Saturday, 12 April 2014

Muslims shut down university screenings of film about Islam and women

There’s a new film, “Honor Diaries”, in which Muslim women speak out against the oppression of women endemic to their faith.  The description ishere, and I’ll give an excerpt:
The film gives a platform to exclusively female voices and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster.  Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth.
Spurred by the Arab Spring, women who were once silent are starting to speak out about gender inequality and are bringing visibility to a long history of oppression. This project draws together leading women’s rights activists and provides a platform where their voices can be heard and serves as inspiration to motivate others to speak out.
It was scheduled to be screened on two campuses: the University of Michigan at Dearborn and the University of Illinois in Chicago. The results were almost predictable. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—the same group that complained to Brandeis University—protested that the film was “Islamophobic”, and the two school duly canceled the screenings.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Women in Islam

One doesn’t automatically associate Jon Stewart, the king of cable news comedy, with a topic like the role of women after the Arab Spring, but after listening to him expertly moderate a panel surrounded by four Arab spring activists—three of whom were draped in hijab head covers—it made perfect sense.
Read on...

Friday, 4 April 2014

"When Your Son Is a Suicide Bomber"

In the report of failed UK suicide bomber and recent convert to Islam, Andrew Ibrahim, there's a telling quote from him:
”It is of significant importance that we all come together to root out extremism and the poisonous propaganda that is in our communities and on the Internet.” [my emphasis]
Telling? how?  Well, what the article does not address are these questions:
  • What exactly was it that made the newly-converted Ibrahim think it was his duty to try to kill as many infidels as possible; in short, what generated his "extremism"?  And...
  • What exactly is that "poisonous propaganda" that is in our communities and on the internet?
The answer to both questions is easy: it's the Koran and the Hadith (the sayings of Muhammad).  These make it abundantly clear that what a Muslim must do is propagate his religion, violently if necessary.  Killing infidels is exhorted.  In other words "poisonous propaganda" is just another phrase for the normative teachings of Islam, the Islamic Trinity.
But, of course, to mention this key and vital fact would be "Islamophobia".

Thursday, 3 April 2014

New shooting in Fort Hood

Obama has promised to "get to the bottom" of what motivated the shooter in today's edition of "shoot the soldier", the latest shootings at Fort Hood in the US.
Really?  Last time around, when Major Nidal Hasan killed 13 of his fellow soldiers, the official report into it did not mention, even once, Islam or Islamism as a cause.
Yet Hasan called himself, on his name card, a "Soldier of Allah".  He gave away copies of the Koran before he went on his rampage.  He had given slide presentations which included verses from the Koran calling for the killing of "infidels".  During the shooting he was yelling "Allahu Akbar", god is great, the grim precursor to an atrocity.
But motive?  As far as Obama, and Obama's satraps in the Defence Department were concerned, nothing to do with Islam.
Later, in the Benghazi attacks against the US consulate, Obama made every attempt to steer the responsibility away from Al Qaeda, who were later shown to be the ones responsible, and onto some guy that had made a rather silly movie about Muhammad.  A US guy, by the way, who was promptly jailed for exercising his freedom of speech.
So, "get to the bottom" of this one? I think not.
Already they're in the "don't blame Islam" mode.  They admit they know nothing about the today's Fort Hood shooter.  But they say that "it has nothing to do with terrorism" (aka Islamic terror).
And the BBC is as bad.  They have many times today talked of Hasan's shootings at Fort Hood; not once did Islam or Islamism feature.
All this is nothing short of applying Islamic Sharia law -- no criticism of Islam allowed -- to the west's largest power.

"How I’ll End the War": Notes from an Officer on His Way to Afghanistan

Here is an American military officer’s first hand account of war, how it’s fought and how it ends.
Nick Willard is the pen name of a service member heading to Afghanistan on one of the final deployments in the closing days of America’s longest war. He will write what he sees in an ongoing feature for The Daily Beast that will appear as regularly as his schedule allows.
To speak openly and freely, to tell the American people and the world of readers on the web about the truth as he finds it, he has chosen not to use his real name.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

"Why Moderate Islam Is an Oxymoron"

Much discussion in the bloggosphere, over the years, on the vexed issue of whether or not there is such as thing as "moderate Islam", or whether there's hope for it to become so.
Interesting discussion with pros and cons at the article here.  Includes discussion from two knowledgeable and thoughtful commentators, Raymond Ibrahim and Daniel Pipes.
Snip/:
Raymond Ibrahim’s recent article, “Why Moderate Islam Is an Oxymoron,” has provoked controversy and many responses, including from Daniel Pipes on NRO, who believes in the possibility of Islam’s reform.  Earlier, Ibrahim—a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center—discussed the topic of his article on CBN News. It follows:

Friday, 28 March 2014

Extremist Chaplains, Literature Flooding U.S. Prisons

Robert Spencer has been talking about this issue for a long time.  He calls it "prison da'wah"...
The high number of former prison inmates involved in Islamic terrorism shows inroads the Saudi 'Wahhabi machine' in the U.S.
The article in the Clarion Project is here.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Western ignorance of the "Conditions of Omar"

From the always interesting and ever reliable Raymond Ibrahim:
A jihadi group occupying the Syrian town of Raqqa recently gave Christian minorities living there three choices: 1) convert to Islam, 2) remain Christian but pay tribute and accept third-class subject status, or 3) die by the sword.
According to the BBC, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria issued a directive
citing the Islamic concept of “dhimma”, [which] requires Christians in the city to pay tax of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in exchange for their safety. It says Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public. Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS (also known as ISIL) on their daily lives. The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices—they could convert to Islam, accept ISIS’ conditions, or reject their control and risk being killed. “If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” the statement said.
Because several Western media outlets uncharacteristically reported on this latest atrocity against Syrian Christians, many Westerners are shocked—amazed to hear of such draconian conditions.
In reality, however, these three choices are fully grounded in Islamic teachings, as shall be demonstrated below.
Read more here.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Sharia law in action

Earlier I posted a story about Sharia in action in Iraq: a new law to permit child brides and marital rape.
Here is another story -- live tweeting the amputation of a hand for alleged theft.  This is in line with Sharia law:
"The penalty for theft.  A person's right hand is amputated, whether his is a Muslim, non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state, or sonmeon who has left Islam..."
The authoritative Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, 14.0.1
The people carrying out this punishment are part of the opposition to Syria's government, supported by the US and its allies.

China in Africa

When I crossed Africa from Cape Town to Cairo in 2011, China was often in evidence: building roads, bridges, dams.  Overall, they clearly benefited the local population: there's a lot more development near roads, for example.  Did they alway use local labour? Well, no, but not always because they didn't want to.  In some cases, we were told that the Chinese had hired local folk, only to find those locals walking away after a few weeks because they couldn't keep up with the Chinese work rate...
The article here is by the Chinese Minister in charge of foreign aid. But, just because the Party says it doesn't mean it isn't true...  Some of his points are surely correct.  Eg, the hiring of 16,000 locals to build Merowa dam in Sudan.
We also drove along a superb new highway in Sudan.  Way better than the desert track it was before.

Iraqi Cabinet OKs Law Allowing Child Marriage, Marital Rape

[/snip]:
The new legislation would permit marriage for girls as young as nine-years old. In the case of divorce, custody of any child over the age of two would automatically be given to the father. In addition, the new legislation allows marital rape, giving the man the right to sexual intercourse with his wife whenever he chooses. Overall, all marriages, divorces and inheritance cases would be legislated according to the Ja’afi interpretation of shariah law and administered by Shiite clergy members
From here.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Wealth inequality in the US

From here.
The question is: what to do about it?  For freedom and equality are mutually incompatible...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Sexual harassment in Europe

BBC Radio here in Hong Kong has a looping report on sexual harassment of women in the EU.  The highest incidence is in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries.
The reports opine that the reason for that may be that these issues are more discussed in places like Denmark.  They also suggest that it may be due to women entering the job market in non-traditional roles and thus facing some resentment and fight-back in the shape of sexual harassment.
What they don't mention is that there's been plenty of evidence in recent years -- including in police statistics -- that the sharp rise in Scandinavian rape and other sexual predation has been sheeted home directly to "ethnic groups" and in particular to Muslim men.
In the case of Norway, the police reports for 2011 show that 100% (no, not 80% or 90% but the whole lot) of violent rapes were by Muslim men and that most were against white Norwegian women.
Could BBC mention this? No way.... that would be "Islamophobic"...

Friday, 28 February 2014

The Real Agenda Behind the Push for "Islamophobia"

"Islamophobia" is a bogus term.  Here's a good summary of the issues.
Snip/:
Islamists have been successful in building the Islamophobia industry: it diverts attention from activities they would probably prefer not be noticed, such promoting sharia law in the West, stealth jihad and a push to implement a global Islamic Caliphate, among many others. Any non-Muslim who questions the Islamists' intentions to promote the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood is immediately slapped with an Islamophobia fatwa [religious opinion], thus rendering most well behaved and civil Westerners, silenced and apologetic.
This is not only racist but, for the most part, a form of emotional extortion intended to extract special concessions from well-meaning but gullible people the West.
Islamophobia is also a convenient pseudo-cause around which to whip up young followers: they are informed, whether true or not, that they have much to be aggrieved about and that the only solution is to close down free speech, demonize all who might have an opinion that differs from theirs or who ask "inconvenient" questions, and to start creating an authoritarian political movement in which they might feel a meaningful participant.

"Hath Not a Jew Eyes?"

Mark Steyn on jew-hatred in Europe, carried out by adherents to the Religion of Peace:
...the violent, murderous phase of the new Jew-hatred is already here - in the emergency ward of the Royal London Hospital; in the corpse-strewn schoolyard of Toulouse; in the synagogue in Brussels set alight by Molotov cocktails; in a pleasant Jewish home in Antwerp, where burning rags were pushed through the mail flap; at the RER train station in Auber, where a commuter was savagely assaulted by a mob taunting, "Palestine will kill the Jews"; in the suburban home where a young Frenchman was tortured to death over three weeks while his family listened via phone to his howls of agony as his captors chanted from the Koran; in the stairwell of the apartment house where a Paris disc-jockey had his throat slit, his eyes gouged out, and his face ripped off by a neighbor who crowed, "I have killed my Jew!"
Via the Jewish Press.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

"Moderate Islam? Look to Central Asia"

The search for a moderate form of Islam goes on.
In this article, Frederick Starr stakes the claim for Central Asia.
Money quote:
While violence rages on in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the predominantly Muslim countries of the former Soviet Union — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — are experimenting with secular governments and free markets. Their efforts have had many fits and starts, but the West should recognize that their struggle to come to terms with modernity holds huge potential for the Muslim world as a whole, and may someday serve as a template for promoting peace among warring nations. Yet Washington continues to underestimate their cultural importance and potential impact.
Bowing low, as I do, before the qualifications of Mr Starr -- inter alia chairman of the Central Asia-Caucusus Institute and the Silk Road Studies Program at John Hopkins University -- still, I wonder why he quotes the medieval imam al-Ghazali in support of his thesis.  "Few thinkers stood higher than Abu Hamid al-Ghazali" says Starr.
Indeed, but for good or ill?
I've recently read the excellent -- scholarly, yet readable -- The Closing of the Muslim Mind, by Robert Reilly.
Reilly agrees on the importance of Ghazali (1058-1111).  He is
"considered by many Muslims to be the second most important person in Islam, next only to Muhammad [Reilly, p93].  
In medieval Islam there was a battle of ideas between a rationalist, hellenist group of philosophers, known as the Mu'tazalites, and the anti-hellenists anti-rationalists, known as the Ash'arites.  The Ash'arites found their most potent voice in al-Ghazali.  And al-Ghazali won the battle of ideas, with consequences to this day.
In 1195 CE books by the Ash'arites were incinerated in the town square of Cordoba. Any innovation, any recourse to reason, to cause and effect, was thenceforth banned:
"... In the eleventh century it became accepted that the gate of itjihad [the study and amendment of Islam] was closed... Since then Sunni Islam has adopted the official position that no new interpretations of the law can be entertained and that what seemed right in twelfth-centry Cairo or Baghdad must seem right today" [Reilly, xi]
Al-Ghazali was profoundly anti-science.  Allah, in his view, was the sole agent of all things:
"The catastrophic result of this view was the denial of the relationship between cause and effect in the natural order... [Ghazali] insisted that God is not bound by any order and there is, therefore, no "natural" sequence of cause and effect..." [Reilly p62]. 
Reilly, quoting Ghazali:
"For example, there is no causal connection between the quenching of thirst and drinking, satiety and eating, burning and contact with fire.  Light and the appearance of the sun, death and decapitation, healing and the drinking of medicine, the purging of the bowels and the using of a purgative...." [Al-Ghazali The Incoherence of the Philosphers p170, quoted in Reilly, p63]
Challenging Ghazali, the Mu'tazalite Averroes (1126-1198) said: "The denial of causality makes genuine knowledge impossible" [Reilly 67].  But Averroes' books were burned.  And thus, Reilly shows, the profound abhorrence that Ghazali preached, abhorrence and fear of reason, of rationality, of cause and effect, of investigation, of debate, of curiosity, of tolerance, all became embedded in Sunni Islam.
They became embedded into Sunn-Islam unto this day, in a direct line from Ghazali to Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (and grandfather of the oleaginous Tariq Ramadan), to Sayyid Qutb, the Brotherhood's greatest -- and still revered -- ideologue, to Al-Qaeda, to Hamas, to Jemaah Islamiyah and to the rest of the Sunni Islamist pantheon.
And in Central Asia, the focus of Starr's hopeful piece, the hateful Hizb ut-Tahrir, another fundamentalist group in debt to Ghazali, has made deep inroads.
So, whether the new secularists, as Starr calls them, are to win in Central Asia -- and thence to influence the rest of the (Sunni) Muslim world, or if the traditional form of Sunni orthodoxy, rooted in Ghazalist thought, the likes of Hizb ut-Tahrir, are to prevail, time alone will tell.
Neither history nor demographic numbers are on the side of rationality and secularism.  One hopes, but fears for the worst.  In short, I hope Starr is right, even if only in central Asia; but I fear he may not be.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Inside China’s Mistress-Industrial Complex


Hmmmm. As so often, China takes it to a new level...
Courtesy, The Daily Beast.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Willful ignorance on Islam

[snip/]:
Now, the Obama administration — led by Holder — has decided that Islam is a “race,” and therefore to examine or even to adduce a Muslim’s Islamic beliefs about jihadbeheadingviolence against kuffar (“infidels”), or re-establishing a caliphate is tantamount to racism. This administration behavior is rationalized because “federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counter terrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.”
It is difficult to express just how willfully ignorant of reality these statements and accompanying policies are.
The extract above is from "First-Class Islam: Eric Holder Puts Muslims Above Terror Suspicion", by Eric Furnish, previously a lecturer at the US' Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and strikes me as a sober assessment of the issues, the primary one being the conflating criticism of Islam(ism) and Jihad doctrine with "racism".  Well worth a read.  It's here.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Islamic finance: be gone from Hong Kong

Yet another spruiker for Islamic finance in Hong Kong.  I've had my go at this in a couple of recent letters which were published in the South China Morning Post (e.g. and another)
Here is another counter by me in submission of Letter to the Editor, I've just sent off:
Davide Barzilai urges the Legislative Council to approve the issue of Hong Kong’s first Sharia-compliant bond or sukuk (“HK should not missout on growing Islamic finance sector”, 22 January).
 I urge LegCo not to approve the issue of Sharia-compliant bonds.
 There are many reasons it should not. Here are two:
 First: Sharia-compliant bonds are costly and inefficient.  Sukuk cannot pay a standard coupon rate of interest since interest is haram or forbidden in Islam. They therefore rely on the sale and repurchase of notional assets, which is inefficient and adds to the costs of their issuance. It is this cost that Hong Kong taxpayers – that is, thee and me – are being asked to pay.
 Mahmoud El-Gamal, professor of Islamic Economics at Rice University has the rare courage to call out these synthetic structures for what they are: “ruses”.  Others might be harsher and call them hypocritical.  For they shadow the interest rates of conventional fixed-income returns like Libor-plus, while claiming not to charge interest.
 Because of the cost of structuring these “ruses”, professor El-Gamal says that  Muslim customers are “paying more for less”.
 Yet, we Hong Kong taxpayers are being asked to subsidise this inefficiency, so that buyers of sukuk do not pay more for less.
 Second, is the bogus claim that sukuk are “ethical”, principally because they allegedly do not charge interest. But as noted above, they create structures which mimic conventional interest rates, an innately costly and hypocritical process.  They also claim to be ethical as they do not invest in industries involving pork, alcohol or gambling.  But why is that “ethical”?  Hong Kong without pork, alcohol or gambling: can you imagine it?  We would go down the gurgler.  As would China.  Or are we all here and in our mother country to be deemed “unethical” because we partake, happily and often, in all of these haram activities?  The “ethical” claim of Sharia-compliant finance is simply nonsense.
 I urge LegCo members to acquaint themselves with Sharia-compliant finance and see it for the ruse it is, and for the bogus ethics it claims.  We don’t want our money to be used to support a religiously-inspired con-trick. 

It's cool to be Jewish in Poland

I'm listening to BBC World Service Radio, here in Hong Kong, to a program called "Heart and Soul" about Jews in Poland.
The key message: "It's cool to be Jewish in Poland".
How amazing is that?  In the rest of Europe, especially in France and Germany, anti-semitism is rife. One of the interviewees, for example, says she moved to Kraków because of anti-semitism in Germany.  Another says "it's better here [in Kraków] than in France, the UK, Russia".
Even in the US, the land of hope and respite for so many Jews, FBI hate crime statistics for 2012 show that "62.4 percent  were victims of an offender's anti-Jewish bias", the highest of any group (vs 11.6 % for Muslims, lower than the 12.5% in 2011 giving lie to the alleged growing prevalence of "Islamophobia" in the US).
I wonder why it's cool to be Jewish in Poland, whereas it's dangerous to be Jewish in much of the rest of Europe.  Could it have something to do with the fact that there are almost no Muslims in Poland?  For, despite Obama's claim that Islamic anti-semitism is a recent phenomenon, it's actually rooted deep in the doctrine of Islam from the beginning and is embedded throughout the Koran.  I have read Bostom's  "The legacy of Islamic Antisemitism", mentioned in the link above. It is meticulous in quoting from primary sources about the anti-semitic hatred of Muslims from the beginning of Islam in the 7th Century.
Still, just wondering...  If there are any other thoughts of why Poland should be a refuge for European Jews, or better yet, that it's cool to be Jewish in Poland, I'd love to hear them.