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wednesday, march 22, 2006

Wednesday Night Shoreline


Cartoon Jihad, Round Two

The radical Islamic front is not finished testing the West’s resolve—round two coming up: Muslim scholars gather to defend Prophet after cartoon row.

MANAMA (AFP) - Some 300 Muslim religious figures opened a two-day conference in Bahrain in support of the Prophet Mohammed following the row over his depiction in cartoons in European papers.

The scholars, preachers, heads of Islamic associations as well as Arab and Muslim community leaders from Europe will explore a strategy aimed at preventing a repeat of the crisis sparked by the publication of the cartoons.

The gathering opened with an address by its chairman, influential Egyptian-born cleric Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi, whose International Union of Muslim Ulema (religious scholars) is one of the conference’s organizers.

“It’s a war that has been waged against us for no other reason but to insult Islam,” said the hardline cleric who has opposed dialogue with Denmark before it issues an official apology for the cartoons. “The Islamic nation has the right to rise in defence of its prophet.”

The 12 drawings of Islam’s Prophet, first published in Denmark in September and reprinted elsewhere since, provoked violent protests across the Muslim world where they were condemned as blasphemous.

They also triggered a boycott of Danish products in Muslim countries.

Muslims must work to improve the image of the prophet who is regarded in the West as “a man who goes after young girls to put in his harem,” said Qaradawi, referring to Mohammed’s polygamy.


Cartoon Jihad Comes to University of Virginia

Imam Siraj Wahajj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 WTC bombing, gave a speech about America’s need to restrict free speech at the University of Virginia yesterday, as part of the school’s “Muslim Awareness Week” festivities: Imam addresses Islam and the media. (Hat tip: Terp Mole.)

At the kickoff event for Muslim Awareness Week, Imam Siraj Wahajj spoke at the University in Wilson Hall last night about free speech in light of the recent Danish cartoon controversy.

Wahajj is a prominent speaker and world-renowned member of the Muslim-American community, according to the Muslim Students Association (lgf: search).

Wahajj is imam of the Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y., and also serves as a board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America.

In his talk, Wahajj said people must ask several questions as they consider freedom of speech.

“Whenever you talk about freedom of speech, I ask three questions,” he said. “One, is it legal? Two, is it moral? And three, is it wise?

Wahajj emphasized the legality of commenting on others’ religions, especially with regard to the controversial Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. But he questioned the moral correctness of taking such actions.

“I believe the editor of that newspaper [Jyllands-Posten] was trying to provoke Muslims,” Wahajj said. “You can’t denigrate people, disrespect people. If my neighbor said something was offensive to him, I wouldn’t do it. It’s legal to do it, but is it right?”

Wahaj also addressed the violence associated with the Muslim response to the cartoon.

“What was the image of Muslims—some Muslims —who responded to the cartoon?” he asked. “It was negative because Muslims were doing negative things.”


Dershowitz Challenges Walt/Mearsheimer to Debate

Alan Dershowitz is righteously pissed off about the Walt-Mearsheimer anti-Israel article published in the London Review of Books: ‘AIPAC study is ignorant propaganda’.

Prominent Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is taking on the authors of the study, which blasted the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, AIPAC.

Dershowitz, one of Israel’s strongest defenders in the American public and academic arena, was mentioned personally in the study as an “apologist” for Israel, claiming he is one of those responsible for endorsing the notion that Israel pursued peace in the Middle East for many years.

Dershowitz slammed the authors - Stephan Walt, from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago - and challenged them to a public debate at the Kennedy School.

“You have to counter this article”, Dershowitz told The Jerusalem Post, “These are two serious scholars and you need to expose what they have done as ignorant propaganda”.

Dershowitz, who is now working on a paper which will refute the claims in the Walt-Mearsheimer article, argues that there is no original material in it and that “the challenge is to find a single idea in the piece that does not already appear in hate websites. There is no scholarship here whatsoever”.


Switzerland: Hamas is a Partner

Le Mont De Sisyphe reports that the Swiss government has announced they consider Hamas a partner.


Berkeley Prof: Whiny Babies Don't Hang Loose

Oh, for Pete’s sake. Don’t Berkeley wacademics have better things to do than try to prove that “liberals” are genetically superior to “conservatives?” How to spot a baby conservative. (Hat tip: Ethel.)

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals. ...

In the 1960s Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids’ personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. There’s no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings — the investigators were not looking at political orientation back then. Even if they had been, it’s unlikely that 3- and 4-year-olds would have had much idea about their political leanings.

A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.

The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.

There you go! What more proof do you need that progressive political views represent the highest state attainable by human beings?

Block admits in his paper that liberal Berkeley is not representative of the whole country.

Truly, it is so. For it is in Berkeley that the übermenschen dwell in their greatest numbers.

UPDATE at 3/22/06 6:18:42 pm:

Jonah Goldberg rips this one apart: Do conservatives need psychological help?


UN on Wrong Side of Cartoon Jihad

Danish toy maker Lego is upset with the United Nations, after the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights published an “anti-discrimination” poster that uses a Lego building block to smear Denmark: Lego Caught Up In Racism Poster Row.

“We feel that the message of this poster can be interpreted as if we are a racist company,” Lego spokeswoman Charlotte Simonsen said. “I don’t know if that’s what’s intended, but it’s definitely one way of interpreting it.”

However, the UN said no affiliation to Lego was intended and apologised for the misunderstanding.

“The poster is in no way a comment on the specific situation in Denmark or on Lego,” a spokesperson said. “It is unfortunate that the poster has been interpreted as such.”

Right.

And in case you doubt that this is a deliberate comment on the Danish cartoons, note these recent statements from Doudou Diène, the UN’s “Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance:” Racism and racial discrimination on rise around the world, UN expert warns.

Referring to the recent controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspaper cartoons and the violent reactions, he said the cartoons illustrated the increasing emergence of the racist and xenophobic currents in everyday life. But the political context in Denmark was what had given birth to the cartoons.

It was one in which an extremist political party enjoyed 13 per cent of the vote and had formed part of the governing coalition. The development of Islamophobia or any racism and racial discrimination always took place in the context of the emergence of strong racist, extremist political parties and a corresponding absence of reaction against such racism by the country’s political leaders, Mr. Diène said.

UPDATE at 3/22/06 12:58:50 pm:

Michelle Malkin notes that the “anti-racism” poster has mysteriously vanished from the UN web site.

And just to make the point crystal clear, there was also a version in Arabic:


Daily Ablution: Proper Handling of a Muslim Offense Emergency

Scott Burgess outlines the new procedures put in place by the Church in Wales for dealing with sudden outbreaks of dangerous free speech: Case Study: How a Muslim Offence Emergency was Defused by Experts.

The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, still sounds a bit shaken as he recalls his reaction to the “gross error of judgement”:

“When I saw it I was horrified.”
As well he might have been, for to consider the potential effect of this grotesque image - especially in a publication with Y Llan’s influence - is chilling indeed. An emergency response was clearly called for. Thankfully, the Church had already developed a strategy, dubbed “CCC”, specifically designed to deal with a potential Muslim Offence Emergency (MOE) situation.

As it seems likely that MOE response will assume increasing importance for all organisations in the coming decades, use of the Y Llan events as a case study is invaluable - organisations which adopt a strategy modelled on that of the church may well be spared trouble, while those who do not risk having their products boycotted, their buildings burnt and their representatives beheaded.

The recommended CCC response to an MOE or a potential MOE rests upon three pillars:

Containment - Inappropriate material, information and opinions must be prevented from infecting public discourse.

Culpability - Those who allow such material to be disseminated must be named and punished. Whether such dissemination springs from a deliberate attempt to offend is immaterial.

Contrition - Muslim leaders should be sought out and apologised to, preferably on more than one occasion.


UAE Will Fund Hamas

Our friends in the United Arab Emirates have assured Khaled Meshaal that their oil money will keep flowing to Hamas: Hamas assured of continued UAE aid for Palestinians.

DUBAI (AFP) - The militant group Hamas said it was assured that the United Arab Emirates would continue to provide financial aid to the Palestinians under a Hamas-led government.

A Hamas delegation led by political chief Khaled Meshaal was told during talks in Abu Dhabi that the oil-rich UAE would “go on providing financial aid to the Palestinian people and their Hamas-led government,” delegation member Ezzat al-Reshq told AFP on Wednesday.

Reshq said the Emirati side headed by Presidential Affairs Minister Sheikh Mansur bin Zayed al-Nahayan also promised to “continue to sponsor and support infrastructure projects in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The UAE has funded housing projects in the territories, footing the bill for the reconstruction of some homes demolished by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip and in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.


Girl "Loses Right" to Repress Self

Who writes these headlines for Reuters, anyway? Girl loses right to wear Muslim clothing in school. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

How could she “lose” a “right” she never had? In point of fact, she was suing for a special exemption to school regulations—at a school that had already partly surrendered to demands for Islamic dress.

LONDON (Reuters) - A teenage Muslim girl lost the final stage of a long-running legal battle on Wednesday to be allowed to wear full Islamic dress at school.

Shabina Begum was sent home from school in September 2002 and ordered to change her clothes after she decided to start wearing the jilbab, a long gown which covers the whole body except for the hands and face.

She successfully appealed against the decision in March 2005 when the Appeal Court ruled her human rights had been breached by the ban.

But her school, Denbigh High in Luton, itself appealed against that decision and on Wednesday it was upheld by the House of Lords.

“Her family had chosen that school for her with the knowledge of its uniform requirements,” said Lord Hoffmann, one of five law lords who heard the case.

“She should have sought the help of the school and the education authority in solving the problem. They would no doubt have advised her that if she was firm in her belief, she should change schools.”

And of course, al-Reuters doesn’t think it’s important for you to know that this case was part of radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir’s agenda, as they continue to push for acceptance of misogynistic, repressive dress for women in all avenues of British life: Revealed: radicals who backed girl in dress fight.


Harvard Distances Itself from Israel Lobby Paper

At The American Thinker, Ed Lasky notices that the Harvard Kennedy School of Government is retreating from dean Stephen Walt’s anti-Israel paper:

The Harvard Kennedy School of Government logo has mysteriously disappeared from the disgracefully shoddy paper recently co-authored by its academic dean Stephen Walt. (The “logo” remains in the Harvard Abstract to the paper. And the report is still listed as one of the JFK “Faculty Research Working Paper Series.”) Additionally, there is a semi-disclaimer at the start of  the paper which was not there originally: “The  two  authors  of  this  Working  Paper  are  solely  responsible  for  the  views  expressed  in  it.   As  academic  institutions,  Harvard  University  and  the  University  of  Chicago  do  not  take  positions  on  the  scholarship  of  individual  faculty,  and  this  article  should  not  be  interpreted  or  portrayed  as  reflecting  the  official  position  of  either  institution.”


Afghanistan Human Rights Commission Calls for Death

Afghanistan is now saying that the Christian convert on trial for his life under barbarous shari’a law is mentally unfit. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.

Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country’s Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.

But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness.

“We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn’t talk like a normal person,” he told The Associated Press.

But Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission wants Abdul Rahman dead.

Afghanistan’s constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death. The state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has called for Rahman to be punished, arguing he clearly violated Islamic law.

Here is the contact information for the Afghanistan Embassy.

UPDATE at 3/22/06 11:00:44 am:

I’ve emailed the AIHRC to ask if this AP report properly represents their position, and will update if I receive a reply.


Hamas Will Keep On Killing

The leader of Hamas is visiting our friends in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, and he says Hamas is going to keep on slaughtering Jews: Hamas leader says won’t renounce ‘armed resistance’.

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday the Palestinian militant group will continue to fight Israel and told the United States that its Middle East policy would fuel terrorism.

“Israel cannot have stability with occupation. It has to choose. This is the message Israel should understand,” he told Reuters in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

“Armed resistance is legitimate. All resistance options are open to the Palestinian people and Palestinian factions including Hamas,” said Meshaal, who is touring Arab and Muslim countries to solicit financial and political support.


British Buddhists Busted?

In several wire stories about the capture of a British Islamic terror cell planning attacks in the UK, neither the words “Islam” nor “Muslim” are anywhere to be found. Maybe they were Scientologists? Gang Allegedly Eyed British Bombings. (Hat tip: Steven Den Beste.)

LONDON - Suspected terrorists planning attacks in Britain were considering bombing nightclubs, trains or the country’s power network, and were in the final stages of the al-Qaida linked plot when they were arrested, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The seven defendants — all British — were caught in anti-terror raids in and around London in March 2004, during which police seized 1,300 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer used for homemade bombs — about one-third the amount used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.

Members of the group had previously flown to Pakistan for instruction at terrorist training camps and received backing from a senior al-Qaida operative, prosecutor David Waters said at the start of their trial.

The defendants, who have pleaded not guilty, are accused of having acquired ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder “for bombs to be used in destructive attacks in the United Kingdom,” Waters said.

Sky News reports that one of these “men” was involved in discussions to buy a dirty bomb: Terror Suspect Atomic Bomb Link. (Hat tip: Ian.)

One of the suspected terrorists on trial for allegedly plotting a nationwide bombing campaign has been linked to a nuclear weapon.The Old Bailey jury was told that Salahuddin Amin had been involved in discussions to buy a nuclear bomb. The prosecution said contact had been made with the Russian mafia in Belgium, from whom they wanted to buy a radio-isotope bomb.


tuesday, march 21, 2006

Tuesday Night Fence


UN Springs Into Action, Stymied

Actually, today the UN Security Council sprang into inaction. In fact, the United Nations is now officially “stymied.”

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council failed to reach an accord on Tuesday on how to respond to Iran’s nuclear programs even as President George W. Bush warned Tehran could blackmail the world if it had the bomb.

Russia, backed by China, wants to delete large sections of a Franco-British draft statement the Security Council has been studying for nearly two weeks as a first reaction to Iran’s nuclear research, which the West believes is a cover for bomb making.

Russia is concerned about how deeply the 15-member Council, which has the power to impose sanctions, should get involved in the Iranian crisis.

Until now it has been handled by the 35-member board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog in Vienna, and negotiators Germany, Britain and France.


Damned Lies and Statistics

I received this email from a reader on Sunday evening (but as usual my email is so backed up that I didn’t get to it until now). I’m going to post the whole thing, because it gives the lie to much of the incessant defeatism of the left/media in a powerful way:

Charles,

I thought it might be important to point out an interesting statistic after 3 years of war in Iraq.

This statistic is not meant to degrade the loss of ANY soldier in Iraq. Each one is a tragedy - they are truly heroes to the country and I hope the Lord blesses each and everyone one of these brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price, as well as their families. This goes out to those who have paid the price of crippling injury during combat and terrorist strikes as well.

This statistic will expose those who continue to use American casualties in the Iraq War as a statistic to promote their “Grim Milestones” and their view that “Too many American soldiers have lost their lives in this war”.

In the year 2000, per a report by the CDC, the mortality in the US hit a record low rate of 876.3 deaths per population of 100,000 people for the year. In 1999, the mortality rate was 877 per 100,000 people. Of course, we all know, and grieve, what happened in 2001 when over 3000 Americans lost their lives in a matter of an hour.

At any given time from the beginning of the Iraq war back in 2003, we have had over 100,000 troops dedicated to Operation Iraqi Freedom. At the lowest, we had 110K, and in fact now are at 135-160K.

As of this date, March 19, 2006, exactly three years after the war in Iraq began - we have had about 2,323 US military fatalities from both hostile and non-hostile actions.

Using the LOWEST possible rate that was observed in the United States - in the year 2000, at a rate of 876.3 deaths per 100K population, that would come out to a mortality rate of 2629 per 100K population in three years (should that rate have been maintained).

You can clearly see that the rate of US soldiers lost in the Iraq war is MUCH lower than the lowest fatality rate observed in the US in the year 2000. The average fatality rate of OIF soldiers per year is about 774 soldiers per year.

This is a compliment to our military operations and the quality of medical care that our injured soldiers receive.

The left continues to argue about the “HEAVY” US casualties when the actual numbers show that the mortality rate per 100,000 is lower for our soldiers in Iraq, than it was here on US soil in the lowest mortality rate year we have ever had, in the year 2000.

They will argue that there have been so many injuries, many of them very severe. This is true, but in the average population, you also see a good number of people that are injured, many severely.

They will also argue that many of those fatalities in United States rate are elderly and infants dying of natural causes - where the majority of fatalities occur. The same holds true of the soldiers involved in Iraq. Some of the fatalities are “non-combat” including those that were on leave and killed in a accident, had heart attacks or other natural causes, etc.

Each and every one of our soldiers lost, IS a tragedy. When they became a soldier, they knew that there was a possibility that they would be required to go to war. THAT is their job - military, not a kindergarten playground where they get to play war and get an education on top of it. I’ll never forget the words of our soldier just prior to the war in Iraq. I had the opportunity to visit her late 2002, near the end of her AIT at Bragg. The buildup before the Iraq invasion was already beginning at that time.

Soldier: “Dad, given what has happened (9/11) there is a good possibility that I may be deployed to war”.

Dad: “How do you feel about this?”

Soldier: “It would be a shame if I wasn’t. All my training would have been for nothing.”

It is a dangerous job, just like that of our police, firefighters, and paramedics. Military operations are dangerous work, and these numbers reflect the capability and professionalism with which our soldiers do their job, and do it in a very dangerous and hostile environment.

Bless ‘Em All.

The Angry American

UPDATE at 3/21/06 6:21:26 pm:

Also see this post from Proud Kaffir:

On the third anniversary of the Iraq war, the MSM keeps bombarding us with stories and statistics trying to compare this war to the carnage in Vietnam, trying to make us think that US soldiers are dying at an alarming number due to Bush’s failures.

While every lost serviceman and servicewoman is certainly tragic and should be mourned, the actual statistics tell quite a different tale from the MSM and Democratic doom-and-gloom outlook. Comparing the numbers of lost US military personnel to past years, and past presidential terms, may even be a shock to supporters of the war.

Take a look at the actual US Military Casualty figures since 1980. If you do the math, you will find quite a few surprises. First of all, let’s compare numbers of US Military personnel that died during the first term of the last four presidents.

George W. Bush . . . . . 5187 (2001-2004)
Bill Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4302 (1993-1996)
George H.W. Bush . . . . 6223 (1989-1992)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . 9163 (1981-1984)

Even during the (per MSM) utopic peacetime of Bill Clinton’s term, we lost 4302 service personnel. H.W. Bush and Reagan actually lost significantly more personnel while never fighting an extensive war, much less a simultaneous war in two theaters (Iraq and Afghanistan). Even the dovish Carter lost more people during his last year in office, in 1980 lost 2392, than W. has lost in any single year of his presidency. (2005 figures are not available but I would wager the numbers would be slightly higher than 2004.)

In 2004, more soldiers died outside of Iraq and Afghanistan than died inside these two war zones (900 in these zones, 987 outside these zones). The reason is that there are usually a fair number that die every year in training accidents, as well as a small number of illness and suicide. Yet the MSM would make you think that US soldiers are dying at a high number in these zones, and at a significantly higher number than in past years or under past presidents. This is all simply outright lies and distortion.


Industrious Moonbats Work Wonders with Papier Mache

Age of Hooper has a funny video from yesterday’s fizzled moronic convergence in Washington DC, and since he knows I love the moonbats’ papier mache puppets (they work so hard at them!) he sent along five great photos of the radical puppet squad, which I have turned into a small slideshow:

Fear the giant puppets of resistance!

UPDATE at 3/21/06 4:49:48 pm:

And don’t miss Bryan Preston’s video report on the procession of the moonbats, featuring a stealth interview of Cindy Sheehan by Michelle Malkin: Cindy Sheehan in DC: The Dud. (The video is at YouTube - The Dud.)


French Politicians Subsidize Islamist Groups

It’s a week old, but this little story of French dhimmitude has not been reported anywhere else (to my knowledge): French politicians subsidize Islamist Groups. (Hat tip: Doss.)

After Nord-Eclair, France-Echos and Caroline Fourest, the weekly newspaper Marianne reveals one of the biggest scandals of modern France: in Roubaix and in the French department of Nord [near the Belgian Border], environmentalist and socialist elected representatives subsidized conferences and radio programmes for Islamists such as Hassan Iquioussen and Tariq Ramadan.

The Marianne delivery of March 11, 2006 contains a four-page article on that affair, exposed by Messaoud Bouras for years but strangely overshadowed by the media.

You heard it right: today, in France, French elected representatives have, in their pitiful run for votes, made subsidies available for declared enemies of the French Republic through associations, radio stations or “school support” groups.

The beneficiaries of those generous gifts are people as despicable as Hassan Iquioussen, the anti-Jew preacher from UIOF [Union des organisations islamiques de France - Union of Muslim Associations in France], Tariq Ramadan, the takia-expert who wants to impose Sharia to French Muslims, the notorious “Indigènes de la République” association [“Natives of the Republic”, “Natives” meaning here former colonized people, i.e. mainly of African or Arab descent] and their call for racist Jihad against people of French descent, or “school support” groups that form real Koranic Madrassas.


Hamas Finance Minister to EU: We Don't Need Your Infidel Money

The new finance minister for Hamastan, recently released on parole from an Israeli prison, says Palestinians can live without EU aid.

BERLIN (AFP) - The Palestinian territories could survive without aid from the European Union and would find funding elsewhere if necessary, the German press reported the Palestinian finance minister designate as saying.

If the EU makes good on recent threats to suspend funding to the Palestinian territories “the consequences will be serious but not catastrophic”, minister designate Omar Abdul Razeq told the Financial Times Deutschland.

“We can also survive without them,” added the Hamas official, who was named on Sunday as part of a cabinet dominated by members of the militant Islamic group that won resounding victory in the Palestinian election in January.


Prospects of Terror: An Inquiry into Jihadi Alternatives (1)

Here’s Part One of a provocative, closely reasoned and very readable essay by J.R. Dunn, former editor of the International Military Encyclopedia: Prospects of Terror: An Inquiry into Jihadi Alternatives.

This [the cartoon jihad] was not a conspiracy against Denmark, but against the West and all its values. The only way to face such provocations is with a united front. European attitudes toward such matters – the mixture of frivolity, fatalism, and avarice that has marked all their recent dealings with the Middle East—must in particular be brought up short.This may in fact be occurring in response to events.

The second approach should be engagement of Middle Eastern governments and ruling classes to persuade them that democracy is coming, that it cannot be stopped, and that it is not a threat. Apart from the mullahs, these people are the major roadblock to serious reform. They view democracy with deep suspicion, and with some reason. The shabby fate of the Hindu nobility, who willingly gave up their ancestral holdings to the Indian government only to have the promised subsidies cut off a few years later, must always be before their eyes.  But other examples do exist: buried in the uproar elsewhere in the Gulf is the fact that Bahrain became a constitutional monarchy in February 2002, thanks to a wise decision by King Hamad. Some people are prepared to take the step. On the other hand, Iranian ex-president Mohamed Khatami’s recent call for democracy should be viewed with caution – it’s doubtful that he means the same as we do in the West. (This is also true of the results of the Palestinian election, taken by many observers as evidence that the Bush strategy is empty. There is simply no rational way that a contest between two murderous terror organizations can be considered a “democratic election.”)

The recently-released Quadrennial Defense Review envisions a second stage in the war against terror involving active undercutting of AQAM’s (al-Qaeda and Affiliated Movements, the military term) appeal to the Muslim populace. Condeleezza Rice’s “transformational diplomacy,” in which crucial assets of the U.S. Foreign Service will be shifted to the Middle East from Europe, is aimed at implementing a democratic program. But it can’t simply be left to the Defense and State Departments. (I keep trying to picture Joseph C. Wilson IV carrying out the assignment, but the image simply won’t gel.) Such a campaign of influence and persuasion seems tailor-made for NGOs and trade associations in business, the sciences, and the arts and entertainment. It’s dismaying to consider how few of this country’s resources have actually been brought to bear against the terrorist threat. Many people would be willing to act but lack necessary direction. Some effort must be made to provide this.

The third and most difficult task involves getting through to the Muslim masses. To read the Middle Eastern media is an exercise in despair. Absolutely nothing of the Western or American case gets through. The Muslim worldview is a sad morass of conspiracy theories, ethnic and religious hatreds, and paranoia. (Only a handful of exceptions exist—the Saudi Arab News and the Beirut Daily Star among them.)

This excerpt can only give you a small taste of it; read the whole thing...


Tuesday Open Thread


Archbishop of Wales Grovels, Censors Magazine

Utterly embarrassing groveling from the Archbishop of Wales today, after the church’s magazine printed a completely inoffensive cartoon—a cartoon that actually had a message of tolerance: Church recalls ‘Prophet’ magazine.

The Church in Wales has recalled 500 copies of its magazine featuring a cartoon caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad.

The editor has resigned after the image was published in the Church’s Welsh-language magazine Y Llan. The Archbishop of Wales has apologised to the Muslim Council of Wales, which accepted the “unfortunate mistake”. ...

The Church in Wales printed the cartoon to illustrate an article in the February edition of Y Llan - or ‘Church’ in English - about the shared ancestry of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The drawing - which was from the French magazine France Soir - shows the Prophet Muhammad sitting on a heavenly cloud with Buddha, and Christian and Jewish deities. He is being told “don’t complain... we’ve all been caricatured here”.

The Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan told the BBC: “The article was perfectly OK, but for some reason, the editor decided to print one of these cartoons which was a gross error of judgement. It no way reflects the policy of the church in Wales and when I saw it I was totally horrified.

“We recalled all the papers, I personally picked up some from some churches and they have all been pulped.

“I’ve unreservedly apologised to my Muslim colleagues and they’ve been very gracious and I’ve said to them this in no way reflects the policy or attitude in the Church in Wales.”

It’s not the policy of the Church in Wales to advocate tolerance of all religions, by all religions?

Pitiful.


Swedish Foreign Minister Quits

Sweden’s foreign minister Laila Freivald resigned today, after accusations that she acted unconstitutionally by shutting down a web site that published the dreaded cartoons of blasphemy. (Hat tip: Sugiero.)

Laila Freivald resigned as Sweden’s foreign minister on Tuesday with immediate effect, after accusations that she acted unconstitutionally by closing a far-right web site that published controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. Freivald also was sharply criticized last year for the Swedish government’s bungled response to the Asian tsunami, which claimed the lives of around 500 Swedes on holiday. Prime Minister Goran Persson said Freivald’s departure was her own decision.


Malaysia Threatens Islam Critics

Today the “moderate” Islamic government of Malaysia issued a sinister warning to non-Muslims.

MALAYSIA’S de facto law minister has threatened to jail or fine non-Muslims who insult Islam, amid concern over recent articles perceived as attacking the religion.

Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz said the country’s sedition act could be used on non-Muslims who make comments construed as belittling Islam. “We will not think twice about using this law against anybody who incites,” Mohamad Nazri, a minister in the prime minister’s department, was quoted as saying in the Star newspaper today.

The minister said he was concerned over recent articles written about Islam by non-Muslims, and warned there was a limit to what could be said in the Muslim-majority country.

“I want to remind non-Muslims to refrain from making statements on something they do not understand,” he said.

“We do not want to take away your rights BUT religion is an important matter, especially to the Muslims.”

The minister’s comments come amid heated debates over Islamic family legislation passed by Parliament last year, which critics say will help Muslim men to take multiple wives and claim property after divorce.


Major Terror Attack Stopped

Those poor oppressed Palestinians were caught today trying to bring a suicide bomb belt into Israel to commit mass murder: Highway drama: Terror attack foiled.

Major attack foiled: Security forces recovered a 5-kilogram (11 pounds) explosive belt in a vehicle on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway Tuesday, bringing to an end a hot pursuit aimed at thwarting a terror attack.
 
The heightened terror alert prompted boosted activity by security forces, who proceeded to set up roadblocks in Jerusalem and on the highway connecting the capital to Tel Aviv. Eyewitnesses at the site reported widespread panic in the area where the vehicle was stopped.
 
“I found myself in a huge traffic jam. I thought it was an accident,” eyewitness Gadi Alfasi told Ynet. “Suddenly I saw five to six police officers with drawn handguns storming a vehicle, and the terrorists coming out with their hands up.”
 
Police said they believe the explosive device was intended for a central Israel target. The GMC vehicle stopped by forces contained 10 Palestinians, who were taken in for questioning by authorities. The vehicle in question was stopped following a pursuit involving a police chopper.
 
The terror plot is believed to be the work of an Islamic Jihad cell.


monday, march 20, 2006

Monday Night Shoreline


"The Embodiment of All That Good and More"

In a monumental wall of text published by the Yemen Times, Hassan Al-Haifi pays tribute to the American useful idiot: Of course, we remember Rachel Corrie.

For all the ugliness that the current White House administration and the Neo-con/Zionist Establishment represent, there are indeed shining beacons that remind us and the rest of the world that there is still really a lot of latent and apparent good left in America. If not for anything else worth citing, Rachel Corrie is the embodiment of all that good and more and still remains to many people who love freedom, hate oppression and despise tyranny, a shining beacon of human rights advocacy that will always be looked upon for strength and determination to challenge all the rotten evil that has come to eat away at anything that may be called half way decent and human in this world. It is not an easy thing to forget Rachel Corrie, although two years has passed since her untimely and tragic death. Two years have passed and to this day every effort is being made to erase her existence and the tragic memory of her untimely and brutal murder by the ugly Zionist ethnic cleansing machine, which she bravely challenged, armed with nothing but her moral values and unlimited courage. Yes, Rachel Corrie was a martyr in all the implications of the word. She gave away the most that any one can give for any cause and she sacrificed her life, which could have been free of pain and agony and might have even been extravagant. In Rachel’s mind, to live in extravagance while there are people in the world facing the worst kind of racial and ethnic injustice is not human and an escape from the reality of the madness that has taken over this world. Rachel Corrie saw in the Palestine problem an issue worth sacrificing everything for, because human suffering unleashed by other fellow men is not welcome in the kind of world that Rachel Corrie believes we should live in. Rachel Corrie believed in the universal brotherhood of mankind and that oppression against a people based on racial or ethnic myths is simply hogwash that is unbearable and un-Godly. Ms Corrie was protesting the destruction of the homes of innocent Palestinian civilians, so that the land could be cleared for Zionist settlements that aim to turn the Holy Land into an elegant suburbia with all the fancy materialistic polishing of modern “western” civilization – with the audacity of making the rest of the world believe that this is God’s will. All God fearing men and women know that God is far above than to let himself be the champion of a monstrous injustice that has been defiant of all Devine and man-made laws. Rachel Corrie was insistent on a different kind of justice. Her justice says that human beings should never be forcibly deprived of homes they and generations of their ancestors have been living in since any history has ever been written. Her God and the God of all decent peace loving people throughout the world say such oppression must be ceased and punished because it means brutality, theft, terror and injustice in all their manifestations.


EU Will Fund Hamas

The European Union will be giving $78 million to Hamas: EU to sign aid for Palestinians. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — The European Union will sign a deal Monday with the United Nations granting euro64 million (US$78 million) in urgent aid for Palestinians, but much more in future funding is under threat after the formation of a government by Hamas, a group the Europeans consider a terrorist group.

The EU foreign ministers will debate the impact of a Hamas government, as will the 25 EU leaders at a Brussels summit later in the week.

On Sunday, a European diplomat said the EU will work with Hamas, but added, “Those putting together the new government must know that how they decide their government program will have repercussions.”

“We’ll look at what (Hamas) adopts as its program, what it says about key issues” such as recognizing Israel and Middle East peace, said the official, who asked not to be named given the sensitive nature of the EU-Palestinian relations.

And then they’ll fork over the dough as usual.


The World's Smallest Anti-War Protest, Chanting Just for You

War protest at Hayworth office draws 2. (Hat tip: zombie.)

SCOTTSDALE - It was a very small army that protested the Iraq war Friday outside the Scottsdale offices of U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

Only two peace activists stood near Raintree Drive and Northsight Boulevard, holding anti-war posters for passing cars to see.

The protest, part of a national campaign to call attention to the human cost of the war, urged Hayworth, R-Ariz., to support legislation reducing the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.

“The ways of peace are not bombings and breaking into houses and scaring little children and families,” said Judy Whitehouse, 63, of Phoenix, adding that pulling troops out of Iraq would force Iraqis to work together in building a society.

Linn Russell, 56, of Scottsdale, said the war is being mismanaged and shows President Bush is unqualified.

“I feel he’s a leader who has failed to lead us in moments of crisis and is leading us in the wrong direction politically,” Russell said.

Hayworth was not at his office.


Hitchens: My Ideal War

Great column from Christopher Hitchens on the international dysfunctional community: My Ideal War.

As for the “terror” connection, Hayes in a series of unrebutted articles has laid out a tranche of suggestive and incriminating connections, based on a mere fraction of the declassified documents, showing Iraqi Baathist involvement with jihadist and Bin Ladenist groups from Sudan to Afghanistan to Western Asia. If you choose to doubt this, you might want to look at the threat, neglected by the U.S. military, of the “Fedayeen Saddam.” (See also Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor’s admirable new book Cobra II.) This interestingly named outfit, known to many of us for some time, did most of the serious fighting against the coalition after the ignominious and predictable collapse of the Iraqi army and the Republican Guard. Its ranks were heavily augmented with foreign jihadists, and from this para-state formation and its recruitment pattern, we get an idea of the way in which things would have gone in Iraq if it had been left alone. Never mind “imminent threat,” if that phrase upsets you. How does “permanent threat” sound?

Read the whole thing...


What If They Gave an Anti-War Rally and Nobody Came?

Today’s protest in Washington DC drew a whopping 166 people. Don’t let anybody lie to you. Age of Hooper counted them.

From the looks of it, there were almost more giant papier mache puppets than people.


Iran's Nuke Project Could Be Destroyed in 2 Days

Conventional wisdom asserts that Iran’s nuclear facilities are so dispersed throughout the country and have such well-hardened defenses that it would be very difficult to take them out quickly. But a former senior CIA operative has told The Jerusalem Post that the United States could put a stop to Iran’s Manhattan Project in two days.

Gary Berntsen, the former senior CIA operative who led the search for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in late 2001, believes the United States has the ability to easily destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. He said the US could use bunker-buster bombs and other weapons to carry out the operation.

“We can dig those things out. We can destroy them,” he told The Jerusalem Post in an interview.

“We can take care of it in a couple of days with air strikes and they wouldn’t be able to stop us,” he added. “It wouldn’t be difficult to plan. They’d be some dangers but I think the United States can do it.” Berntsen, who left the CIA in June last year after more than 20 years of service, believes it will be difficult to persuade Iran to stop its nuclear program.

“I know the Iranians. I’ve worked against the Iranians for years. They are determined to get this no matter what, and they will lie and cheat and do whatever they have to do to get themselves a weapon,” he said.

Berntsen ruled out covert action because of the scale of Iran’s nuclear program.
“This is a huge system of facilities they have. This is not going to be a small sort of engagement. We are probably going to have to destroy 30 facilities in 30 locations. Or at least 15,” he said.


Stephen Walt's War with Israel

The left is frothing over a new article from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government that will no doubt be featured in every CAIR press release from now on, a lengthy diatribe about the Israeli lobby’s control of the United States, and our need to have closer ties with Islamic nations.

The American Thinker has a terrific refutation of this sick piece of trash: Stephen Walt’s War with Israel.

UPDATE at 3/20/06 9:33:48 am:

Harvard, of course, is the recent recipient of a $20 million gift from the Saudi royal family.

UPDATE at 3/20/06 3:34:10 pm:

The Stephen Walt article has a high-profile supporter: David Duke Claims to Be Vindicated By a Harvard Dean.

Duke, a former Louisiana state legislator and one-time Ku Klux Klan leader, called the paper “a great step forward,” but he said he was “surprised” that the Kennedy School would publish the report.

“I have read about the report and read one summary already, and I am surprised how excellent it is,” he said in an e-mail. “It is quite satisfying to see a body in the premier American University essentially come out and validate every major point I have been making since even before the war even started.” Duke added that “the task before us is to wrest control of America’s foreign policy and critical junctures of media from the Jewish extremist Neocons that seek to lead us into what they expectantly call World War IV.”

Mr. Walt said last night, “I have always found Mr. Duke’s views reprehensible, and I am sorry he sees this article as consistent with his view of the world.”

UPDATE at 3/20/06 3:48:36 pm:

Don’t miss this guest post by Lee Smith at Michael J. Totten’s blog: A Place Called Saudi Arabia.

UPDATE at 3/20/06 3:53:45 pm:

Another good rebuttal to Walt’s cartoonish analysis, by Martin Kramer: Stephen Walt’s World.

UPDATE at 3/20/06 4:58:16 pm:

CAMERA assesses the article: Study Decrying “Israel Lobby” Marred by Numerous Errors.


The Cartoon Jihad Is Not Finished

The Danish imams who incited the Islamic world into a frenzy by touring the Middle East with the Mohammed cartoons (and a few fakes to make them seem worse) are going to the Middle East again, after the Danish government refused to charge the cartoonists with blasphemy.

It was arranged by five Moslem organisations, including The International Union of Moslem Scholars, headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi (lgf: search), a major spokesman for the boycott. Fahmy Almajid, integration advisor, on the conference and al-Qaradawi: “The man has power, and he is very intractable. February 3 he called for what he called ‘The Friday of Wrath’, resulting in a tightening of the boycott, since the Imams listen to him.”

On the Danish Imams, Almajid says: “They are probably not there to say that everything is dandy. Their demands have far from been met because they still need to get an apology.”

Abdul Wahid Petersen, a Danish imam set to participate in the conference: “We can’t avoid mentioning the decision of the Crown’s Prosecutor, which will probably provoke some. We’ll have to wait and see how the conference progresses and I think the input from Denmark will be essential. I can’t say what the result of the conference will be and I haven’t discussed strategy with the other delegates, but I expect to talk about the decision at the conference and how I, as a Danish Moslem, view the signals sent by the Crown’s Prosecutor.”

The delegation from Denmark will consist of: Imam Abdul Wahid Petersen, Imam Abu Laban, Imam Abu Bashar, Imam Shaykh Raed Hlayhel, Imam Ahmed Akkari and the Chairman of the Danish Islamic Council, Jihad al-Farra.


Dark Ages Story of the Day

Afghan Christian Could Get Death Sentence. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country’s Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday.

The trial is believed to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan and highlights a struggle between religious conservatives and reformists over what shape Islam should take here four years after the ouster of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime.

The defendant, 41-yer-old Abdul Rahman, was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told The Associated Press in an interview. Rahman was charged with rejecting Islam and his trial started Thursday.

During the one-day hearing, the defendant confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Mawlavezada said.

“We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law,” the judge said. “It is an attack on Islam.”

UPDATE at 3/20/06 3:55:45 pm:

Here is the contact information for the Afghanistan Embassy.


The Glory of Shari'a

More than 6,000 women are facing charges under Pakistan’s “Hudud” laws for the crime of being raped: Thousands of Pakistani women face charges under Islamic laws.

Islamabad: Nearly 80 percent of the more than 6,000 women and girls on trial in Pakistan are facing charges under the controversial “Hudood” Islamic laws that mainly deal with crimes of adultery and rape, said a human rights report published on Monday.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report also noted an increase in the killings of women in the name of honour, Daily Times reported. Most such killings targetted women and girls who contracted marriages against family’s will.


Palestinian Civil War Watch

Gunmen besiege Gaza ministries, three wounded.

GAZA CITY (AFP) - Palestinian gunmen laid siege to two government ministries in the Gaza Strip in shootouts with police officers that left three people wounded.

Demanding jobs, members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a faction loosely affiliated to the defeated former ruling Fatah party, forced their way into the Gaza offices of the foreign and finance ministries, located in the same complex.

Three people — two civilians and a gunman — were wounded in the subsequent exchange of fire between militants and police officers.

In a separate incident, two police officers and a gunman were wounded in a shootout when Al-Aqsa militants ambushed a police convoy near Erez, the main crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Israel, a police source said.


What Didn't the President Say?

Ever since President Bush violated the mainstream media’s script by winning the 2004 election the wire services have been in a non-stop frenzy of retaliatory reporting. Now it’s reached the point where they’ve completely stopped pretending to be “impartial,” and instead release one ludicrous “news” piece after another—like this one from the Associated Press: Bush Marks Anniversary, Never Says ‘War’. (Hat tip: Allah.)

WASHINGTON - President Bush marked the anniversary of the Iraq war Sunday by touting the efforts to build democracy there and avoiding any mention of the daily violence that rages three years after he ordered an invasion.

The president didn’t utter the word “war.”

“We are implementing a strategy that will lead to victory in Iraq,” the president assured a public that is increasingly skeptical that he has a plan to end the fighting after the deaths of more than 2,300 U.S. troops.

Administration officials repeated the mantra that progress continues toward building a unified Iraqi government and nation.


sunday, march 19, 2006

American Muslims Hating US Troops

A pro-US article posted on an Islamic web site by a Muslim serving in the US armed forces provokes some very disturbing responses:

You are the biggest idiot I have ever met.

You arent loyal to Muslims? What God do you believe in? Our God in Islam states that we have to be loyal to Islam and its followers.

It is a jihad to protect Muslim neighbors...you die a shuhada if you do. That means..YOU ARE IN HEAVEN.

There are more reasons that I can point out that Islam requires us to be loyal to Muslims..but its ok..ur an idiot!

Keep wearing that uniform you traitor!! Next time I hope you drown or fall off a mountain while you are helping our enemy.

And this, from another poster going by the name of MuslimGentleMan:

JN786/TurtlesRMe - Salaamz to all - I have no time to entertain this notion that individuals who join the US Military are heroes, above and beyond any and all others. Add to that the false sense of victimhood on the part of the author and a couple of his cronies because some Muslims on Naseeb may not have congratulated them and adorned them with flowers and you have a load of empty arguments and ignorance. As one fellow mentioned - you were not forced to join the US Military - its not as though there was a draft and you made the best of a tough situation. As someone who put himself through an Ivy League University without parents/family (passed on years earlier) and was taunted and basically harrassed by Military Recruiters who came into my high school telling me I was nothing and laughed at me when I said I would pay for college myself - I can tell everyone here - if you need money for college or Graduate School - FIND another way. It’s possible. With regard to this ‘better than thou, respect me because I joined the US Military’ attitude - the real heros are the Iraqi Resistance forces, the ones who correctly and legitimately target US occupation forces with simple weapons and with faith and dignity in the face of multi-million dollar weapons systems meant to kill them and their families if they do not submit to the nearest US soldier who has no genuine clue as to why he or she is there...they are the real heroes. Listen to them on my latest JE (in English). asalaam-u-lakum.


Swastikas Are Trendy in Cairo

At Rantings of a Sandmonkey, we discover that swastikas are trendy in Cairo. (Hat tip: Kilgore Trout.)

Two weeks ago, while riding in a car with a friend, I saw something that made my mouth drop in awe. I saw this guy on a motorcycle who was wearing a black Jacket that had a big Ginat Swastika on the back of it. By the time I reached for my camera phone, the dude was gone in Cairo’s traffic. I didn’t want to mention it because 1) I had no evidence and 2) It could be just one guy, and I don’t want to be crying wolf over egyptians wearing swastikas when it’s only one ignorant jew-hating guy. Egyptians may hate jews, but they are not Nazis, and I said to myself it’s probably just this one guy.

And then a week later I saw another one in downtown Cairo.

And now Jimmy has a picture of another dude wearing a Swastika and had this conversation with him.

As expected, the guy didn’t even know what it meant, or understood that Hitler would’ve slaughterd arabs as equally as he did jews. He just knew it was Hitler’s sign, and that he hated the jews, so I guess he wore it in solidarity or something. What did the jews ever do to him? Don’t ask. He just hates them. They do, after all, control the world and the reason for all of his problems. After all, this is what his parents, his teachers and the local imam tell him.
sigh ...

Egypt has a long way to go man. A long way to go.

The United States gives Egypt more than $2 billion a year in foreign aid.


Vatican Change of Heart over Crusades

We’ve been noticing that the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI has been taking a much stronger stance against the global jihad, and today the Times reports that this new attitude is leading to a reexamination of the Crusades: Vatican change of heart over ‘barbaric’ Crusades. (Hat tip: Allah.)

THE Vatican has begun moves to rehabilitate the Crusaders by sponsoring a conference at the weekend that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the “noble aim” of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity.

The Crusades are seen by many Muslims as acts of violence that have underpinned Western aggression towards the Arab world ever since. Followers of Osama bin Laden claim to be taking part in a latter-day “jihad against the Jews and Crusaders”.

The late Pope John Paul II sought to achieve Muslim-Christian reconciliation by asking “pardon” for the Crusades during the 2000 Millennium celebrations. But John Paul’s apologies for the past “errors of the Church” — including the Inquisition and anti-Semitism — irritated some Vatican conservatives. According to Vatican insiders, the dissenters included Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict reached out to Muslims and Jews after his election and called for dialogue. However, the Pope, who is due to visit Turkey in November, has in the past suggested that Turkey’s Muslim culture is at variance with Europe’s Christian roots.

At the conference, held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Roberto De Mattei, an Italian historian, recalled that the Crusades were “a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands and the Muslim devastation of the Holy Places”.

“The debate has been reopened,” La Stampa said. Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II.


Iraqi Cleric Promotes Jihad on Saudi TV

On the new Saudi Arabian channel Al-Risala TV (a project of Saudi Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal), an Iraqi cleric promotes violent jihad for two reasons: to take revenge on the West, and spread Islam.

(Courtesy of MEMRI TV.)



(Click picture to play video. Requires Windows Media Player.)

Host: Dr. Ahmad, do you think that international treaties can resolve the West’s conflict with our Islamic nation?

Al-Kubeisi: The West’s conflict with Islam and the Muslims is eternal, a preordained destiny that cannot be avoided until Judgment Day - not before the sun and the moon are transformed. This is preordained, but there could be some kind of ostensible agreement that hides unimaginable negative feelings.

[...]

In Islam, Jihad is conducted in order to spread its principles, justice, and views. This is exactly what America is doing today, when it spreads democracy. The means used by America - to which the world submits - in order to spread democracy - all the international organizations, all those peoples and nations, are the same means used by Islam when it spread monotheism, at the time when idols and people were worshipped. It is one and the same. What was said there is being said here. If that was correct, then this is correct. If that was a mistake, then this is a mistake.

Hence, we have reached the following conclusion: The term “violence” or “Jihad” - or you could call it “aggression” or “colonialism” - means that you take control of the resources of others, out of economic or political greed. On the other hand, Islam does this to bring people to worship Allah, and to instate justice among all people.


Moronic Convergence in Hollywood

LGF operative Ringo the Gringo was at yesterday’s moronic convergence in Hollywood with his camera, and emailed more than 80 photos of the reality-based community doing the anti-war mambo. The crowds are getting smaller at these demonstrations, but as you’ll see in this slideshow I put together, the remaining moonbats are getting even battier: Los Angeles Anti-War Protest, March 18, 2006.

And here’s another photo report from Rayra: ANSWER Protest Mar 18,’06.

UPDATE at 3/19/06 4:59:07 pm:

And up in that city by the bay, zombie was recording the strange antics of the “peace activists:” Global Day of Action, SF, March 18, 2006.

UPDATE at 3/19/06 6:39:59 pm:

Gateway Pundit has a sort of Carnival of the Convergences.


One in 10 Indonesians Back Suicide Bombings

In Indonesia, the showcase “moderate” Islamic state, eleven percent of Muslims say suicide bombings are justifiable, and almost half support stoning adulterers to death: One in 10 Indonesians back suicide bombings-survey.

The survey, based on 1,200 respondents across Indonesia’s 33 provinces, showed 11.2 percent believed suicide bombings were justifiable on occasion while 0.5 percent said the method could always be justified to defend Islam from its enemies.

The survey also revealed that 8 percent support masterminds of past suicide bombings, including Noordin M. Top, the most wanted terror suspect in Indonesia, who authorities say is an expert in recruiting young suicide bombers among the country’s impoverished masses.

Police believe Top, a key operative of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah militant network, is on the run in rural areas of Indonesia’s main Java island.

Anti-terror campaigns in Indonesia have faced hurdles, including perceptions the United States is out to attack Islam, as well as the ample space given to militant voices and their sympathisers in the Indonesian media.

The survey also found that almost half the respondents back stoning as a punishment for adulterers while support for other extreme elements of Islamic sharia was also significant. ...

Only 2.5 percent back the Liberal Islam Network (JIL) while 11 percent agreed with causes advocated by the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI) of Abu Bakar Bashir, who has been convicted on terrorism charges and identified by intelligence officials as the leader of Jemaah Islamiah.


AP's Democratic Operative Strikes Again

Well, the blogosphere has already chewed over this latest example of astoundingly brazen bias masquerading as “news,” from Associated Press Democratic operative Jennifer Loven, but here it is just for the record—to mark one more grim milestone on mainstream media’s descent into irrelevance: Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches.

WASHINGTON - “Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day,” President Bush said recently.

Another time he said, “Some say that if you’re Muslim you can’t be free.”

“There are some really decent people,” the president said earlier this year, “who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care ... for all people.”

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.

When the president starts a sentence with “some say” or offers up what “some in Washington” believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.

The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

He typically then says he “strongly disagrees” — conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.


Sunday Morning Open Thread

“Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.”

—W. C. Fields


Saudis Helped Destroy Giant Afghan Buddhas

One of the most infamous acts of the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan was the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, giant 1500-year old statues carved into the side of a mountain. At the time, all the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, condemned the Taliban:

All OIC states - including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government - joined the protest to spare the monuments. A statement issued by the ministry of religious affairs of Taliban regime justified the destruction as being in accordance with Islamic law. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would later condemn the destruction as “savage.”

Today, Pakistan’s Daily Times reports that the Taliban had help—from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. (Hat tip: Brenda Walker.)

WASHINGTON: The Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed by the Taliban with the help of Pakistani and Saudi engineers.

According to an account published here on Saturday, a local Afghan told the makers of a Swiss documentary on the giant statues which had stood there, carved in the side of a mountain for hundreds of years, had been destroyed by engineers from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The dynamiting of the statues took place in March 2001. Swiss documentary filmmaker Christian Frei, who has made several documentaries that have won praise at various international film festivals, shot ‘The Giant Buddhas’ in Afghanistan. The film is due to be shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on 26 March.


SF Chronicle Hypes Mama Moonbat

The San Francisco Chronicle is still trying to promote Cindy Sheehan, long after most of the country has seen through her naïve/cynical “anti-war” shtick: Cindy Sheehan’s year of living famously. (Hat tip: Ethel.)

The sun is rising over a house in the Berkeley Hills, and in its modest studio apartment, America’s most compelling anti-war activist is making her bed, apologizing for the clutter and running late.

Cindy Sheehan was up much of the previous night while emergency room doctors treated her daughter for a painful cyst, but sleeping in is out of the question. Soon a car will whisk her off to a Canadian TV interview, to be followed by a local TV interview, and finally, fixing spaghetti for her three adult children in Vacaville — her home before the death of her soldier son Casey and the political trajectory of her anguish propelled her to divorce, to estrangement from friends, and to a frenetic campaign to end U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

And where is “home” to her now?

She pauses and sighs, sinking into the window seat and pulling a quilt up to her chin. “Nowhere, really ... .”

She’s averaging just two days per month here. The next morning she will fly off again, the surreal star of what is — depending largely on one’s political perspective — either an epic tragedy or a farce. After stops for protests in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., she will breakfast in Manhattan with actress Susan Sarandon, who is set to portray her in a biopic movie. A crew will film Sheehan for a weekly reality series on the Sundance Channel. Her letters to President Bush inspired “Peace Mom,” a one-woman monologue show in London. A memoir is due to her publisher April 1.

And she hopes to reschedule a trip to address the European Union, postponed, she says, because of injuries when she was arrested yet again and jailed earlier this month on charges of blocking entrance to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

A year ago, when The Chronicle’s Insight section profiled the Sheehan family, Cindy was a rather anonymous Vacaville mom, shaken by the fact that her son has been killed by an ambush halfway across the globe. Six months later, when she pitched a tent outside President Bush’s Texas ranch and demanded he explain the “noble cause” for which Casey was sacrificed, her plaintive cry seized the moment in America. By injecting aching humanity into the political debate, she catalyzed public opinion against the war.


Iran's Secret Talks with Iraqi Terrorists

The Telegraph reports that Iran has been holding secret meetings with Iraqi extremists, preparing to wage a proxy war against the West: Iran’s secret talks with Iraqi militants spark fears of proxy war. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

Iran held secret talks with Shia militant leaders from Iraq and Lebanon only days before the country’s nuclear negotiators threatened America with “harm and pain”, independent sources in Teheran have revealed.

The Iraqi firebrand cleric, Moqtadr al-Sadr and the chief of the armed Shia group Hizbollah in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, held separate consultations with leading officials in Teheran.

Al-Sadr commands thousands of fighters in Iraq, with the power to destabilise further the country and target British and American troops, while Hizbollah’s missile-wielding fighters are stationed on Lebanon’s southern border with Israel. The revelation of their visits to Teheran has stoked fears that Iran’s Shia clerical rulers are drawing up plans to wage a co-ordinated proxy war, using foreign Shia militias, in the worsening dispute with the West over its nuclear ambitions.


Pull the Plug on UNRWA

Jonathan Tobin says it’s time to pull the plug on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, that hopelessly corrupt agency that exists solely to perpetuate the Arab-Israeli conflict.

FOR 56 years, UNRWA has been the symbol of the world’s double standard about the war on Israel by the Arab world. While the United Nations deals with the rest of the world’s refugees with a single agency - the UN High Commission for Refugees - the Palestinian refugees have their very own agency, UNRWA, with a particular mission.

Unfortunately, unlike virtually every other refugee aid group (including those that dealt with the hundreds of thousands of Jews who fled Arab lands in the aftermath of Israel’s independence), UNRWA’s primary mission has never been to help the Palestinians deal with the reality of the post-1948 world. Resettling the Palestinians wasn’t the point. UNRWA exists to keep the Palestinians alive exactly where they are, so they can serve as justification for continued conflict with Israel. As detailed in a new Jewish Telegraphic Agency series of reports on the topic, UNRWA’s record is one of complicity not only with the political ends of the Palestinian movement, but with its violent tactics.

MANY OF UNRWA’s employees are members not only of mainstream Palestinian terror factions such as Fatah, but of the Islamist Hamas group as well. UNRWA suffered a major embarrassment when its former director, the Norwegian bureaucrat Peter Hansen, admitted as much two years ago, saying it was no big deal. Indeed, in the recent Palestinian election, a number of UNRWA workers were Hamas parliamentary candidates.

Of course, why should Hansen - who helped spread the lie that Israeli forces had committed a massacre of civilians in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002 - worry about terrorist infiltration?

The man misled not only about the casualties of Jenin, in which Hamas and Fatah gunmen fought pitched battles against Israelis who were seeking to destroy terror bases after Palestinian suicide bombings, but also told tales about the fact that this and other UNRWA camps were, in fact, long-standing UN-subsidized strongholds of Palestinian terror groups.


saturday, march 18, 2006

Another Ho-Hum Moronic Convergence

So I’m all like, watching the Iraq War protests today, and what do I see?

American flag with a peace symbol in place of the stars?

Check.

Aging Marin County hippies who think CODEPINK is groovy?

Check.

Angry chicks dressed in bed sheets?

Check.

It all seems so familiar. So tedious. What keeps these moonbats interested, march after march, demonstration after demonstration?

Check.


The Lodi Jihad Trial

Another case that seems to be under a media blackout is the Lodi terror cell trial in Sacramento. The American press seems to have collectively (either deliberately or with a dumb herd animal mentality) decided to downplay and/or ignore all evidence of terrorist activity inside the US, because this trial is getting near-zero publicity: Prosecutor says ‘Book of Jihad’ found in Lodi terror suspects’ home. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A prosecutor says publications promoting jihad and a Pakistani militant group were found in the home of a Lodi father and son who are standing trial on terror-related charges.

Hamid Hayat (hah-MEED’ HY’-et) is being tried on charges of providing material support to terrorists by attending an al-Qaida training camp and separate charges of lying to the F-B-I. His father, Umer (OO’-mer) Hayat is also charged with lying to the F-B-I.

The prosecutor told jurors yesterday that F-B-I agents found the items while searching the family home two days after the men were arrested last June.

(Notice the strange annotations in this AP release, which is not available on any other online news service.)


Huge Amount of Explosives Near Egyptian Border

The smugglers have been busy since Israel turned over control of the Egyptian border to the Palestinian Authority: Egypt uncovers explosives near border. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

Egyptian security forces recently uncovered 1.5 tons of TNT explosives near the border with Israel.

A report on the discovery was relayed to Israel while an investigation into the matter has been launched by Egypt in a bid to discover who hid the huge quantity of explosives in the area.

Egyptian police officers uncovered the TNT about two kilometers (about 1.2 miles) south of the Kerem Shalom crossing. The explosives were placed in about 30 bags, which were promptly confiscated by police and removed from the area by trucks.

Security officials in Israel believe the explosives were earmarked for terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Officials believe some explosives may have already been transferred into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing or via another route.

In the past, terror groups made use of large quantities of explosives in underground tunnels used to carry out large-scale bombing attacks.

However, the explosives are also used to produce bombs and Qassam rockets.


Egyptian Blogger Expelled from Al-Azhar

One of the reasons we see so few rational Muslims speaking out against the tide of jihad is that when they do, this happens. (Or worse.)

Abdel Karim Suliman, the Egyptian blogger who was arrested then released for his controversial views, was expelled from his university Al Azhar.

Abdel Karim Nabil Suliman [AKA: Kareem Amer] is a 22 year-old Egyptian student of law at the Azhar University in Egypt (Largest Islamic University in Egypt and the Islamic world), Damanhour Campus, and a women-rights activist. He also maintains his own blog where he posts articles expressing his views on the need for political reform as well as reforming Islam.

On Wednesday March 15th, 2006 Karim wrote on his blog under the “Events of Al Azhar Inquisition” saying:“Yesterday, I went to my college in Damanhour to attend the disciplinary council I was referred to because of my views and articles that I post online, the accusations ranged from defaming Islam to atheism to libel against the grand Imam of Al Azhar and some of the university scholarsKarim adds: (They simply turned criticism into libel and defamation, they considered the criticism of terrorist teachings as a derogatory act against religion), Karim went on to say ”

“ I did not try to deny the writing of these articles that they took as an incriminating evidence, but rather I insisted that they are my personal product despite their warnings that by admitting so, I might face many consequences”

On March 17th, 2006 the semi- official Algomhuria Egyptian newspaper published the following:“Professor Hamdi Shalany, PHD., Dean of the School of Islamic Sharia and Law in Damanhour decided to expel the student Abdel Karim Nabil Suliman for perpetrating acts and writings that defames religion in addition to defamation and libel against the grand Imam of Al Azhar The disciplinary council has submitted a copy of the investigation documents for public prosecution”.


How I Learned to Love the Wall

After blasting the New York Times for their latest episode of iniquity earlier, it’s only fair to point out that they also published a great piece by Irshad Manji today: How I Learned to Love the Wall.

They’re right that Palestinians are virtually wailing at “the wall.” When I went to see its towering cement slabs in the West Bank town of Abu Dis last year, an Arab man approached me to unload his sadness. “It’s no good,” he said. “It’s hard.”

“Why do you think they built it?” I asked.

The man shook his head and repeated, “It’s hard.” After some silence, he added, “We are not two people. We are one.”

“How do you explain that to suicide bombers?” I wondered aloud.

The man smiled. “No understand,” he replied. “No English. Thank you. Goodbye.”

Was it something I said? Maybe my impolite mention of Palestinian martyrs? Then again, how could I not mention them?

After all, this barrier, although built by Mr. Sharon, was birthed by “shaheeds,” suicide bombers whom Palestinian leaders have glorified as martyrs. Qassam missiles can kill two or three people at a time. Suicide bombers lay waste to many more. Since the barrier went up, suicide attacks have plunged, which means innocent Arab lives have been spared along with Jewish ones. Does a concrete effort to save civilian lives justify the hardship posed by this structure? The humanitarian in me bristles, but ultimately answers yes.


Al Qaeda Visits the Palace of Westminster

This week the first Muslim to receive a life peerage from the British government, Lord Ahmed, invited a terror suspect linked to Al Qaeda to visit him—inside the Houses of Parliament: Al Qaeda in Commons. (Hat tip: Dodgeblogium.)

A TERROR suspect allegedly linked to al Qaeda has visited the Houses of Parliament — as the guest of a Labour peer.

Former detainee Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh even sat in the Commons public gallery for a debate.

He was invited to Westminster on Tuesday by Lord Ahmed, who met him at Regent’s Park mosque three weeks ago. The father of five — suspected of being a money man for terror groups — was given a SECURITY sticker for his Parliamentary visit. And he boasted yesterday of sitting in the Commons gallery, adding: “It was very interesting.”

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis last night said Abu Rideh had been able to “walk around one of the UK’s biggest terror targets”.

Lord Ahmed confirmed he invited Abu Rideh, 34, to see him — and said he QUIZZED him over the suspected al Qaeda link.

He said: “I gave an appointment to see him this week. He came to see me as a Parliamentarian. It was my duty to hear what he had to say. He came through the peers’ entrance. He went through the security check and I met him at security. He did not leave me for one second. I did not take him into any public gallery.

“I asked him, ‘Have you ever been linked with al Qaeda?’ and he denied it.”


Ummah.com Internet Radio Show

Listen to the seething of the ummah live, on Noor Radio. (Hat tip: M.)

Currently featuring an African-American revert from New Jersey.


Hamas Set to Launch Terrorist "Government"

The death cult is going through the motions of announcing a government...

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas said Saturday it has formed a government two weeks before a deadline but apparently without coalition partners that might have softened the Islamic militant group’s image.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has to approve the Cabinet lineup before it goes to parliament, is set to meet with the group’s leaders in Gaza on Sunday. The meeting initially was set for Saturday.

Initially, Abbas aides said the Palestinian leader considered the Hamas platform too vague and would ask that it be rewritten, but they backtracked Saturday.

...even though, in reality, the whole “government” thing is just a facade for their real purpose: Hamas leader puts resisting Israel before politics.

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Running the Palestinian Authority will not deflect Hamas from its overriding goal of pursuing a long-term struggle with Israel, the leader-in-exile of the militant Islamist movement said in Damascus.

“Being in power is only a means to an end for Hamas,” Khaled Meshaal told a memorial gathering for a deceased Palestinian politician on Thursday night. “Power is not our ultimate goal.

“If it becomes one, let power go to hell. It will not hold us back from our targets which we hold dear,” he said. ...

“We and the Zionists have a date with destiny. If they want a fight, we are ready for it. If they want a war, we are the sons of war. If they want a struggle, we are for it to the end,” the Damascus-based leader Meshaal declared.

“We have more stamina than Israel and we will defeat it, God willing,” he said.


Gray Lady Admits Being Willingly Taken In

As we noted earlier this week, the New York Times was so eager to splash another Abu Ghraib story all over Page One that they let themselves be hoodwinked by a fraud: Cited as Symbol of Abu Ghraib, Man Admits He Is Not in Photo.

In the summer of 2004, a group of former detainees of Abu Ghraib prison filed a lawsuit claiming that they had been the victims of the abuse captured in photographs that incited outrage around the world.

One, Ali Shalal Qaissi, soon emerged as their chief representative, appearing in publications and on television in several countries to detail his suffering. His prominence made sense, because he claimed to be the man in the photograph that had become the international icon of the Abu Ghraib scandal: standing on a cardboard box, hooded, with wires attached to his outstretched arms.

He had even emblazoned the silhouette of that image on business cards.The trouble was, the man in the photograph was not Mr. Qaissi. [Editors’ Note, Page A2.]

Military investigators had identified the man on the box as a different detainee who had described the episode in a sworn statement immediately after the photographs were discovered in January 2004, but then the man seemed to go silent.

Mr. Qaissi had energetically filled the void, traveling abroad with slide shows to argue that abuse in Iraq continued, as head of a group he called the Association of Victims of American Occupation Prisons.

The original story was titled, “Symbol of Abu Ghraib Seeks to Spare Others His Nightmare.”

UPDATE at 3/18/06 7:58:35 am:

Their corrections page gives you a sense of how sloppy and riddled with bias this piece was, as they rushed it to print with laughably inadequate fact-checking—and even misrepresented statements from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

The Times did not adequately research Mr. Qaissi’s insistence that he was the man in the photograph. Mr. Qaissi’s account had already been broadcast and printed by other outlets, including PBS and Vanity Fair, without challenge. Lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib vouched for him. Human rights workers seemed to support his account. The Pentagon, asked for verification, declined to confirm or deny it.

Despite the previous reports, The Times should have been more persistent in seeking comment from the military. A more thorough examination of previous articles in The Times and other newspapers would have shown that in 2004 military investigators named another man as the one on the box, raising suspicions about Mr. Qaissi’s claim.

The Times also overstated the conviction with which representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International expressed their view of whether Mr. Qaissi was the man in the photograph. While they said he could well be that man, they did not say they believed he was.


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 frank says:

The Future is scary! (Yes, it sure is!)

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