Facebook kowtows to violent intimidation and threats, and accepts Islamic restrictions on free speech. And Iran's Press TV is dead chuffed. Free Speech Death Watch Update: "Facebook apologizes over blasphemy," from PressTV, May 31:
Pakistan says Facebook has apologized to the country and has removed the blasphemous content that had prompted Islamabad to ban the social networking website.
"In response to our protest, Facebook has tendered their apology and informed us that all the sacrilegious material has been removed from the URL," Najibullah Malik, secretary of Pakistan's information technology ministry, was quoted by AP as saying on Monday.
Islamabad, in turn, lifted a ban it had imposed on the social networking website, after Facebook assured the Pakistani government that "nothing of this sort will happen in the future," Malik said....
Enraged by the BBC's bias against them, supporters of the Jihad Flotilla storm the BBC offices in Manchester.
The BBC's bias against jihadists? What are these guys smoking? Do they want the BBC to give itself over twenty-four hours a day to communiques from Osama, Zawahiri and Anjem Choudary? If it did, would anyone notice a change?
"Gaza aid ship protesters try to storm BBC Manchester," from the BBC, May 31 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
Protesters demonstrating against the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship have attempted to storm the BBC in Manchester.
More than 800 people marched through the city centre and down Oxford Road, where the crowd surged at the BBC's entrance, smashing its front doors.
One man climbed to the top of the building to plant a Palestinian flag and there were at least three arrests.
Protesters said they were also angry about the BBC's coverage of Israel.
Police officers formed a chain across the BBC's Oxford Road entrance and surrounded the building with police vehicles and officers.
Protesters from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, who organised the demonstration, chanted slogans including: "BBC tell the truth."
That would be refreshing.
The demonstration followed the confirmed killings of nine humanitarian aid workers by Israeli soldiers, who stormed their ship as it approached Gaza.
Talat Ali, 40, organizer from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: "This is a peaceful demonstration against the attack that has taken place on the Gaza flotilla.
"We are not happy with the way commanders boarded vessels and butchered people.
"We are not happy with the biased news given by the BBC."...
The group that has called its murders of Israeli civilians its "Glory Record" now claims that the killings of genocide-minded Islamic jihadists on the jihad flotilla amounted to "state-sponsored terrorism." It's yet another example of how jihadists never take responsibility for their actions and routinely accuse others of those things of which they themselves are guilty.
Jihadist Projection Alert: Hamas: "Raid on boars 'state-sponsored organized terror,'" by Roee Nahmias for Ynet News, May 31 (thanks to Maxwell):
Senior Hamas member Ismail Raduan responded to the Israel Defense Forces takeover on the vessels sailing to Gaza, saying that "this is state-sponsored organized terror. We are calling on the international community to do something.
"These are crimes against humanity and against our Palestinian people. We call on all members the Arab and Muslim people to launch protests of rage of solidarity."
"In the information battlespace, the jihadis can count on the complicity of the subdued, Islamophiliac press. They can physically attack Israeli troops and count on the corrupt media to package any act of Israeli self-defense as an aggression. Then this repackaging will lead to international condemnation, United Nations Security Council resolutions, and further delegitimization of Israel."
"The Jihad Flotilla and the Media War Against Israel," by Pamela Geller for Big Journalism, May 31:
Today's incident on the Gaza jihad flotilla was an act of war - but not by Israel. The tsunami of Jew-hating propaganda from the jihad-loving media has already begun. The international media, predictably, is spinning the story as if it were all Israel's fault, saying that the IDF killed innocent civilian humanitarian workers on a flotilla headed to Gaza to bring aid to the starving people there.
In reality, none of that is true. This was an act of war against Israel. The people in Gaza aren't starving, and the "humanitarian aid workers" on the flotilla were actually Islamic jihadists who attacked the IDF first. It was a planned attack -- by Hamas and the hardline Muslim groups. Hamas supporters planned an armed assault, which included the murder of captured Israeli heroes. They almost succeeded.
Will you get the real story from the media? Not a chance. Before the Israeli self-defense raid even occurred, the BBC said that Israel was facing a lose-lose situation. And that is how it is playing out now. The Associated Press is reading like Al-Jazeera:
The violent takeover dealt yet another blow to Israel's international image, already tarnished by war crimes accusations in Gaza and its 3-year-old blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.
Of course AP doesn't mention that the day before the raid, the "humanitarians" on the jihad flotilla were chanting: "Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"
Khaibar was an Arabian oasis populated by Jews. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, stormed the oasis and massacred the Jews there and seized their land and possessions. Says Islamic scholar Robert Spencer:
Thus when modern-day jihadists invoke Khaybar, they are recalling an aggressive, surprise raid by Muhammad which resulted in the final eradication of the once considerable Jewish presence in Arabia. To the jihadists, Khaybar means the destruction of the Jews and the seizure of their property by the Muslims.
Today the jihadist forces want war again, and a chance to repeat the Khaibar massacre. Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri issued a joint statement condemning the "crime committed by Israel with this barbaric attack on defenceless civilians." They "invite the international community to take measures as soon as possible to end Israel's crimes, which could lead to war in the Middle East with repercussions far beyond the regional borders."
It is no accident that reality is being rewritten, and this brazen, bloody attack by Islamic jihadists is being called a humanitarian mission. The media is the front line in the impending war. It is interesting how this new war is being waged on two fronts, very much in tandem with one another. The battle has long been in the information battlespace. Guns, bombs, and bloodshed are the results of what happens in the war of ideas. Now we enter phase II. The West has been sufficiently subdued by years of relentless anti-Semitic propaganda. Now the anti-Semitic forces of jihad are going in for the kill with the tacit approval and sanction of their copywriters in the media. They're dressing up genocide in a flotilla bow and serving it up cold.
In the information battlespace, the jihadis can count on the complicity of the subdued, Islamophiliac press. They can physically attack Israeli troops and count on the corrupt media to package any act of Israeli self-defense as an aggression. Then this repackaging will lead to international condemnation, United Nations Security Council resolutions, and further delegitimization of Israel.
This Jew-hating, jihad flotilla was the opening salvo in the war....
Betrayal of an ally. "Israel recoils as US backs nuclear move," from Reuters, May 30 (thanks to Benedict):
Washington's unprecedented backing for a UN resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel has both angered and deeply worried the Jewish state although officials are cagey about openly criticising their biggest ally.
The resolution adopted by the United Nations on Friday calls on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and urges it to open its facilities to inspection.
It also calls for a regional conference in 2012 to advance the goal of a nuclear-free Middle East.
Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East, with around 200 warheads, but has maintained a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its capabilities since the mid-1960s.
The document, which singles out Israel but makes no mention of Iran's controversial nuclear programme, drew a furious reaction from the Jewish state who decried it as "deeply flawed and hypocritical."
But it was US backing for the resolution which has caused the most consternation among Israeli officials and commentators, who interpreted the move as "a resounding slap around the face" which has dealt a very public blow to Israel's long-accepted policy of nuclear ambiguity. [...]
"It is an undeniably negative change to US policy" with regards to Israel's nuclear programme, said Eitan Gilboa, an analyst from Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv.
Pointing to contradiction between Obama both applauding the resolution and criticising it for singling out Israel, Gilboa said Washington was "losing its leadership role because of the naive and unrealistic" outlook of its president....
A incident provoked by genocide-minded jihadists gains traction among those anxious to demonize Israel and see those jihadists as victims. "Mideast: Flotilla; Israel's Crimes Could Lead To War, Syria," from ANSAmed, May 31 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, MAY 31 - In its first official statement on the Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla headed for Gaza, Syria called the operation a "barbaric" move. Quoted by Lebanese press agency Nna, President Bashar al Assad and Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri harshly condemned the "crime committed by Israel with this barbaric attack on defenceless civilians". The joint statement quoted by Nna continues that Syria and Lebanon "invite the international community to take measures as soon as possible to end Israel's crimes, which could lead to war in the Middle East with repercussions far beyond the regional borders".(ANSAmed).
JERUSALEM -- Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday, killing nine passengers in a botched raid that provoked international outrage and a diplomatic crisis.
Dozens of activists and six Israeli soldiers were wounded in the bloody predawn confrontation in international waters. The violent takeover dealt yet another blow to Israel's international image, already tarnished by war crimes accusations in Gaza and its 3-year-old blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu canceled a much-anticipated meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday in a sign of just how gravely Israel viewed the international uproar. In Canada, Netanyahu announced he was rushing home.
Israel said it opened fire after its commandos were attacked by knives, clubs and live fire from two pistols wrested from soldiers after they rappelled from a helicopter to board one of the vessels. Late Monday, it released a grainy black-and-white video that it said supported its version of events.
Reaction was swift and harsh, with a massive protest in Turkey, Israel's longtime Muslim ally, which unofficially supported the mission. Ankara announced it would recall its ambassador and call off military exercises with the Jewish state.
The U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting later Monday to hear a briefing on the incident, said Lebanon's Deputy Ambassador Caroline Ziade, whose country holds the council presidency. The Arab League called for a meeting to discuss the issue Tuesday in Cairo....
Throwing bottles at the Israeli consulate in a protest that appears to be as orchestrated as the jihad flotilla itself. Do these protesters even know that the jihad flotilla participants were chanting an Arabic rhyme celebrating Muhammad's massacre of the Jews at Khaybar? The whole thing was a set-up. Jihad Flotilla Update: "Mideast: Flotilla, 5,000 Anti-Israel Protestors In Istanbul," from ANSAmed, May 31 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) - ANKARA, MAY 31 - At least 5,000 people have taken to the streets over the past few hours in Istanbul between the Israeli consulate and the centrally-located Taksim square in protest against the Israeli Navy's attack this morning against the flotilla of ships bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. In the boarding of the ships, an as-yet-unknown number of people were killed and injured, including Turkish nationals. The crowd began gathering before the Israeli consulate a few minutes after the radio and TV reported the attack on the humanitarian convoy. Many threw bottles of water and other objects at entrance to the building. Scenes of anger and protest have also been seen in Ankara in front of the residence of the Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Gaby Levi, where also this morning hundreds of people carrying Turkish and Palestinian flags shouted or prayed under the vigilant eyes of the police protecting the building. (ANSAmed).
Jihad in small-town America, and the FBI and ICE didn't bother to notify local law enforcement officials. "Editorial: Troubling issues surround local arms dealership story," from the Yamhill Valley News-Register, May 29 (thanks to Tonestaple):
It seemed implausible to think that Iranian arms dealers were doing business right here in McMinnville, trading in high-powered sniper rifles, semi-automatic hand guns, ammunition and other equipment. How was that even possible, especially in post 9/11 times? It's a stark reminder that even here, in small-town America, we need to remain vigilant to the dangers in our ever-shrinking world.
Local law enforcement knew nothing about the business or the illegal activities until last week, when they learned that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had arrested Iranian national, Hamid Malekpour, for interstate possession and transportation of firearms and ammunition from McMinnville to Washington state.
Police Chief Ron Noble and Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree expressed dismay that their departments hadn't been notified of the investigation by the FBI or ICE, and are looking into the lack of communication from the agencies....
More official dhimmitude and willful ignorance. Stand against it, and for freedom against Sharia: come to our SIOA rally outside Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan on June 6 at noon. "Mayor Bloomberg Submits, Sanctions 911 Mega Mosque," by Pamela Geller in Big Government, May 30:
The Mayor of New York backs the fifteen-story mega-mosque that is slated to be built near Ground Zero. He said Friday: "I think it's fair to say if somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming. And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too." The Mayor is wrong. This mosque is not about freedom of religion. It's about Islamic supremacism.
This why the Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) June 6th rally against the proposed mega-mosque is so important. The Islamic supremacists must be shamed into withdrawing and not doing a victory dance on the hallowed burial ground of Ground Zero.
Bloomberg also said: "What is great about America and particularly New York is we welcome everybody, and if we are so afraid of something like this, what does that say about us?...If you are religious, you do not want the government picking religions, because what do you do the day they don't pick yours?"
While I agree that that the government should keep its big fat nose out of religion (separation of mosque and state), I do not agree that the Mayor should publicly take one side if he really believes government should stay out of it. It's why I believe petitions to the Mayor are a waste of time. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has on his New York City Human Rights Commission Omar Mohammedi, the former President of the New York chapter of the unindicted co-conspirator, Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood front, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Terror lawyer Mohammedi represents a number of organizations that are the defendants in a 9/11 lawsuit for the murder of 3000 innocent people. One of the organizations he is working for is the World Assembly for Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-based group with offices around the globe that publishes incendiary materials against Jews and openly supports Hamas and violent jihad....
As I explain in my book The Truth About Muhammad, Muhammad led a Muslim force against the Khaybar oasis, which was inhabited by Jews -- many of whom he had previously exiled from Medina. When he did so, he was not responding to any provocation. One of the Muslims later remembered: "When the apostle raided a people he waited until the morning. If he heard a call to prayer he held back; if he did not hear it he attacked. We came to Khaybar by night, and the apostle passed the night there; and when morning came he did not hear the call to prayer, so he rode and we rode with him....We met the workers of Khaybar coming out in the morning with their spades and baskets. When they saw the apostle and the army they cried, 'Muhammad with his force,' and turned tail and fled. The apostle said, 'Allah Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed. When we arrive in a people's square it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.'"
The Muslim advance was inexorable. "The apostle," according to Muhammad's earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, "seized the property piece by piece and conquered the forts one by one as he came to them." Another biographer of Muhammad, Ibn Sa'd, reports that the battle was fierce: the "polytheists...killed a large number of [Muhammad's] Companions and he also put to death a very large number of them....He killed ninety-three men of the Jews..." Muhammad and his men offered the fajr prayer, the Islamic dawn prayer, before it was light, and then entered Khaybar itself. The Muslims immediately set out to locate the inhabitants' wealth. A Jewish leader of Khaybar, Kinana bin al-Rabi, was brought before Muhammad; Kinana was supposed to have been entrusted with the treasure of on of the Jewish tribes of Arabia, the Banu Nadir. Kinana denied knowing where this treasure was, but Muhammad pressed him: "Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?" Kinana said yes, that he did know that.
Some of the treasure was found. To find the rest, Muhammad gave orders concerning Kinana: "Torture him until you extract what he has." One of the Muslims built a fire on Kinana's chest, but Kinana would not give up his secret. When he was at the point of death, one of the Muslims beheaded him. Kinana's wife was taken as a war prize; Muhammad claimed her for himself and hastily arranged a wedding ceremony that night. He halted the Muslims' caravan out of Khaybar later that night in order to consummate the marriage.
Muhammad agreed to let the people of Khaybar to go into exile, allowing them to keep as much of their property as they could carry. The Prophet of Islam, however, commanded them to leave behind all their gold and silver. He had intended to expel all of them, but some, who were farmers, begged him to allow them to let them stay if they gave him half their yield annually. Muhammad agreed: "I will allow you to continue here, so long as we would desire." He warned them: "If we wish to expel you we will expel you." They no longer had any rights that did not depend upon the good will and sufferance of Muhammad and the Muslims. And indeed, when the Muslims discovered some treasure that some of the Khaybar Jews had hidden, he ordered the women of the tribe enslaved and seized the perpetrators' land. A hadith notes that "the Prophet had their warriors killed, their offspring and woman taken as captives."
Thus when modern-day jihadists invoke Khaybar, they are recalling an aggressive, surprise raid by Muhammad which resulted in the final eradication of the once considerable Jewish presence in Arabia. To the jihadists, Khaybar means the destruction of the Jews and the seizure of their property by the Muslims.
"Gaza flotilla participants created war atmosphere before confronting Israel: Participants chanted Islamic battle cry invoking killing of Jews and called for Martyrdom," by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik for Palestinian Media Watch, May 31:
On the day before the Gaza flotilla confronted the Israeli navy, Al-Jazeera TV documented the pre-battle atmosphere created by men on board the flotilla, who chanted a well-known Islamic battle cry invoking the killing and defeat of Jews in battle:
"[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"
Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad's army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor to future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.
Al-Jazeera also interviewed a woman who said that the flotilla participants' goal was "one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza."
Click here to view Islamic battle cry on Gaza flotilla.
The following is the transcript from Al-Jazeera TV:
Reporter: "Despite the Israeli threats and several unexpected delays, the arrival of the ships at the meeting point before sailing to the Gaza Strip inflamed the emotions and the enthusiasm of the participants."
Visuals from Gaza flotilla ship of young Muslims shouting Islamic battle chant invoking the killing and defeat of Jews in battle:
"[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!"
[Khaibar is the name of last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad's army and it marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia in 628.]
Reporter: "While singing songs reminiscent of the Palestinian Intifada (Palestinian terror war against Israel, 2000 - 2005), participants expressed their longing to reach Gaza."
A participant: "Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza." [Based on Islamic call before battle: "Either victory or Martyrdom".]
[Al-Jazeera TV, May 29, 2010]...
Bravo. Jihad Flotilla Update: "Mideast: Flotilla; Barak, No Humanitarian Crisis In Gaza," from ANSAmed, May 31 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) - JERUSALEM, MAY 31 - There was no humanitarian crisis and nobody is dying with hunger in the Gaza Strip, where the real problem is the fact that control of the territory is in the hands of a terrorist organisation (Hamas), said Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak today. He made his remarks in a press conference, hastily organised after the high number of victims that fell when a flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists was boarded by the Israeli navy off the coast of Gaza. The reason for the isolation of Gaza, he continued, is to keep weapons and terrorists from entering this area. Israel, Barak added, is determined to defend its sovereignty. (ANSAmed).
More Obama outreach to jihadis. "Hamas leader says American envoys making contact, but not openly," by David Hearst in The Guardian, May 30 (thanks to Creeping Sharia):
The United States is sending a succession of envoys to engage with Hamas but lacks the bravery to talk to the Islamist movement openly, its leader, Khaled Meshal, said in an interview with the Guardian.
Meshal praised President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia for meeting him in Damascus and the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, for hosting the discussion 10 days ago. He told Medvedev that the US was also talking to him. "I thanked him for that meeting and told him the Americans contact us, but are not brave enough to do so openly," said Meshal. "I am confident that in the very near future, everyone will realise that they will have to deal with Hamas."
The claim that the US is engaging with a group it lists as a terrorist organisation will upset the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, whose security forces have locked up and allegedly tortured leading Hamas members in the West Bank....
And the demonization and isolation of Israel proceeds apace. "Israel's military spokesman has accused the organisers of the flotilla of organising a 'violent provocation.'" "Mideast: Flotilla, World 'Shocked' After Israeli Attack," from ANSAmed, May 31 (thanks to Insubria):
TEL AVIV, MAY 31 - The attack carried out last night by Israeli forces on a multi-national flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists heading for the Gaza Strip carrying humanitarian aid has ended in a bloodbath, with at least 19 people dead. There have been serious and immediate protests from Turkey, who has recalled its ambassador to Israel, while governments in European capitals have expressed their shock at the killings.
The activists, who were led by the NGO Free Gaza, wanted to force the blockade set up around the Gaza Strip when the Islamic group Hamas came into power in 2007. The clash occurred in international waters, a few dozen miles off the coast, on the vessel of a Turkish NGO that was leading the six-ship expedition. Israeli commandos, who reached the ship using boats and helicopters, opened fire, killing 19 people, according to the latest reports from the Israeli television station Channel 10. An Israeli military spokesman has said that the chaos began when some activists attempted to resist the boarding of the marines using clubs, knives and at least one firearm, which is said to have been taken from an Israeli soldier. Twenty-six activists were injured, one of whom is in a critical condition. Among the injured is sheikh Raed Salah. Ten Israeli soldiers were also injured, two seriously.
Israel's military spokesman has accused the organisers of the flotilla of organising a "violent provocation". The first of the ships has already arrived at the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, which has been close off to the media. There is no news of the five Italian activists who were on board, including the Torino-based journalist, Angela Lano, 47, the director of the press agency Infopal, which deals with Palestinian issues. Israel has raised the level of alert on its northern border (with Lebanon) and also to the south, on the border with the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has condemned the incident as "a massacre", and has declared three days of national mourning. Hamas officials in Gaza have spoken of a "crime" committed by Israel. An Islamic representative, Ahmed Yusef, has called for "an intifada" of the people in front of Israeli embassies throughout the world. Arab Israelis have called a general strike tomorrow.
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, has said that he is "shocked" by Israel's attack on the pro-Palestinian activist fleet, as has the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. Great concern and grief has also been expressed by the Vatican. The Arab League has called an urgent meeting of its Foreign Ministers in Cairo tomorrow. Turkey, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland have held talks with their respective ambassadors to Israel, and the European Union has called for the Jewish state to open an investigation....
War Is Deceit, and of course the world is so anxious to be deceived and to demonize Israel. Jihad Flotilla Update: "Israel: Hamas Gaza Terror Flotilla Organizers Not Humanitarian, Wanted Massacre For PR," by Joel Leyden for Israel News Agency, May 31:
Jerusalem ---- May 31, 2010 .... The Israel Navy this morning blocked the Hamas backed "Gaza Freedom Flotilla", a group of ships carrying up to 800 people from entering the Gaza Strip.
Israel was well aware that this was not a humanitarian love boat trek but rather an exercise in Islamic digital PR.
The organizers of the Palestine Flotilla to Gaza consisted of some of the worst global terror groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda and their fund raisers the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation.
What made this Palestine PR stunt or electronic Jihad exercise even more barbaric was the blatant use of volunteers on the ship who had good and true humanitarian intentions.
Some of these humanitarian volunteers were unaware that they were being used by the terror group Hamas as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation used both diplomats and volunteers from the UK, the US, Sweden, France, Germany and other countries as human shields as Hamas attacked a peaceful IDF boarding force with guns, knives and clubs.
Just before sunrise the IDF Navy intercepted six ships that were attempting to break the maritime closure of the Gaza Strip. Israel and the Israel Navy provided numerous warnings issued prior to the incident. The Israel Navy requested that the Hamas backed ships to redirect themselves towards Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid supplies which would then be transferred to Gaza after undergoing security inspections.
Israel provides tons of food, water, medical supplies and fuel to Gaza on a daily basis. Israeli officials repeated that if this was a true humanitarian event, not a PR exercise, Hamas would have used the existing channels - the UN, the EU and Israel to transfer whatever cargo they had.
During the boarding of the Gaza flotilla ships, protesters onboard demonstrated that this was not a non violent event as they attacked IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs.
"The Palestinian Gaza demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose," the IDF told the Israel News Agency....
The international condemnations are already raining down upon Israel, the only nation in the world that is not allowed to defend itself. If we had an American President (that is, one who was primarily concerned with upholding the best interests of the United States), rather than a Post-American President (that is, a doctrinaire socialist internationalist), he would be speaking out strongly in favor of Israel today. Instead, he is more likely to join in the condemnations. "Navy escorts flotilla ships to Ashdod," from the Jerusalem Post, May 31 (thanks to Pamela Geller, who has much more here):
Armed Navy ships escorted boats from the Gaza protest flotilla to Ashdod on Monday afternoon, hours after IDF soldiers and activists clashed in a fatal raid.
International activists aboard the ships opened fire on IDF soldiers who boarded the ships to prevent them from breaking the Israeli-imposed sea blockade, the IDF said Monday.
According to the IDF, the international activists "prepared a lynch" for the soldiers who boarded the ships at about 2 a.m. Monday morning after the soldiers called on them to stop, or follow them to the Ashdod Port several hours earlier.
According to IDF reports, at least 15 activists were killed during the ensuing clashes and dozens were wounded. Some of the wounded were evacuated to Israeli hospitals by Air Force helicopters.
Five Navy commandos were also wounded, some of them from gunfire. At least two soldiers were seriously wounded.
In international reactions, Turkey, Sweden and Greece summonsed their Israeli ambassadors for discussions on the violence.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also responded to the clashes, which he called a "slaughter," according to an AFP report.
Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists, according to an IDF report, succeeded in stealing two handguns from soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.
Al Jazeera on Monday broadcasted footage from the Gaza flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showing Israeli Navy commandos boarding the ship. Helicopters could also be seen flying overhead.
"It was like a well-planned lynch," one IDF officer said. "These people were anything but peace activists."...
No law contrary to the tenets of Islam can be enacted in the Maldives, and while this report doesn't mention it (and in the full version tries to establish otherwise), Islamic law mandates that apostates from Islam be killed. Islamic Tolerance Alert: "First prisoner of conscience in Nasheed's Maldives," from Maldives Dissent, May 30 (thanks to Sharif):
Mohamed Nazim, a man who posed a question to Wahhabi televengalist Zakir Naik has become the country's first prisoner of conscience since president since Nasheed took office in 2008.
Nazim asked Naik the verdict in Islam for individuals who were still struggling to decide on faith in a country such as the Maldives, where most people practise religion not by choice but because they inherited it from their parents.
Naik's jumbled response that the Maldives government should decide the plight of such people suggests that he hadn't properly researched the country to which he had come to lecture. Clearly unused to intelligent debate, Naik then went on the insult Nazim's knowledge of Islam and education.
"Don't try to be too smart," he told Nazim. "I have to educate you from scratch."
Following the exchange, a section of Naik's auidence hounded Nazim and allegedly attacked him before police took him away.
The latest news is that police have now obtained a court order to extend Nazim's detention. But Maldivian judges have not extended similar cooperation to police for people accused of murder, child abuse and rape.
Mohamed Nazim did say he was not a believer of Islam, but it could be argued that he was speaking hyphothetically to elicit an answer from Zakir Naik. Only Nazim himself can verify his religous stance.
Nazim has effectively become the country's first prisoner of conscience since Mohamed Nasheed, a self-professed champion of free speech and democracy, took office.
While Article 9 (b) of the Maldives constitution states a citizen of Maldives may not be deprived of citizenship, 9 (d) states that a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives. And, Article 10 states that state religion is Islam and that no law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted in the Maldives. [...]
To my knowledge none of Nazim's alleged attackers have been arrested for taking the law into their hands, even though they must have been caught on TV.
Meanwhile, although Naik himself is reported to have said things which might be contrary to Maldivian law, such as promoting under-aged marriage, no one has called for the arrest of the preacher yet.
Media bias on our SIOA religious liberty bus ads. "Dhimmi MSM Stenographers Get Talking Points from Hamas-Linked CAIR," by Pamela Geller at Big Journalism, May 29:
Thirty little buses in New York City...my, how they roll. Through our organization Stop Islamization of America, Robert Spencer and I have placed ads on New York City buses, offering help to Muslims wishing to leave Islam. Our ads ran previously on buses in Miami, but in New York they’ve received international notice. The religious liberty bus ad campaign was covered in the last few days by every major network: ABC, NBC, CBS (New York), CNN and FOX, as well by Associated Press, Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, Britain's Daily Mail, Russian television, and many more–too many news outlets to list here.
Faiza Ali, of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the ads were based on a false premise that people faced coercion to remain with Islam. She said Muslims believe faith that is forced is not true belief.
"Geller is free to say what she likes, just as concerned community members are free to criticize her motives," Ali said.
Geller has a history of speaking out against Muslims, and the ads are "a smoke screen to advance her long-standing history of anti-Muslim bigotry," Ali said.
While we hear that "some Muslims" believe this, we don't hear in this AP story about any Muslims who think otherwise. So is AP saying that the unindicted co-conspirator, Hamas-linked CAIR is the best representative of Muslims in America?Is AP actually saying that Muslims in the U.S. are haters, extremists, and terror-tied? Islamic Sharia law is very clear: apostasy is punishable by death. Why does CAIR equate being pro-freedom with being anti-Muslim? Is AP saying that Muslims in America don't support religious freedom? Wow....
The Afghan Constitution guarantees religious freedom within the bounds of Sharia. A few years ago Abdul Rahman, a convert from Islam to Christianity, was put on trial for his life for apostasy -- so as to show bemused Westerners what "religious freedom within the bounds of Sharia" really means. And now this. "2 Christian aid groups suspended in Afghanistan," by Rohan Sullivan for Associated Press, May 31 (thanks to JCB):
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan authorities suspended two Christian foreign aid groups Monday on suspicion of proselytizing in the strictly Islamic nation and said a follow-up investigation would include whether other groups were trying to convert Muslims.
U.S.-based Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid will not be allowed to operate while the allegations, aired Sunday on Afghan television, are investigated, said Mohammad Hashim Mayar, the deputy director of the Afghan government office that oversees nongovernment organizations, known as NGOs....
Proselytizing is illegal in Afghanistan, as it is in many Muslim countries. It is a hot-button issue for many Afghans sensitive to the influence of the scores of foreign aid groups operating in the country to help it recover from decades of war.
The television report, which interviewed local police saying they had heard rumors of the charities' proselytizing, triggered a demonstration by several hundred students at Kabul University on Monday.
The group shouted deaths threats toward foreigners who seek to convert Muslims and demanded that the government expel anyone who tried, said Mohammad Najib, a professor at the school who witnessed the protest.
The group blocked the road outside the university's main gate for more than an hour before the demonstrators moved off peacefully, Najib said. Police stood by but did not intervene....
Millions of dollars of Saudi Arabian money have flowed into Afghanistan over the past four years, the country's intelligence officials say, with the sponsorship of terrorism its most likely use.
According to members of the Afghan financial intelligence unit, FinTraca, the funds, totalling more than £920 million, enter from Pakistan, where they are converted into rupees or dollars, the favoured currency for terrorist operations.
"We can trace it back as far as an entry point in Waziristan," said Mohammed Mustafa Massoudi, the director-general of FinTraca in Kabul. "Why would anyone want to put such money into Waziristan? Only one reason -- terrorism."...
Act of war. "General McChrystal says Afghan insurgents trained in Iran," by Sanjeev Miglani for Reuters, May 30 (thanks to Choi):
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan insurgents are being trained inside Iran and given weapons to fight security forces, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces said on Sunday, joining a rising drumbeat of criticism of Iran's role in the country.
General Stanley McChrystal said coalition forces were working to stop Iran from giving material help to the Taliban who have stepped up the campaign to force foreign forces out of Afghanistan in a nine-year conflict.
"The training that we have seen occurs inside Iran with fighters moving inside Iran," he said at a news conference in response to a question on Iran's influence. "The weapons that we have received come from Iran into Afghanistan."...
What a surprise. "Dollars sent to UN in Gaza end up in Hamas' pockets," from Israel Today, May 28 (thanks to Joel):
An investigative report by Israel National News published on Thursday revealed that whenever the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza requests an influx of US dollars to pay its staff, the coastal strip's Hamas rulers end up making a killing.
It is curious that UNRWA requests the transfer of US dollars, as it did this week when it called for $12.5 million for staff salaries. The bulk of that money is provided by US taxpayers.
The fact is that all financial transactions in Gaza take place in Israeli shekels, the official currency of the territory. In order for the UNRWA staff to be paid in shekels, the dollars are deposited in the Gaza Postal Bank, which is controlled by Hamas. The bank changes the dollars to shekels, charging a hefty fee to do so. The dollars are then reportedly sold again on the Egyptian black market where they command a much higher price.
Hamas makes a large amount of money both on the initial exchange and by reselling the dollars....
Obama's principal adviser on Muslim matters, Dalia Mogahed, reports: "U.S. has made little headway among Arabic-speaking Muslims under Obama, Gallup finds," from The Daily Caller, May 30. She ascribes the drop to Obama's failure to follow through on his pandering:
The country where Obama delivered his high-profile speech to the Muslim world is also the one where the swings in approval have been the largest. The precipitous decline in 2010 may reflect a perceived lack of progress on the issues many Egyptians said in May 2008 were most significant to improving their opinion of the United States: pulling out of Iraq, removing military bases from Saudi Arabia, supporting the rights of Muslims to elect their own governments, promoting greater economic development, closing Guantanamo Bay prison, and greater technology transfer and exchange of business expertise.
This is probably true. His dhimmi policies are perceived as weakness, and then he further infuriates them by not being dhimmi enough -- not moving quickly enough to give them everything they want.
It's astounding that asylum was granted to him in the first place. An update on this story. "Italy: Minister revokes imam's political asylum," from AKI, May 28 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Varese, 28 May (AKI) - Italy's interior minister Roberto Maroni revoked the political asylum granted to a radical Islamist preacher after he was jailed on terrorism charges. Egyptian-born imam Abu Imad will be deported as soon has served a 44-month sentence which he began last month, Maroni said.
"When this individual has finished serving his sentence, he will be expelled from Italian soil," Maroni stated....
Imad's own lawyer, Carmelo Scambia, said on Thursday he was "amazed" at the granting of asylum to his client, which Imad had requested in 1995.
Imad was until March last year an imam at the northern Italian city of Milan's central mosque, which has been linked to Islamist terrorism several times.
Imad and 10 other defendants had allegedly set up a Salafite cell that was active in Milan and elsewhere in the northern Lombardy region. Imad's co-defendants were also jailed.
The cell's mission is believed to have been recruiting suicide bombers, trafficking illegal immigrants and to have been responsible for indoctrination of recruits in radical jihadist ideology.
This is, of course, settled policy: manifest Islamic jihad activity is classified as something else, and the larger connections and implications ignored or denied outright. The most common explanation for why authorities do this is that they fear a backlash against innocent Muslims if the jihad angle of these cases were to be highlighted, and that the perpetrators are twisting and hijacking the Religion of Peace™. But in reality, there has never been any backlash, and the jihadists claim Islamic authenticity by pointing to Islamic texts and teachings to justify their actions and make recruits among peaceful Muslims.
"Feds nix 'temple plot' terror," from AP, May 29 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
The case against four men accused of plotting to bomb New York synagogues and shoot down military planes will not focus on whether they were members of a terrorist group, a federal prosecutor said yesterday.
That appeared to sit well with the judge, who said she had been referring to the case privately as "the un-terrorist case."
The trial is "going to be about whether these guys were going to blow something up," Assistant US Attorney David Raskin said at a pretrial hearing, and a fellow prosecutor said the government will not present any evidence of membership in terrorist groups.
"It's not going to be about foreign terrorist organizations," Raskin said.
Honor killing in Pakistan over a broken marriage and a Muslim's relationship with a non-Muslim in Britain. "Secret love-child 'sparked honour killing massacre' of British family in Pakistan," from the Daily Mail, May 30 (thanks to Alexandre):
An Asian man whose marriage breakdown allegedly led to the murders of his parents and sister may have split up with his wife because he had a love-child with a secret girlfriend.
Kamar Mahmood separated from his wife Nabeela after being married for nine years.
It is understood that the shame of the couple's split - and the news that Mr Mahmood had allegedly cheated on his wife with a white, blonde girl - outraged Nabeela's family so much that they decided to take revenge.
Nabeela's three brothers and two other men are accused of shooting dead Mr Mahmood's father Mohammad Yusaf, 51, his mother Pervaze, 49, and sister Tania, 22, who were in Pakistan for the marriage of their youngest son, Asad, 24.
The victims were sprayed with bullets as they prayed at a relative's graveside in a village in Gujrat province....
Inspector Meraj Baig, a Gujrat officer investigating the murders, said: 'His wife found out he was involved with a British girl and that he was preparing to marry her. She told his parents and other family members and then her own brothers, who were furious.
There were quarrels between the two families and, ultimately, it is alleged, it led to murder.'...
Motoon Rage and threats against the "Christian dogs." Not that this has anything to do with Islam! "Blood-Soaked Ticket: Al Qaeda's Warning To World Cup Fans," by James Murray for the Express, May 30:
BRITISH counter terrorism officers are probing Al Qaeda threats to bomb England's first World Cup match against the United States.
Extremists mocked up a ticket for the game splashed with blood and produced a map of South Africa with six cities ringed to indicate other targets.
The threats were made in Arabic on a secret website used by Al Qaeda.
Dutch footballing authorities have already banned their players' partners from travelling to South Africa because of a threat against their squad.
And last week, the US State Department warned there was a "heightened risk" of an attack during the World Cup and urged all its citizens going to South Africa to sign up to an alert system. [...]
One of several threatening messages on the website is entitled "Al Qaeda in the World Cup" and contains graphics promising a campaign of bomb attacks.
A map shows cities including Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg ringed and symbols representing explosions.
Accompanying text says: "To the Christian dogs in South Africa: it seems that you did not worry when we said that your blood will be spilled when we destroy the stadiums in South Africa." The internet blogger is in Algeria and appears to be referring to the recent threat made by Al Qaeda's north Africa wing to mount mass-casualty attacks.
The latest threat is one of several on a forum considered to be close to Al Qaeda's central leadership in Pakistan.
A response to the England attack threat says: "Oh God, avenge those who have wronged our prophet Mohammed... I ask God the Mujahideen strike the throats of the infidels."
In another message, the Dutch and Danish teams are targets because newspapers in their countries have printed cartoons of Mohammed. A plot to attack their game in Johannesburg on June 14 was discovered when terrorist Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani was arrested in Iraq on May 3....
Neil Doyle, a security expert, said: "Sporting events appear to be in the crosshairs... The World Cup could offer a wide range of attractive targets."
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: the previous government blocked freedom fighter Geert Wilders from entering Britain (although that ban was eventually overturned). This one is allowing in hate-filled Islamic supremacists. Dhimmitude in Britain: "Muslim preacher of hate is let into Britain," by David Leppard for The Sunday Times, May 30 (thanks to Alexandre):
THE home secretary, Theresa May, is facing a stiff test of the Conservative party's claims to oppose radical Islam after her officials chose to allow a misogynist Muslim preacher into Britain.
Zakir Naik, an Indian televangelist described as a "hate-monger" by moderate Muslims and one Tory MP, says western women make themselves "more susceptible to rape" by wearing revealing clothing.
Naik, who proselytises on Peace TV, a satellite television channel, is reported to have called for the execution of Muslims who change their faith, described Americans as "pigs" and said that "every Muslim should be a terrorist".
In a recent lecture, he said he was "with" Osama Bin Laden over the attacks on "terrorist America", adding that the 9/11 hijackings were an inside job by President George W Bush.
In opposition, David Cameron and other senior Tories led criticism of the Labour government for allowing radical preachers into Britain to stir up hatred on lecture tours. While in opposition, Cameron also campaigned to get Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian radical, banned from Britain. [...]
Although Naik makes it clear he does not support specific acts of terrorism, his inflammatory speeches have included one, currently on YouTube, in which he states: "Beware of Muslims saying Osama Bin Laden is right or wrong. I reject them ... we don't know.
"But if you ask my view, if given the truth, if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him.
"I don't know what he's doing. I'm not in touch with him. I don't know him personally. If he is terrorising the terrorists, if he is terrorising America the terrorist ... I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist."
According to reports in the Indian media, his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation in Mumbai, was where Rahil Abdul Rehman Sheikh, suspected of being commander of a series of train bombings in Mumbai, and other alleged terrorists spent much of their time before the attacks.
The American terror suspect Najibullah Zazi, arrested last year for planning suicide attacks on the New York subway, is said to have been inspired by Naik's YouTube videos. There is no suggestion Naik had any knowledge of terrorist plotting. [...]
Naik will be appearing at Wembley Arena in London and in Sheffield on his British tour. When he last came to Britain in 2006, his visit was condemned by David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth, who described him as a "hate-monger".
A doctor by profession, Naik has distinguished himself from dozens of other "mad mullahs" through his intellect and his ability to recite verbatim extended sections of the Koran. [...]
What? And he isn't deterred by that Holy Book's message of Peace?
Since the 9/11 attacks, he appears to have developed a particular hatred of America. He is reported to have said: "The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the Earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate.
"In America, most people consume pork. Many times after dance parties, they have swapping of wives. Many say, 'You sleep with my wife and I will sleep with your wife'. If you eat pigs then you behave like pigs."
Sermons of malice
"Western society has actually degraded [women] to the status of concubines, mistresses and social butterflies, who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketeers"
"People who change their religion should face the death penalty"
"It is a blatant secret that this attack on the twin towers was done by George Bush himself"
"If he [Osama Bin Laden] is terrorising the terrorists, if he is terrorising America the terrorist ... I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist"
"Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" was a couple of weeks ago, Pakistan has already lifted its ban (partially, anyway), and Bangladesh hurries to show that it hates free speech too.
Note that AP's headline again refers to Muhammad as a "prophet" without qualification, as if we're all Muslims now -- and as is common mainstream media practice these days -- but the article itself is (unusually) a bit better, referring to him as "Islam's prophet."
"Bangladesh blocks Facebook over prophet drawings," from AP, May 30 (thanks to JCB):
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Bangladesh says it has blocked the popular social networking website Facebook over a page that urges people to draw images of Islam's prophet Muhammad.
Chief telecommunication regulator Zia Ahmed said Sunday that access to the site has been temporarily blocked because it was publishing caricatures that may hurt the religious sentiments of people in the Muslim-majority nation....
Thousands of Muslims protested in Dhaka last week against what they called the website's "blasphemous content" because of a page called "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" that encouraged users to post images of the prophet....
[...] Two things are wrong with Zapiro's cartoon. Firstly, any attempt to depict him in illustration is an attempt to depict the sacrosanct, which is not allowed. Secondly, the nature of cartoons is to satirise and trivialise. This is clearly not acceptable in the case of a personality who is held in the highest esteem by over a billion people globally.
In this particular cartoon, the insinuation is that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is in need of psychiatric help, an idea which prejudiced and hostile Orientalists have always attempted to project in their works. This dimension of the cartoon adds insult to injury and serves to rub the proverbial salt deeper into the wound.
When Muslims object, the stock response is that they do not appreciate freedom of expression. The media and others view this as an infringement of the right of freedom of speech. So it is made out, George Bush-style, that you are either for freedom of expression or against it! However, one aspect often overlooked is that no right is absolute; there are inherent limitations. Every right is counterbalanced against other rights. Every right comes with responsibility. And responsibility was certainly not displayed by the publishers of this cartoon.
But who decides what is "responsible" free speech and what isn't? That person is the one who holds all the power that matters. To set up such an arbiter is to embark upon the road to tyranny.
Irrespective of the motive for publishing the cartoon - whether it was a cheap publicity stunt, a gimmick to boost waning sales, deliberate provocation, or sheer ignorance - it was grossly offensive and highly insensitive. The worldwide anger and protests following the publication of the Danish cartoons of the Prophet (pbuh) made it amply clear that Muslims would not accept his depiction as a caricature or a cartoon figure.
Note the veiled threat: he is saying that Motoons should not be published because Muslims will react with the violent irrationality that greeted the publication of the first Motoons (after the OIC stirred the pot, that is).
The media have a duty to act responsibly in respect of sensitive issues and not to push the right to freedom of expression to ridiculous levels, where the lines of distinction between the profound and the profane are virtually obliterated. Sensible leaders around the world, including the Pope, issued strong statements condemning the inflammatory Danish cartoons when they appeared.
A spokesman for the US state department, Kurtis Cooper, was equally strong in his condemnation: "These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims. We all fully recognise and respect freedom of the press and expression, but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable."
It is important to remember that when Kurtis Cooper talks about "inciting religious or ethnic hatreds," he is talking about cartoons. In a world with an ounce of sanity left, he would be explaining how the freedom of speech is an essential safeguard against authoritarian government, and calling upon the Islamic world to show some maturity and restraint, and not kill innocents or issue violent threats, or, for that matter, attempt to impose its laws and mores upon the free West, over some drawings.
Muslims, for their part, accept the principle of wholesome and constructive freedom of expression, but not the freedom to wantonly insult, which is sometimes deviously and deceptively masqueraded as freedom of expression. True freedom of expression is freedom from insult, not freedom to insult. Freedom to insult has ultimately resulted in hatred, bigotry and even destruction. Studies indicate that reckless use (or rather abuse) of freedom of expression contributed to a great extent to the genocide in Rwanda, as an example, leaving over a million dead.
Who decides what is insulting and what isn't? I'm insulted by Islamic supremacist attempts to restrict free speech. Why is my feeling of insult worth less than a Muslim's?
Muslim outrage is often simplistically misconstrued as a lack of humour and over- sensitivity....
Bloomberg, like so many, is confused. He assumes a priori that Islam is simply a religion like Judaism and Christianity, and thus that it can fit easily into the American civic framework the way Judaism and Christianity do. He seems to have no idea whatsoever of the political and supremacist aspects of Islamic teaching, and no awareness of the fact that the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative is an open proponent of bringing Sharia -- a political system that would deny the freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, and restrict the rights of women and non-Muslims -- to the United States.
Our SIOA protest against this mosque is on for June 6 at noon, outside Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. Be there!
"Bloomberg defends Ground Zero mosque as freedom-of-faith issue," by David Seifman for the New York Post, May 29 (thanks to Pamela Hall):
In his fiercest defense yet of the mosque proposed near Ground Zero, Mayor Bloomberg declared yesterday that it must be allowed to proceed because the government "shouldn't be in the business of picking" one religion over another.
"I think it's fair to say if somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming," the mayor said.
"And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too."...
"What is great about America and particularly New York is we welcome everybody, and if we are so afraid of something like this, what does that say about us?" asked the mayor.
"Democracy is stronger than this. You know the ability to practice your religion was one of the real reasons America was founded. And for us to just say no is just, I think, not appropriate is a nice way to phrase it
". . . If you are religious, you do not want the government picking religions, because what do you do the day they don't pick yours?"...
Jihad Watch reader LazyBuddha, who kindly sent this in, summarizes: "A 23 year old 'immigrant' punches a 78 year old woman in the face and kills her. He gets 22 months!! The National Democrats hold a rally against anti-Swedish sentiments and who holds a counter demonstration? The local Islamic society."
"23-year-old convicted over car park killing," from The Local, May 28 (thanks to LazyBuddha):
A 23-year-old man has been found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 22 months imprisonment in connection with the death of a 78-year-old woman who was assaulted during a parking lot dispute in southern Sweden in March.
Lund district court convicted the man of assaulting the woman outside a supermarket in Landskrona. The attack caused her to fall over and sustain injuries to the back of her head that led to her death in hospital two days later. The 23-year-old was also found guilty of assaulting the woman's 71-year-old husband.
The 23-year-old was also ordered by the court to pay 61,944 kronor ($8,000) in damages to the 78-year-old's husband and her estate.
The Lund court said the 23-year-old would have faced a slightly longer sentence of two years had he not suffered from psychological problems. An examination carried out by the National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) found the he had long suffered from a form of constant anxiety and related stomach complaints which made him less well-equipped for jail than the majority of prisoners.
The court found that the 23-year-old punched the 71-year-old man in the head and back in an unprovoked attack. He also punched the 78-year-old woman in the head when she intervened to help her husband.
The 23-year-old was fully aware that he was hitting an elderly woman, the court found.
The 23-year-old's credibility in the case was damaged by the fact that he left the car park immediately after the attack and did not make himself known before the police arrived at his home to place him under arrest. When questioned by police, he denied having been at the scene of the crime....
The 23-year-old comes from a family of immigrants and his arrest led to ethnic tensions in Landskrona. The right-wing extremist National Democrats called a public meeting in the town square to "protest against anti-Swedishness". Seeking to counter a rising tide of racial antagonism, organizations including the Church of Sweden and the local Islamic society held their own anti-violence demonstrations....
So a Swedish non-Muslim is victimized, and this becomes an occasion for the Swedish establishment and local Muslim groups to portray Muslims in Sweden as victims. Sounds like America.
The recent attacks on the Ahmadiyya stir even the dhimmi UN to action -- or at least to high-sounding words. "Pakistan: UN rights experts call for religious freedom," from AKI, May 29 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
New York, 29 May (AKI) - Three United Nations human rights experts have called on the Pakistani Government to ensure the safety of religious minorities after the violent attacks on the Ahmadi minority in the eastern city of Lahore on Friday.
The independent experts - Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Asma Jahangir, Independent Expert on minority issues Gay McDougall and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston - report to the UN Human Rights Council.
In a statement they said that numerous early warning signs had not been properly heeded before the deadly attacks on the two prayer halls.
"Members of this religious community have faced continuous threats, discrimination and violent attacks in Pakistan," the experts said in a joint statement on the attack, which was also condemned by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The attacks occurred during Friday prayers, when gunmen armed with grenades attacked two Ahmadi mosques in the city of Lahore. At least 80 people were killed and scores of others were injured.
In Pakistan and elsewhere, Ahmadis have been declared non-Muslims and have been subject to restrictions and in many instances institutionalised discrimination....
"From Sweden 'he is still trying to set up his jihad group.'" Ain't multiculturalism grand?
Eurabia Alert: "Sweden sheltering terrorist cleric: Uzbek TV," from The Local, May 29 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
A cleric based in Sweden has been accused by Uzbek state television of instigating a suicide attack on the US embassy in 2004, as well as directing a series of high-profile killings last year.
A documentary that aired on Thursday night said Obidkhon Nazarov, a once-popular preacher in Uzbekistan who fled to neighbouring Kazakhstan in the late 1990s, had flown to Sweden with the help of "foreign secret services" in 2005.
"Although Nazarov was wanted by Uzbek law enforcement, including Interpol, he could freely fly away from Almaty airport with the help of invisible hands... and found safe shelter in Sweden," the documentary said.
From Sweden "he is still trying to set up his jihad group" that has planned terrorist attacks in Uzbekistan, it said.
Nazarov was granted refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2006 and in recent years has been living openly in Sweden, where he has criticised the Uzbek authorities.
The former imam of Tokhtoboy mosque in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, Nazarov has previously denied links to extremists in Uzbekistan, a majority-Muslim former Soviet republic in Central Asia....
Honestly: Pain? If a cartoon is that much of a source of emotional suffering -- especially compared to the crimes committed daily by what we're told are "hijackers" and "misunderstanders" of Islam -- your priorities are seriously out of order, to say the least. And that again proves the point of Zapiro's cartoon, pictured above.
The Mail & Guardian (M&G) newspaper regrets the offence caused by a cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad published on Friday, editor Nic Dawes said.
Dawes said the newspaper, along with cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro, met with Muslim community representatives and business leaders in Johannesburg on Wednesday to discuss their concerns.
"We explained to them that we did not intend to cause any harm and we distanced ourselves from the islamophobic imagery depicted on a Facebook group," Dawes said in a telephonic interview.
The cartoon, published on Friday, depicts Muhammad lying on a couch complaining to a psychiatrist: "Other prophets have followers with a sense of humour!"
Dawes said publishing the cartoon did not mean the newspaper supported the Facebook group "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" that sparked outrage in Pakistan and other Muslim countries.
In distancing itself from the group, the M&G explained on its website the group claimed to be a protest against restrictions on freedom of speech and religious fanaticism, but had seemingly become a forum for venting islamophobic sentiment.
"We certainly didn't intend the cartoon to be an endorsement of those kinds of sentiments, which we repudiate," Dawes wrote on the site.
"We regret the offence caused by the cartoon and the pain experienced by many Muslims around the country."
Might we suggest some worthier things to be anguished about? Jihadist terrorism, for example. Domestic violence. Female genital mutilation. Or even more broadly, poverty. Hunger. Infant mortality rates in the developing world. If a cartoon gets you that worked up, you don't know what suffering is.
On Wednesday Dawes said in light of what the paper had learned since publishing the cartoon on Friday, it decided to review its editorial policy on religion, especially where it concerned the Prophet Muhammad.
The review would be informed by consultation with a variety of parties within the country and based on "the constitutional values of freedom of expression and the M&G's own values of social justice".
But it's certainly looking like some religions are "more equal than others" for the M&G.
"We have committed to not reproduce depictions of the Prophet during the review period."
Priorities. Sharia Alert from modern, moderate Indonesia, and an update on this story: "West Aceh police checkpoints and raids against jeans and tight skirts," from Asia News, May 27 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The women of the District of West Aceh can no longer wear jeans or tight skirts, considered indecent and against Islam. From yesterday in the city of Meulaboh, Wilayatul Hisbah (special police for the enforcement of Sharia), are patrolling the streets forcing people wearing the offending clothing to wear a tunic tailored to Islamic rules. The restrictions also affect men, who can not wear shorts in the tropical country.
Ramli Mansur, head of the district, said: "To enforce the Sharia, for the next days the special police will carry out raids against women who offend Islamic law." He adds that agents have purchased more than 20 thousand coats to be distributed in public places and created a series of checkpoints along the roads to the city to stop travellers....
Who do they think they're kidding? "At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials" -- i.e., the very same ones who are aiding the jihadists. "Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike," by Greg Miller for the Washington Post, May 29 (thanks to Sanjay):
The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials.
Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient.
"Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one of the officials said.
At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan....
And they're eagerly buying, of course. "Ground Zero Imam: 'I Don't Believe in Religious Dialogue,' by Walid Shoebat for Pajamas Media, May 27 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the hugely controversial Ground Zero mosque, lying to the American public and his fellow New Yorkers?
Pajamas Media has uncovered extraordinary contradictions between what he says in English and what he says in Arabic that raise serious questions about his true intentions in the construction of the mosque.
On May 25, 2010, Abdul Rauf wrote an article for the New York Daily News insisting:
My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists. We are the people who want to embolden the vast majority of Muslims who hate terrorism to stand up to the radical rhetoric. Our purpose is to interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society. [emphasis added]
Only two months before, on March 24, 2010, Abdul Rauf is quoted in an article in Arabic for the website Rights4Allentitled “The Most Prominent Imam in New York: ‘I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue.’”
Yes, you read that correctly and, yes, that is an accurate translation of Abdul Rauf. And Right4All is not an obscure blog, but the website of the media department of Cairo University, the leading educational institution of the Arabic-speaking world.
In the article, the imam said the following of the "religious dialogue" and "interweaving into the mainstream society" that he so solemnly seems to advocate in the Daily News and elsewhere:
This phrase is inaccurate. Religious dialogue as customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing. Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian. The image of Muslims in the West is complex which needs to be remedied.
But that was two months ago. More recently — in fact on May 26, one day after his Daily News column – Abdul Rauf appeared on the popular Islamic website Hadiyul-Islam with even more disturbing opinions. That's the same website where, ironically enough, a fatwa was simultaneously being issued forbidding a Muslim to sell land to a Christian, because the Christian wanted to build a church on it.
In his interview on Hadiyul-Islam by Sa'da Abdul Maksoud, Abdul Rauf was asked his views on Sharia (Islamic religious law) and the Islamic state. He responded:
Throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians, it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more than just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Sharia that are required to govern. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed. [emphasis added]
When questioned about this, Abdul Rauf continued: "Current governments are unjust and do not follow Islamic laws." He added:
New laws were permitted after the death of Muhammad, so long of course that these laws do not contradict the Quran or the Deeds of Muhammad ... so they create institutions that assure no conflicts with Sharia. [emphasis in translation]
In yet plainer English, forget the separation of church and state. Abdul Rauf's goal is the imposition of Shariah law — in every country, even democratic ones like the U.S....
Remember how Bush and his loyalists were reported as believing that if Iraq, or rather the fiction they described as "the Iraqi people," could be made "prosperous" through the introduction of "free-market ideas," then the lure and appeal of terrorism would be diminished? Remember how Americans were not only to bring "freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" in Iraq, so that the example of Iraq would serve as a beacon of hope blah-blah and a Light Unto the Muslim Nations, but also to re-fashion the economic system, so that individual enterprise would count and not merely what connections you had in the government? And all that talk about encouraging "entrepreneurship," and those meetings that took place with budding Iraqi "entrepreneurs" in the Green Zone, where young American civilians would explain the mysteries of Adam Smith to those who had always survived by taking their cut of oil revenues which, as in all the other Muslim oil states, were simply the result of an accident of geology, and not of industry or entrepreneurial flair?
Now, there are rags-to-riches Horatio Alger tales to be taken from American history, that might be told to Muslims - although perhaps those stories which, not infrequently, involved people who began in Russia or Eastern Europe, and got their Jacob-Riis start on or near Hester Street, should be downplayed. But the dreamy belief that Homo islamicus thinks like, or can be made to think like, Western man, Homo occidentalis, is an unproven and doubtful assumption.
But "the dream shall never die," as Senator Edward Kennedy used to bloviate. And that is why, in late April, "making good on a promise he made to the Muslim world last year [in Cairo]," Barack Obama a few weeks ago hosted "an entrepreneurship summit" in order "to deepen ties between business people in the U.S. and Muslim countries."
An actual jihadist being deported? There must be some mistake. Did the Obama DHS mistake him for a "right-wing extremist"? "Mass. man held in NYC bomb probe ordered deported," from AP, May 28 (thanks to all who sent this in):
BOSTON - A U.S. immigration judge has ordered a man arrested in Massachusetts during the probe into the failed Times Square bombing deported to his native Pakistan....
Khan was one of three men arrested on immigration charges May 13 and suspected of supplying money to the primary suspect, Faisal Shahzad (FY'-sul shuh-ZAHD'). But authorities say the men may not have known how the money would be used....
Khan says he never heard of Shahzad before his arrest. But federal authorities say Khan had Shahzad's name in his cell phone and written on an envelope.
"[Spokeswoman Inma] Martos told The Associated Press the idea behind the ban is that such veils are degrading to women." But it will be predictably spun as "Islamophobic" and, of course, "racist." "Spanish city bans Islamic veils at the town hall," from the Associated Press, May 28:
MADRID -- The Spanish city of Lleida has barred women from wearing face-covering Islamic veils inside its municipal buildings.
The move makes the northern city of Lleida -- population of 135,000 -- the first in Spain to regulate the garments that have triggered debate across Europe.
Lleida's town hall passed the ban Friday with 23 votes in favor, one against and two abstentions.
The gesture is largely symbolic, because town hall spokeswoman Inma Martos said only about 3 percent of the population is Muslim and only a handful of Muslim women in Lleida actually wear body-covering burqas or face-covering niqab garments.
Martos told The Associated Press the idea behind the ban is that such veils are degrading to women.
An interesting development in connection with this story. Border security should be starting to look like less of an academic exercise within the Beltway. "U.S. issues border alert about Somali with possible militant ties," from CNN, May 28:
(CNN) -- Local police along the southern U.S. border have been given a heads-up about the possible presence of a Somali with suspected ties to a notorious militant group, a law enforcement official told CNN on Friday.
A Department of Homeland Security notice, sent "out of an abundance of caution," alerted police about a man named Mohamed Ali who might be a member of Al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group fighting the Somali government.
The official said that the notice was based on raw intelligence data gleaned from a variety of sources and that it was uncorroborated. It is not known when the alert was issued.
It isn't known if the man is trying to enter the United States from Mexico, the official said.
The federal law enforcement official said it is standard to send out an advisory to local police, even when the information may be uncorroborated, because the information could turn out to be true.
Good news -- on a subject that should not have been up for any form of compromise in the first place -- but good news, nonetheless, in an update on this story. "Pediatricians now reject all female genital cutting," by Stephanie Chen for CNN (thanks to JG):
(CNN) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics has rescinded a controversial policy statement raising the idea that doctors in some communities should be able to substitute demands for female genital cutting with a harmless clitoral "pricking" procedure.
Harmless? Compared to infibulation or clitoridectomy, but what about the psychological impact of what remains a ritualized sexual assault at the hands of one's community -- and almost with the approval of the AAP?
And then there are the principles that are at stake: Equal protection under the law (where "culture" is not an excuse for trauma), and of course, that tenet of the Hippocratic Oath: "First do no harm." And cutting without a medical reason certainly constitutes "harm."
"We retracted the policy because it is important that the world health community understands the AAP is totally opposed to all forms of female genital cutting, both here in the U.S. and anywhere else in the world," said AAP President Judith S. Palfrey.
The contentious policy statement, issued in April, had condemned the practice of female genital cutting overall. But a small portion of statement suggesting the pricking procedure riled U.S. advocacy groups and survivors of female genital cutting.
In the April statement, the group raised the idea that some physicians should be able to prick or nick a girl's clitoral skin in order to "satisfy cultural requirements." The group likened the nick to an ear piercing.
So, if it's that much of a harmless non-event, did everyone at the AAP who thought that would be okay line up to get their "nick?"
On Thursday the AAP stated the group will not condone doctors to provide any kind of "clitoral nick." The AAP also clarified nicking a girl or woman's genitals is forbidden under a 1996 federal law banning female genital mutilation.
"I cried and told them how grateful I am," said Soraya Mire, a Somali filmmaker and survivor of female genital cutting. "Thank you for understanding us survivors and hearing our voices."
Equality Now, an international advocacy group fighting to end female genital cutting, echoed a similarly appreciative response.
"We welcome the AAP's decision to withdraw its 2010 policy statement on FGM," said Lakshmi Anantnarayan, a spokeswoman at Equality Now. "This is a crucial step forward in the movement to raise awareness about female genital mutilation....
A convert to Christianity and spy for Israel -- now that's the kind of guy the Obama DHS thinks of when it pictures a terrorist. "U.S. trying to deport 'Son of Hamas': Feds see 'terrorist' in Christian convert who spied for Israel," by Art Moore for WorldNetDaily, May 27 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Department of Homeland Security is trying to deport the son of a Hamas founder who told of his conversion to Christianity and decade of spying for Israel in a New York Times best-seller.
"Son of Hamas" author Mosab Hassan Yousef revealed on a blog hosted by his publisher he is scheduled to appear June 30 before Immigration Judge Rico J. Bartolomei at the DHS Immigration Court in San Diego.
Yousef said the DHS informed him Feb. 23, 2009, he was barred from asylum in the U.S. because there were reasonable grounds for believing he was "a danger to the security of the United States" and "engaged in terrorist activity."
An incredulous Yousef said the U.S. government's belief he is a terrorist is based on a complete misinterpretation of passages of his book in which he describes his work as a counterterrorism agent for the Israeli internal intelligence service Shin Bet.
Yousef said he's not so much worried about himself as he is "outraged" about "a security system that is so primitive and naive that it endangers the lives of countless Americans."
"If Homeland Security cannot tell the difference between a terrorist and a man who spent his life fighting terrorism, how can they protect their own people?" he asked in his blog post.
Yousef said whatever Judge Bartolomei decides will be appealed, "and this insane merry-go-round can go on like that for decades."...
Doesn't Adnan Mirza know that Islam no longer teaches warfare against unbelievers, and that Islamic scholars tell Muslims that they should integrate happily into Western secular societies?
What's that? That's only for Western consumption, and actually the jihad imperative and Islamic supremacism worldwide are more confident and assertive now than they have been for centuries? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe? More on this story: "Texas jury convicts Pakistani man of conspiring to support Taliban," by Terry Frieden for CNN, May 28:
(CNN) -- A Pakistani man faces a lengthy prison sentence after a federal jury in Houston, Texas, found him guilty of conspiring to provide support and funds to the Taliban.
Adnan Mirza, 33, was also found guilty Thursday night of seven firearm counts relating to what U.S. Attorney Jose Moreno said was firearms training near Houston "to prepare for jihad."
The Justice Department said Mirza and was enrolled at a community college at the time of his offenses in 2005 and 2006.
"Mirza and others engaged in weekend camping/training and practice sessions with firearms on six different occasions beginning in May 2006, at a location on the north side of Houston to prepare for jihad," Moreno said....
As everyone knows, and as the sober, enlightened and knowledgeable Tavis Smiley tells the venomous Islamophobe Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the video above, more Christians than Muslim blow people up on a daily basis. (Thanks to Bosch Fawstin for the video heads-up.) And I'm sure we'll find evidence of that someday. But meanwhile, here is yet another report of an Islamic jihad attack carried out by Misunderstanders of the Religion of Peace™:
"Terror strikes Lahore, hostage situation in mosques," from Yahoo News India, May 28 (thanks to Bimal):
15:45 hrs: Over a 1000 people are believed to have been rescued so far. Atleast [sic] 30 people are feared dead. The death toll could rise.
15:30 hrs: The Pak Taliban (Tehrik-e-Taliban) have claimed responsibility for the attack. One of the terrorists have been caught, even as indiscriminate firing continue. Some of the dead and injured hostages have been taken out.
15:00 hrs: Twin explosions followed by indiscriminate firing and grenade lobbing have been reported from the Model Town area in Lahore. Also, three other explosions were heard in the Garhi Shahu area of Lahore.
Two mosques, belonging to the minority Islamic sect- the Ahmedia community, with nearly 2000 people in for the Friday prayers, have been stormed by the terrorists, with inmates being held hostage....
And to ensure that Europe has a continuing healthy supply of imams who Misunderstand Islam and believe that it teaches warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers. European authorities seem to believe that you can never have too many of those. "Terrorism: Italy grants 'political asylum' to jailed imam," from AKI, May 27 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Rome, 27 May (AKI) - The Italian government has granted political asylum to a former imam of Milan's central mosque who was recently jailed on terrorism charges, unnamed sources in the interior ministry have told Adnkronos. Radical preacher Abu Imad was arrested in April after Italy's top appeals court upheld a previous sentence and jailed him for 44 months.
Egyptian-born Imad was granted asylum 15 days after the Court of Cassation ruling. An earlier request was turned down.
A member of the Muslim community in Italy's Lombardy surrounding Milan, Muhammad Rida al-Badri, said Italian authorities had granted asylum to Imam, who is reportedly close to Egypt's Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, to prevent him being extradited to Egypt as Cairo had requested.
"Abu Imad first asked for political asylum in Italy 17 years ago," said al-Badri.
"He has now been given political asylum because they want to keep him in jail in Italy for several reasons, and one of these is to avoid any criticism from the European Union that he should be handed over to Egypt."
Imad led prayers at Milan's central mosque until early 2009 but had not previously been arrested....
How is it that a Misunderstander of Islam became the leader of such an important mosque?
Imad and his co-defendants had allegedly set up a Salafite cell that was active in Milan and elsewhere in the northern Lombardy region.
The cell's mission is believed to have been recruiting suicide bombers, trafficking illegal immigrants and indoctrination.
The Viale Jenner mosque has been linked to Islamist terrorism several times but has so far managed to avoid closure, despite a July 2008 order from the government.
Wonder of wonders -- a news report that actually speaks honestly about Islamic apostasy, and points out CAIR's tactics of personal destruction. "Detroit transit sued for nixing 'Leaving Islam?' ad," by Michal Elseth for the Washington Times, May 27 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
A bus-ad campaign that seeks to offer resources to those considering leaving Islam already has stirred up controversy in Miami and New York, but its next city may create the most fireworks - Detroit, the U.S. metropolitan area with the heaviest concentration of Middle Easterners.
The Detroit-area bus authority has refused to run the ads from Stop Islamization of America, an organization headed up by conservative activist and anti-jihad blogger Pamela Geller, prompting SIOA to file a federal lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Mrs. Geller said the transport authority's refusal to run her ads violates her First Amendment right of free speech, and she will take the lawsuit to the Supreme Court if necessary.
"It is against the law, and I tell you, those ads will go up whether they like it or not," Mrs. Geller said....
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Michigan, said he expects that even if the ads do run in Detroit, they will not elicit any response besides puzzlement. The Detroit area, centering on Dearborn, is home to a quarter-million Muslims, whom Mr. Walid does not expect to react favorably to the presence of SIOA's ads in their city.
"If she's planning to put those Islamophobic ads in Detroit, she's wasting her time," Mr. Walid said.
The Detroit area also has a large Arab and Middle Eastern Christian population, centering on suburbs north of the city proper.
Mrs. Geller said SIOA began its national city-by-city ad campaign in response to bus ads in Florida inviting people to convert to Islam.
The SIOA ads read, "Fatwah on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got Questions? Get answers!" and provides a Web address that links to organizations that serve Muslim apostates. The bus ads are running in Miami through June 15 and began running in New York last week and will run through late June, Mrs. Geller said.
Part of the conflict centers on whether Muslims are free to leave Islam without retribution, and whether their families will punish or kill them for conversion.
One such case that has made national headlines in the U.S. involves 17-year-old Rifqa Bary, who fled her parents' Ohio home to stay with a Florida Christian minister after she converted. In the ensuing custody and foster care disputes, her Muslim parents deny that the girl will be harmed if she returns home.
Abdul Rahman, an Afghan citizen, was arrested in 2006 for converting to Christianity there, and members of his family asked prosecutors to seek the death penalty. But the international outcry over Mr. Rahman's case, and the fact that the Afghan government was installed by the U.S. invasion - plus doubts about the case and Mr. Rahman's sanity - combined to prompt the court to release him.
The consensus view among Muslim jurists worldwide is that apostasy, unless mitigated by such factors as mental illness or duress, is punishable by death. Mrs. Geller cited a fatwa, or ruling point on Islamic law, issued by the authoritative Al-Azhar University in 1978, that said: "This man has committed apostasy; he must be given a chance to repent, and if he does not, then he must be killed, according to Shariah [law]."
Mr. Walid denied Mrs. Geller's claims, though he provided no authoritative citations, and attacked Mrs. Geller's character.
"She's a well-known anti-Muslim bigot," he said. "She makes no distinction between extremist Muslims and mainstream Muslims."
Mr. Walid said that although there have been a few cases of violence against Muslims who convert away from the religion, there is no retribution for those who choose to leave Islam.
"People are free to leave Islam or any religion at any time. This is the United States of America," he said.
But a public educator in Dearborn, speaking on the condition of anonymity owing to fear of retribution, said there is a climate of fear in the Detroit area's Muslim community.
"The fear is palpable. I know there are things I am 'not allowed' to say. A discussion of religion with a Muslim person is often prefaced by the statement, 'Dont say anything about the Prophet [Muhammad].' In free society, open and honest conversation is not usually begun by a prohibition. Threats and intimidation are just part of life here."
CAIR's denial of the dangers of apostasy are part of the reason behind Mrs. Geller's campaign, which she defined as a religious-freedom issue.
"We're not encouraging people to leave Islam," she said.
"... the major had mobile phone contact with Shahzad on the day of the attempted bombing, including one conversation at the same time the bomber was allegedly parking his car loaded with propane tanks and explosives."
With apologies to Dr. Seuss: Oh, the places you'll find the Tiny Minority of Extremists. "Times Square bomb plot: Pakistani Army major arrested," by Rob Crilly for the Telegraph, May 27:
Pakistani and US sources say there is evidence that mobile phone calls were exchanged between Major Adnan Ejaz and the suspected would-be bomber, Faisal Shahzad, who was arrested on May 3 as he attempted to fly out of New York.
A Pakistani law enforcement sources said that the major had mobile phone contact with Shahzad on the day of the attempted bombing, including one conversation at the same time the bomber was allegedly parking his car loaded with propane tanks and explosives.
He had also met the naturalised American in Islamabad, he claimed.
Shahzad, the son of a retired Pakistani Air Force officer, has told interrogators he received training from the Pakistan Taliban in its rugged mountain stronghold of Waziristan.
Pakistan's military and intelligence services have a long history of working with Jihadi organisations as an instrument of foreign policy.
However, the major's detention marks the first time someone in the country's military establishment has been directly linked to the Times Square plot.
"Last month [Ejaz] was picked up because of apparent connections to proscribed, banned Punjabi militant organisations. So far we have not found any connection with Shahzad's case."
That account differs from the story told by relatives to local newspapers, deepening the mystery and raising fears of an official cover-up. They said he resigned from the Army last year because of money worries and had joined a construction firm....
Stop Islamization of America is filing suit against SMART, the government agency that handles advertising for bus ads in Detroit, for refusing to run our religious liberty bus ads. SMART's guidelines guarantee the freedom of speech, and it is clear that our ads were refused because of politically correct dhimmitude and self-censorship for fear of the Muslim community in the Detroit area.
Our bus ads are running in New York City right now, and have run in Miami. Why should Detroit stand against religious liberty when other cities have allowed for it?
Willful blindness. "Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam,'" from FOXNews.com, May 27 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies.
Why not? That's how they describe themselves. Wouldn't it be better to understand how they perceive themselves and what their motives and goals, rather than dismissing such study a priori?
During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms."
Why not? That's how they themselves describe them.
He repeated the administration argument that the enemy is not "terrorism," because terrorism is a "tactic," and not terror, because terror is a "state of mind" -- though Brennan's title, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, includes the word "terrorism" in it. But then Brennan said that the word "jihad" should not be applied either.
Terrorism is indeed a tactic, not an opponent. I've been saying that for years. But then Brennan falls off the edge of sanity:
"Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.
Brennan should study the Qur'an and Sunnah in order to discover just how Muslims understand what it means to purify "one's community," and what the Islamic understanding is of the term "innocent." He would find, of course, that a community that is fully purified is one in which non-Muslims live as subjugated dhimmis, and that non-Muslims are never understood in the Qur'an and Sunnah as being "innocent." But he will not undertake such a study, and will never find these things out.
The technical, broadest definition of jihad is a "struggle" in the name of Islam and the term does not connote "holy war" for all Muslims. However, jihad frequently connotes images of military combat or warfare, and some of the world's most wanted terrorists including Usama bin Laden commonly use the word to call for war against the West.
It doesn't just "connote" warfare. It juridically means warfare, according to Islamic texts and teachings. There is not a single traditional school of Islamic jurisprudence that does not teach, as part of the obligation of the Muslim community, warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers.
Shafi'i school: A Shafi'i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, says that "Jihad means to war against non-Muslims" ('Umdat al-Salik, o9.0).
Hanafi school: A Hanafi manual of Islamic law emphasizes that jihad is a religious war against non-believers. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, "because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith." It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons: from the call to Islam "the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war."
However, "if the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do." (Al-Hidayah, II.140)
Maliki school: Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that "in the Muslim community, the holy war [jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force." In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with "power politics," because Islam is "under obligation to gain power over other nations."
Hanbali school: The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed that "since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God's entirely and God's word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought."
But no, for Brennan it's just al-Qaeda:
Brennan defined the enemy as members of bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and "its terrorist affiliates."
But Brennan argued that it would be "counterproductive" for the United States to use the term, as it would "play into the false perception" that the "murderers" leading war against the West are doing so in the name of a "holy cause."
Al-Azhar University, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Taymiyya: Misunderstanders of Islam.
"Moreover, describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by Al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism -- that the United States is somehow at war against Islam," he said.
The comment comes after Brennan, in a February speech in which he described his respect for the tolerance and devotion of Middle Eastern nations, referred to Jerusalem on first reference by its Arabic name, Al-Quds.
"In all my travels the city I have come to love most is al-Quds, Jerusalem, where three great faiths come together," Brennan said at an event co-sponsored by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Islamic Center at New York University and the Islamic Law Students Association at NYU.
Shame on Brennan for calling it "Al-Quds," the name given it by...Islamic jihadists.
Why must Maher El-Gohary and his daughter live in hiding, under serious daily threat of death? What crime have they committed? Obviously they have apostatized from Islam, and despite the willful ignorance of the American mainstream media and the deceptions of American Muslim advocacy groups, leaving Islam really does warrant the death penalty according to Islamic law.
But there is more to this as well. Note that the imam shouts about Christians, "Do not shake their hands. Do not go into their homes. Do not eat their food." He is apparently referring not just to apostates, but to all Christians. The Qur'an does say that the idolaters are unclean (9:28) -- the Arabic word used in this verse is مشركون (mushrikun), those who commit شرك (shirk), which is the worst sin in Islam: associating partners with Allah. Christians are the worst practitioners of shirk, since they worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God; thus they are unclean as per this verse.
Christians are also by definition guilty people. As I noted in my book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), "The Qur'an calls Jews and Christians 'People of the Book;' Islamic law calls them dhimmis, which means 'protected' or 'guilty' people-the Arabic word means both." While the classic Islamic laws regarding dhimmis are not in force in Egypt today, they're still part of Islamic law, and as such Islamic clerics regard them as the proper status that Christians and other "People of the Book" should assume in the Islamic state. The Arabic word ذمي (dhimmi) is derived from ذمة (dhimma), "'protection, custody'"), and from ذم (dhamma), which means "to blame." Thus the dhimmis are the blamed, or guilty ones.
How is it that "protection" and "custody" can be related to "blame" and "guilt"? Dhimmi does indeed mean "protected," "guaranteed," and "secured," but the semantic connotations of the word pertain to "indebtedness" and "liability." That's according to the online Sakhr dictionary, which is not by any stretch of the imagination an "Islamophobic" publication -- for example, it translates the word "Israel" into "a Jewish country set up on the Palestinian land." So when it says that dhimmi has to do with guilt, it is not reflecting some anti-Muslim bias!
In any case, the Arabic root-word "Z-M-M" (from which "dhimmi" issues) means "the opposite of praise," that is, to "censure," "dispraise too much," "blame," "criticize," "find fault with," "accuse," "obligate," "hold liable," "hold in bad conscience," "accuse," and "hold guilty," etc. And that's not a semantic connotation, that is the meaning, according to the Elias Modern Arabic Dictionary.
And then there is, of course, the experience that dhimmis and intended dhimmis have of dhimmitude. Ask Maher El-Gohary how "protected" he feels.
CAIRO, Egypt, May 25 (CDN) -- From the mosque across the street, words blasting from minaret megaphones reverberate throughout the tiny apartment where Maher Ahmad El-Mo'otahssem Bellah El-Gohary is forced to hide. Immediately following afternoon prayers, the Friday sermon is, in part, on how to deal with Christians.
"Do not shake their hands. Do not go into their homes. Do not eat their food," an imam shouts as El-Gohary, a convert to Christianity from Islam, looks through his window toward the mosque, shakes his head and grimaces.
"I hope one day to live in a place where there are no mosques," he says.
Then don't go to Ground Zero, El-Gohary!
"How many megaphones do they need?"
For nearly two years, El-Gohary and his teenage daughter have been living in hiding because he abandoned Islam and embraced Christianity. During this time he has been beaten and forcibly detained, and his daughter has been attacked. He has had to endure death threats, poverty and crushing boredom.
Asked what gets him through the constant pressure of living on the run, El-Gohary said he wants to show the world how Christians are treated in Egypt.
"My main driving force is I want to prove to people the amount of persecution that Muslim converts and Christians face here, and that the persecution has been going on for 1,400 years," he said....
Here is a rare thing: a reasonably balanced mainstream media report on our SIOA religious liberty bus ads. "Ads on NYC buses target those wanting to leave Islam," by Mythili Rao for CNN, May 27:
New York (CNN) -- "Fatwa on your head?" a new series of provocative ads on New York City buses asks. "Is your community or family threatening you? Leaving Islam?"
The ads, sponsored by an organization called Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), direct viewers to refugefromislam.com, a website designed "for people who are thinking of leaving Islam or are leaving Islam and need resources" to protect them from harm.
Practicing Muslims who find the ads offensive should "ignore it," SIOA leader Pamela Geller told CNN. "It's not directed to them."
Speaking on conservative Sean Hannity's radio show recently, Geller said, "it's time for Americans to stand up against the evil of Islamic jihadi terrorism and Islamic supremacism." The SIOA, which is funded by its online readership, is currently lobbying to block a mosque proposed near the World Trade Center site.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in New York says the ads are nothing more than "Islam bashing."
"Islamophobes are notorious for their cheap tactics that seek to marginalize American Muslims and divide communities," CAIR Community Affairs director Faiza Ali said in a statement.
"Pamela Geller uses the same tactics as tobacco companies, hiding the cancerous nature of her agenda behind a smokescreen of feigned concern. Geller is free to say what she likes, just as concerned community members are free to critique her tactics and motives," Ali said.
Speaking at a Tennessee "Tea Party" convention earlier this week, Geller called CAIR an "unindicted co-conspirator Muslim-brotherhood front Hamas-tied" organization.
That's not just Pamela Geller's opinion. The Justice Department designated CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case.
Although the same campaign caused controversy when SIOA bought ad space on public buses in Miami, New York Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Aaron Donovan told CNN that no one has asked the MTA to remove the ads yet.
"We have not gotten complaints on it, to be honest," he said. Like most ads seen on MTA subway cars and buses, the campaign will run a month. Last April, Donovan remembered, the MTA ran ads for whyislam.org -- an organization which encourages visitors to explore the Quran and seeks to "challenge popular stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam" -- on the subway system....
I recently participated in a FrontPage Symposium, "The World's Most Wanted: A 'Moderate Islam,'" about that great unicorn in which everyone believes and depends upon but which no one has ever actually seen, moderate Islam.
In this special edition of Frontpage Symposium, we have invited four distinguished guests to discuss the question: Is there a moderate Islam? Our guests today are:
Timothy Furnish, a former U.S. Army Arabic interrogator, he is a consultant and author with a Ph.D. in Islamic History. He is currently working on a book on modern Muslim plans to resurrect the caliphate. His website, dedicated to Islamic eschatology, is www.mahdiwatch.org 
Tawfik Hamid, an Islamic thinker and reformer who is the author of Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam. A one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt, he was a member of Jemaah Islamiya, a terrorist Islamic organization, with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who later became the second in command of al-Qaeda. He is currently a senior fellow and chairman of the study of Islamic radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. is the President and Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).  A devout Muslim, he served 11 years as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. He is a nationally recognized expert in the contest of ideas against political Islam, American Islamist organizations, and the Muslim Brotherhood. He regularly briefs members of the House and Senate congressional anti-terror caucuses and has served as a guest lecturer on Islam to deploying officers at the Joint Forces Staff College. Dr. Jasser was presented with the 2007 Director's Community Leadership Award by the Phoenix office of the FBI and was recognized as a "Defender of the Home Front" by the Center for Security Policy. He recently narrated the documentary The Third Jihad , produced by PublicScope Films. His chapter, Americanism vs. Islamism is featured in the recently released book, The Other Muslims  (Palgrave-Macmillan) edited by Zeyno Baran.
Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of ten books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, is available now from Regnery Publishing, and he is coauthor (with Pamela Geller) of the forthcoming book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America (Simon and Schuster).
FP: Timothy Furnish, Tawfik Hamid, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser and Robert Spencer, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
Dr. Furnish, let me begin with you. Robert Spencer recently entered a debate at NewsReal Blog  where he argued that there is no moderate Islam. What is your perspective on his argument?
Furnish: I find myself in the curious (and somewhat uncomfortable) position of disagreeing with my friend Robert Spencer, for whom I have the utmost respect and with whom I almost always totally agree. However, on this issue of whether moderate Islam exists, I think Robert may be missing something.
He is exactly right that Sunni Islam-whence comes directly Salafism, Wahhabism and jihadism-promotes violence against non-Muslims in order to make Islam paramount over the entire planet. I have no quarrel with that stance. But I would argue that this is largely because within this majority branch of Islam the only acceptable exegetical paradigm regarding the Qur'an is a literalist one: and of course when passages such as "behead the unbeliever" [Suras 47:3 and 8:12] are read literally the good Muslim had better reach for his sword-or be rightly accused of infidelity to Allah's Word.
However, perhaps because Robert is so well-versed in the theology of Islam, as opposed to the historical record of how that religious theory has been acted out on the stage of history, he seems to overlook the key fact on the ground that certain minorities within Islam have developed a non-literalist, even allegorical, approach to reading the Qur'an. Foremost among these moderates are the Isma`ilis, the Sevener Shi`is, whose global head is the philanthropical Aga Khan. Isma'ilis may number only in the tens of millions (out of the total Muslim community of some 1.3 billion, second only to Christianity's 2+ billion), but they do exist and they define, for example, jihad not as killing or conquering unbelievers, but as economic development and charity work.
In general, all branches of Shi`ism (which makes up perhaps 15% of the world's Muslims), including the Twelvers of Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, allow the practice of ijtihad, "independent theological-legal judgment"-which is decidedly not the case for Sunnism. And while this has allowed for the ayatollahs to come up with negative novelties such as vilayet-i faqih (Khomeini's "rule of the jurisconsult"), it also leaves the door open to non-literal exegesis of the anachronistic passages of the Qur'an.
Even within Sunnism, many of the Sufi (Islamic mystic) orders are more akin to the Shi`i than the woodenly literalist Sunnis in their exegesis. (Yet I would not go as far as Stephen Schwartz, who in his book The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony thinks Sufis are basically "Quakers with beards" and sees them as the antidote to jihadists. This rosy view overlooks the historical facts of the many jihads led by Sufi shaykhs and fought by Sufi adherents over the centuries.)
Today, many Sufis are non-literalists and focus on the batini, "inner" or "esoteric" meaning of the Qur'anic verses rather than on the zahiri, "outward" or "exoteric"-i.e., literal-meaning as Bin Ladin and his ilk do. Another sect of Islam that is rather moderate in its approach to the Qur'an is the Barelwi (or Barelvi) one in India and the U.K.
In fact, the recent 600-page "anti-terrorism" fatwa  that received much media adoration was written by Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri, a Barelwi. As I observe in the "Washington Times" article, al-Qadri's adherence to what is essentially a sect of Islam makes it very problematic that his fatwa will have any major effect on the jihadists in the short term-but, over time, if enough sectarian Muslims keep condemning the purely literalist approach to Islam's holy book, perhaps Islam might enter into its own much needed Enlightenment, or at least Reformation. But it's clear from these examples that moderate Islam, not just moderate Muslims, truly does exist-even if often in a minority, often persecuted, status."
Spencer: In all this my friend Timothy Furnish, whose work I admire, is entirely correct. That is why I am always careful to say that there is no "mainstream" sect of Islam, or one that is generally recognized as orthodox by Muslim sects in general, that does not teach the necessity to make war against and subjugate unbelievers. But I am not sure that the existence of Muslims who are generally considered heretics and persecuted for their heresy, which often consists precisely of their rejection or reconstitution of the jihad doctrine, constitutes the existence of a "moderate Islam" upon which Westerners should place any hope. The likelihood that these groups are going to stop being persecuted minorities and eventually attain mainstream status without abjuring exactly the elements of their beliefs that make them appealing to Westerners is slim at best.
The plea deal, if approved, would cap the prison term at 30 years. Smadi will only be about 50, and was in the U.S. illegally to begin with. "Dallas skyscraper bomb suspect reaches plea deal," from WFAA, May 26:
DALLAS -- The Jordanian man accused of trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper last September has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that could limit a prison term to 30 years.
The FBI arrested Hosam Smadi after they say he tried to bring down the Fountain Place office tower using what he thought was a truckload of explosives. The explosives were fake and had been provided by undercover federal agents.
He was quoted in an FBI affidavit saying that blowing up the building would "shake the currently weak economy in the state and the American nation." In addition, he is quoted as saying there would be "psychological impacts for the loss of this beautiful building."
But there it sits. And there you sit.
Smadi, who was 19 when arrested, had been facing maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
In exchange for a guilty plea, prosecutors agreed that "the appropriate disposition of this case is a sentence of not more than 360 months."...
As of this afternoon, the judge has delayed ruling on the deal. "Judge delays ruling on Smadi plea agreement," by Debbie Denmon for WFAA, May 26:
DALLAS -- There are new developments in the case of a Jordanian man who is accused of trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper.
Hosam Smadi, 19, was supposed to enter a guilty plea on one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction on Wednesday in return for a sentence of no more than 30 years in prison.
But late Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge pushed back a decision on the plea agreement until August 20. [...]
Before his arrest, the 19 year old man worked and lived in Italy, Texas.
His former neighbors say 30 years behind bars isn't enough.
"I'm disgusted by it. I don't think it's fair. They can come over here and threaten our lives, why do they even get a chance to be able to make a choice like that?" said Ashley Morris.
My friend Aymenn Jawad, who is working on translating my Qur'an commentary, "Blogging the Qur'an," into Spanish, speaks truths others would prefer to ignore in this letter to the Independent: "The problem lies in Pakistan," May 26 (scroll down):
You are right that the "Afghan mission can still be made a worthwhile one, but not if it is left to drift rudderless". However, it is not the goals that need to be debated but rather the strategy.
Unfortunately, the root of the problem continues to be ignored: namely, the Pakistani military and intelligence's support for the various militant groups in Afghanistan as part of their expansionist policy of "strategic depth". The military and intelligence also play a double game as part of their half-hearted co-operation with Nato forces by attacking militant groups that directly threaten Pakistan's stability but providing early warnings and escape routes during security operations against those that do not. This is done in order to receive financial aid from countries such as the US.
Hence, increasing the number of troops could defeat the militant groups in Afghanistan, but the victory would be short-lived as they could simply retreat into Pakistan as they did in the period 2002-2004 and then infiltrate Afghanistan again, similarly to what happened in 2005 and 2006, as can be observed by the sudden spike in the number of troop deaths from 2005 onwards.
At the same time, the situation would deteriorate if Nato forces were to simply withdraw. The militant groups would be strengthened, and the Pakistani military and intelligence would be emboldened to pursue their policy of "strategic depth".
Given the close co-operation between al-Qa'ida, the Taliban Shura based in Quetta, and Punjab-based groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was responsible for the Mumbai attacks, the threat to the whole of South Asia would be increased, and in turn to the West itself, since India and Pakistan both have nuclear arsenals.
Thus, we must confront the Pakistani military and intelligence on this issue, rather than assuming that we have, in Obama's words, a relationship of "mutual trust" with Pakistan, and try to make them assume responsibility for the situation. This would allow for a safe withdrawal plan that would also put an end to the Pashtun nationalist insurgency in Afghanistan that has arisen in response to the prolonged presence of Nato forces.
Yesterday I posted a review of the new movie Sex and the City 2 (which is set in Abu Dhabi) that complained that it was "anti-Muslim." But this new review, "Sucks in the city" by Kyle Smith in the New York Post, May 26, makes the film sound as if it treats Islamic issues with Hollywood's usual reliable dhimmitude:
[...] She soothes everyone with a free trip to an Abu Dhabi resort where the rooms are worth $22 grand a night. Carrie actually delivers the line, "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!" and writer-director Michael Patrick King's pun dependence becomes as unbearable as the gilt décor. "I'm going to turn this inter-friend-tion into an inter-fun-tion!" . . . "Bedouin, bath and beyond" . . . Blah, Blah, Blahnik.
The girls aren't interested in anything except shopping, drinking and strutting through the desert in slo-mo, but what's most appalling is that they vamp to "I Am Woman" in this land of sand Nazis. A veil "cuts back on the Botox bill!" chirps Samantha. Har. In Abu Dhabi husbands can legally beat their wives -- and Carrie thinks this place is Oz, a cure for her boredom with a zillionaire husband who, she complains, eats too much takeout. (She won't cook because she's more "Coco Chanel than Coq au vin." Waiter: one divorce, please)....
Once again Western feminists throw Muslim women under the bus. It's their culture, doncha know.
This is what they call journalism these days: a full-out hit piece in the New York Daily News against out SIOA religious liberty bus ads. "Pamela Geller, blogger with Tea Party ties, launches ad crusade against 'Islamization of America,'" by Barry Paddock, Anjali Khosla Mullany and Corky Siemaszko for the New York Daily News, May 26:
A bikini-wearing blogger with Tea Party ties has placed ads on city buses aimed at outraging Muslims.
You have to hand it to the Daily News: that lead paragraph is a marvelously compact compendium of biased reporting, defamation, and outright falsehood. It is so concise and yet so loaded with slant and smear that it ought to be taught in Leftist journalism courses about how to destroy people and causes with a news story. Start with "bikini-wearing blogger": the intent, obviously, is to lead readers to dismiss Pamela Geller as a frivolous character, someone who runs around all the time in a bikini (suddenly they discovered a puritanical streak over at the Daily News, in between photos of Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock), someone who is connected to (gasp!) the Tea Party movement (thereby semaphoring that she is a dangerous fringe right-winger who ought not to be taken seriously by decent liberal New Yorkers).
She is conservative, you see, and she wears a bikini, so she couldn't possibly be up to anything worthwhile. And sure enough, the ads are "aimed at outraging Muslims." Religious freedom? Pah. Islam's death penalty for apostates? Never heard of it. Rifqa Bary? Who's that? The Daily News finds it all unworthy of mention. In its world, Muslims are victims, and themselves victimize no one. People who want to leave Islam but fear death do not exist, and someone who wants to help them and defend the free conscience is just a bikini-clad wingnut.
"Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you? Leaving Islam?" read the ads bought by rabble-rouser Pamela Geller and the New York-based Stop the Islamization of America.
"Rabble-rouser"! This from New York's Picture Newspaper, which has been rousing the rabble for decades with lurid crime-scene photos, cheesecake of the stars, and lowbrow imitations of New York Times editorials!
They also direct Muslims to a Web site urging them to leave the "falsity of Islam."
Geller, 51, a leader in the fight against the proposed Ground Zero mosque, said she was "thrilled" that the ads were up - and doesn't care if they offend Muslims.
"Will it bother Islamic supremacists? Yes," she said.
Geller said she spent $10,000 - money raised by readers of her Atlas Shrugs blog - for 40 ads appearing on the sides of buses citywide for a month.
"There ought to be ads also for people who want to leave Islam," she said. "Their lives are threatened."
It was good of the Daily News to include this quote, but notice that they made no attempt to contact any ex-Muslims and back it up. It is presented simply as Pamela Geller's unsupported assertion, and immediately is undercut:
Similar bus ads have run in Miami - over the objections of local Muslims, who called them a "smoke screen for hatred" - and more are planned for Detroit.
Then follows more sneering at Pamela, again with the subtext: "Liberal Daily News readers, this woman is on the other side! You must oppose what she does!"
An archconservative on the liberal upper West Side, Geller worked at the Daily News on the business side during the 1980s before moving to The New York Observer - a gig that apparently gave her access to City Hall, where she was photographed with Mayor Bloomberg.
Geller made a splash in the right-wing blogosphere four years ago by videotaping a denunciation of Palestinian terrorists - while dressed in a bathing suit and frolicking in the surf off Israel.
A year later, the racy right-winger donned another bikini to send Christmas greetings to the troops in Iraq.
"I want to thank the troops for sacrificing everything so I can be here in my bathing suit opening up my incredibly big mouth and saying exactly what I want," she said.
Geller wears a tight-fitting Superman outfit on her blog, which is replete with attacks on Islam and unfounded claims about President Obama.
Her blog is popular with the political right, and it earned her an invitation to speak at a recent Tea Party convention in Tennessee.
Her bus ads, however, angered Muslims in Astoria, Queens, yesterday.
"I feel angry, so angry, when people want to target my religion," said Ikraine Chemssy, 24.
"I think it's stupid, sorry," said Souad Azzam, 45. "You are free to believe whatever you want. If you are in it by force, you are not a real Muslim."...
Once again -- angry Muslims, but no ex-Muslims grateful that someone is coming to their defense. For the multicultural elitists of the Daily News, such people simply don't exist.
Two Italian retail chains look back nostalgically to the days when Jewish businesses were labeled as such and shunned by Nazis and those who feared them. "Mideast: Frattini, Coop-Conad Initiative Dangerous and Racist," from ANSAmed, May 26 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) - WASHINGTON, MAY 26 - An initiative that "introduces an extremely dangerous element of racism in the market dynamics", said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini from Washington, regarding the decision of Coop and Conad - two Italian large-scale retail chains - to suspend the sale of some fruit and vegetable products from the occupied Palestinian Territories, of which the exact origin has not been established. The Minister continued that this is a "dangerous and hasty initiative" which "groups political and economic questions and damages the development of the entire area. Choosing a product on its origins and not its quality could lead to racist dynamics", particularly in this case, "in which the case involves Israeli products, because they are Jews". Frattini underlines that "tens of thousands of Palestinians work in the occupied Territories, therefore this initiative could have an impact on the local economy which gives work to the Palestinians". According to the Minister, what we should do is "continue to increase our efforts for peace". (ANSAmed).
Pakistan blocked Facebook and YouTube last week to save sensitive Pakistani eyes from seeing the cartoons of their prophet generated on "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day." Now they're easing some of the blockage, but material offensive to Muslims will still be blocked. I expect that means websites like this one, not, say, the video of the beheading of Daniel Pearl. "Pakistan restoring access to YouTube, but will block videos deemed offensive to Muslims," for Associated Press, May 26 (thanks to all who sent this in):
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan will restore access to YouTube but will block videos offensive to Muslims that are posted on the video-sharing site, the government said Wednesday.
A number of high-profile websites were blocked in Pakistan last week over offensive content, such as a Facebook page that urges users to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Many citizens supported the crackdown, but some questioned why entire sites were blocked rather than specific pages or videos.
The government seemed to move in that direction Wednesday by deciding it would restore access to YouTube but continue to block videos "displaying profane or sacrilegious material," said Najibullah Malik, the secretary at Pakistan's information technology ministry....
And if men aren't moved to rape by the sight of a woman in jeans, it's because they're used to it. But the prospect of getting used to it doesn't appeal to Ramli Mansur. More on this story: "Aceh's religious police crack down on tight jeans," by Tom Allard in the Sydney Morning Herald, May 27 (thanks to Twostellas):
''LET me ask you a question,'' says the regent of West Aceh, Ramli Mansur, leaning back in his chair in his spacious office. ''What do you think when you see a woman's round shapes?''
''Rather nice, I suppose,'' I reply. ''But it wouldn't make me feel like raping anyone.''
''Aah, but that's because you are used to it!''
Mr Ramli's dismissive response was hardly surprising. The former member of Aceh's independence movement, school teacher and traditional Islamic healer is on a mission to implement perhaps the most austere form of sharia seen in Indonesia, and his first concern is the appearance of his district's 85,000-odd women.
Starting today, he will begin distributing 20,000 long skirts, a campaign to stop women wearing trousers. While almost all women in Aceh wear the jilbab, or headscarf, many follow the Indonesian fashion for tight jeans, even if they are worn modestly under a tunic.
''Obviously, there is a problem with sexy dressing,'' Mr Ramli explains. ''We see that rapes take place in big cities where free access is allowed between different sexes. Here the economy is small and we don't want it to be like that.''...
Yet most such people in the West would consider resistance to Sharia to be "bigoted" and "racist." Sharia Alert from Indonesia: "Islamic scholars against trans working in women's beauty salons," by Mathias Hariyadi for Asia News, May 26 (thanks to Block Ness):
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A group of Islamic experts from the al Bahtul Masa'il have issued a fatwa against transsexuals and transvestites. The scholars, who represent 125 pesantren in the provinces of Java and Madura Island, have decreed that transgendered people must be viewed as male and for this reason "cannot cut or prepare women's hair" in beauty salons "to whom they are not linked by blood or marital ties." Leaders from the Indonesian Muslim Clerical Council (MUI) chose instead not to comment the issue.
Pesantren are boarding schools run by Islamic scholars set up in the 1930s. There are thousands across the country, especially in Java, and are often involved in commenting issues or current news.
The Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) is the best-known pesantren organisation, but Bahtul Masa'il has made front-page news for a number of its initiatives, like its recent ban on pre-marital pictures and its fatwas against Facebook and pregnant women smoking.
This time, Java and Madura Island transvestites and transsexuals have become their target. According to Bahtul Masa'il, touching women's hair is haram, i.e. forbidden, when done by men unrelated to the women by blood or marriage.
"Hair belongs to a woman's most private organ and should be covered. That is why, no she-male should be allowed to touch any vital organ belonging to women who are not their wife," said Abdul Manan. That is because under Islamic law, waria (transgendered people) are male.
The Indonesian Muslim Clerical Council (MUI) has chosen not comment the matter. Its leaders in West Java are playing down the issue, saying, "It is not a big thing to comment."
In response to the fatwa, transsexuals and transvestites have organised protests, stressing that the ruling is discriminatory and might end up relegating to the "margins of society" a group of people already facing major hurdles in society.
According to figures released by Irma Subechi, from the Surabaya Transvestites Association, 25 per cent of 670 warias work in show business or beauty salons.
Movie stardom comes to the jihadist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. "Terrorism: Failed 'US bomber' in Al-Qaeda video," from AKI, May 26 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Rome, 26 May (AKI) - The Nigerian man accused of a failed attempt to blow up a US passenger jet in December last year is featured in a new Al-Qaeda video released on Wednesday. Footage of Umar al-Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is currently in US custody facing terrorism charges, is included in the documentary-style video posted on jihadist websites.
He is accused of attempting to blow up a passenger jet above Detroit on 25 December 2009.
The 54-minute documentary also features former Guantanamo prisoner, Uthman al-Ghamdi, and Fahd al-Quso, a suspect in the 2000 USS Cole bomb attack, SITE intelligence reported.
Seventeen American sailors were killed, and 39 were injured in the suicide attack against the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in the deadliest attack against a US naval vessel since 1987.
The video, released by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, focuses on what it sees as American intervention in Yemen and the US role in airstrikes on suspected Al-Qaeda camps.
One of the leaders from the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Anwar al-Awlaqi, last month claimed he had trained Abdulmutallab .
Al-Awlaqi also claimed he had trained radical Islamist Nidal Hassan, an American doctor of Palestinian descent who in November 2009 shot dead 13 people and wounded 30 others at the Fort Hood US military base in Texas....
There you have it: they'll target civilians, and they have no reservations about saying so. You stay classy, Hizballah. "Hezbollah vows to bomb ships in event of new war with Israel," by Jocelyne Zablit for Agence France-Presse, May 25:
BEIRUT -- Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday that his militants would bomb military, civilian and commercial ships heading to Israel in the event of a new war with the Jewish state
It wouldn't really be a new war, technically.
"If you (Israel) launch a new war on Lebanon, if you blockade our coastline, all military, civilian or commercial ships heading through the Mediterranean to occupied Palestine will be targetted by the Islamic resistance," said Nasrallah in a speech transmitted via video link to thousands of supporters massed in Hezbollah's stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs.
Civilian ships -- from any country that happens to be heading to Israel. What say you, Genocidal Jumanah?
"Whether along the northern or southern Israeli shore, we can target ships, bomb them and hit them God willing," he added, speaking on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon after a 22-year occupation.
"When the world sees how these ships are destroyed, no one will dare go there (Israel)," he added. "You will forgive me if one ship manages to slip through."
Nasrallah also reiterated past threats of bombing Israeli airports and other strategic targets if a new war erupts.
His speech came against a backdrop of tension in the region following allegations that the Shiite party, which fought a devastating war with Israel in 2006, was stockpiling sophisticated new weapons in anticipation of a new conflict.
Nasrallah said in his hour-long speech that he would not comment on his party's military capacity so as to reserve a "surprise" for Israel in the event of a new conflict.
"The enemy is scared and we will keep him scared," he said, referring to Israel. "But you (the Lebanese) should feel assured because the equation has changed.
"In the next war, we will resist, come out victorious and change the face of the region God willing," he added to applause.
Nasrallah accused Israeli leaders of spreading allegations that Syria was transferring Scud missiles to Hezbollah in order to garner further US financial assistance.
"The whole brouhaha over the Scuds was so that Israel could get 200 or 250 million dollars in aid from the US Congress," he claimed.
"Despite its economic crisis, the US finds money to assist Israel."
He said his party was not seeking a new conflict and would neither confirm nor deny Israel's allegations concerning the Scuds.
Sounding like an insecure schoolyard bully:
"If you are strong, the world respects you and talks to you and takes you into account," he said. "And as such we can impose our conditions.
"If you are weak, you will be eaten."
His speech came as Prime Minister Saad Hariri was on his first official visit to the United States, where he met on Monday with President Barack Obama, who raised the issue of illegal arms smuggled into Lebanon.
On Wednesday, Hariri was to address the UN Security Council, chaired this month by Lebanon.
Hezbollah, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington, has two ministers in the Lebanese government.
It is the only faction that refused to disarm following the country's 1975-1990 civil war, claiming its arsenal was needed to defend Lebanon against any Israeli aggression.
Translation: Its arsenal was needed to "defend" Hizballah against Israel's right to defend herself.
In FrontPage this morning I discuss the letter to the editor recently written by the Muslim girl who endorsed genocide:
Questioned by David Horowitz, Jumanah Albahri, a Muslim student (and Muslim Student Association member) at the University of California at San Diego, recently endorsed a new genocide of Jews - thereby giving voice to the real agenda behind the land-for-peace rhetoric that Palestinian spokesmen generally retail in America. Aware of the enormity of what she had admitted, Albahri tried to quell the controversy by issuing a statement full of evasions, half-truths, and claims that she was the true victim. Now she has compounded that with a letter to the UCSD student newspaper, the Guardian, complaining about biased press coverage!
Whatever else you can say about Jumanah Albahri, you've got to admit she's got chutzpah.
The new letter is a tour de force of self-righteous victimhood, demonstrating that Albahri has been a dutiful and attentive student of her Islamic supremacist and Leftist mentors, since both camps make such liberal use of this tactic. She begins with a double ad hominem, as the girl who endorsed genocide of the Jews complained that the Guardian's "abysmal coverage of Justice in Palestine Week and the Horowitz fiasco reeks of Hearstian and Horowitzian journalism."
Hearstian, i.e., yellow journalism a la William Randolph Hearst. Horowitzian, as in David Horowitz, the man who exposed her as a proponent of organized mass murder. Jumanah would have us believe that the real villain is Horowitz, whom we are to see as an irresponsible yellow journalist, not the girl who endorsed genocide. For Jumanah herself is a poor victim of biased reporting: she complains that the Guardian didn't quote her statement that purports to clarify her pro-genocide remarks: "My opinion of Hamas is not as simple as condemn or condone, for it or against it. I firmly believe that the killing of civilians, even as collateral damage regardless of creed, politics, sexuality, nationality or ethnicity is one of the highest crimes in the eyes of God and is morally reprehensible and abhorrent."
High-sounding words, but empty ones without an explicit avowal that Jumanah Albahri includes Israeli civilians in her definition of civilian. For many jihadists have declared that there are no civilians in Israel, and that consequently every Israeli citizen was a military target. Jumanah Albahri is probably aware of this, since it is not a fringe view among supporters of the Palestinian cause, and so she could have done her own cause a favor by spelling this out - unless, of course, she preferred to leave it ambiguous....
(Photos above courtesy Pamela Geller, who has many more here.)
Tonight Community Board 1 in lower Manhattan held a hearing to discuss the proposed thirteen-story (some reports say fifteen-story) mosque to be built at Ground Zero. It was a curious exercise, since the Board has no power to vote the mosque up or down, but since it offered citizens an open forum, it became an opportunity for people to voice their opposition to the mosque project -- and mosque proponents were up to the challenge, ready with speakers, a Power Point presentation, and prepared statements from politicians, including Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and Congressman Jerrold Nadler. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the leader of the Cordoba House Mosque initiative, and his wife Daisy Khan were there, along with a large number of their supporters.
The leadership of Stop Islamization of America -- Pamela Geller and I -- was there as well. Hindu activists were there. Jewish activists were there. Christian activists were there. An ex-Muslim spoke via a cellphone held up to the microphone. It was a wonderful display of the unity among those threatened by jihad and Islamic supremacism that I've been calling for for years.
The atmosphere was rowdy, with tempers running high. The mosque proponents and the politicians were primarily responsible for this, as they immediately began to brand the opponents of the mosque initiative as racists and bigots. The local city councilwoman, whose name I believe was Chan, characterized all opposition to the mosque as hatred and bigotry, and said that to support the mosque was simply a matter of tolerance and pluralism. Mosque proponents distributed a written statement from Stringer, favoring the mosque and saying: "I for one never want to see our country or our city abandon religious tolerance as the result of an act of violence, even one as unspeakable as the 9/11 attacks."
This kind of talk angered the mosque opponents in the crowd, and there were many. There was a great deal of catcalling and booing of the multiculturalist platitudes and self-righteous moralizing, and the schoolmarmish chairperson of the Community Board repeatedly warned catcallers in the crowd that they would be held "out of order" -- but their threats were as toothless and empty as their moralizing, and the indignation of the crowd would break out repeatedly throughout the evening whenever another bemused liberal or smooth-talking Muslim would excoriate "hatred" and "bigotry" and extol "tolerance." Daisy Khan showed a brief Power Point presentation that said, among other things, that the Islamic Center would help non-Muslims to integrate.
Interesting word choice. Not help Muslims to integrate into the American secular fabric, but to help non-Muslims to integrate. Into...a Sharia state? Is that the goal?
Those who wanted to speak filled out forms giving their names and their planned topics, and were each allotted two minutes, although pro-mosque speakers were frequently given much longer. Feisal Abdul Rauf must have taken ten minutes, and Daisy Khan about that long. I put down on my form something like "Sharia law" as my topic, and turned it in. It became clear as soon as speakers started being called that the people running the show planned to call only supporters of the mosque initiative first -- apparently so that as the speakers started to make the same points that had already been made by earlier speakers, and people started to leave the hall, the side that would be given short shrift would be the mosque opponents. So imagine my surprise when, very early in the meeting, when several people had already spoken for the mosque and scolded the "bigotry" of its opponents, the Board called as just the fourth or fifth speaker...Pamela Geller.
Pamela, who is always a dynamic speaker, gave the speech of her life -- I am hoping that video will be posted soon. She explained how historically Cordoba was actually a place where Jews and Christians were oppressed, and a pogrom against the Jews saw thousands murdered in 1011, and so for the mosque organizers to dub their initiative "Cordoba House" was not quite the tolerant, multicultural signal that everyone was taking it to be. She spoke about respecting the sensitivities of the 9/11 victims, and a great deal more. Her speech seemed to rattle the Board chairperson, who apparently hadn't expected a mosque opponent -- and particularly such a passionate and eloquent one -- to speak so early in the program, and shut down the speakers in favor of a lengthy and tedious discussion of parliamentary procedure and just what could and could not be decided by the Board that night.
Afterward, when I told Pamela how surprised I was that she got to speak in the first part of the program, amidst all the mosque supporters, she said it was because she wrote as her topic "Outreach." So she was chosen as one who would speak out in favor of the mosque, and didn't deliver quite what they had expected -- although her topic certainly was "outreach," all right, as in the reaching out of Sharia and Islamic supremacism.
The meeting dragged on. After a long dry spell, the speakers were called again. Several speakers spoke powerfully about how their opposition to the mosque wasn't hatred and bigotry at all, and criticized the Board and the pols for saying otherwise. Some said they opposed it because it was an insult to the victims of that terrible day. Some said they opposed it because while they'd have no problem with a mosque anywhere else, they thought it was insensitive to put it at Ground Zero. Some quoted some of Abdul Rauf's statements blaming America for 9/11 and supporting Sharia. A few did say that a realistic appraisal of Islamic doctrine would make any non-Muslim suicidally stupid to support a mosque in his neighborhood. Some said they opposed it because the mosque leaders and Board members were not being honest -- and that was certainly true. One Board member early on said that the Islamic Center at Ground Zero would contain no mosque. But then Abdul Rauf said that it would contain a "prayer area." And then Daisy Khan, apparently forgetting the smoothly deceptive script, asked the crowd (to multitudinous catcalls), "There are 200 mosques in New York. What's the problem with another?"
The circus atmosphere continued throughout the evening. Someone distributed pretzels to the crowd. At one point a man in a clerical collar appeared and would blow loudly on a shofar whenever a speaker who opposed the mosque finished addressing the crowd. The crowd never let the befuddled liberals of the Board and the smiling deceivers from the Muslim group get away with anything. But as the meeting neared the three-hour mark and talks grew repetitive and tedious indeed, Pamela and I both left, even though I hadn't yet been called to speak. After all, the Board can't decide anything. And it is abundantly clear that whoever really holds the cards on this issue has made his decision already.
At around 10:30, according to Jamie of HRCARI, after a five and a half hour meeting, the Board voted, 29 for, 9 against, one abstention, to approve the mosque. Many Board members took the opportunity to say that they had never seen such hatred spewed at their meetings, etc. -- and they didn't mean the Sharia supremacists. Immediately after the vote the press was given a written statement from Stringer congratulating the Board for voting as they did, which indicates that he knew all along the way the vote was going to go.
But that doesn't mean that the 9/11 Mosque is a fait accompli. Oh, no. The people in that room tonight who knew that they were being lied to and sold a bill of goods are not going to take this lying down. This is why it is all the more crucial for you, if you possibly can, to attend our June 6 rally at noon at Zucotti Park in lower Manhattan. This is our last chance to make our voices heard. And we will be heard.
In Human Events this morning I discuss the Obama Administration's dhimmitude and abandonment of the freedom of speech regarding "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day":
Last Thursday was "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day," and Muslims, predictably, are outraged. Thousands of Pakistanis demonstrated against the drawings of Muhammad, and the Pakistani government shut down access to Facebook and YouTube to prevent its citizens from seeing the offending images. (Interestingly enough, images of beheadings and suicide bombings have never given rise to similar acts of censorship anywhere in the Islamic world.)
Since then, several Facebook sites have sprung up announcing an "Everybody Draw the Holocaust Day," in the mistaken view that anyone in the West will react as strongly to mockery as Muslims will. And the Obama State Department is doing all it can to soothe offended Muslim sensibilities. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley said Thursday: "Obviously, this is a difficult and challenging issue. Many of the images that appear today on Facebook were deeply offensive to Muslims and non-Muslims alike."
Pakistan's Daily Times added: "The U.S. State Department also expressed respect for any actions that need to be taken under Pakistani law to protect their citizens from offensive speech, but expected a balance between restricting offensive material and ensuring flow of information for the Internet users."
Did the U.S. State Department ever condemn Andres Serrano's "artwork" that consisted of a crucifix submerged in a jar of urine, or Chris Ofili's dung-encrusted portrait of the Virgin Mary? Of course not. The Obama Administration only moved to condemn the cartoons of Muhammad because of the anti-free speech campaign of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which kicked into high gear in 2006 in response to the original Danish cartoons of Muhammad....
A smooth deceiver is caught out. "Foreign mosque money: Arabs to help pay," by Tom Topousis for the New York Post, May 25 (thanks to Twostellas):
The imam behind a proposed mosque and Islamic community center near Ground Zero will turn to Arab and Muslim nations around the world to help finance the estimated $100 million project, he has told a London-based Arabic newspaper.
Plans for the project, a proposed 13-story building at 45 Park Place, has generated enormous controversy among some 9/11 families who say it's too close to Ground Zero.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has insisted the project he's spearheading is meant to build bridges between Muslims and other religions, but so far he has not been able to cite any specific sources of funding.
But in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Rauf told the newspaper that funding would come from Muslims in the United States and from overseas.
"Imam Abdul Rauf . . . told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Islamic center will be financed through contributions from Muslims in the US, as well as by donations from Arab and Islamic countries," the newspaper reported.
Rauf did not return a call for comment.
In interviews with US media, Rauf has insisted funds would be raised here.
"We hope to raise it from a combination of gifts from the local Muslim community and perhaps from some combination of bonds or something like that," Rauf told WABC Radio's Aaron Klein last week....
Speaking of puritanical and misogynistic, here is a Sharia Alert from modern, moderate Indonesia: "'Islamic' skirts for women," from AFP, May 25 (thanks to Twostellas):
MEULABOH (Indonesia) - ISLAMIC police in Indonesia's Aceh province have been issued with 20,000 long skirts and ordered to cover up women deemed to have broken Muslim dress codes, an official said on Tuesday.
The province on northern Sumatra island has banned Muslim women from wearing figure-hugging clothing such as tight trousers, under Islamic by-laws that have outraged less conservative parts of the mainly Muslim archipelago.
Vice and virtue officers in West Aceh district have been told that from Wednesday they should ask women wearing the wrong clothes to put on the government-issue skirts on the spot. 'Starting tomorrow morning, I will hand over some 20,000 skirts to the sharia police in West Aceh,' West Aceh district chief Ramli Mansur said.
'Female offenders can then immediately change their tight pants to the long, loose skirts if the sharia police catch them.' Mr Mansur said that one day he would have to answer to God about what he did to enforce sharia or Islamic laws, so residents should expect increased vigilance and 'raids' by the morality squad, known as the 'wilayatul hisbah.'...
When they're bashing the moral laxity of the West, it's OK to be puritanical. When Westerners notice that Islamic society is puritanical, it is an act of "Islamophobia." Nonetheless, Muslims are enraged yet again, this time because of this film's depiction of Islamic society as "puritanical and misogynistic." And really, I must say I'm outraged as well. I mean, who would ever have thought to characterize Islamic society in such a way? The hijab, the niqab, the burqa, the chador -- puritanical? Perish the thought! The wife-beating (cf. Qur'an 4:34), the polygamy (Qur'an 4:3), the genital mutilation, the honor killing -- misogynistic? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?
"Sex And The City 2 Blasted As 'Anti-Muslim,'" from SkyNews, May 25 (thanks to Twostellas):
The first reviews of Sex And The City 2 have been published, with one critic claiming the new film featuring Carrie and the girls is "anti-muslim"....
The film sees the four New Yorker friends travelling to the Middle East for a trip to Abu Dhabi, but the Hollywood Reporter says it conjures up a "scathing portrayal of Muslim society".
Carrie, played by Sarah Jessica Parker , Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall ), Charlotte York Goldenblatt (Kristin Scott ) and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon ) get caught up in moments there which the review says shows the region as "puritanical and misogynistic".
"The rather scathing portrayal of Muslim society no doubt will stir controversy, especially in a frothy summer entertainment," read the review by Hollywood Reporter.
One scene even features the four main characters being rescued by Muslim women who strip off their burkhas to reveal the stylish Western outfits they are concealing beneath their black robes.
While in another scene, the ladies perform a karaoke version of Helen Reddy's I Am Woman in an Abu Dhabi nightclub, as man-eater Samantha shocks the locals with her sexual escapades.
Officials in the United Arab Emirates had denied the production team permission to film within the city, as did Dubai and instead the Abu Dhabi scenes were recreated in Morocco.
Abu Dhabi is currently considering whether to ban the film.
Clearly the prosecutor is a Misunderstander of Islam, since everyone knows that only greasy Islamophobes believe that Islam carries a death penalty for blasphemy.
Here is an update on the case of Hector Aleem, the human rights activist who is in jail in Pakistan for objecting to the destruction of a church. There was a hearing in his case on May 19. This report was written by Hector Aleem's daughter, Mehwish Aleem:
*** MAY 19 HEARING ***
"The [prosecuting] Lawyer of Sunni Tehreek has still not arrived from Umrah, that's why his junior lawyer came for the hearing. Daddy was also there, we saw him but we were not able to talk to him because we were in burqas (for security purpose). The junior lawyer started with the sentence: "I can't tolerate to see this blasphemer standing in front of me; I really want to kill him with my own hands" Judge was there but he didn't say anything to stop him from using that kind of language.
"Our lawyer and Sunni Tehreek's junior lawyer debated (I don't know the legal word of debate in court language) for one hour and their lawyer was continuously saying that Hector Aleem should be punished or else we will do our own justice. Daddy and lawyer were saying that the real culprit has been caught and legally I should be free from this case but the lawyer of Sunni Tehreek was not trying to listen anything. He gathered many other lawyers from the lawyers bar and they were all in favor of Sunni Tehreek and they chanted slogans against daddy and Christianity. As the lawyer of Sunni Tehreek isn't here so judge gave another date of hearing i.e 27 May 2010.
"After that we went to the lawyer's chamber, there lots of media or maybe people from some news agencies were waiting for the lawyer. So he hid us in his chamber after 3 hours we left his chamber when everybody was gone. In fact YESTERDAY WAS A HORRIBLE DAY.
"Tell people to pray for us and write to our government and other officials to have mercy on us and free my father.
"This was the situation of yesterday. but one important thing Facebook is banned in Pakistan for unknown days due to the 20th May... as we can't visit Facebook for some days so you have to post this mail there and tell everybody that we can't visit for few days. And i will inform you about [the May 27 hearing] too."
*** DONATION STATUS ***
To date our generous donors have raised approximately 115,000 Rupees (approx $1,350 USD). Below is a scan of the lawyer's receipt for 90,000 Rupees.
Terrible new developments in the Rifqa Bary case. "Rifqa Bary Suffering from Cancer, Her Lawyers Bring In Her Parents," by Pamela Geller in the American Thinker, May 25:
There has been a terrible development in the case of Rifqa Bary, the teenage girl who fled from her home in fear for her life after her devout Muslim father found out she had become a Christian. According to Rifqa, who is now in foster care in Ohio, she has been diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer.
While this is a tragedy, how Rifqa is being victimized by her lawyers and her parents is nothing less than an atrocity. Her lawyers kept her in the dark about her condition -- despite the seriousness of her cancer -- for well over a week while they conferred with her parents and their CAIR-appointed lawyers about her treatment. While most cases like this result in a hysterectomy, Rifqa is only having the advanced malignancy removed. From what I understand, the survival rate in cases like these is only five percent.
Was she allowed to get a second opinion? No.
While she was lying ill, her lawyers brought her parents to her hospital bed. She was awaiting treatment and when she saw them, whereupon she became very agitated and upset. Her parents had to be removed.
One thing that has happened as a result of this terrible development is that Rifqa has broken her silence, a silence mandated by her lawyers. For some time now, she could not talk to her friends, such as her close friend and fellow convert from Islam, Jamal Jivanjee, or to those of us who have not wavered in our support for her civil rights and religious liberty.
She reached out to Jamal, who reports that "Rifqa has already had two surgeries at this point, and she is getting ready to undergo a third surgery which will be occurring this Thursday, May 27. ... As soon as Rifqa heals from the major surgery that she will undergo this Thursday, it is expected that she will need to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy. Although she has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, the extent of her condition will be known after this Thursday's surgery."...
In Islamic law, apostasy leads to death -- something this writer conveniently leaves out. But that fact is crucial in understanding the often violent hostility sparked by perceived to insults to Islam, and the threats frequently faced by Muslim skeptics and would-be reformers even on the most minor of levels.
"Blasphemy can lead to apostasy," by Dr. Wan Azhar Wan Ahmed for The Star, May 25:
Though Islamic tradition offers no exact equivalent for the term blasphemy, Muslims without proper knowledge who criticise the religion may fall into infidelity or apostasy.
Blasphemy, derived from the Greek term meaning "speaking evil", is contemptuous or irreverent words or speech about God or things regarded as sacred.
Its synonyms, among others, are abuse, desecration, execration, profanation, repudiation, derogation, denunciation, heresy, insult, impiety, sacrilege, scurrility and reviling.
"To blaspheme" is to speak about the Divine or those sacred things impiously, disrespectfully.
In Islam, words that pierce the Almighty God with insults (sabb), insinuate the Prophet Muhammad, or mock any part of the Revelation constitutes religious crimes.
Though Islamic tradition offers no exact equivalent, these situations are analogous or comparable to blasphemy. The Quranic term that comes fairly close to blasphemy is "words of infidelity" (kalimat al-kufr).
Theologically speaking, blasphemy may overlap with or lead to infidelity, i.e. deliberate rejection of God and Revelation.
To a lesser degree, but equally destructive, expressing religious opinions at variance with the standard established Islamic worldview or creed could easily be looked upon as blasphemous.
And this blasphemy may also be defined as any verbal expression that possibly gives grounds for apostasy (riddah). [...]
From the inception of Islam, the religion has been confronted with a lot of opposition. The Prophet Muhammad himself encountered vehement rejection from the Arab people and leaders of Mecca. They disputed, abused, rejected and ridiculed many Quranic teachings brought by him. They not only mocked his claim as the prophet of God but also accused him of many derogatory names and professions.
To make a long story short, people died.
Based on the Noble Quran and Sunnah, the nature and conditions for blasphemy have been elaborated upon by scholars. They describe it as the expression of denigration, contempt or scorn for God, the Prophets, the Quran, the angels, or the traditional religious sciences based on Revelation.
The list goes to those remarks that offend the qualified and true religious scholars. Insults to the authoritative religious scholarship is tantamount to rejection of religious knowledge itself. It implies that the Revelation is untruthful, implicating the Prophet and ultimately Almighty God.
The aforementioned antagonism has been taking place in Islamic history since the time of the Prophet. It is still happening today and will continue to the future.
What is more unfortunate, is that it is done by Muslims themselves, the confused ones. They question the rationale and even validity of certain religious pronouncements, claiming injustices and discrimination, for example, against gender, as well as violation of human rights on the part of Islam. [...]
Blasphemous Muslims must be aware that they may fall into infidelity or apostasy if they choose to remain obstinate after being told the truth.
Adnan Babar Mirza's alleged jihadist activity and his more conventional charitable activity and dawa, or Islamic proselytizing, in the community are not mutually exclusive. Qur'an 9:60 provides for the allocation of zakat to "those whose hearts are to be reconciled," but also for those fighting in the cause of Allah. Similarly, one will recall that, on the morning of his rampage at Ft. Hood, Nidal Hasan gave away food and Qur'ans. And Islamic organizations like Hizballah and Hamas boast of their "social services" in addition to armed jihad. One neither rules out nor excuses the other.
Jurors on Monday heard two wildly different views of ex-Houston Community College student Adnan Babar Mirza, who is on trial for possessing weapons illegally and conspiring to give money to the Taliban.
Federal prosecutors painted Mirza as having violated the terms of his student visa, participated in military-like training in Texas woods in preparation for aiding U.S. enemies in Afghanistan and hoping to get some money to the Taliban, a designated terrorist organization.
His lawyer, David Adler, told jurors that Mirza was a good student who regularly fed Houston's homeless and worked with Houston police on a local public access channel to explain Muslim ways to police and citizens.
Adler said his client did learn to fire a weapon, but never violated his visa and wanted to send money to war victims, not to the Taliban.
Mirza, 33, sat in court wearing glasses and a beige suit across the room from a 14-person panel of jurors and alternates in U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein's court.
A co-defendant, Kobie Diallo Williams, previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in which he admitted to paramilitary training and donating money to the Taliban. He was sentenced to 4½ years in prison.
Jurors were shown a picture of Mirza and three other men in front of a tent while camping in Willis. In the photo were Williams, an FBI informant and an undercover agent.
Prosecutor Jim McAlister told jurors he expects to prove that Mirza violated his student visa by holding an unspecified job, and that made it illegal for him to have weapons or ammunition, while camping or otherwise.
McAlister said these weren't just camping weekends, but were paramilitary training weekends. "(They) intended to go to Afghanistan and fight, and it was not to fight for the Americans," the prosecutor said....
In FrontPage this morning I explain why Muslims have only themselves to blame for the recent proliferation of Motoons:
With last Thursday's "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day," which began on Facebook but spread to anti-jihad sites all over the Internet, Muhammad cartoons are now everywhere -- and Muslims are outraged. The government of Pakistan shut down Facebook and YouTube, but that didn't pacify the thousands of Pakistanis who took to the streets to protest against drawings of Muhammad that they could not have seen even if they had wanted to.
One protester held a sign bearing a threat: "Facebook, do not try our patience/STOP your coward activity." Others shared a large banner reading: "We are ready to sacrifice on [sic] our beloved holy prophet."
So far there have been no new riots or killings to rival the immediate aftermath of the publication of the original cartoons of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper in September 2005. After the Organization of the Islamic Conference decided at its meeting in Mecca in December 2005 to use the cartoons as an object lesson in the perils of Western secularism, Islamic rage against the cartoons began to boil over all around the world. At least 139 people were killed and 823 were injured over the next few months in Muslim riots against the cartoons.
Another, perhaps even more ominous response to those cartoons was the beginning of the OIC's anti-free speech campaign -- an attempt to compel the West to criminalize criticism of Islam and accept Sharia restrictions on non-Muslims speaking about Islam. In 2008, the Secretary General of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, issued a peremptory threat of his own: "We sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed" regarding free speech about Islam and jihad terrorism.
Yet while the government and media elites in America and Europe have generally rushed to show how willing, even eager, they are to show that they will not cross those red lines, their supine response to this assault on free speech has created a backlash among free people. It is worth bearing in mind the "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" would never have aroused much interest among anyone if cartoons of Muhammad didn't arouse Muslims worldwide to homicidal rage and attempts to restrict the freedom of speech.
While it may in other circumstances simply be obnoxious, or legitimately (not to say to an extent justifying murder) offensive to lampoon someone else's cherished religious leader, the Muslim reaction to Infidel cartoons of Muhammad is entirely itself responsible for the interest Infidels have in lampooning the Islamic prophet in the first place. If Christians had reacted to Andres Serrano's Piss Christ or Chris Ofili's dung-encrusted portrait of the Virgin Mary with the same murderous outrage with which Muslims greeted the cartoons of Muhammad, the West would be experiencing a glut of pictures blaspheming Christ and Christianity....
I spent a half hour or so with Craig Rivera, talking over numerous aspects of the 9/11 mosque initiative, and this is all that avoided the cutting room floor (starting at 3:19). Of course I spoke about how Sharia denied many basic human rights, including the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of women with men and of non-Muslims with Muslims, but that kind of talk doesn't fit the mainstream media narrative of poor victimized Islamic multiculturalists versus a gang of racist bigots.
"Fighting a War without Bullets?," by Chris Carter in Human Events, May 23:
Commanders have ordered a U.S. military unit in Afghanistan to patrol with unloaded weapons, according to a source in Afghanistan.
American soldiers in at least one unit have been ordered to conduct patrols without a round chambered in their weapons, an anonymous source stationed at a forward operating base in Afghanistan said in an interview. The source was unsure where the order originated or how many other units were affected.
When a weapon has a loaded magazine, but the safety is on and no round is chambered, the military refers to this condition as "amber status." Weapons on "red status" are ready to fire--they have a round in the chamber and the safety is off.
The source stated that he had been stationed at the base for only a month, but the amber weapons order was in place since before he arrived. A NATO spokesman could not confirm the information, stating that levels of force are classified.
"Our overall aim is to defeat the insurgency which means we must gain and then maintain the support of the Afghan population," said Lieutenant Commander Iain Baxter, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement to HUMAN EVENTS. "This must be the objective of every action taken by ISAF service members, and it calls for responses that de-escalate situations where the use of deadly force may not be necessary. In doing this, leaders at all levels make enormous efforts to ensure that troops balance their own protection with the protection of the Afghan population."...
Good thing American troops didn't seek such "balance" against the Nazis in World War II.
We have previously thought that Islamic banking -- that is, the accommodation of Western banking practices to Islamic legal requirements -- was being pursued by non-Muslim financial institutions out of a desire for economic gain. But in this story, DBS Group is still determined to make a go of Islamic banking, despite losses. Of course, they're confident that this venture will eventually be profitable, but perhaps there is also an ideological slant to this endeavor. Certainly the West is tied ideologically to the idea of making common cause with a benign and peaceful Islam; why not Singapore?
"UPDATE 1-DBS makes partial retreat from Islamic banking," by Kevin Lim and Liau Y-Sing for Reuters, May 24:
SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Reuters) - DBS Group (DBSM.SI), Southeast Asia's largest lender, is shrinking its Singapore-based Islamic unit in yet another sign that the city-state's efforts to promote sharia banking is struggling.
Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia), in which DBS has a just over 50 pecent stake, has transferred 10 of its 65 staff to DBS and redeployed others to new roles within the Islamic bank, a spokeswoman said.
"IB Asia will continue to focus on wholesale banking but prioritise its business focus on fee-based investment banking business activities and in private equity," she added in response to queries from Reuters.
"We remain committed to growing our Islamic banking franchise in this region."
IBA, Singapore's only wholly-owned full licensed Islamic bank, suffered a loss of $77.1 million in 2009 after making specific allowances on debt owned by customers in the Gulf region. The bank had $725 million in assets as at end-2009, including $453 million in payments due from non-bank customers.
A source had earlier told Reuters the Islamic unit of DBS planned to get out of the lending business entirely. The bank has also not replaced departing staff, including former CEO Vince Cook who left in December. [ID:nSGE5BG044]
Islamic finance has been slow to take off in Singapore despite the central bank's support and the city state's reputation as an Asian banking hub.
Sukuk sales have been sporadic and there has been little interest from retail investors and sharia-compliant funds.
A thriving Islamic finance industry would complement Singapore's position as a regional banking centre and enable it to tap cash-rich Gulf investors who can only invest in sharia-compliant assets.
But practitioners see little growth in Singapore's Islamic finance industry in the coming years.
"Islamic finance will take off in Singapore but it's going to be quite slow," said Haszeri Hussin, Islamic treasury head at the Malaysian unit of Singapore's No. 2 lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC.SI).
"Singapore must encourage more issuance of sukuk. The MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) must be able to issue more, then they can create a lot of liabilities to match assets. Retail doesn't have the critical mass to make it a big presence in Singapore."...
To encourage the growth of Islamic finance, Singapore has removed double stamp duties and given similar tax treatment for sukuk investors....
And in an earlier incident, "extremists attacked and set fire to a Christian centre in Bogor on the ground that Christians wanted to build a house of prayer." Islamic law forbids dhimmi populations to build new houses of worship. How inconvenient for those who claim that dhimmitude is a relic of history -- Muslims persist in misunderstanding Islam in this way!
Islamic Tolerance Alert from modern, moderate Indonesia: "West Java: Islamic authorities shut down church, Christians celebrate in the street," by Mathias Hariyadi for AsiaNews, May 24 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Bogor authorities (West Java province) ordered the closure of a local church building that belongs to Gereja Kristen Indonesia (GKI), a Christian group also known as Gereja Kristen Yasmin Bogor. This has outraged hundreds of faithful and induced the Indonesian Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to file an official protest.
In an official statement, GKI followers called the decision to ban their religious and social meetings unlawful. They note, "The mayor of Bogor granted the IMB (building permit) back on 13 May 2006."
The closure had initially been ordered by Bogor's City and Gardening authority in February 2008, but was overturned because the matter falls under the mayor's jurisdiction.
After a series of protests by local extremist Islamic groups, the city decided to close the church and suspend the GKI despite the fact that the Christian group had all the necessary permits to build its church and practice its faith.
For some time, local Islamic groups had been protesting publicly and violently against Christians, accusing them of "proselytising". They are certainly opposed to Christians having any building, even if the latter did not have a religious purpose.
At the end of April, extremists attacked and set fire to a Christian centre in Bogor on the ground that Christians wanted to build a house of prayer disguised as an educational facility. Instead of stopping the rioters, the authorities banned Christians from engaging in any activities....
Zuccotti Park, formerly named and
generally known as Liberty Plaza Park, is a 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2)
park in Lower Manhattan in New York City, New York. It is located
between Broadway and Church streets and Liberty and Cedar streets. Its
northwest corner is across the street from the World Trade Center site.
Pamela Geller and I interviewed Anders Gravers, leader of Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), who made this statement about how Leftists and Nazis joined with Islamic supremacists to try to infiltrate and disrupt a SIOE demonstration:
We were preparing for the demonstration, waiting for the people to come to the demonstration. There was a group of eight or nine people who came in. I was distributing Danish flags, SIOE flags, and Israeli flags. So I asked these nine people if they were interested in holding the flags, and with disgust on their faces they said no. So I said to myself, these are not our guys.
So I was watching them, and suddenly I saw them take a black flag out of a plastic bag. I saw a swastika on the flag, so I put out my right leg and caught the flag and put it to the ground. Then they attacked me, and my security men put me on the ground and then they took care of them.
Then I brushed the dust off my suit and got ready to make my speech. There were not as many people there as we had hoped, but the courageous ones were there: 25 or 26 in the beginning, but when we started to march, some wouldn't go anyway. So about 18 or 19 persons marched. A woman shouted "Nazis" at us as we passed, and I said, "No, they're just getting arrested."
We went down to the mosque and shouted, "No mosques in our streets," and "No to genital mutilation in Denmark." The Muslims were there, the Left was there, and the Nazis were there. The police told us to turn right, just in front of the mosque. We were slowing down to have the most possible time there. There were about 200 people outside the mosque and an equal number inside the mosque, hanging out the windows and calling us racists. They were shouting, "We want Anders on crutches."
We turned left and at the square I had a loudspeaker and so my voice was heard loudest, "No mosques in our streets." Some Leftists attacked again, but my security people pushed them away. Charges that we stopped the demonstration before the announced time were not true. The police offered to help us get out of here. We said we didn't need that kind of help, but that some of our demonstrators may need help. So the Muslims were chasing people in the streets -- several hundred people out looking for racists.
I got some scratches on my left leg, that's nothing.
I tried to find out if the people who unfurled the Nazi flag were Nazi or left wing. So I went to the Nazi website in Denmark and found that they were there. They were Nazis. I found a Nazi who was serving in the Queen's guard, Daniel Carlsen. I went to their Facebook and found some death threats to me - "We have to give him cement shoes and throw him in the harbor." He was a member of anti-Zionist groups, and I could see inside one of these anti-Zionist groups that it was full of Muslims. They're not against the mosque, they're against people who support Israel. They did it to discredit SIAD. They see that we are getting members, and even with gloves we will not touch these Nazi pigs.
I said to my security, It bothered me that you took me down, so that I could not punch one of them. It would have looked great in the pictures.
Now we have proof that the Muslims, Nazis, and the Left stand side-by-side shouting at us. And what do these people have in common? The Jew-hate.
Pamela Geller put it succinctly: "Pearl was beheaded because of Islamic anti-semitism and violent jihadi doctrine. Freedom of the press had nothing to do with it." And the incomparable Melanie Phillips has more: "What Daniel Pearl's decapitation means to Barack Obama," from The Spectator, May 22 (thanks to Inexion):
Even given Obama's ever more terrifying and lethal performance in office, his comments about the jihadi murder of Daniel Pearl, and in front of Daniel's bereaved family, are simply astounding. This is what Obama said:
'Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world's imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.'
Daniel Pearl was not murdered because he was a journalist. He was decapitated because he was an American Jew. Khalid Sheikh Mohamed cut off his head in an act of unimaginable barbarism, which was videoed in order to incite other Muslims to similar acts of barbarism and to destroy the will of the west to defend itself. But in signing the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act, Obama came up with the remarkable statement that the significance of Daniel Pearl's murder was merely that
it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.
Any decent and rational person would think that the significance of Daniel Pearl's murder was actually that the west is up against a psychopathic death cult which has a particular aim of killing Jews and destroying America. But not the American President. In front of the Pearl family, Obama couldn't even bring himself to say Daniel was murdered. And 'one of those moments that captured the world's imagination'??
Why won't they come out publicly? Could it be that they know what Islamic spokesmen and the politically correct media establishment would do to them if they did? "Lower Manhattan board mixed on planned mosque and Islamic center at Ground Zero WTC site," by Samuel Goldsmith for the New York Daily News, May 24 (thanks to herr Oyal):
Community Board 1 will meet Tuesday to vote on the Cordoba House - a planned 13-story Islamic community center and prayer space near Ground Zero.
While approval from the 50-member board is not needed to build the center, the vote may indicate how residents of lower Manhattan feel about the idea....
The board's 12-member Financial District committee unanimously voted in favor of the project earlier this month. "From my perspective, there's not a lot to dislike about the project," said Ro Scheffe, 59, a member of the committee who runs a communications firm and lives three blocks from Wall St. Foes - including some members of the board - argue an Islamic community center so close to Ground Zero is insensitive to the families of people who died on 9/11.
Two board members who asked not to be identified told the Daily News that they're against the project, but won't come out against it publicly. Instead, they want to table the vote indefinitely.
"It's not right to build it so close to Ground Zero, and it's not right for this board to vote on a religious center," one member said.
In the featured article Human Events this morning, I explain what's wrong with building a 15-story mega-mosque at Ground Zero:
Now that it has been revealed that not one, but two mosques are planned for the area around Ground Zero, the supremacist and triumphalist character of this effort is clearer than ever. Is the Muslim population of lower Manhattan so huge that one projected mosque--even one so large as to be housed within a 15 story Islamic Center--would immediately be bursting at the seams, and thus yet another is required even before the first is built?
Of course not. Muslims are already praying at the projected site of the massive Islamic Center, an old Burlington Coat Factory outlet that was damaged by a piece of one of the hijacked airplanes fell through the roof on 9/11. (A Muslim real estate company paid $4.85 million in cash for the building. Where that cash came from has not been explained).
That building doesn't appear to be overflowing, although Muslims are reportedly holding prayers on the sidewalk outside another lower Manhattan mosque, apparently in order to give the impression that they're in dire need of more space. This is, however, more for show than for necessity.
The placement of mosques throughout Islamic history has been an expression of conquest and superiority over non-Muslims. Muslims built the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the site of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in order to proclaim Islam's superiority to Judaism. The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus was built over the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople was converted into a mosque, to express the superiority of Islam over Christianity. Historian Sita Ram Goel has estimated that over 2,000 mosques in India were built on the sites of Hindu temples for the same reason.
But the Ground Zero mosque, or mosques, won't be another example of that Islamic supremacism, will they? After all, the mosque initiative's organizer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has said that the building of the mosque by the World Trade Center site was intended to make "the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11."
The group behind the 15 story Islamic Center sent a statement to Mike Huckabee's show on Fox News (declining an opportunity to meet my colleague, Pamela Geller, to discuss the mosque issue), claiming that the planned mosque was "a project to honor those who were harmed on September 11. It is a project to proclaim our patriotism to this country and to stand side-by-side all men and women of peace."
And Ground Zero is not a holy site, so the symbolism of Islam conquering and replacing other religions isn't there--or is it?...
Two Massachusetts Muslims are arrested in a raid, and the Governor of Massachusetts behaves as if Muslims were the victims, not the perpetrators, of jihad terrorism. Shouldn't he be reassuring the Jewish community and other prime targets of jihad instead?
"Deval Patrick vows support for Muslims," by Marie Szaniszlo in the Boston Herald, May 23 (thanks to Mackie):
In his largest meeting with Boston-area Muslims, Gov. Deval Patrick agreed yesterday to take aim at ensuring their rights and addressing racial profiling.
The session came little more than a week after two Bay State Muslims were arrested in a raid following an attempted car bombing in Times Square in New York.
More than 1,100 Muslims attended the forum at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and Mosque in Roxbury, where Patrick was given one minute to answer "yes" or "no" to seven questions, including whether he would:
Have law enforcement agency heads and others meet with Muslims to discuss the need for cultural awareness training.
Designate a liaison to the Muslim community.
Urge the public and private sectors to accommodate Muslims' religious obligation to attend Friday afternoon prayers.
Which amounts to special privileges for Muslims in the workplace.
The governor answered yes to every question. Patrick said he had already named a liaison. When it came to prayer times, Patrick said he wants to promote overall religious tolerance.
Beginning his comments in Arabic by saying, "Hello, how are you. I speak Arabic a little," the governor said the forum was not his first exposure to Islam, noting that he'd lived in Sudan and Nigeria.
"Yours is a peaceful faith, and I know that. I know you are worried that others know that," he said. The head of one Muslim group said he was interviewed three times in recent years by FBI agents "fishing for something." A mother told of walking with her baby in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and feeling terrified when a cab driver pulled up to them and said, "We should kill you all."
"We are here for power and for recognition," said Bilal Kaleem, president of the Muslim American Society of Boston. "We're against extremism and terror."
"We are here for power" -- and he got it.
The Muslim American Society is the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. -- and the Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words to "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within."
You'd think they'd be happy that the Israelis took out a Hamas jihadist. But no, it's all about the passports. "Australia moves to expel Israeli diplomat," by Rod Mcguirk for Associated Press, May 23 (thanks to Mackie):
CANBERRA, Australia - Australia ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat Monday after investigators concluded Israel was responsible for forging four Australian passports that were used in the slaying of a Hamas operative in Dubai.
Australia's reaction echoes that of the United Kingdom, which in March expelled a diplomat in retaliation for the use of 12 fake British passports in the plot to kill Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Dubai authorities blame Israel's Mossad intelligence service for the January slaying.
The governments of Ireland, Germany and France have yet to state how they will react to similar cases of alleged identity fraud against its citizens, as revealed in the investigation.
Australia had not expelled a foreign diplomat since 2004.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Parliament that the operation to kill Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room was not the first time Israel had forged Australian travel documents. He did not elaborate on previous incidents, but said the latest transgression breached "confidential undertakings" between the two countries that have stood for several years.
"These are not the actions of a friend," he said. "This is not what we expect from a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship."...
Witness the intrepid muhajedin, keeping the world safe from "fitness" and "dancing." "Islamists torch summer camp in Gaza," from the Jerusalem Post, May 23:
Masked gunmen from an Islamist group torched a UN-run summer camp for children and teens in Gaza on Sunday, Army Radio reported, the top UN aid official in Gaza said.
John Ging says the assailants tied up the guard early Sunday, burned tents and vandalized bathrooms. UN officials say the attackers left behind three bullets and a note threatening to kill Ging and others unless the UN cancels its activities for some 250,000 Gaza children.
Two days before the incident, the previously unknown "The Free of the Homeland" group issued a statement criticizing the camp's organizer, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), for "teaching schoolgirls fitness, dancing and immorality."
UNRWA responded to the destruction, saying Gazan youths suffer from heightened stress, and need opportunities like this summer camp, calling the perpetrators of the act, "people who hate life and children."
Of course. Christians won't behead anyone over "Bible Thumper."
Dhimmitude at Apple: "Report: Apple Removes iSlam Muhammad App From Store," by Brian Heater for PCMag.com, May 21 (thanks to Karl):
Thursday was "International Draw Muhammad Day," a day of protest fueled by a Facebook page that encouraged followers to post images of the Muslim prophet. Fallout from the protest included the banning of Facebook and YouTube in Pakistan.
Yesterday also marked the removal of an app called iSlam Muhammad from the iPhone App Store, according to TUAW. A description of the $.99 app encourages users to "enjoy violent and hateful passages from The Qur'an that support and encourage Muslims to attack and behead anyone who does not agree with them. See how Allah directs his followers to treat men and women."
The app revolves around parchment images featuring controversial images from the holy text. The app was in the store for a day before it was pulled. Below is audio from the developer's conversation with Apple, which among other things, points out that a similar app targeting Christians called BibleThumper still exists in the store.
He argues from several angles. One is to denigrate the status of American civilians as "innocent," which is noteworthy in light of the common apologist tactic of insisting Islam forbids the killing of "innocents," and leaving the audience to apply their own definition of the term. Another argument he offers is that, hey, civilian casualties happen. He says even Muhammad did it!
Gee, this guy must be some kind of right-wing, Zionist Islamophobe-- no, wait... "Yemeni cleric advocates killing US civilians," by Maamoun Youssef for the Associated Press, May 23:
CAIRO - An American-Yemeni cleric whose Internet sermons are believed to have helped inspire attacks on the U.S. has advocated the killing of American civilians in an al-Qaida video released Sunday.
Anwar al-Awlaki has been singled out by U.S. officials as a key terrorist threat and has been added to the CIA's list of targets for assassination despite his American citizenship. He is of particular concern because he is one of the few English-speaking radical clerics able to explain to young Muslims in America and other Western countries the philosophy of violent jihad.
The U.S.-born al-Awlaki moved to Yemen in 2004 and is in hiding there after being linked to the suspects in the November shooting at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, and the December attempt to blow up a U.S. jetliner bound for Detroit.
"Those who might be killed in a plane are merely a drop of water in a sea," he said in the video in response to a question about Muslim groups that disapproved of the airliner plot because it targeted civilians.
Al-Awlaki used the 45-minute video to justify civilian deaths -- and encourage them -- by accusing the United States of intentionally killing a million Muslim civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
American civilians are to blame, he said, because "the American people, in general, are taking part in this and they elected this administration and they are financing the war."
He added that the Prophet Muhammad also sent forces into battles that claimed civilian lives.
Whose prophet? That said, this AP writer gets a "E" for "Effort" for actually using the term "jihad" above.
The video was produced by the media arm of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, though the exact nature of al-Awlaki's ties with the group and possible direct role in it are unclear. The U.S. says he is an active participant in the group, though members of his tribe have denied that.
For its part, al-Qaida appears to be trying to make use of his recruiting power by putting him in its videos. Its media arm said Sunday's video was its first interview with the cleric.
In the months before the Fort Hood shooting, which killed 13 people, al-Awlaki exchanged e-mails with the alleged attacker, U.S. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan initiated the contacts, drawn by al-Awlaki's Internet sermons, and approached him for religious advice.
Yemen's government says al-Awlaki is also suspected of contacts with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused in the failed attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen late last year, and U.S. investigators say he told them that he received training and his bomb from Yemen's al-Qaida offshoot.
In Sunday's video, al-Awlaki praised both men and referred to them as his "students."
Speaking of Hasan, the cleric said, "What he did was heroic and great. ... I ask every Muslim serving in the U.S. Army to follow suit."...
More members of the Tiny Minority of Extremists in moderate, tolerant, pro-American Kosovo?
Of course, their presence in the Balkans is commonly written off as the product of Wahhabi influence. And while Saudi money has been instrumental in exporting jihad ideology and funding the activity that results, this explanation is all too often also used to avoid acknowledging anything inherent in Islamic texts and traditions outside of Wahhabism that could motivate jihadist terrorism.
As for the use of charities, they are often a handy subterfuge for Western consumption due to the fact that in the Western tradition, charities are, by nature, non-combatant. This is not the case in the Islamic tradition; the lack of a distinction stems from Qur'an 9:60, which includes provisions for those who are "in the cause of Allah" (fi sabil Allah).
And it's not just cheeky infidels pulling that connection out of a hat. It can be seen worldwide in the frequent convergence of jihadist activity and "social services" by groups including Hamas, Hizballah, Jamaat ud-Dawa, and now this group, as well.
Pristina, 22 May (AKI) - Kosovo police have arrested five members of the fundamentalist Wahabi Islamic movement who are suspected of "criminal activities, "police spokesman Hazir Berisa said on Saturday. He did not specify if those arrested were suspected of recruiting terrorists or plotting attacks.
Berisa said the five suspects were associated with a humanitarian organisation called Iskrenost (Sincerity).
The arrests took place late on Friday in the southwest city of Prizren in an operation in which 120 police officers were deployed. Berisa said police confiscated a large quantity of weapons during the operation, including automatic rifles, pistols, ammunition and uniforms.
The Wahabi movement originated in Saudi Arabia in the 17th century. Wahabi ideology preaches a 'pure' form of Islam. It was brought to the Balkans by Arab 'mujahadeen' fighters who fought on the side of local Muslims during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.
Many former 'mujahadeen' remained in the region after the war indoctrinating local youths and even operating terrorist training camps, according to foreign intelligence sources.
Tensions between Wahabis and mainstream Muslims have been simmering in the Balkans for some years as the Wahabi ideology preaches religious intolerance towards other religious groups, including moderate Muslims.
Wahabis have sought to gain influence in Bosnia-Heregovina and also in Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.
Since the Bosnian war, radical Islamists have often operated under the guise of humanitarian organisations from Islamic countries and several such charities have been banned in Bosnia.
"Emo" refers to a punk-influenced music sub-culture known for wearing a great deal of black (actually pretty easy for women in Saudi Arabia), heavy eye makeup, and generally appearing rather sad (though a little more dressed-down and less monochromatic than Goths). More extensive background than you probably need can be found here.
Now, everyone knows there's nothing to be sad, jaded, or cynical about when you're a young woman in Saudi Arabia! And when "government knows best" meets "Allah knows best," authorities are particularly inclined to mind other people's business, and this sort of thing tends to happen.
"Saudi 'emo' girls busted by religious cops: report," from Agence France-Presse, May 23 (thanks to Anonamustafa):
Saudi Arabia's religious police have arrested 10 "emo" women for allegedly causing a disturbance in a coffee shop, Al-Yaum newspaper reported on Saturday.
The coffee shop owner in the eastern city of Dammam called the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to complain after the young women, dressed and made up in the "emo" fashion, apparently began disturbing other clients.
The religious police then called their parents to come and collect the women, and to sign pledges that the girls would not repeat their ostensibly offensive un-Islamic behaviour and dress.
According to recent reports, growing numbers of urban young Saudi women are latching on to the emo fashion popular from Japan to Europe and the Americas.
The trend is characterised by wearing skinny black jeans, tennis shoes, colourful T-shirts bearing the names of emo bands, heavy make up and sharply chopped and sometimes radically coloured hair-dos.
While Saudi women normally must appear in public shrouded by all-black abayas and headscarves, some daringly open their abayas in places such as malls and coffee shops to reveal more trendy outfits underneath.
Coptic leaders have been unsuccessful in efforts to get an audience with Obama. Perhaps he fears that to meet with them would be "Islamophobic."
"Coptic Christians Voicing Frustration With White House As Persecution Widens in Egypt," by Youssef Ibrahim for the New York Sun, May 22 (thanks to George):
The leaders of Coptic Christians, whose community is facing growing persecution in Egypt, say they have been unsuccessful in efforts to gain a hearing from the White House or other parts of the Obama administration.
Heightened persecution of Egypt's 12 million Christians coupled with growing power and prestige of their Coptic Diaspora in America and Australia is leading to new political efforts here. Educated and skilled Egyptian Copts who migrated in large numbers in recent decades are talking to Congress, organizing lobbies, and making other efforts to be heard.
They say they are frustrated by the current administration in Washington, particularly after President Obama's overture to the Muslim world via a speech at Cairo. In the speech Mr. Obama President apologized for America's misdeeds to Muslims, stating that he came "to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." Coptic leaders say that even while reaching out to Muslims the administration has turned a deaf ear to the pleas Arab Christian minority in the very country where he delivered his apology to Muslims.
"The Obama administration's benign neglect of Arab Christians, is putting freedoms and human rights in the whole Middle East at risk," is the way it was put in an interview with the Sun by the president of the U.S. Copts Association, Michael Meunier, who is headquartered in Washington "Friendships with Muslims has been the Obama Administration's opening theme from his first day in office and in that famed Cairo speech in which he extended a hand to all Muslims in partnership."
Mr. Meunier added that that the president's failure to speak as extensively about the persecution of Arab Christians was a departure from American policy and a grave error. "We have no problems with American friendships with Islam and Muslims, but it cannot be accomplished at the expense of our rights as Egyptian Christians and Arab Christians, and as the very lives of our people there are endangered," Mr. Meunier told the Sun.
One area of complaint by the Copt community is a law banning the repair or construction of churches without a "presidential decree." The measure, known as the Hamayuni Law, is based on an 1856 Ottoman decree but was rarely enforced in Egypt under the monarchial dynasty overthrown by army officers in 1952....
It turns out it's not just Iranians who have seen fit to draw equivalences between the Holocaust and mocking Islam and Muhammad (thanks to Kim).
Of course, the issue is complicated by the propensity among Muslim communities for Holocaust denial. So, drawing that same equivalence, if they think the Holocaust is trivial or didn't happen, does that mean the Muhammad cartoons don't matter, either?
In any event, one page (there are others) can currently be found here.
But here's why their argument ultimately falls flat: Death threats and actual attempts at murder have been in plentiful supply for Muhammad cartoons. No matter how Muslims attempt to mock the Holocaust as a sacred but unfounded "belief" in the West, there will be no reciprocal response for this event. In a society that values free speech, they are free to make fools of themselves for all to see. The only reaction needed is to publicize it, and to respond -- with more free speech.
Yes, you read that right, and our You Might Want To Read This Sitting Down Department sends its suggestions that... well, you know. Why would something this wacky make a repeat appearance? What kind of weirdo would suggest such a thing? Who, indeed?
(Insert awkward silence here.)
Muhammad, actually, according to this hadith:
'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hadhaifa, lived with him and his family in their house. She (i. e. the daughter of Suhail came to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Salim has attained (purbety) [sic] as men attain, and he understands what they understand, and he enters our house freely, I, however, perceive that something (rankles) in the heart of Abu Hudhaifa, whereupon Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said to her: Suckle him and you would become unlawful for him, and (the rankling) which Abu Hudhaifa feels in his heart will disappear. She returned and said: So I suckled him, and what (was there) in the heart of Abu Hudhaifa disappeared. (Sahih Muslim 3425)
When, per Qur'an 33:21, Muhammad is seen as "a beautiful pattern of conduct" whose every word and action is to be admired and taken seriously, these things have a way of coming back.
"Saudi scholar's fatwa wades into controversy," by Habib Toumi for Gulf News, May 22 (thanks to Twostellas):
Manama: A Saudi scholar has waded into controversy after he said that women could give their milk to men to establish a degree of maternal relations and get around a strict religious ban on mixing between unrelated men and women.
According to Shaikh Abdul Mohsin Al Abaican, a consultant at Saudi Arabia's royal court, a man who often entered a house and came in contact with the womenfolk there should be made symbolically related to the women by drinking milk from one of the women.
Under the fatwa, the act would preclude any sexual relations between the man and the donor woman and her relatives.
However, Al Abaican said that the donor woman should not breastfeed the man directly.
Sorry -- still creepy.
"The man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman," Al Abaican said. "He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the women without breaking Islam's rules about mixing," he said, quoted by Kuwaiti and Saudi media on Saturday.
However, the scholar said that his fatwa did not apply to family drivers, explaining that they were not permanent and could be replaced. "The fatwa is only for those who live in the house or need to get in often," he said.
Al Abaican's fatwa was immediately rejected by bloggers as "a decision that is totally unrelated to reality at a time when people are thinking about bold and new space discoveries."
Many wrote that there was no reason for the fatwa to be issued and that scholars should focus instead on "much more significant issues."
The edict is also likely to be resisted by religious scholars keen on promoting a more modern view of Islamic values.
Exactly three years ago, on May 22, 2007, an Egyptian scholar was disciplined by Al Azhar University, one of Islam's most prestigious institutions, after he issued a fatwa calling upon women to breastfeed their male colleagues.
Dr Izzat Attiyah said that his fatwa offered a way around mixing of the sexes in the work place since breast-feeding established a maternal relation even if the beneficiary was not the woman's biological son or daughter.
However, following Islamic scholars' fierce denunciation of the fatwa as defamatory to Islam, Izzat retracted it.
The implication here is absurd, but predictable. That is, the notion that 6,000,000 Jews killed in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of members of other groups the Nazis attempted to exterminate, is an atrocity equal to a cartoon about Muhammad, or jokes about Islam in general.
Frankly, I (Marisol) find this cartoon offensive. And yet, I feel no urge to call for someone's head, burn an effigy in the street (or even a Wal-Mart Spongebob piñata, on account of the short notice), or call for the closure or legal censure of Ahlul Bayt News Agency, at whose site I found this cartoon posted under "Futurity [sic] of Insulting Islam."
Indeed, the more they prattle on, the more we know what fools they are. That's one of the many benefits of free speech.
Whatever she may think now, hopefully Molly Norris will someday realize that launching "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" was the right thing to do for the sake of free expression and to shine a spotlight on the double standard that too many Muslims -- even ostensibly "moderate" ones -- demand for Islam with regard to freedom of speech and of the press.
Meanwhile, making Iran's government happy should be some indication that one has chosen the wrong side of an issue.
"Cartoonist denies 'Draw Muhammad' role, Apologized World Muslims [sic]," from Ahlul Bayt News Agency, May 22 (thanks to Twostellas):
WASHINGTON: An American cartoonist whose work inspired the controversial 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Page' on Facebook has condemned the effort and issued an apology to Muslims.
On an unrelated note, certain passages of this article bear more than a passing (and unattributed) resemblance to an earlier one at BBC News. So much for the moral high ground at Ahlul Bayt (Arabic for "people of the house," a reference to Muhammad's household, including Ali, whom Shi'ites regard as Muhammad's legitimate successor).
Molly Norris, of Seattle, drew a cartoon in April to protest the decision by the US TV channel Comedy Central to cancel an episode of the popular show 'South Park' over its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh") in a .... suit. In her cartoon, Norris satirically proposed May 20 as an 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day'.
The "...." is original to the ABNA article. Apparently they can't even say that Muhammad was portrayed in a bear suit.
An 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' page quickly turned up on Facebook but Norris said she had nothing to do with it. "I did NOT 'declare' May 20 to be 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day'," she said, adding her idea was satire but "was taken seriously, hijacked and made viral".
"I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this 'day' be called off," she said.
Amid all of this uproar, three simple words bear repeating: It's. A. Cartoon. Indeed, imagine if this level of indignation were directed by Muslims at those who commit atrocities at the urging of Islamic scriptures?
Note also the sense of entitlement to special treatment. "Muslims urged to react," from iAfrica, May 22 (thanks to Twostellas):
A Zapiro cartoon published in the Mail & Guardian has angered Muslims countrywide and the SA Muslim Judicial Council on Saturday called on its followers to express their condemnation and disapproval of it.
"The Muslim community takes this opportunity to express the deep hurt it feels at the caricaturing of the Prophet Muhammad in the M&G," the council's website said.
"The Muslim leadership appeals to all Muslims to express their condemnation and disapproval of this latest insult on the Muslim community in a responsible and dignified manner."
The controversial cartoon depicts Muhammad lying on a couch and complaining to a psychologist that "other prophets have followers with a sense of humour".
"Muslims in South Africa have struggled and sacrificed side by side with its fellow citizens to work for a free and democratic society based on the values of human dignity and honour to its entire people," the website said.
Values that Sharia law would obliterate, mind you.
M&G accused of 'complete disregard'
"It is therefore extremely disappointing that the Mail & Guardian adopts this deplorable policy of complete disregard for the religious sensibilities of Muslims, a significant faith community of our country and likely a sizeable segment of the readership of the paper."...
We've received a few more submissions contributions for Everybody Draw Muhammad Day. Here they are:
From WM (and we realize this may be offensive to Looney Tunes fans and the National Pork Board):
A number of people have contacted us asking how to send drawings. The fastest way is to send them to marisolseibold[at]hotmail[dot]com, and we'll post another round so no one misses out on the fun. News tips and article links are also most welcome.
This case offers proof yet again of Sam Harris' observation (quoted by Brad Thor here):
The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you. Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do.
At the root of this stance is a desperate attempt to have it both ways, to reconcile Islam's teachings and the actions that stem from it with the religion's claims to be just, compassionate, and peaceful. Or at the very least, it is an attempt to convince non-Muslims that the two can indeed be reconciled, and that to believe otherwise is to be bigoted and hateful. In other words, it is emotional, political blackmail.
More on this story. "Fears of Muslim backlash amid cartoon row," by Phumza Macanda for Reuters, May 21:
A South African weekly on Friday published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad complaining that his followers lack a sense of humour, angering Muslims and raising fear of reprisal attacks during next month's World Cup.
South Africa will host the month-long soccer tournament from June 11 and police have pledged to protect the 300 000 expected foreign visitors and the teams taking part.
The Mail & Guardian newspaper published a sketch by renowned South African cartoonist Zapiro after a court rejected an overnight bid by Muslim advocacy groups for an injunction to prevent the newspaper from printing the cartoon.
The cartoon depicts the prophet on a psychologist's couch saying that his followers do not have a sense of humour.
Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam to be offensive. In 2005, a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Muhammad which were subsequently republished elsewhere, sparking violent protests that killed several dozen people.
South Africa's Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) said it would meet to discuss the cartoon, which it deemed highly offensive to the religious sensibilities of Muslims.
"It seems to be provocative in many ways on the very eve of the World Cup in South Africa, when we need peaceful co-existence and co-operation amongst religious communities in South Africa," said MJC President Ihsaan Hendricks.
"The M&G (Mail & Guardian) needed to understand that offending the South African Muslim community is offending the international Muslim community," he added....
Another worthy item for our Thank You For Proving Our Point Department. "Cartoon gets Zapiro death threats," by Bianca Capazorio for the South African Press Agency and Reuters, May 22 (thanks to Rick):
Days after an alleged al-Qaeda operative detailed sketchy plans to attack World Cup teams over cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, the Mail & Guardian newspaper has made waves locally and internationally by also publishing a cartoon of the Prophet.
A cartoon by award-winning satirist Jonathan Shapiro, known as Zapiro, in the M&G yesterday depicts the Prophet grumbling to a psychiatrist about the furore in the Muslim world created by a Facebook page called Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.
"Other prophets have followers with a sense of humour!" complains the turbanned, bearded figure, stretched out on the psychiatrist's couch. [...]
Yesterday, the paper reported it was receiving a flood of calls about the cartoon, and had even received death threats against the cartoonist.
"Phone ringing off the hook. Making the point that I have faith in Muslim South Africans' tolerance and openness to debate," [Mail & Guardian editor] Dawes tweeted yesterday.
The debate raged online too, with hundreds of comments appearing on stories about the cartoon, either defending freedom of speech or expressing disgust.
Several blogs also had the cartoon as a topic. International news media such as Reuters, the BBC and the Guardian were also reporting the story widely yesterday.
Blogger Khadija Pattel wrote: "Waking up to news that an interdict against the Mail & Guardian publishing a Zapiro cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had failed left me a little unsettled.
"I only believed it once I saw it. And when I did see it, it was disappointment I felt most acutely."
City Press editor and former Mail & Guardian editor Ferial Haffajee tweeted: "Draw Muhammad Day is as much about free expression as the Youth League is about advancing young people."
She however defended Zapiro's right to freedom of expression and was quoted: "His right to draw must be supported unequivocally."...
"Infidels"? You'd almost think the Times Square car bomb plot had something to do with Islam. (Cue chorus of "Naaah's" coming from the State Department, U.S. intelligence agencies, and the White House.)
More on this story. "Pakistan detainees proud of role in NYC bomb case," by Asif Shahzad and Kathy Gannon for Associated Press, May 22 (thanks to Davida):
ISLAMABAD - Two men detained in Pakistan for alleged links to the attempted Times Square bombing have admitted playing a role in the botched attack and are unrepentant, with one angrily accusing interrogators of "siding with the infidels," a senior intelligence official said Saturday.
The pair are among six men officials say have been detained in Pakistan for alleged ties to Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American arrested in the United States two days after the failed May 1 attack in New York. Like Shahzad, the detainees are all members of their country's urban elite, including several who were educated in the United States.
Details about the six were released late Friday, though officials have not said when they were detained. Five were picked up in the capital, Islamabad, and one is co-owner of a swish catering company that the U.S. Embassy said was suspected of ties to terrorist groups.
The intelligence official, part of the team questioning the men, cited the two suspects as saying they did not do anything wrong and "proudly" describing Shahzad as their friend.
The official said one of the suspects had even accused his interrogators of "siding with the infidels."
One of the suspects, identified as Shoaib Mughal, is alleged to be a go-between for Shahzad and Pakistani Taliban in their hide-outs close the Afghan border. He was running a large computer dealership in Islamabad before his detention, said the intelligence official who -- like most operatives in spy agencies around the world -- did not give his name.
The other suspect, identified only by his first name Shahid, is alleged to have helped arrange money for Shahzad. He has an MBA from the U.S. and apparently knew Shahzad from his time there....
Among those detained in Pakistan was Salman Ashraf Khan, the co-owner of the upscale Hanif Rajput Catering Service. Two other suspects "wanted him to help bomb a big gathering of foreigners" whose event his company was catering, the Pakistani intelligence officer said.
Khan's father said Saturday he was baffled by the accusations because his son is a successful businessman who lived happily as a student in the U.S. for four years. The younger Khan studied hotel management in Florida and computer science in Houston, returning to Pakistan in 2001 to take over the family business.
"How can a man who is so much involved in this business be accused for such an activity, which only a wild animal can think about?" Rana Ashraf Khan said in a telephone interview.
"He might have differences about whatever has been going on in our region for the last 10 or 11 years, we all have differences," Khan said. "(But he had) no feelings against the United States at all. He lived there happily, he studied there."...
So did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Also detained was a former major who bought his way out of the army because of a "disagreement with its policies," said the intelligence official.
The ex-major is from Rawalpindi, where the army headquarters is situated. Last week, an army spokesman denied anyone connected to the army was arrested in the probe, saying only a retired major had been arrested on disciplinary grounds and was being investigated.
The link to the army is noteworthy because of the Pakistani military's past support for Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Kashmir, and Shazad's family ties to the air force. It was unclear whether the suspect's alleged ties to Shahzad were ongoing when he still served.
(And if you're not sure how to find me, I look like the cartoon above. Maybe I myself am an image of Muhammad, and thus haram.)
Did the U.S. State Department ever condemn "Piss Christ" or Chris Ofili's dung-encrusted portrait of the Virgin Mary? Of course not. They're only condemning the Motoons because of the anti-free speech campaign of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which kicked into high gear in response to the original Danish cartoons of Muhammad. So the U.S. State Department is demonstrating that violence and intimidation work -- which only ensures that we will see more of it.
And with its fig-leaf defense of the freedom of speech below, issued in the context of deploring and denouncing the Motoons, amounts to a call for self-censorship. Now, self-censorship is something we all do all the time, in innumerable contexts: if everyone always said what he thought, there would be a lot more broken relationships and lost jobs, etc. But politeness and respect are not what are at issue here, and the point of publishing the Motoons is not to cause offense, although they will certainly do that. The key fact is that the cartoons arouse in Muslims not only murderous rage but attempts to restrict the freedom of speech through legal avenues. As such, self-censorship amounts only to self-imposed dhimmitude, and to acquiescence to the supremacy and rule of Sharia.
That's why the Motoons are not a stunt, not a joke, not a raspberry to anyone, not an exercise in obnoxiousness or gratuitous offense. The Motoons are rather the foremost battleground in the defense of the freedom of speech today. Every newspaper in the country should be printing them today, to show they are not cowed and will defend free speech. The State Department should be explaining what I am explaining now. Instead, this.
"US slams blasphemous Facebook images," from the Daily Times, May 22 (thanks to Neil):
WASHINGTON: The US has deplored blasphemous images of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) on Facebook as "deeply offensive to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike", saying America does not condone expressions that lead to violence or hatred. The US State Department also expressed respect for any actions that need to be taken under Pakistani law to protect their citizens from offensive speech, but expected a balance between restricting offensive material and ensuring flow of information for the Internet users. "Obviously, this is a difficult and challenging issue. Many of the images that appear today on Facebook were deeply offensive to Muslims and non-Muslims alike," Philip J Crowley, assistant secretary of state, said.
"Cutting" doesn't describe it. "Circumcision" doesn't, either. It is mutilation, plain and simple, and must be recognized as such. But at least this story doesn't entirely tiptoe around the prevalence of the practice in Muslim countries.
It may be a millennia-old practice, but the fact remains that Islamic law embraced it, and that is the reason for its persistence -- it is not at all merely "cultural." From the Shafii manual of Islamic jurisprudence, Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveler), certified as "reliable" by the Misunderstanders of Islam Al-Azhar University in Egypt:
"Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)" -- 'Umdat al-Salik e4.3
Regional variances of the practice in Muslim communities depend just as much on the justification of the principle in Islamic law. Those who would defend "just a little" cutting as somehow more acceptable -- including the American Academy of Pediatrics, with their approval of a "ritualized nick" (background and commentary here and here)-- miss the point: Mutilation is mutilation, and must not be allowed to happen on U.S. soil. Period.
"Pressure for female genital cutting lingers in the U.S.," by Stephanie Chen for CNN, May 21:
(CNN) -- Fatima Mohamed, a 45-year-old Somali immigrant living in America, was faced with a question most parents will never worry about: Should my daughter be circumcised?
The United States has outlawed female genital cutting, but cultural and religious pressures to circumcise girls linger among some African and Muslim immigrant families. Mohamed says the decision was an easy one for her to make after going through the painful experience herself in Africa as a child. She strongly opposes the idea of cutting her 11-year-old daughter, an American-born Somali with long curly hair, who plays soccer and likes watching "American Idol."
But not every family in her African community in Massachusetts feels that way. Nor can they they swiftly make the decision to reject circumcising their daughters, because it's a cultural ritual integral a woman's identity, she says.
"They say they don't want to hear it," Mohamed says. "Some think I'm disrespecting my own culture. Some will say, 'You act like an American now. You forgot about who you are.' "
In the U.S., an estimated 228,000 women have been cut -- or are at risk of being cut -- because they come from an ethnic community that practices female genital cutting, according an analysis of 2000 Census data conducted by the African Women's Health Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital. The Census reports there are roughly 150 million women living in the United States.
The World Health Organization estimates up to 140 million women and children worldwide have been affected by female genital cutting. The WHO defines female genital cutting as a process that alters or injures female genital organs for nonmedical purposes.
There are several types of female circumcision. The most severe types require the inner or outer labia to be sewn together, a procedure performed in parts of Somalia and Egypt. Other forms include excising the entire clitoris or part of the clitoris.
Genital cutting dates back at least 5,000 years, says Marianne Sarkis, a professor of international development at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Some women desire the procedure because they believe they are dirty or unmarriageable if they are not cut, she said. There are cultures that begin cutting women as early as infancy, while some wait until adolescence.
Not all families in communities where female genital cutting is commonplace will want to participate. In Mohamed's immigrant community in Massachusetts, families are divided, she says. Some refuse to allow the procedure, as she does. Others say they want it, and many remain silent.
Occurrences of the practice have been documented in the U.S. In March, a Georgia mother was charged with female genital mutilation after the father noticed an infant's genitals "appeared to be have been circumcised," according to the Troup County Sheriff's Office. Officers wouldn't comment further on the family.
Several advocacy workers say the more common scenario involves sending girls back to their home country to have the ritual performed. Over the past few years, Taina Bien-Aimé, president of the women's advocacy group Equality Now, has heard several anecdotal stories of girls being sent back to have the procedure.
With summer vacation approaching, one 34-year-old mother from Senegal, living in New York City, says she knows several African families in limbo about genital cutting. One of her female friends abandoned her husband earlier this year when he asked for their 6-year-old daughter to be cut in Africa this summer. The friend, who speaks little English and is jobless, fled to a shelter with her daughter....
UPDATE: Mark Durie observes (thanks to Hesperado) that the above translation of Umdat al-Salik is itself deceitful, as its editors have attempted (futilely) to soften the barbarism of the practice for non-Muslim consumption. It is as relevant as ever that, as stated above, "Those who would defend 'just a little' cutting as somehow more acceptable ... miss the point. Mutiliation is mutilation." Durie writes:
"The Reliance of the Traveller, a respected manual of Shafi'i jurisprudence, states "Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris" (section e4.3). [The English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (certified by Al-Azhar University) disguises the true meaning of the Arabic text by offering the following bogus English 'translation': "For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert)."
The embassy may have dodged a bullet on this one, but certainly ought to re-examine its relationships with other local firms -- even at the risk of appearing "Islamophobic." "Pakistan arrests over Times Square bomb plot," from BBC News, May 21:
Pakistan has arrested several suspects in connection with the failed bombing in New York City, officials say.
One of the arrested is the co-owner of a prominent catering firm used by the US embassy in Islamabad, Pakistani officials told news agencies.
It is not clear when the arrests were made. They follow a visit to Pakistan by two senior US security officials.
The news of the arrests in Islamabad came after the US embassy posted a notice on its website that the catering firm co-owned by one of the arrested men and his father may have links to "terrorist groups".
The embassy named the company as the Hanif Rajput Catering Service and warned US citizens and firms in Pakistan not to use it....
Sheikh Ali Dhere is a Misunderstander of Islam. He doesn't seem to understand that jihad is primarily an interior spiritual struggle. Nor does he seem to understand that when jihad becomes martial, it is only for defense. Instead, he seems to think that jihad involves offensive warfare to impose the rule of Islamic law over the world. Now where did he get such a crazy idea? Has he been reading the work of greasy Islamophobes?
"Al Shabaab ask [sic] Kenya to keep off," by Abdulkadir Khalif for The Daily Nation (Kenya), May 21:
Somali insurgent group al Shabaab has once again warned Kenya to stop interfering in the affairs of Somalia.
The rebel group's spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Raghe alias Sheikh Ali Dhere, said Kenya was among Christian (non-Muslim) forces opposing his movement's Jihad (holy war) against the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu.
"We know that Kenya is supporting few cowards around its border," he said at a passing out parade for rebel fighters in the port city of Kismayu.
"You Jihadists are going to crush those elements and move beyond into Kenya," he added.
Kenya, he said, is in a glass house and should not start throwing stones.
"Kenya should learn from what happened to the mightier Ethiopian forces," said Sheikh Ali Dhere. "Thousands of Ethiopians had to stream to the border in total defeat."
He asked the trainees to remain morally and spiritually equipped to confront any threat against Islam.
The militants, he said, were in Jihad against non-Muslims anywhere around the world.
"The jihad is for the liberation of all Muslims around the world," said Sheikh Ali Dhere. "When we succeed in this part, we will to move to other parts until we ensure only Allah is worshipped in this world," he added amid chants of Allahu Akbar (God is Great)....
And Muslims in North Carolina are vigorously playing the victim card. "Popular local Muslim figure arrested on federal charges," by Yonat Shimron for the Raleigh News and Observer, May 20 (thanks to Twostellas):
RALEIGH A prominent member of the Muslim community who worked to better relations with law enforcement agencies was arrested Wednesday and charged with exporting computer equipment to Libya without a license.
Mohammed "Moe" El-Gamal of Raleigh, the president of the Muslim American Public Affairs Council, appeared today before a federal judge who agreed to release him on $1 million bail before his trial.
$1 million bail. He wasn't just sending mousepads to Tripoli.
El-Gamal's lawyer, Dan Boyce said his client would plead not guilty.
More than 40 members of the Triangle Muslim community crowded into U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge James Gates' courtroom, dismayed by the charges against El-Gamal, an Egyptian native who immigrated to Canada in 1978.
"It's not fair," said Burhan Ghanayem, a retired pharmacologist from Durham. "Are they trying to make a point that we in the Muslim community are targeted?"
In a sane world, non-Muslims would be quoted in this story, saying something like, "It's not fair. Are Muslims trying to make a point that even the moderate ones support jihad against the West?" Instead, Burhan Ghanayem claims victim status unchallenged.
Only last Friday, El-Gamal helped organize a seminar in Apex for the Muslim community with representatives of Transportation Security Administration and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. During the event, Muslims were encouraged to ask questions and share their concerns about racial profiling at airports, among other issues.
Were they encouraged to be loyal to the U.S. Government and cooperate fully with anti-terror measures? Were they encouraged to accept the U.S. Constitution and laws and make no attempt to bring Sharia provisions here?
El-Gamal, who owns a business called Applied Technology Inc, in Kenansville, is a considered by many a moderate voice within the community, eager to bridge the divides between Muslims and others in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001 and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Yet today, he stood accused of willfully exporting equipment controlled by the U.S. government for anti-terrorism reasons.
The charges date back to 2006 and 2007 and involve the shipment of less than $50,000 worth of Cisco routers and Dell storage devices, including encryption data cards.
Richard Jereski, an agent with the Office of Export Enforcement in the Department of Commerce, testified that El-Gamal lied about having a license to sell the equipment to Libya, which at that time was considered a state sponsor of terrorism.
"He explained he understood the licensing restrictions and said he had the appropriate licenses," said Jereski. "We researched our database and found no license ever issued to the defendant."
Since 1986, the United States adopted economic sanctions against Libya including a total ban on direct import and export trade, commercial contracts and travel-related activities. Since 2003, the U.S. has begun normalizing relations with the African nation after it announced its intention to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction and stop sponsoring terrorism. Some trade restrictions remain.
The government is also accusing El-Gamal of lying to U.S. Department of Commerce agent about having multiple citizenships. El-Gamal is a U.S. citizen, but he also holds Canadian and Egyptian citizenships.
Local Muslims though questioned the timing of El-Gamal's arrest four years after the prosecutor said the sale took place.
They worry the case would distract them in their efforts to improve relations between their community and the government.
"We're trying to get Muslims to trust federal agencies and all of a sudden they arrest one of our active members?" asked Waleed Elhentaty, a Raleigh businessman and a member of the Muslim American Public Affairs Council. "It's weird."
Note the inversion of reality. In a sane world, the feds would be saying, "We're trying to get federal agencies to trust Muslims and all of a sudden a prominent 'moderate' Muslim is making illegal exports to Libya?" In the world we live in, however, Waleed Elhentaty takes the arrest of a Muslim for illegal activity and uses it to claim victim status for Muslims -- and no one calls him on it.
Priorities: Pakistani is a hub of international jihad terrorism, but no one in Pakistan is demonstrating against the Tiny Minority of Extremists. Their rage is reserved for the Motoons. "U.S. Links Reveal Rising Pakistani Terror Hub," by Farhan Bokhari for CBS News, May 21:
More recently, the arrest of Faisal Shahzad in the attempted bombing of Times Square forced American officials to look closely at links between the suspect, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, and militants in the thriving southern port city, which is closer to the border with India than Afghanistan.
One of Shahzad's Pakistani contacts -- a member of the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group called Mohammad Rehan -- was subsequently picked up by Pakistani intelligence officials in Karachi. Jaish-e-Mohammad is among the Islamic groups with a history of sending volunteers to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as with Islamic separatists in India's predominantly Muslim border state of Kashmir.
Rehan is being questioned on his role in facilitating a visit by Shahzad in the summer of 2009 to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, previously known as the north west frontier province (NWFP), along the Afghan border. Investigators believe he met there with hardcore Taliban militants who taught him how to build crude bombs. A senior Karachi police official says the arrest of as many as eight suspects, including Rehan, is at the center of Pakistan's ongoing investigation into Shahzad's Pakistan links.
"We all want to know exactly how these people facilitated Faisal Shahzad," the official told CBS News on condition of anonymity. "Once we have a solid knowledge of the way these people operated in Faisal Shahzad's case, and in other cases of militancy too, our ability to penetrate militant groups will undoubtedly improve."...
Combined with these practical, if circumstantial, red flags, is strong anti-U.S. sentiment in parts of Karachi, particularly in the poverty stricken neighborhoods. Though statistics on the number of poor people in Karachi have not been compiled formally in recent years, local officials say anywhere between a quarter to a third of the city's residents live in poverty.
Typically, these are people who face daily electricity cuts that can last eight hours, many are unemployed, and there's no air conditioning in their homes as summer daytime temperatures in Pakistan's tropical south soar above 104 degrees.
That's why there are so many suicide bombers in Haiti.
On Thursday, protesters gathered in Karachi's streets to demonstrate against Facebook, the social networking site which has infuriated many Muslims by hosting a web page featuring caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Images of Muhammad are strictly forbidden by the tenets of Islam, and illegal under Pakistan's Islamic government.
The rage expressed by the Karachi residents underscored the anti-Western sentiment, and the deep tension festering in the city.
"America is against Muslims and we are now protesting because Facebook, which is based in America, has insulted Muslims," Sabir Umar, a Karachi shopkeeper, told CBS News. "I am a poor man, but I shut down my shop to join this protest because it is time for us to demonstrate against the Americans." he said.
That's not poverty-breeds-terrorism, which is what CBS News is trying to establish here. That's terrorism-breeds-poverty.
Sami Khattak, a bicycle store owner who also joined the protests, went a step further. "If I had to help my brother Muslims from Afghanistan or Iraq, where the U.S. has attacked Muslims, I will of course do everything to help them. That is my right and also my duty."
That's standard and universal Islamic doctrine: if a Muslim land is attacked, defensive jihad becomes an obligation of every individual Muslim.
Such feelings show a potential sympathy for Islamic hardliners prevalent in many Karachi neighborhoods....
I received this message today from Don Erickson, a consultant writing from Iraq:
Once I get home, I will be more happy to give you a firsthand account of what I have seen over here. For example, the US rebuilding effort had an Iraqi contractor who was hired to build a school. It was later found out that he blew the school up shortly after its completion and immediately submitted a bid for a rebuild contract. Al-Qaeda was blamed for the bombing.
There are several Iraqi contractors who have received advances for rebuilding contracts (in the millions!) and then vanished to Luxembourg or the US, never to be seen again! Might I add that at BIAP (Baghdad In'tl), non-locals are held on the tarmac while Arabs board the plane. They also charge "us" 15 dollars to leave the airport, but you can clearly see Iraqis going straight to security and bypassing the payment counter. Racism at its best!
At the cost of how many billions of U.S. taxpayer money?
The excellent author and our good friend Brad Thor offers his thoughts via Breitbart's Big Hollywood (May 19), and his own contribution to the cause, displayed above.
Many people have asked if I am supporting "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" tomorrow, May 20th. I am and two of the most moving arguments of why you should too come from the Huffington Post and Reason Magazine.
In response to Islamic reaction over the movie Fitna, which juxtaposes images of Muslim violence with passages from the Qur'an (the same passages Islamic terrorists cite as justification for their violence), writer Sam Harris at the Huffington Post penned one of the best critiques of Islam (and our refusal to engage it) I have ever read: Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks. In it, Harris rightly points out:
The controversy over Fitna, like all such controversies, renders one fact about our world especially salient: Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name. Our accommodation of this psychopathic skewing of priorities has, more and more, taken the form of craven and blinkered acquiescence.
There is an uncanny irony here that many have noticed. The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you. Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do. When they burn your embassies or kidnap and slaughter your journalists, know that we will hold you primarily responsible and will spend the bulk of our energies criticizing you for "racism" and "Islamophobia."
Our capitulations in the face of these threats have had what is often called "a chilling effect" on our exercise of free speech.
In Mark Goldblatt's Reason Magazine article this week The Poet Versus the Prophet he expands on many of Harris' arguments and states:
[O]ur tip-toeing around Islamic sensibilities is nothing more than plain, old-fashioned cowardice.... We lack the moral courage to walk the walk, to put our individual lives on the line in order to defend the principles of free thought and free expression--the very principles that allowed the Judeo-Christian West to leave the Islamic East in the dust, literally and figuratively, three centuries ago.
Goldblatt makes multiple excellent points throughout his piece and closes with:
Since 2001, many Americans have asked how they can contribute in a direct way to the war against totalitarian Islam. Now we have an answer. If it's legal, and likely to offend the radicals, just do it. That seems straightforward enough. But how many of us will have the nerve to stand up to a million or so Muslim dirtbags, and to scores of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of their fellow travelers and psychic enablers, and say in unison, You want to kill the Enlightenment, you're going to have to come through me.
Islam is not above question, criticism, critique, or examination. In fact, Islam is fourteen centuries overdue for some serious questioning, criticism, critiquing, and examination. People the world over need to be reminded that the freedom of speech most certainly includes the freedom to offend. The right of non-Muslims to draw pictures of Muhammad is equaled by a right just as powerful, the right of Muslims to ignore pictures they find offensive.
Though I can't believe I am going to quote Captain Jean Luc- Picard, there is no better way to express why tomorrow's world-wide event is so important:
"We've made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther!"
While Picard goes on to say that he will "make them [the Borg] pay," that's not our job. Our job is to stand and defend free speech. No more outrageous outrage and Muslim grievance theater over cartoons, operas, and videos.
We will no longer retreat. We will no longer fall back. We will no longer demand from every other community on the face of the planet that they meet us on the playing field of civilized, rational discourse, yet carve out a special, protected, no-holds-barred zone for Islam.
It's over. This far and no farther. No more special treatment. It is time for Islam to come into the 21st century.
This is why I support "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day."
There comes a point in any society's existence where it must ultimately, to paraphrase Martin Luther (who himself was more than happy to see opponents put to death), dig in its heels and say here we stand, we will do no other. We don't need to be perfectly consistent philosophically or historically or theologically to assert what is special and unique not just about the United States, with its bizarre and wonderful articulation of the First Amendment, but the greater classical liberal project comprising not just the "West" (whatever that is) but human beings in whatever town, country, or planet they inhabit. And at the heart of the liberal project is ultimately a recognition that individuals, for no other reason than that they exist, have rights to continue to exist. Embedded in all that is the right to expression. No one has a right to an audience or even to a sympathetic hearing, much less an engaged audience. But no one should be beaten or killed or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind or praying to one god as opposed to the other or none at all or getting on with the small business of living their life in peaceful fashion. If we cannot or will not defend that principle with a full throat, then we deserve to choke on whatever jihadists of all stripes can force down our throats.
And so it is Everybody Draw Muhammad Day here at Jihad Watch, as well as elsewhere. Marisol's entries are here. My favorite among her excellent drawings is "Killjoy was here":
This one comes from Jihad Watch reader James Snapp, Jr.:
And one from Amy Alkon, who explains: "I don't draw. I am one of those wacky broads who dresses up her dog. For Draw Mohammed Day, to show my opposition to religious thuggery and my support for free speech and other Western values:"
And from Urban Infidel, "because I believe in free speech and not capitulating to the threats of thugs and terrorists":
Finally, here is my own entry. When I spoke at Florida State University Law School in March, the indefatigable FSU law student Eric Giunta, who was responsible for bringing me to the campus, asked me to sign his copy of the Qur'an. I was puzzled by the request, since while I will happily sign my own books for anyone who asks, I did not write the Qur'an -- contrary to the belief of al-Arabiya and Professor Khaleel Mohammed. But I complied, and took the opportunity to draw an admittedly derivative Motoon of my own (in what could just as easily be a caricature of myself as of Muhammad), with an inscription encapsulating the mildest of Muslim reactions to such tomfoolery:
Jihad Watch is already banned in Pakistan, so no delicate eyes will gaze on this
War on Free Speech -- and remember, the OIC and Co. are trying to bring it to the West. "After Facebook, Pakistan shuts down YouTube," by Kamran Haider for Reuters, May 20 (thanks to dsinc):
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan has blocked the popular video sharing website YouTube indefinitely in a bid to contain "blasphemous" material, officials said on Thursday.
The blockade came hours after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) directed Internet service providers to stop access to social network site Facebook indefinitely on Wednesday because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Mohammad.
Any representation of the Prophet Mohammad is deemed un-Islamic and blasphemous by Muslims.
Wahaj-us-Siraj, the CEO of Nayatel, an Internet service provider, said PTA issued an order late on Wednesday seeking an "immediate" block of YouTube.
"It was a serious instruction as they wanted us to do it quickly and let them know after that," he told Reuters.
YouTube was also blocked in the Muslim country in 2007 for about a year for what it called un-Islamic videos.
PTA spokesman, Khurram Ali Mehran, said the action was taken after the authority determined that content considered blasphemous by devout Muslims was being posted on the website.
"Before shutting down (YouTube), we did try just to block particular URLs or links, and access to 450 links on the Internet were stopped, but the blasphemous content kept appearing so we ordered a total shut down," he said.
He regretted that the administrators at the Facebook and YouTube had not taken the content off despite Pakistan's protests.
"Their attitude was in contravention to international resolutions and their own policies advertised on the Web for the general public," Mehran said.
The PTA issued a statement Thursday saying, "PTA would welcome the concerned authorities of Facebook and YouTube to contact the PTA for resolving the issue at the earliest which ensures religious harmony and respect."
The PTA decision to block all of Facebook also cut Pakistanis off from groups and pages dedicated to opposing the competition, which have thousands more supporters than the competition does.
Along with the ban, some popular websites, including Wikipedia and Flickr, have been inaccessible in Pakistan since Wednesday night. But the spokesman said it happened purely due to a technical reason and no orders were passed against them.
He said the authority was monitoring other websites as well....
An update on this story. "UCSD Students Seek Official Condemnation of Pro-Holocaust Statement," by Aaron Elias for Pajamas Media, May 20 (thanks to inexion):
David Horowitz: "I am a Jew. The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn't have to hunt us down globally. ... For it or against it?"
Jumanah Albahri: "For it."
On May 10, 2010, Jumanah Albahri, an ex-officer of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD), admitted during an event put on by Young Americans for Freedom and featuring David Horowitz as a speaker, that she supported a second Holocaust. During the exchange, Albahri also refused to condemn Hamas as a genocidal organization. This chilling exchange has by now made headlines around the country.
Albahri's blatant support for genocide has sparked a backlash, prompting students to try and get the UC chancellors to condemn her remarks as inflammatory hate speech. The movement has taken the form of a petition directed at UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. (The petition originated in a Facebook group named "Condemn UCSD MSA's ex-Officer for Supporting 2nd Holocaust."...
It's worth noting that the name of the day is "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day." Not "Everybody Who Can Draw, Draw Muhammad Day." The important thing is thumbing one's nose at those who would violate our right of free expression for the sake of a double standard that places Islam above insult.
In that spirit, it's time to Draw Muhammad with Marisol:
It's that easy.
I call him "KillJoy."
Acrylic on fake canvas sketchpad. 1/2 an hour, and it shows.
That's the quote of the night, and maybe of the year: "I'm shocked and stunned but I'm not surprised because he was such a low-life."
Anyway, perhaps Ouazzani was too busy with his auto parts dealership to figure out how to understand the Religion of Peace™ correctly. "Mo. auto dealer pleads guilty to aiding al-Qaida," by Bill Draper for Associated Press, May 19 (thanks to Davida):
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City auto parts dealer who had sworn allegiance to al-Qaida pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking part in a conspiracy to provide financial support to the terrorist group.
Khalid Ouazzani, 32, a Moroccan native who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2006, admitted that he sent $23,500 to al-Qaida between August 2007 and mid-2008.
Although Ouazzani talked with others about ways to support al-Qaida, including plans for them to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia, U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said he did not pose a threat to the Kansas City area, where he briefly operated a business that sold auto parts and used vehicles.
"At no point prior to his arrest was he any threat to cause imminent harm or danger to the citizens of our community," Phillips said at a news conference.
Of course not! I've seen so many of these stories come down the pike over the years, and these guys never posed any danger to the community. Ever! The day I see a story about a jihadist getting arrested that has the U.S. Attorney saying, "This guy could have killed thousands," I will faint dead away.
Ouazzani was arrested in February on 33 counts contained in a sealed grand jury indictment charging him with bank fraud, money laundering, interstate fraud and making false statements to the government. There was no mention of any terrorism charges in the initial indictment.
He pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of bank fraud and to an additional count of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
Prosecutors said Ouazzani, who became a permanent U.S. resident in July 2004 and became a citizen about two years later, provided false information to obtain a $175,000 line of credit commercial loan in April 2007 to run his business, Truman Used Auto Parts.
In May 2007, he wired $112,830 of the loan to a bank account in the United Arab Emirates, where it was used to purchase an apartment. In June or July 2008, he sold the apartment for a $17,000 profit, which was sent by a co-conspirator to al-Qaida, court records say.
He also agreed in August 2007 to send al-Qaida an additional $6,500 through a co-conspirator, who paid the money on his behalf, and in November 2007, Ouazzani repaid the co-conspirator through a wire transfer to a bank account in the United Arab Emirates, court records show.
Phillips said the $6,500 came from the sale of his business. She declined to comment on the co-conspirator or say how long Ouazzani had been in Kansas City prior to his arrest....
At least this is refreshing: the usual "neighbor said he was a quiet, friendly guy" stories get a twist in this one:
Dennis Hogan, who rented a salvage yard building to Ouazzani for his auto parts business, said Ouazzani owes him about $17,000 in back rent.
"I'm shocked and stunned but I'm not surprised because he was such a low-life," Hogan told The Associated Press. "Once he got in, he stopped paying his bills almost immediately."
Hogan said it was always a hassle to deal with Ouazzani and that other creditors in the Kansas City area were looking for him.
Hogan said that when he first met Ouazzani, he asked him if he was a terrorist, then immediately regretted the question.
"He looked at me and seemed real taken aback, and he said, 'Are you?'" Hogan said.
Mustafa Hussein, director of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City, said Ouazzani's wife came to the center after her husband was arrested in February and asked if the center could help him. Hussein told her that if the charges were politically motivated, there are organizations that could help, but "if he's guilty, there's nothing we can do."
"She was crying, very upset," Hussein said. "She did not come back to talk about it."
Hussein, who acknowledged that he knew Ouazzani only through brief encounters at the center or mosque, said Ouazzani seemed like a normal family man and didn't show any signs of extremism....
There were people moving money for Shahzad, and he had connections to the Pakistani Taliban. Now none of his jihadi patrons can shoot him a few bucks for a decent lawyer now? Of course not: that would implicate them, and in any case it's better to make the kuffar pay for it all.
More on this story. "First Look: Faisal Shahzad Mugshot," by Aaron Katersky for ABC News, May 19:
Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad, who made his first court appearance Tuesday, is seen here in a mug shot provided by the U.S. Marshals.
A federal judge assigned a public defender to Shahzad, who faces five terror-related counts in connection with the attempted car bombing of midtown Manhattan on May 1.
Shahzad appeared in a Manhattan federal courtroom Tuesday afternoon to hear the charges against him and to be assigned a public defender in an arraignment that lasted less than 10 minutes....
Shahzad uttered a faint "yes" when the judge asked if his affidavit of financial insufficiency was correct, meaning that Shahzad could not afford private counsel. Judge Francis then appointed public defender Julia Gatto to represent him. Shahzad's only request of the judge was that he be provided with halal meals - food that follows Islamic dietary restrictions....
Of course. We should make every accommodation for this would-be mass murderer. As Marisol put it earlier: "That is: 'Please go to extra trouble on the taxpayer dime to respectfully accommodate the belief system under whose orders (cf. Qur'an 9:5, for starters) my client tried to commit mass murder.'"
The intelligence community is clueless and compromised, to be sure. But it is no worse than any other U.S. government agency. Until there is a wholesale reevaluation of counterterror strategy, and a realistic appraisal of the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism in all its forms, there will be many more failures like this one.
"Intelligence agencies slammed over Christmas plot," by Eli Lake in the Washington Times, May 19:
A scathing new Senate report is blaming nearly every facet of the U.S. intelligence community for failing to connect the dots on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national who attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet en route from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.
The unclassified summary released late Tuesday found 14 specific faults in the intelligence community's actions prior to the Christmas Day failed bombing that saw an agent of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula nearly detonate a military-grade explosive sewn into his underwear.
The report for example faults the State Department for failing to revoke Mr. Abdulmutallab's visa; the CIA for failing to disseminate intelligence on him to other relevant agencies; the National Security Agency for failing to put Mr. Abdulmutallab on a "watch list"; and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) for failing to connect reporting on the Christmas Day bomber and to conduct additional research on him.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said, "The attempted Christmas Day attack was marked by several intelligence failures."
Mrs. Feinstein's Republican counterpart on the committee, Senator Christopher S. "Kit" Bond, offered an equally harsh assessment.
"Unfortunately, there is no longer any doubt that major intelligence failures allowed the Christmas Day bomber to almost turn our airplanes into deadly weapons once again," the Missouri lawmaker said in a statement. "We cannot depend on dumb luck, incompetent terrorists and alert citizens to keep our families safe. It is critical we make changes to prevent these types of intelligence failures in the future."...
Indeed. But the changes that need to be made are not on the horizon.
Svera was frank: "I'm afraid of my father. He beats me." But for the authorities it wasn't clear enough.
16 year old Svera R. from Zurich-Hongg: A strong person who wanted to live her life- without the bonds of the strict muslim faith which stood above everything for her father. On Monday he killed his fistborn child with an axe. Then he surrendered to the police.
Svera's friends are under shock. And they're in anger: "Svera was a poor girl. In the family there was a lot of confrontation.
Heated arguments", says Daniel A. (20) to BLICK. He lives in the community Rutihof next to family R. "Often the father was beating her so severely that we could see the bruises. She attended school in that condition." In 2007 the school filed a notion/alarm concerning the four kids who received Swiss citizenship. They got a social worker and an Egyptian counselor/mediator.
"Nonetheless, police and ambulance showed up several times", says Daniel A. "Last time I noticed was two weeks ago, when the father had a heart attack."
That incident was confirmed by Marco Cortesi, spokesman of the police in Zurich. "Scheragha R. was brought into hospital by an
ambulance." It was the second time the police got involved with family R. "Three weeks
ago we were called for the first time" according to Cortesi. "Svera ran away. Very soon
we located her at her boy-friend's home. On the phone she told an officer that things aren't all right at home any longer. That her father beats her and that she is afraid of him."
What does the police do with these information? "We offered her to visit the police station and provide a testimony- or move to a shelter. She didn't do either. That's why the charge of abuse wasn't investigated any further. This is standard procedure", says Cortesi.
The family counselor arranged a mediation between father and daughter. Svera spent a night at her parents' home but then ran away to her boy-friend.
"The third deployment in that case occurred on Monday when Svera and a friend of hers were caught stealing", says Cortesi. "We informed the parents." And Svera?
"She said it was ok with her- but she would run away from home instantly."
why were these cries for help not being paid attention to? Cortesi explains: "She
didn't go to the police station in order to provide a testimony, nor did she contact a shelter. That way a case like this does not get on record."
At the Guardianship Authority (I guess: Guardian ad litem) of the city of Zurich father's R. beatings were never an issue. Spokesman Martin Naef (39): "There were no indications of massive use of violence. It seems like it wasn't more than skirmishes/fisticuffs and arguments/conflicts." Moreover, family R. had been in care/coached intensively. Naef: "We were under the impression that tension had been in decline since 2007." During the last weeks the
family counselor increased visits to the family even more.
meeting with Svera, coaches and family counselor was scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Naef: "It was planned to talk about the situation at home and assistance/care."
Too late. Svera is dead.
The last meeting-place of the League of Nations, whose successor is just as useless
David G. Littman in the Assembly Hall where Haile Selassie appealed to the free world for help against fascism in 1936
After speaking at the Vienna Forum in Austria on May 8, I traveled to Geneva, where through the kind offices of the Association for World Education and human rights activist David G. Littman, I was able to get into the Belly of the Beast and witness some of the proceedings.
It was the same day that Kuwait delivered its national report to the UN General Assembly Human Rights Council's Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. This amounted to a report delivered by the country in question (Belarus was also up for this examination on that day), followed by comments by various other national representatives on the human rights situation in the country up for review.
This created some ghastly ironies, with Sudan, for example, commenting and making recommendations about the human rights situation in Belarus, but what I found most interesting was Kuwait's initial report, which contains a number of statements indicating that Sharia is supreme in Kuwait -- resulting in a precarious human rights situation for women and non-Muslims. But the wording was subtle, and of course none of the other state representatives picked up on any of this.
Here is a key example of that, from Kuwait's report:
Freedom of religion and belief
Article 2 of the Constitution of Kuwait states: "The State religion is Islam and the sharia is the main source of legislation. Laws are enacted in conformity with the sharia." Article 35 of the Constitution stipulates: "Freedom of belief is absolute. The State protects the freedom to practise religion in accordance with established customs and without prejudice to public order and public morals."
Based on this premise, the State grants the followers of all denominations of the revealed religions the freedom to practise their religion and to establish their own places of worship without any interference or restrictions, subject only to the maintenance of public order.
Subject only to the maintenance of public order is the key phrase here, for under that rubric enter in all of Sharia's restrictions on non-Muslim religious expression. Consequently we read in the 2009 International Religious Freedom Report for Kuwait that "religious minorities experienced some discrimination as a result of governmental policies and non-Sunni Muslims continued to find it difficult or impossible to obtain legal permission to establish new places of worship." Prohibiting non-Muslims to establish new places of worship is entirely in accord with Sharia.
And so it was just another day at the UN in Geneva, where unreality generally prevails:
Correction: Not "Disarm OR Perish," but "Disarm AND Perish"
Thus proving who is in control. "Delhi CM fears trouble if Afzal is hanged," from CNN-IBN, May 19 (thanks to Slothy):
New Delhi: Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's mercy petition has been sent back by the Delhi government on Wednesday to Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna with the Delhi government fearing ant-social [sic] elements may try and foment communal trouble in some parts of the national capital.
Sources have told CNN-IBN the state government has addressed the issues raises [sic] by the Lieutenant Governor Khanna. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has reportedly replied that some anti-social elements can use the Afzal's hanging to their advantage in some parts of trans-Yamuna and Jamia Millia Islamia.
Khanna had returned the file on Tuesday within hours of getting it seeking clarifications and asking the Delgi [sic] government to clearly specify whether it supported Afzal Guru's hanging or not.
Delhi government has already agreed with the Supreme Court judgement that Afzal's was an act of terror and that it merits death by hanging....
But with public opinion in favour of speedy hanging of Kasab, the Central Government is under pressure to move fast. However, a decision on Afzal's hanging could prove a deterrent.
Government sources say that Prime Minister's Office is worried that Afzal hanging could have repercussions in Jammu and Kashmir, which would dilute its vantage point on peace talks with Pakistan.
The sudden speeding up of the Afzal file from the Delhi government could be an attempt by the Centre to send out the message that it is serious about fast tracking Mumbai attacker Ajmal Amir Kasab issue.
Islamic War On Free Speech Alert, and an update on this story. "Muslim anger prompts Pakistan to block Facebook," by Babar Dogar for Associated Press, May 19 (thanks to Maxwell):
LAHORE, Pakistan - Pakistan's government ordered Internet service providers to block Facebook on Wednesday amid anger over a page that encourages users to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
The page on the social networking site has generated criticism in Pakistan and elsewhere because Islam prohibits any images of the prophet. The government took action after a group of Islamic lawyers won a court order Wednesday requiring officials to block Facebook until May 31.
By Wednesday evening, access to the site was sporadic, apparently because Internet providers were implementing the order.
The Facebook page at the center of the dispute -- "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" -- encourages users to post images of the prophet on May 20 to protest threats made by a radical Muslim group against the creators of "South Park" for depicting Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode earlier this year.
In the southern city of Karachi, some 2,000 female students rallied demanding that Facebook be banned for tolerating the controversial web page. Several dozen male students held a rally nearby, with some holding signs that urged Islamic holy war against those who blaspheme the prophet.
"We are not trying to slander the average Muslim," said the information section of the Facebook page, which was still accessible Wednesday morning. "We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Mohammad depictions that we're not afraid of them. That they can't take away our right to freedom of speech by trying to scare us into silence."...
Sounds reasonable to me.
In an attempt to respond to public anger over the Facebook controversy, the Pakistani government ordered Internet service providers in the country to block the page Tuesday, said Khurram Ali, a spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, which regulates the telecommunications network in the country.
But the Islamic Lawyers Forum asked the Lahore High Court on Wednesday to order the government to fully block Facebook because the site had allowed the page to be posted in the first place, said the deputy attorney general of Punjab province, Naveed Inayat Malik.
The court complied with the request and ordered the government to block the site until the end of May, Malik said.
Lawyers outside the courtroom hailed the ruling, chanting "down with Facebook."...
That article spoke of "a shocking audiotape of a conversation between Hamid Mir - one of the country's top TV anchors - and a man purportedly linked to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has revealed that negative information that Mir passed on to the Taliban could have led to the execution of Khalid Khawaja, the retired Air Force official allegedly killed by a group calling themselves the 'Asian Tigers.'"
The article also contains a list of "points of interest in the conversation" - that is, in the taped conversation with Hamid Mir - that need a little fleshing out. For example, it notes Hamid Mir's contempt and hatred for those described as Qadianis - that is, Ahmadis, who on official government forms in Pakistan are not allowed to describe themselves as Muslims. That contempt and hatred is shared by many Pakistanis, but is most pronounced among those who are most fanatically Muslim. And when such people describe the Ahmadis as "Qadianis" and as "kuffar" - that is, as Infidels - they are consigning them, in Muslim Pakistan, to a cruel fate.
It further appears that Hamid Mir, in discussing the Air Force officer Khalid Khawaja who was murdered by the Pakistani Taliban, may have suggested that there was some connection between Khawaja and the Qadianis. It may be that Mir accused Khawaja of having "Qadiani" sympathies, or perhaps suggested that he was related by marriage to "Qadianis" or even that he had been "Qadiani" - that is "Ahmadi" - himself. All of that would make him, in the eyes of many in Pakistan, but certainly in the eyes of the Taliban, to be as an Infidel -- and thus deserving death in the endless war between Islam and All The Rest.
Double standard ably skewered: "While we wouldn't dare say 'boo' to a Muslim here, Christians are persecuted in a Muslim country," by Cristina Odone in the Telegraph, May 18. After detailing some of the stories of the persecution of Christians in Iraq -- stories that were posted along with other, similar ones, at Jihad Watch -- Odone writes:
So far, their appeal has not moved Hillary Clinton. Here, supporters of Iraqi Christians fear that William Hague will be similarly uninterested in the issue. Iraq is very much a live issue with the electorate - especially among Muslims; and, in these paranoid times, to defend Iraqi Christians from their Muslim fellow-citizens could be misinterpreted as an attack on Islam.
While Muslims in this country enjoy the benefits of a society where tolerance is not only legal but culturally ingrained, Christians in a Muslim country (in fact several Muslim countries - being a Christian in neighbouring Iran is no picnic) must withstand wave after wave of attacks. How amazing if the new Foreign Secretary were to address this thorny issue - though it would be nothing short of miraculous for Hague to get backing from his fiercely secular Lib Dem coalition partners on this one.
Why we see so few Muslims speaking out in any truly honest or effective way against the jihad terrorists, chapter 162: "Anti-Qaeda Sunni imams slaughtered in Iraq: military," from AFP, May 18 (thanks to Benedict):
BAQUBA, Iraq -- Two Sunni Arab imams were brutally killed on Monday in Iraq, including one who was decapitated and had his head planted on a power pole, in attacks blamed on Al-Qaeda, military officials said.
The slayings in the province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad, were against anti-Qaeda preachers who regularly railed against the terror network during Friday sermons.
"At around 2:00 pm (1100 GMT), armed Al-Qaeda members captured Sheikh Abdullah Shakur while he was in Saadiyah market," said a Diyala military command officer who declined to be identified, referring to the central town.
"They returned an hour later with his head and attached it to an electricity post."...
Don't they know that all Muslims in Kosovo are moderate, peace-loving pro-American Religion of Peacers? And that only greasy Islamophobes think otherwise? Perhaps these brothers are Islamophobic Muslims...
Julia Gorin has a translation of a Swedish article on this: "Sweden: Suspects in Vilks attack are two brothers," from Republican Riot, May 19:
The 21 and 19 year old arrested on for the attempted arson attack against Lars Vilks house are brothers, reports Sydsvenskan. The 21 year old man was arrested in his mother's apartment in Landskrona. He was arrested early Saturday morning - suspected for attempted arson....
The 21 year old moved from Kosovo to Sweden with his family in the early 1990s. He's a religious Muslim and regularly visits the mosque. But his sister says she has difficulty accepting that her brother is now a suspect in the attack against Lars Vilks.
"He's extremely kind. Certainly he's religious, but that doesn't mean that he would do such a thing," she says....
Gee, I wonder why? The full article (not reproduced below) hastens to assure us that Buddhists in Cambodia and Christians in Uganda do this sort of thing too, but that doesn't account for the rise in such attacks in Britain. Buddhists aren't streaming into the U.K. from Cambodia, or Christians from Uganda, are they? The best hint comes in this sentence: "The Taliban and fellow extremists have frequently resorted to throwing acid in women's faces for even small transgressions."
Of course, no Islamic law sanctions the disfiguring of those who besmirch the family honor. But with honor killing broadly tolerated -- its perpetrators given light sentences at best in countries such as Jordan and Syria -- this kind of thing is going to happen.
"Charities fear rise in acid attacks avenging slights on family honour," by Jerome Taylor for The Independent, May 19 (thanks to all who sent this in):
When Awais Akram answered his mobile to Sadia Khatoon, a 24-year-old married woman whom he had met on Facebook and had recently started a physical, but not sexual, relationship with, he had little idea of the fate that was about to befall him.
Mrs Khatoon insisted they meet outside his flat in Leytonstone, east London, but as Mr Akram stepped out into the summer sunshine his lover was nowhere to be seen. Instead he was confronted by three masked men wearing gloves, one of whom was carrying a bottle of "Give It One Shot" drain cleaner.
The men, who included Mrs Khatoon's brother Mohammed Vakas, had come to wipe off what they believed was a stain on their family's "izzat" (honour). Beating and stabbing Mr Akram was not enough. As he lay bleeding on the floor, Vakas stepped over his victim and poured the entire bottle of drain cleaner over Mr Akram's face and body.
In parts of the developing world - particularly south-east Asia, the south Asian subcontinent and east Africa - acid attacks are common. The Taliban and fellow extremists have frequently resorted to throwing acid in women's faces for even small transgressions, such as daring to go out unveiled. But there are concerns that such attacks may also be on the increase in the UK.
Hospital admission figures for the past three years show a steady rise in the number of people being treated for acid attacks. According to the NHS information centre, 44 people were admitted to hospital in 2006-07 after they were "assaulted with a corrosive substance". The following year the figure jumped to 67 and last year there were 69 admissions.
The figures only include hospital admissions where a patient had to spend one night or more in hospital and there is no ethnic breakdown. But charity workers fear there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest acid attacks are becoming more common....
China and Turkey buy up Iraqi oil fields. Is this what we fought for in Iraq -- to secure an oil supply for the Chinese and rapidly-Islamizing Turkey? "CNOOC Seals Deal on Iraq Oil Field," by Chen Zhu for Caixin Online, May 18 (thanks to D.):
CNOOC Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed unit of China National Offshore Oil Corp. has partnered with the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corp. (TPAO) to win a contract with Iraq to develop the lucrative Missan oil-field in southern Iraq, marking CNOOC's first upstream access to Iraqi oil following its two major rivals, CNPC and Sinopec.
According to CNOOC, the 20-year contract includes an increase of Missan's production capacity to 450,000 barrels per day from the current 100,000 barrels a day within six years. CNOOC has agreed to price every additional barrel of oil produced after capacity rises by 10 percent at US$ 2.30.
CNOOC will be the operator and hold 63.75 percent of the interest. TPAO will have 11.25 percent interest while an Iraqi drilling company will hold the remaining 25 percent....
The other two major Chinese oil companies, CNPC and Sinopec, have also gained a foothold in the Iraqi oil industry. In November 2008, CNPC and China North Industries Corp. set up a joint venture and signed a 20-year development contract for Al-Ahdab Oilfield....
Even though Shahzad settled on Times Square, to whom did the information on other targets go? "Times Square bomb suspect eyed other targets, official says," from CNN, May 18:
New York (CNN) -- The man accused of attempting to set off a car bomb in Times Square considered other targets in and around New York before the failed attack, an investigator said.
Faisal Shahzad, 30, pondered attacks on Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, the World Financial Center and Connecticut helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky, going so far as to case some of the targets, a senior counterterrorism official with oversight of the investigation said Tuesday.
Dressed in a gray sweatsuit, free of handcuffs, Shahzad appeared before a federal magistrate on Tuesday afternoon to hear the charges against him. As he walked into courtroom, Shahzad gave a slight smile to his public defender, Julia Gatto. At the end of the hearing, Gatto requested that Shahzad be served halal food -- prepared according to Islamic dietary laws -- while jailed.
That is: "Please go to extra trouble on the taxpayer dime to respectfully accommodate the belief system under whose orders (cf. Qur'an 9:5, for starters) my client tried to commit mass murder."
Of course, the politically correct dogma currently in force prevents most in the justice system from acknowledging that Islam has anything to do with jihadist terrorism. But, if for no other reason than fiscal responsibility: How about some Tofurky?
"It is crucial to study the supremacist ideology of Islam and to recognize, for example, that the building of a mosque especially at Ground Zero is viewed by Muslims as a decisive victory over the infidels in Islam's march to establish its ultimate goal: the submission of all others to Islam and to Sharia Law."
An extraordinarily important point.
Wafa Sultan writes in Hudson NY today about the 9/11 mosque:
A new mosque is now being planned in New York near "Ground Zero," two blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be. This mosque is headed by an Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the Cordoba Initiative, who proposes to convert the now-shuttered Burlington Coat Factory on Park Place into an Islamic Cultural Center which would contain a mosque.
It is crucial to study the supremacist ideology of Islam and to recognize, for example, that the building of a mosque especially at Ground Zero is viewed by Muslims as a decisive victory over the infidels in Islam's march to establish its ultimate goal: the submission of all others to Islam and to Sharia Law.
On a daily bases, in so many parts of the world, deadly attacks are perpetrated by Jihadists either against non Muslims or, frequently, against Muslims -- especially Muslim women. The terror type of Jihad, however, is only one way for Islamists to accomplish their mission of making the "Kafir," or infidels, submit to Sharia Law. Another method is, as the author Robert Spencer calls it, an insidious, creeping "Stealth Jihad."
While Mr. Shahzad is the impatient Jihadist who attempts to destroy the West through terror, there is also the second type of Jihadist, who is much more patient, and who employs the "Stealth Jihad." The Stealth Jihadis are subtle in their approach and take their time to accomplish the same objective of submitting us all under Islam and under Sharia Law.
Recently, two separate episodes highlight this gloomy reality. The first is the attempted bombing of Times Square by the Pakistani terrorist, Faisal Shahzad, called by Leon de Winter "The Foreclosure Terrorist" from an anchor at CNN who said, "It can be confirmed that his house has been foreclosed in recent years. I mean, one would have to imagine, that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family."
To someone who grew up in a Muslim country, as I did, this can only be seen as ludicrous. Perhaps there should be a formal Fatwa, or religious edict called the "Foreclosure Jihad." No doubt, those at Al Azhar University in Cairo - the epicenter of Islamic jurisprudence -- might like this idea: It is an effective way to conceal the true narrative of Islam....
The war on free speech continues to escalate. Nonetheless, despite the fact that these plotters were caught, on this front as of yet only one side is really fighting, or has any comprehensive realization of what is at stake. "Detained militant in Iraq details World Cup plot," by Qassim Abdul-Zahra for AP, May 18 (thanks to Jos):
BAGHDAD -- An al-Qaida militant detained in Iraq on suspicion of plotting to attack the World Cup told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wanted to target Danish and Dutch teams to avenge insults against the Prophet Muhammad.
Iraqi security forces announced the arrest of Saudi citizen Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani Monday, saying he was suspected of planning an attack in South Africa during the World Cup beginning June 11.
During an interview arranged by the Iraqi security officials holding al-Qahtani, he described the plot and said the idea of attacking the World Cup came up in late 2009 during talks with friends over content in the Western media that was offensive to Muslims.
"We discussed the possibility of taking revenge for the insults of the Prophet by attacking Denmark and Holland," he said....
"The goal was to attack the Danish and the Dutch teams and their fans," the militant said. "If we were not able to reach the teams, then we'd target the fans," he said, adding that they hoped to use guns and car bombs....
Fantasy, yes, but ultimately a murderous, genocidal fantasy. "PA TV again to children: All Israel is 'Palestine,'" by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik for Palestinian Media Watch, May 18:
During this week's PA TV children's program Katakit ("Chicks") the children in the studio told of their visits to places in Israel - Jaffa, Haifa and the Sea of Galilee. However, following the common PA teaching, Israel's existence was not mentioned and the PA TV host included those places as all being part of the "state, Palestine."
The PA TV studio displays a large map of "Palestine" that includes all of Israel. On the map are the words in English: "Explore Your Country," and in Arabic: "My country is so beautiful." The program is broadcast twice weekly.
The transcript of PA TV presenting Israel as "Palestine":
Host: "Do you enjoy going on trips? So show me where you've been on the map of Palestine."
Children approach the map in the studio on which all of Israel is "Palestine."
Girl points to places on map: "We went to the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret, lake in Israel) and to the Dead Sea."
Boy points on map: "Jaffa, Haifa." (Israeli cities)
Girl: "And Jericho."
Boy: "And Jenin and Nablus."
Host: "So you've visited many different places in Palestine, and that's very good. It's very good that we're always visiting new places in our state, Palestine."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 16, 2010]...
In "Clinton: It's OK If Pakistan Lets Anti-American Terror Attacks Be Planned There As Long as NY Street Vendors Stop Them," Barry Rubin skewers Hillary Clinton's -- and Obama's -- dhimmitude and wishful thinking regarding Pakistan:
After ascertaining that the Times Square bomber had connections with the Pakistani Taliban, secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about her view of Pakistan's cooperation. She responded:
"This is a threat that we share. We have a common enemy. There is no time to waste going after that common enemy." She would not criticize Pakistan and in fact said, “I have to stand up for the effort that the Pakistani government is taking....We’ve gotten more cooperation and it’s been a real sea change" in their efforts.
But the tip-offs are the phrases about how effective the Pakistani government is being against terrorists "in their own country" and about a "threat that we share." In other words, as I've previously pointed out, the Pakistani government fights against terrorists that want to overthrow it (Pakistani Taliban) but not against those who merely want to kill Indians (several Pakistani-backed groups) or Americans (al-Qaida, Afghan Taliban).
Let me underline this point. The Pakistani government may act regarding threats that "we share," but does not regard al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban--in contrast to the Pakistani Taliban--as threats to itself.
It is hardly surprising that Pakistan would struggle against those who want to bring down its own government, line up its leaders against the wall, and shoot them. But how much help is U.S. aid buying against those who aren't targeting Pakistan or are even cooperating with the regime there? Not much....
Jihad chic for aspiring mujahedin and dhimmis alike. "Hezbollah holds 'Jihad tours' for students," from YNet News, May 18:
Just days before the tenth anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Hezbollah hosted hundreds of students at what it called 'The Land of Islamic Resistance'.
For many of the Muslim and Christian young people it was the first visit to southern Lebanon. "We want our students, whether they are Hezbollah members, supporters or rivals, to see the land that Israel occupied for 22 years," said group member Mohammad Taleb.
"We want young people to know of the achievements made by the resistance and show them how wrong Israeli occupation is. This land was liberated by thousands of resistance fighters who fought every day in order to return the land to their people."
Many of the students were wide-eyed at a meeting with Hezbollah's militants. "It was like being in a movie," said Grace, a Christian Lebanese student. "I respect these young men, who liberated my land. I don't see them as terrorists, as the West describes them."
And I don't see you as a Christian, but as a dhimmi Islamochristian.
The militants, on their side, showed their guests how to fire rockets and anti-aircraft missiles. "These young people give us strength," said one gunman after the demonstration....
"It's surreal," said a French student who took part in the tour. "It's like Disneyland. I never expected to see such things."...
In Big Government today, Pamela Geller and I wrote this article about the 9/11 mosque and the shady leader of the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf:
A massive fifteen-story mosque and Islamic Center going up in what was once the shadow of the World Trade Center claims to offer "the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11." The Center organizers, the America Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), have worked hard in the media to portray themselves as Islamic moderates working for peace on the exact spot where their belligerent coreligionists perpetrated murder and mayhem in the name of their religion. But the words and deeds of the leader of the effort, the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, suggests a more ominous reality: Abdul Rauf is a master of deceptive, Orwellian use of language, manifesting a deep contempt for non-Muslims and full accord with the supremacist goals of the 9/11 hijackers.
So anxious were they to secure the location at Ground Zero that a Muslim real estate company paid $4.85 million in cash for the building, with part coming from Abdul Rauf's other Islamic group, the Cordoba Initiative. It is unnerving - the deliberate speed and anxiousness that the leader of the American Society for Muslim Advancement has demonstrated in working to open a mosque at the gaping wound of Ground Zero. He claims that it will heal that wound. But how will it do that? How will a mosque, the place where jihadis go for spiritual sustenance, at Ground Zero help stop jihad terrorism? Even the name of the initiative - Cordoba - speaks volumes. While Islamic Spain is held up today as a proto-multiculturalist paradise, in reality non-Muslims there suffered under the discrimination prescribed in Islamic law for dhimmis, non-believers who were subjugated as inferiors and denied equality of rights.
Why draw Muhammad? Why make fun of the man Muslims revere most? Why arouse their ire?
Precisely because they react with murderous rage when one does this.
Now that may seem odd -- why would anyone want to provoke someone else's murderous rage?
Because it is an object lesson in pluralism. Either we put up with being offended by one another, or we enact speech codes that establish one group as beyond criticism. The latter road is the path to authoritarianism and tyranny. To respond to speech one considers offensive without threats and murder is a cardinal element of a society that respects all its citizens enough to allow them a voice in the public square, no matter how despised and hated their opinions may be. So free speech is a key element of any society in which all people are equal before the law.
And now when free speech is under serious attack both Stateside and internationally, and a key battlefield in the war against it is so-called "Islamophobia" and the Muhammad cartoons, it is essential to stand up and say that it is madness to threaten and kill over a cartoon drawing. And to stand for free speech whatever the risks.
Fear of Free Speech Alert: "ISPs directed to block Facebook's blasphemous link," from The News International, May 18 (thanks to Block Ness):
KARACHI: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to close a Facebook's link about the competition of the blasphemous caricatures.
A caricature competition is being held on May 20 at a link of the www.facebook.com under a plot to hurt the millions of Muslims around the world.
The PTA, taking notice of this attempt, has asked the ISPs to ensure the blockage of this particular link of the facebook website.
Fuck the organizers of draw Mohammed day. May they BURN IN HELL (INSHALLAH)
Your bodies will burn in fire in your graves and then in hell. We Muslims, can't even think of saying or doing the same for your Prophets because we respect that all Prophets were send by Allah Almighty. You should be ashamed of yourselves YOU BLOODY PIG EATERS.
Meanwhile, you can join in the fun Thursday here. And post your drawings to the SIOA page also.
"Morocco is an Islamic state where stages should not used to allow a person with such a degree of debauchery to perform, because we have to shield the young from such influences." "Sir Elton John Faces Down Islamic Protest to Play Morocco," by Chris Mugan for Spinner, May 19:
Sir Elton John is to headline Morocco's largest music festival, despite calls from Islamist political parties that the government should deny him entry.
Opposition politicians argue the ivory-tinkling performer would harm the image of the North African kingdom should he be allowed to perform at the Mawazine World Rhythms Festival in the country's capital, Rabat.
Despite the outcry, Sir Elton will headline the festival -- which begins on May 21 -- and brings together musicians from 50 countries. This follows news earlier this month that the openly gay artist has been banned from Egypt over remarks about Jesus, as was previously reported in Spinner....
Mustapha Ramid, from the opposition Islamist PJD party said, "Morocco is an Islamic state where stages should not used to allow a person with such a degree of debauchery to perform, because we have to shield the young from such influences."
What could go wrong? Absurd Britannia Alert: "Judge rules terror pair ARE a threat to national security... but they CAN'T be deported because of human rights," from the Daily Mail, May 18 (thanks to Alexandre):
Two Pakistani men branded a threat to national security by a judge, today won the right to stay in the country.
Al-Qaeda operative Abid Naseer, 24, and Ahmad Faraz Khan, 26, should not be deported back to their homeland because of the risk to their safety, the same immigration judge ruled.
The pair were arrested last year in counter-terrorism raids but never charged. This morning they were told they had won their appeal against deportation at a hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).
Mr Justice Mitting, in a written ruling of the tribunal, said: 'For the reasons stated, we are satisfied that Naseer was an al Qaeda operative who posed and still poses a serious threat to the national security of the UK and that... it is conducive to the public good that he should be deported.'
But he added that the tribunal was allowing the appeal because 'the issue of safety on return' made it impossible to deport Naseer to Pakistan....
"Radical Islam" is a flawed term, as those who use it tend to assume the existence of a form of Islam that does not teach warfare against unbelievers and their subjugation under Islamic law, but otherwise this unsigned editorial is spot-on.
Find out the roots of Obama's denial and obfuscation in The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War On America. Pre-order here.
"EDITORIAL: Obama's invisible Islam: Democrats refuse to admit who the jihadist enemy is," from the Washington Times, May 17 (thanks to all who sent this in):
[...] The Obama administration seems to have issued an internal gag order that forbids any official statements that might cast even the most extreme interpretations of the Islamic religion in a negative light. The "force protection review" of the Fort Hood massacre omitted any mention of shooter Nidal Malik Hasan's openly radical Islamic worldview or the fact that he made the jihadist war cry "Allahu Akbar!" before opening fire. Initially, the Obama administration refused to even call the massacre an act of terrorism, much less radical Islamic terrorism.
Last year, the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Extremist Lexicon, which was pulled out of circulation in the wake of controversy with other department publications, listed Jewish extremism and various forms of Christian extremism as threats but made no mention of any form of Muslim extremism. The Feb. 1, 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review discusses terrorism and violent extremism but does not mention radical Islam as a motivator, or in any context. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review likewise avoids any terminology related to Islam.
The Obama administration may not like to think of being at war with radical Islam, but the jihadists are definitely at war with the United States. Rather than running from the expression "radical Islam," the administration should be openly discussing the ideological motives of the terrorists and finding ways to delegitimize them. Instead of hedging, obfuscating and ignoring, these Democrats should confront the challenge frankly, openly and honestly. Pretending that a radical, violent strain of Islam does not exist will not make it go away. To the contrary, it will make the situation much worse.
President Obama's continuing solicitude toward the faith of Muhammad is inexplicable, and as these acts of denial continue, it is becoming dangerous. The United States will not defeat an enemy it is afraid to identify.
More death and mayhem for Allah. "Taliban suicide bomb hits NATO convoy, kills 18," by Amir Shah for Associated Press, May 18:
KABUL, Afghanistan - A Taliban suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital Tuesday, killing six troops -- five Americans and one Canadian, officials said. Twelve Afghan civilians also died -- many of them on a public bus in rush-hour traffic.
The powerful blast occurred on a major Kabul thoroughfare that runs by the ruins of a one-time royal palace and government ministries. It wrecked nearly 20 vehicles, including five SUVs in the NATO convoy, and scattered debris and body parts across the wide boulevard. The body of woman in a burqa was smashed against the window of the bus.
The attack -- the deadliest for NATO troops in the capital since September -- comes despite a ramped up effort by Afghan authorities to intercept would-be attackers and better secure a capital city that saw a spate of brazen attacks this winter.
In the last such attack in February, suicide bombers stormed two small downtown hotels and killed 16 people....
Still, Iraq oil exports are bringing in a nice chunk of change. Yet U.S. money is still pouring into Iraq -- and for it we're not even getting protection of the oil supplies from jihad attacks. "Iraq's oil exports in April down 4.3 percent due to attacks on infrastructure," from The Associated Press, May 18:
BAGHDAD (AP) - An Iraqi official says oil exports have dipped in April by 4.3 percent compared to March due to continued insurgent attacks on infrastructure.
Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad says last month's daily exports averaged 1.76 million barrels, down by 4.3 percent from 1.84 million barrels a day in March.
Jihad says April's oil revenues stand at $4.222 billion with an average price of $79.66 a barrel.
Al-Qaeda grows in Brooklyn. "Feds: Brooklyn Man Traveled To Iraq To Wage 'Jihad,'" by Jonathan Dienst and Ryan Smith for NBC New York, May 17:
A Brooklyn man charged with swearing allegiance to al Qaeda pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom Monday.
Prosecutors said Sabirhan Hasanoff traveled to Iraq and other Mideast countries to try to help the terror organization and to try to wage violent jihad.
"He performed real and tangible work on behalf of the (terror) group," said assistant U.S. attorney John Cronan. He added that Hasanoff received "specific assignments" from al Qaeda operatives....
Prosecutors said Hasanoff and El-Hanafi purchased Casio watches and wired money to al Qaeda members. "Casio digital watches are valued by al Qaeda because they can be modified for use in explosives," Cronan said....
Officials said the two men used their computer expertise to help al Qaeda members improve their clandestine communications.
Investigators said last year, several of their overseas terror contacts were arrested. Since then, investigators said the Brooklyn men were seeking new al Qaeda operatives to help in "jihad."
After the court hearing, family members declined to comment -- although at one point, they shoved a still photographer who was trying to take their picture.
Bat Ye'or, whose groundbreaking historical research on dhimmitude opened my eyes, made sense of a great deal I was seeing in Islamic doctrine and history but which was not explained elsewhere, and inspired me to do the work I am doing now, speaks at the Vienna Forum in Austria.
Her talk was sponsored by the Hudson Institute, the Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe, and Kairos Journal. The Forum topic was "The Future of Europe and the Challenge of Islam." Bat Ye'or spoke as part of a panel, "Historical Background and Thorny Issues," with Douglas Murray, Paul Marshall and me.
The incident about which Goldberg writes in this piece is in the video above. The reaction he received from campus officials is characteristic of the academic Left today -- witness UNC's reaction to their professor Omid Safi's defamation of me. "Left, right and wrong: A recent exchange at UCSD illustrates the reaction of those who stick to a well-rehearsed script on issues rather than thinking," by Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times, May 18:
[...] I asked UCSD, via e-mail, whether the woman in question was censured in any way for endorsing bigotry and genocide, or if the video was somehow misleading. In response, I received boilerplate about how, in the tradition of Aristotle, UCSD treasures "discourse and debate" and how "the very foundations of every great university are set upon the rock-solid principles of freedom of thought and freedom of speech."
I wrote back, in part: "Thank you for your response. I must say I find it fairly non-responsive. Out of curiosity, if a UCSD student publicly called for the extermination of gays and blacks, would this be your only response as well?"
I then received an even less responsive primer on how student groups are funded on campus.
Now, I could write at length about UCSD's hypocrisy. After all, the school recently launched a "Battle Hate" campaign in response to some idiotic stunt called the "Compton Cookout" at which a fraternity held a racially offensive event off campus during Black History Month. Administrators went into overdrive, the Black Student Union issued 32 demands, the vice chancellor righteously explained to students that although the event may have been beyond the school's "legal jurisdiction," it was not beyond UCSD's "moral jurisdiction."
"We have the moral high ground!" she shouted before trying to start a chant of "Not in our community!"
Well, Albahri's statements were not only within the UCSD community, they were well inside the school's legal and moral jurisdiction. And yet in response, we don't get the familiar kabuki of official outrage. Instead we get: This endorsement of genocide is brought to you by Aristotle.
The important point here isn't the school's double standard. It's that on campuses, and in the wider intellectual culture, people can't let go of their dog-eared script. It's not that conventional racism is no longer a problem, nor is it that the civil rights era no longer resonates. But freaking out over the vestiges of familiar racism is firmly within the comfort zone of contemporary liberalism. Indeed, it's an industry. Yet when it comes to students like Albahri -- and there are many like her -- administrators become brainless and lost. Lacking an adequate script, they resort to bromides about Aristotle.
Off campus, liberals crave a comfortable plot in which bigoted "homegrown" white men are the villains while Muslims are scapegoats. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was willing to bet that the Times Square bomber might turn out to be an opponent of healthcare reform....
In the featured article at FrontPage this morning, I discuss genocide-endorser Jumanah Imad Albahri's non-retraction and non-apology:
Jumanah Imad Albahri, the Muslim student at the University of California at San Diego who last week endorsed a new genocide of Jews, has now issued a statement - and as is characteristic also of jihadist communiqués these days, it's a masterpiece of disingenuousness and attempts to claim victim status.
Albahri started out by saying - apparently unequivocally - that she wasn't for what she said she was for last week: "Allow me to begin by stating that I do NOT condone murder, I do NOT condone genocide, and I do NOT condone racism under any circumstance whatsoever against Jews or anyone else." And what's more, "these accusations are lies that I refuse to allow David Horowitz and his allies to perpetuate in their irresponsible and hateful smear campaign against those who disagree with or differ from them."
Lies? What lies? It's useful at this point to recall how Jumanah Albahri rocketed to fame in the first place: it all started when David Horowitz, during the question-and-answer period after his talk at UCSD, asked Albahri: "The head of Hizballah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn't have to hunt us down globally. For or Against it?" Albahri, enunciating her words clearly and forcefully, responded with a forthright endorsement of genocide: "For it."
But now that she has become the poster child for Islamic neo-Nazism, the idea that she condones genocide is a "lie" and David Horowitz is perpetrating a "smear campaign."
Poor Jumanah, smeared by her own words!
Albahri's disingenuousness and finger-pointing only increases as her statement goes on. She dismisses as "ridiculous" the charge that she is anti-Semitic. Why? Because, Jumanah Albahri piously informs us, "I am a Semite."
Very well. Let's not waste our time arguing over nomenclature. Albahri is herself a Semite, and so could not be anti-Semitic? Fine. Allow me, then, to pose the question in a slightly different way: is Jumanah Albahri a Jew-hater? Would it be reasonable to think that she is, after her avowal of the fact that she wants to see the Jews gather in Israel so that Muslims don't have to hunt them down elsewhere? Or would that be "ridiculous"?
Displaying her own fine grasp of the ridiculous, Albahri goes on to portray David Horowitz as the real villain of the piece: the problem, you see, is not that she endorsed genocide, but that "Mr. Horowitz spent an hour indiscriminately attacking liberals, students, Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians, utilizing verbiage that completely departed from an academic tone and delved into hate speech--especially labeling groups and individuals that support Palestinian rights 'terrorists.'" One might think that given Albahri's own endorsement of mass murder on a global scale, she might be more understanding about Horowitz's use of the word "terrorists," but she is apparently not that self-reflective.
After several paragraphs of puffery, filled with ad hominem attacks against David Horowitz and Palestinian claims to victim status, Albahri finally offers an explanation of how a poor victim soul such as she was manipulated by the demonic Horowitz into endorsing genocide:
"Towards the end of the exchange, I became emotional. I could no longer hear Mr. Horowitz speaking and so did not even hear his injection of Hezbollah's credo of 'rounding up' Jews in his last tangent. I could no longer contain my anger at being implicitly and improperly labeled a terrorist, an anti-Semite, and a proponent of genocide. The answer I was coerced into giving grossly misrepresented my beliefs and ideologies."
Those who are tempted to believe Albahri's claim that she was "coerced" into saying she favored the mass murder of Jews should at this point watch the video again. Watching it makes it impossible to believe that she could not hear what Horowitz was saying, or that she was coerced in any way into answering the way she did. Perhaps sensing this, she goes on to attempt yet another explanation: she did say it, but she didn't mean it:
My answer, "for it," in the context in which it was said does NOT mean "for" genocide. I was referring to his initial question that asked me for my position on Hamas, a topic that for his own political reasons he was relentless in pursuing. "For it" was not a legitimization of Hezbollah's or anyone else's credo for that matter that Jews should be exterminated. In fact, Mr. Horowitz's intent was to entrap me with his barrage of questions so that he could avoid answering my question, and construe any answer that I would provide as anti-Semitic, genocidal hate speech in order to further his political agenda.
Here again, watching the video makes this position impossible to sustain. Horowitz formulated his question clearly and pointedly. Albahri shows no signs of confusion or disorientation, and answers Horowitz's question as deliberately and forcefully as he asked it.
And so finally, does Jumanah Albahri condemn Hamas? She does not. "My opinion of Hamas," she explains, "is not as simple as condemn or condone, 'for it' or 'against it.'" She opposes "the killing of civilians," without explaining whether she endorses the common Muslim view that there are no civilians in Israel, and concludes:
"I condone Hamas in its ambition to liberate the Palestinian people. I condone Hamas as the duly elected representative government of the Palestinian people granted governance in an election overseen by our ex-President Jimmy Carter; and characterized as fair, open, and fully democratic. I condone Hamas in its desire to end the inhumane siege of the Gazan people. I condone Hamas in its struggle to free the 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children unjustly locked away in Israeli prisons."
Albahri sums up: "It seems that in Mr. Horowitz's logic, my support of freedom, peace, and justice makes me a 'terrorist.'"
No, Jumanah. Your support of genocidal Jew-haters makes you a terrorist, or at very least a terrorist sympathizer....
In Human Events today I discuss the MSA's non-condemnation of the Muslim UCSD student's endorsement of genocide:
A Muslim student at the University of California at San Diego last week endorsed a new genocide of Jews. Although one can only imagine the media hue and cry had a conservative student said this, the liberal media has not found Jumanah Imad Albahri's statement fit to print. However, the UC-San Diego chapter of the Muslim Student Association did feel it necessary to issue a "clarification," which only muddied the waters further and raised questions about the prevalence of Islamic anti-Semitism and supremacism among Muslims in the United States.
It all started when the veteran conservative activist David Horowitz, during the question-and-answer period after his talk at the university, asked Albahri: "The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn't have to hunt us down globally. For or against it?" Albahri answered with a straightforward endorsement of genocide: "For it."
The Muslim Student Association is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, an international Islamic organization that is dedicated (in its own words as recorded in a captured internal document) to "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within." And so it is perhaps not surprising that the MSA's press release in the wake of Albahri's remark reeks of disingenuousness and damage control, but doesn't get around to condemning Hamas and Hezbollah (as Horowitz had asked Albahri to do), or even to condemning Albahri's endorsement of genocide.
But the USCD MSA did manage to condemn "all groups or organizations, whether state or non-state actors, who target civilians or target a civilian population to impose collective punishment." Was it condemning attacks like September 11, or the July 7, 2005 bombings in London? Not necessarily. Jihadists have said that "there are no civilians in Israel." Thus a genocide of Jews there would not, according to this twisted logic, constitute the targeting of a civilian population. And it did seem as if the MSA had Israel in mind, since after explaining how the Koran forbade killing anyone "unjustly," the MSA statement added: "It is for this very reason that MSA has organized events such as our annual Justice in Palestine Week."
That sentence makes it clear that the MSA meant in its statement to condemn alleged Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians. They were not condemning Hamas or Hezbollah, any more than did Jumanah Albahri....
Here is a sample letter to the mayor and other interested parties:
To: Mayor Bloomberg and City Planners
Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero!
Allowing a mega mosque to be built near the hallowed site of "Ground Zero", the former World Trade Center, is an affront to America and the world. It is a symbolic expression of Islamic conquest and its claim to superiority over non-Muslim societies. To allow it would be appeasement on your part of Islamic supremacism.
The symbolism of the Mosque's scheduled opening date of September 11, 2011, and the choice of site, should be self-evident to you. The hugely symbolic structural design is an insult, a humiliation, and an affront to everyone whose lives were affected by 911.
Allowing this project would be a travesty to the memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11. The tragedy of 9/11 should never be forgotten, and to stain that memory with this act of appeasement is unforgivable.
If you allow this tribute to Islamic supremacism to be built, your appeasement will never be forgotten or forgiven by New Yorkers or Americans in general.
The Qur'an is full of contempt and hatred for the unbeliever, the "most vile of created beings" (98:6). But when the EDL pointed this out on its website, British authorities pulled the plug. Apparently the truth is now illegal in the United Kingdom as well as in the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders is on trial for it. Here is the story from Trevor Kelway of the EDL, writing at Atlas Shrugs:
Today the English Defence League Website has been suspended, apparently because of an article that describes, using suras from the Koran, how Islam looks on the Kuffar (non-Muslims). This latest act of censorship is reminiscent of the way Geert Wilders' short film, Fitna, has been demonised for revealing truth. Wilders juxtaposed Quranic quotes with acts of terror, the article in question did not even go that far. It seems that the thought police are about their work again, suppressing debate, denying reality, and bolstering established interests.
Apparently the reason provided for this blatant act of censorship was that the article 'contravenes UK racism laws'. If this is the case then it means one of two things, that the Quran itself contravenes UK racism laws or Islam has an exemption from UK racism laws, and is treated as a special case. Since the Quran is still available for sale on the shelves of UK bookshops it must mean that the latter is true. That being so effectively means that the UK is already under a form of Sharia law which demands that Islam is above criticism and completely outside the realm of rational debate. When the Racial and Religious Hatred Act was put before Parliament the British people were assured that freedom of expression would not be a casualty. It would appear that the British people were seriously misled and that the Racial and Religious Hatred Act was nothing other than a Sharia enabling act designed specifically to usher in a period of Islamic rule.
Promoting hatred is wrong and if our legislation exempts religiously inspired hatred then the laws currently on the statute book is not fit for purpose. All the law seems to do these days is empower those who want to undermine freedom and equality before the law, and discriminate against those who want to protect the British way of life. This is wrong and is an affront to our democratic system of government because it acts as the handmaiden of tyranny. Far from promoting multiculturalism, such legislation is effectively promoting the monoculture of Islam. Our legal system has effectively been subverted and is now simply a crude instrument of Islamic da'wa....
A free Saudi woman resists Sharia. "Saudi woman beats up virtue cop," by Benjamin Joffe-Walt for The Media Line, May 17 (thanks to Michael):
It was a scene Saudi women's rights activists have dreamt of for years.
When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn't expecting much opposition.
But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an unprecedented whooping.
A member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi religious police known locally as the Hai'a, asked the couple to confirm their identities and relationship to one another, as it is a crime in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to mix.
For unknown reasons, the young man collapsed upon being questioned by the cop.
According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.
"To see resistance from a woman means a lot," Wajiha Al-Huwaidar, a Saudi women's rights activist, told The Media Line news agency. "People are fed up with these religious police, and now they have to pay the price for the humiliation they put people through for years and years. This is just the beginning and there will be more resistance."...
Somehow he totally Misunderstood the Religion of Peace™, even while insisting on correct obedience to the Book of Peace. How odd! Maybe Honest Ibe Hooper will clear it all up for us before we get too many more Misunderstanders of Islam like this one.
Or -- instead of waiting for more steaming piles of explanations from Honest Ibe about how Islam is Peace -- we could take sensible steps to defend Constitutionalism and genuine pluralism...Naaah! That would be "Islamophobic"!
"E-mails paint Times Square suspect as frustrated Muslim," by Susan Candiotti for CNN, May 17 (thanks to all who sent this in):
New York (CNN) -- Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed car bombing in New York's Times Square, was frustrated with the state of the Muslim world and sought a way to "fight back."
Two e-mails obtained by CNN help piece together a portrait of the Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen. They also may shed some light on what propelled his failed terror plot.
"Everyone knows the current situation of Muslim World," he wrote in an e-mail he sent to a large group of recipients in February 2006.
At the time, he had been in the United States for about six years, had earned his MBA and was working as a financial analyst in Connecticut.
"Everyone knows how the Muslim country bows down to pressure from the west. Everyone knows the kind of humiliation we are faced with around the globe."
The e-mail continues: "It is with no doubt that we today Muslim, followers of Islam are attacked and occupied by foreign infidel forces. The crusade has already started against Islam and Muslims with cartoons of our beloved Prophet PBUH (peace be upon him) as War drums."
Shahzad was referring to the 2005 controversy in which a Danish newspaper published satirical cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed that many Muslims found offensive.
"Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed," Shahzad asked. "And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows? In Palestine, Afghan, Iraq, Chechnya and elsewhere."
The second e-mail was sent in April 2009 to a smaller group of recipients. By then, Shahzad was an American citizen. In that e-mail, Shahzad ridicules an article written by a Muslim who took a more moderate view than him.
"If you don't have the right teacher, then Satan should become your sheikh," according to a translated portion of the e-mail.
"I bet when it comes to defending the lands, his opinion would be we should do dialogue, etc., which is not the proven way from history and has not worked in current time and will not work in the future because it simply wasn't the way of the Quran," he added....
The report says: "It is not clear how Iran's insistence that it will continue to enrich uranium itself is related to its offer to send low-enriched uranium abroad."
Here's what's going on: Iran will continue as long as it can to make the bare minimum gestures it needs to in order to buy time, while continuing business as usual. "Iran to resume uranium enrichment despite Turkey deal," from CNN, May 17:
(CNN) -- Iran will continue to enrich uranium to 20 percent, it said Monday, despite agreeing hours earlier to ship its low-enriched uranium to Turkey.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the Islamic Republic News Agency shortly after the announcement of the deal with Turkey that Iran will not stop enriching its own uranium.
That deal had been designed to answer international concerns that Iran was secretly trying to build nuclear weapons -- a charge it has long denied.
"With this agreement there are no more excuses left for the other side to impose pressure and continue with hindering the whole process of fuel exchange for Iran," Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said Monday.
He said he hoped the deal would lead the United Nations nuclear energy watchdog to close its file on Iran "forever."
His speech was carried live by Iran's government-backed Press TV.
The offer -- announced in a joint statement Monday by Iran, Turkey and Brazil -- would have Iran send 1,200 kg (2,645 lbs) of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey within a month, and the international group monitoring Iran's nuclear activities send 120 kg (264 lbs) of high-enriched uranium to Iran within a year.
The group to whom Iran is making the offer -- the so-called Vienna Group of the United States, Russia, France, and the International Atomic Energy Agency -- did not respond immediately.
Iran, Turkey and Brazil said Iran would formally notify the IAEA of the proposal within a week.
If the deal is not accepted, Turkey will return Iran's low-enriched uranium, the joint statement said.
Turkey's indifference to the success or failure of this arrangement is telling:
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin said Iran had made a major concession. "Iran is ready to deliver," he said. "If the deal goes through that's fine. If it doesn't, then the 1,200 kilograms in Turkey will continue to belong to Iran and can be arranged for return."
It is not clear how Iran's insistence that it will continue to enrich uranium itself is related to its offer to send low-enriched uranium abroad....
A Which-Side-Are-They-On Alert: "Afghan prosecutor issues arrest warrant for US army officer over police killing," by Stephen Grey in the Guardian, May 16:
An Afghan prosecutor has issued an arrest warrant for an American special forces commander over allegations that a police chief was murdered by a US-trained militia.
Brigadier General Ghulam Ranjbar, the chief military prosecutor in Kabul, has accused the US of creating an outlaw militia which allegedly shot dead Matiullah Qateh, the chief of police in the city of Kandahar.
The militia, which Ranjbar claimed is armed and trained by US special forces, also allegedly killed Kandahar's head of criminal investigations and two other officers, when they attempted to free one of their members from a courthouse.
"We lost one this country's best law enforcement officers for the [attempted] release of a mercenary," said Ranjbar, interviewed for a film to be shown on Channel 4 News tomorrow.
He accused American officials of refusing to hand over evidence or to permit his investigators to interview the special forces commander, known to Afghans only as "John or Johnny", who he alleges sanctioned the raid.
The arrest warrant, which has been circulated to border posts and airports, is an embarrassment for the US military, which is facing growing criticism for links to militias controlled by warlords. In Kandahar, the militias have been accused of murder, rape and extortion....
Move along, nothing to see here. When a spokesman for a group that is linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and that has had several of its officials convicted of various jihad terror-related offenses, tells us where not to look in order to understand the motives and goals of the terrorists, that ought to be a tipoff that there is something there they don't want us to see. But the mainstream media and law enforcement officials have still by and large not caught on to the CAIR agenda.
"Extremist attacks are not rooted in religion," by Dawud Walid in the Detroit Free Press, May 17:
Recent attempted extremist attacks with international connections should prompt us to take a deeper look at root motives instead of simplistically faulting religion.
The tired cries of the un-nuanced...
I love that phrase! "Jihad Watch: The tired cries of the un-nuanced!" Thanks, Dawud!
The tired cries of the un-nuanced, such as former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stating that President Barack Obama is complicit in the recent failed Times Square attack because he fails to use the nomenclature "Islamic terrorism" to define such attacks, plays no constructive role in making our nation safer.
Why not? Wouldn't it play a constructive role in making our nation safer to identify the belief-system and ideology of those who hate us and have vowed to destroy us? How does ignoring what our enemies believe and what they're trying to accomplish make our nation safer? How can we formulate an effective response to the enemy's challenge without knowing what that enemy is trying to do, and why?
Moreover, the Giuliani-type discourse misses a clear yet painful point. Many of these criminal acts are direct blowback in response to our foreign policy missteps.
In other words, it's all our fault. Barack Obama believes this, too, as he demonstrated in his June 2009 Cairo speech, when the only explanations for jihad terrorism that he offered were all the fault of America and the West: colonialism, the Cold War, and the rottenness of Western pop culture. The possibility that Islamic jihadists may hate us for reasons of their own that ultimately have nothing to do with our behavior and cannot be changed by anything we do or don't do never seems to occur to Obama, and Dawud Walid seems anxious to make sure that you dismiss it -- for reasons of his own.
The admitted Times Square attacker, Faisal Shahzad, who is of Pakistani origin and ethnically Pashtun, did not have a history of radicalism up until close to one year ago. Like the overwhelmingly majority of Pakistanis, Shahzad held a sharply negative view of the expansion of drone attacks in the Wazirstan province of Pakistan, which have resulted in a large percentage of civilian causalities. Moreover, his Pashtun kinsmen in Afghanistan have also suffered civilian causalities by drone attacks, and many of them view our presence in the region as a military occupation.
Prof. Robert Pape, who leads the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, states that there is little connection between terrorism and extremist interpretations of Islam or any world religion; oppression, a sense of marginalization and occupation are the primary causes for international terrorism. Like points have been made by U.S. Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, regarding the correlation between extremist attacks such as the Times Square incident with the large number of civilian causalities via drone attacks, which some casually dismissed as "collateral damage."
The subtext here is that America should do nothing to rein in even "extremist interpretations of Islam" -- they're harmless. Unfortunately for Pape, Kucinich and Paul, however, jihadists routinely invoke these interpretations of Islam in order to explain and justify their actions, and to make recruits among peaceful Muslims. Thus they are not harmless at all, and should not be ignored or cavalierly dismissed.
The painful reality is that violence begets violence and that there will always be a small percentage of people who will commit acts of extremism when they see their civilian family members and kinsmen subjected to violence. We can only imagine how some of us would react if Americans were subjected to drone attacks by Russians.
America was subjected to an attack, a serious one, not by Russians but by Islamic jihadists, on 9/11. And Americans did not respond by becoming terrorists. Contrary to CAIR's lurid and mendacious fantasies, Muslims in America have not been persecuted or harassed since 9/11. CAIR has even had to fabricate hate crimes against Muslims in order to maintain their victim status.
While our government cannot abstain from implementing measures that assist in making us more secure, it must be more cautious in avoiding tactics that may have the opposite effect. Increasing drone attacks, for instance -- about which a United Nations special representative on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings stated have "absolutely no accountability in terms of relevant international law" -- are not making us any safer.
This is not to excuse the likes of Shahzad or anyone else who wishes to commit crimes against civilians, which violates American law, international law and Islamic law.
How does Shahzad's attempted jihad attack violate Islamic law, Mr. Walid? Please explain.
Misguided people, who act from pain and unhealthy emotions can justify wanton violence that no religion sanctions or teaches.
If we truly wish to decrease the potential rise of internationally based radicalism, it is incumbent upon us to look at the true roots behind the motives instead of using religion as a scapegoat.
Fine. As soon as the jihadis stop invoking the Islamic religion as the explanation for their actions, I'll stop looking at it.
The silly headline above reflects the sacrosanct dogmas about Islam that we are all forced to accept in the Western public square, on pain of ostracism and marginalization: Islam is a Religion of Peace™. Jihad terrorists, despite their claims to be motivated by Islamic texts and teachings, have nothing to do with Islam, but are rather a Tiny Minority of Extremists™ who have Twisted and Hijacked that Religion of Peace™.
If that were so, Jamal Khashoggi might still be editor-in-chief of al-Watan. One would think that the Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims™, all stout believers in the freedom of speech and other Western notions of human rights, would have risen up against this and demanded nothing less. But apparently the Misunderstanders of Islam are in the driver's seat in Saudi Arabia -- and, as other stories posted here abundantly illustrate, in other areas of the Islamic world as well.
"Saudi editor Jamal Khashoggi resigns from of al-Watan," from the BBC, May 17:
A leading Saudi Arabian journalist has resigned from his post as editor-in-chief of one of the country's more progressive newspapers.
Jamal Khashoggi was editor of al-Watan which published an opinion piece questioning Salafism, a form of Islam at the heart of the Saudi state.
There is speculation that Mr Khashoggi had been forced to resign.
Mr Khashoggi had clashed with the authorities before with articles on the religious police and women's rights....
The opinion piece by Saudi poet Ibrahim al-Almaee criticised Salafism, a conservative school of Sunni Islam that draws inspiration from the practices of the earliest Muslims.
Saudi Arabia is governed under an austere form of Salafi Islam, Wahabbism....
"We believe in al-Watan newspaper, and we believe in reform," Mr Khashoggi said after resigning.
"The newspaper is more important than I am, and I hope it will continue. We may question social issues like women's rights, but we should not have allowed an article to question the essence of faith."
He said he was abroad when the decision was made to publish the article, and he did not agree with the points made by Mr Almaee.
In 2003 Mr Khashoggi was dismissed from al-Watan for criticising a 14th Century Muslim theologian, but returned to the newspaper in 2007....
It's all just words, of course, in a state where jihadists have committed numerous terrible acts of violence more or less with impunity. Even on the level of words alone, however, Yudhoyono has now surpassed virtually every Western leader. "President Hits Out at Terrorists, Says Indonesia Will Never Be Islamic State," by Camelia Pasandaran in the Jakarta Globe, May 17:
In some of his strongest comments against terrorists yet, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday called on all Indonesians to join the government in combating terrorism and their plans to establish an Islamic state governed by Shariah law.
"I call for all Indonesian people to join together in saving the nation, saving our people, saving us all from the terrorism threat and from irresponsible parties that act beyond the limits of humanity," Yudhoyono said at Halim Perdana Kusuma airport in East Jakarta before leaving for an informal visit to Singapore....
While Obama and European leaders have spoken about combating (a vaguely-defined) terrorism, none have ever spoken this strongly about "saving the nation, saving our people." Maybe it is just hyperbole -- or maybe Yudhoyono actually understands what is at stake in the resistance to Islamic supremacism and the advancement of Sharia. Certainly Obama does not.
The National Police have recently arrested and murdered several terrorist suspects in Aceh, Central and West Java, and Jakarta. The police have revealed that the terrorists were planning to assassinate the president and high-ranking officials in a bid to create an Islamic state....
Yudhoyono, speaking to journalists in offices adjoining the runway, said that several important terrorists had been arrested in the past but when they were released from jail fell back into their terrorist ways....
How refreshing it would have been if Obama had ever admitted as much regarding Guantanamo.
"What we're actually facing now is those who have been controlling [the terror movement in Indonesia] for the last ten years ... with some more new members," he said.
"What is interesting is the target of the terror," he said. "In the past, they targeted foreigners, but now they are targeting our nation, our country, our government as the main target. They want to build an Islamic state, something that has been finished with in our history."
Yudhoyono said that though Indonesia was not an Islamic state, Indonesia respected Islam and had adopted its values and aspects of its laws in building the nation.
"But if this group wants to push its intention to change the nation's ideology, change the Constitution and the nation's foundation, it is unacceptable for the Indonesian people. They're against democracy while democracy is the result of reformation."
Such an effort is going on in the U.S., as I documented in Stealth Jihad, but it has never been officially acknowledged.
They went to help out orphans, doncha know. Yeah, sure, that's it: orphans. War Is Deceit Alert: "5 Virginia men facing terrorism charges in Pakistan write of 'noble' motivation," by Brigid Schulte for the Washington Post, May 16 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
For the first time since they were arrested Dec. 9, the five young Muslim men from the Alexandria area facing life in prison in Pakistan on terrorism charges presented their side of the story Saturday, handwritten on pink paper and delivered to the judge in a closed court inside a high-security prison in the eastern Pakistani city of Sarghoda.
Throughout the prosecution's case, which concluded Saturday, Pakistani police have maintained that the five secretly and abruptly left their homes, families, college classes and jobs to wage jihad against Americans in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. Police and court records charge that the five made contact with a known al-Qaeda operative through social-networking Web sites and that they communicated via a shared e-mail account: email@example.com.
The statements of the five men, which their defense attorney provided to The Washington Post on Saturday, the first day of defense proceedings, say their intentions in traveling secretly to Pakistan were motivated by friendship, "fun" and a "noble" desire to help Muslim orphans in Afghanistan. All five, in statements so similar that they mostly read word for word, said the idea for the journey was hatched in 2008 after the group watched the movie "Kite Runner" at Umar Chaudhry's house -- what they called the usual hangout of the youths, who lived in the same neighborhood off Route 1.
The movie "showed the suffering of the Afghani people, in particular the homeless and orphans," wrote Aman Yemer, who, at 18, is the youngest of the group. "We were very much affected by the living conditions of our brothers and sisters living overseas and hoped to help them one day." He and the others thought that would never happen, he wrote, because Afghanistan is such a dangerous place and their parents are "very protective."
The reason that they left secretly, all five -- including 20-year-old Ahmed Minni -- wrote, was that they were sure their parents would never give permission. Their parents, alarmed by their disappearance during Thanksgiving weekend, notified the FBI and handed over a video one had made showing images of the United States at war in Muslim countries. A local Muslim leader who saw it described it as a "farewell video."...
Actually it was Islamic jihadists yet again. How odd. Apparently these guys didn't get the memo about how right-wing extremists are the real terrorist threat. "Official: 16 killed after attack on parliament in Somali capital as lawmakers meet," from Associated Press, May 16 (thanks to Kevin):
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Islamic insurgents attacked a building in the Somali capital where parliament was meeting Sunday for the first time this year, pounding the area with mortars. At least 16 civilians were killed in the fighting that ensued, a medical official said.
No lawmakers were killed or wounded in the attack, police spokesman Abdullahi Hassan Barise said. Previous sessions of parliament had been postponed since December because of threats from al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked militant group in the lawless Horn of Africa nation....
This just in from Jihad Watch reader Inexion: the Muslim student at the University of California at San Diego who affirmed her support for the genocide of the Jews has now commented on the controversy on an Internet bulletin board, saying, "Death to Israel":
The Something Awful Forums > Discussion > Debate & Discussion > Laissez's Faire > On Monday I confronted David Horowitz
Pages (15): 12 3 4 5 Next › Last »
Jan 28, 2009
ASK ME ABOUT GETTING OWNED BY DAVID HOROWITZ (AND BEING FOR THE EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWISH RACE LOL)sieg heil ronald mcdonald;;
So earlier on Monday this week David Horowitz came out to speak at University of California San Diego for Israel Apartheid Week. The event was hosted by Young Americans for Freedom, which are your basic, Reagan fellating college republicans. Anyways, it was the usual imperialist, apologetic bullshit that Horowitz spits out in defense of the state of Israel. Later on though he took questions, and just today I found out that someone recorded mine and put it up on youtube:
I asked him about some statements he had made about how the MSA had financial connections to "jihadist terrorists". Of course he couldn't back his bullshit up, so he just squirmed around and accused me of being a terrorist, lol.
So I figure we could use this thread to discuss how pathetic David and others of his Ilk are for trying to defend one of most oppressive states in modern history. Also, good strategies on how to confront these cowards and show them for the worms they are. Death to Israel.
UPDATE: Jumanah Albahri, Miss Islamic Genocide above, is now denying that she said what she said, and trying to cover her tracks. David Swindle over at NewsReal Blog isn't buying.
Here we have yet another test case. The Swedish government ought to be offering round-the-clock protection to Lars Vilks and issuing a strong defense of the freedom of speech. Appeasing this thuggery is the road to dhimmitude. An update on this story. "Muhammad cartoonist in hiding after arson attack," by Malin Rising for AP, May 16 (thanks to Nelson):
STOCKHOLM (AP) - A Swedish artist whose drawing of the Prophet Muhammad with a dogs body angered Muslims said Sunday he doesn't feel safe in his home at night, after a week of attacks against him.
Note yet again the AP's "We're all Muslims now" reference to "the Prophet Muhammad."
Lars Vilks told The Associated Press he has started sleeping elsewhere since an attempted arson attack Friday against his home in Nyhamnslage, southern Sweden.
Earlier in the week, Vilks was attacked by a man as he gave a lecture at a university in central Sweden, and the following day his Web site appeared to have been targeted by hackers....
Why don't we see more genuine Muslim reformers? Because they're taking their lives into their hands if they stand up to the jihadists. I don't know where Salam Ahmad really stands on issues of jihad and Islamic supremacism, but on the side of his being an authentic opponent of the guardians of Islamic purity are the death threats he has received from them.
"Muslim rocker wields guitar in rock'n'roll jihad," by Richard Kerbaj for The Sunday Times, May 16:
HE IS a long-haired rocker who plays a mean riff and cites Led Zeppelin among his influences -- and now he has been unveiled as the government's latest weapon in the fight against Al-Qaeda.
Salman Ahmad, a Pakistani musician whose band has sold more than 30m albums, is to urge Muslim students to choose an electric guitar over extremism.
The self-proclaimed "rock'n'roll jihadist" will this week take his message to students at Oxford University, Imperial College and the London School of Economics, which all have sizeable Islamic societies....
"I have seen at first hand young Muslims being radicalised by the distorted message of Islam," said Ahmad, 46, a practising Muslim who was born in Lahore but spends most of his time in New York where he is a part-time lecturer in Islamic music and poetry. "They're fed this guilt narrative that in order to be a good Muslim you have to give up the electric guitar, or you can't wear jeans, or you have to cut your hair."
He said he would discredit radical interpretations of Islam by showing that it encouraged creative flair and his aim was to prevent students being brainwashed by "murderous thugs masquerading as holy men".
Ahmad, frontman of the band Junoon, added: "Rock musicians and extremists have the same target market -- the youth." His tour of UK campuses is funded by the Home Office via the Quilliam Foundation, a think tank.
Ahmad, who has faced death threats from hardliners accusing him of being "un-Islamic", said young Muslims who rail against perceived injustices in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine need an alternative outlet to channel their frustrations: "Talking about Islam through arts and culture [could fulfil that role] and open up minds to another point of view."
I am a bit late with this, but even though it is a few weeks old it is worth posting. Jihad Watch reader Judy has sent me this important update on this story: "Plea Deal Possible In BB Gun Hate Crime Shootings," from KTVU.com, April 8 (thanks to Lesbian Conservative):
SAN FRANCISCO -- Three Hayward men accused of shooting a San Francisco man they thought was gay with a BB gun in February delayed entering pleas Thursday, and prosecutors indicated that talks are under way to settle the case.
Shafiq Hashemi, 21, Mohammad Habibzada, 24, and Sayed Bassam, 21, are accused of shooting a 27-year-old man from their car at 16th and Guerrero streets in the Mission District on Feb. 26, then driving off. The man was hit in the cheek but not seriously injured.
Police arrested the three nearby and they allegedly confessed that they had come to San Francisco to shoot gay people, according to police.
Prosecutors have charged them with assault with a deadly weapon, negligent discharge of a firearm, hate crimes and attempted mayhem.
The defendants were not required to appear in person in San Francisco Superior Court. They have remained in custody since their bail was raised to $450,000 each on March 12.
Judge Bruce Chan ordered entry of plea delayed until April 19 "to see if there can be some resolution that would meet all the interests of the communities and parties involved."
"We've communicated an offer to the defendants, and they're considering it," prosecutor Victor Hwang said after the hearing.
Hwang said his office made the offer after discussions with various community groups that belong to a local hate crimes coalition. He said the offer "conveys the seriousness of the offense, and also takes into account the age (of the defendants), the remorse that's been shown, the cooperation of the defendants, and the police investigation."
Community groups have been part of the discussion "because hate crimes are unique," Hwang said.
"The whole impetus behind hate crimes charges is a recognition that it's not just one victim involved in each case, but it's a whole community that is intimidated or impacted," he said....
And in this case, clearly the victim community that Hwang has in mind is the Muslim community, not the gay community.
The judge in the case, Bruce Chan, ordered a delay for the defendants in entering their plea to 'see if a resolution that would meet all the interests of the communities and the parties involved' could be reached. So now these Muslim mobsters are just one of the 'parties' involved whose 'interests' need resolving? Just when did the judicial system declare that defendants who are accused of violent acts are simply parties to unfortunate incidents that need resolution? Perhaps they should call in a mediator so that a warm and fuzzy win-win kum bay ya climax can be reached.
The District Attorney, Victor Hwang, stated that the offer was made to the defendants after consultation with the local 'hate crime coalition'. The offer takes into consideration the age of the defendants, their remorse, and their cooperation. Their age? They're in their 20s; they're grown men, for gosh sakes, fully responsible for their actions. Remorse? Of course they're showing remorse--they've been caught and incarcerated! What a pathetic political sham!
Can anyone imagine community service offered to non-Muslim white guys for attacking gay men? Can anyone imagine the media keeping mum if white guys had committed such crimes? We all know the Left-wing media would be crawling all over this story, looking for any connection to a Tea Party group, the Republican Party, Christianity, or any other of their proscribed affiliations.
Many non-Muslims in Europe and America have been taken in by Hamid Mir, a self-professed "moderate." I was on to him years ago. So was Pamela Geller. We were both lectured self-righteously about how we had to support "moderates." And now here we are. I hate to say "I told you so," but I don't hate it all that much.
"Hamid Mir's terrifying indiscretions," from the Daily Times, May 16 (thanks to Kisan):
LAHORE: A shocking audiotape of a conversation between Hamid Mir - one of the country's top TV anchors - and a man purportedly linked to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has revealed that negative information that Mir passed on to the Taliban could have led to the execution of Khalid Khawaja, the retired Air Force official allegedly killed by a group calling themselves the 'Asian Tigers'.
The tape - which has Mir divulging dirt on Khawaja, ostensibly to someone who is going to cross examine him - was first posted by the Let Us Build Pakistan blog, and picked up by other online publications, including Café Pyala. It is still unclear who made the tape, with online speculation suggesting that it could be the militants themselves, or even intelligence agencies who released the recording.
Whatever the source may be, it is clear that one of the voices on the tape is Mir's, a fact corroborated by his allusions to events such as his sacking from the daily Ausaf. In the tape, the person on the other end asks Mir for information on Khalid Khawaja. The content of the conversation suggests that this call was made before Khawaja's execution earlier this month. Mir goes on to detail what he knows about Khawaja's background, linking him to the CIA, an international network of Qadianis and an American named Mansur Ejaz, who, Mir claims, even offered to solve the Kashmir issue.
At one point, the voice on the other end claims to have abducted Khawaja. Here, Mir volunteers further information linking Khawaja to the Lal Masjid operation, saying that Khawaja and his wife were the ones responsible for the death of Ghazi Rasheed and the humiliating capture of Maulana Abdul Aziz and his family. Mir then urges the man to cross-examine Khawaja about his relationship with Mansur Ejaz, Qadianis and a CIA agent named William Casey....
Will the American non-Muslims who pushed Mir tirelessly before conservative audiences and vociferously denounced those who exposed him now apologize? I won't be holding my breath.
The United Nations Human Rights Council, often considered the 'Conscience of Humanity', is unfortunately being hijacked and misused by representatives of undemocratic countries. They often appear more interested in protecting their governments from criticism than advancing the cause of human rights, condemning Israel more frequently than all 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) (56 states plus "Palestine") combined. At the Vienna Forum on May 9, 2010, NGO Representative David G. Littman gave examples on the misuse of what could have been a worthy institution.
Comments by David G. Littman, NGO Representative at the UN in Geneva:
Association for World Education and World Union for Progressive Judaism
The Vienna Forum Conference took place at the Neuwaldegg Castle just outside Vienna on 6-9 May 2010. Co-sponsored by the Hudson Institute, the Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe (EICEE) and the Kairos Journal, there were more than 40 panellists, including academics and distinguished experts from various countries of Europe and the United States. The subject: 'The Future of Europe and the Question of Islam'; I was conveniently placed as the last speaker on the last panel; my theme: 'Islam at the UN Human Rights Council'. Although everything was filmed and recorded by the organizers, we are indebted to EuropeNews for having filmed and recorded everything independently and to the organizers in giving their prior approval for those videos and the presentations to be posted on various websites - mine is below virtually verbatim. The passages in square brackets were not pronounced in the 20 minutes allowed, but were in my prepared text and have been left as is my UN habit since 1986.
My intention was to read the conclusion to Churchill's brief historic House of Commons speech on 13 May 1940 - 'blood, toil, tears and sweat' - pronounced almost exactly 70 years ago, but time did not allow me. He was received in Parliament two days after becoming Prime Minister with almost total silence by the Conservatives, in contrast to Neville Chamberlain, who was even cheered in the House of Lords. I have left Churchill's words below, for they are certainly worth meditating today by those who can see and hear the Gathering Storm on the horizon.
By an extraordinary coincidence, Libya and Switzerland were accepted as members of the 47-State Human Rights Council on the 13th May 2010, exactly 70 years after Churchill's speech. It is more than likely that Libya will be welcomed back - in 2003 Libya held the Chair - with enthusiasm by the OIC, Arab League, African Union and the NAM (Non-aligned Movement), as a form of Appeasement after the 'Hannibal Affair' ; whereas Switzerland more grudgingly by most groups as a result of its popular vote against construction of minarets (November 2009), and being criticized in the customary "Defamation of Religions" resolution in March 2010.
Full transcript of the speech: Note: The passages in square brackets  were not pronounced in the 20 minutes period allowed (finally 22 minutes) but were in my prepared text & have been left, as is my habit at the UN in Geneva.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to be back in Vienna to address you and I wish to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to be the last speaker [on a crucial subject, 'Islam at the UN Human Rights Council'.] As it is writ in sacred texts: "The first shall be last and the last first." The World Conference on Human Rights was adopted here in 1993 as the VIENNA DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION - referred to as the DPA; it recognised and affirmed:
that all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person, and that the human person is the central subject of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and consequently should be the principal beneficiary and should participate actively in the realization of these rights and freedoms.
Article 1 states :
The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the solemn commitment of all States to fulfill their obligations to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, other instruments relating to human rights, and international law. The universal nature of these rights and freedoms is beyond question.
[In this framework, enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights is essential for the full achievement of the purposes of the United Nations. Human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings; their protection and promotion is the first responsibility of Governments.]
In its penultimate paragraph the [27-page Declaration & Programme of Action] DPA concludes with a Follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights and "further recommends that the Commission on Human Rights annually review the progress towards this end." Yes, you heard me correctly - "the Commission on Human Rights."
[The DPA inspired me to plead successfully here in 1996 - with Archduke Felix Habsburg and his lawyer at a widely covered press conference - and later in the Hofburg for Archdukes Karl and Felix to be allowed to use their Austrian passports for travel to Austria, until then forbidden to both of them.]
[99 - The World Conference on Human Rights on Human Rights recommends that the General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights and other organs and agencies of the United Nations system related to human rights consider ways and means for the full implementation, without delay, of the recommendations contained in the present Declaration, including the possibility of proclaiming a United Nations decade for human rights. The World Conference on Human Rights further recommends that the Commission on Human Rights annually review the progress towards this end.
100 - The World Conference on Human Rights requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to invite on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all States all organs and agencies of the United Nations system related to human rights, to report to him on the progress made in the implementation of the present Declaration and to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-third session, through the Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council.
Likewise, regional and, as appropriate, national human rights institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations, may present their views to the Secretary-General on the progress made in the implementation of the present Declaration. Special attention should be paid to assessing the progress towards the goal of universal ratification of international human rights treaties and protocols adopted within the framework of the United Nations system.]
In articles published in 1994 on slavery in Sudan; threats against the Special Rapporteur Gaspar Biro; and since 1997 on: "Blasphemy at the United Nations"; "Universal Human Rights and 'Human Rights in Islam'"; "Islamism Grows Stronger at the United Nations; Stealth Jihad at the UN; and many other texts, we have illustrated how a systematic effort has been made at the United Nations by certain member States to replace some of the dominant paradigms of international relations - now referred to as "complementary standards" by OIC countries [the Organization of the Islamic Conference] and the UN in a diplomatic language.
Already in September 1992, six months before the Vienna Conference, the Final Declaration of the Conference of the 108 Non-Aligned Countries held at Djarkarta, Indonesia, stressed "differences in cultures" and implied that differences in the interpretation of human rights should be recognized. This soon became the "cultural relativism" ploy which we have warned against systematically since then.
[Yes, religions and traditional societies deserve respect, without however losing sight of the goals laid down in the International Bill of Human Rights; but any reinterpretation of human rights beyond the existing framework of international norms - that is, the various forms of "cultural relativism" - quickly leads to grave human rights abuses by dictatorial regimes, whose countries are signatories to the International Bill of Rights and to the other International Human Rights Instruments.]
At the recent 13th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 23 March, speaking jointly for the Association for World Education and the World Union for Progressive Judaism in the context of the Vienna DPA, we paid homage to Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the then High Commissioner for Human Rights who was tragically slaughtered, with 20 other members of his staff, in the Baghdad Canal Hotel Bombing of 19 August 2003, after the UN refused allied military protection - in order not to imply any UN links. He was there as the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Iraq.
In his last report on the 'Follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights', he pertinently stated the hopeless mess into which the Commission had fallen; it was this report that led to an attempt to improve the structure and mechanisms on Human Rights and finally to the creation of the Human Rights Council. [E/CN.4/2003/14]
[I personally remember how shocked he was on taking up his new job in autumn 2002 when he realised the level to which the Commission had sunk & then tried desperately to fix it rapidly. In a joking manner, I reminded him, before he left for Baghdad, of the words of Shakespeare in the mouth of John of Gaunt: "Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short; He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes." (King Richard II, Act II: i, 35-36). He liked it, but three months later he was killed by a jihadist bomber.]
We shall quote his courageous words seven years later - as we did at the Commission soon after his death, and recently again - for they were a harbinger of the gathering, stealth storm that resulted in a decision to replace the discredited Commission with what was intended to be a responsible body - the Human Rights Council:
Membership of the Commission on Human Rights must carry responsibilities. I therefore wonder whether the time has not come for the Commission itself to develop a code of guidelines for access to membership of the Commission and a code of conduct for members while they serve on the Commission. After all, the Commission on Human Rights has a duty to humanity and the members of the Commission must themselves set the example of adherence to the international human rights norms - in practice as well as in law." [Point 5 - see also §4]
His conclusion then is still meaningful today when we consider the disastrous follow-ups to the Vienna Declaration and the two World Conferences on Racism in 2001, known as Durban I and what is often called Durban II (last year in Geneva), despite what is propagated worldwide by Durban idolaters and the current catastrophic Human Rights Council. Here are de Mello's words:
Without universal respect for human rights, the vision of the Charter of a world of peace grounded in respect for human rights and economic and social justice will remain an illusion. Let us vindicate the Charter's vision by being faithful to the universal implementation of human rights. In doing so we shall continue in the direction of history, rather than allowing ourselves to be diverted from the course we know to be just." [§ 55]
A year later in 2004, when introducing recommendations for a new Human Rights Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared that the Commission had been undermined by allowing participation of countries whose purpose was "not to strengthen human rights but to protect themselves against criticism or to criticize others." His chief of staff then, Mark Malloch Brown, put it more bluntly: "For the great global public, the performance or non-performance of the Human Rights Commission has become the litmus test of UN renewal." Little has changed since - in reality it is worse - except that the great expectations have been dissipated by a gloomy despair, and worse is to come for those who do not have eyes to see and ears to hear.
As a veteran NGO human rights defender since 1986 at the United Nations in Geneva, I have watched - what is grandly called 'the international community' - at the Palais des Nations, which I sometimes call, in remembrance of Ludwig II [of Bavaria], the Palais Schwanstein:
descending incontinently, recklessly, the staircase which leads to a dark gulf. It is a fine broad staircase at the beginning, but, after a bit, the carpet ends. A little further on there are only flagstones, and, a little further on still, these break beneath your feet.
This timeless description by Churchill of Britain's situation at a crucial moment on the 24th March 1938 in the House of Commons, during the period of grotesque Appeasement, gives a vivid image of the general climate nowadays at the UN Human Rights Council.
The problem is that everyone knows, but no one wants to recognise the fact that the Emperor strutting in his Palace des Nations, announcing royally: 'L'Etat c'est moi' [I am the State]- or rather 'Les droits de l'Homme, c'est nous' [Human Rights is us] - is stark naked.
But oh no, the conflict with Iran has nothing to do with Islam.
Note also Kharrazi's appropriation of the language of the Left -- "the global village of the oppressed." The Leftist/jihadist alliance is one that Islamic supremacists like Kharrazi -- and others as well -- are consciously fostering.
"Iranian cleric wants creation of 'Greater Iran,'" by Ali Akbar Dareini for Associated Press, May 15 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
TEHRAN, Iran - A radical cleric called Saturday for the creation of a "Greater Iran" that would rule over the entire Middle East and Central Asia, in an event that he said would herald the coming of Islam's expected messiah.
Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Kharrazi said the creation of what he calls an Islamic United States is a central aim of the political party he leads called Hezbollah, or Party of God, and that he hoped to make it a reality if they win the next presidential election....
Kharrazi's comments were published Saturday in his newspaper, Hezbollah.
He said he envisioned a Greater Iran that would stretch from Afghanistan to Israel, bringing about the destruction of the Jewish state.
He also said its formation would be a prelude to the reappearance of the Mahdi, a revered ninth-century saint known as the Hidden Imam, whom Muslims believe will reappear before judgment day to end tyranny and promote justice in the world.
"The Islamic United States will be an introduction to the formation of the global village of the oppressed and that will be a prelude to the single global rule of the Mahdi," the Hezbollah newspaper quoted him as saying....
Bravo, Jeff Epstein. Anti-dhimmitude at an interfaith gathering of the deceivers and the self-deceived: "Interfaith meeting rocked by terror accusation: Muslim leader unexpectedly confronted with group's ties to parent of al-Qaida," by Art Moore for WorldNetDaily, May 14:
An American Islamic leader friendly with the White House who leads an interfaith-dialogue movement was unexpectedly confronted at a Connecticut synagogue about her organization's ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, the parent of al-Qaida, Hamas and numerous Islamic groups that aim to establish Islamic law worldwide through terrorism and other means.
Ingrid Mattson, director of the Islamic Society of North America, ISNA, was a featured speaker May 4 at an interfaith event hosted by Congregation Kol Haverim in Glastonbury, Conn., titled "How Religious People of Peace Can Transform Differences and Build Bridges of Understanding."
Jeffrey Epstein - who as president of the non-profit America's Truth Forum has researched and hosted conferences on the Islamic terror threat to the U.S - told WND he "felt it best to leave" after the president of the synagogue interrupted his second question, which had elicited noticeable gasps from the mostly Jewish audience of about 100.
Epstein first asked Mattson to explain why there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia, noting the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently designated 10 Muslim countries as among the worst violators of religious freedom.
"I'm not a Saudi and have no say over what they do," Mattson replied, according to Epstein and two other witnesses who asked not to be named.
"We all know that the Saudi government is not a democracy and doesn't do things like we do," she said, according to Epstein. "The royal family is a dictatorial regime and has a history of human rights violations and persecuting minority religions. They don't respect women's rights."
Mattson, whose group was founded in 1981 by the Saudi-funded Muslim Students' Association, traveled last month to Saudi Arabia for a meeting of the Islamic Development Bank, according to African media.
The bank was chartered by the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1973 "in accordance with the principles of Shariah," or Islamic law, as prescribed by the Muslim Brotherhood, notes counter-terrorism scholar Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy.
Mattson's national profile was raised by her prayer at Obama's inauguration prayer service, and she attended the president's Ramadan dinner at the White House.
The moderator of the interfaith gathering said there would be no time for further questions, but Epstein insisted on asking another one, noting Mattson had agreed to answer two questions.
Epstein asked: "Ingrid, how can you sincerely represent yourself as a peace partner in terms of promoting interfaith dialogue and bridge-building, when you preside as president of the Islamic Society of North America - a known operating wing of the Muslim Brotherhood which is a terrorist organization that spawned both Hamas and al-Qaida."
Mattson replied by listing her associations with the federal government, saying she worked with the CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the White House.
The synagogue president then intervened, explaining it was not the time for politics.
With the microphone still in his hand, Epstein maintained that his question was not about politics but about terrorism.
He pointed to Mattson as the leader of an organization classified by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Dallas trial of the Holy Land Foundation, which was found guilty in 2008 of raising money for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
ISNA was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America" as one of the Brotherhood's likeminded "organizations of our friends" who shared the common goal of turning the U.S. into a Muslim nation under Shariah, or Islamic law....
UC-San Diego student Jumanah Imad Albahri last week, under questioning from David Horowitz, refused to condemn Hamas and Hizballah and endorsed a genocidal statement by Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah. My article about this incident, and how Albahri was merely reflecting mainstream Islamic teachings, is here. Now the UCSD chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood entity known the Muslim Students Association has issued a clever and deceptive pseudo-condemnation of Albahri's endorsement of genocide. (Thanks to Stephen.)
MSA Press Release
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Muslim Student Association
University of California, San Diego
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(La Jolla, CA 5/14/2010) The Muslim Students Association of UCSD would like to clearly define its stance on the issue of which organizations and groups it condemns and condones, to ensure that no one else attempts to define our stance for us. The MSA at UCSD condemns all groups or organizations, whether state or non-state actors, who target civilians or target a civilian population to impose collective punishment.
Jihadists have said "There are no civilians in Israel." So is the MSA condemning the killing of Israeli civilians or not?
We are instructed with a valuable truth enshrined in the Qur'an - that 'if anyone kills a human being unjustly, it is as though he or she has killed all humanity, and if anyone saves (even) one life, it is as though he or she has saved all humanity' (Holy Qur'an 5:32).
The key word in that passage is, of course, "unjustly." And the next verse, Qur'an 5:33, calls for those who make war against Allah and Muhammad to be crucified or have their hand and foot amputated on opposite sides. Does the MSA endorse these barbaric punishments?
It is for this very reason that MSA has organized events such as our annual Justice in Palestine Week.
That sentence makes it clear that the MSA is here condemning alleged Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians. They're not condemning Hamas or Hizballah, any more than did Albahri.
No single member of our student organization can speak exclusively on behalf of our MSA or other MSAs across the United States.
Fine. But to imply (not state explicitly) that Jumanah Imad Albahri does not speak for the UCSD MSA or for all the MSA chapters is not the same as saying that the UCSD MSA or the MSA as a whole condemns her endorsement of genocide. There is no such condemnation in this entire document.
The mission of the UCSD MSA is clear: to provide an environment of understanding that would foster the principles of community between Muslims and non-Muslims through education. We strive towards creating a community that promotes justice and equality for all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, or ethnicity.
This week the MSA has hosted Justice in Palestine Week 2010 at UC San Diego, dedicated to raising awareness about the apartheid crisis in Palestine. The crisis is at its core a humanitarian issue, and as such we, the Muslim Students Association, condemn the labeling of this human rights effort as a "Hitler Youth Week" in the words of a recently invited speaker. We will forever uphold the Qur'anic commandment to 'stand out firmly for justice as God's witnesses, even if it be against our own selves' (Holy Qur'an 4:135). We thus condemn the loss of all innocent lives, as well as all groups, whether state or non-state actors, that advocate and perpetuate the killing of innocent civilians. Specifically, we condemn all Palestinian factions that have rejoiced in the killing of innocent Israeli civilians just as much as we condemn the indiscriminate murder of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians during Israeli military aggression. We reject the current apartheid system in Palestine-Israel that discriminates against people based on their ethnicity and race.
We believe that Israel has a due right to be in accordance with international law, which demands an end to occupation in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, ensures the complete security and full equal rights of all Israel's citizens, whether Jewish or Arab, and guarantees a just settlement concerning the return of displaced Palestinian refugees.
Note that this apparent endorsement of Israel's right to exist is actually just a demand for concessions on the part of Israel that, if made, would ultimately destroy the Jewish State altogether.
As the civil rights activist Malcolm X once said, "I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole."
In that case, if Malcolm X were alive today and consistent, he would not be for the UCSD MSA.
This story is an exercise in seeing all the evidence and yet refusing to draw the obvious conclusion. "Next big terrorist attack on US will be postmarked 'Pakistan': CIA analyst," from IANS, May 15:
WASHINGTON: A former CIA analyst, who helped President Barack Obama formulate his Pakistan-Afghanistan policy, sees "a very serious possibility that the next mass casualty terrorist attack on the United States will be postmarked Pakistan."
"What we're seeing going on in Pakistan now is a very dangerous phenomenon," says Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank.
"The ideology of al Qaida, the ideology of global Islamic jihad that all jihadists should focus on the United States as the ultimate enemy, is gaining ground with groups beyond al Qaida," said Riedel, who chaired a special interagency committee last year to develop Obama's Af-Pak policy.
Obama and previous Bush administrations have been pressuring Pakistan for years to shut down completely the jihadist Frankenstein that was created over three decades in Pakistan, Riedel said. But "no Pakistani government has yet been willing to take on the entire network of terrorist groups."
And why is that, Riedel?
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also raised questions about some in the Pakistani government still retaining links to al Qaida, the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and a host of other groups.
"We saw this in 2008 in Mumbai, when Lashkar-e-Taiba attacked Mumbai and attacked American and Israeli targets," Riedel said noting "Those are the targets of al Qaida and the global Islamic jihad."
"We've now seen the Pakistani Taliban try to launch an attack on the United States of America for the first time," he said referring to the arrest of Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad in connection to the failed car bombing in New York's Times Square.
"This spreading of the idea of global Islamic jihad is very dangerous and as it gets deeper and deeper into the extremist groups in Pakistan it means we can expect more attacks like the one we saw at Times Square, and we can expect them to become increasingly sophisticated and more capable," Riedel said....
Sharia Alert from the U.S. government. WND picks up on this story. "Government protects Islam, rejects trademark," by Bob Unruh for WorldNetDaily, May 15:
A federal agency has rejected a request for a trademark by the organization "Stop Islamization of America" because its name may "disparage" Muslims.
The group launched by Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch has drawn national attention for its bus-sign campaign offering support for Muslims who want to leave Islam. SIOA currently is organizing opposition to plans for an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero in New York City.
Now the group reports the U.S. government has refused its request for a trademark designation for its name.
The government response, posted on the site, states, "The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease.
"The proposed mark further disparages Muslims because, taking into account the nature of the services ('providing information regarding understanding and preventing terrorism'), it implies that Islam is associated with violence and threats," the government agency said.
"The trademark examining attorney refers to the excerpted articles from the LEXISNEXIS® computerized database referencing how many Muslims view terrorists as illegitimate adherents of Islam. ... Therefore, the suggestion that Islam equates terrorism would be disparaging to a substantial group of Muslims," it said.
Geller commented in a report on the group's site
"It is everywhere, folks, in every aspect of our lives from the big stuff (Major Hasan cover-up) to the minutia (trademark registration)," she said. "Take a look at this. Robert and I registered the name Stop Islamization of American for trademark. It was refused."
A link to a 20-page summary from the government's office of trademark applications listed definitions for Islam and terror.
"Accordingly, the applied-for mark is refused under Section 2(a) because it consists of matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute Muslims and the Islamic religion," the government report said....
Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks has enraged Islamic supremacists by drawing the cartoon of Muhammad above. There have been multiple attempts on his life, and now this. Swedish language story here (thanks to Fröken Sverige).
In "No 9/11 Mosque" in Human Events Friday, Pamela Geller explained what's wrong with the new mosque planned near the Ground Zero site:
The Community Board for New York City's financial district last week unanimously approved the construction of a 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center right across from Ground Zero.
One might think that the Muslim community might be capable of some sensitivity, considering what a sensitive bunch they are about everything. Every time there is a jihad attack (which is happening with increasing frequency), they start wailing about Muslim sensitivities, and lecturing us about imaginary affronts and insults.
What could be more insulting and humiliating than a monster mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack?
Worse still, the design for the Ground Zero Mosque is a mockery of the World Trade Center building design. Islamic jihadists took down those buildings when they attacked and murdered 3,000 people in an act of conquest and Islamic supremacism. What better way to mark your territory than to plant a giant mosque on the still-barren land of the World Trade Center?
Any decent American, Muslim or otherwise, wouldn't dream of such an insult. It's a stab in eye of America.
Joan Brown Campbell, director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua
Institution in upstate New York and former general secretary of the National Council of Churches, admitted that a mosque at Ground Zero could anger infidels. But it was worth it, she said: "Building so close is owning the tragedy."
This best demonstrates the territorial nature of Islam. The very idea of building a mosque at Ground Zero is a manifestation of Islamic domination and expansionism....
And note that Holder and Smith agree that there is a difference between "Islam" and "radical Islam" and that the latter is a misinterpretation of the former. On what grounds do they believe this? Where is this peaceful, benign version of Islam that teaches peaceful coexistence with unbelievers as equals with believers in a secular society on an indefinite basis? No one has ever produced it. But everyone believes it exists.
We're always made to affirm, on pain of charges of "Islamophobia," that Islam is not a monolith, but rather a gorgeous mosaic notable for its multiplicity. The only things interfering with this inspiring picture are the recurring death threats against those Muslims who attempt to soften some of Islam's sharper edges. Islamic Tolerance Alert and an update on this story: "Javed Akhtar gets death threats," from Zeenews.com, May 15 (thanks to S.K.):
Mumbai: Noted lyricist Javed Akhtar received a spate of death mails, following his strong views against the Deoband seminary in UP, which recently came out with a fatwa against working women.
The All-India Milli Council (AIMC), All-India Sunni Jamaitul Ulema and Raza Academy said that women should dress according to the Islamic laws. Talking to a news daily, Moonisa Bushra Abedi, an AMIC member, said, "Purdah is an integral part of Islam. Women should dress modestly and cover themselves if they have to work. It is unlawful if they work and talk to men who are strangers without wearing a veil."
Talking about working women, Abedi continued, "Their earnings are not 'haram' but if they do not follow principles while working, then it is."
However, Javed Akhtar strongly condemned such uncalled remarks, following which the scriptwriter was told to apologise or face strict action. "Both he and his wife do not follow Muslim law or consider themselves Muslims, why should they talk on Islam," said Abdul Qayyum Shaikh of the All- India Milli Council, which further added that Muslims working in films are 'haram.'
Earlier, on a news channel, Javed Akhtar had called muftis "insane".
And all of it was perpetrated by Sharia supremacist groups acting in the name of Islam. "'Obliterating' Iraq's Christians," by Nina Shea in the Washington Post, May 14:
What is most startling about the report of the heartless double bus bombings on May 2 that targeted and injured 80 Christian students traveling to northern Iraq's Mosul University was that the young Christians there attend university at all. Since the U.S. invasion, Iraq's Christians have been mostly driven out of the country by violence directed against them for their religion. Their communities are shattered. That these young people continued to dream of preparing themselves to serve their country signals that community's deep commitment to Iraq and a modicum of hope they still harbor for its future.
Unless the Obama administration acts fast to develop policies to help them, though, their hope will likely be in vain.
Relentless waves of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, extortions and rapes have triggered a mass exodus of Christians from Iraq over the past seven years. Since 2003, over half of the estimated 1.5 million Iraqi Chaldean Catholics, Assyrian, Syriac Orthodox, and Armenian Christians, as well as some Protestants have fled to Syria, Jordan and farther flung places. While only 3 or 4 percent of Iraq's pre-2003 population, they account for 40 percent of its refugees, the UN reported.
Christians remain the largest non-Muslim minority there but church leaders express a real fear that the light of the faith in Iraq that is said to have been kindled personally by Thomas, one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles, could soon be extinguished. Iraq's other non-Muslim religions, the much smaller groups of Mandeans (followers of John the Baptist), Yizidis (an ancient angel-centered religion), Bahai's and Jews are also all being forced out by violence.
Religious persecution in Iraq is so "egregious" that the country has now been included, alongside the likes of notoriously repressive Iran and China, on a recommended short list of "Countries of Particular Concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act, by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
No Iraq group, Muslim or non-Muslim, has been spared massive and appalling religiously-motivated violence; however, as the independent federal commission found, the one-two punch of extremist ruthlessness and deep governmental discrimination now threatens the "very existence" of Iraq's ancient Christian churches, some of whom still pray in Aramaic, the language of Jesus of Nazareth....
Well, now we know why Faisal Shahzad did what he did. For god's sake, you don't have to be Robert Pape to know that Islam had nothing to do with it. It was loss of status. It was poverty. Here was poor Faisal Shahzad, the son of a high-ranking Pakistani Air Force Officer, who no doubt got special treatment as a "student" in the first place.
And then he went back to Pakistan, only to return to the U.S. and finally obtain that long-sought thing, American citizenship, with that silly Oath of Allegiance those stupid Infidels insist on administering, and he was off to the races, he was in the goldene Medina, oops, wrong immigrants, the goldene Mekka and Medina, and nothing could stop him.
Nothing except that he was, like so many Muslims, unused to real economic activity, but rather, on gaining money and status from whom he was related to, and in Pakistan he was the son of a relative big-shot. In America he was nobody. He had not learned the virtue of sustained effort, for he had grown up in a society suffused with inshallah-fatalism. He was not someone who could come up with a new idea, no matter how tiny, because bid'a, innovation, is despised in Islam. So he was left to endure failure. He sent his wife back to Pakistan. His house was foreclosed on. And so -- it doth follow as the night the day -- Faisal Shahzad decided to first get training in Pakistan and return to set off a bomb in Times Square.
Yes, the Robert Papes of this world would have you believe that "if only" Fahsal Shahzad had not had his house foreclosed, he would not have tried to mass-murder Americans. And I have just provided for you a plausible version of this: Poverty Causes Muslim Terrorism. Except it doesn't. Not all Muslim terrorists are like Faisal Shahzad. Why, the last two who made the headlines were not poor at all. One was Umar Abdulmutallab, who was the son of one of the richest (and no doubt most corrupt) bankers in Nigeria. He did not come to America to seek his fortune and find he couldn't make it. He did not step on American soil at all, until the plane he had tried to blow up landed so that Federal agents could take him off. And as for Major Nidal Malik Hasan, he was a great success, wasn't he? He was in the army, as a doctor, albeit one whose superiors were deeply suspicious, even frightened of, though they felt they could do nothing because he was in a "protected class." That protected class is the class of Muslims during the "War on Terror" that must never become, as Mayor Bloomberg so memorably put it the other day, an occasion for anti-Muslim bias, for every group, bien entendu, has "a few bad applies." And as an army doctor Hasan was taking in $90,000 a year. Why, even were I to receive only half that, that would be enough to keep me from mass-murdering my fellow soldiers. And I'm sure you feel the same.
And so many of the terrorist leaders are from backgrounds of great privilege, and never did suffer a decline in economic status but, as a result of being "Islamic warriors," gave their lives of privilege greater meaning and acquired for themselves greater status. Osama Bin Laden is no longer one more rich kid of the Bin Laden family, but the world-famous Osama Bin Laden. And Ayman Al-Zawahiri is from a very famous Egyptian family, with a great-uncle who was Azzam Pasha, the first Secretary-General of the Arab League. That is the same Azzam Pasha who before the Arab armies attacked Israel threatened a "massacre" of the Jews that would be "unlike anything seen since the days of the Mongols." Al-Zawahiri was a doctor, and as Egypt is run by a tiny ruling class, and Ayman Al-Zawahiri part of that class if he wished to be, something else made him become part of Al-Qaeda. That something else was Islam, for there was no other way for him to express his alienation from the regime, or for that matter, from anything else.
Should the U.S. government now develop a special program of domestic aid for Muslims? Should it make sure that they all succeed, not only economically, but socially and in all other ways? Should it make sure that no Muslims have their houses foreclosed on, that Muslims are always the first hired, and never fired, so that they will never have cause to be sad, or feel in this country that they have lost status or, if they never had it in their countries of origin, enjoy the heady success that they assume should be theirs? Should we never prosecute any Muslims for tax evasion -- even though, at websites run by Muslims for Muslims, one can see casual references to the massive tax evasion of, for example, Pakistani taxi drivers in Canada -- so that no one takes it into his pretty little taxi-driving head to smash his taxi right into a crowd of Infidels waiting for a bus, or standing in line outside a theatre?
I listened recently on NPR to a discussion about Empowerment of Women In Islam. The two guests were Sakena Yacoobi, an Afghan who for many years lived in the United States and is now back in Afghanistan, and Isobel Coleman, who after years in business (mainly as a McKinsey consultant), began to take an interest in the subject of "women and foreign policy" and now directs a program with that title at the Council on Foreign Relations.
You couldn't fault either one for having their hearts in the right place. They both know that women are mistreated terribly in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world. But they insisted on talking about the "Greater Middle East," which, listeners were to gather, extended all the way from Egypt to Afghanistan. The only reason for such a curious, and untraditional, way of referring to such a wide swath of the world is to avoid the identifying marker of "Islam." So what really connects such countries as Egypt and Iraq and Afghanistan is not that they are part of some new construct, "the Greater Middle East," but that they are part of the world of Islam.
But it is Islam, and the possibilities for change within Islam, that is nonetheless the topic that both women were addressing. And they seemed to think, in slightly different ways, that to identify Islam as the problem is itself a problem. Or perhaps we should avoid the word "problem" altogether, because such a word, to many Americans, implies that there exists a solution. But in this case there is no solution to the mistreatment of women in Islam, only here and there some amelioration, with the permanent threat of backsliding into the full-fledged Holy Law of Islam, or Shari'a, which is never good for women. The word that one might prefer to "solution" is that the texts and tenets of Islam explain, that is, constitute not a problem to be solved but rather the explanation for the mistreatment of Muslim women by Muslim men according to the ideal Muslim Holy Law, that is, the Shari'a, and the man-made laws that ideally try to approximate it or take as their guide.
The good news: He failed, and he's been expelled from the country. "Sweden expels Syrian diplomat, tried to kidnap his daughter," from the Associated Press, May 14:
STOCKHOLM -- A prosecutor says Sweden has expelled a Syrian diplomat in an alleged plot to abduct his daughter and bring her out of the Scandinavian country.
Prosecutor Katarina Lenter says the diplomat left Sweden earlier this week after the Foreign Ministry declared him persona non-grata. She says the motive for the suspected kidnapping plot was that he didn't approve of his daughter's boyfriend in Sweden.
Lenter told AP on Friday the man could not be prosecuted because of his diplomatic immunity but an alleged accomplice, who is not a diplomat, is being held in jail pending possible charges.
Swedish news agency TT reported the daughter was 18 and living in a secret location.
An update on this story. "Pakistan arrests man with militant ties who says he aided Times Square bomb suspect," by Greg Miller for the Washington Post, May 14:
The Pakistani government has arrested a suspect with connections to a Pakistani militant group who said he acted as an accomplice to the man accused of trying to bomb Times Square, U.S. officials said.
The suspect, whose arrest has not been previously disclosed, provided an "independent stream" of evidence that the Pakistani Taliban were behind the attempt and has admitted helping Faisal Shahzad, the main suspect, travel into Pakistan's tribal belt for bomb training.
Officials familiar with the investigation cautioned about inconsistencies in the two suspects' accounts. Federal authorities expanded their search for evidence Thursday, carrying out raids in four northeastern states, and arresting three people suspected of funneling money to Shahzad.
Still, the U.S. determination that the Pakistani Taliban dir