Sunday 29 May 2011

Israeli public overwhelmingly supports Netanyahu's speeches in the US

Sir, [to International Herald Tribune]
You claim that Netanyahu’s “trip was judged a diplomatic failure” in Israel (“No plan for talks”, 28-29 May).  That is not true.  His approval rating in Israel jumped a whopping 13%.  Israelis felt he had done his country proud and put Israel’s interests firmly to the forefront.  It is only the Israeli media of the “progressive” left that was left gnashing its teeth in frustration that the public had not had the good sense to lie down before Obama’s unilateral concession on behalf of Israel; concessions not matched either in Obama’s demand or in realistic prospect on the Palestinian side.
In common with much of the media, you seem determined put Israel’s feet to the fire demanding “concessions” over land; yet make nothing like the same demands on the Palestinians to foreswear violence,  and genocidal jew hatred.

I'm away in Thailand till 9th June..

... so if you've dropped by, please look around and revisit after the 9th June!

Thursday 26 May 2011

Hear! Hear! Now maybe they can....

Yesterday I said "Hear, hear!" to part of Bibi's speech to the US Congress.
But I also said the Palestinian leadership would not "listen, listen".
Now maybe they can, with this gift of hearing aids to Palestinians, by Israeli benefactors...

Bibi home run; Obama own goal

Mixed-metaphor warning: Bibi scored a home run in his US visit, especially his speech to the US Congress.  Obama's speech the day before Bibi arrived was an own goal.
I said yesterday that his visit "seemed to be going well".  It's more than that now, it's even better.  Bloomberg is liberal media and Charley Rose is himself rather of a liberal bent.  Their default position is pro-Obama and pro-Palestinian.  So you know Bibi's won, when you have four guests on Charley Rose, from left, centre and slightly right and all agree: Home Run for B.  Own Goal for O.
I'm not sure how long the link to the talk with four guests will last on the Charley Rose site, but you can get there by going here and if it's not on the Home screen, put in "US-Israeli Relations" in the site's Search.  The date of the interview was 24th May.
The guests, and my summary of some of the points during the 30 minute interview, below:

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Bibi seems to be having a good visit to the US

Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu is having a good visit.  The tide is turning his way.  He had a very good visit and speech to Congress yesterday.  He said :
“…our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state; it's always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about….In recent years, the Palestinians twice refused generous offers by Israeli prime ministers to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by Israel in the Six Day War. They were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees. My friends, this must come to an end.”

The UK police are profiling Muslims. But not nearly enough!

This article in -- you guessed it, The Guardian -- and carried in today's South China Morning Post, decries the fact that Muslims are 42 times more likely than the general population to be targets of the Bobbies' anti-terrorism efforts.
Not enough I say!
Given that the number of terrorist acts and plots in this decade, according to Britain's security services,  are running about 100 to one in "favour" of Muslims being the perpetrators, there's not enough profiling....
For profiling makes sense, to all those with any common sense; which doesn't include the bien pensants reporters at the leftie's favourite polemicist, the Grauniad.
PS: The Guardian quotes the percentages of various racial types in the UK vs the percentage that are arrested or searched by the police, attempting to make the point that Muslims are 42 times over-represented.  By the same "logic", there's vast sexism in the system too: for males are ten times the number of prisoners as females, yet in the population they are 49/51.  Some "logic"....

If there's only ONE thing about Islam you study this year, make this it.

Update (11 June): the video is no longer available, including on Ezra Levant's site.  Wonder what's going on?
If you're interested in Islam, but don't want to go through the whole "read the Koran and the Hadith" thing; if you think the rise of Islam is a pressing current issue, but don't want to read a whole library of books on it; if, in short, you're interested but don't want to do too much laborious research, yet don't want to get your information from we "Islamophobes" in the blogosphere, and would rather have it "from the horse's mouth" as it were, then this is the video for you... spend just 45 minutes watching this video, it's worth it.  Kick back and enjoy!

Tuesday 24 May 2011

The president recognises Taiwan... no, wait!

    What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately.
Let’s see how this works in other areas:
What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately:
… that Taiwan is an independent country
… that the dollar is too strong
....that Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a horny old toad...

Can any of these things, which are often said privately, be said by the president?  In your dreams....

Monday 23 May 2011

Life Magazine gets it right... in 1967!

There is a fascinating post at Bookworm Room, quoting a contemporary Life Magazine report of the 1967 Six Day War.  It is remarkable how spot-on the reporting is, clear-eyed and prescient.  As the Bookworm notes though, it's the sort of clarity and honesty that's been lost in recent years.
A quote below on the manufactured refugee problem.  And, yes, it was "manufactured", by the surrounding Arab states, to ensure that pressure on Israel, unto its extinction, is maintained.  As it has been, to this day, a unique situation for refugees in the annals of human history.

Random thoughts on Obama's speech

You want some pro-views of the speech, see Roger Cohen's "Obama draws the line".  I was, as usual, dismayed by Cohen's views (though occasionally, I like him).  I recall him being on a debate, Intelligence Squared, I think it was, in which the topic was Israel-Palestine.  He was on the pro-P side, of course.  He managed to get through the whole debate without once mentioning Hamas.  How could that be?  Rather like analysing the Second World War and failing to mention that Nazis had something do to with it....
In the article above, Cohen says that the "1967 lines are not "indefensible'".  That's it, an ipse dixit statement.  No why's or how's, no logic, no argument; just that they are "not 'indefensible'".  Tell us how they are not, Roger.
I meant to write something, but the "elder of ziyon" beat me to it, in "Today's idiocy from Roger Cohen".

On some less rosy-hued views of the speech, see "Other people's thoughts on Obama's Israel speech".

UPDATE: Legal Insurrection:  "Palestinians: Pre-1967 Borders sound good, just like Obama said".

The right of return is the "extermination of the Jewish state"

A while back a friend argued that Israel should not exist as it was the only state in the world created specifically for one religious group.  That is, of course, wrong.  There’s Pakistan and Bangladesh, for starters.
There’s also the broader fact, as noted by Richard Fernandez:
    There was a certain asymmetry in the confrontation that often went unremarked. Israel was the world’s only Jewish state while the Palestinians were part of a larger community in the region, some would say indistinguishable from it. Israel’s existence was its all-in-all. On the other the hand, the Palestinian state was in the final analysis, optional to the Arabs in the region as a whole.  Israel non-negotiably needed to live. Palestine’s nonnegotiable demand was that Israel needed to die.

Bibi sets it out clearly

Whatever your views of Bibi, here, on May 20, he sets out the case for Israel with clarity.  His response begins at 7:15.  The original is here.
The "right of return" of Palestinian Arabs" to Israel: "it's not going to happen."

Mahmoud Abbas' alternative view of the universe

Mahmoud Abbas in the New York Times, 17th May, starts off:
    SIXTY-THREE years ago, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was forced to leave his home in the Galilean city of Safed and flee with his family to Syria. He took up shelter in a canvas tent provided to all the arriving refugees. Though he and his family wished for decades to return to their home and homeland, they were denied that most basic of human rights. That child’s story, like that of so many other Palestinians, is mine.
Tugs on the heartstrings, right?  The picture you’re supposed to get is of the “cruel Israelis” driving out the Palestinians from their homes. 

Sunday 22 May 2011

Canberra is very Green; except when it ain't...

Canberra: A green, wiiiiide open sort of place
and major greenhouse gas polluter
Canberra, Australia, my original home town, is a very Green sort of place.  That is, it has more than its share of Green politicians, green groups, green-aware citizens. So it’s really pretty Green. Except when it ain’t.  Except when it comes to what it actually does.
Here are the figures, with my home town, Hong Kong, for reference:

Loose lips lose lives. Why some things are better left unsaid.

Various commentators maintain that when Obama said, in his recent speech on Mid-East policy, that the solution to Israel-Palestine problem must be "based on 1967 borders", he is just stating publicly what has been commonly said for ages. Therefore, goes the argument, it's not really a big "new ask" put on Israel, it's just stating in public what has long been discussed privately or in the media; just not said out loud by the president.

But this is nonsense. What the American president says, or doesn't say, is important.

Why no mention of Resolution 242?

Bodily metaphors warning: Obama puts the blow torch to Israel's feet, but gives just a slap on the wrist to the Palestinians.

Any two-state settlement must be based on 1967 boundaries, he says, thus giving away a key bargaining chip of Israel, unilaterally. And in return from the Palestinians? Nothing. Save for a throw away mention that Palestinians should not deny Israel its right to exist, a line that's in there to show "balance", but which is false balance. O-balance.

Saturday 21 May 2011

Palestine to be "contiguous"?

As I watched Obama's Middle East speech, the word "contiguous" jumped out at me.  How could the new Palestine be "contiguous"?  Gaza to join up with the West Bank -- with what? a land bridge?  And that would make Israel non-contiguous.
But then I read his words later and he said that the new Palestine should be have borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt.  But Israel should have "borders with Palestine".
And this was "1967 borders"?? Not that I recall, even without googling....

Friday 20 May 2011

Writers on Islam

Hilaire Belloc [*] on Islam

"We thought of its (Islam’s) religion as a sort of fossilised thing about which we need not trouble. That was almost certainly a mistake. We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps if we lose our Faith it will arise. For after this subjugation of the Islamic culture by nominally Christian nations had already been achieved, the political consequences of that culture began to notice two disquieting features about it. The first was that its spiritual foundation proved immovable; the second that its area of occupation did not recede, but on the contrary slowly expanded."
Hilaire Belloc, "Survivals and New Arrivals," 1929
"It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.... The future always comes as a surprise but political wisdom consists in attempting at least some partial judgment of what that surprise may be. And for my part I cannot but believe that a main unexpected thing of the future is the return of Islam. Since religion is at the root of all political movements and changes and since we have here a very great religion physically paralysed but morally intensely alive, we are in the presence of an unstable equilibrium which cannot remain permanently unstable."
Hilaire Belloc, "The Great Heresies," 1938
"He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man."

Thursday 19 May 2011

Slippery Slope: Sharia finance to Sharia-Sharia

"Slippery Slope" by Tim Allen
Sometimes the slope really is slippery.
The issue is “does allowing Sharia finance in Australia lead to the call for more Sharia”? 
The answer is clearly “yes”, given the clear call for Sharia from the peak Muslim body in Australia, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), a call which is tied specifically to the change of Australian tax law to facilitate Sharia finance.
But the government says “no” – see the letter from Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten, to me, which I posted here. This is clearly head-in-the-sand stuff; willful ignorance by our senior politicians. Fortunately not all are as dhimmi as Shorten; the Attorney-General, Robert MacClelland, "stomped on the request", says the Sydney Morning Herald.
Given the hullaballoo over this call by AFIC’s President Ikebal Patel, reported here, (and on which virtually all comments were negative) I’d better get some comments down on the Shorten letter, before it’s too late…

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Handling your dog's PTSD

From Jeffrey Goldberg's Advice Column, The Atlantic, May 2011:

I recently had my dog neutered, and I swear he’s mad at me. Before the neutering, he was the friendliest dog in the world. Now he keeps his distance and gives me, if I’m not mistaken, disapproving looks. How do I mitigate his anger?
B.C., Toronto, Canada

Dear B.C.,

You should explain to him, in a firm but empathetic tone, that his castration will reduce occurrences of undesirable sexually dimorphic behavior and testosterone-induced inflammation of the prostate, and will contribute other ancillary health benefits. Tell him you are confident that he will, in time, come to accept and even appreciate his new anatomy. Make it clear that he is not alone, and that he should continue to be honest and direct with you about his emotions. And if all this fails to soothe him, remind him that he’s a fucking dog.

"Muslims to push for sharia"

I recently (25th April) received a letter from the Aussie Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten in answer to my letter of 7 July about Sharia Finance (ten months to answer, not too bad...), which I've yet to get around posting. I guess I'm working to Aussie Politicians' time on this one.  I'll get to it in due course. [Update: posted as jpeg below]
In that letter Shorten says that providing Islamic finance "would not be setting a precedent". ie, for more Sharia.
Well, here we are.  Note: there is no "moderate variety of Islamic law".  Sharia experts are agreed on this.
Thanks to reader DC, who notes:
Like clockwork.. Of course there's no precedent Shorten, back to sleep mate.... 

Elsie Tu comes out of retirement

Gun researcher Elsie Tu, 97, goes to her "latest Oxford Dictionary" for answers....
Letter submitted to the Ed of South China Morning Post today:
It is impressive that the venerable Elsie Tu comes out of retirement to take on the thorny issue of "jihad" ("Recalling Palestine's sad and bloody history", 15 May). Why, she even went to the trouble of referring to her very "latest Oxford Dictionary”.
On the basis of this exhaustive research she claims that I "misunderstand" the meaning of jihad. But even her "latest" OED says that it means "holy war against unbelievers". This was rather my point. 
The rest of her letter is a personal reminisce about the Middle East. The "cruel Israelis" get what they deserve and "jihad" has mysteriously metamorphosed into a "fight for...rights". This, Ms Tu assures us, "the Koran permits". 
There are two problems here.

Sunday 15 May 2011

Elsie Tu's letter: moral equivalence and red herrings

Two letters in the South China Morning Post today about "jihad", one from the venerable Elsie Tu (age 97), one from me.  Ms Tu's is riddled with errors, (including my name), moral equivalence and red herrings.  I'll write about them later.  For now just posting, for the record.

Recalling Palestine's sad and bloody history
I regretted being unable to attend the showing of the film by Muslim scholars (Jihad on Terrorism) but was happy to read the reply of Wael Ibrahim ("People misinterpret meaning of jihad", May 8) contradicting Peter Forsyth's [sic] misunderstanding of the word jihad ("`Jihad' means war, no doubt about that", April 24).

Saturday 14 May 2011

I'm in love with Rooshanie Ejaz. So what!

So are many others.
But note that they all came across her via her movie “Hell’s Ground”.  Seems to be the only one she was in,  a Bollywood slasher, which was pretty horrible, apparently, with only Ms Ejaz as the reason for watching, so say the admiring fellows linked above.
And now she’s writing on Human Rights Service in Norway, and the only way you’d know that is here at the Battle of Tours, for no Googling of her reveals her writerly career.
And the reason I love her is for her brains – not, mind, for her most comely looks which is the reason the other shallow fellows have for their admiration of the gorgeous, beautiful, angelic, divine, pulchritudinous,  ravishing... oh yes, and smart and free-thinking... and totally-hot, Ms Ejaz….

"Bad Bargains" -- Thomas Friedman on Saudi Arabia

The Saudi ruling bargain is an old partnership between the al-Saud tribe and the Wahhabi religious sect. The al-Saud tribe get to stay in power and live however they want behind their palace walls, and, in return, the followers of the Wahhabi sect get to control the country’s religious mores, mosques and education system.
From my reading (see my library) this is a spot-on summary of the situation in Saudi Arabia, from Tom Friedman in the New York Times on 11 May.

Increasing Nuclear Literacy in Hong Kong

From Civic Exchange, Hong Kong:
Hong Kong has been a nuclear-powered society since 1994 with almost a quarter of its electricity coming from nuclear sources. China has plans for significant expansion of nuclear generation over the next decade and much of it is concentrated in Guangdong. With the events at Fukushima putting nuclear power sharply into focus, increased "literacy" on nuclear issues will help civil society in Hong Kong to discuss and debate the issues surrounding nuclear energy as a part of the current fuel mix. Join us at a half day forum of presentations and open discussions. [flyer]

"The Pakistan Connection"

Things must be really bad in Pakistan.  Even the usually Islamophilic BBC has run and re-run a program on Assignment, "The Pakistan Connection", which "explores the ... web of links between Pakistan's security services and militant jihadists."
It's pretty grim listening:  violent jihadis are rarely caught and when caught are almost always released, for fear of reprisals.
Does Pakistan consider some extremists to be useful allies? And does it turn a blind eye when the courts allow notorious killers to walk free? Owen Bennett-Jones investigates.
Listen to it all.  25 minutes. 

“Why West is wary of Islam”

How Loki wrought mischief in Asgard.  Beware Surah 5:32, Loki!

Letter to South China Morning Post this morning, by Walter Puccetti under the headline above.
He makes some good points, but gives it all away in the final paragraph by quoting the Koran, 5:32 which he says “equates the taking of one innocent life with the killing all of humanity”. 
This plays into the hands of the apologists who claim that Islam is a “Religion of Peace”, which has been “hijacked” by an “extremely small minority” who “misunderstand” the peaceful nature of Islam. 
However, if you look at the full text of the verse (Surah) quoted, you can see that there are two loopholes you – let alone Al-Qaeda and other Jihadis – could drive a truck full of bombs through:

"Torture Can be Wrong and Still Work". Steven Carter in the "Daily Beast"

Torture is wrong for all sorts of reasons, from its affront to basic human dignity to its violation of fundamental human rights. Making a moral case is not difficult.

So says Steven Carter in 11 May's Daily Beast (a left-of centre site).

But perhaps it's “not too difficult” to make the moral case only if you take a one-eyed view: from the point of view of the perpetrator and not the victim, from the POV of the enemy, not the friend.

That didn’t work – hey let’s do more of it!

Unintended (but easily foreseeable) consequences alert:
The levy on plastic bags in Hong Kong hasn’t worked, by the government’s own figures (SCMP May 13).  So what’s it going  to do?  You guessed it: “expand the scheme”!
It was always a crock, this plan.  And easily foreseeable.  Many, including yours truly, did so and in writing.

You stop supermarkets giving out free plastic bags – ones that get re-used as bin liners and are really thin and quickly bio-degrade – and people are going to buy plastic bags from that same supermarket and use them for their bin liners.  The problem is that these ones are thicker and take longer to bio-degrade. The levy might instead have worsened package pollution, as the reusable bags are made from plastic materials that are more durable and take longer to decompose than the disposable ones.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Roger the rogerer

Not often I agree with Roger Cohen!  Usually, I'm busy calling him a dhimmi.  Here he is though, being robust and verbally rogering the jelly kneed who quaver at the killing of Bin Laden:

If there is greater fatuity than second-guessing the split-second decisions of commandos confronted by gunfire, knowing the compound may be wired to explode, and hunting a serial mass murderer unwilling to surrender, then I am unaware of it. Let post-modern, pacifist Germans agonize, and whoever else wishes to writhe on a pin. The rest of us can be satisfied.
Read it all here.
Whoops!  I nearly forgot, my "daily" photo of the wonderful Rooshanie Ejaz, who I'm sure would agree with Cohen....
Rooshanie Ejaz: that rarity, a free-thinking Muslim.  See her writings here.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Animated news on killing of bin Laden 'offensive' -- the critique

This is Rooshanie Ejaz, who writes for the Human Rights Service. She has nothing to do
with the following piece, just that she's more comely than the imam below

Some readers drew my attention to an article in the South China Morning Post, about how Muslims in Hong Kong took offence at the coverage of bin Laden's death in the local Apple Daily newspaper.  L. Valerio has taken them up on this in letter today:

Rooshanie Ejaz on veiling and the burka ban

Rooshanie Ejaz writes at Human Rights Service
Look at the picture above. It's the lovely Rooshanie Ejaz, who writes regularly at the Human Rights Service.  I thought of her and her piece on why the niqab and burka are abominations that we rightly ought to object to in civilized society, when I saw the photo below of Muslimas demonstrating in London.  These are "liberated women" exercising their rights to be bagged up like this?

Remember folks -- Rooshanie Ejaz is a Muslim herself, so it's not just a cranky bigoted old white guy saying this. There are other Muslim women as well who have spoken out against the ugly, oppressionist tent they're made to wear (that's right "made" for there's no free choice here, no matter what some "Stockholm-syndromed" women might say).

Jubilation at the death of bin Laden.  No...wait!  They're praying for the soul of the
"warrior of Islam", the very fellow who would have all women bagged up like this
Mail Online, 7th May 2011

Monday 9 May 2011

When balance is imbalance

The BBC Worldservice has been reporting in cycle over the last 24 hours, news that "clashes between Muslims and Christians" have "broken out" in Egypt and that "scores of people have been killed".
Nicely balanced, right? Both sides involved, both sides culpable.  Even, balanced reporting.
Well, not really.
The reality, and hence the more correct reporting, is readily available to even cursory research. This would the more accurate reporting:
"Muslims attack Coptic Christians, and kill many of them".
There are other examples: in southern Philippines, it's "restive" instead of "Muslims attack local Catholic churches", in Thailand it's "the troubled South", instead of "Muslims attack buddhist temples".

I guess this is partly fear of the Religion of Peace and partly a misguided effort to attain "impartiality".  Whatever, it's inaccurate.
Postscript: the usually Islamophilic, if not Christophobic New York Times, amazingly and unusually carried an op-ed on 12 May by John Eibner, which gives evidence for the fact that it's a Muslim war on non-Muslims, in the Arab middle east.  A copy is at the NYT-affiliated Boston Globe, "Christophobia in the Muslim World".  An excerpt:
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Amine Gemayel warned earlier this year that Islamic extremists are waging a war of “genocide,’’ while French President Nicolas Sarkozy now refers to the region’s Christians as the victims of “a perverse program of … religious cleansing.’’
Read it all. 

Sunday 8 May 2011

"People misinterpret meaning of jihad"

One Wael Ibrahim of the "Serving Islam Team (HK)" takes my letter to task in today's South China Morning Post, under the headline above.

I refer to Peter Forsythe's letter ("`Jihad' means war, no doubt about that", April 24).
The meaning of jihad has been clarified repeatedly by Muslim scholars throughout the world, and yet still some people, Muslims and non-Muslims try very hard to misrepresent, misquote and misinterpret it to mean something entirely different.
I would suggest Mr Forsythe watches the film (Jihad on Terrorism) which he has called "propaganda" to see what Fadel Soliman [*] and nine other speakers who are mostly non-Muslims had to say to Muslims and as well as other people.

A perfect social science experiment

These guys are really happy that the "non-Muslim, mass murderer"
who has "hijacked" the "Religion of Peace", is now dead....
It's not often we get to see an almost perfect experiment in the social sciences. You know, the sort where there's a hypothesis and there's an experiment, some empirical evidence to prove or disprove it.
But that's what we have now in the case of "The Death of a Monster".  I'm talking of course of the demise of that bearded bloviator from Central Casting, Mr bin Laden (as the New York Times calls him, in their rather too-quaintly anachronistic way).
Here is the hypothesis: that Islam is a Religion of Peace, and that bin Laden has "hijacked" it for his "twisted" ends.  That he is not a Muslim. That the number of people who follow his "warped version of Islam" are just a "tiny minority" of the Muslim population, most of whom repudiate the teachings of the mad mullah. (Each phrase in inverted commas is from a commentator I've heard or read in recent days).

Thursday 5 May 2011

Lies, damned lies, and taqiyya

In the run-up to the recent hearings by Senator Peter King on radicalisation of the Islamic community in the US, there were many claims made that terrorism is not the sole province of Islam.  That there are terrorists in every religion and that therefore Islam should not be singled out for attention. That's true.  In a technical sense.  In the same sense, that, say a glass of water and the Atlantic are both bodies of water; or that shoplifting and serial murder are both crimes.  The obvious point being that there's a difference of scale.  The 16,000+ documented acts of terror since 911, done in the name of Islam, simply dwarf the count-on-the-fingers-of-one-hand number of terrorist acts done in the name of Christianity, or Buddhism, or by Jews, let alone those done by "eco-terrorists".

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Al Qaeda is "not and never will be, an existential threat"

Al-Magoo: "now, where is that
naughty Osama?"
That's the line being run by the usually reliable Ross Douthat in today's International Herald Tribune.  So is the Beebs just now on radio. There is no real threat from the fanatical loonies.  And of course, that's true. The numbers killed in the west from the 16,000 or so Islamic attacks since 9/11 is small and the likelyhood you'll be killed by one is miniscule.  There are even studies showing there were more people killed in the months after 9/11 by travelling by road instead of by air, as they usually would have done.[*]
The Beebs had on that fatuous fool Tony Blair saying that the likes of bin Laden have "twisted" the religion that teaches peace.  Right.

Monday 2 May 2011

Osama bin Laden gets to get it on with the "high- bosomed virgins....

Not in cave, but a five-star Fort
....a truly overflowing cup".  (Koran, 78:31). "They [he] will sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches" (Koran 37: 40-48).
Or not.  If you believe, as I do, that the x-rated heaven or Jannat, conjured by the "Prophet" Muhammad was a result of his epileptic fits.  Still, you gotta envy OBL if Muhammad happens to be right.  Though I'm blowed if I know what sheltered eggs of ostriches have to do with the bashful sex on offer...
US forces got him in a helicopter drop-in shoot-out.  And he's now been buried at sea.
A couple of curiosities and a question:
First: Obama (not Osama) said that Osama (not Obama) was not a Muslim.  So, just to get it straight, neither one is Muslim.  But, at the same time, his body was treated with Islamic deference:
A U.S. official later said bin Laden had been buried at sea and the remains were handled in accordance with Islamic practice, which calls for speedy burial. [ref]
So, which is it?  Is he Muslim or not?

Sunday 1 May 2011

Dissing the "Prophet" is bad for your health...

The BBC World Service has just broadcast a report on the blasphemy law in Pakistan.  You know that's the one where it you diss the Prophet or doubt the Koran, you'll have your head lopped off judicially or be riddled by bullets extra judicially.  Amazingly the program was not too bad, given that Al-Beebs is usually so pro Islam.
(This link to Pakistan's blasphemy laws is a Q&A and not the program itself, which I could not find online.  I also wrote about Pakistan's blasphemy laws before in a letter The South China published here).
But a couple of curiosities:
The Presenter (I forget her name) suggested that it might be better if the punishment were "only" a life sentence instead of death.  Waaaaat? You mean she accepts that basic premise?  The barbaric premise that it's acceptable to have any punishment at all, let alone death or life in prison, for the "crime" of blasphemy? Surely not?!

"Muslims practise double standards"

Another letter about Islam, hinting the editors get it, printed under the headline above.... 
Other points about the burka: (1) many women wear them as result of peer pressure or pressure of male relatives.  Many Muslima are happy that a law will help them overcome that pressure.  (2) Wearing the burka is a sign of orthodoxy.  Orthodox Islam is the violent Islam, for violence is central to the tenets of its doctrines.  (3)  If a woman says she's happy to wear the burka, that's just a form of Stockholm syndrome.  There were many slaves at a loss, when they had to throw off their shackles.  "But we liked our chains, we were used to them"...
Letter from W. Puccetti, in today's South China Morning Post:
Muslims practise double standards
I refer to the article ("Liberte, egalite, fraternite?", April 13).
I cannot understand why some organs of the press are chastising the French government for insisting on public secularism regardless of whether one is Christian, Jewish or Muslim. The new law against the "public" wearing of the niqab or the burqa is demonised in certain media as an attack on people's civil liberties and, somehow, racist.
I have lived and worked in the Middle East and I know how my Western women colleagues were harassed endlessly by the authorities if they wore skirts even slightly below [sic  - "below"?] the knee on the grounds that "this is a Muslim country and we expect Western women to respect our customs". I know of cases where Western women resigned rather than accept that they were behaving "immodestly".
One of the Muslim women in France who was protesting is quoted as saying that she staged a peaceful protest for the right "to dress as they please". It seems to me that the credo of Islamists is: "When in my country do as I say. When I am in your country do as I say."
Walter Puccetti, Tin Shui Wai