions often proceed, and which Abdullah is again employing here. Yes, giving to charity is nice. Prayer is really nice, and believers tend to agree that God is great. But it's the differences that have a bearing on how a society functions, and they are the source of incompatibility between Islamic cultures and those with a Judeo-Christian basis: What is the nature of the deity? (And what does that deity have to say about any number of topics?) What is the nature of man's relationship to the deity, and to the rest of the human race? And what of the interaction of men and women? Believers and non-believers? What about revenge?
Civilized societies agree to disagree on differences of opinion that concern faith. The problem here is the imperative that Islam dominate and not be dominated, and Abdullah is indeed using the notion of "common values" to advance a very particular agenda: He calls it "respect among the religions." Once again, the uninformed reader might think that sounds wonderful. But we have already seen on many occasions that Islamic law is reciprocity-impaired when it comes to respect. It is not "respect" in the general sense; rather, Islam is to be respected, and will deal with other faiths according to what it believes is the divinely-ordained order of things (i.e., dhimmitude).
"Abdullah wants interfaith conference," from the Jerusalem Post:
Saudi King Abdullah's desire to convene a meeting between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious communities was reported Tuesday by the official Saudi Arabian News Agency.
"I invite representatives of all the monotheistic religions to meet with their brothers in faith," the king was quoted as saying. The theme of the expected conference was reported to be "respect among the religions."
The news agency reported that senior Muslim leaders authorized the idea and consultations would be made with Islamic religious authorities from other countries. The king went on to say that "with God's help we will meet our brethren from other religions, including those who believe in the Torah and in the Gospel, in order to find ways to defend humanity."
This, he said, comes after humanity has lost its morality, sincerity and steadfastness. Also, the religions were confronted by challenges such as dealing with the disintegration of the family and ever-expanding Atheism, he said.
King Abdullah revealed that he had been preparing the convention for two years and discussed it with the Pope when he visited the Vatican a year ago. Abdullah has not determined a specific date for the meeting.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger expressed his satisfaction over the announcement. "Our hands are extended to any peace initiative and to any dialogue that will bring about an end to terrorism and violence," he said in a statement. "I have said on numerous occasions that the true path to the peace that we long for is through interfaith dialogue."
More from "Saudi King calls for interfaith dialogue," by Donna Abu-Nasr and Abdullah Shihri for the Associated Press:
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - The Saudi king has made an impassioned plea for dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews — the first such proposal from a nation with no diplomatic ties to Israel and a ban on non-Muslim religious services and symbols.
The message from King Abdullah, which was welcomed by Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders, comes at a time of stalled peace initiatives and escalating tensions in the region.
Muslims have been angered by cartoons published in European papers seen as insulting the Prophet Muhammad and by the pope's baptizing on Easter of a Muslim journalist who had converted to Catholicism.
"The idea is to ask representatives of all monotheistic religions to sit together with their brothers in faith and sincerity to all religions as we all believe in the same God," the king told delegates Monday night at a seminar on "Culture and the Respect of Religions." [...]
The White House welcomed the king's gesture.
"We think increased dialogue is a really good thing," presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said Tuesday. "And, of course, when you have someone like the king of Saudi Arabia, and all of his stature, that is recommending such a dialogue, it can only give us hope that there would be further recognition of everyone's right to freedom and freedom of expression and religion. So we are encouraged by it."
Abdullah said he planned to hold conferences to get the opinion of Muslims from other parts of the world, and then meetings with "our brothers" in Christianity and Judaism "so we can agree on something that guarantees the preservation of humanity against those who tamper with ethics, family systems and honesty."
Abdullah, who said he discussed the idea with Pope Benedict XVI when they met at the Vatican in November, framed his appeal in strictly religious and ethical terms, aimed at addressing the weakening of the family, increasing atheism and "a lack of ethics, loyalty, and sincerity for our religions and humanity."
How can a society that stews in perpetual hatred be any kind of partner for peace, except through the "peace" achieved by annihilating those whom they hate? And how much interest in peace can there be, if there is such a receptive audience to this line of discourse, which cultivates hatred and violence through blood libel?
"Palestinian media incites hatred through Holocaust," by Megan Jacobs for the Jerusalem Post:
A new exhibit in Gaza portrays the Jewish state burning Palestinian children in ovens.
A group called the National Committee for Defense of Children from the Holocaust unveiled its premier exhibit last week, entitled "Gaza: An exhibit describing the suffering of the children of the Holocaust."
Rather than teach about the Nazi genocide of European Jewry, the exhibit portrays Israel as the perpetrators of the holocaust; Palestinian children are "burned" in a model crematorium by "Israelis."
According to the Ramallah-based Al-Ayyam daily, "The exhibit includes a large oven and inside it small children are being burned. The picture speaks for itself."
The Zionist Organization of America condemned the exhibit, saying in a statement that "there seems to be no limit to the depravity of Palestinian hate education and incitement."
"We have seen over the years every sort of perversity, including educating children to become suicide bombers and honoring mass murderers. Here, the Palestinians, both Hamas and Fatah, depict Israelis as exterminating-Nazis, while teaching nothing about the actual Holocaust in which the wartime Palestinian leadership of Haj Amin el-Husseini was in fact very active. Husseini not only orchestrated campaigns of murder against Jews in the British Mandate, but also became an ally of the Nazis and worked hard to speed up the work of deportation and murder," said ZOA President Morton Klein.
"The depiction of Israelis as exterminating-Nazis essentially sends the message that Jews are evil people who should, like the Nazi regime, be destroyed. It is a travesty that many nations, including the US, continue to fund the PA and thereby work to keep this conflict alive while speaking endlessly of working hard to end it. Until and unless the Palestinians are held to their commitments to end terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it, no peace can be expected to become even feasible," he said.
"This is different than anything else," said Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus. "In the past, Palestinians would compare what Israel is doing to them to the Holocaust."
Over the last few years, Palestinian Media Watch has documented a "tremendous increase" in the usage of the word "holocaust" in the Palestinian media. Marcus said it was now being used "regularly, a few times per week or per article," versus once a month, as it had been prior, causing concern on multiple levels.
"The use of the term 'Shoah' has no doubt permeated society," Marcus said. "It has been adopted as their term."
Once adopted, it serves to delegitimize Israelis, making them out to be liars and aggressors, he said.
Furthermore, the perversion of Shoah language is incitement to hatred that, though not a direct incitement to violence, is equally as dangerous, he said. Marcus compares the current dialogue and hatred promotion to that of 1996-2000, where "incessant hatred was pumped into [Palestinian] society." Once "hatred, fear and a feeling that revenge is legitimate" are instilled in the population, an eruption into violence is the next step in a terrorist cycle, he said.
"Our greatest danger for peace in the long term is promotion of hatred," said Marcus. "This is the worst kind. It will imprint hatred on those kids forever."
"Hamas Cleric Wael Al-Zarad Calls for the Annihilation of Jews and States: If Each Arab Spat on the Jews, They Would Drown in Arab Spit," from MEMRI (thanks to Paparock):
Following are excerpts from a TV program featuring Palestinian cleric Wael Al-Zarad, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on February 28, 2008:
Wael Al-Zarad: In short, these are the Jews. As Muslims, our blood vengeance against them will only subside with their annihilation, Allah willing, because they tried to kill our Prophet several times.
What should we do with these people? What is the best solution for them? Should it be by shamelessly bestowing kisses, regardless of our religion and our morals, on satellite TV and in clear view of the whole world? Should it be through futile meetings, which are usually conducted on carpets red with the blood of martyrs? Or should it be through an exchange of despicable smiles and ugly handshakes?
What is the best solution for these people, who have perpetrated every possible thing against us? They have destroyed our homes, killed our children, taken our land, and plundered our resources. They have turned our mosques into pubs and bars, where they drink alcohol and get women drunk. From the dome of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, they proclaim that Ezra the Scribe is the son of God. [...]
No, they don't. No Jewish group has ever claimed this. But Muhammad somehow got the idea that they did, and so it is in the Qur'an (9:30).
By Allah, people, the Jews do not deserve such a fuss. They do not deserve to be feared. The Jews are not a terrorizing bogeyman. The Jews are nothing but human scum, who came as scattered gangs to occupy our land. By Allah, if each and every Arab spat on them, they would drown in Arab spit. By Allah, if each and every Muslim spat on them, they would drown in saliva. By Allah, if the Arabs and Muslims turned into flies, the Jews would die from their buzzing. Therefore, my dear brothers, the Jews do not deserve to be feared so much. Therefore, I ask with pain and sorrow: Isn't there a single reasonable man in any of the Arab air forces? Isn't there a single reasonable man among them, who will break through these aerial borders, and bomb the Jews deep in their own land? Where are all the Arabs and Muslims?
But Turkey is the model of a moderate Muslim state, so rest assured they did it moderately. "Turks praise jihad to protest Cheney visit," from the Jerusalem Post :
Thousands of Turks chanted anti-American and anti-Israel slogans, sang jihadist songs and pledged to follow the path of Hamas's Sheikh Ahmed Yassin at a rally held on Saturday to coincide with US Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to Turkey, according to the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
In a news release on Monday, MEMRI quoted the Turkish Islamist Web sites Velfecr.com and Kudusyolu.com as reporting that demonstrators carried hundreds of Hamas and Hizbullah flags and posters, as well as pictures of the movements' leaders.
Some of the banners read, "Israel Will Be Destroyed," "We Will Settle Accounts with the Murderer Israel," "If Every Muslim Pours Out a Bucket of Water, Israel Drowns," and "The Way of the Shahids is Our Way."
MEMRI said the demonstration, held in Sakarya, was organized by the Islamist Anatolia Youth Organization (AGD), with the support of other Islamist organizations.
During the demonstration, an Israeli flag with "Death to Israel" on it was burned and hateful speeches against Christian "Crusaders" and Jews, inciting the crowds to jihad, were delivered by Islamist activist Nureddin Sirin and by two AGD officials.
MEMRI noted that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan headed the AGD prior to becoming Istanbul's mayor.
Sirin went on: "We say to the White House of America and to the Tel Aviv gang: Islamic lands are not only Palestine, Iraq or only Afghanistan. All the lands of Islam will become the grave of Crusaders and Zionists, and with the will of Allah, in all Islamic lands, the faces of Crusaders, occupiers and Zionists will taste the slaps and the fists of Muslims that will smash them. Quds [Jerusalem] is the cause of everyone who says he is a Muslim. When the political, cultural, economic and military unity of Islam is realized, none of them [the infidels] will dare raise a hand to the Muslims. The day is nearing, when the Zionist cancer virus, this tumor, will be eliminated."
Geert Wilders is not alone. I received this email this morning:
Dear Mr. Spencer,
Sagunto here, from the Netherlands with a censorship alert.
This morning, I received several messages from the YouTube "service-team" which stated that the videos featuring the documentary Islam, what the West needs to know (with my Dutch subtitles) were removed from my account, due to "inappropriate content" after they had been flagged by some users.
It can't be due to protests from the producers, because I got permission from Mr. Greg Davis to put the vid's with the Dutch subtitles on the YouTube channel.
So I asked them the following question (but up to this moment I received no answer):
"Dear people @ Youtube,
Today I received several messages about the hugely popular documentary "Islam, what the West needs to know", which was apparently removed from my account due to inappropriate content (I have to translate here from the message in Dutch which stated: "ongepast materiaal").
The documentary is almost exclusively based on well known Islamic sources themselves, so you might understand that I'm rather curious as to the reasons why these vid's were removed and what exactly was considered offensive or inappropriate material. Do the people at YouTube consider the Koran/Hadith to be offensive? I think the 44.000 people who saw this documentary would be well served if they knew the reasons behind this decision. I'd like to hear from you."
This is a serious set-back for free speech at YouTube. They apparently have succumbed to islamist pressuregroups.
Kindest regards from Amsterdam
And he knows about revolting
But only as a "second step."
"Shiite cleric Sadr calls for 'civil revolt' in Iraq," from Gulfnews (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Najaf: Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr called on Iraqis to stage sit-ins and threatened a countrywide "civil revolt" if attacks by US and Iraqi security forces continue against his followers.
In a statement read out by senior aide Hazem Al Araji, Sadr said, "We call upon all Iraqis to stage sit-ins all over Iraq as a first step. And if the people's demands are not respected by the Iraqi government, the second step will be to declare civil revolt in Baghdad and all other provinces."
He also threatened a "third step", but said it was too early to announce what that would be.
Hmmm, now what could it be...
He said it.
"Libyan Liberal Muhammad Al-Houni on Statements by Archbishop of Canterbury: If Europe Adopts Shari'a, It Will Revert to Pre-Enlightenment Era," from MEMRI, with thanks to the Constantinoplitan Irredentist:
In a February 26, 2008 article in the Arab liberal e-journal Elaph, Libyan-European liberal thinker and entrepreneur Muhammad 'Abd Al-Muttalib Al-Houni wrote that the recent statements by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams on implementing shari'a law in Britain constituted dangerous encouragement to fundamentalists in their war against the Enlightenment. He added that such statements could have very grave repercussions for the struggle for freedom in Muslim countries as well.
The following are excerpts from Al-Houni's article:
"Also, European countries seeking to implement shari'a would need to submit their reservations regarding any international conventions they may have signed. This is because they will have to:
"1) Permit polygamy for European Muslim citizens, and not punish them for it - [even though] this is considered criminal under European law;
"2) Permit European Muslim citizens to beat their wives to discipline them, as the Koran urges;
"3) Allow men to unilaterally decide to divorce without requiring any court proceedings, as this is a right guaranteed [to men] by shari'a;
"4) Give daughters [only] half the inheritance rights that sons have, while widows receive only an eighth of the inheritance;
"5) [Not] consider women's testimony the equal of men's in shari'a courts;
"6) Deprive a divorced woman of custody of her children if she remarries;
"7) Allow European Muslim citizens to marry in traditional marriages without the need to officially register these marriages;
"8) Eliminate adoption, since it is contrary to shari'a;
"9) Force a woman whose Muslim husband converts to another religion to divorce him, because he is an apostate;
"10) Prevent European Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims…"
Adopting Shari'a Would Undermine the Concept of Citizenship
"If [Archbishop Rowan's] intention is to introduce some or all of these laws from Islamic shari'a into Europe's legal systems, it would mean the following:
"1) The concept of citizenship in Europe will change. There will be [different] classes of citizenship and of citizens, with some citizens being exempt from having the general law applied to them because they belong to a particular religion or belief. There will be a Muslim [class of] citizen, a Christian [class of] citizen, a Buddhist [class of] citizen, a Confucian [class of] citizen, and so on. Each will apply his own laws... Thus, faith will not be an individual freedom or belief; it will [come to] have extremely serious public ramifications.
"2) If some or all of these laws were implemented and recognized by European legislative bodies, it would not only seriously damage human rights legislation - it would spell the end [of this legislation]. This is because everything I mentioned above is a negation of human rights principles.
"3) Recognizing all, or [even] some, of these laws would take European societies back to the age before the Enlightenment and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a result, the West would revert to barbarism."
Is the Anglican Church a Partner in Fundamentalism?
"While I maintain that the European countries will never accede to these catastrophic demands - for reasons more practical than humanist - the fact that they were proposed by the British archbishop sends the wrong message to the Islamic world. The gist of this message is that there is no contradiction between Islamic shari'a and Western civilization if [shari'a] applies [only] for Muslim citizens.
"The Islamic world has been suffering from fundamentalist attacks on what is left of secular society in their countries. These fundamentalists want to implement a shari'a law that contravenes human rights, taking as their model and inspiration the seventh-century state [established by] the Prophet Muhammad in Medina.
"At present, these [fundamentalists] are picking fights with the secularists in Islamic countries, and their attitude is: 'How can you oppose shari'a law in your own countries when we see that the Anglican Church is seeking its implementation in Europe?
"This message is wrong, and it is detrimental to all pleas for modernism and secularism in the Islamic world. Such [pleas] are weak enough as it is, overpowered as they are by the tsunami of Islamist extremists who accuse [those who voice] them of subordination [to the West], treason, and heresy. Such statements by some Anglican clerics are nothing less than support for the ideas of Islamist extremists, and are also an attempt to make fundamentalist religious thought triumph over secular thought in the Islamic countries.
In the featured article at FrontPage today I discuss the latest fulminations by the "reformist" Sheikh Qaradawi against the great Wafa Sultan:
Wafa Sultan appeared on Al-Jazeera again earlier this month, and the shock waves are still reverberating throughout the Islamic world. The day after her appearance Al-Jazeera issued a public apology for her “offensive” remarks, but did not specify what exactly she said that was so terrible. Last week, however, the influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi was not so circumspect. Qaradawi, whom Saudi-funded academic John Esposito has praised as a “reformist,” in 2006 exhorted Muslims to fight against Israel by invoking the notorious genocidal hadith in which Muhammad says that on the Day of Judgment “even the stones and the trees will speak, with or without words, and say: ‘Oh servant of Allah, oh Muslim, there’s a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” But now he has directed his rage against Sultan, a fifty-year-old Syrian-American psychologist: “She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end.” Specifically, “she had the audacity to publicly curse Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation.” He repeated that she “leveled accusations against Islam and the Muslims, and cursed Allah, His Prophet, the Islamic nation, the shari’a, and the Islamic faith and culture.”
These are serious charges, and Qaradawi states them in terms that his jihadist minions will understand as meaning that she must be killed. Given that Qaradawi has justified suicide attacks against Israeli civilians and American soldiers in Iraq, it is clear that he has no distaste for violence, and thus law enforcement officials should take his latest fulminations against Wafa Sultan very seriously indeed.
In Human Events today I discuss the rage over my newly-discovered nearly two-year-old book:
The Al-Arabiya news channel last week discovered a sixteen-month-old promotion for my book The Truth About Muhammad, and worked itself into a fine lather of indignation – and the jihad terror group Hamas soon got into the act as well.
The Hamas website thundered that the book was part of a “campaign by Western extremists against the religion of Islam and values that are sacred to Moslems,” and was “another in a series of actions designed to distort the image of Islam in the public eye. This follows the re-publication of the Muhammad caricatures in Denmark and the intention of a Dutch Parliament Member to air a movie against Islam.”
"Nasrallah: The Zionist entity can be wiped out of existence," by Yoav Stern for Haaretz (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Monday told tens of thousands of supporters in Beirut that Israel could be eliminated and that the prowess of its army had been exaggerated by "Zionist-American propaganda."
"The Zionist entity can be wiped out of existence," Nasrallah said in his address via video link, referring to Israel. "Our nation is stronger now than ever before," he added.
Nasrallah's speech was broadcast live at a rally marking the end of the 40-day mourning period for slain Hezbollah military chief Imad Mughniyah, who was assassinated in a car bombing in Damascus last month.
The Lebanon-based guerilla group Hezbollah has repeatedly blamed Israel for the assassination of the group's second in command, but Israel has categorically denied any involvement.
"Zionist-American propaganda is aiming to harm our nation's consciousness. They, using their violent system, are trying to tell us that we are weak and powerless. They want to tell us that we don't have any hopes of winning," the Hezbollah leader continued. [...]
"There is a military political victory termed the withdrawal of the occupation army from southern Lebanon, but there is also an ideological victory in the battle of consciousness," he said.
However, he went on, in the summer of 2006 a powerful new answer became apparent. "In the July war we were attacked by the [Israeli] army and the resistance withstood the great attack, breaking and shattering the army. We found and we saw the true picture of Israel and its leaders, generals, officers, soldiers and the Israeli tank... the nation that isn't facing bombings and banishment, lived in bomb shelters for 33 days. Could Israel be wiped out of existence? Yes, and a thousand times yes."...
At last the whole truth is coming out about this malignant group.
"CAIR Exposed: Part 1: As IAP Offshoot, CAIR Followed Pro-Hamas Agenda From the Start," by Steven Emerson for IPT News (thanks to all who sent this in):
From the Hamas ties of its founders in 1994 to its solicitous stance toward accused terrorists today, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has demonstrated that its actual mission is far removed from the civil rights advocacy it claims to pursue.
Still standing as perhaps the clearest evidence of CAIR's insidious role, two key leaders of the group attended a 1993 meeting in Philadelphia called by Hamas members and supporters to devise a strategy for torpedoing the Oslo Accords aimed at Middle East peace.
An analysis of secret recordings of the meeting led the FBI to conclude that the gathering was held "to determine… [the participants'] course of action in support of Hamas' opposition to the [Oslo] peace plan and to decide how to conceal their activities from the scrutiny of the United States government."
Coupled with their support for the jihad in the Middle East, the attendees recognized the critical importance of domestic lobbying in the United States. One discussed encouraging the Islamic community "to be involved in the political life of this country," adding, "We should assist them in this task. This will be an entrance for us to put, through the Islamic community, pressure on the Congress and the decision makers in America."
That's where CAIR came in. Participants in that 1993 meeting discussed tailoring their message to an American audience, speaking of outright deception at times and of softening their rhetoric at others, as the following exchange between CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad shows:Awad: What is important is that the language of the address is there even for the American. But, the issue is how to use it.....
Omar Ahmad: There is a difference between you saying "I want to restore the '48 land" and when you say "I want to destroy Israel".....
Awad: Yes, there are different but parallel types of address. There shouldn't be contradiction. Address people according to their minds. When I speak with the American, I speak with someone who doesn't know anything. As for the Palestinian who has a martyr brother or something, I know how to address him, you see?
This context helps explain why federal authorities have tied the CAIR to Hamas in three separate court filings in the past year. Prosecutors place CAIR on the Muslim Brotherhood's "Palestine Committee." An internal Palestine Committee document in 1994 lists CAIR as one of its "working organizations" along with IAP. Other records show that committee was created to advance the Hamas agenda within the United States.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism has assembled a thorough dossier on CAIR's origins and activities which we present in installments during the next two weeks. You can read today's segment here.
Read it all.
I just spent 30-40 minutes on the phone with Network Solutions (based in PA), complaining about their removal of the fitnathemovie.com website.
Ultimately, I was only able to get as high a woman named Shannon, the Assistant to the Executive Officer (his name is Roy Dunbar), who gave me a polite brush off, without actually answering any of my questions.
But I was making her very uncomfortable...I could actually hear her blanching over the phone!
I explained why I was contacting her (she was already aware of Fitna), and when I was done explaining my gripe (forcefully), she asked me if I had any specific questions for her.
So I asked her some specific questions, and informed her they were for an article I was writing for a popular conservative blog (where upon her voice became even gloomier)...
1. "Why did you remove a website for TOS violations when there was nothing but a parking page with the text "Coming Soon", and a photo of the Quran?"
She directed my attention to the notice on the page, saying "It is what it is."
2. "Why is an American based company willing to practice preemptive censorship, when there has not yet been any violation?"
Again, she had no answer.
5. I asked her why an American based hosting company is more concerned about disgruntled Muslims than protecting free speech on the Internet?
I explained that, unlike radical Muslims, law abiding citizens did not have the option of issuing threats or becoming violent, thus our only recourse is to become such a pain in the ass that companies such as Network Solutions find offending Muslims preferable to the time and resources wasted dealing with us.
I told her I would be posting the gist of our conversation online, at a popular site, and that she was in for a bad week. I really hope I'm right.
Roy Dunbar, CEO
10 Azalea Drive
Drums, PA 18222
Give 'em hell Jawas!
Don't let yourselves be brushed off by the first few people you talk to... and don't waste a lot of your time talking to them. They are low level functionaries, and you are better off wasting the time of someone at a higher pay scale.
Just keep asking to speak with someone in the corporate offices until you are connected.
If you do this, be polite, respectful, and factual. Remember that anything you say can be used against you, and against the anti-jihad resistance, if at all possible.
Remember Nadir Ahmed? He was the subject of my post entitled "Why Can't Muslims Debate?"
From Alpha & Omega Ministries (thanks to PRCalDude):
I went to Norfolk Virginia to attend the debate between Dr. White and Nadir Ahmed on the topic, "Can We Trust What the New Testament Says about Jesus and the Gospel?" Mr. Ahmed was thoroughly unprofessional, acted completely unprepared, and had absolutely no ability to either present or defend any of his assertions in any coherent or persuasive fashion. In many instances throughout the interaction, Mr. Ahmed acted with belligerence and rudeness to Dr. White, the moderators, and the audience.
I would probably not be wrong in stating that even the Muslims present were embarrassed by his presentation. In fact, during the questions and answers segment, the Muslims that had the opportunity to comment expressed disapproval in Mr. Ahmed's presentation and behavior. [...]
It became obvious very quickly that Mr. Ahmed had no credentials or ability to call himself an apologist, nor should he have been given the opportunity to a moderated public debate.
By now the idea is spreading all over the place that there is no movie Fitna, and never will be -- that Geert Wilders simply announced that there would be to expose Islamic intolerance.
I have no direct knowledge either way, but I'm inclined to credit this idea at this point, since the film has not appeared now on several dates on which it had been announced to appear. Maybe it will finally burst upon the world, but I won't be surprised if it never does.
And look what we have seen: for the mere announcement that he was making a film quoting the Qur'an and showing Muslims acting violently in accord with its words, we have seen threats from several Muslim countries, threats from Al-Qaeda, demonstrations in the Netherlands and around the world, and quailing dhimmitude from the august leaders of Europe, as they cringed before the anticipated Islamic wrath, and from Network Solutions, as they pulled Wilders's site while it was almost entirely devoid of content.
Note, meanwhile, that hardly a day goes by on which some Muslims somewhere do not commit an act of violence that they deem to be justified by the words of the Qur'an. Jihadist leaders routinely invoke Qur'anic passages to explain their actions and make recruits among peaceful Muslims. In other words, we see the announced theme of Wilders's Fitna played out every day, not by non-Muslims but by Muslims -- and there is nary a peep of protest from anyone. Muslims in the West issue vague denunciations of "terrorism," but never specifically explain whom they actually believe to be a terrorist, and there are no protests, no threats, no nothing against those who have supposedly "hijacked" their religion.
Maybe that was Wilders's point all along, and it is a point well made, made again and again and again.
Wow! What was your first clue, Mr. Vice President? And when will you take any notice of the fact that Fatah has shown no sign of honoring any peace agreement, either?
"Cheney says Hamas torpedoes peace," by Deb Riechmann for Associated Press (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
JERUSALEM - Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Hamas, with support from Syria and Iran, is trying to "torpedo" peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
Meeting reporters after having breakfast with the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Cheney said, "It is clearly a difficult situation, in part, because I think it's true, there's evidence, that Hamas is supported by Iran and Syria and that they're doing everything they can to torpedo the peace process."
Cheney said in his meeting with Palestinian leaders on Sunday they talked about efforts under way in Yemen to encourage reconciliation between moderate and militant Palestinians.
"My conclusion after talking about this with the Palestinians is that they have established some preconditions before they would ever consider a reconciliation, including a complete reversal of the Hamas takeover of Gaza," he said.
Good luck with that.
More threats from Al-Qaeda's #2 thug: "No one can say today that we should fight the Jews in Palestine only."
"Zawahri urges anti-Isreal [sic] attacks over Gaza," from Reuters :
DUBAI - Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Al Zawahri called for attacks on Israeli and Western targets to avenge Israel’s raids on the Gaza Strip, in an audio tape posted on the Internet on Monday.
‘O Muslims. Today is your day. Hit the interest of the Jews and the Americans and all those who participated in the aggression against Muslims,’ said the speaker on the tape who sounded like Zawahri.
‘Monitor the targets, collect the money, prepare the hardware, plan accurately and then attack,’ he added, without specifically naming any targets. ‘No one can say today that we should fight the Jews in Palestine only.’...
A Jihad Watch reader asked me: “If the Israel/Palestinian conflict were exactly the same as it is, only the roles of the two warring parties were exactly reversed, would you then switch allegiances to the Palestinian side?”
If there were 22 Jewish states, and only one tiny Arab state, and if in those 22 Jewish states every other group was denied anything like equality (see the various groups of Christians all over the Muslim Arab world, or for that matter see the various groups of non-Arab Muslims -- such as Kurds, Berbers, and black Africans in Darfur), and if those 22 Jewish states also possessed fantastic oil reserves and the one tiny Arab state possessed nothing but the intelligence of its populace, and if those 22 Jewish states were the size of the 22 members of the Arab League, with 14,000,000 square miles of territory, and the one tiny Arab state had less than 1/1,000th of that, or about 10,0000 square miles, and if those 22 Jewish states were possessed of an ideology that required them to move heaven and earth in order to eradicate that one tiny Arab state -- oh, and did I forget to mention all the other "not-quite Jewish states" that would be the correct analogue to the non-Arab Muslim states that the Arabs (and Islam) have convinced that they, too, have a stake in opposing Israel and wishing to see it destroyed? (See those frenzied mobs in Iran, or Pakistan.)
As we saw two weeks ago, verses 83-101 of sura 18 were revealed after a group of rabbis devised a test for Muhammad’s claim to be a prophet: “Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story?” That man was Dhul-Qarnayn (v. 83) – “the one with two horns.” Ibn Kathir explains that he had “dominion over the east and the west, all countries and their kings submitted to him, and all the nations, Arab and non-Arab, served him.” He goes on to explain that Dhul-Qarnayn got his Qur’anic name “because he reached the two ‘Horns’ of the sun, east and west, where it rises and where it sets.”
But who was this great conqueror? The Tafsir al-Jalalayn says that “he was not a prophet” and that his “name was Alexander” – better known as Alexander the Great, who was depicted on coins with two ram’s horns on his head. Maududi notes that “early commentators on the Qur’an were generally inclined to believe” that Dhul-Qarnayn was Alexander. Muhammad Al-Ghazali says that Alexander the Great is “high on the list of possibilities.”
In my morning email many people are asking me if I will host Geert Wilders's Qur'an movie here at Jihad Watch.
I haven't had any contact with Geert Wilders. He has not asked me to host the film. But if given the opportunity, I certainly would, at least until we too were shut down.
I've noticed this morning also that many others are offering to host the film. That is a good thing -- Westerners refusing to be intimidated and silenced by thuggery and threats. I hope that ultimately the film appears in many, many places -- too many to shut them all down.
After an infusion of American cash. But don't be concerned: they're moderate cash grants. "Americans paying rent for terrorists? Militants complain they don't have enough money to cover their bills," by Aaron Klein for WorldNetDaily (thanks to Doc Washburn):
JERUSALEM – Just days after it was announced the U.S. would transfer $150 million directly to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' government, members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, the declared military wing of Abbas' Fatah party, were told they would receive cash grants, WND has learned. According to Palestinian militant sources familiar with the issue, earlier this month, 20 members of the Brigades leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah complained to PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad they did not have enough money to pay their bills, including, for many of them, rent for their apartments. Last week, according to the informed sources, Fayyad told the complaining Brigades leaders he would provide them with a one-time grant of $3,000 each, or $60,000 to the Ramallah-based Brigades leadership. The sources said after Brigades leaders in other West Bank cities, including Hebron and Nablus, heard of the grants, they also demanded pay increases. "Some of the other fighters accused Fayyad of favoring the Brigades leaders in Ramallah since that's where Fayyad lives," said a militant source. "So he gave grants also to other cells."
The sources estimate at least $350,000 in grants to Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leaders were pledged by Fayyad since last week. Some of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leaders serve in Fatah security forces while others only work in the Brigades.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, deadly shootings and rocket attacks. It is listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization even though U.S. policy considers the Fatah party to be "moderate."
Many members of the Brigades openly serve in Fatah's official security forces....
Read it all.
No surprise there. More on Magdi Allam's conversion, in a story by Philip Pullella for Reuters (thanks to John):
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A Muslim author and critic of Islamic fundamentalism who was baptized a Catholic by Pope Benedict said on Sunday Islam is "physiologically violent" and he is now in great danger because of his conversion.
"I realize what I am going up against but I will confront my fate with my head high, with my back straight and the interior strength of one who is certain about his faith," said Magdi Allam.
In a surprise move on Saturday night, the pope baptized the 55-year-old, Egyptian-born Allam at an Easter eve service in St Peter's Basilica that was broadcast around the world.
The conversion of Allam to Christianity -- he took the name "Christian" for his baptism -- was kept secret until the Vatican disclosed it in a statement less than an hour before it began.
Writing in Sunday's edition of the leading Corriere della Sera, the newspaper of which he is a deputy director, Allam said: "... the root of evil is innate in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual."
Allam, who is a strong supporter of Israel and who an Israeli newspaper once called a "Muslim Zionist," has lived under police protection following threats against him, particularly after he criticized Iran's position on Israel.
He said before converting he had continually asked himself why someone who had struggled for what he called "moderate Islam" was then "condemned to death in the name of Islam and on the basis of a Koranic legitimization." [...]
A telling question.
The Vatican appeared to be at pains to head off criticism from the Islamic world about the conversion.
"Conversion is a private matter, a personal thing and we hope that the baptism will not be interpreted negatively by Islam," Cardinal Giovanni Re told an Italian newspaper.
Still, Allam's highly public baptism by the pope shocked Italy's Muslim community, with some leaders openly questioning why the Vatican chose to shine such a big spotlight it.
"What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion," Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters. "Why could he have not done this in his local parish?"
Why indeed? But the same question can be turned around: Magdi Allam is an internationally famous journalist. Why, then, shouldn't his conversion be high-profile? That Pallavicini would prefer it hidden away suggests that he carries in his mental baggage the Sharia-based assumption that Christians should be quiet and submissive, private and unostentatious in their religious observances, so as to avoid offend the delicate sensibilities of Muslims.
But they are now likely to be very, very offended:
ANOTHER DEATH SENTENCE
Allam, the author of numerous books, said he realized that his conversion would likely procure him "another death sentence for apostasy," or the abandoning of one's faith.
But he said he was willing to risk it because he had "finally seen the light, thanks to divine grace."
Allam defended the pope in 2006 when the pontiff made a speech in Regensburg, Germany, that many Muslims perceived as depicting Islam as a violent faith.
He said he made his decision to convert after years of deep soul searching and asserted that the Catholic Church has been "too prudent about conversions of Muslims."...
Jihad terrorists? Fine! A movie about the connection between the Qur'an and violent actions by Muslims? No way! In an update on this story, Jihad Watch reader CJN send me this:
Just a bit of infomation about Network Solutions that I have collected.
Here is the whois record for hizbollah.org:
Created On:06-Feb-1998 05:00:00 UTC
Last Updated On:07-Dec-2006 06:17:10 UTC
Expiration Date:05-Feb-2009 05:00:00 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Network Solutions LLC (R63-LROR)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant Name:NO FIRST NAME NO LAST NAME
Registrant Street1:ATTN insert domain name here
Registrant Street2:care of Network Solutions
Registrant Postal Code:20172
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Admin Name:Hussein Beydoun
Admin Street1:ATTN insert domain name here
Admin Street2:care of Network Solutions
Admin Postal Code:20172
Admin Phone Ext.:
Admin FAX Ext.:
Tech Name:Network Solutions, LLC.
Tech Organization:Network Solutions, LLC.
Tech Street1:13200 Woodland Park Drive
Tech Postal Code:20171-3025
Tech Phone Ext.:
Tech FAX Ext.:
Here is the present ip address for this domain: 188.8.131.52
Here is the reverse lookup for that IP:
% This is the RIPE Whois query server #3.
% The objects are in RPSL format.
% Rights restricted by copyright.
% See http://www.ripe.net/db/copyright.html
% Note: This output has been filtered.
% To receive output for a database update, use the "-B" flag.
% Information related to '184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11'
inetnum: 18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124
descr: STE ISP Network 1
status: ASSIGNED PA
source: RIPE # Filtered
person: Rouda Al Amir Ali
address: Syrian Telecommunication Establishment
address: 1 Mazza Autostrad
address: P.O.BOX 11774 Damascus
phone: +963 11 373 9701
source: RIPE # Filtered
person: Mostafa Sawan
address: Aleppo - Syria
phone: +963 93 2554647
source: RIPE # Filtered
% Information related to '126.96.36.199/18AS29386'
descr: STE Public Data Network Backbone and LIR
source: RIPE # Filtered
% Information related to '188.8.131.52/18AS29256'
descr: STE Public Data Network Backbone and LIR
source: RIPE # Filtered
UPDATE: Allahpundit at Hot Air says it isn't actually hosted by Network Solutions. I have no way to evaluate all the technical issues here, but if this information above is inaccurate, I apologize.
Abu Bakar Bashir, the notorious Indonesian imam whose inflammatory statements and coddling by the Indonesian government we have featured here many times, is once again happily stirring up strife -- and doing so, nota bene, in the context of fidelity to the purity of Allah's law.
"Bashir urges attacks on 'infidel' Australians," by Natasha Robinson in The Australian (thanks to David):
ISLAMIC cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has returned to his hardline rhetoric with a call for followers to "beat up" Western tourists and for young Muslims to die as martyrs.
In the sermon, organised by an Islamic youth organisation and delivered a few kilometres from the home village of convicted Bali bombers Amrozi and Mukhlas, Bashir likened tourists in Bali to "worms, snakes, maggots", and specifically referred to the immorality of Australian infidels.
The address was caught on video by an Australian university student.
"The youth movement here must aspire to a martyrdom death," said the cleric, who was convicted of conspiracy over the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, but was later cleared and released from prison.
"The young must be first at the front line - don't hide at the back. You must be at the front, die as martyrs and all your sins will be forgiven. This is how to achieve forgiveness." [...]
The sermon was organised by the youth group Persatuan Pemuda Islam Pantura (Java North Coast Islamic Youth Group) and delivered on October 22 last year. [...]
During the sermon, Bashir talked of a previous visit to Australia, claiming that he had wanted to see the "beauty of the ocean" but was told by a friend there was "one condition" of a visit to the beach.
"He said if you enter that area you must be completely naked," Bashir told the crowd of about 300 hearing his sermon.
Bashir likened non-Muslims to crawling animals. "Worms, snakes, maggots - those are animals that crawl. Take a look at Bali ... those infidel tourists. They are naked."
He called for signs to be erected across Indonesia warning tourists they were entering a Muslim area, and directing they cover up appropriately. But in east Java, he urged the Islamist youth to "beat up" foreigners.
"God willing, there are none here," Bashir said. "If there were infidels here, just beat them up. Do not tolerate them." [...]
Bashir's address contained many direct challenges to Indonesian secularism. The cleric urged his supporters to reject the laws of the nation's parliament and said following state laws that contradicted Islamic Shariah law was an act of "blasphemy".
"Don't be scared if you are called a hardliner Muslim," Bashir said. "It must be like that. We can't follow human law that is in conflict with Allah's law."
I've had the honor of speaking at an event with John Lewis. He is a superb speaker with a meticulously reasoned and researched message. And when I read this piece about the kind of questioning he got at Georgia Tech, I had an overwhelming sense of deja vu -- this is exactly, in every detail, the kind of questioning I generally get when I speak on college campuses and in other venues also.
"Memoirs of a 'Criminal Mind': Georgia Tech, March 13, 2008," by John David Lewis at The Objective Standard (thanks to all who sent this in):
On March 13, I gave my talk “‘No Substitute for Victory’: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism” to an audience of about forty at Georgia Institute of Technology. In the talk, based on my article in The Objective Standard, I rejected all forms of theocracy, but emphasized the danger posed by the Islamic state and argued for the destruction of its most obvious manifestation, the regime in Iran. I was prepared for opposition to the idea of war with Iran, and I acknowledged up front that those who recognize that religious law is wrong might disagree with my conclusion that a war against the Iranian state is necessary. But I was not prepared for the strident defense of Islamic law and jihad—and for the condemnation of me for even raising the issue of Islamic jihad—that was to come.
The onslaught began with the first “question,” actually a monologue that lasted nearly fifteen minutes. The monologist claimed that: (1) there is a long history of separation of church and state in Islam; (2) Islamic law is good; (3) whenever imposed, Islamic law has brought peace; (4) jihad is a “wonderful idea” and does not mean war; (5) Islamic Totalitarianism poses no threat, since 500 million Muslims reject terrorism; (6) the tax leveled against subjugated peoples is just, because they are protected by Muslims in return; (7) I am “ignorant of history” if I do not acknowledge the “truth” of these claims.
I listened to him without interrupting—and even asked a legitimately annoyed member of the audience to allow him to finish—so that he could fully reveal himself. In answer, I re-read a series of quotes in which Islamic leaders—as well as a young girl on Lebanese television—call for jihad, war, and death; and I pointed out to the monologist that he must be quite angry at these Muslims for their incorrect view of jihad. But instead of being angry at those who give his presumably peaceful religion a bad name, he condemned me for reading their quotes. This is evasion par excellence—to condemn those who raise Islam’s violent past and present rather than have to face the fact that the vision of idyllic peace that one associates with one’s religion has no basis in reality.
(I at least got a good laugh out of this exchange when I concretized the meaning of the tax on subjugated peoples. Suppose a Mafia thug came to your door, I said, and he offered to protect you for, say, $100 a month. You would ask the thug, “From whom do I need protection?” to which he would reply: “Us.”)
Following this was more of the same: combinations of Islamic apologizing and ad hominem attacks. I was told, for instance, that I could not possibly understand Iran if I had never been there myself. By this standard, history as such is impossible; no one today can know what it was like a decade, a century, or a millennium prior to his birth. But the apologists have no problem suspending this standard for themselves when it serves their purposes, in this case to glorify Mohammad (“a peaceful man”) and 7th-century Arabia.
But one “questioner” in particular stands out: After reading a sentence from my article Notes on the Near Eastern Roots of Islam, with no context or explanation for the audience to even understand what it meant, he attacked me by saying that I should remember “logic” and the fact that I was at a “scientific” school before making statements such as those that I had made. But rather than explain to me what was illogical or unscientific about my views—let alone ask a question in the question period—he continued his ad hominem attack by stating that my views were so obviously wrong that only a “criminal mind” (a phrase he repeated) could have come up with them. Again, he never stated what was wrong with my quote, never established any reasons for his conclusion, and never asked me to clarify my reasoning—he took his assertion of the “criminality” of my mind as a self-evident fact.
On the face of it, the “scientific logic” he employed was nothing more than arbitrary name-calling—obviously a cherished technique by his “method.” But what motivated his calling me a “criminal mind”—twice?
The topic of my talk was theocracy and Islamic law. Islamic governments, as ideological states founded on claims to divine revelation, must jail—or worse—those who speak out against the clerics. This was the thug’s ideal: In lieu of rationally demonstrating the “truth” of his beliefs, he would criminalize me, or jail me, or perhaps kill me, to stop the spread of ideas contrary to his. In Iran, this ideal has already been achieved; there I would have been arrested, condemned, and thrown into solitary confinement. But in America, the thug’s ideal is frustrated; without the power of the law to silence me he was reduced to name-calling....
Read it all.
"The Union of Islamic Communities in Italy — which Allam has frequently criticized as having links to Hamas — said the baptism was his own decision.
'He is an adult, free to make his personal choice,' the Apcom news agency quoted the group's spokesman, Issedin El Zir, as saying. [...]" -- from this article
We are expected to believe that Muslims believe that he, Magdi Allam, or anyone else, for that matter, who is born into Islam and "is an adult" is therefore "free to make his personal choice."
This merely means that, for now, given the image problems Islam has been having, official Islamic groups in Italy are going to lie about what is permitted, for fear of alarming and angering the Infidels further. Magdi Allam is frequently on Italian television (the RAI), writes frequently in the most important paper, the Corriere della Sera, and furthermore, was baptised by the Pope himself, which puts the Vatican squarely front and center. If anyone still needed proof that Benedict has got Islam's number, whatever little pretend pieties about Interfaith-Healing may come out of the Vatican, this is surely it.
The most famous new convert from Islam to Christianity writes about, among other things, the vastly differerent ways that converts in one direction and the other are regarded: "Thousands of people in Italy have converted to Islam and practise their faith serenely. But there are also thousands of Muslims who have converted to Christianity who are forced to hide their new faith out of fear of being killed by Islamist terrorists."
"Islam intrinsically violent - convert," from Agence France-Presse (thanks to JE):
ITALIAN editor and critic of Islamic extremism Magdi Allam, who converted to Catholicism from Islam and was baptised by Pope Benedict XVI, today branded his former faith as intrinsically violent.
"I had to do this (abandon Islam)", Allam wrote in a long letter to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
"Beyond ... the phenomenon of extremists and Islamist terrorism at the global level, the root of evil is inherent to a physiologically violent and historically conflictual Islam," wrote the Egyptian-born journalist, who says he has received death threats and is under police protection.
One of seven adults baptised during an Easter vigil yesterday evening, Allam, 55, is an editorial writer and deputy editor at Corriere.
Regarding a combative tone that has made him famous in Italy, Allam wrote: "Over the years my spirit has been freed from the obscurantism of an ideology that legitimises lies and deception, violent death that leads to homicide and suicide, blind submission to tyranny."
He described Catholicism as "an authentic religion of Truth, Life and Freedom".
By baptising Allam in the public ceremony, the Pope "sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a church that until now has been too cautious in the conversion of Muslims ... because of the fear of being unable to protect the converted who are condemned to death for apostasy," Allam said.
"Thousands of people in Italy have converted to Islam and practise their faith serenely," he wrote.
"But there are also thousands of Muslims who have converted to Christianity who are forced to hide their new faith out of fear of being killed by Islamist terrorists."
Allam adopted the Christian name of Cristiano (Christian), not a common name in Italy....
An American convert to Islam in Dubai fights against the mistreatment of women in Dubai -- a mistreatment that most Muslim and non-Muslim Islamic apologists in the West have consistently ignored and denied, in Dubai and elsewhere. Few, if any, seem willing to consider the possibility that Qur'an 4:34 (the verse that counsels men to beat disobedient women) and other anti-woman material in Islamic texts and teachings might create a culture that institutionalizes discrimination against women and worse.
"Voice for Abused Women Upsets Dubai Patriarchy," by Robert F. Worth for the New York Times (thanks to Sr. Soph):
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — For years, Sharla Musabih has fought a lonely battle to protect battered wives and victims of human trafficking here. She founded the Emirates’ first women’s shelter here and she became a familiar figure at police stations, relentlessly hounding officers to be tougher on abusive husbands.
She has also earned many enemies. Emiratis do not often take kindly to rights advocates drawing attention to the dark side of their fast-growing city-state on the Persian Gulf, better known for its gleaming office towers and artificial islands.
The ferocity of the dispute is unusual for Dubai, and underscores a major challenge facing this proudly apolitical business capital. The city’s few rights advocates have always been quietly shunted aside. But as the conservative Muslim ethos of Dubai’s native Arab minority rubs against the varied perspectives of a much larger foreign population, debates about how to approach taboo subjects like domestic violence and the city’s prevalent prostitution are getting louder.
Ms. Musabih, 47, a boisterous American transplant who was born and raised on Bainbridge Island, Wash., argues that confrontation is essential in fighting the patriarchal Arab traditions that allow men to beat their wives with impunity. She and her supporters also say the Emirates have not acknowledged the severity of their problem with human trafficking, the brutal business in which foreign women are lured here with promises of jobs and then forced into prostitution or servitude. Last year the United States State Department placed the Emirates and 31 other countries on a watch list for failing to effectively combat the illegal trade.
“When a woman has three broken bones in her back, and the police don’t take it seriously, yes, I get angry,” Ms. Musabih said.
Others say Ms. Musabih’s aggressive approach — which includes appeals to foreign news media as well as tough, face-to-face lobbying — is inappropriate in the Arab world, and has needlessly fueled the backlash she now faces. That assertiveness may also have made it easier to dismiss her as an outsider. Although she has lived here for 24 years, converted to Islam, is an Emirati citizen, wears a veil and has raised six children here with her Emirati husband, Ms. Musabih is still unmistakably American, from her moralistic zeal to her habit of calling the women in her shelter “darlin’.”
“I have told her sometimes I think she is wrong, she goes too far,” said Lt. Gen. Dahi al-Khalfan, the chief of the Dubai Police, who has supported Ms. Musabih in the past but now tends to criticize her work as divisive. “There is a case between husband and wife; let the court decide! Leave it.”...
"Leave it." And many do. After all, what's a few broken bones in a woman's back? And the only way this injustice will ever be corrected is if more and more people refuse to be cowed by charges that they are "divisive," and refuse to "leave it."
“What kind of civilization are we… if we refrain from mocking and ridiculing bin Laden and his followers?” Flemming Rose responds defiantly to the latest threat against freedom of expression in Europe.
Osama bin Laden has been celebrating the birthday of the prophet Mohammed by calling on Muslims to kill people like me, cartoonists and other “blasphemers” who have dared to publish and republish cartoons of a man who lived 1,400 years ago.
Actually, this is nothing new. Bin Laden addressed the cartoon issue two years ago, in a little-noticed speech, when he called the cartoons of Mohammed the worst possible attack on Islam.
“The response will be what you see and not what you hear and let our mothers bereave us if we do not make victorious our messenger of God,” said the voice from the cave in yesterday’s message.
“You went overboard in your unbelief and freed yourselves of the etiquettes of dispute and fighting and went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings. This is the greatest tragedy and the reckoning for it will be more severe,” it added.
The man from the cave said that the republishing of Kurt Westergaard’s cartoon depicting Muhammed with a bomb in his turban was part of a crusade against Islam. And, according to bin Laden, Pope Benedict XVI is playing a key role in this confrontation, even though the Pope has denounced the publication and republication of the famous cartoon. [...]
Explaining his call for the killing of heretics and blasphemers, bin Laden cited the example of Mohammed himself who is supposed to be a role model for every Muslim. The prophet ordered the killing of Ka’b ibn Al-Ashraf because he had written critical poems about Mohammed.
The latest message from bin Laden has been analyzed by Walid Phares: [...]Change your laws on liberties and freedom of expression or else. “If there is no check on the freedom of your words then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our hearts.” [...]
What should the response of Europe be? More cartoons or less cartoons? What kind of civilization are we, after all, if we refrain from mocking and ridiculing bin Laden and his followers?
A fearful, confused, and cowed one, and that is what we are.
Here's a good story for Holy Saturday as it edges into Easter for Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Catholics: Magdi Allam has been a trenchant critic of the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism. Now he is exercising his freedom of conscience. Will he now have to live in fear for his life from those who take seriously Muhammad's dictum: "If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him"?
The Italian government should be poised to protect Magdi Allam, as the Dutch should be standing by Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is not about them. It is about defending Western civilization.
"Pope to baptize prominent Muslim," by Nicole Winfield for Associated Press (thanks to all who sent this in):
VATICAN CITY - Italy's most prominent Muslim commentator, a journalist with iconoclastic views such as support for Israel, converted to Roman Catholicism Saturday when the pope baptized him at an Easter service.
As a choir sang, Pope Benedict XVI poured holy water over Magdi Allam's head and said a brief prayer in Latin.
"We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another," Benedict said in a homily reflecting on the meaning of baptism. "Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close."
Vatican television zoomed in on Allam, who sat in the front row of the basilica along with six other candidates for baptism.
An Egyptian-born, non-practicing Muslim who is married to a Catholic, Allam often writes on Muslim and Arab affairs and has infuriated some Muslims with his criticism of extremism and support for the Jewish state.
The deputy editor of the Corriere della Sera newspaper, Allam, 55, told the Il Giornale newspaper in a December interview that his criticism of Palestinian suicide bombing generated threats on his life in 2003, prompting the Italian government to provide him with a sizable security detail. [...]
The Union of Islamic Communities in Italy — which Allam has frequently criticized as having links to Hamas — said the baptism was his own decision.
"He is an adult, free to make his personal choice," the Apcom news agency quoted the group's spokesman, Issedin El Zir, as saying. [...]
Allam also explained his decision to entitle a recent book "Viva Israel" or "Long Live Israel," saying he wrote it after he received death threats from Hamas.
"Having been condemned to death, I have reflected a long time on the value of life. And I discovered that behind the origin of the ideology of hatred, violence and death is the discrimination against Israel. Everyone has the right to exist except for the Jewish state and its inhabitants," he said. "Today, Israel is the paradigm of the right to life." [...]
Yes. Congratulations, Magdi, and Viva Israel.
There is no overarching Muslim law on conversion. But under a widespread interpretation of Islamic legal doctrine, converting from Islam is apostasy and punishable by death — though killings are rare.
Egypt's highest Islamic cleric, the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, wrote last year against the killing of apostates, saying there is no worldly retribution for Muslims who abandon their religion and that punishment would come in the afterlife....
Actually, all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that apostates must be executed. But don't take my word for it. Here's the great Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, who has been praised by John Esposito as a "reformist":
That is why the Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed...
And what of Ali Gomaa? He didn't say quite what AP says he said here. He actually denied saying that Muslims could leave Islam without punishment.
Bottom line: All free people should stand now with Magdi Allam.
Go to fitnathemovie.com and you get this (thanks to all who sent this in):
This site has been suspended while Network Solutions is investigating whether the site's content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy. Network Solutions has received a number of complaints regarding this site that are under investigation. For more information about Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy visit the following URL: http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/aup.jsp
Now think about that for half a second. How is a site that said only "Geert Wilders presents Fitna, 23 March 2008" in conceivable violation of any acceptable use policy?
Because of what it might say tomorrow, of course. Because of what people are afraid it will say. It's pre-emptive censorship.
UPDATE: Several people have written in to say that the UK site is not a mirror site owned by Wilders, but is a hoax. I'm sorry to hear that.
SECOND UPDATE: I removed the link to the UK site, since its status is now clear.
2,000-3,000 out to protest against Geert Wilders's Qur'an film, which no one has yet seen, in the Netherlands.
"Dutch protest against Islam critic's Koran film: Officials fear movie could spark violence in Muslim countries," from AP (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
AMSTERDAM - Thousands of demonstrators crowded Amsterdam's central square Saturday, braving wind and sleet to show their opposition to anti-immigration lawmaker Geert Wilders.
The protest, called "Netherlands Shows Its Colors," is primarily a reaction in advance to the short film Wilders said he will release later this month criticizing the Koran as a "fascist" book.
One protester carried a sign saying "standing together against the right wing populist witch-hunt."
"I'm very much against Geert Wilders and racism in general, but I think it's really important to show not only Holland but the rest of the world that there's a lot of people who do not agree with his ideas," Elisa Trepp said.
Wilders, who said he is not racist, heads a reactionary party with nine seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament, elected on an anti-immigration platform.
Gee, do you think AP believes that Wilders is not racist, with his "reactionary" party and its anti-immigration platform?
In any case, AP fails to explain why criticizing a book that is believed in by people of all races is a "racist" endeavor. From the evidence of his public statements so far, Wilders is focusing on the ideology of the Islamic jihadists and pointing out that it is derived from the Qur'an. This is an issue that has been clouded by questions of race, such that many Europeans and Americans cannot see past the fact that this ideology is held by many people of one race and those who do not hold it in Europe and America are of another.
But do you think that Geert Wilders would have no problem with the violent and supremacist aspects of the Qur'an if the only people who believed in it were blonde and blue-eyed?
While the exact contents of his 15-minute movie, due to be released by March 31, remain unknown, Wilders has said it will underscore his view that Islam's holy book is fascist.
Dutch officials fear the movie could spark violent protests in Muslim countries, similar to those two years ago after the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.
But no prominent politicians were among the 2,000-3,000 people who police estimated turned up for the demonstration, to the frustration of some attendees.
"The government could really do something. That's in the interest of the country — stop him, just stop him," said Hassan Iaeti, who traveled hours from the far south of the country to attend.
Someone should explain to Hassan Iaeti that while it may be in the short-term interests of the country to stop Wilders, in the long term the shielding of one group and one ideology from criticism will establish it as a protected class in the Netherlands at precisely the time when that country is vulnerable, as are many other countries, to violence perpetrated by those who hold to that ideology, and to non-violent actions also perpetrated for the advancement of the same supremacist agenda held by those committing violence. Thus the one group that needs to be scrutinized the most, as a matter of national survival, will be shielded from that scrutiny. The only winners will be the Islamic jihadists.
And that's quite apart from the question of whether free Dutch society can survive the limiting of free inquiry that Hassan Iaeti would like to see.
He said he believed Wilders is abusing the right of freedom of speech, which he said has limits.
"You can criticize Muslims themselves, but not their religion and not our prophet — that's our belief."
But what about when Muslims themselves point to their religion and prophet in order to justify violence and supremacism? Does it then become off-limits for non-believers to resist that violence and supremacism, because to do so would be to speak against the Muslim religion and prophet?
Echoes of van Gogh
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has said that while he rejects Wilders' views, he supports his freedom of speech — but warns him the film may put Dutch national interests at risk. Protesters in Afghanistan burnt Wilders in effigy on Friday and demanded Dutch troops withdraw from the NATO mission there.
In November 2004, a Muslim radical killed Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh for perceived insults to Islam. Wilders, under constant police protection, said it is his duty to speak out against what he sees as a threat to Dutch culture posed by Islam.
Dutch anti-terrorism authorities have said the risk of an attack are "substantial" and requested all national politicians inform them of their upcoming travel plans due to security concerns.
A Dutch court will hear a complaint lodged by Muslim groups seeking to bar Wilders from releasing the film and punish him for earlier anti-Islam remarks under hate crime laws.
The case filed by the Dutch Islamic Federation will be heard March 28, but there is no legal barrier preventing Wilders from releasing his film before then....
The assailants may have thought that their victim was doing "mischief in the land."
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides..." (Qur'an 5:33)
"Limbs cut off for illicit relations," from Press Trust of India (thanks to Twostellas):
Islamabad, March 22: The hands and a foot of a man were chopped off by a group of seven men in eastern Pakistan on the suspicion that he had an illicit relationship with their sister.
Ishaq, Altaf, Abbas, Mushtaq, Sadiq, Sabir and Junaid allegedly chopped off the hands and the right foot of Allah Diwaya, a resident of Basti Gujj near Multan in Punjab province, for his alleged relations with their sister Irshad.
The incident occurred on Friday night. Mr Diwaya had allegedly kidnapped Irshad three months ago, the police said on Saturday. She is currently at a woman’s home in Bahawalpur. Mr Diwaya is a married man and has six children, officials said.
Two of the seven, Ishaq and Altaf, were arrested while raids are being conducted to nab the others. A case has also been registered against the seven. Doctors said Mr Diwaya is in a stable condition and had been given five pints of blood to save his life. (PTI)
The Rumpled Academic in a less academic setting
That's right, friends: It's time for what has become all too rare these days, a Rumpled Academic Update. And it comes courtesy an AP story riddled with the typical bias.
First, there's the headline: "Ex-prof with alleged terror ties refuses to testify in U.S. court," from The Associated Press (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist).
Alleged terror ties? There is nothing alleged about them. Read on.
A former professor is again refusing to testify to a federal grand jury in Alexandria investigating Muslim charities and businesses in northern Virginia.
Sami al-Arian's refusal to testify sets the stage for prosecutors to bring contempt of court charges for a third time against the former University of South Florida professor.
Al-Arian is in the 19th day of a hunger strike to protest his treatment.
Prosecutors have alleged that al-Arian was a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. But his 2005 trial ended in an acquittal on some counts and a hung jury on others. He eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges....
AP doesn't tell you what he pleaded guilty to. Hmmm. I wonder why not. In reality, he pleaded guilty to a charge of “conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds to or for the benefit of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist” organization. He agreed to accept deportation after a jail sentence.
What's more, the plea agreement specified: "Defendant is pleading guilty because defendant is in fact guilty. The defendant certifies that the defendant does hereby admit that the facts set forth below [in the plea agreement] are true, and were this case to go to trial, the United States would be able to prove those specific facts and others beyond a reasonable doubt.” What’s more, Al-Arian acknowledged that he was “pleading guilty freely and voluntarily…and without threats, force, intimidation, or coercion of any kind."
So that's alleged terror ties? Yes, as much as AP is an alleged news organization.
That is, a break to allow them to gather strength and fight again later, more effectively. That is what a truce is for, according to Islamic law, and these groups take Islamic law very seriously.
"'Hamas and Islamic Jihad discussing calm period in Egypt,'" from the Jerusalem Post (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
Senior representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are set to meet Egyptian officials on Saturday in order to discuss a truce, or calm period, with Israel, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
Meanwhile, talks between the rival Fatah and Hamas are continuing to take place in Yemen, after a crisis in talks occurred on Thursday in which Fatah representatives threatened to return to Ramallah.
"Hamas is not declining the Yemenite initiative which aims to resolve the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah," Ahmed Youssef, adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
Youssef also said that Hamas is maintaining contacts with European representatives. "Most of the Europeans we maintain contact with are British, Swedish, Swiss and French. In most cases they were unofficial European representatives who are helping change the European attitude towards Hamas."
On Thursday, An attempt by the Yemeni government to mend fences between Fatah and Hamas failed after the Fatah delegation walked out of the talks.
They can't get together? What a surprise!
"Maxime Verhagen, the Dutch foreign minister, told a public television reporter that he found it 'irresponsible to broadcast this film.'
'That’s because Dutch companies, Dutch soldiers and Dutch residents could and will be in danger,' Mr. Verhagen said." -- from this Times article
But "Dutch companies, Dutch soldiers and Dutch residents" will always "be in danger" whenever there is an attempt to alert Dutch citizens, by such means as this 15-minute film, of the meaning, and menace, of Islamic Jihad.
The threat will never go away. If the Dutch do not make or see such films, how will they know about Islam, since the government policy is simply to chloroform them, permanently, and never to mention what Islam is all about? How can the citizens of the Netherlands, which had 15,000 Muslims resident in 1970 and now has more than a million, decide to halt, and reverse (and there are a thousand ways to do this) Muslim immigration, to end all the subsidizing and all the coddling of Muslim immigrants, and all the turning of the other cheek to Muslim demands for this or that change in the social arrangements and understandings, in the legal and political institutions, in anything and everything at all, that they, those aggressive Muslims, believe is not to their liking, or contradicts the Shari'a, or constitutes an obstacle to the spread, and dominance, of Islam?
The Israelis, or a majority of them, know their true situation. It is their government, from which so many Israelis are now so obviously disaffected, that refuses to know. But that government is wrong. Soberly recognizing the permanent meaning, and menace, of Islam, and acting and planning accordingly, and helping or insisting that other countries, including the United States, recognize the real nature of the threat that Israel faces, is not a counsel of despair. Nor is helping those other countries, including the United States, to understand that the Jihad against Israel is a Lesser Jihad, one of many whose sum is the worldwide Jihad, a "struggle" by Muslims, using various instruments that go beyond, and are more effective, than terrorism, to remove all obstacles to the spread and then to the dominance of Islam.
Everywhere Islam must triumph. Everywhere, eventually, Muslims must rule. It may take a century, or two. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if it never comes to be. What matters is the fact of the promptings, that will not go away unless the Qur'an, the Hadith, the Sira either disappear, or are modified, or interpreted away, or are received as texts from which one may pick and choose. Until then, the immutable and uncreated Qur'an remains, the literal Word of God, outside of history.
Geert Wilders is the Dutch MP who is producing a film on the Qur'an that has the Islamic world in a frenzy even before anyone has actually seen it. This New Duranty Times profile is, well, not as bad as it could have been, but contains several sly digs at Wilders, whom it treats with condescension throughout, and contains almost nothing about the fantastic disproportion of the Muslim reaction to his film, and the necessity of preserving free speech even when some may find it offensive.
"A Dutch Antagonist of Islam Waits for His Premiere," by Gregory Crouch for the New York Times (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
[...] Days away from releasing a much-anticipated film critical of the Koran, Mr. Wilders recalled in an interview the advice he received years ago from political leaders about how to get ahead.
“First, you have to moderate your voice about Islam,” he remembered their telling him. “Second, change your stupid hair.”
He has refused to do either.
“If people push me, I do exactly the opposite,” he said.
There are two noteworthy aspects of this. One is that political leaders, presumably Dutch ones, try to mute or silence Islamocritical or Islamorealistic voices in the public sphere. The other is that that the Times is suggesting that Wilders's Qur'an film simply arises from his being a contrarian and an exhibitionist: look! He dyes his hair platinum blonde! And if that isn't enough to get attention, he criticizes the Qur'an! And it's all just because he's an immature fellow who won't do what sensible people tell him to do!
Mr. Wilders, 44, is in the news here these days for a 10-to-15-minute film he says he has made depicting the Koran as the inspiration for terrorist attacks and other violence. Having failed to persuade a single Dutch television network to broadcast the film in its entirety, he said he planned to release it on the Internet by the end of this month.
He routinely equates the Koran with Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” saying it should be banned in the Netherlands, and he declared in an interview that the Prophet Muhammad could be compared to the German dictator.
“In his Medina time, if he would be alive today, Muhammad would be treated as a war criminal, being sent out of the country, being sent to jail,” he said.
Moderate Dutch Muslim leaders like Mohamed Rabbae, chairman of the Dutch Moroccan Council, are exasperated by Mr. Wilders’s standpoint on Islam and its prophet.
“Wilders is a little bit crazy, if I may say it in this way, because he is fighting against somebody who has been living in the sixth century, not in our time,” Mr. Rabbae said.
A highly disingenuous comment from Rabbae. I expect that he knows full well that the Qur’an and Islamic tradition are clear that Muhammad is the supreme example of behavior for Muslims to follow, not just in the seventh century (he died in 632) but for all time. He is “an excellent model of conduct” (Qur’an 33:21). He demonstrates “an exalted standard of character” (68:4), and indeed, “he who obeys the Messenger [Muhammad], obeys Allah” (4:80). The Qur’an frequently tells Muslims to obey Allah and Muhammad: while the Muslim holy book takes for granted that Muhammad is fallible (cf. 48:2; 80:1-12), it also instructs Muslims repeatedly to obey Muhammad (3:32; 3:132; 4:13; 4:59; 4:69; 5:92; 8:1; 8:20; 8:46; 9:71; 24:47; 24:51; 24:52; 24:54; 24:56; 33:33; 47:33; 49:14; 58:13; 64:12).
Any devout Muslim will take this seriously. Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy explains: "No religious leader has as much influence on his followers as does Muhammad (Peace be upon him) the last Prophet of Islam….And Muhammad as the final messenger of God enjoys preeminence when it comes to revelation – the Qur’an – and traditions. So much so that the words, deeds and silences (that which he saw and did not forbid) of Muhammad became an independent source of Islamic law. Muslims, as a part of religious observance, not only obey, but also seek to emulate and imitate their Prophet in every aspect of life. Thus Muhammad is the medium as well as a source of the divine law."
But Rabbae, instead of explaining all this, implies that Muhammad is merely a historical figure, and that Wilders is indulging in anachronism.
Virtually no one knows exactly what is in Mr. Wilders’s film; even the Netherlands’ worried prime minister has not been granted a screening. But the simple fact that Mr. Wilders is its muse makes people here and in parts of the Islamic world nervous.
Mr. Wilders said he made the film to show that “Islam and the Koran are part of a fascist ideology that wants to kill everything we stand for in a modern Western democracy.”
Instead of explaining that, or allowing Wilders to do so, perhaps by pointing out how jihad terrorists repeatedly invoke the Qur'an to justify jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, the article follows that up by starting to talk about "hate crimes":
SOME here see Mr. Wilders’s film — titled “Fitna,” Arabic for civil strife — as a potential hate crime and have already filed police complaints in various Dutch cities, concerned that his past statements and the film will polarize religious groups and foster discrimination.
His supporters say he protects traditional Dutch values. His critics, and there are many, say he is an out-of-control, right-wing extremist risking his country’s good name for his own political gain. Others are even harsher; one former trade union leader called Mr. Wilders “evil.”
"His critics, and there are many, say he is an out-of-control, right-wing extremist risking his country’s good name for his own political gain." There you have it, Times readers. No need to take this guy seriously. Call someone "right-wing" in the Times, and faithful Times readers, like Pavlov's dogs, know exactly how to react.
And then the Times, whether out of some residual sense of decency or purely by accident, illustrates who the out-of-control, evil extremists really are by touching on the threats under which Wilders lives:
“Of course I am not evil,” Mr. Wilders responded, looking a little annoyed. “Do I look evil to you? Maybe I do, but I’m not.”
Mr. Wilders, who lives under constant police protection in an undisclosed location, is undeterred by threats from the Taliban to escalate attacks against Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan if the film is released.
But it's all because he is unrelenting and unreasonable, you see, and he -- not the lunatics who are poised to riot and kill because of his film -- is endangering Dutch interests:
Nor is he moved by Dutch expatriates abroad who, remembering the fallout from the Danish cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad, worry that the film may make their lives harder, or even dangerous.
Maxime Verhagen, the Dutch foreign minister, told a public television reporter that he found it “irresponsible to broadcast this film.”
“That’s because Dutch companies, Dutch soldiers and Dutch residents could and will be in danger,” Mr. Verhagen said.
Such statements spur Mr. Wilders on, and in his opinion unintentionally prove that Islam is a rigid, intolerant religion whose followers try to muffle criticism, often violently. Framing himself as a defender of free speech, Mr. Wilders said there would not be such a fuss about his film if it were about the Bible.
Can anyone dispute that?
“We can never allow people who use nondemocratic means, people who use violence instead of arguments, people who use knives instead of debates, we can never allow them to set the agenda,” he said.
And in this part of the story the Times comes close to doing Wilders justice, and actually illustrates his statement, as it failed to do so above when he spoke about the Qur'an, with examples proving his point:
After the 2004 release of a short film here that graphically portrayed the abuse of women in the Islamic world, the director, Theo van Gogh, was killed by a Muslim extremist.
Mr. Wilders, already in the Dutch Parliament for six years at that point, was not associated with that film, but he went briefly into hiding when government security forces feared he might become the next target.
Two years later, memories of the van Gogh murder — coupled with concerns about Muslim immigration — helped Mr. Wilders and his newly formed Party for Freedom capture 6 percent of the seats in Parliament.
Of the Netherlands’ 16.5 million residents, a million are either Muslim or of Muslim descent. Many of them are so-called guest workers from Morocco, Turkey and other Islamic countries who came here decades ago to work in factories and stayed to raise families of their own.
But don't get the idea that Wilders is some sort of heroic figure. He is, like Bertrans de Born, just a stirrer-up of strife, a successful miner of unease:
Occasionally, conflicts arise between mainstream Dutch society — which supports gay marriage and legalized prostitution, for instance — and the often more conservative Muslim minority, and Mr. Wilders has successfully mined the unease between them.
“Ten to 15 percent of the Dutch voters more or less see him as a new leader, one who dares to say what he thinks,” said Hugo van der Parre, deputy editor of the Dutch television news program “Nova.” But “many people see him, as well, as a nut case.”
MR. WILDERS says he detests Islam but not Muslims. “I believe the Islamic ideology is a retarded, dangerous one, but I make a distinction,” he said. “I don’t hate people. I don’t hate Muslims.
He added: “I am not saying all Muslims are wrong or are terrorists or criminals. You will never hear me say that.”
One would think this is an elementary point, but it eludes the grasp of many on both sides of this issue. Many of those who regard any criticism of the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism as "bigoted" and "racist," as well as those who well understand the violent and supremacist teachings contained within the Qur'an and Sunnah as they have been traditionally understood in Islamic theology, seem to have trouble distinguishing between belief and practice. Benazir Bhutto, and/or her ghostwriter Mark Siegel, did this when they accused me (on the basis of an Ibn Warraq quotation they falsely ascribed to me) of failing to "differentiate between moderate Muslims and violent Islamists." The quote meant to illustrate this only points out that the jihadists are acting on traditional and mainstream teachings of Islam, as they manifestly are.
But does this mean that all Muslims are acting upon them? That would be absurd. People who have no difficulty grasping that not everyone who identifies himself as a Christian loves his enemy or turns the other cheek, or even cares to, or even perhaps knows that he ought to or has ever thought about what it might mean to do so, seem to have trouble conceptualizing the possibility that huge numbers of Muslims -- and this is reinforced also by various cultural factors around the world -- have no interest in forwarding the Islamic supremacist program, and may in all sincerity not even be aware of it.
That doesn't mitigate the existence of that program one whit, or alter the fact that jihadists are recruiting among cultural Muslims by calling them back to what they present, often successfully, as the "pure" and "true" practice of Islam. Nor does it mean that non-Muslims should not have a healthy awareness of the possibility that they are being deceived, as per not just Shi'ite doctrine but Qur'an 3:28 as it has been understood by Sunnis also, or that they should sit by passively as the Islamic supremacist agenda is spread not by guns and bombs and terrorist attacks but through other, non-violent means. But it does mean, quite simply, that Wilders's distinction is perfectly legitimate -- as in Ibn Warraq's lucid phrase, there are moderate Muslims, but there is no moderate Islam.
Mr. Wilders, who is married and has no children, was raised Roman Catholic, but is no longer religious. The youngest of four children, he traveled and worked his way through the Middle East for two years after his high school graduation. Since then, he said, he has visited Israel at least 40 times and maintains close contacts there. But he has no real connections from his time in the rest of the region, admitting he does not have any Muslim friends.
Ah. So therefore, the Times is telling us, he must not know what he is talking about, or at very least must secretly hate Muslims despite his protestations to the contrary.
His claims to the contrary, some Muslims believe that Mr. Wilders’s animosity toward Islam extends to them.
“If you say the prophet is a war criminal, you say, I hate Muslims,” a Dutch newspaper columnist, Youssef Azghari, said in an interview. “Because the prophet is a symbol. He was the one who invented the Islam.”
Youssef Azghari, if he really wanted to blunt the forces of such charges about Muhammad, could take up the uncomfortable aspects of Muhammad's career (as that career is sketched out in texts accepted by Muslims) -- his battles, his assassinations of his enemies, his marriage to a nine-year-old, and the rest -- and rather than simply deny the existence of this material, as Islamic apologists in the West usually do, offer a way for Muslims to reject its literal application. That he does not do so, and probably cannot do so, only makes Wilders's charges ring truer. If Muslims today are going to be following Muhammad as a literal, transhistorical model for conduct, that will threaten the lives and security and civilizations of non-Muslims, and that needs to be said.
Since no one has actually seen Mr. Wilders’s film, some here have started wondering if it is as fake as his hair color, a clever publicity stunt devised to prove his point that Islam and freedom of speech cannot coexist.
Mr. Wilders insists the film is every bit as real as his long-held belief that Islam is a danger to Dutch and other Western societies.
“I get in so much trouble, both privately and politically, that if I would do it for publicity reasons, I would be a fool,” he said.
That is a sentence that applies to many more people than just Wilders himself.
"It is not up to them to dictate how to serve their sentence. I think we have to remember who's in charge." Uh, yeah.
In this Barot and Kayam cannily play on Westerners' fears of being seen as "racist," portray themselves as victims (which we have seen again and again is one of the staples of the jihadist rhetorical arsenal) and gain for themselves a chance to network and plot with other imprisoned jihadists.
"Two of Britain's most dangerous Islamic terrorists moved to new prison - because they complained fellow inmates were 'too white,'" by Gwyneth Rees for the Daily Mail (thanks to all who sent this in):
Two of Britain's most dangerous terrorists have been moved to different prisons after complaining their fellow inmates were "too white".
Dhiren Barot and Omar Khyam asked to be transferred from high-security Frankland prison near Durham.
Barot masterminded a radioactive bomb plot involving limousines packed with nails and explosives and Khyam plotted to blow up Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.
They said they were at risk from other inmates - who are predominantly white - and claimed the environment was "dangerous" to ethnic minority prisoners. It is thought they had received death threats and attacks.
Although their requests were initially turned down, Barot, who is serving a minium of 30 years, has since been moved to Belmarsh in south-east London.
Khyam has also been moved to Full Sutton near York.
But news of the transfers has sparked outrage, with the Prison Service being accused of caving into prisoners' demands. [...]
His solicitor Imran Khan said the move was a "victory for common sense". But Patrick Mercer, a Conservative MP, criticised the decision.
He said: "Prisons are not meant to be run for the convenience of the prisoner.
"It is not up to them to dictate how to serve their sentence.
"I think we have to remember who's in charge.
"These people have been convicted of hideous crimes."...
Another D.A.I.F. party: Death to America, It's Friday! (oh, and the Netherlands, too)
All in a day's work. "Afghans chant death to Danish, Dutch in protest," by Ahmad Masood for Reuters:
KABUL (Reuters) - Some 5,000 Afghans chanted "death to Denmark" and "death to the Netherlands" in Kabul on Friday, protesting against the reprinting of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish newspapers and a Dutch film on the Koran.
Sporadic demonstrations have sprung up across the deeply conservative country in recent weeks against the cartoons and the film with protesters demanding Danish and Dutch troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan and their embassies shut down.
Protesters gathered around a mosque in the west of the Afghan capital after Friday prayers chanting "death to Denmark," "death to the Netherlands, "death to America" and "death to Jews."
Demonstrators burned Danish and Dutch flags and also an effigy of Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders, who is due to release a film thought to be critical of the Koran later this month. Wilders has given few details of the film, but in the past he has called Islam's holy text a "fascist" book that "incites violence."
One unidentified speaker addressing the angry crowd through a megaphone from the back of a truck said the Afghan government should expel Danish and Dutch troops and close their embassies within two days or "we will take action."
The Netherlands has some 1,650 troops, mainly in southern Afghanistan and 14 Dutch soldiers have been killed fighting Taliban militants. Denmark, meanwhile, has 550 troops in northern and southern Afghanistan and 11 of its soldiers have been killed.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden this week warned that Europe would be punished for the cartoons, first published by a Danish paper in September 2005. The images ignited violent protests across the world, including in Afghanistan, when newspapers around the world reprinted them the following year.
Last month, some Danish newspapers reprinted one of the cartoons in solidarity with the cartoonist after three men were arrested on suspicion of plans to kill him, sparking more anger.
Many Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet as offensive.
Resentment is growing against the presence of more than 50,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Many Afghan are frustrated at poor security and the slow pace of development more than six years after U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban after the hardline Islamist movement refused to hand over bin Laden in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
The witless Daily Mail headlines this piece "Whites 'must do more to help Muslims feel at home' says research group." But what about white Muslims in Britain, like my old pal Yusuf Smith? Who will make him feel at home?
This kind of stupid reporting just clouds the fact that Islam is not a race, and the problem of Muslim assimilation in Britain is not one of race, but of whether or not the Muslims there are willing to set aside Islamic supremacism, renounce all attempts to impose Sharia by violent or peaceful means, and work energetically to root jihadists out of their communities. But there is none of that in this report -- the onus is all on the "whites" to make them feel at home. The idea that many of them might not wish to feel at home, but to transform Britain into a place that is very like the place where they left, as many of them have openly avowed, never enters into the equation.
By Steve Doughty in the Daily Mail (thanks to all who sent this in):
Muslim immigrants face so much discrimination and hostility that they don't feel they belong here, according to a liberal research group.
As part of efforts to improve integration, it called for an improvement in public behaviour towards Muslims.
And it said other Britons are wrong to worry about segregation and Muslim-dominated enclaves, as there are benefits to "residential clustering".
A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found white people must do more to make Muslims feel part of the community
The report, for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is a strike for multiculturalism, the doctrine which encourages the development of minorities.
Multiculturalism fell out of favour in 2005, after the Government's equality chief Trevor Phillips warned that the country was "sleepwalking to segregation".
Ministers have since called for the encouragement of "cohesion", including more teaching of English and an end to grants being handed to organisations from single ethnic and religious groups.
The study, based on interviews with 319 men and women, including 229 Muslims, found that the majority of interviewees had not experienced unfair treatment because of their colour or ethnicity.
Fewer than 50 per cent of minority members interviewed had experienced race prejudice and just 30 per cent of recent Muslim immigrants had experienced religious discrimination.
The report, produced by researchers from the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, at Oxford University, found that: "A sense of belonging in Britain for all migrants, recent and established, was negatively affected by their perception of lack of acceptance in the UK.
"It is this perception of being unwelcome and of discrimination rather than attachment to their country of origin that diminishes a sense of belonging in British society, and there is thus a need to address public attitudes towards Muslims and towards migrants as a key component of cohesion strategy."
On ethnic enclaves, it said findings "challenge the assumption that residential clustering of people from particular ethnic or religious backgrounds is necessarily a barrier to social interaction across those boundaries".
The report added that perception of religious prejudice contributing to unfairness over employment, housing and services, had deepened among Muslims since 2001.
Linking anti-terrorist campaigns with efforts to encourage cohesion, it added, "risks stigmatising and alienating law-abiding Muslim communities"....
Poor, fragile Qaradawi: "She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end." He is referring, of course, to Wafa Sultan's most recent appearance on Al-Jazeera, and he frames his frenzied denunciation here in terms that his jihadist minions will understand as meaning that she must be killed.
The American government should be rushing to protect her. Is that happening?
"Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi Accuses Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan of 'Cursing Allah' on Al-Jazeera TV," from MEMRI (thanks to all who sent this in):
In a program on Al-Jazeera TV, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi accused Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan of "publicly curs[ing] Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation."
The following are excerpts from the program, which aired on March 16, 2008:
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1718.htm .
To view the MEMRI TV page for Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, visit: http://www.memritv.org/subject/en/589.htm.
To view the MEMRI TV page for Wafa Sultan, visit: http://www.memritv.org/subject/en/371.htm .
"She Said Unbearable, Ghastly Things That Made My Hair Stand On End"
Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: "Many brothers here and abroad – more from abroad than from here – have called to ask me about the 'Opposite Direction' [show on Al-Jazeera TV], and that woman [Wafa Sultan], who leveled accusations against Islam and the Muslims, and cursed Allah, His Prophet, the Islamic nation, the shari'a, and the Islamic faith and culture. She did not omit anything. She was insolent and stopped at nothing.
"I know that our colleague Dr. Faysal Al-Qassem apologized on the following show. I did not watch the [original] show, but I was given a recording. She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end. She had the audacity to publicly curse Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation. She did not spare anything.
"It was all based on ignorance. If only she had some knowledge... But she doesn't have any knowledge. She doesn't know the Koran or the Sunna. When she cited a hadith to back up her statements, she used a hadith that scholars consider unreliable."
Ain't it always the way? I'll let you in on a little secret: any and every critic of Islamic jihad and Islamic supremacism is "ignorant." Any Hadith that someone like Wafa Sultan (or someone like me) quotes is ipso facto unreliable, just as any Qur'an quotation she might adduce would be ripped out of context.
In reality, a brief scan through the portion of the transcript that Marisol posted here on March 7 shows that Wafa referred to Qur'an 9:111 (which guarantees Paradise to those who "kill and are killed" for Allah) and Qur'an 5:33 (which directs Muslims to cut off the hands and feet on opposite sides of those who are enemies of Allah and Muhammad). Qaradawi doesn't mention this probably because he cannot dispute what she said about those verses.
"If She Had Read The Koran, She Would Have Known That It Forbids Killing People... She Should Read The Torah And Tell Us What It Says"
"The Prophet said: 'Allah has given me sustenance under the shadow of my sword.' This hadith is unreliable. The Prophet did not get sustenance by the sword. If she had read the Koran, she would have known that it forbids killing people: 'Anyone who kills another person for any reason other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land – it is as if he has killed all of mankind.' [...]
"Other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land [fasaad]." That's a big exception right there, particularly given the Islamic understanding of what constitutes fasaad. Qaradawi is quoting Qur'an 5:32, which, incidentally, immediately precedes the verse about amputation that Wafa quoted, 5:33.
And as for the unreliability of the Hadith about the shadow of Muhammad's sword, Qaradawi doesn't bother to tell us that the hadith in which Muhammad says "Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords" appears in Bukhari, the hadith collection that Muslims consider most reliable, and in which only a very few ahadith are considered unreliable by any Islamic scholars. Not only does it appear, but it appears in three different places in Bukhari and in two places in Sahih Muslim, the hadith collection considered second most reliable. This repetition is further attestation of its authenticity from a Muslim standpoint, since the multiple renderings are considered to have come from different narrators, indicating that many people heard Muhammad say this.
"In all the raids conducted by the Prophet Muhammad, he was the one attacked. If she knew anything about the Koran and the Sunna...
Actually, no. In my book The Truth About Muhammad, I show how the earliest Islamic sources about Muhammad have him participating in numerous battles, and almost all of them are offensive. I challenge Qaradawi or anyone else to show that I have misused this material.
"She should read the Torah and tell us what it says. With regard to distant cities, the Torah says: 'Slay all their males by the sword.' It does not exclude elderly men or children. As for the nearby cities of Palestine, which they call the Promised Land, the Torah says: 'When you enter them, annihilate everyone, and do not leave a breathing soul.' The concept of annihilation originated in the Torah. What does that woman have to say about this? This is the Torah in which Bush and the Christian Right believe.
Question for Qaradawi: where are the Jewish or Christian exegetes who take this passage, or have ever taken this passage, as being a command that believers should obey in other times and places? Where are the Jewish or Christian groups committing violence and justifying it by reference to this passage?
"This Woman Had The Audacity To Affront All That Is Sacred"
"What does that woman have to say about this? She defends the West and sanctions the killing of Muslims in Gaza and elsewhere, claiming that they deserve to be killed.
Here, he is simply lying. She didn't say anything like that, of course, but Qaradawi knows what will happen if Muslims believe that she did.
"I do not want to discuss this at length, but in my view, this woman had the audacity to affront all that is sacred – the entire Islamic nation, its past, its present, and its future. She had the audacity to affront the Prophet, the Koran, and Allah. She even said that Allah prattles in the Koran. She did not omit anything sacred....
I got this email about an hour ago from an IP address that traces to Dearborn, Michigan:
ISLAM WILL RULE THE WORLD SOON INSHALAH.
That's all it said.
I wonder what this gentleman is doing in Dearborn, Michigan in order to bring this about. Is he working in any way to subvert the U.S. Constitution? Is he engaged in illegal activity? Does any law enforcement or government official in Dearborn, Michigan know or care that there are people there who harbor such sentiments, or if they are aware of that (as they would almost certainly have to be) are they aware that this is not just a religious statement, but a political one?
"London gives investors the reassurance that the bond is worth buying as it is a mature, highly regulated market that gives credibility to a deal."
The first government sukuk was listed on the London Stock Exchange as Britain reaffirmed its reputation as the main western centre for Islamic finance.
Bahrain chose London to list its second Islamic bond as it sought to encourage more European and conventional investors to buy the paper. The Gulf kingdom listed its first sukuk in Luxembourg in 2004.
Significantly, more than 50 per cent of the paper was bought by European investors with the rest mainly bought by banks based in the Middle East.
Rizwan Kanji, head of Middle Eastern capital markets at Norton Rose, the law firm that helped structure the transaction, said: "You can attract more investors, particularly in Europe, if you list in London.
"London gives investors the reassurance that the bond is worth buying as it is a mature, highly regulated market that gives credibility to a deal."
The $350m Bahrain bond, structured to avoid paying interest in line with religious laws, raises the amount of sukuk on the LSE to $11bn. Investors are paid rent from underlying assets, in this case Bahrain's dry docks, instead of interest.
"London gives investors the reassurance that the bond is worth buying as it is a mature, highly regulated market that gives credibility to a deal."
The $350m Bahrain bond, structured to avoid paying interest in line with religious laws, raises the amount of sukuk on the LSE to $11bn. Investors are paid rent from underlying assets, in this case Bahrain's dry docks, instead of interest.
Britain has led the way as a western centre for Islamic finance with government reforms designed to help level the playing field for fund-raising in the wholesale markets and moves to encourage Muslim home-owners to buy Sharia-compliant mortgages.
Ministers are also considering launching a UK government sukuk, which would be the first western sovereign Islamic bond.
The Bahrain deal is also a sign the sukuk market is still active in spite of the credit squeeze, although the issuing price was much wider than this time last year. The five-year bond was priced at 75 basis points above US Libor. A similar bond would have issued at a spread of about 35bp in March last year.
"A damning indictment of the part played by the country's Islamist dictatorship in the humanitarian catastrophe."
"United Nations: Sudan carried out mass-rapes in Darfur," by David Byers for the Times Online:
The United Nations today accused the Sudanese government of being directly involved in the mass-rape of girls and women in the crisis-hit region of Darfur — a damning indictment of the part played by the country's Islamist dictatorship in the humanitarian catastrophe.
A report by the UN high commissioner for human rights says it has evidence that the Sudanese Army was involved alongside Arab militia in looting at least three towns, raping girls and women and killing at least 115 people.
The attacks on Sirba, Sileia and Abu Suruj on February 8 by helicopter gunships and aircraft caused 30,000 to flee their homes, Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said in her report.
The study is the latest authoritative UN report, based on eye-witness testimonies and evidence from aid workers, suggesting that President Omar al-Bashir's administration is providing help and support to the brutal Arab janjaweed militia, who have reportedly robbed villages and murdered, raped or displaced their residents.
Last year, a UN report produced photographic evidence that the Sudanese government was carrying out secret bombing raids by disguising its jets as United Nations aid planes. Sudan denies the claims.
The UN says that the crisis afflicting the wartorn Darfur region has so far killed up to 400,000 people, and displaced a further 2.3 million, and campaigners have called on governments worldwide to isolate Mr al-Bashir's regime for its involvement.
“The scale of destruction suggests that the damage was a deliberate and integral part of a military strategy,” the nine-page report on the rapes said.
This is in addition to the seven taken into custody this week.
PARIS (Reuters) - Six French men and one Algerian went on trial in Paris on Wednesday accused of involvement in a network smuggling Islamist fighters to Iraq.
The seven, arrested in 2005, risk prison sentences of up to 10 years for "criminal association in a terrorist enterprise" if found guilty in a trial expected to end by the end of next week.
Prosecutors accuse the main suspect, 26-year-old preacher Farid Benyettou, of recruiting "jihadists" from worshippers at a mosque in northern Paris and organizing their transfer to Iraq via radical establishments in Syria and Egypt.
One of the other accused, Mohamed el Ayouni, who was arrested in Syria, lost an arm and an eye in fighting in November 2004.
According to French intelligence reports read out at the trial, three other French men recruited through the network were killed in Iraq, one in the course of a suicide bombing and two others fighting American troops.
The case is the latest in a series involving networks in France smuggling Islamist fighters to the war in Iraq, which was strongly opposed by the French government and which is deeply unpopular among the general population.
"It's a paradoxical case," Eric Plouvier, one of the men's lawyers told Reuters. "On the one hand, there are French political declarations hostile to the American intervention in Iraq and, on the other, these young French people who have come out of sympathy to Muslims under attack."
Court documents showed that police believed the group, based in the Buttes-Chaumont area in northern Paris, was set up in 2003 or 2004 and "indoctrinated" groups of young Muslims at a mosque and nearby hostel.
The documents said Farid Benyettou spoke to the group of "dying as a martyr to deserve paradise."
After brief paramilitary training, they were sent to Koranic schools in Syria that specialized in smuggling foreign fighters across the border to Iraq.
Somalia Jihad Update. "7 killed in raid by Somalia's Islamic militants," from CNN:
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Insurgents briefly overran two government bases Thursday after hours of fighting killed at least seven people, including a 7-year-old boy, witnesses said.
The insurgent attack was the latest brazen move by fighters linked to an Islamic extremist group that was driven out in December 2006 by Somalia's Western-backed government and its Ethiopian allies.
In recent weeks, the insurgents have taken over government positions, marched into towns and even released prisoners from jail before retreating.
"Insurgents were firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, and the soldiers were using mortars and heavy artillery," said Shuceyb Ali, a resident of the capital, Mogadishu.
She and other witnesses said the insurgents drove government soldiers from two bases before retreating.
About 20 people were being treated for wounds at two hospitals in the capital, officials said. A 7-year-old boy died of his wounds at Medina Hospital, said Fadumo Osman, a nurse.
On Wednesday, Islamic militants in Somalia welcomed being added to the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, saying they only wished the designation had come sooner.
Abdullahi Yasin Jama, who lives near the bases and witnessed the fighting in Mogadishu, says insurgents seized a government pickup truck mounted with anti-aircraft missiles.
"But critics are sceptical about whether such initiatives would work as long as the powerful, and ultraconservative, religious establishment in Saudi Arabia continues to exert enormous influence over society." Uh huh.
How did 40,000 clerics -- 40,000 -- get The Religion of Peace™ so drastically wrong in the first place?
Tiny Minority of Extremists™ Update: "Saudis to retrain 40,000 clerics," by Magdi Abdlehadi for the BBC (thanks to all who sent this in):
Saudi Arabia is to retrain its 40,000 prayer leaders - also known as imams - in an effort to counter militant Islam....
The plan is part of a wider programme launched by the Saudi monarch a few years ago to encourage moderation and tolerance in Saudi society.
The ministry of religious affairs and new centre for national dialogue will carry out the training, the paper said.
The centre was created five years ago to disseminate a moderate interpretation of Islamic tradition....
Saudi clerics have long been accused of encouraging Saudi youth to join global jihad and of inciting hatred of non-Muslims.
Nearly 1,000 imams have already been sacked over the past few years.
The Saudi royal family has come under increasing pressure - mainly from Washington - to change religious textbooks and to rein in militant clerics.
But critics are sceptical about whether such initiatives would work as long as the powerful, and ultraconservative, religious establishment in Saudi Arabia continues to exert enormous influence over society.
Only last week, a prominent cleric called for the beheading of two liberal writers who had questioned the orthodox view that Muslims can not change their religion.
Grab your riot gear
Arifur Rahman was imprisoned for the cartoon above, in which the dialogue goes like this:
* Boy, what is your name?
- My name is Babu.
* It is customary to mention Muhammed before the name.
* What is your father’s name?
- Muhammed Abu
* What’s this in your lap?
- Muhammed cat
In any case, absurdly enough he was sentenced to one month in jail for this last September. And now, one month later plus five more, he has been freed.
"Mohammed cat' cartoonist freed," from Agence France-Presse (thanks to JE):
A BANGLADESH cartoonist jailed for allegedly insulting Muslims with a reference to the Prophet Mohammed has been released, court and prison officials said today.
Arifur Rahman, 23, was detained last September after the cartoon appeared in a weekly satirical magazine published by the mass-circulated Bengali daily Prothom Alo.
The sketch showed a small boy referring to his cat as "Mohammed cat", a reference a common practice where people put the name of the prophet before their own name.
Prosecutor Shahidul Haque Bhuiyan said a magistrates' court in the capital Dhaka ordered that proceedings be dropped after the complainant in the case repeatedly failed to turn up for hearings.
Press freedom body Reporters Without Borders had earlier called for Rahman's release saying the drawing was a joke about cultural customs.
"The play on words had no intention of attacking the prophet," the group said.
Oh, that makes it all right.
Come on, Reporters Without Borders. Why not grow some spine? Why not say that imprisoning anyone for drawing a cartoon is ridiculous, if not downright barbaric? Why not point out that Christians and Jews somehow manage to suffer insults to their faith, real or imagined (as this one certainly is imagined), without imprisoning anyone, or rioting, or killing innocent people. And that this doesn't make them any less pious or devout, it just makes them aware that not everyone in the world shares their convictions, and that no one deserves punishment for not sharing them.
How about saying something like that?
And they are worried with good reason. The Pope certainly isn't leading a new Crusade, but Rome is nevertheless the apple of the jihadist eye. One of the most influential Muslim clerics in the world, Sheikh al-Qaradawi, said this a few years ago:
The friends of the Prophet heard that two cities would be conquered by Islam, Romiyya and Constantinople, and the Prophet said that 'Hirqil [i.e. Constantinople] would be conquered first.' Romiyya is Rome, the capital of Italy, and Constantinople was the capital of the state of Byzantine Rome, which today is Istanbul. He said that Hirqil which is Constantinople, would be conquered first and this is what happened…All right, Constantinople was conquered, and the second part of the prophecy remains, that is, the conquest of Romiyya. This means that Islam will return to Europe. Islam entered Europe twice and left it… Perhaps the next conquest, Allah willing, will be by means of preaching and ideology. The conquest need not necessarily be by the sword… [The conquest of Mecca] was not by the sword or by war, but by a [Hudabiyya] treaty, and by peace… Perhaps we will conquer these lands without armies.
Note what he says about the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, which Islamic apologists routinely present in the West as something perfectly on the up-and-up, but note that he says twice that the Islamic conquest of Rome would only perhaps come without violence. He leaves the door to violent jihad in Rome spectactularly ajar.
"Vatican Security Worries Over bin Laden Tape," by Ian Fisher for the New York Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
ROME — The Vatican on Thursday rejected an audiotaped accusation from Osama bin Laden that Pope Benedict XVI was leading a “new Crusade” against Muslims, but Italian security officials were concerned about the threats included in Mr. bin Laden’s new message.
“These accusations are absolutely unfounded,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the pope’s chief spokesman, said in a telephone interview. “There is nothing new in this, and it doesn’t have any particular significance for us.”
The audio message attributed to Mr. bin Laden was released Wednesday night and was addressed to “the intelligent ones in the European Union.” It was posted on a militant Web site on Wednesday, and an English transcription was distributed Thursday by the SITE Intelligence Group in Bethesda, Md., which tracks postings by Al Qaeda on the Internet.
The audiotape listed broad grievances, but specifically mentioned the pope, and coincided with the busiest week of the year at the Vatican, the week leading up to Easter Sunday. The pope, who turns 81 next month, will appear at several public events, including the annual Good Friday procession of the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum.
In the five-minute message, the speaker said there would be a “severe” reaction against the publication in Europe of cartoons many Muslims considered offensive to the Prophet Muhammad. He said the cartoons — one reprinted last month in Denmark, more than two years after they were first published there — “came in the framework of a new Crusade in which the pope of the Vatican has played a large, lengthy role.”
Without naming any specific action or target, the speaker said, “The response will be what you see and not what you hear, and let our mothers bereave us if we do not make victorious our messenger of God.”
Father Lombardi dismissed the accusations, noting that the pope had condemned the cartoons several times and stressed that “religion must be respected.”...
That's a pity. Because religion should be respected, but what should be the penalty for not respecting it? And what happens when Muslims begin to assert that respect for Islam requires Christians to make impossible concessions?
Which would make him a Muslim, and the churches mosques. But in their eyes, it would simply make him one of the authentic Christians as envisioned in the Qur'an -- one who rejects the divinity and redemption of Christ, and reveres him along with Muhammad as one of the prophets.
"Saudi Arabia: No churches unless prophet Mohammed recognised, says expert," from AKI (thanks to all who sent this in):
Riyadh, 20 March (AKI) - No churches should be permitted in Saudi Arabia, unless Pope Benedict XVI recognised the prophet Mohammed, according to a Middle East expert.
While Saudi mediators are working with the Vatican on negotiations to allow places of religious worship, some experts believe it will not occur without this recognition.
Anwar Ashiqi, president of the Saudi centre for Middle East strategic studies, endorsed this view in an interview on the site of Arab satellite TV network, al-Arabiya on Thursday.
"I haven taken part in several meetings related to Islamic-Christian dialogue and there have been negotiations on this issue," he said.
"It would be possible to launch official negotiations to construct a church in Saudi Arabia only after the Pope and all the Christian churches recognise the prophet Mohammed."
"If they don't recognise him as a prophet, how can we have a church in the Saudi kingdom?"
Now's there's a logical question!
So said a representative of Pakistan at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 13, 2008.
In a follow up to IHEU's written statement to the UN Human Rights Council describing Islamic efforts to undermine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Roy Brown, IHEU's main representative at the UN in Geneva, prepared an oral statement for Council debate on 13 March but was prevented from giving it in full because of repeated objections from two Islamic delegations.
The prepared statement:
"Attempts to restrict freedom of expression and other human rights"
On Human Rights Day, 10 December 2007, the permanent representative of Pakistan, addressing the Human Rights Council on behalf of the OIC, [the 56 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference] spoke glowingly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, noting the contribution made to its creation and to the two international covenants by many Muslim countries. He went on to state that the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam is "not an alternative, competing worldview on human rights. It complements the Universal Declaration as it addresses religious and cultural specificity of the Muslim countries". He also stated that the OIC is considering the creation of an Islamic Charter on Human Rights in accordance with the provisions of the Cairo Declaration. [First interruption]
But, Mr President, it is difficult to see how the Cairo Declaration be considered complementary to the 1948 Universal Declaration. It makes no reference to the Universal Declaration, whilst Articles 24 and 25 of the Cairo Declaration explicitly state that:
"All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah", and: "The Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration."
But under Shari'ah law, Muslim women and non-Muslims are not accorded equal treatment with Muslim men. The Shari'ah, therefore, fails to honour the right to equality guaranteed under the UDHR and the international covenants, and denies the full enjoyment of their human rights to those living in States which follow Shari'ah law.
[Third and fourth interruptions – as a result of which, and following the President's comments, Brown felt obliged to skip the next two paragraphs and move straight to his concluding sentence]
Regarding freedom of expression, the Cairo Declaration makes clear that whilst information is vital it may not be used "to weaken faith". Article 22 states that:
(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari'ah.
(b) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari'ah.
(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may [inter alia] harm society or weaken its faith.
This, Mr President, restricts freedom of expression and elevates faith above human rights.
[Statement continued here]
We urge States to consider very carefully the negative implications for the universality of human rights, and of the derogation from the international covenants, implicit in the Cairo Declaration and the plans of the OIC.
Thank you, sir.
Points of Order
The first interruption on a "point of order" came from the Egyptian delegate who objected to any mention of the Islamic Charter of Human Rights because, he said, he was unable to find any mention of this matter on the agenda. (Hardly surprising since this was a general debate on the promotion and protection of human rights). The chairman over-ruled this objection but Brown was interrupted again within seconds, this time for having moved on to discussing the Cairo Declaration. He did not think it was open to reconsider documents adopted in 1999. The president responded by pointing out that we constantly refer to the Universal Declaration adopted 60 years ago and we do not have any objections to doing so. He suggested that the argument used "was in need of being reconsidered" and again asked Brown to continue. But within seconds Brown was interrupted yet again, this time by both the Egyptian and Pakistani delegates. The Pakistani said "we are not discussing here the Islamic Sharia". It is a controversial subject - the balance between freedom of expression and freedom of religion. We are still discussing it in informal session. "It is insulting for our faith to discuss Shari'ah here in this forum". The Egyptian representative then stated that "Sharia is not under discussion here and I do not believe it is a document that should be discussed in the Human Rights Council." The president expressed himself to be fully aware of the informal consultations that were going on, but took the point of the Egyptian representative regarding the Sharia law and asked that the NGO should refrain from making judgements or evaluations on this particular "court of legislation" and to "revert to statements made in this room on other issues". Brown then saw no option but to skip the next part of his statement, saying: "Thank you, Mr President. I was attempting to speak in the context of potential restrictions on freedom of expression which have been discussed in this room. But I will move forward and merely suggest, indeed urge States to consider very carefully the negative implications for the universality of human rights, and the derogation from the international covenants, which are implicit in the Cairo Declaration and the plans of the OIC. Thank you Sir."
You can see the whole sorry event on YouTube.
Continuing interruptions have a negative effect on any statement because the audience quickly becomes absorbed by the interruptions, and both speaker and audience can quickly lose track of the speaker's argument. Worse, the speaker is often reduced to simply stating his main conclusion without being able to provide his supporting evidence. In this case, without the benefit of the quotations from the Cairo Declaration, a well-reasoned argument was reduced to sounding like mere polemics. Objections also act as a warning to others against raising sensitive issues and have a chilling effect on those who might wish to cover similar ground. No doubt all of these effects are well understood by the Islamic delegates.
More worrying still are the implications for rational discussion of Islamic interpretations of human rights. Any criticism, indeed, any discussion of Shari'ah law at the Human Rights Council is now considered an "insult to Islam". The problem is the extremely close relationship between Islam as a religion, and Sharia which, although a system of law, holds a central position in that faith. The continuing efforts by the Islamic states at the Human Rights Council, in the UN General Assembly and elsewhere to silence "defamation" of religion can be seen in this context. Should these efforts succeed, any criticism of the Shari'ah, of its entrenched inequalities or brutal punishments will be condemned as defamation of Islam. Rational discussion – indeed any mention of the Shari'ah – will have become impossible.
For the time being, then, the Islamic States can continue to pretend that Islamic declarations of human rights are compatible with international standards. But that claim should seen for what it is.
"When we want to know about human rights we do not go to the UN, we go to the Holy Qur'an". Ayatollah Khomeni.
The continuing struggle
Unwelcome though censorship at the Human Rights Council might be, it was not entirely unexpected following the extensive coverage of IHEU's written statement in the media during the preceding 24 hours. The report by Reuters, for example, had been widely read.
Brown believes the whole incident was an ambush. "No doubt forewarned by our written statement they decided to stop us. But IHEU will continue to campaign at the UN and elsewhere for the human rights of all people, and against any attempt to weaken or undermine them."
IHEU, Geneva 14 March 2008
But he has sold his DVDs all over, in London, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield and Halifax.
"Muslim man who sold DVDs glorifying the 9/11 atrocities jailed under new terror laws," from the Daily Mail (thanks to Twostellas):
A Muslim who possessed DVDs glorifying the 9/11 atrocities has become one of the first people to be jailed under a section of the Terrorism Act.
Bilal Mohammed, 27, was sentenced under Section 2 of the 2006 Act but his case is the first time the section has been used independently.
A court heard how he possessed nine videos and CDs in support of 9/11 and the Palestinian struggle against Israel.
He routinely took trips around the country to set up stalls where he sold some of his material including in London, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield and Halifax.
Who bought this material? Where are they now? What are they doing?
Now how much would you slay?
"New Usama bin Laden Tape Slams Palestinian Negotiations, Urges Holy War for Liberation," from the Associated Press:
CAIRO, Egypt — Pan-Arab Al-Jazeera TV on Thursday broadcast what it described as excerpts from a new audio tape by Usama bin Laden in which the Al Qaeda leader slammed Palestinian negotiations with Israel and urged holy war for the liberation of Palestine.
In the audio excerpts broadcast by the Doha, Qatar-based television, bin Laden said that "Palestine cannot be retaken by negotiations and dialogue, but with fire and iron."
Bin Laden also called on Palestinians who are unable to fight in the "land of Al-Quds" — a Muslim reference to Jerusalem — to join the Al Qaeda fight and the holy war, or jihad, in Iraq.
"The nearest field of jihad today to support our people in Palestine is the Iraqi field," bin Laden said.
"We tell our brothers in Palestine who could not join the jihad in the land of Al-Quds, to get rid of illusions of political parties and groups which are mired in trickery of the blasphemous democracy and to take their positions among the ranks of the mujahideen in Iraq," he said.
Such a Palestinian fight in Iraq should be "concentrated on and supported by all Muslims, specially from neighboring countries," bin Laden added and also called on people of Syria, Lebanon Jordan and Saudi Arabia to "help in support of their mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, which is the greatest opportunity and the biggest task." [...]
The mention of by bin Laden of the Annapolis, Maryland, summit last November was the only time reference given in the audio.
"By their support, they are considered partners to this horrible crime," bin Laden said of Arab leaders who have backed the Mideast peace talks.
"Palestine will not return to us with the negotiations by the submissive rulers, their conferences nor by demonstrations and elections," he said. "Palestine will come back to us if we awaken from our ignorance and adhere to our religion and sacrifice our lives and means to it."
The message was the first time bin Laden spoke of the Palestinian question at length.
He appeared to be seeking to merge the Palestinian cause into the wider Al Qaeda struggle.
"My nation," bin Laden addressed his followers, "You have a great opportunity to regain your freedom and get out of being a follower of this Zionist-crusade alliance and to do this, you have to free yourself from the chains of humiliation thrown on us by the agents of this alliance, the rulers of our countries."
We will not see your like again
Menno Ludriks is a Dutch student who is working on a piece entitled "The Life and Work of Oriana Fallaci," for which he interviewed me. Here is the interview.
Did you knew Oriana Fallaci personally, if yes, what were your impressions of her?
Yes, I did, and I had immense admiration, respect, and affection for her. She passionately believed in the message of The Rage and the Pride and The Force of Reason, and she had a firm conviction that the survival of Western civilization was at stake.
What gives Oriana Fallaci the right to (or not the right to) criticize Muslims and their culture?
What gives anyone the right to criticize anyone or anything? People criticize others when they believe that what they are doing is wrong and harmful. Muslims’ entry in huge numbers into Europe and particularly into Italy and Tuscany made the question of the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism very personal for Oriana, as she saw many things that she held dear seriously threatened. When all too many of those immigrants came not in order to become Europeans but in order to work ultimately to impose upon Europe a radically different societal model that institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims, and denied freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, it became incumbent upon not just Oriana but upon all free people to speak up, and to criticize.
Do you believe that Oriana Fallaci is in fact a racist (although she herself claims in The Rage and The Pride p.83) “that the problem has nothing to do with a race, but it has to do with a religion”?
No. Islam is not a race, and resistance to Islamic supremacism is not a racial matter. It is a religious and political ideology, and like other ideologies, it can be opposed, and should be insofar as it is incompatible with otherwise universally accepted notions of human rights.
Do you agree with her that the Islam is indeed a problem (in the US and Europe)?
Elements of Islam are the problem. Muslims who reject them sincerely and work against those elements are not the problem. But the imperative to subjugate non-Muslims under the rule of Islamic law, and many elements of that law itself, are indeed the problem, as they are directly incompatible with the dignity of the human person and the equality of rights of all people.
Do you agree with the statement that “Western culture is superior to Islamic culture” (The Rage and The Pride p. 93)?
Yes. Just look at the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is itself flawed, as it suggests that these rights are granted to individuals by the state, but just look at the enumerated rights: they are derived from the Western, Judeo-Christian tradition, not from Islamic tradition, and have never been generally accepted in the Islamic world.
Is the Quran the “most stupid and dangerous book in the world” (The Force of Reason p. 63)?
I haven’t read all the books in the world. But certainly the Qur’an’s program for violence and Islamic supremacism is dangerous for non-Muslims, and should be rejected by all free people, including Muslims themselves, who if they continue to hold to the uniqueness of the book should at least reject literalism in those particulars and some others.
Is “Europe becoming more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam”?
What does it exactly mean to be ‘Islamophobic’? And is it right, useful or relevant to call a writer like Oriana Fallaci an ‘Islamophobe’?
I reject the terms “Islamophobia” and “Islamophobe.” They are manipulative coinages designed to suggest that resistance to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism is not a matter of love for Western (or any other non-Muslim) culture and the defense of universal human rights, but is instead a pathology, a manifestation of bigotry that is fundamentally irrational and must be rejected. There have been 10,000-plus jihad terror attacks that have been perpetrated around the world since 9/11, and supremacist statements made by Islamic leaders the world over. To call a healthy awareness of this and resistance to it “Islamophobia” simply manifests either an inexcusable complacency or an outright complicity with the jihadists.
Oriana Fallaci was not Islamophobic. She was Islamorealistic.
Cathy Young (also a journalist) states “that book The Rage and the Pride makes hardly any distinction between radical Islamic terrorists and Somali street vendors who supposedly urinate on the corners of Italy’s great cities”. What do you think of this statement?
It is monumentally ignorant and complacent. Cathy Young clearly has no idea of the cultural contempt for Europe and everything it stands for that is inculcated into even Somali street vendors in mosques in Europe.
Christopher Hitchens (also a journalist and author) who described the book The Rage and the Pride on The Atlantic as “a sort of primer in how not to write about Islam”. What do you think of this statement?
I think that Christopher Hitchens has in this and other statements provided us with a sort of primer on how not to write about the defense of the Western civilizational and cultural patrimony.
What is according to you more important, the freedom of speech, or the freedom of religion?
Both are important. But without freedom of speech, i.e., the freedom to offend others without being killed or jailed or otherwise punished for doing so, is the foundation of any pluralistic society. Of course, the Muslims who are now raging against freedom of speech do not want a pluralistic society, but rather one in which Islamic law reigns supreme.
"In a search of suspects' homes, police found knives, camouflage gear and Islamic documents."
Eurabia Alert. "Seven in French custody for suspected ties with radical Muslims," from the Associated Press:
Five suspected radical Muslims who allegedly trained for combat in hopes of joining the Iraqi insurgency were being held for questioning in southern France, police and judicial officials said Thursday.
A total of seven people were taken into custody Tuesday in the southern cities of Toulouse, Montpellier and Carcassonne, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of their offices' policies. Two were released Wednesday; the others were still being held.
In a search of suspects' homes, police found knives, camouflage gear and Islamic documents, authorities said.
Authorities believe they had been in contact with radical Muslims who allegedly trained to fight in Iraq by firing weapons in the woods of eastern France. Those suspects were rounded up in a November sweep.
An extraordinary ruling indeed. "Judge eases jail for terror trial 12," from AAP (thanks to Sr. Soph):
THE 12 defendants in Australia's largest terrorism prosecution are not getting a fair trial, the judge overseeing the case has admitted.
The startling admission came as Justice Bernard Bongiorno said the conditions under which the accused are being held are so severe they could cause mental illness and jeopardise their ability to defend themselves.
In a ruling he described as "extraordinary'', Justice Bongiorno ordered the men be moved to a new prison and called for their conditions to be upgraded.
The 12 accused went on trial in Melbourne last month charged with being members of a terrorist organisation and other terror-related offences.
The trial is expected to continue until at least the end of the year, but Justice Bongiorno ordered it not resume until the men's conditions are improved.
He warned if their conditions were not improved, he would consider releasing them on bail.
Justice Bongiorno ordered the sweeping changes after hearing medical evidence from four psychiatrists supporting the men's claims that they could not get a fair trial if the severe conditions of their incarceration continued.
"I am satisfied that the evidence before the court establishes that the accused in this case are currently being subjected to an unfair trial,'' Justice Bongiorno said.
But he added they had not been disadvantaged so far, saying the impact of the conditions would be cumulative.
It is the first time a Victorian judge has ordered that conditions for prisoners be changed.
In his ruling, Justice Bongiorno accepted the 12 men were already suffering psychiatric problems that had affected their ability to follow proceedings.
A continuation of the treatment was likely to affect their ability to defend themselves, he said.
The men have been held in the high security Acacia wing of Barwon Prison, near Geelong, since their arrest two years ago.
To attend court they must travel for up to two hours to Melbourne each day, and two hours back, shackled and handcuffed in small compartments in a prison van.
They are strip-searched when they leave Barwon and again when they return and have little time outside their cells.
Justice Bongiorno ordered the men be transferred from Barwon to the Metropolitan Assessment Prison in central Melbourne, that they be transported directly from there to court each day and that they be allowed out of their cells for 10 hours each day when not in court.
The judge also ordered that they not be shackled or subjected to any other restraining devices other than ordinary handcuffs while being transported.
He said they should not be strip-searched after returning from court and that they be treated as ordinary remand prisoners....
The trial has been told the 12 intended to undertake "violent jihad'' in Australia and had formed a terror cell.
They had discussed killing then prime minister John Howard and had identified railway stations and football grounds as likely targets....
Supremacism. By Luke Salkeld for the Daily Mail (thanks to all who sent this in):
It is just a few days until Easter, the most important date in the Christian calendar. But for 700 Muslims who have gathered in a rural caravan park, this week has a different religious significance.
And to some of their neighbours, the thrice-daily calls to prayer are proving a strain on a harmonious relationship. The Iranian Muslims have converged on the Trevelgue Holiday Park in Porth, Cornwall, to celebrate yesterday's Persian New Year.
Every day at sunrise, noon and sunset they broadcast their prayers, known as Adhan, on a loudspeaker system. But some residents are complaining that the noise is shattering the idyll of the quiet village near Newquay.
Neighbour Emma Brewer, 35, said "the novelty soon wore off" after the group arrived at the camp last weekend.
She said: "It lasts about 20 to 30 minutes and it is rather loud. I'm a bit naffed off by it, to be honest."
Another resident added: "We are going to have to put up with this all week. It's going off in the morning, at 5am."
A neighbour from nearby St Columb Minor says he was offended because he could hear the chanting as he made his way back from church.
He said: "Why was this broadcast at such a high level of volume so as to be heard miles away? Do the Christian church bells ring out in amplified volumes on Fridays in areas where they are at prayer?
"This was totally unnecessary especially on such an important day in our Christian calendar."
Let's see. Two girls are dead in Texas, killed by their father for having non-Muslim boyfriends. And all over the world, there are Islamic leaders who are exhorting their followers to wage war against Christians, Jews, and other infidels in the name of Islam.
So what do we get on Law and Order? A Christian woman stoned to death for having a Muslim boyfriend. (Isn't it funny how Christian fundamentalists on TV never seem to have read John 7:53-8:11?) Where has that ever happened in real life? Anywhere?
And we also see a fanatical Christian preacher raising up an army to wage war against Muslims: "He said that we are engaged in a great battle with Muslim infidels. God told him that the time would come when I would be a general in Christ's Army."
Where are these Christian armies? There are Islamic jihad armies around the world saying this sort of thing every day. But where are the Christian ones?
And the subtext of it all, of course, is that those who oppose the global jihad and Islamic supremacism are just another flavor of fanatic, not someone who actually cares about preserving Western (and other non-Muslim) culture and civilization, and safeguarding the equality of dignity and rights of all people. Nope. The two sides are completely equivalent and interchangeable.
(Thanks to Wallhacker for the tip.)
Worse than slaughter
Not to say that his claims about the bombings are true. I'm just pointing out his priorities.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden threatened the European Union with grave punishment on Wednesday for publication of cartoons mocking Islam's Prophet Mohammad.
In an audio recording posted on the Internet coinciding with the birthday of Islam's founder, bin Laden said the drawings, considered offensive by Muslims, were part of a "new crusade" in which Pope Benedict was involved.
"Your publications of these drawings -- part of a new crusade in which the Pope of the Vatican had a significant role -- is a confirmation from you that the war continues," said the Saudi-born militant leader, addressing "those who are wise at the European Union".
You are "testing Muslims ... the answer will be what you shall see and not what you hear."
Bin Laden said the publication of the cartoons was a graver offence than the "bombing of modest villages that collapsed over our women children", in reference to U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan with European participation. "This is the bigger catastrophe ... for which the punishment is graver."...
First, Hamas blamed Israel for this. Later, it was revealed to be another "holy mission" gone awry. "Hamas: Blast that killed 2 was accident," by Ibrahim Barzak for the Associated Press:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Palestinian militants accidentally set off a large blast at a Hamas training base in the central Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing two members of the violent Islamic group and wounding another, a Palestinian medical official said.
Hamas initially blamed Israel for the blast, but later acknowledged that it was caused by a mishandling of explosives, saying its men died while performing a "holy mission." The Israeli military denied involvement.
Hamas security men kept photographers and TV cameramen away from the scene. Dr. Moaiya Hassanain, a Palestinian Health Ministry official, confirmed the deaths.
The incident happened amid new signs that Israel is moving closer to a cease-fire with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Israeli defense officials said Amos Gilad, a senior Defense Ministry official, traveled to Cairo on Tuesday for talks with Egyptian mediators. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the talks.
So there are "new signs that Israel is moving closer to a cease-fire." It is as obvious as ever that Hamas is not.
In this article, when Bernard Lewis said that Christianity and Islam have a "common belief," by "common belief" Lewis meant, I presume, only that both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic faiths that make universalist claims. That is, unlike Hinduism and Judaism, which are linked to specific peoples and make no claims to covering the globe, though both welcome converts, both Islam and Christianity are faiths that make world-covering claims. However, in other respects they are completely different. Islam is a faith that is not merely a religion as we understand that word but a politics and a geopolitics, and offers a complete regulation of life. It is a Total Belief-System, and prompted by that Total Belief-System, its adherents have conquered lands and then, within those lands, established Muslim rule that makes it unpleasant and difficult for non-Muslims to practice their non-Muslim faiths. Therefore over time a great many of those non-Muslims, those of the Ahl al-kitab (Christians and Jews) -- for non-People of the Book suffered other fates -- submitted to Islam in order to escape from having to endure the humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity that the status of dhimmi signified.
Christians are interested in saving individual souls for Christ; Muslims are interested in swelling the ranks of the army of Islam. One is individualist; the other collectivist. One tries to make the doctrine clear to those it wishes to convert, wants them to understand; the other is indifferent to their understanding and indeed, often withholds a full knowledge of Islam for fear that it will put off would-be “reverts.” This withholding of knowledge about Islam is discussed openly at Muslim websites dealing with how to handle potential “reverts.” They are very different, despite these “common beliefs” that Lewis so carelessly alludes to.
“An agreement for a USD150 million aid (about 95 million euro) by the United States to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) was signed in Ramallah, in the West Bank, today.” -- from this news article
Why American money? Why do anything to mimic the psychology of the Jizyah-payments? Yet that is what these payments do, in both donor (the hapless Infidels, eager to renew those payments that so often disappear into the coffers of warlords emulating Arafat) and donee (entirely ungrateful Muslim Arabs, in this case "Palestinians," who will not modify one whit their intention to conduct Slow, or Fast Jihad, but will use whatever money is un-pocketed for the villas of the warlords to buy weaponry to make war on the Infidel Israelis, and will continue to hate those who supply them with the Jizyah).
One candidate -- it doesn't matter which -- has got to declare that this policy is idiotic. And one candidate -- it doesn't matter which -- has to start suggesting that the Arabs who don't have oil money can go and get whatever they need from the malevolent, and fabulously rich, far too rich, Saudis, and the lesser sheikdoms of the Gulf.
More of the wonderful fruits of unreflective, indiscriminate Muslim immigration into the U.S.
"Israeli attacked by Arab youth in NY," by Michal Lando for the Jerusalem Post (thanks to Kemaste):
A 25-year-old Israeli rabbinical assistant was assaulted by a group of Arab teenagers screaming "Allah akbar" in Brooklyn on Tuesday evening.
Uria Ohana, originally from Kfar Chabad, entered a subway station in the affluent Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn Tuesday evening, on his way to a lecture in Manhattan, when he noticed a group of Arab teenagers congregated on a bench in the station.
Ohana did not exchange words or make eye contact with the group, but proceeded upstairs to his train.
On his way, he felt someone grab his kippa from his head and then heard laughter. Ohana decided to chase the boys to retrieve his kippa.
The 18-year-old boy who grabbed the kippa left the subway station and ran into the street, where he was hit by a car, breaking his leg.
While Ohana chased the boy, the other teenagers began chasing him, screaming "Allah akbar."
"They screamed at me, 'Did you see what happened to him because of you?'" said Ohana, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical assistant who works in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Note, here again, the complete displacement of responsibility. In the jihadist mindset, Muslims are never responsible for anything they do. The moral onus is always on their perceived or actual enemies, no matter what the reality of the situation may be.
Two of the Arab boys then started kicking and punching Ohana in the face.
"As soon as they started screaming, I understood [the attack] was racial," said Ohana.
No it wasn't. It was religious.
The crime is being investigated as aggravated harassment and a possible bias crime, according to a New York Police Department spokeswoman. "I am almost sure it will be charged as a hate crime," said the spokeswoman.
All right. So a Qur'an in a toilet is immediately charged as a hate crime, but kicking and punching a rabbi in the face while screaming "Allahu akbar" is only a possible hate crime.
"I'm sad that this kind of attack is coming to New York after seeing this in Israel," said Ohana. "An Arab teenager attacking a Jew for being a Jew scares me as a Jew."
Ohana said one police officer brushed the incident off as a case of a teenager who "doesn't know what 'Allah akbar' means.
Yes, that's it, all right. Islam is a religion of peace! Let us march forward together into the glorious future, comrades!
This latest missive -- again addressed to Europe -- presents an opportunity for a moment of clarity: It should raise the expectation that Muslims in Europe declare forthrightly whether they stand with or against bin Laden in his condoning a violent response to twelve drawings. "Usama bin Laden Criticizes Europe for Anti-Islamic Cartoons, Vows Reaction," from the Associated Press:
CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden addressed the "wise men" of the European Union in a new audio message late Wednesday, slamming the publication of drawings insulting to the Prophet Muhammad and vowing a strong reaction.
The message, which appeared on a militant Web site that has carried Al Qaeda statements in the past and bore the logo of the extremist group's media wing al-Sahab, showed a still image of bin Laden aiming with an AK-47.
A voice believed to be bin Laden's described the attacks of the Europeans on women and children but said these "paled (in comparison) when you went overboard in your unbelief and freed yourselves of the etiquettes of dispute and fighting and went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings, this is the greatest misfortune and the most dangerous."
The tape was posted less than a week after the Danish intelligence service said the reprinting of a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad had brought "negative attention" to Denmark and may have increased the risk to Danes at home and abroad.
More from CNN:
(CNN) -- A new statement attributed to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden condemns European countries for siding with the United States in Afghanistan and for allowing the publication of cartoons considered insulting to Islam's prophet, Mohammed.
"This is the greater and more serious tragedy, and the reckoning for it will be more severe," the speaker in the five-minute audio recording says.
The identity of the speaker could not be independently determined.
However, a radical Islamist Web site reported earlier Wednesday that a statement from bin Laden was coming shortly.
The notice appeared on Al-Ekhlaas, known for carrying statements and videos from al Qaeda and its allies.
RIYADH - A group of Saudi clerics has come out in support of a colleague who issued a fatwa saying two writers deserve to die if they did not retract views that he said made them apostates.
Sheikh Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak, one of the kingdom’s most revered clerics, said in a rare fatwa last week the columnists should be tried for apostasy for “heretical articles” published in al-Riyadh newspaper and put to death if they do not repent.
They questioned the Sunni Muslim view in Saudi Arabia that adherents of other faiths should be considered unbelievers, which Barrak said implied Muslims were free to follow other religions and their faith was on a par with other religions.
A group of 20 clerics, all associated with Barrak, issued a statement on Tuesday asking God to support him in the face of a ”wicked attack” by liberals with “polluted beliefs”.
”We know the Sheikh’s knowledge in religion and status in the Islamic nation and trust Muslims place in his opinions ... The fatwa is based on the book of God (Koran) and the path of the Prophet,” they said in the statement posted on Web sites.
And therein lies the chief obstacle to meaningful reform and improvement of human rights issues in Islamic countries.
“The Sheikh’s words were clear in placing the issue in the hands of the temporal authorities when he said that there must be a trial. We affirm there should be a trial.”
Barrak, who is thought to be around 75, is viewed by Islamists as the leading independent authority of Saudi Arabia’s hardline version of Sunni Islam, often termed Wahhabism.
Liberal reformers are engaged in a battle with religious hardliners over the direction of the country, a key US ally and the world’s biggest oil exporter.
“This is in my view the largest show of force in the Wahhabi movement in a long time,” said Ali al-Ahmad, a Saudi opposition figure based in Washington.
Saudi Arabia regularly executes drug traffickers, rapists and murderers, but it is rare for calls to try or execute people for opinions expressed in public.
It is noteworthy that these writers are not under a death fatwa simply for saying something offensive, but for apostasy, which is punishable by death on the orders of Muhammad himself: "If anyone changes his religion, kill him" (Bukhari 9.84.57).
Rights groups have accused Wahhabism of a xenophobic attitude which demonises other religions.
Which explains all the like-minded Shi'ites in Iran -- no, wait...
When linking arms with the Arab and Muslim world, official Washington is keen to point out Kosovo would be a Muslim state. But of course, if anyone points out an independent Muslim Kosovo might be a bad idea, he is whipping up "Islamophobia."
Says the U.S. envoy to Kosovo, Ambassador Frank G. Wisner: "To be able to secure a Muslim-majority state inside the European whole is a terrific signal that the Muslim world and the non-Muslim word can live side by side in peace and cooperation, one with the other."
That is, unless Kosovo becomes a jihad base in Europe, and proves just the opposite. And to that end, President Bush has just authorized arming our newest Islamic protégé.
From the Washington Times's Embassy Row (thanks to James Jatras):
The U.S. envoy to Kosovo is urging Arab governments to invest in Europe's newest Muslim-majority nation.
Ambassador Frank G. Wisner called on the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to build on its statement of support issued after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17.
"I think Kosovars are ready for that and want it," Mr. Wisner told America.gov, a U.S. State Department Web site.
Mr. Wisner, a former ambassador to India, the Philippines and Zambia, as well as to the OIC, argued that Kosovo is a good place for foreign investment.
"It's a good investment in the future," he said. "It's a profitable investment in terms of the eventual economic evolution of southeastern Europe, and I hope a strong economic signal will accompany a political signal."
He argued that the creation of the Kosovo republic has implications beyond Europe.
"To be able to secure a Muslim-majority state inside the European whole is a terrific signal that the Muslim world and the non-Muslim word can live side by side in peace and cooperation, one with the other," he said.
"I believe that for most of the Muslim world, it's very important that one looks at [Kosovo] as a matter of justice."
So far, however, Kosovo's declaration of independence has sparked rioting from Serbs, who consider the ancient province part of Serbia's historical heritage. Russia, Serbia's main ally, has criticized the United States and other nations for recognizing Kosovo.
Kosovar militants rebelled against Serbian domination in 1999 but were crushed by a fierce Serbian counteroffensive that led to charges of "ethnic cleansing" against Kosovars and the intervention of NATO forces. Since 2004, Kosovo was administered by the United Nations.
The Iranian proxy jihad rolls on. And "raising concerns" will do little to stop an enemy whose modus operandi is to cheat, lie, and talk out of both sides of his mouth. "U.S. commander: Iran still meddles in Iraq," from CNN:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, said Iran continues to support Iraqi insurgents and Syria is allowing foreign fighters passage into Iraq.
"We are concerned very much about the lethal accelerants, as they are called, that do come from Iran," he said. "And we appropriately raise that to those who have a broader perspective, then, who have a regional and then a global look.
"And the same way that we do about what comes through Syria."
The general's comments about Iran come just a day after Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said there are continued fears that Iran may be training Iraqi extremists in Iran and sending them back to Iraq.
McCain expressed concern about a large cache of explosives found in Iraq and hinted that they may have been sent from Iran.
In January, Petraeus said attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq with bombs believed linked to Iran -- known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) -- had risen sharply after several months of decline. But that came after several months of decline in Iranian involvement.
The Bush administration and the military have long maintained that Iranian agents, particularly the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, have been arming and training Iraqi insurgents.
Relations between Iraq and Iran have been improving.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Iraq earlier this month and pledged to help Iraq with energy supplies, while denouncing U.S. statements about Iranian involvement with Iraqi insurgents.
"We do not care about their statements and remarks because they make statements based on erroneous information. We cannot count on what they say," Ahmadinejad said.
"Building towards Palestinian statehood" -- that is, another foothold in the ongoing jihad against Israel.
"PNA: USA To Transfer USD150 Million," from ANSAmed (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) - JERUSALEM, MARCH 19 - An agreement for a USD150 million aid (about 95 million euro) by the United States to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) was signed in Ramallah, in the West Bank, today. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who signed the agreement with U.S. Consul General Jake Walles, told the media that the financial aid "comes to us at a time of great need and it will help our efforts in building towards Palestinian statehood". The American aid - so far the biggest granted by one of the donor states - is part of an American pledge to support the Fayyad government and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).
I never knew she cared
Imagine my surprise yesterday afternoon when a reporter asked me for comment on the late Benazir Bhutto's attack on me in her book Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West. I hadn't read the book, and hadn't heard of any such attack, but I picked one up last night, and sure enough, there it is on page 245:
Robert Spencer is the author of the well-known Web site Jihad Watch. He uses the Internet to spread misinformation and hatred of Islam, while claiming he is merely putting forward the truth. But as in much extremist advocacy, he presents a skewed, one-sided, and inflammatory story that only helps sow the seeds of civilizational conflict. For example, he takes apparently violent verses of the Quran out of context and then does not provide any peaceful verses as a balance.
Unlike many of the more mainstream authors presented, Spencer does not understand the true Muslim faith or differentiate between moderate Muslims and violent Islamists, and so lumps them all in one boat:Islam is a totalitarian ideology that aims to control the religious, social and political life of mankind in all its aspects, the life of its followers without qualification, and the life of those who follow the so-called tolerated religions to a degree that prevents their activities from getting in the way of Islam in any way. And I mean Islam: I do not accept some spurious distinction between Islam and "Islamic Fundamentalism" or "Islamic terrorism." The terrorists who planted the bombs in Madrid, and those responsible for the death of more than 2,000 people on September 11, 2001 in New York and the Ayatollahs of Iran were and are all acting canonically; their actions reflect the teachings of Islam, whether found in the Koran, in the acts and sayings of the Prophet, or Islamic law based on them.
That long quote from me sounded funny to me -- it just didn't sound to me like the way I write. But Bhutto's endnote said it was from page 11 of The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, an essay collection by many different authors that I edited, and so when I was laboriously typing all this out I went into the Word document of the material I wrote for that book, hoping I could just paste the paragraph in here. But...it wasn't there! It turns out that that quote is from the book's Foreword, "The Genesis of a Myth" by Ibn Warraq. Page 13, not 11.
So while excoriating me for allegedly quoting the Qur'an out of context, Benazir Bhutto attributed to me words written by someone else. And that someone is, like Bhutto, a Pakistani who was raised a Muslim. Ibn Warraq has spent years doing research on the historical Muhammad and the origins of the Qur'an -- and yet apparently he somehow now misunderstands the Islamic faith.
But leave that aside. When someone as illustrious as Benazir Bhutto sees me as an obstacle to the reconciliation she wanted to bring to the world before the jihadists assassinated her, it is incumbent upon me to explain myself.
He uses the Internet to spread misinformation and hatred of Islam, while claiming he is merely putting forward the truth.
Reporting on jihadist activity is spreading "misinformation and hatred of Islam"? Perhaps Mark A. Siegel of American University, former Deputy Assistant to President Jimmy Carter and a former Bhutto lobbyist who says that he "helped Benazir research and write this book," would be so kind as to provide an example or two of each, from anything I have written here or elsewhere -- that is, any misinformation or incitement to hatred. In the book, she fails to do so:
But as in much extremist advocacy, he presents a skewed, one-sided, and inflammatory story that only helps sow the seeds of civilizational conflict. For example, he takes apparently violent verses of the Quran out of context and then does not provide any peaceful verses as a balance.
This is wholly false, for in my books, notably Onward Muslim Soldiers, I discuss the peaceful verses at length, and describe how Muslim exegetes of the Qur'an have explained the relationship of the peaceful verses to the violent ones. And The Truth About Muhammad is in effect an extended study of the contexts of various Qur'anic passages. Here also is a discussion of the contexts of the violent verses in relation to the peaceful ones, as explained by Muslim exegetes, from this site.
And finally, the quote from Ibn Warraq that Bhutto misattributes to me does not establish her claim that I do not "differentiate between moderate Muslims and violent Islamists." It's about Islam, not Muslims. What people continually fail to grasp is the distinction between the texts and teachings of a faith, which are matters of record, and the many different ways in which people understand those texts and teachings. To say that all the schools of Islamic law teach violent jihad and the subjugation of unbelievers under the rule of Islamic law is simply a statement of fact. It can be proven or disproven with reference to the actual teachings of the schools. But if they do all teach this, and they do, that doesn't mean that every Muslim follows those teachings, any more than the fact that the Catholic Church teaches against contraception means that every Catholic opposes contraception. There is a spectrum of belief, knowledge, and fervor among Muslims as there is among believers in every belief system, religious or not.
And if one genuinely wishes to oppose those Muslims who are attempting to implement this deeply traditional supremacist program, one cannot do so by pretending that the teachings that those Muslims rely on don't exist, or that someone like me is responsible for exaggerating the impact of "apparently violent verses of the Quran." No, it is Muslims themselves all around the world who are daily invoking those passages of the Qur'an to justify acts of violence, and Benazir Bhutto, of all people, should have been willing to acknowledge that, and deal with its implications.
A few days ago the European blogger Michael van der Galien, with whom I had an exchange about "pure Islam" here last year, wrote a post at his PoliGazette entitled "The Spell of Islamophobia and Moderate Muslims."
In it, van der Galien takes up the familiar lament that there are huge numbers of moderate Muslims, but they aren't getting any attention. It centers on a Washington Post piece in which Eboo Patel complains of the same thing. Van der Galien writes:
Eboo Patel wrote a good article for On Faith of the Washington Post about Islamophobia. His main point is this: whenever he or other so-called moderate Muslims speak out about terrorism, condemn it, and preach a peaceful form of Islam (by pointing out that Islam has a peaceful tradition and a theology that encourages religious pluralism), non-Muslims have only two questions for them. “Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorism?” And, “Where are the moderate Muslim voices?”
And van der Galien agrees:
And, I think, he’s exactly right. I too notice that whenever Muslims condemn terrorism and preach a peaceful and tolerant version of Islam, they are - quite simply - ignored.
Ignored? Really? Isn't that an ironic overstatement when referring to a guy who is writing in the Washington Post? Maybe van der Galien is unaware that those who are tarred as "Islamophobes" don't get invited to write in the Washington Post, but the Eboo Patel types are quite thick on the ground there.
And his other exhibit of a poor, ignored moderate Muslim is just as questionable:
In the blogosphere we have Ali Eteraz. A ‘moderate Muslim’ who writes about Islam almost constantly. Yet, conservative bloggers constantly ask “where are the so-called moderates?”
Well, how about Ali?
How about Eboo?
Well, how about them? I think it is worthwhile, in the context of van der Galien's post, to explain why some people -- and not just van der Galien's caricatured baddies who believe the absurd premise that "all Muslims support terrorism" -- are suspicious, and quite justifiably so, of Muslim moderates like Eboo Patel and Ali Eteraz.
Patel, for his part, in his article touts the "Not in the Name of Islam" petition circulated by the Council on American Islamic Relations. Now, CAIR has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding case. Several of its officials are in prison on various terror-related charges, and several other of its officials have made Islamic supremacist statements. So is it simply prejudice -- irrational, unthinking, racist, xenophobic "Islamophobia" -- that makes people suspicious of this petition and of the intentions of the people behind it?
I don't think so. I am not saying that Patel himself is not a moderate. I am sure that both he and Eteraz are as moderate as the day is long. But when all that Patel can come up with as demonstration of a moderate initiative is a CAIR petition, well, pardon me if I am underwhelmed.
And Eteraz? Well, he writes in The Guardian and all over the place, so I don't think it is quite accurate to say he is ignored either. I myself certainly haven't ignored him: he and I have had several exchanges in the past.
In them, Eteraz several times indulged in a disheartening disingenuousness. He claimed, for example, that the gate of ijtihad -- that is, the process of independent legal reasoning in Islam -- was not closed, and that I demonstrated my ignorance in saying otherwise. Never mind the fact that it is rather a commonplace for Islamic authorities of all stripes to affirm that the time for ijtihad is indeed long past, as I show here. Eteraz says that they are in fact open and should be (and I agree that they should be), but for Eteraz to charge someone with ignorance for repeating what some of the world's leading Islamic scholars acknowledge as a matter of course calls in question his good faith.
Similarly, Eteraz's whitewash of some uncomfortable aspects -- recorded in Islamic tradition -- of Muhammad's life does not inspire confidence. Reform in Islam will not come, if it will come at all, from bland denial of the existence of traditions and teachings that jihadists use to justify violence and supremacism, but from an honest acknowledgment of those traditions and an attempt to understand them in a way that will blunt their literal force.
Then there was Eteraz's bizarre and troubling assertion, here, that Muslim moderates should remain silent and passive in the face of Islamic violence and terror, rather than working against it. And finally there is his unfortunate taste for invective, which has led him to depart from the truth on several occasions -- as here, when he claimed that National Review wouldn't link to Jihad Watch. (Hey Ali, here's my most recent NR article, from a couple of weeks ago.) This is not a personal matter -- Ali Eteraz can say whatever he wants about me, but I am working in good faith, and when he stoops to this kind of thing, I don't think anyone can reasonably expect me to take his other writings without a grain of salt.
So what's the point? Is Ali Eteraz not himself a moderate? No, I am sure he is the soul of moderation. But I don't think it's unreasonable for people to ask for more from moderate Muslim spokesmen than a petition floated by a group like CAIR and a disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic tradition.
Eboo Patel and Ali Eteraz are by no means ignored. And I believe that those who are not ignoring them have every right to ask them for more forthright and genuine action against the Islamic jihadists they oppose.
This is nothing new, of course, but the more exposure it gets, the better. The one aspect that is missing from this discussion is a grasp of the believer-unbeliever dynamic in Islam and the resulting dhimmi laws and imperative to wage war against unbelievers until they convert, submit to Islamic law, or are expelled or killed. And both of those are anything but an invention of the Iranian revolution. "Study: Iran Indoctrinating Children in Islamic Supremacism," by Eli Lake for the New York Sun:
WASHINGTON — A new Freedom House study of Iranian textbooks finds that the Islamic Republic is teaching its children to embrace Islamic supremacism, preparing them to enter a political system that discriminates against women and non-Muslims.
The study, "Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran's Textbooks," is the most comprehensive to date of Iran's textbooks, analyzing 95 compulsory textbooks for grades one to 11. The main author of the study, Saeed Paivandi, is a sociologist at Paris-8 University and one of the few Western scholars to specialize in Iran's post-revolutionary education system.
"The discourse of the textbooks has not been written with the concept of equality of all human beings, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," the study concludes. "In the textbooks' reasoning, human beings cannot be equal with one another on this earth, in the same way that, on the day of reckoning, they will be subject to divine judgment for their identity and actions. The trend, based on the clear and official negation of the equality of human beings, created different positions for the various people in society. Some individuals are born first-class citizens, due to their identity, gender, and way of thinking, while others become second- and third-class citizens. Those who are excluded from the inside are victims of this discriminatory system."
That system inside Iran has led to a raft of laws that prohibit non-Muslims from holding high government and military posts, enforce a quota of non-Muslims allowed to matriculate at universities, and require non-Muslim shopkeepers to designate their stores as such. But the lessons of Islamic supremacism also applies to Iran's foreign policy, which the American government says is to support terrorist groups throughout the Middle East. For example, the Islamic culture religious studies textbook for eighth-grade instructs, "Defensive jihad is incumbent upon every one, the young and the old, men and women, everyone, absolutely everyone, must take part in this sacred battle, fight to the best of his or her abilities or assist our fighters."
A seventh-grade textbook on the same subject says: "By taking note of the guidance and instructions provided by Islam, every Muslim youth must strike fear in the hearts of the enemies of God and their people through combat-readiness and skillful target shooting. He must always be ready to defend his country, honor, and faith and use all his capabilities and power in this endeavor. After the victory of the revolution, His Holiness Imam Khomeini, the deceased leader of the Islamic revolution, issued an order for the establishment of the basij (paramilitary group) for the oppressed."
The report places the present school curriculum in Iran in the context of the country's ancient tradition of religious Muslim schools but finds major differences between the two. Iran's modern school curriculum, for example, teaches secular topics such as science and political history, while the Khomeinist doctrine of the state runs through these subjects, as well. On lessons on world history, the textbooks emphasize a unity with fellow Islamic republics.
The textbooks also enforce a strict view that women should be at home raising children. A 10th-grade textbook for religion and life says, "A mother whose husband earns sufficient income cannot say, 'My job demands that I leave my child at the day care center every day,' and, in this way deprive her child from her constant love and attention."
While the textbooks recognize other religious groups in Iran, including Jews, they refer to followers of the Bahai faith as members of a cult.
This is, of course, due to the classification of Jews and Christians (and members of a few other monotheistic faiths, such as Mandaeans and Zoroastrians) as People of the Book. The Bahai faith, on the other hand, had its origins in Shi'ite Islam, but recognizes figures who appeared after Muhammad-- obviously something to which Islamic orthodoxy would not take kindly.
The Freedom House study is not the first review of Iranian textbooks. Last year a Jerusalem-based think tank, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, did its own review, which concluded that Iran was preparing children to become radical martyrs. The Freedom House study takes a broader approach to the textbooks, but it also finds that martyrdom is encouraged in grades one through 11.
"In the Farsi textbooks of Grades 1 through 11, 31 lessons discuss martyrdom and death for the sake of religious or political beliefs. These lessons are mostly biographies or autobiographies of important religious figures of the past, including soldiers and officers of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and the basij (paramilitary group)," the Freedom House study says.
All kinds of things you can do with cell phones -- including setting up a bomb to be set off from afar.
Of course, maybe he just wanted to call 2,000 Western officials to beg for more money and aid.
More hijinks from the Palestinian Faction That Sincerely Wants Peace:
"Abbas' advisor caught at Allenby crossing with smuggled phones," by Ali Waked for Ynet News (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Rawhi Fattuh, the advisor of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was caught Tuesday at the Allenby crossing in possession of 2,000 smuggled cellular phones.
Ynet has learned that the Palestinian security organizations arrested Fattuh's driver on suspicion of smuggling the phones in his car. According to them, Fattuh was unaware of the devices' presence in the vehicle.
Ah, of course. Why, just the other day I got into my car, only to find it filled with 2,000 cell phones. I chuckled to myself, wondering how they got there, and drove off on my merry way. Happens all the time!
Bernard Lewis continues his extremely puzzling journey into Edward Saidism. I was traveling when his Jerusalem Post interview appeared several weeks ago, but Hugh Fitzgerald pointed out some of its strangest features here, and Andrew Bostom weighed in here. As Hugh and Andy both point out, his words are contradicted by clear statements of Islamic authorities and passages in Islamic authoritative texts. What he says in that interview strongly echoes apologetic statements made by Islamic spokesmen in the West -- statements that have no basis in Islamic doctrine or history, and that is fact of which he, of all people, should be aware.
And here is yet another strange statement, although it's possible that here he was misquoted, since this is a small community newspaper and the same article at one point renders "Jews" as "dues" -- perhaps indicating a high degree of incomprehension on the reporter's part. But taking it as it is, it is odd on many levels. More below.
"Lewis, Prager Share Their Knowledge On 'Final Jihad,'" by: Jenny DeHuff for The Bulletin (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
Philadelphia - Two great thinkers put their heads together for a lecture, "Clash of Civilizations, the Final Jihad," at the University of Pennsylvania last night.
Sharing their worldviews on Islam, Christianity and Judaism were renowned authors Bernard Lewis and Dennis Prager, a syndicated columnist whose work appears in The Bulletin.
In helping Penn students better understand the state of affairs between western civilization and the Arabic world, Mr. Lewis, who has been a key advisor to President George W. Bush, said, in order for Americans to better grasp the complexity of how Muslim jihadists are able to carry out terrorist attacks, they need to realize that for Muslims, Islam is that which defines them.
"As they see it, the world is divided into two houses - the house of Islam and the house of unbelievers," Mr. Lewis said.
"Throughout the middle ages, Christians and Muslims fought a great fight. This ongoing struggle, linked together by common beliefs, gave rise to this long succession of jihad and crusade, jihad and crusade."...
Do Christians and Muslims really have "common beliefs"? If Dr. Lewis really said that, I would ask him to produce the Christian equivalent of this:
"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." -- Qur'an 9:29
It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them....If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. -- Sahih Muslim 4294
It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah. -- Sahih Bukhari book 1, no. 31
And did this commonality of belief really give rise "to this long succession of jihad and crusade, jihad and crusade"?
The idea that jihad and crusade are essentially equivalent is historically absurd. The jihad began in the 620's, and overwhelmed the Christian Middle East, Christian North Africa, and Christian Spain within a hundred years of Muhammad's death in 632. The Christians in these lands were subjugated as dhimmis, and the cultures Islamized.
What did Christian Europe do? Nothing. Only 450 years later did the First Crusade begin. Did it win back all those lands the Islamic jihadists had conquered? No -- with the exception of Spain, if the Reconquista is considered a Crusade as some do today. Did the Crusaders ever even try to win back any of the other lands that had been conquered and Islamized? Outside of the Holy Land, no. There were some Crusader territories in the Holy Land for about 200 years, and that was it. There was never any large-scale action against the Islamic world as the jihad had been a large-scale action against the Christian world. Even in those lands the Crusaders did conquer, they did not re-Christianize or compel the Muslims to stop practicing Islam -- and as I show in my book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), one contemporary Muslim historian lamented that the Muslims in his day preferred to live in Crusader territories rather than in lands the Muslims ruled!
And a "long succession"? The Crusades began in 1095, and the last Crusader territory was conquered in 1291. Two hundred years. The jihad began in the seventh century and continues today.
The Crusades were, in sum, a small-scale and largely unsuccessful attempt not to counter the jihad, but to secure the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims and under Christian rule. For Lewis to imply that a Muslim wave was followed by an equal and opposite Christian wave and that the two warlike theologies jockeyed for power -- that is just historical myth, and Bernard Lewis more than anyone else in the world knows that.
She "had been seeking permanent residence in India, where she moved after spending time in Europe and the United States. But New Delhi had stalled the request, fearful of a backlash from the country's 140 million-plus Muslims, and has given the openly atheistic author only six-month visas."
If free people survive in India, they will look upon this as a moment of shame in the country's history.
"Writer flees Islamic death threats," from Agence France-Presse (thanks to all who sent this in):
BANGLADESHI writer Taslima Nasreen has left India after being hounded into hiding by death threats from Islamic extremists, her publisher and friends say.
"Taslima Nasreen flew out of New Delhi this afternoon to Europe for medical treatment,'' her publisher Sibani Mukherjee said.
She said Nasreen had asked her not to reveal the author's exact destination.
Close friends also told said she had left India, and some Indian television stations reported that Nasreen was headed for Canada.
Nasreen was forced to flee Bangladesh in 1994 after radical Muslims accused her of blasphemy over her novel Lajja (Shame') - which depicts the life of a Hindu family persecuted by Muslims in Bangladesh.
The 45-year-old gynaecologist-turned-author - whose predicament is similar to that of Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie - had been seeking permanent residence in India, where she moved after spending time in Europe and the United States.
But New Delhi had stalled the request, fearful of a backlash from the country's 140 million-plus Muslims, and has given the openly atheistic author only six-month visas.
The writer was forced to flee the West Bengal state capital of Kolkata, which she adopted as home in 2004, in November after receiving death threats from radical Indian Muslims and had since been living in hiding in New Delhi under Indian government security protection....
"Anti-Islam" -- anti-supremacism, anti-violence, anti-oppression, certainly. Insofar as those things are elements of traditional and mainstream Islam, that's just Islamorealistic.
"Be aware of following the path that will take you and us into a dangerous abyss." But he did temper the howling absurdity of this somewhat by also scolding those who commit violence because of cartoons.
"Egyptian president warns against continued insults to Islam's Prophet," from The Associated Press (thanks to Twostellas):
CAIRO, Egypt: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned Tuesday that continued insults to the Prophet Mohammed will just make the situation worse for everyone, while at the same time criticizing the extremists using these insults to justify their actions.
Mubarak also warned Israeli that no occupation lasts forever and urged the Palestinians to give peace a chance.
"With the Prophet's birthday anniversary, the falsifications and insults have surfaced again hiding behind the freedom of expression and the press," he said in comments broadcast live on state television. "We tell them it is enough now talking about the dialogue between cultures, civilizations and religions and be aware of following the path that will take you and us into a dangerous abyss."
The Egyptian president did not say who his remarks were directed at, but they came amid renewed controversy over the reprinting by Western newspapers of a Danish cartoon deemed insulting to the prophet to show their commitment to freedom of speech.
Mubarak also accused Islamic extremists of acting contrary to Islam's teachings of moderation and hurting its reputation to outsiders.
"We tell ourselves, truly and frankly, that there are some people among us who harmed Islam before non-Muslims did. Those who are among us ignored the moderation and forgiveness of Islam, distorted its image and gave excuses to those who harmed it by connecting it to extremism, terrorism and backwardness," Mubarak said....
If only those who were actual refugees at the time of the UN Resolution returned, it would be a handful. And if it includes anyone else, it is a manipulative political charade. Imagine if all the refugees from the Ottoman Empire, by the PA's standard here, suddenly converged upon Occupied Constantinople. (I will get my ticket now if you will!) The place would be swarming with Christians and Jews. Would the world wring its hands about the injustice done to those refugees? What do you think?
"PA urges Palestinians to 'return,'" by Khaled Abu Toameh for the Jerusalem Post (thanks to Sr. Soph):
The Palestinian Authority is planning to mark Israel's 60th anniversary by calling on all Palestinians living abroad to converge on Israel by land, sea and air.
The plan, drawn by Ziad Abu Ein, a senior Fatah operative and Deputy Minister for Prisoners' Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, states that the Palestinians have decided to implement United Nations Resolution 194 regarding the refugees.
Article 11 of the resolution, which was passed in December 1948, says that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."
The initiative is the first of its kind and is clearly aimed at embarrassing Israel during the anniversary celebrations by highlighting the issue of the "right of return" for the refugees.
Entitled "The Initiative of Return and Coexistence," the plan suggests that the PA has abandoned a two-state solution in favor of one state where all Arabs and Jews would live together.
"The Palestinians, backed by all those who believe in peace, coexistence, human rights and the UN resolutions, shall recruit all their energies and efforts to return to their homeland and live with the Jews in peace and security," the plan says.
This would, of course, ultimately mean the subjugation of the Jews as dhimmis within an Islamic state.
And the mullahs are moving swiftly to stop it by enacting a law to enforce Muhammad's dictum: "'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.'"
"Iran: Parliament to discuss death penalty for converts who leave Islam," from AKI (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
Tehran, 19 March (AKI) - In its first session since last week's general elections, the new Iranian parliament is expected to discuss a law that will condemn to death anyone who decides to leave the Muslim faith and convert to other religions.
The parliament, also known as the Majlis, will debate the new law which has been presented by the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Under the proposed law, anyone who is born to Muslim parents and decides to convert to another faith, will face the death penalty.
Currently converts, particularly those who have decided to leave the Muslim faith for Evangelical churches, are arrested and then released after some years of detention.
The new legislation, which has caused concern in Iran and abroad, was proposed mainly because of fears of proselytising activities by Evangelical churches particularly through the use of satellite channels.
There has also been concern over fact that many young people in Iran have abandoned Islam because they're tired of the many restrictions imposed by the faith.
According to unofficial sources, in the past five years, one million Iranians, particularly young people and women, have abandoned Islam and joined Evangelical churches.
This phenomenon has surprised even the missionaries who carry out their activities in secret in Iran.
An Evangelical priest and former Muslim in Iran told Adnkronos International (AKI) that the conversions were "interesting, enthusiastic but very dangerous".
"The high number of conversions is the reason that the government has decided to make the repression of Christians official with this new law," said the priest on condition of anonymity.
"Often we get to know about a new community that has been formed, after a lot of time, given that the people gather in homes to pray and often with rituals that they invent without any real spiritual guide," he told AKI.
"We find ourselves facing what is more than a conversion to the Christian faith," he said. "It's a mass exodus from Islam."...
If he were 40, we almost certainly wouldn't be hearing about it at all. From Agence France-Presse:
RIYADH - An 11-year-old boy has married his 10-year-old cousin in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Mohammed al-Rashidi and his unidentified cousin will seal the marriage they contracted under the sharia laws of Islam and move in together after a ceremony to take place in the summer, Al-Shams newspaper said.
“I am ready for this marriage. It will help me study better,” Mohammed, who goes to primary school in the northern province of Hail, was quoted as saying by Al-Shams.
“I invite all my classmates to do like me,” the boy said, adding that he wanted to “crown a love story through marriage”.
The schoolboy’s father, Muraizak al-Rashidi, told the newspaper he was busy sending out invitations for a summer celebration to seal the marriage.
Dahim al-Jaber, the headmaster at Mohammed’s school, said marriage at such a young age was “inappropriate” but wished the couple a happy life together.
"Letters from extremists distributed March 13 and 14 also warned schools to make sure girls are covered from head to toe and to avoid coeducation."
Sharia Alert. "Extremists target aid groups in Pakistan," by Kathy Gannon for the Associated Press:
MANSEHRA, Pakistan - Long-haired gunmen burst into the white stone building and killed four charity workers helping earthquake victims, then wrecked the office with grenades and set it on fire. Police came, but did not intervene.
In a tactic reminiscent of neighboring Afghanistan, Islamic militants are attacking aid groups in the Pakistan's volatile northwest, and local authorities appear incapable — or unwilling — to stop them.
Reminiscent? Not exactly. More like a direct ideological link.
The threat has forced several foreign agencies to scale back assistance to survivors of the October 2005 earthquake that killed at least 78,000 people and left 3 million homeless — risking the region's recovery from the worst natural disaster in the country's history.
The Feb. 25 attack on employees of Plan International, a British-based charity that focuses on helping children, was the worst in a series of threats and assaults on aid workers in the northern mountains where Taliban-style militants have expanded their reach in the past year.
Nearly a month later, menacing letters are still being sent to aid organizations. Although all four victims in Mansehra were Pakistani men, Islamic extremists despise the aid groups because they employ women and work for women's rights.
Local officials in Mansehra, who spoke on condition they not be identified for fear of retaliation, said letters from extremists distributed March 13 and 14 also warned schools to make sure girls are covered from head to toe and to avoid coeducation.
The militants also may be trying to discredit Pakistan's central government, and to enforce a radical religious agenda in a conservative region where jihadist-linked groups were themselves a source of aid after the quake.
Police accuse a local militant, Mohiuddin Shakir, who goes by the alias Mujahid, of masterminding the attack last month on the aid office in Mansehra. He has not been arrested.
Shakir, a former member of an al-Qaida-linked group, has criminal charges against him in Pakistan dating back to 2002, including for murder, according to police records obtained by The Associated Press.
Shakir now leads a jihadist group called Lashkar-e-Ababeel, named after small birds that the Quran says threw stones to defeat an army of 60,000 warriors who sought to destroy Mecca in the 7th century.
Last summer, Shakir wrote a letter to newspapers warning international aid groups about hiring women and warning women to wear an all-encompassing veil.
Yet Abdul Ershad, an officer investigating the attack, said that as recently as late 2007, Shakir had a working arrangement with police in his hometown of Phulra not far from Mansehra. To advance his agenda, he would tell police about residents involved in "un-Islamic" activities — like men selling pornographic videos and socializing with women — and police would arrest them, Ershad said.
Here is a paragraph from Obama's speech on Jeremiah Wright today (thanks to James):
But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.
So it's not all about Israel, and there are perverse and hateful Islamic ideologies that are creating this present conflict.
Is this just window dressing, or will he remember it if he is elected? Not that he has any more chance of becoming President than the ACLU does of coming out against the Tarek ibn Zayed Academy.
"Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks..." (Qur'an 47:4).
"Rabbi stabbed in neck in E. Jerusalem terror attack," by Jonathan Lis for Haaretz (thanks to Twostellas):
A Palestinian stabbed a Haredi rabbi in the neck in Arab East Jerusalem on Tuesday, but medical workers said his wounds were light and not life-threatening.
A police spokesman confirmed that the attack, near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, was politically motivated.
The Zaka emergency service said the rabbi, 49, was walking with a bodyguard in Jerusalem's walled Old City, where his seminary is located, when he was attacked. The bodyguard gave chase but the attacker escaped, leaving behind a blood-stained knife.
According to police, the unidentified assailant stabbed the man once and fled the scene. Security forces are currently searching the area in hopes of capturing the attacker....
It must be a cold day in Hell today.
Considering the ACLU's collaborations with CAIR, I expect that the Academy will forthwith get a clean bill of health. And then the ACLU will be able to say, Why, of course we investigated.
I don't know what a "moderate Salafite" would be. A Salafi is one who adheres to "pure Islam," and hence holds to the same goals regarding political Islam that Al-Qaeda itself champions. Perhaps they differ on the means to attain those goals.
"Algeria: Al-Qaeda attacks moderates," from AKI (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Algiers, 18 March (AKI) - Members of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb militant group in Algeria have reportedly attacked members of a moderate organisation opposed to its terrorist activities.
A report on Tuesday in the Algerian newspaper el-Khabar said an al-Qaeda militant carried out a raid against a mosque in the Algerian province of al-Wadi on Sunday night and killed two men while they prayed.
According to the report, eyewitnesses said masked men entered the mosque as evening prayers were being held forcing everyone to fall to the ground.
The armed militants called for the two men, Harun Ahmad, and his cousin, Harun Abdel Jabbar, to step forward. They were then taken to the courtyard in the mosque where they were shot to death as the killers, speaking in an Algerian dialect, said: "We kill you with God's consent."
The two victims were part of a group of moderate Salafites who are opposed to the terrorist activities carried out by the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group.
According to investigators, the two men were murdered by a local leader of of the Islamic terrorist group, Masoudi Muhammad al-Hafith.
Another moderate Salafite was killed in the same area in a similar situation in March 2006.
Salafites are Muslims who adhere to a pure interpretation of the Koran and are inspired by the lives of the first Muslims.
Hmmm. Now who could they be?
"Mortar near US embassy in Yemen kills 1," by Ahmed Al-Haj for Associated Press (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
SAN'A, Yemen - A mortar shell exploded Tuesday by a high school next to the American embassy, killing one Yemeni guard and wounding three students and three other guards, an Interior Ministry official said....
The Yemeni official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because ministry rules bar him from talking to the media, said unknown attackers had fired the mortar in the downtown San'a district of Sawan. He did not provide further details....
An unindicted co-conspirator in a terror funding case holds an event that puts the FBI on the hotseat. The Feds could have seized the opportunity to ask the CAIR rep some questions about that organization's own origins in the Hamas front group the Islamic Association for Palestine, the terror arrests of CAIR officials, and its own attachment to Islamic supremacism in general. They could have called upon the Muslims at the meeting to demonstrate their professed rejection of terrorism with genuine action. They didn't.
"Muslims Grill FBI Agents on Key Issues," by Sameen Tahir-Khan for Arab News (thanks to Sr. Soph):
COLUMBUS, 18 March 2008 — The FBI was interrogated for a change yesterday by members of the Muslim community at an event sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) at the Sunrise Academy in Columbus.
Officials engaged in the discourse as part of the FBI’s so-called Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) program, which aims to improve relations with minority groups. Scheduled speakers at the event were special agents Kevin Bennett, Steve Flowers and Eric Thomas. The No. 1 concern in the audience was related to federal wiretapping, other forms of privacy invasion and the profiling of Muslims.
“Its not as easy as it seems (to get permission to phone tap),” said Flower. “We have to go before a federal judge and show evidence and get legal permission.” But recent legislation has loosened these restrictions, especially when it comes to the surveillance of communications to and from overseas locations.
But Bennett attempted to assure Muslims that their phones were not being tapped. Flowers said that the three men the FBI prosecuted in Ohio — Ayman Faris, Christopher Paul and Nurudin Abdi — were arrested after years of careful evidence gathering. Flowers said the FBI must do its job fighting not just terrorism from Islamic extremists but also domestic terrorist groups such as the Army of God and the Aryan Nation.
Still, he conceded that in the shadow of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the FBI views Islamic terrorist groups as the biggest threat to national security ands the groups most likely to instigate a massive terrorist act inside the United States.
Hind, a Saudi attendee wanted to know why the media singles out Muslims and Middle Easterners as “terrorists and extremists” and never used those terms for domestic terrorists. Flowers replied that the media do this because it is sensationalism to use language like that.
What a lot of hooey. The media is very, very careful, as we have demonstrated here again and again, to gloss over, ignore, cover up any connection between Islam and terrorism. Check out, for example, the last few stories on the Thai jihad as analyzed on the Jihad Watch side.
The head of CAIR in Ohio, Asma Mobin-uddin, tried to calm the attendees when emotions ran high and questions got more heated. She told the FBI agents that this was an indication of the frustrations that the Muslims felt.
“Many are frustrated because they have filed immigration for their family members but because some people have a certain name, it seems their background checks take much longer,” she said....
Yes, and for perfectly legitimate reasons.
Not that they've seen it yet, of course. "Dutch Muslims, Christians prepare jointly to criticise Koran film," from Expatica (thanks to Sr. Soph):
AMSTERDAM - Dutch Protestants and Muslims have joined in preparing a statement critical of the yet-to-be-released Koran-film of MP Geert Wilders, a Protestant Church spokesman said Monday. [...]
Wilders says his film will demonstrate why the Muslim Holy Scripture "is a fascist book that incites people to commit violence." [...]
The Protestant Church and two umbrella organisations of the Muslim community in the Netherlands - Contact Group Muslims CGI and Contact Muslims and Government CMO - were due Monday to discuss the text of a joint statement.
The Council of Churches, an umbrella organisation of all Dutch Christians - Protestants and Catholics - was also expected to take part in the meeting.
Tiny Minority of Extremists™ Update.
By Richard Boudreaux for the Los Angeles Times via the New York Sun (thanks to all who sent this in):
JERUSALEM — During three months of floundering peace talks overshadowed by violence, the American-backed Palestinian leadership in the West Bank has lost popular support and is now viewed as less legitimate than Hamas' rival Islamist government in the Gaza Strip, according to a poll released yesterday.
The survey is the latest sign that the Bush administration's effort to shore up secular Palestinian leaders and isolate Hamas is failing. That effort, part of a strategy to stabilize the Middle East, includes diplomatic support and promises of economic aid to the West Bank. Polling data collected in the West Bank and Gaza this month showed that Hamas, which rejects peace talks and continues to fight Israel, has gained sharply in popularity since December, reversing a two-year decline.
The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, an independent think tank that the Bush administration previously has to make the case that its regional strategy was working. According to the poll, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would receive 47% of the vote if the Palestinian Authority held presidential elections today, compared with 46% for the American-backed incumbent, Mahmoud Abbas. The survey group's polling in December showed Mr. Abbas defeating Mr. Haniyeh in such an election by 56% to 37%....
Apparently because of international outrage over the stoning of her male partner last year, indicating that international pressure works. "Woman escapes stoning for adultery," from Agence France-Presse (thanks to JE):
IRAN has freed a woman convicted of adultery who faced being stoned to death like her male partner whose execution by stoning last year caused international outrage, her lawyer said today.
Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, who had spent a total of 11 years behind bars, was released from a prison in the city of Qazvin last night on the orders of Iranian judiciary's amnesty commission, lawyer Shadi Sadr said.
She was freed along with the son she had conceived with her partner Jafar Kiani, whose stoning in July 2007 was carried out by the local authorities in apparent defiance of the central judiciary.
Under Iran's Islamic law, adultery is still theoretically punishable by stoning, which involves the public hurling stones at the convict buried up to his waist.
But a 2002 directive by judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi imposed a moratorium on such executions.
Kiani's stoning in a village in the northwestern Qazvin province was the first such stoning to be confirmed in years.
"It was a rare ruling," Mr Sadr said of the surprise release.
"She still could not believe she was pardoned," Mr Sadr said, adding that Ebrahimi had now returned with her son Ali to her family in northern Iran.
I am receiving a large number of emails telling me that people are no longer receiving the Jihad Watch Daily Digest in their morning email. I am aware of the problem, which has been going on for almost a week now, and am trying to find its source and get it fixed.
...which institutionalize the oppression of non-Muslims under Sharia rule.
And that's enough in itself to discredit Noah Feldman's extended valentine to Sharia in the New York Times Magazine.
Sharia Alert from the Islamic Republic. "Iran bans magazines for showing 'corrupt' foreign stars," from AFP (thanks to Mackie):
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran has banned nine lifestyle and cinema magazines for publishing pictures of "corrupt" foreign film stars and details about their "decadent" private lives, the student ISNA news agency said Sunday.
The publications were banned by the press commission watchdog for "publishing photographs of corrupt foreign artists and details about their decadent lives."
They were also "publishing advertising for forbidden medicines and articles that were contrary to morality and offensive to the ethnic minorities," the agency quoted the commission as saying....
Such magazines regularly print articles and pictures of foreign film stars, as well as of Iranian actresses in the kinds of loose headscarves and tight-fitting clothes that are frowned upon by the Islamic authorities.
The latest issue of Donya-ye Tasvir carried articles about several Hollywood female stars including Naomi Watts, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, all accompanied by pictures.
Iranian actresses have to observe the country's Islamic dress rules when they appear in films but this has not stopped many from becoming feminine screen icons in the Islamic republic....
I very seriously doubt this will ever happen, in light of the restrictions Muhammad himself placed on the presence of non-Muslims in Arabia: "I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim."
"Vatican plans to open church in Saudi Arabia," by Malcolm Moore in the Telegraph (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Vatican is in negotiations with Saudi Arabia to open the first Catholic church in the kingdom.
Archbishop Mounged El-Hachem, the papal envoy to Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates said talks had started a few weeks ago, in the wake of King Abdullah’s visit to Pope Benedict last November.
Currently, all Saudi citizens are required by law to be Muslim, and the Mutaween, or religious police, strictly prohibits the public practice of non-Muslim religions.
The last Christian priest was expelled from the kingdom in 1985.
However, the Vatican’s relationship with the Muslim world is improving rapidly, and Qatar opened its first Catholic church on Sunday.
Mgr El-Hachem said a church in Saudi Arabia would be an important sign of “reciprocity” between the faiths....
Apparently Basel Saleh Salem Kassem simply lost his temper, and began crying out that he had a bomb. Happens all the time. But whether knowingly or inadvertently, he served to strike terror into the hearts of the infidels on the train, in accord with the Qur'anic command: "Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies..." (Qur'an 8:60)
"Bomb Threat Evacuates Hundreds From Train In Emporia," from WRIC Richmond (thanks to Mackie):
Reports of a bomb on an Amtrak train in Emporia forced hundreds of people onboard to evacuate.
A number of streets were shut down overnight around where the Amtrak train stopped in the middle of town. Hundreds of passengers on board the train bound from New York down to Florida were forced to evacuate after a man on board said he had a bomb.
The nearly 300 passengers are rushed off the train around 10:30 Saturday night and taken by bus to Greensville Elementry School. [...]
While the passengers were at the school, the State Police Bomb Squad scoured the train. Investigators tell 8News a 23-year-old Yemeni man named Basel Saleh Salem Kassem got into an argument with another man on the train and then yelled that he had a bomb.
"Allegedly he was causing a disturbance on the train and the conductor attempted to move him to another part of the train, that's when he said he had a bomb and the bomb was in his bag" says Emporia Police Chief Bernard Richardson.
Around 2am the bomb squad determined the threat was a hoax. The Yemeni man was taken into custody by the FBI and is facing a felony charge of making a threat on a public conveyance. The hundreds of passengers were finally able to continue on their way.
What's that? It wasn't an Islamophobe? It was a Muslim, laying claim of the promise of Paradise to those who "kill and are killed" for Allah (Qur'an 9:111)? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?
"Suicide bomber kills at least 39 in Karbala," from MSNBC (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
BAGHDAD - A female suicide bomber blew herself up Monday amid a group of Shiite worshippers near a mosque in Karbala, killing at least 39 people and wounding 54, officials said.
The worshippers were gathered at a cafe about a half mile from the Imam Hussein shrine, one of the holiest sites for Shiites.
"I was talking with a friend and eating bread a few meters away from the cafe and I suddenly heard a huge explosion and I was thrown to the floor. I saw smoke and bodies," said Mohammed Kadhem.
"The only thing I know is there was a big explosion and I saw bodies flying in the air," added Hassan Khazim, who was wounded in the face. "All the tight security measures designed to protect us were in vain."
Karim Khazim, the city's chief health official, said the dead included seven Iranians.
Police said the attacker was a woman but provided no other immediate details. Karbala is about 50 miles south of Baghdad.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the U.S. military says al-Qaida in Iraq, which considers Iraq's majority Shiites to be heretics, is increasingly using women in a stepped-up campaign of suicide bombings....
Al-Arabiya discovers a sixteen-month-old promotion for my book The Truth About Muhammad, and the spittle starts flying.
As for the headline of their piece, I challenge anyone at Al-Arabiya, or anyone anywhere, to substantiate a single lie or hateful statement within the book.
"US magazine distributes free anti-Prophet book: Book is said to contain lies and hate," from Al-Arabiya (thanks to all who sent this in):
A right-wing American weekly magazine will distribute free copies of a book that insults Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and associates Islam with terrorism, Washington-based news agency America in Arabic reported.
The neo-conservative, Republican-oriented Human Events magazine will distribute Robert Spencer's The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion (2006), America in Arabic said.
"Neo-conservative"! Boo! "Republican-oriented"! Boo!
Actually, as I noted above, this promotion has gone out many times over the last year and a half.
Actually, Human Events is a newspaper.
The book -- regularly priced at 30 dollars -- is released by Regnery, which has published a string of controversial neo-con books and is a division of Eagle Publishing, which owns Human Events.
Actually it's $27.95, unless it has gone up without my knowledge.
"Controversial neo-con books"! Boo!
Well-known British writer Karen Armstrong, author of Muhammad: A Prophet of Our Time, has said that the book is "written in hatred," contains "basic and bad mistakes of fact" and that the author "deliberately manipulates the evidence".
Actually, it was Karen Armstrong (who cannot, as far as I know, read souls and thus has no idea whether or not I wrote the book in "hatred") who committed "basic and bad mistakes of fact" and perhaps "deliberately manipulate[d] the evidence" in her truth-free review of my book, as I demonstrated here.
The magazine says Spencer unravels facts not known to historians.
No, it doesn't.
The book claims that Muhammad said terrorism made him victorious and that he used to tempt people with paradise so they would crush his enemies.
Yeah, I made all that up, and cast it into the canonical hadith by means of my Zionist black arts.
"I have been made victorious with terror" -- so says Muhammad not according to me, but according to Bukhari (Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 220). Sahih Bukhari is the hadith collection, that is, the collection of traditions of Muhammad, that Muslims consider most reliable.
And what about that bit about Paradise? Here's another ahadith: "On the day of the battle of Uhud, a man came to the Prophet and said, 'Can you tell me where I will be if I should get martyred?' The Prophet replied, 'In Paradise.' The man threw away some dates he was carrying in his hand, and fought till he was martyred" (Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 377).
Yes, more of Spencer's lies!
The author also accuses Muhammad of treason, breaching the Treaty of Hudaybiya with the Meccan tribe of Quraish, and instigating Muslims to kill Jews.
According to Muhammad's earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, the Treaty of Hudaybiya contained this provision: "If anyone comes to Muhammad without the permission of his guardian he will return him to them; and if anyone of those with Muhammad comes to Quraysh they will not return him to him."
That is, those fleeing the Quraysh and seeking refuge with the Muslims would be returned to the Quraysh, while those fleeing the Muslims and seeking refuge with the Quraysh would not be returned to the Muslims.
But soon thereafter a woman of the Quraysh, Umm Kulthum, joined the Muslims in Medina; her two brothers came to Muhammad, asking that they be returned “in accordance with the agreement between him and the Quraysh at Hudaybiya.” But Muhammad refused: Allah forbade it. He gave Muhammad a new revelation: “O ye who believe! When there come to you believing women refugees, examine and test them: Allah knows best as to their faith: if ye ascertain that they are believers, then send them not back to the unbelievers” (Qur’an 60:10).
In refusing to send Umm Kulthum back to the Quraysh, Muhammad broke the treaty. Although Muslim apologists have claimed throughout history that the Quraysh broke it first, this incident came before all those by the Quraysh that Muslims point to as treaty violations. Islamic apologist Yahiya Emerick, in his own biography of Muhammad, essentially admits this, and asserts that Muhammad based his case on a bit of legal hair-splitting: the treaty stipulated that the Muslims would return to the Quraysh any man who came to them, not any woman. But even if that is true, Muhammad soon – as Emerick acknowledges – began to accept men from the Quraysh as well, thus definitively breaking the treaty. See Yahiya Emerick, The Life and Work of Muhammad, Alpha Books, 2002, pp. 230-240.
So I suppose Emerick's book also, in acknowledging all this, also contains "lies" and "hate"?
And as for the bit about killing Jews, both of the earliest biographers of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sa'd, both zealous Muslims, record his telling his followers at a certain point: “Kill any Jew that falls into your power.”
Spencer, the director of the Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch websites, also claims that the prophet encouraged Muslim men to take women captive to control them.
Yes, it is I who wrote into the Qur'an the permission for Muslim men to have sexual relations with women "whom your right hands possess" (4:24).
Ultra conservative attorney Ann Coulter, who writes a column in the magazine, is taking part in the campaign to promote the book.
"Ultra conservative"! Boo! Ann Coulter! Boo!
The rest of the Al-Arabiya piece goes on to smear Coulter, and me by association. But the troubling aspect of all this for the folks at Al-Arabiya, as I show by the citations above, is that everything I say in the book is true, and it is they who are either lying or ignorant about what the earliest Islamic texts say about Muhammad.
* Yes, folks, it's a Photoshop job.
After all, they're in the Qur'an: "Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks..." (47:4).
"Somali Islamist leader rejects talks with gov't," by Aweys Yusuf for Reuters (thanks to Twostellas):
MOGADISHU, March 16 (Reuters) - A senior Somali Islamist leader rejected on Sunday an offer of talks by the interim government to end insurgent attacks, including beheadings, that have sparked one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein said last Wednesday his government was ready to negotiate with opposition groups to end a 15-month insurgency against government troops and their Ethiopian military allies.
Calling for international mediation led by the United Nations' special envoy to Somalia, Hussein said the government was willing to hold talks in any location to end fighting that local aid groups said had killed 6,500 people last year.
Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys dismissed the offer, saying his sharia courts movement and its fighters did not recognise the government of the war-ruined country.
"This is not a government. We believe they are people who brought the enemy forces to our country. They are criminals," Aweys, a hardline Muslim cleric, told Reuters in an interview.
"Our fight is against Ethiopia and as long as they are there Somalis cannot have dialogue," he said by phone from Eritrea, where he is living in exile after fleeing Somalia last year.
Aweys, who the United States says is linked to al Qaeda, said the Islamists were "freedom fighters".
"The country is under Ethiopian colonisation and must be liberated from the enemy," said the former army colonel who was decorated for bravery in a war against rival Ethiopia in 1977.
Many Somalis living in the shell-shattered capital fear the Islamists' refusal to accept talks unless historic foe Ethiopia withdraws its troops signals more attacks which are already forcing some 20,000 civilians to flee Mogadishu every month.
Islamist insurgents were accused of spreading terror by cutting the heads off three Somali soldiers last week....
Her brothers had a grudge against her. "Girl killed over honour," from the Daily Times (thanks to Twostellas):
LAHORE: A 22-year-old girl was stabbed to death by her two brothers for honour in Baghbanpura on Saturday.
The victim was identified as Shahnaz, daughter of Faqeer Hussain. The police said that Shanaz’s brothers, Babar Hussain and Shaukat Ali, had had a grudge against Shahnaz.
On Saturday, they thrashed her to death. The police registered a case against the accused and sent the body to the city morgue for an autopsy.
Sura 18’s importance in Muslim piety, noted last week, is affirmed in numerous ahadith. In one, a man was reciting the sura when “a cloud came down and spread over that man, and it kept on coming closer and closer to him till his horse started jumping (as if afraid of something). When it was morning, the man came to the Prophet, and told him of that experience. The Prophet said, ‘That was As-Sakina (tranquility) which descended because of (the recitation of) the Qur’an.’” As-Sakina is an adaptation of the Hebrew Shekinah, which refers in Jewish tradition to God’s presence in the world, and the cloud clearly recalls the cloud that accompanies God’s presence in Biblical passages such as Exodus 40:35. Like other Biblical concepts imported into Islam – notably, Jesus as the “Word of God” — it doesn’t have this strong a connotation in Islamic thought.
Verses 60-82 of Sura 18 contain one of the strangest, most arresting stories in the entire Qur’an: that of the journey of Moses and Khidr, one of the great road-trip stories of all time. Moses, traveling with his servant, forgets the fish they had carried along for their meal (vv. 60-64). Returning to retrieve it, they encounter “one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Our own Presence,” (v. 65). In Islamic tradition this man is identified as Al-Khadir or Al-Khidr, or, more commonly, Khidr, “the Green Man.” Some identify him as one of the prophets, others as a wali, a Muslim saint. Abu Hayyan Al-Gharnati, a fourteenth-century commentator on the Qur’an, points to v. 82, in which Khidr says he didn’t act “of my own accord,” to argue that he was a prophet – for if he was prompted by someone else, who could have prompted a man so holy as to instruct a prophet like Moses except Allah himself? However, another fourteenth-century Islamic scholar, Ibn Taymiyya, noted that “the majority of the ‘ulema [Islamic scholars] believe that he was not a Prophet.”
Who did it? Reuters says in the first paragraph that "bombs" killed three and wounded 21 in "Thailand's troubled Muslim far south." So far we have no idea who is doing the bombing and who are the victims. The second paragraph tells us that a bomb was hidden in the car, but with no hint as to by whom.
In paragraph 5 we learn that in the three southern provinces, "2,500 people have been killed in gun and bomb attacks since a separatist insurgency erupted in January 2004." It erupted, like a volcano, but again there is no hint as to who the separatist insurgents are, or who killed the overwhelming majority of those 2,500 people. In paragraph 6, we learn how the "suspected militants" set off another bomb, but once again with no hint about who these militants are.
Same thing in paragraph 7: unidentified "insurgents" ambush the security forces. In paragraph 8, it's simply a "bomb," a random, accidental object, that wounded four people. But also in that paragraph we learn that this is all taking place in "the three far south provinces which formed an independent sultanate until annexed by Thailand a century ago." Reuters does not mention, of course, that the Malay Sultanate was making war against the Siamese during the war between Siam and Burma, and Thailand conquered it in that context -- making it Thai by a right of conquest that has been universally recognized throughout human history -- except, of course, when it comes to Israel and to any Muslim land that is conquered by non-Muslims.
Paragraph 9 is no help: a "suspected militant" is again responsible, but unidentified. Only in paragraph 10 do we learn that "Buddhist monks" are among the chief targets of the still-unidentified "militants" -- which should lead the informed reader to identify them as Islamic jihadists and Sharia supremacists. But they come to that identification with no help from Reuters.
"Bombs kill three, wound 21 in Thai Muslim south," from Reuters (thanks to Twostellas):
PATTANI, Thailand, March 16 (Reuters) - Bombs killed three men and wounded 21 people in three separate attacks in Thailand's troubled Muslim far south, police said on Sunday.
A 20-kg (44-lb) remote-controlled bomb, hidden in a car near the entrance of a hotel in the city of Pattani, killed one man instantly and wounded 13 others on Saturday, police said.
Three were injured seriously in the blast which destroyed more than a dozen cars and damaged the front of the CS Pattani hotel where officials visiting from Bangkok often stay.
One of them died on Sunday, police said.
Pattani is one of three southern provinces where more than 2,500 people have been killed in gun and bomb attacks since a separatist insurgency erupted in January 2004.
Hours after the hotel bombing, suspected militants used a mobile phone to detonate a 5-kg (11-lb) bomb at a Pattani school, killing a fire-fighter and wounding five others. The fire-fighters were trying to put out a fire at the school when the bomb went off.
As security forces rushed the wounded to hospital, they were ambushed by insurgents. One soldier was wounded seriously, police said.
On Sunday, a bomb wounded four people at a music CD shop in the city of Narathiwat, another of the three far south provinces which formed an independent sultanate until annexed by Thailand a century ago, police said.
The bomb was believed to be hidden in the shop by a suspected militant pretending to be a customer, they said.
Security personnel along with Buddhist monks and government school teachers are prime targets for militants in the region....
In FrontPage's featured article this morning, I ask: Why was Britain ready to send a young man to certain death in Iran? And why didn’t Leftists protest?
The British government announced Thursday that it was ending efforts to deport Mehdi Kazemi, a 19-year-old Iranian who has been studying in Britain – a move that should be applauded by human rights activists everywhere. Had he been forced to return to Iran, Kazemi would almost certainly have been executed there. Roger Roberts, one of eight members of the House of Lords who petitioned British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to allow Kazemi to stay in Britain, declared: “There is no doubt that he will be persecuted and possibly face state-sanctioned murder if he is forced to return.”
This is because, while in Britain in 2005, Kazemi learned that his male lover back in Iran had been hanged for the crime of sodomy. He applied for asylum in Britain, was turned down, went to the Netherlands and applied for asylum again, and was turned down again.
Almost a year ago, in this video, I said this of the "Obama-Is-Secretly-A-Muslim" rumors: "That's a lot of hooey."
That, of course, didn't stop the Washington Post (and specifically, its reporter Perry Bacon, Jr.) from completely misrepresenting my words about Obama in this column, so as to claim that I was one of the originators of the rumor. I contacted the WaPo ombudsman, Deborah Howell, about this, and although she was kind and sympathetic, no correction or retraction was ever forthcoming.
Anyway, the point here is that in all the excitement over Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright's hatin' on America, as he himself might put it, the Obama-Is-A-Muslim story seems to have evanesced like the summer dew. Now everyone knows Obama is a member of Wright's church, and no one is happy about it.
In any case, I do still think that the identification Obama evidently feels with the Islamic world, and they with him, because of his connections to the Islamic world even if he isn't a Muslim, will lead to disastrous concessions that could seriously imperil U.S. security. Or, that is to say, they would have led to such. But now it is even clearer that I was right all along, and Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. This has nothing to do with Jihad Watch, but anyway I am so sure of this that if Obama is nominated by the Democrats, I will eat my hat in downtown Los Angeles -- that is, if I can get hold of a hat made of pretzels before the convention.
Many people continue to write me to tell me they haven't received the Jihad Watch Daily Digest lately. I myself haven't received it since last Wednesday night. I apologize for the inconvenience. A tech expert is trying to find out what is wrong, and we will restore the service as soon as possible.
This manual has been around for years. I quoted the above in my 2002 book Islam Unveiled. But it's something useful to keep in mind -- when jihadists are speaking to jihadists, they drop the pretense we forever hear from Muslim spokesmen in the West, that it is false that Islam was "spread by the sword." It would be interesting to hear those Muslim spokesmen challenge the jihadists on this point, but of course they never do.
"Lessons in Jihad as secret terror manual translated by MI5 is made public by America," by Jason Lewis for the Daily Mail (thanks to all who sent this in):
The amazing series of events that led to an Al Qaeda terrorist manual becoming freely available on the internet can be revealed today.
Only last week a terror suspect was jailed in Britain for having a copy of it and told that its possession was a “serious criminal offence”.
But the deadly document, described as a Declaration of Jihad, is a public record in the US – after being translated from Arabic and typed up for MI5, passed to the American authorities and then declassified by the Department of Justice.
The manual includes advice on planning kidnappings, bombings, assassinations and torture.
It was originally handwritten in Arabic and available only to a very few Al Qaeda operatives and commanders directly linked to Osama Bin Laden.
The terror handbook was discovered in an abandoned flat in Manchester by MI5 and Special Branch officers after a raid in 2000. They were looking for one of the world's most wanted terrorists, Anas al-Liby, who has a £2.5million bounty on his head.
He is said to have been behind the bombings at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 which left hundreds dead and thousands wounded.
In 2001 it was translated and handed to US prosecutors for use in a series of court cases held in the wake of the embassy bombings.
Its use in evidence led to its release to the public by the New York Southern District Court under the US Freedom of Information Act.
It remained on the record despite the 9/11 attacks just months later.
In 2005, the English version of the manual was used as an “operational blueprint” by the July 7 bombers.
It was also used by terrorist Kamel Bourgass, who was behind a plot to launch a deadly poison attack in London and was jailed for killing a Manchester police officer.
And last week it featured in another terrorist trial when Khalid Khaliq – a friend of the 7/7 London bombings mastermind Mohammed Siddique Khan – was jailed for 16 months after admitting having a copy of it on a CD found during a police raid at his home.
The judge in the case said possession of the material required an “immediate custodial sentence”.
An edited version of the manual is still available from the US Department of Justice's website.
An explanatory note reads: “The attached manual was located by the Manchester (England) Metropolitan Police during a search of an Al Qaeda member's home. The manual was found in a computer file described as 'the military series' related to the 'Declaration of Jihad'.
“The manual was translated into English and was introduced . . . at the embassy bombing trial in New York.” [...]
Entitled “Declaration of Jihad against the country's Tyrants”, the inside cover depicts the globe with a sword thrust through the middle, while the first page contains the warning: “It is forbidden to remove this from the house”, suggesting it was once communal reading material at an Al Qaeda safe house.
The reader is then confronted with the “Presentation” which says: “Islamic governments have never been established through peaceful solutions . . . They are established as they [always] have been by pen and gun, by word and bullet, by tongue and teeth.”
The book's handwritten introduction spells out Al Qaeda's mission. It says its aim is “the overthrow of the godless regimes and their replacement with an Islamic regime”.
To do this they must “gather information about the enemy . . . kidnap enemy personnel, documents, secrets and arms . . . assassinate enemy personnel as well as foreign tourists”.
It also recommends “blasting and destroying the embassies and attacking vital economic centres, blasting and destroying bridges leading into and out of the cities”.
It spells out the “necessary qualifications” of membership including a willingness to “undergo martyrdom”.
Chapters are split into “lessons” and include headings such as Counterfeit Currency and Forged Documents, Weapons, Espionage, Secret Writing and Cipher and Codes.
The Sixteenth Lesson is “Assassinations Using Poisons and Cold Steel” and the Seventeenth is “Torture Methods”....
To avoid "misunderstandings," no doubt with Misunderstanders of Islam.
Islamic Tolerance Alert: "Philippines' Islamic city proud to be different," by Carmel Crimmins for Reuters (thanks to Twostellas):
MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Father Teresito Soganub doesn't look like a Catholic priest and, from the outside, his cathedral doesn't look like a church.
In his parish, tucked away in Marawi, the only Islamic city in the Philippines, it's easier that way.
"To avoid arguments and to avoid further misunderstandings we just plant the cross deep in our hearts," said the 47-year-old priest, who doesn't wear a crucifix or a clerical collar and sports a beard out of respect for his Muslim neighbors.
The Philippines, a largely Catholic country in Southeast Asia, proudly advertises its dominant faith even in the southern region of Mindanao, where an estimated 20 percent of the population is Muslim.
But Marawi City is an exception.
This ramshackle city of wooden shacks and shabbily elegant mosques is around 385 miles south of Manila, but it's a world apart for many Filipinos.
Marawi is the spiritual centre for the Maranao, the most devout of three major Muslim groups in the Philippines.
A quick glance at the streets of Marawi make it clear that this is a city of the crescent rather than the cross. "Gift of Allah" rather than "Gift of Jesus" is the sign blazoned across the city's pedicabs, the local bank is Islamic and women are veiled.
Unique to Marawi, Muslim moral rules are part of the city code.
Alcohol and gambling are banned, Muslim women must cover their heads, the sale of pork is forbidden and karaoke clubs, the beating heart of village life across the archipelago including other Muslim regions, are a no-no.
"At home with the family we can do karaoke but we do not allow it in public," said Camid Gandamra, one of the province's numerous sultans and also secretary of transport and communications in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), a homeland for Muslims established in 1989.
"It might encourage people to go to nightclubs and other places of amusement that are prohibited for our tribe," said the father of 12, over tea and muffins in his smart city residence. [...]
Father Soganub says local Muslim leaders include him in community discussions and he is constantly having to dissuade locals from trying to find him a wife.
But his modest Santa Maria Auxiliadora Cathedral, with its corrugated iron roof, has no cross outside to show that it is a Christian church.
"People here don't want a large symbol. The residents don't want that," he said.
Catholics account for around 1 percent of Marawi's 160,000 population and Soganub is lucky if he gets 8 weddings a year.
Most celebrants prefer to get married elsewhere so they can feast on lechon, or roast pig, a staple at celebrations in Catholic parts of the country....
More evidence of the folly of the Fantasy-Based Policymaking that has us pouring money and materiel into the Palestinian Authority.
By Aaron Klein for WorldNetDaily (thanks to Sr. Soph):
JERUSALEM – The Hamas terrorist group used U.S. weapons against the Israel Defense Forces this weekend, a Hamas official told WND. The weapons were seized when Hamas last June took complete control of the Gaza Strip, overtaking all U.S.-backed security compounds in the territory associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. "We fired at incoming Israeli helicopters using the seized weapons. We will continue to balance the equilibrium of terror with the Zionists," said Hamas spokesman Abu Oubeida.
Read it all.
Male members of an Israeli-Arab Mulsim [sic] clan on Saturday attempted to murder a female relative for having allegedly brought dishonor to the family by engaging in a romantic relationship with a local Jewish man following her recent divorce to a Palestinian Arab.
In the latest of three attempted "honor killings" over the past week, several men ambushed and shot 40-year-old Sara Abu-Ghanem as she drove to work in the central Israel town of Ramle.
The victim sustained light wounds to her head and neck, and was listed in stable condition at a nearby hospital.
Early last week, a Muslim family in northern Israel proudly hailed their son after he announced having shot and beaten his young sister to death for dating other men following her recent divorce. However, the girl survived the attack, and was rescued by an Israeli medical crew....
Being violent to prove Islam is peaceful
Yet in all the firing, no bullets hit the cartoonists.
"Strike against blasphemous cartoons: Nine vehicles torched, over six injured in Karachi," from the Daily Times (thanks to Twostellas):
KARACHI: Nine vehicles were torched and over half-a-dozen people reportedly sustained bullet wounds during the strike called by the Sunni Tehreek (ST) for Friday. Meanwhile, the police have reportedly taken over a dozen ST workers in custody since Thursday night and the ST has claimed that the arrests were because its workers were just trying to create awareness among people by distributing leaflets, etc.
Nearly 15 people, including two ST workers, sustained bullet injuries because of aerial firing in separate parts of the city. The injured include Saleem, 30, (New Karachi), Shahrukh Khan, 18, (Shafiq Mor), Yawer, 42, (Korangi), Sajjad, 10, (Soldier Bazaar), Kauser Khan (Gulistan-e-Johar), Ghulam Hussain (Risala), Manzur (Saeedabad), Sakina and Mateen (Orangi Town), Atiq (Ranchore Lane), Ali Gohar, Yousuf, an unidentified person (North Karachi) and two ST workers, Saqib and Muslim Qadri, from Shah Faisal Colony and Taimoria respectively.
Meanwhile, nine vehicles and one café were reportedly burnt in different parts of the city.
“We have taken 11 ST workers in custody since Thursday night,” said Karachi Police Chief Niaz Ahmed Siddiqui. “Seven of them were taken into custody as they fled after setting fire to two vehicles in Landhi Town, while four others were taken into custody from Saddar Town as they forcefully closed shops early Friday morning. Cases will be registered against them for taking the law into their own hands.”
Siddiqui said that strict security measures were taken by law enforcers because of which the whole day passed relatively peacefully and without any major incidents. “Just four vehicles were burnt Friday, two of them at Yousuf Plaza and two at Sukhan,” said Siddiqui.
He further said that nearly seven people were reported hurt and it is difficult to judge in which incidents they had sustained bullet injuries.
However, ST central leader Shahid Ghouri, while taking to Daily Times, denied the police chief’s accusations and said that the ST did not cause any disturbance in the city as it was a strike against those who are hurting the Muslims. He added that it was the responsibility of all Muslims to make the strike successful.
“Nearly 20 ST workers were taken into custody from different parts of the city,” claimed Ghouri.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamat Ahl-e-Sunnat, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), Tanzeem-ul-Madaaris Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan (TMASP), traders, transporters and others groups supported the strike....
Sharia Alert from Kandahar: "Insurgents torch school in Afghanistan," from AFP (thanks to Twostellas):
KANDAHAR: Militants set ablaze a secondary school in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar on Friday, authorities said, in at least the third attack on educational institutes this year.
Gunmen set fire to classrooms, books and offices at the Mian Abdul Hakim school for boys and girls, said Mohammad Anwar, head of the Kandahar province Education Department. “They burnt to ash everything, the building, books and chairs,” he told AFP. More than 1,200 students study at the school, including up to 200 girls, said Anwar.
He blamed the attack on “enemies of Afghanistan,” a term often used to refer to Taliban insurgents.
In a similar incident on January 31, militants burned down a primary school in the province of Logar, near Kabul. On January 1, a newly built school for refugee children was torched in the eastern Nangarhar province.
The tactic appears to be intended to disrupt progress in education...
You don't say!
Fitna -- disturbance in Arabic -- is the name of Dutch politician Geert Wilders' film on the Qur'an which is already inducing paroxysms of rage before anyone has even seen it yet. It was first announced as coming by the end of February, but did not appear. Now Klein Verzet (thanks to Looney Tunes) says it will be coming very soon.
And the world holds its breath.
TO SPENCER WHOSE HEART IS FILLED WITH HATE AND WHOSE POCKET IS FILLED WITH MONEY OF POLITICIANS.
I just checked my pockets -- alas, nary a penny from any politicians. Perhaps my payments have been lost in the mail. Memo to politicians: contact me at email@example.com for the proper address to which to send your checks.
I AM MUSLIM AND I AM PROUD OF THAT. YOU AND THOSE LIKE YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT WE ARE OVER 1 BILLION PEOPLE AND IN CASE THERE WERE SOME BAD RULERS INSIDE MUSLIM WORLD WHO CAN NOT RESPOND TO YOU, I WILL BE ONE OF TENS OF MILLIONS WHO CAN PROVE THAT YOU ARE INACCURATE IN YOUR WORK, YOU COME WITH FALSE THINGS AND CONSIDER THEM AS AN EVIDENCE.
Tens of millions, eh? Hoowee. Would you fellows mind lining up single file along that wall? Otherwise I might not be able to get in and out of my office. But alas, I rather suspect that these tens of millions with all their evidence of my inaccuracy will end up like Khaleel Mohammed and all the others who have made similar claims -- they talk a good game, but never quite succeed in backing it up.
And this emailer's evidence of my horrible inaccuracy is particularly telling. It comes right after he inaccurately characterizes the subject of my unjustifiably famous Master's thesis:
YOU GOT THE MASTER DEGREE UPON YOUR STUDY IN CRUSADE ISSUES. TO PROVE THAT YOU ARE INACCURATE, FOR EXAMPLE, I WOULD LIKE TO REFER TO THE STORY OF KUWAITI SINGER WHO JOINED AL-QAEDA RECENTLY. YOU QUOTED FROM ALARABIYA WEBSITE. THAT WAS THE LINK http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2008/03/15/46971.html LOOK AT THE WEB TODAY AND FIND THE NEW STORY http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2008/03/16/47028.html THE STORY IS IN ARABIC BUT YOU CAN FIND A TRANSLATOR TO PAY FOR. THE TITLE OF THE STORY SAYS THAT FAMILY OF THIS SINGER ASSERTS THAT HE HAS TRAVELED TO IRAN TO HELP THE POOR SUNNIS LIVING THERE AND HE WILL COME BACK TO KUWAIT AFTER A WEEK OR TWO WEEKS. IN ADDITION, YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT THERE IS NO AIRFLIGHTS FROM KUWAIT TO AFGHANISTAN. THIS IS ONE OF YOUR LIES POSTED ON JIHADWATCH WEB.
The lies in question would be here, in the post about the Kuwaiti singer. But you'll notice that all the information there comes from the Al-Arabiya article. So this guy is calling me a liar for quoting what Al-Arabiya is itself reporting.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER LIES YOU HAVE PUT INSIDE YOUR BOOK ABOUT THE PROPHET MUHAMMED (PEACE BE UPON HIM) WHO LED MILLIONS TO GOODNESS AND PEACE. AT THE MOMENT, I AM LIVING IN A MUSLIM COUNTRY AND IN MY DISTRICT THERE IS A CHURCH FOR TENS OF CHIRISTIANS LIVING THERE.
Wow! Tens of Christians! Oh, the tolerance!
THE CHURCH IS SAFE IN A SIMILAR WAY TO THOSE CHURCHES IN CAIRO, DAMASCUS AND OTHER MUSLIM CITIES. THE PROTECTION OF CHRISTIANS WAS RECOMMENDED BY THE SECOND RASHIDI CALIPH, OMAR BIN ALKHATTAB (MERCY BE UPON HIM) WHO ENTERED JERUSALEM IN PEACE AND WITHOUT FIGHT. HE WAS THE COMPANION OF MUHAMMED THE PROPHET. THINK OF THAT AND YOU WILL SEE THE TRUTH. STUDY THE STORY OF MUHAMMED BY IBN HUSHAM OR SAHIH AL-BUKHARI.
Sure, there are churches all over the Islamic world, and they were unmolested as long as the Christians remembered their second-class status as dhimmis -- as long as they knew their place and paid the jizya. And in fact, yes, Ibn Hisham and Bukhari were two of my principal sources for The Truth About Muhammad.
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Surely We have given thee abundance
so pray unto thy Lord and sacrifice
Surely he that hates thee, he is the one cut off.
That's Qur'an 108:1-3, in case you were wondering.
THANK YOU PROF KHALIL FOR DEFENDING MUHAMMED THE PROPHET, YOUR SAVIOR INSHALLAH
Muhammad is the Savior? I'm not sure that's an orthodox Muslim statement! But in any case, here we see yet again the inchoate rage, the inability to form coherent arguments, the furious invective and false charges. These kinds of messages give me confidence: I just don't see men like this as world conquerors.
Inspiring loyalty through fear. "Militants kill US spy: officials," from AFP (thanks to Twostellas):
MIRANSHAH: Militants killed a tribesman after accusing him of working as a US spy in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said on Friday. The militants shot and then slit the throat of the 30-year-old man, in the latest in a series of executions of people allegedly working for US and NATO forces across the border. His body was dumped on a road in Sham, a town between the North and South Waziristan tribal regions, a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “They left a note claiming that he was a US spy, and warning that anyone working for the US will suffer the same fate,” an official said.
Just don't draw any cartoons.
Effectively, you see, the OIC's attempt to outlaw "insults to Islam" amounts to an attempt to place the jihadists above scrutiny, for any study of their motives and goals insofar as they are rooted in Islamic texts and teachings will be ruled offensive and hence forbidden.
Abdullah doesn't talk about the cartoons in the Arab News (thanks to Sr. Soph) article in which he says no one is above criticism. Nevertheless I couldn't help but recall, reading his words, the attempt to place Islam off limits for criticism, which would effectively make Muslims a protected class in the West even as the jihadists invoke Islam in order to gain recruits for their effort to destroy the West.
Welcome to the magnificent New Multicultural Europe.
"Germany's First Suicide Bomber in Afghanistan?," by Matthias Gebauer, Yassin Musharbash and Holger Stark for Spiegel (thanks to all who sent this in):
A young German-born Turk could possibly have carried out an attack in Afghanistan that killed two US soldiers. The Islamic Jihad Union claims 28-year-old Cüneyt C. from Bavaria was responsible for the March 3 attack, now the German authorities are desperately trying to find out the bomber's identity.
Since March 6, German investigators have also been looking into the incident. Ever since experts at the Berlin-based Joint Counter-Terrorism Center (GTAZ) discovered an Internet message that included the photograph of a grinning bearded man they have been pulling out all the stops to investigate the case. There are indications that the Khost bomber was no Afghan or Pakistani radical. In fact it is likely that the perpetrator was a Turkish citizen from Bavaria, born in Freising and regarded as a dangerous Islamist. If it was him, it would be nightmare for the investigators -- the first suicide bomber from Germany.
'Exchanging a Life of Luxury for Paradise'
The investigators first regarded the Internet message as pure propaganda. The terrorist group Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) wrote in Turkish that they had attacked "the military camp of the occupying force of the unbelievers," with 4.5 tons of explosives, "fully destroying" the US camp. The site gladly quotes the Taliban, who helped prepare the operation, and its reports of helicopters that took away the bodies. Instead of the two dead US soldiers, the IJU speaks of 60 victims.
The text then gets more flowery but also very concrete when it comes to details. Cüneyt C., also known as Saad Ebu Furkan, had "successfully carried out" the attack -- "a brave Turk, who came from Germany and exchanged his life of luxury for paradise." According to the text, "our brother" always prayed "to cause great damage to the unbelievers." With this attack Allah had now heard Cüneyt C.'s prayer. The message is signed "the Press Office of the Islamic Jihad Union."...
"His similitude is that of a dog" (Qur'an 7:176)
Here's the World War I Infidel zooming through the air in his Sopwith Camel...
This lovely missive came in this morning from an IP address in Damascus, Syria. The subject line was "Robert Spencer," so I suppose all the rest is meant to refer to me:
followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog: if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our Signs; so relate the story; perchance they may reflect.
Evil as an example are people who reject Our Signs and wrong their own souls.
Whom Allah doth guide, he is on the right path: whom He rejects from His guidance, such are the persons who perish.
Many are the Jinns and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle, nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning...
This is, of course, all from the Qur'an (7:176-179). I haven't noticed my tongue lolling out, but you never know. Anyway, for the author of this email, the present conflict is essentially religious, and bound up with the teachings of Islam and the Qur'an. Yet Western analysts continually and consistently reject those teachings as irrelevant to understanding the motives and goals of the jihadists, and the mainstream media, both liberal and conservative, considers investigation of those motives and goals to be "bigoted" and offensive in itself.
Daily Digest troubles mean no Daily Digest at all. Many subscribers to the Jihad Watch Daily Digest have been notifying me that they haven't been receiving it since Wednesday night.
Has anyone reading this received the Digest since Wednesday night?
I apologize for the inconvenience and am trying to find the source of the problem.
Now here's an alternative to becoming a nostalgia act.
He says: “I then informed my family and friends that I would retire from the dark world of sin (singing). Since then, my job has been to warn against arts and their sinful atmosphere.” Notice that when he decides to turn away from sin and pursue holiness by being a devout Muslim, he ends up in Al-Qaeda. Yet in the West we are still commanded by all -- government, mainstream media, Muslim spokesmen -- to ignore the jihadists' claim to represent the true and pure Islam, and to pretend that that appeal has no resonance among Muslims.
From Al-Arabiya (thanks to Sr. Soph):
A retired Kuwaiti superstar singer has recently left the Gulf emirate for Afghanistan to join ranks with al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in fighting foreign troops there, according to a press report published Saturday.
Hussein al-Ahmad, who was until recently one of the Gulf’s most famous pop stars, decided to join “his Mujahideen brothers in Afghanistan to support Islam and fight alongside his fellow Muslims in al-Qaeda”, reported Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai Saturday.
Al-Ahmad has previously told Kuwait’s Al-Rai TV that the reason he decided to quit singing was “a dream” where he saw his “own journey from this world into the hereafter through death”.
“I’ve seen horrors and terrors I don’t think anybody else has. I thanked Allah for being alive when I woke up and I was grateful for the fact that He has given me a second chance,” the retired singer said.
“I then informed my family and friends that I would retire from the dark world of sin (singing). Since then, my job has been to warn against arts and their sinful atmosphere.”...
In this Jonathan Powell reveals that he has no understanding of the jihad ideology at all, and figures that Al-Qaeda is just like the IRA: if we sit down and talk with them and work through all our disagreements, we'll be able to come to an accord. He has no doubt never heard of the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, or of the triple choice to be offered unbelievers by Muhammad's own instruction (Sahih Muslim 4294), or a host of other things.
"We must talk to al-Qa'eda, says former Tony Blair aide Jonathan Powell," by Richard Gray in the Telegraph (thanks to Joe):
A top aide to former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that Britain must be prepared to talk to terror groups including al-Qa'eda and the Taliban if they hope to end their campaigns of violence. Jonathan Powell, the long-term Downing Street chief of staff, said it was essential to keep a line of communication open with the terror groups.
The Northern Ireland peace deal, which Mr Powell played a central role in securing, showed how talking to terror groups could ultimately work, he said in an interview with The Guardian....
They filed complaints of financial corruption with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against the notorious Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy -- the one who had himself filed complaints against the Western Standard's Ezra Levant for publishing the Motoons. This is what happened.
Several Muslims say their lives are at risk because they dared speak out in what has become an ongoing dispute in their community.
Yesterday, one of the people claiming to be victims of ongoing violent attacks, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed, watched in horror as a car pulled up outside his Panatella Blvd. N.W. home and a man armed with a jerrycan and booze bottle got out, scaled the fence and set his home ablaze as seven children and three other adults slept.
Hours earlier, Ahmed had called 911 after two threatening men came to the door.
"I was so upset," said Ahmed, adding that's why he was still awake at about 4 a.m. when he saw the stranger set his home on fire.
"Within two minutes, we had a big fire," he said.
"We have a fear of death."
Arson Det. Scott Sampson said the family was definitely targeted and the fire could easily have been deadly.
The suspects hurled two Molotov cocktails at the home, one which ignited grass and another which bounced off a window, setting the exterior of the house on fire, said Sampson.
"If he wasn't up, the house would have gone up," Sampson said....
More evidence that the penalty for apostasy in Islamic law is indeed death, contrary to the claims of blandly smiling Islamic spokesmen in the West. Those blandly smiling apologists could inspire much more confidence in non-Muslims if they acknowledged such teachings and rejected them, rather than simply denying their existence and thereby preying upon the ignorant.
"Top Saudi cleric calls for writers' deaths," from Reuters (thanks to all who sent this in):
RIYADH, March 15 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's most revered cleric said in a rare fatwa this week that two writers should be tried for apostasy for their "heretical articles" and put to death if they do not repent.
Sheikh Abdul-Rahman al-Barrak was responding to recent articles in al-Riyadh newspaper that questioned the Sunni Muslim view in Saudi Arabia that adherents of other faiths should be considered unbelievers.
"Anyone who claims this has refuted Islam and should be tried in order to take it back. If not, he should be killed as an apostate from the religion of Islam," said the fatwa, or religious opinion, dated March 14 and published on Barrak's Web site.
"It is disgraceful that articles containing this kind of apostasy should be published in some papers of Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy shrines," he said, referring to Muslim holy places in Mecca and Medina.
"The rulers should hold these papers to account ... and all those who took part in the publication should know they were involved in the sin of heretical articles."
Barrak, who is thought to be around 75, is viewed by Islamists as the leading independent authority of Saudi Arabia's hardline version of Sunni Islam, often termed Wahhabism.
He said the articles suggested Muslims were free to follow other religions....
There is no doubt that our resistance to the global jihad is severely hampered by our continued purchase of oil from the Saudis, who have done so much to finance the same jihad. And now six and a half years after 9/11, the President of the United States cannot cajole the Saudi King into agreeing to lower oil prices, as gasoline approaches the four-dollar-a-gallon mark, and yet he has done nothing to initiate any coherent plan to free us from this energy dependence.
It doesn't have to be this way. The Alaskan oil reserves could have been opened up years ago, over environmentalist objections, as a matter of national security. The U.S. could have pursued other oil options much more aggressively than it did, while undertaking a full-scale Manhattan Project to find viable new energy sources. And now in Energy Victory: Winning the War On Terror By Breaking Free of Oil, Robert Zubrin outlines what we can and should do now to keep from continuing to pay at the gas pump for our own destruction.
Zubrin, who holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering and was for many years a senior engineer at Lockheed Martin, here outlines a clear and practical program for achieving American energy independence within ten years. He explains in detail that even a non-specialist like me can understand (at least partially!) that a rapid transition to high-alcohol fuels -- methanol and ethanol -- is both practically feasible and desirable.
Zubrin also includes, however, a chapter entitled "Corrupting Washington," in which he details how the Saudis have done their best not only to sabotage efforts to wean the U.S. from oil, but also have bought influence in Washington so as to deflect scrutiny of the hollowness of their alliance with the U.S., and to keep American policy moving in a direction that the Saudis find useful. "The Saudis," he declares, "have been looting our economy on a massive scale and are using the proceeds to fund a global war against civilization" -- and he traces the sorry history of the supine American response to this challenge.
The continuing Saudi influence will be, of course, the chief obstacle to the implementation of any of Zubrin's proposals, unless we find somewhere a President and a Congress willing to grasp this nettle. But the informed citizen can begin to call these matters to the attention of his or her representatives -- and that is why this book is so urgently needed.
UPDATE: Zubrin presents a summary of his plan to break the oil cartel in an article he wrote recently for National Review Online.
Michael Savage is not giving up. From WorldNetDaily (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Preparing an appeal of a dismissed lawsuit against the Council of American-Islamic Relations, talk radio host Michael Savage and his legal team have taken a new tack, investigating CAIR's foreign financial backers, WND has learned.
CAIR is registered as a nonprofit organization recognized as tax-exempt under IRS code section 501(c)(3), which restricts "lobbying on behalf of a foreign government." CAIR's website claims that it receives no foreign government support.
However, CAIR's headquarters near the U.S. Capitol until recently was owned by the ruler of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the ruler's foundation has pledged $50 million to capitalize a long-term CAIR public-relations campaign.
"This should start to get interesting," said a member of Savage's legal team.
The UAE formally recognized the Taliban, and Dubai acted as the transit point for cash for the 9/11 hijackers and the staging ground for the entire plot. Two of the hijackers were Emirates, and one served in the UAE military.
Before 9/11, the ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, requisitioned (as then-UAE defense minister) C-130 military cargo planes to supply Osama bin Laden's former camps in Kandahar, Afghanistan, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Sheik Mohammed and other members of the UAE royal family joined bin Laden and Taliban leaders on hunting parties there.
His Al Maktoum Foundation – which until 2005 held the deed to CAIR's headquarters just three blocks from the Capitol – has held telethons to raise money for families of Palestinian "martyrs" during the intifada against Israel. It recently pledged a $50 million endowment for CAIR.
Despite enjoying major support from the UAE government, CAIR is not registered as a lobbyist or agent for a foreign government. Savage's lawyers are investigating whether the group has legal standing to boycott his radio show and attack his advertisers as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
"CAIR would have to register as a foreign agent if their activities were not hidden under the false claim that they are a civil-rights organization that enjoys tax-exempt status," said Daniel Horowitz, Savage's lead attorney in the case....
Read it all.
"Peace" cannot be achieved by forcing Israel to make further concessions, which is all that ever happens from all these negotiations and peace-processing.
Peace does not require a treaty. The Cold War was also a Cold Peace. A true and full "peace" is impossible as long as the texts of Islam inculcate in Muslims the idea that they have a duty to make sure that Islam spreads and everywhere dominates, and that any Infidel nation-state on land that was once possessed by Muslims must again be possessed by them, through whatever means necessary.
In non-Muslim circles, that is. He doesn't appear to have made any recognition of the fact that many Muslims have been working energetically to associate Islam with violence by committing terror attacks and justifying them by reference to the Qur'an and Muhammad's example. After beheading Nick Berg a few years ago, to take one of hundreds of examples, Al-Zarqawi justified his action by reminding Muslims that Muhammad ordered his enemies beheaded after the Battle of Badr. But no, for Yudhoyono, as for so many others, it is all a matter of Western "misconception" -- there is no need for Muslims to perform any self-examination or self-criticism.
"Top Muslim president calls for peace jihad at summit," from AFP (thanks to all who sent this in):
DAKAR (AFP) — The leader of the world's most populous Muslim nation called Friday for a jihad of peace to spark an "Islamic Renaissance", at a summit where leaders struggled to agree reforms to the main international Islamic group.
Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for greater democracy and efforts to improve the plight of Muslims and spread Islamic values, in a speech to the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit.
"The possibility of an Islamic Renaissance lies before us," Yudhoyono told the summit, but first, he added: "We need to get our act together as an organisation of Muslim nations.
"When the Islamic Renaissance comes it will be the natural fruit of a peaceful and constructive 'jihad'."
Yudhoyono said the OIC was "unique" because it covers three continents and "Muslim countries supply 70 percent of the world's energy requirements and 40 percent of its raw material exports."
But he said the Muslim world must improve its image. "Protracted conflicts in Muslim societies bring shame to the Ummah (Muslim community) and tarnish the good name of Islam."
In many non-Muslim circles "Islam has unjustly been associated with violence," Yudhoyono added.
"We must disabuse the world of this terrible misconception," he said, calling for greater efforts against 'Islamaphobia' in the West but also greater democracy in Muslim nations....
“…the world's biggest Islamic body is seeking to rebrand itself this week as a forum for settling conflicts peacefully and for redistributing wealth to the world's poorest states." -- from this news article
"Rebrand itself"? Just the way the Lesser Jihad against Israel conducted, in various ways and with various degrees of sacrifice, by Arab and other Muslim states, was "rebranded" after the defeat in the Six-Day War. The first step was to "rebrand," or rather, rename, the local Arab shock troops of that Jihad as the "Palestinian people." The second step was to steadily, relentlessly, develop the theme of the "two peoples" sharing "the same land." And one of those "peoples" no longer consisted of Arabs, defined geographically as "Palestinian" Arabs, but rather as a people who apparently had always been there, though Arab leaders and diplomats had never, before 1967, ever used that phrase "Palestinian people" and had always referred -- accurately -- to the "Arabs of Palestine" (meaning Mandatory Palestine). A little historical back-dating was in order, as the "project" of the "construction of the 'Palestinian' identity gained steam.
And in that rebranding project, one of those peoples, "the Palestinians," of course had to have their "national rights recognized" and "a Palestinian state" set up on the very land that Israel had won in that war, with the promise of nothing but more demands to come. Those demands would be made to an Israel that would become ever more vulnerable, its population ever-more imperiled and under constant pressure that, the Arabs hoped, would become in time intolerable, and lead to the final victory, the destruction of Israel altogether. That has remained the unwavering goal, even if some Arabs differ on the matters of tactics and timing, just as those local Arabs, those "Palestinians," are divided between the Slow Jihadists of Fatah and the Fast Jihadists of Hamas -- a division that gets exaggerated attention, when what counts is that they share, and will always share, the same ultimate goal.
This has been obvious for quite some time. "Turkish prosecutors say AK Party seeks Islamic state," by Gareth Jones for Reuters (thanks to all who sent this in):
ANKARA (Reuters) - State prosecutors demanding the closure of Turkey's ruling AK Party accuse it of trying to turn the country into an Islamic state, according to the text of their indictment quoted on Saturday by Turkish media.
The 162-page file, sent to Turkey's Constitutional Court on Friday evening, marks the latest shot in a long-running feud between the fiercely secular elite, which includes judges and army generals, and the religiously-minded government.
The prosecutors' move has raised investor fears of possible political and economic instability in Turkey, a European Union candidate, though a final court verdict may take many months.
"There is an attempt to expunge the secular principles of the constitution ... The guiding principle of political Islam is sharia (Islamic) law," private broadcaster CNN Turk quoted the indictment as saying.
"The AK Party envisages a model (of society) which takes its reference from religion."...
No cross, no bell, no steeple, no sign.
Why? Because that's Islamic law for churches:
Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings...
There goes the steeple.
(6) are forbidden...to ring church bells or display crosses...
There goes the rest. That's from Umdat al-Salik, o11.5 -- a manual of Islamic law certified by Al-Azhar as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy.
"First Catholic Church Opens in Qatar, Sparking Fear of Backlash Against Christians," by Sonia Verma for FoxNews (thanks to all who sent this in):
DOHA, Qatar — Qatar's first Christian church has no cross, no bell and no steeple.
And when 5,000 faithful flock to Our Lady of the Rosary to celebrate its historic consecration this weekend, they pray no one will notice.
Father Tom Veneracion, the parish priest, is worried about a backlash.
"The idea is to be discreet because we don't want to inflame any sensitivities," he says. "There isn't even a signboard outside the church. No signs at all."
Qatar's fledgling Catholic community considers its sprawling $15 million saucer-shaped facility a victory. A 15-minute drive into barren desert, it has been built with the blessing of the nation's emir.
But some people in this Muslim country have branded it an offense; one prominent politician has called for a national referendum to determine its fate.
And as the church lookd forward to its first Easter service, the controversy is getting considerable attention among this gas-rich country's press.
"The cross should not be raised in the sky of Qatar, nor should bells toll in Doha," wrote Lahdan bin Issa al-Muhanada, a leading columnist in Doha's Al-Arab newspaper....
Read it all.
"Of course, oil wealth does not NECESSARILY harm the status of women. Seven countries have produced significant quantities of oil and gas, but still made faster progress on gender equality than we would expect based on their income: Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, and Mexico. The first three countries are probably exceptions to the general pattern because of reasons implied by the model: since women already had a large presence in the non-traded sector (thanks to the size and diversification of these economies), rising oil exports did not crowd them out of the labor market. The two Central Asian states were strongly affected by many years of Soviet rule, which promoted the role of women through administrative fiat; this may have inoculated them against oil-induced patriarchy.
Perhaps the most interesting exceptions are Syria and Mexico: women in both states may have benefited from many years of rule by secular left-of-center parties that showed an interest in women’s rights. Mexico also gained from its proximity to the U.S. market, which allowed it develop a large, low-wage export-oriented manufacturing sector along the border – which pulled women into the labor market despite the flow of oil rents. These cases show that both good fortune, and a committed government, can sometimes counteract the perverse effects of oil on the status of women." -- an excerpt from the last page of "Professor" Ross's study
So Ross does, finally, mention some oil states that "don't NECESSARILY harm the status of women." It's a kind of brief afterthought, a mere two confused and confusing paragraphs, on the last page of his apparent 27 pages of text (there are another 23, apparently of notes, bibliography, and so on). By the look of it, that paper that could have been whipped off in a day, but Ross no doubt received all kinds of money from the Open Society Institute of George Soros (who is not making the ghost of Karl Popper proud by his funding of all sorts of apologetic and distracting nonsense about Islam). He no doubt made it appear to be the fruit of deep research. Oh, was there by any chance extensive travel to some of these places required by "Professor" Ross, so that he could study, in situ, the position of women now in this country, and now in that? You know, I'll bet there was some -- don't you agree?
So he offers a list of seven countries -- "Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, and Mexico" -- which studiedly includes both Muslim and non-Muslim lands. And all of these, he claims, are well-known producers of oil and yet, in all of these, the situation of women is not bad.
"Political science professor Michael Ross argues in a new paper that oil booms put more men than women into the workforce and decrease women's political representation.
"As a result, oil-producing states are left with atypically strong patriarchal norms, laws, and political institutions," writes Ross, a professor at the University of California Los Angeles.
Ross argues that strong oil economies put women at a disadvantage because the sectors most in need of employees, especially construction, favor men, while textile and other manufacturing industries that traditionally preferred female employees become less vital in the import-rich nations. Ross's paper, "Oil, Islam, and Women," was published in February by the American Political Science Review. -- from this news article
In the annals of idiocy, has there ever been anything quite like the various attempts, each more comical than the next, to "find the real killer" -- that is, the "root cause" of Muslim terrorism -- by attributing such terrorism to everything under the sun except to the ideology of Islam? And as part of those annals, has there ever been anything as idiotic as the misattribution, to something other than the ideology of Islam, of Muslim mistreatment of women, or Muslim mistreatment of non-Muslims?
Here we have a Professor Ross, who has discovered, so he thinks, that it is "oil" and not Islam that explains the mistreatment of women. He fails, in the first place, to notice the most obvious thing of all: the very high proportion of oil states that are also peopled by Muslims (10 of the 11 members of OPEC are Muslim or, in the case of Nigeria Muslim-dominated, states).
But here are two other questions that Professor Ross, or "Professor" Ross, failed to consider, and they were the most obvious ones.
Yes, you read that right. Not "violence perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam." No, Ban is ready to fight violence committed against Islam.
"Senegal: Ban Ki-Moon to Fight Violence Against Islam," from Agence de Presse Sénégalaise (Dakar) (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday promised in Dakar to "fight against those who want to justify violence against the religion."
"We will fight against those who want to justify violence against the religion and promote understanding among the Alliance of Civilisations. We will strengthen cooperation between the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) and the United Nations in this area (religion)," Ban said.
He delivered his speech at the opening of the two-day 11th Islamic Ummah summit in Dakar, Thursday.
Nonetheless, I can't help but be optimistic when I get emails like this:
You attack Islaam and Prophet Muhammad may peace be upon him you show him with a bomb on his head but he never bombed any bobdy if we showed Ronald Reagan with a bomb on his head or better yet George W Bush is that free speech you will not prevail we will Love Islaam and Our Prophet Muhammad you can not stop his fame even though he died fourteenhundred years ago you still talk about him the books you show are trash they have know fact or truth to them why dont you have a real debate with some Anerican Muslims who speak english and we will see who would win Allah has already granted Muhammad and Muslims who follow him victory nobody has granted you victory you are lopsided bias and you want to talk about terroism what about Ameircans Terrosim on Japan we droped a Nuclear bomb but thats not terrorism we kill people in Iraq you rape woman and children for freedom you can keep your freedom.
Good, thanks. I will keep my freedom indeed. And of course, as always, I'd be glad to debate any "Anerican Muslims," but they appear to prefer to indulge in ad hominem smears from a distance rather than engage my actual arguments up close.
The current training of "Palestinian" terrorists in the Islamic Republic of Iran is only quid for a previous quo. For back in the late 1970s, it was the "Palestinians" who extended such critical aid, in men and training, to those who would overthrow the Shah and replace him with the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Iranian leftists of the Feda’iyin-e Khalq were trained by George Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. And the Muhajedin-e Khalq was organized and trained by Fatah, the same Fatah that warlord and Arafat henchman Mahmoud Abbas now relies on as the armed wing -- let's call it the west wing -- of the "moderate" facade he presents to eager Western donors, with their Will To Believe (Anything). Fatah also trained future members of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran.
That is, two young Muslims, in British media Newspeak.
Welcome to the New Britain: "Priest hurt in faith-hate attack," from the BBC (thanks to all who sent this in):
A priest has been attacked in the grounds of his church, in what police described as a "faith-hate" crime.
Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, was injured by two Asian youths at the church, in Tower Hamlets, east London.
Canon Ainsworth said a third youth watched as he suffered cuts, bruises and black eyes in the assault at the church of St George-in-the-East.
The youths also jeered at the priest for being a churchman in the attack on Wednesday night, the Met Police said....
In the Rudd Government's first statement on Muslims, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Laurie Ferguson yesterday told The Australian it was time to tackle the myths surrounding Islam, arguing religious leaders were not representative of the mainstream Muslim community.
"We can't prescribe how the Islamic community is to organise itself," Mr Ferguson said.
"But we certainly must make sure that the fact there are international tensions and terrorist issues doesn't kind of stereotype the whole community in Australia." -- from this news article
It was Laurie Ferguson who, as federal “Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs,” introduced Tariq Ramadan as the main speaker at a Griffith University conference.
When Muslim and Jewish leaders expressed their concern about Tariq Ramadan (and among them was a former Howard government adviser on Islam, Ameer Ali, who urged national security authorities to keep him under close surveillance) Ferguson, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, dismissed those fears, and described the American government’s preventing Ramadan's entry into the United States in 2004 as "over the top."
"TIZA claims to be non-sectarian, as Minnesota law requires charters to be. But "after-school Islamic learning" takes place on weekdays in the same building under MAS-MN's auspices, according to the program for MAS-MN's 2007 convention. At that convention, a TIZA representative at the school's booth told me that students go directly to "Islamic studies" classes at 3:30, when TIZA's day ends. There, they learn "Qur'anic recitation, the Sunnah of the Prophet" and other religious subjects, he said." -- from this news article
Ordinarily a taxpayer -- a "mere" taxpayer -- lacks standing to bring suit. But in the case of the Establishment Clause, given its great significance, such standing is likely to be found. A suit should be brought at once. By the sound of it, there is an obvious intermingling -- an intermingling that appears to have been intended from the start -- of the supposedly secular during the regular school day and the purely Islamic education that starts at 3:30.
But we know that in Islam that what we call "religion" in fact covers, or suffuses, every area of life. If, for example, there is in the science class mention that "all of science is in the Qur'an," or if false claims are made for "Islamic science" (as part of continued indoctrination of Muslim children) or if there are other reasons to think that the so-called "regular school day" is suffused with Islam, then there should be no public money spent.
"My theology prompts me to opt for a concept of liberty that includes the free choice not to exercise it. God may, indeed, be all-powerful but were the divine power to be always applied to the full, humanity couldn't exist. We gain our freedom precisely because God holds back and allows us to act as mature beings. I know of no greater expression of such maturity than the desire to imitate God.
In the context of the cartoons, this may mean that though newspapers should have the power to publish such pictures at will, they should choose the path of prudence not to do so out of consideration for the feelings of the Muslim minority. " -- Rabbi Dow Marmur
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall are we (and don't we know it). And Rabbi Marmur hopes that, while we are (as just noted) free to fall, he thinks we should imitate him, Rabbi Dow Marmur. Just as he manages to do, we should attempt in all things to imitate God.
And God's first rule apparently is: don't offend anyone when they claim that something really really offends them. Just get rid of it.
For example, showing "Show Boat" is wrong -- because we should not, nowadays, have any historical sense about things (including the period in which they were written). And that means that the Antebellum South is simply off-limits, because you would have to depict black slaves. And if you had, furthermore, a musical, well, those black slaves would have to sing, and we couldn't have that, could we? Because that would offend as a distraction from the matter of slavery.
Muslim reformer Edip Yuksel starts out at this Frontpage symposium sounding as if he is full of reason and good will. He introduces us to his “reform” efforts, and sets out, in exhaustive detail -- this symposium was conducted not as a live discussion, but as a submission of texts and answers to texts -- in what ways the Hadith are a danger. He suggests that the path to the reform of Islam lies in recognition that the Hadith cannot be simply interpreted away, or assigned levels of putative “authenticity” different from those assigned to them by the most authoritative muhaddithin in the past so as to render them less noxious, but rather in simply refusing to recognize their validity altogether. For Yuksel sees the Hadith, correctly, as a post-Qur’anic invention, and he wishes not only to demystify them, but also to jettison them altogether, so that his goal of “sola scriptura” in the Muslim context -- that is, reducing the canonical text to the Qur’an alone -- may be achieved.
He tells us, for example, that the Hadith are later concoctions, some woven out of whole cloth, and others only partly so. But in all cases they reflect, he claims, the desire of this or that Muslim ruler or tribe, or of some other special pleader, for the authority they could obtain for this or that act. Or possibly they represent an attempt by those personages to increase their own prestige by concocting, manipulating, or promoting certain Hadith.
All this while, Yuksel fails to display any recognition of several things.
Aren't you forgetting something? Perhaps, for instance, your role in their being bereaved? "Brothers sentenced to life in jail for 'honor killing' of sister," by Eli Ashkenazi for Haaretz:
The Haifa District Court on Wednesday sentenced two brothers to life in prison for murdering their sister in what was termed an "honor killing."
The two brothers, 40-year-old Anwar Salameh and Hassan Salameh, 37, were convicted of conspiring to commit a crime, kidnapping with intent to murder, and premeditated murder.
The murder occurred in December 2005, when the victim was 21. The two defendants, residents of the village of Mrar, conspired to kill their sister after they discovered she had a secret romantic relationship, defying them. They viewed their sister's behavior as harming the family's honor and consequently planned to convince her to join them on a trip somewhere and then kill her.
The two arrived at their parent's home in a car belonging to the older brother and convinced their sister to join them to "go to her lover to work out their relationship." The sister was convinced and joined her brothers on the trip. However, during the ride, the defendants veered from the route into the woods near Mrar.
The two brothers locked the doors of the vehicle and closed the windows to prevent their sister's escape. Then they proceeded to strangle her with their hands. The later removed the victim's body from the car, confirmed that she was in fact dead, taped her nose and mouth with duct tape and placed the body in a ditch nearby. They then covered her upper body with dirt.
Anwar Salameh said to the judges that "the penalty is a little severe for us; we received a very serious punishment. I ask you to take into consideration our situation ? my family is bereaved."
Both defendants expressed remorse and asked via their defense attorney to prevent the publication of the story in the media.
The judges ruled that they could see no reason to deviate from the norm and permitted the publication of the trial's details. However, the judges prohibited the publication of details pertaining to the sister and her lover.
(RTTNews) - The two suspected Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islamic terrorists gunned down in an encounter in Thane in Mumbai on Wednesday intended to target the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre-BARC and the National Stock Exchange-NSE, Mumbai police said on Thursday.
The Pune and Mumbai anti-terrorist units carried out the joint operation after intelligence reports emanated that two Islamic terrorists of Bangladeshi origin had crossed the border into India and entered the financial capital, Mumbai with a plan to strike at sensitive installations.
One of the dead militant gunned down on Mira Road in Thane, was identified as Mohammed Ali from the passport recovered at the site.
"It is a major success for us. We are investigating their links," special inspector general of police and ATS chief Hemant Karkare said on Thursday, the 15th anniversary of the 1993 serial blasts that killed over 250 people in Mumbai. The Bombay Stock Exchange was among the 12 places where RDX-triggered bombs exploded on March 12, 1993. The 14-year trial wound up last July.
"We can say they were on a planned mission. Sensitive nuclear installations and the National Stock Exchange were some of their targets," he said.
Karkare said fake Indian currency worth Rs. 10 lakh, 2kg explosives, suspected to be RDX, and two firearms, including a Smith and Wesson pistol, were seized from the militants. The seized fake currency, in thousand-rupee notes, will be sent to the Reserve Bank of India for analysis. The explosives have been sent for forensic tests.
ATS officials said the two militants were acting as couriers and the probe would try to trace the final recipients of the contraband seized. Karkare said the ATS was probing if there was a connection between two recent fake currency hauls involving Bangladeshi nationals.
The anti-terrorist squad had arrested six Bangladeshi nationals a fortnight ago and seized fake currency worth Rs. 1.78 lakh while railway police made a similar seizure a few days ago.
"The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from political cartoonists and bigots." Not against the violent supremacists who have allegedly "hijacked" their religion, mind you. No, no battle plan needed against them.
By Rukmini Callimachi for AP (thanks to all who sent this in):
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from political cartoonists and bigots.
Concerned about what they see as a rise in the defamation of Islam, leaders of the world's Muslim nations are considering taking legal action against those that slight their religion or its sacred symbols. It was a key issue during a two-day summit that ended Friday in this western Africa capital.
The Muslim leaders are attempting to demand redress from nations like Denmark, which allowed the publication of cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and again last month, to the fury of the Muslim world.
Though the legal measures being considered have not been spelled out, the idea pits many Muslims against principles of freedom of speech enshrined in the constitutions of numerous Western governments.
"I don't think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy," said Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, the chairman of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. "There can be no freedom without limits."
Delegates were given a voluminous report by the OIC that recorded anti-Islamic speech and actions from around the world. The report concludes that Islam is under attack and that a defense must be mounted.
"Muslims are being targeted by a campaign of defamation, denigration, stereotyping, intolerance and discrimination," charged Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the group.
No, Ihsanoglu. Muslims are being targeted by truth-tellers who object to jihad violence and Islamic supremacism. If you dealt with them, this "defamation, denigration, stereotyping, intolerance and discrimination" would melt away.
The report urges the creation of a "legal instrument" to crack down on defamation of Islam. Some delegates point to laws in Europe criminalizing the denial of the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic rhetoric. They also point to articles within various U.N. charters that condemn discrimination based on religion and argue that these should be ramped up.
"In our relation with the western world, we are going through a difficult time," Ihsanoglu told the summit's general assembly. "Islamophobia cannot be dealt with only through cultural activities but (through) a robust political engagement."
Sue me, fellows. Come on. I invite you to. And I will base my defense solely and wholly on Qur'an, Hadith, Sira and fiqh. Come on, sue away. Let's get this out in the open.
THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch police have arrested a Pakistani man allegedly linked to a network of Islamic extremists which was largely dismantled after raids in Barcelona this January, prosecutors said Friday.
The 26-year-old was picked up late Thursday in the southwestern Dutch town of Breda, the public prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The detainee was "suspected of belonging to a global jihadist network which is preparing attacks in western Europe," including France, Portugal, Germany and Britain as well as Spain, the statement said.
The Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcabsur said when the group was broken up that it was on the verge of "violent action", as materials for manufacturing explosive devices were found in the Barcelona raids....
9/11, that couldn't disturb interfaith harmony. Bali bombings? Nope. 7/7 in London? Naah. Over 10,000 jihad terror attacks since 9/11? No problem. But a film about the contents of the Qur'an -- now that will disturb interfaith harmony.
"Indonesia warns Dutch anti-Islam film can disturb interfaith harmony," from Xinhua (thanks to James):
JAKARTA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia on Friday warned Dutch lawmaker not to release an anti-Islam film which could destroy interfaith harmony, the country foreign ministry said here.
Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, who heads the Freedom Party, will release his short film this month, which he says will depict the Koran as a 'fascist book', despite mounting protests and a disagreement from the Dutch government.
Indonesian foreign ministry and religious leaders from all religions have opposed the release, saying it could trigger backlash from Muslims.
Gee, ya think?
There are so many disturbing things about Bernard Lewis' interview, but the most disturbing is the possible effect of his ill-considered remark counseling against the use of force with Iran, because Iran, you see, has a venerable history, and the Iranians are proud nationalists, and no doubt an attack that destroyed Iran's nuclear facilities would cause some -- but how much, and for how long -- rallying around the Islamic Republic of Iran by those who are otherwise disaffected. The problem is that Israel, and the United States, can't wait, in order for that "regime change." And Lewis surely must know -- he's keenly aware of it -- that his every word is held up by some as holy writ. And therefore, when he off-handedly counsels against any military attack on Iran, he's making the likely task of the Israelis, and others who know that they cannot wait, much harder.
It was a foolish remark, foolishly made. And even though he adds, afterthoughtedly, some modification, the damage has been done. For this is how it will be used: "See, even Bernard Lewis says that Iran's nuclear project should not be attacked, for it will only make the regime stronger." Well, maybe yes, and maybe no. The Islamic Republic of Iran could hardly be doing more than it is doing to threaten Israel and, in Lebanon and elsewhere, other Infidels. It is at least conceivable -- but Lewis can't conceive of it -- that the humiliation of having that nuclear project destroyed will lead to a temporary rallying-round, followed by a realization that the regime has failed on every count. Or, to put it otherwise, if the regime does acquire nuclear weapons, and is successful in defying the Americans, the Israelis, and everyone else, will it not then have such prestige that those who want regime change will be put on the defensive, will be weakened? This appears not to occur to Lewis, for he doesn't even consider it.
Self-described red-diaper baby, Radcliffe girl with cheek of tan (a little weak sun-taking, during that first job at Johnson State College, Vermont), a naif who -- in the middle of New York City -- was completely oblivious to, and shocked, shocked, shocked to discover, the "serial philandering" of her former husband (the man she thought was her eternal "soul-mate" earned his living as a joke-writer for someone, possibly Letterman, so she was being supported in quite a high style, presumably on the Upper West Side, by a husband who was very much a beneficiary, or part, of The System), Katha Pollitt is a girl -- oops, woman --whose "feminist politics" have not entirely erased her inner essential sweetness.
Listen to her voice, that of a twenty-year-old, on a radio show. But she refuses to grow up. That's sometimes okay. Yet one wishes that in one area she would decide to really start to inform herself, and thereby grow up about an ideology that, if she really thought about it, she would surely come to dislike and that would fill her with a dismay far beyond what the cheekbones of Katrina van den Heuvel may cause. She could start reading, on her own -- Why I Am Not A Muslim by Ibn Warraq, or While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer. Or The Dhimmi or Islam and Dhimmitude by Bat Ye'or.
A week has passed now since this happened, and what has changed?
Eight people have been killed and nine wounded by a Palestinian gunman who infiltrated a Jewish seminary in West Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.
Witnesses said the gunman went into the library at the Mercaz Harav seminary in the city's Kiryat Moshe quarter and opened fire.
Much should have changed in the minds of the powerful. It is absurd for Abbas to be allowed to feign indignation over Israel's attempts to stop rockets reigning down on its cities, and to call a halt to negotiations. It is even more absurd for the Israelis themselves to be seen urging him to continue, or at least acquiescing in Rice's attempts to urge him to do so.
For god's sake, it is Israel that should cut off the negotiations, period, never to resume them -- and the "never" can be represented to the world not as a "never" but as something else: after there has been a complete halt, for one year, on ALL terrorist attacks on Israel, whether from rockets fired indiscriminately into cities, or attacks on civilians such as this one, by individual or groups of Arab attackers, then we will think about opening negotiations again. Since there never will be such a year, the negotiations, and the idiotic peace-processing that only those heedless of Islam could conceivably put any stock in, would stop.
Note that the usual NGOs have been lamenting the fact that "conditions in Gaza are worse than at any time since 1967."
Think about that. What that means is that the conditions in Gaza were terrible under Egyptian rule, and then, once the Israelis took over in 1967, steadily improved as long as Israel was in control, and then, now that Israel has been entirely out of Gaza (so much for this "occupation" the local Arabs in Gaza keep screaming about -- they mean, of course, Israel itself is occupied by Jews, and that simply, to them, isn't right), conditions have again, under Arab rule, slowly degenerated. They have degenerated to the extent that conditions of life now approach, despite Israel turning over intact much-improved infrastructure, and those greenhouses that were promptly looted and destroyed by the "Palestinians," and the billions in aid money received from Infidels (strangely, nothing substantial appears to come from fellow members of the Umma), what they were the last time Arabs were in control.
And yet these British NGOs dare to suggest that this is Israel's fault? What nonsense people are allowed to get away with, if no one calls them to account. NGOs have come a long and very dismal way since the dreams of Rene Cassin.