Wednesday 29 June 2011

BBC World Service Report on US domestic terrorism: soft on CAIR

Letter to BBC, World Service, "World Have Your Say":

BBC world service in Asia is running a special program on domestic terrorism in the US.

A representative of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) made several claims during the program that are misleading at best, disingenuous at worst. [and, by the way: CAIR are unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial and are linked to Hamas, which is a terrorist organisation according to the US and the EU.  Why did the BBC not mention this, when they introduced him?]

1.  CAIR claim: Congressman Peter King made an “anti-Muslim statement” before his hearings on radicalism in the Muslim community.

Reality:  The CAIR spokesman is probably referring to King’s remark that 80% of mosques in the US are promoting extremist ideologies (quoting research by a Muslim cleric).  This statement of King’s was attacked by some in the media.  But is supported by a total of five studies since 1998, the latest in June 2011.[fn1]

2.  CAIR claim: the US is trying to pass anti-Muslim legislation.

Reality: this refers to moves in a number of US states to pass legislation outlawing the use of the laws of any religion (not just Islam) to supersede domestic US law.  This is called “American laws for American Courts”. [fn2]

The fact that CAIR takes this as being targetted at Islam is revealing.  It reflects that fact that Islam is the only religion in the world that has a complete system of religious jurisprudence, which it tries to promote in any country in which it is resident.  The UK has over 80 Sharia courts which routinely discriminate against women and children. [fn3] At least 23 US states have used Sharia law in appellate cases. [fn4]

3.  CAIR claim: Demonising Islam: “people say things about Islam that they would not say about any other religion”.

Reality: True, but.... people say things about Islam that they would not about any other religion because Islam is not like any other religion.  We would not say that, for example, Buddhists want to impose misogynist buddhist laws on society: because they don’t.  Or that Baptists want to fight non-Baptists, because the don’t.  Islam is unique among the religions of the world in having a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates warfare against unbelievers.

The CAIR spokesman said that the first impression many people had of Islam was the planes flying into the the Twin Towers.  They did not understand Islam, if that’s all they knew.  They needed to become educated in Islam.

The problem with that statement is that the more one learns about Islam, the more one understands that the 911 hijackers were acting in accordance with basic Islamic doctrine.  That is: the more one learns about Islam, the more one realises that it is indeed doctrinally violent and specifically teaches the killing of infidels.  That’s uncomfortable: but it’s unarguably true.

 “The essence of this draft legislation is to provide a baseline law that provides a statutory framework for precluding constitutionally objectionable foreign laws and legal systems from finding their way into the state judicial system.”

Google alerts -- Islam (iv)

Part of short-term series.  The world covering Islam, daily:
Today's count C(ritical)= 3  A(pologist)=  1

Islam-Quran Challenge |
By editor
Islam-Quran Challenge. Twitter · Digg · PrintFriendly · StumbleUpon · Share. You must be logged in to post a comment Login. Share It. Digg It · Del Icio Us · Add to Facebook · Google Bookmarks · Stumble It · Twitter · Add to Reddit ...
Blazing Cat Fur: Islam the faux religion of arrogant heathens.
By Blazing Cat Fur
The joke of 'secure Britain': Vile banned militant extremist strolls through Heathrow immigration as 200 Somalian criminals are allowed to stay due to human rights. 3 minutes ago. Bare Naked Islam...
Blazing Cat Fur
Weasel Zippers » Blog Archive » Prominent Egyptian Cleric: Islam ...
Listen to the response of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him), for the Shaykh of Islam (i.e. Ibn Taymiyya) based his ruling on this fatwa from his Shaykh, the Shaykh for the Sunnis, Imam Ahmad. Imam Ahmad was asked about two men, ...
Weasel Zippers
Imam Looks For Common Ground Between Islam And West | KOSU Radio
By KOSU News
The fact that America, in spite of what happened on 9/11, and deeming it to be an attack by Islam against America — to be able to have the largeness of heart” to support what was widely known as a mosque “struck people in the Muslim ...
KOSU Radio

Google alerts -- Islam (iii)

Part of short-term series.  The world covering Islam, daily:
Today's count C(ritical)= 3  N(eutral)= 1  A(pologist)=  1

Faheem Younus: Islam's Understanding of Hell
By Faheem Younus
There is no dearth of theories when it comes to the big fire pit. Experts love to debate whether hell is time-bound or eternal, literal or symbolic. Add to these theories the premise of hell by Prophet Muhammad.
The Huffington Post
Bearded Mickey Mouse Cartoon Deemed 'Mockery Of Islam' In Egypt
By The Huffington Post News Editors
CAIRO -- An Egyptian Christian telecom mogul has angered Islamic hard-liners by posting an online cartoon of Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie in a face veil. The ultraconservative Islamists, known as Salafis, called the cartoon ...
The Huffington Post 
Gates of Vienna: The Kinetic Effects of Prayer in Islam
By Dymphna
Like the rest of us, João is alarmed by Islam's knee-jerk hostility toward anything beyond its own ideological boundaries. However, he has proactively lit a candle and followed his concern right into the heart of the oncoming darkness. ...
Gates of Vienna
Egypt: Christian Tycoon Accused Of “Insulting Islam” - Weasel Zippers
Several lawyers have filed complaints to the public prosecutor accusing Sawiris of “insulting Islam”, a judicial source said, with calls on Facebook and Twitter to boycott his Mobinil telephone operator. The magnate, a Christian, ...
Weasel Zippers
Douglas Murray-Tolerating Islam is Suicide |
By editor
Douglas Murray-Tolerating Islam is Suicide.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

"Face of bigotry"

Letter to South China Morning Post:
In February this year, British PM David Cameron gave a speech in which he set out his views of radicalisation and Islamist extremism. Virginie Guiraudon has called his speech an example of “official xenophobia” (“Face of bigotry”, June 23.  Online it's "Growing religious intolerance finds popular voice in Europe").  This is sheer slander.
With this smear on David Cameron she signally fails to note his key message: that “passive” or “hands-off” tolerance of segregated communities allows the promotion of radical Islamist ideology by “young dynamic leaders who promote separatism....”. The truth of this observation is beyond reasonable dispute.
David Cameron is not a xenophobe.  It is not xenophobia to state that a genuinely liberal country believes in and promotes certain values, including, as he says: “freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality”.    How can anyone — left, right or centre — be against these fundamental rights and by what possible stretch could they be called “xenophobic”?
Yet in her litany of slander -- “intolerance”, “xenophobia”, “stigmatising”, “insulting” --  Guiraudon makes not one mention of the ideology of Islamic extremism, of its deep-rooted bigotry, that we see in many part of Europe today.
Why else does she think the majority of Europeans voicing their concerns, including heads of government and important ministers?   No, it is not blind bigotry, as she claims.
It is genuine fear that in tolerating the intolerant, in being passive to bigotry, Europe is in danger of losing the very tolerance and liberal values it has spent centuries developing.
Yours etc,


Google alerts -- Islam (ii)

This one I classify as "N", for neutral. It argues for the likelyhood of reform of Islam.  I'm doubtful that it can be reformed, given that the basic text, the Koran, is the inviolate, uncreated, word of God, the amendment of which is seen as blasphemy in mainstream Islam.  And in some parts of the Islamic world -- Pakistan, for example -- blasphemy is punishable by death.  It would surely be good for the world and for the majority of Muslims too, no doubt, if it could indeed reform; but....
Clip from article:
"My prediction is this: By the year 2020, rough and painful human experience will lead the Islamic nations of the Mediterranean Basin to resound with positive cries for democracy, human rights, individual liberty, and the dignity of every man, woman, and child. By 2020, Islamic peoples will be crying out publicly in favor of regimes that allow men and women to act from reflection and choice, and to live as peoples who are free and responsible, and who are eager to show initiative and unprecedented creativity...."
Read more here, Michael Novak in Public Discourse.

Sunday 26 June 2011

"Plans to curb influence of sharia courts unveiled"

Interesting use of "unveiled" in the headline above,  given the prominence of the burka and niqab in recent stories...
I'm a bit late posting this, but what the heck, it's an ongoing thing. Christopher Hope in the Telegraph:
A leading humanitarian campaigner [Baroness Cox] will today [8 June] launch proposals for a new law to tackle the increasing influence of sharia courts in Muslim communities. More...
Baroness Cox is taking forward the good work done by One Law for All and Maryam Namazie.
Another site has a good list of Further Resources:
Further Resources:
Equal and Free Campaign
Civitas Report
Video: Introduction to Sharia in Britain
Video: The Impact of Sharia on Women
Video: Sonia’s Story
Christian Concern: Islam
Christian Concern: Sharia law / UK law comparison table
View Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill
Download Fact sheet
Download Explanatory Note
Download Summary Briefing

Google alerts -- Islam

I have recently signed up to Google alerts on Islam, and I thought I might post them here, daily, at least for a while.  The thinking is that the Google search for its daily alert is based on some sort of algorithm that is neutral.  Quite how they do it, I don't know, but I assume something comes into the equation about the number of people linking to particular sites, or the number of blogs that are writing about Islam.  In any case, I think it may be interesting to see if the results are pro-Islam or critical of Islam.  Let's call them "A" for apologist (that's not pejorative, by the way), "C" for critical of Islam and "N" for those that are neither, "neutral".
I'm not sure what this will show in the end, but after a couple of weeks it might be interesting to see what the balance between "A", "C" and "N" is, and then to think about it a bit more about whether it means anything.
Anyway, here's today's and the count for today is "C" = 2 and N= 2.

Ideas: One Cheer for Islam
By David Friedman
One Cheer for Islam. A detail I have noticed in news stories about the current Syrian unrest is that demonstrations tend to happen on Fridays—because that is when people are already assembled in their mosques. I think that illustrates ...
'Islam Is A Religion Of Peace!' And Of Rape, And Of Attacks On ...
By AWR Hawkins
It's also hard to sell the women of Norway on the claim that “Islam is a religion of peace!” since every “assault-rape” that took place in their country in 2010 was carried out by a Muslim. (83 such rapes in total. ...
Big Peace
CAIR Whines: Allen West Is “Smearing Islam”… - Weasel Zippers
CAIR Whines: Allen West Is “Smearing Islam”… He must be doing something right. Video: Rep. Allen West (R-FL) Says He Likes “Irish Spring” Not “Arab Spring”. Video: Rep. Allen West (R-FL) Says “Enemies” All Follow Muhammad, Read Quran” ...
Weasel Zippers
My Right Word: Did Former Congressman Weiner Convert? To Islam?
By YMedad
Did Former Congressman Weiner Convert? To Islam? He thinks so: ...FP: According to Islamic Law, Huma Abedin could be killed, right? If the whole thing is not a charade and a trick, it is a bit curious that her family, who are Muslim ...
My Right Word

"Name the poison". Condell on women's rights in Islam

An acquired taste for some, for others Pat Condell is a taste never acquired: he's acerbic, opinionated, robust and straightforward; too much for some bien pensants. But he's also careful with facts, as here, where he corrects an earlier statement on the rape of women in Norway. And gives a string of references for those so minded to check his facts.
This brought to mind an earlier email I had from an Islam-apologist in the UK, writing to inform me that it was not correct that the majority of rapes in Britain were by Pakistanis.  I dug a bit into that, and found he was correct!  Correct, that is, in that the perpetrators were not carrying Pakistani passports.  So this was a technically correct statement.  But more pertinently, the majority perpetrators were what the media sometimes calls "Pakistani heritage" males: that is young men, born perhaps in the UK, of Pakistani -- and hence, by definition of Muslim -- background.
As Condell shows in this video, the case in Norway is not that most of the assault rapes were committed by Muslims; no, the case is that they all were.
He's tart, he's tough, he's straightforward, he's "controversial".  But he's also spot on... give him a chance, my dear family and friends who only visit here now and then...

Saturday 25 June 2011

Lest we forget the Battle of Tours

Thanks to AIM for the reminder that today is the anniversary of the Battle of Tours, which saved Europe for the enlightenment.

Liveblogging Ian Plimer in Hong Kong

Here at City Hall in HK. Ian Plimer, the climate change skeptic is speaking. About 100 local HK people, just two "foreigners", like myself.
He's talking about sea levels. Rises are good for coral, he says.
Talking now of the Great Barrier Reef. 4000 years ago sea levels were 2 m higher. So sea levels have gone down.
10:50 HKT: now he's saying that temps are changed by big factors, such as distance from the sun, not Co2.
He's also saying that CO2 changes are after warming, not before warming (I've seen this claim before, and also its refutation)*.
Now: if there were another ice age would be much worse than warming.
Best times for humans are in warm periods.
Says we are in a period of cooling! [think this has been debunked: see Deltoid]
CO2 is "not the villain it's meant to be"!
And now Prof Wyss Yim, in Cantonese...
Prof Yim's presentation focusses on volcanos. Perhaps there's going to be link to Plimer's claim that volcanos produce more CO2 than humans. (US Geology Service says humans produce 100 times more)
HK was 2-3 C warmer 130,000 years ago than now.
UHI is important in Nathan Rd station. Temp rise in HK would be about 25% less without it. temp changes at Waglan Station nothing.
Later: Prof Plimer's presentation seemed to be along lines familiar for him, as far as I've read them in online articles.
If you google him, the first page is almost all debunking of his ideas.  The best two are on Australia's ABC TV, where he is pummeled by George Monbiot and a dismantling of his book "Heaven and Earth" by Tim Lambert at Deltoid.  See also "Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming", which includes discussion of the issue of CO2 absorption.
To be fair to professor Plimer, he did not deny the role of CO2 in global warming, just that it was not the whole story and "not a pollutant", that it's good for plant growth, etc, and that we'd be better off concentrating on other issues facing humanity, eg hunger in Africa. There's no doubt something in that.  Also, to give him his due, he did say that more individual frugality, less rampant consumerism, would be a good thing.
Professor Yim's presentation concentrated on Volcanos, their impact on cooling; the Urban Heat Island effect, and pointing out that in the past the earth warmed 800 years before CO2 increased, not after.  
[*]These points are covered in Deltoid's Global Warming Sceptic Bingo.
On UHI, there's more to it than what's dismissed by Deltoid: see Hong Kong's UHI, which agrees with Prof Yim, that about 70% of the observed warming in Hong Kong since the late 19th Century is due to UHI.

Postscript: above "Liveblogging" was just a practice of using my Twitter account (@fusaisee) with tag #climate to notify twitterati that I was doing it, and see how easy it would be to blog in real time.  I couldn't use my laptop, since there was no wi-fi, so had to use the iPad, which is slower to type on.  But it works.

Friday 24 June 2011

Good on'yer Geert!

The modern version of shooting the messenger:
If you point out that someone is intolerant, you’re liable to be labeled intolerant.  If you point out that someone uses hate speech, you’re liable to be accused of hate speech.  If you point out that group x is homophobic, you’re liable to be called x-ophobic.
You can guess what I’m driving at here.  If you say that Islam is intolerant, even providing specific examples of its intolerance, you’ll be called intolerant.  If you say that Islam is rife with hate speech against infidels, you’ll be called a hater of the religion of peace.  If you say that Islam is homophobic, you’ll be called “Islamophobic”.
I’ve had experience of this myself. Quoting some intolerance in the texts of Islam, I’ve been accused of “flirting with bigotry”.  “How am I the bigot, when what I’m quoting is bigotry?” says I. 
The Dutch MP, Geert Wilders is the most prominent example of this mis-treatment. He criticized Islam, pointed out its hateful texts, its intolerant tenets, its homo-and femo-phobia.  He made a short movie, called Fitna (meaning a “disturbance” or “trouble”), in which juxtaposed texts from the Koran, then showed Muslims acting in obedience to those texts.
Yet it was he who was the in the dock, not those hate-mongers following the divine guidance of Allah, as set out in the Koran
No-one said “well, let’s see if what he says is right.  Let’s see if what he does in Fitna is fair comment.  If it’s not, then we can point out to him where he’s wrong”. No, he was hauled into court in Holland and has gone through a case that’s dragged on for a over two years.
Well, what a relief that he’s been acquitted.
Mind you, I don’t think he always did himself the best of favours.  His call for the Koran to be banned was a tactical error.  Sure his call was for consistency. He argued that if you’re going to ban Mein Kampf, which is an intolerant and anti-Semitic book, then for consistency you should also ban the Koran, for it is equally intolerant and anti-Semitic.  The equivalence of the Koran and Mein Kampf is an arguable proposition; personally, I think the Koran is the worse book.  Still, he should not have called for its banning, especially as he presented himself as the champion of free speech.
Nonetheless, he has been a fearless, robust and knowledgeable critic of Islam.  I have seen many of his speeches and read a lot of his writing.  There is no doubt that he is not racist.  There is no doubt that the case he makes against Islam is strong and well-founded:  that Islam, in its doctrine and practice is anti-thetical to freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, that it is against the rights of women and minorities, that it is supremacist and anti-Semitic. (phew! Every time I write out that list, it exhausts me, the extent to which Islam stands starkly against the liberal traditions of the west; yet each and every one of those statements is objectively true, in the tenets and practices of Islam).
Yet he was the one in the dock!
His acquittal means that we can continue to critique Islam.  And it’s sure in need of it.  For to point out the truth of it – that baleful list, above, of what Islam stands against – is not to be it.  To point out bigotry, homophobia and supremacism is not to be bigoted, homophobic and supremacist. Is not intolerant to point out intolerance. 
Should we stop criticizing Islam?   Has it had enough?  Is it time to call a halt?   What for? For the sake of “peace” and “good order”?  So as not to rock the boat?
If we do that, we find soon enough that the boat we’re in is rocked nonetheless, that it’s filling with water and we’re sinking while we sleep on in the mistaken belief that keeping quiet is “tolerant”.
Keeping quiet is to buy into the absurd proposition, the unstated assumption of liberal critics, that in pointing out the haters, we are haters; that in pointing out the intolerant, we are intolerant, that in pointing out the bigotry, we are the bigots. 
But that is crazy and it’s dangerous and it’s wrong
We, the many critics of Islam, we “Islamophobes”, we stand four-square for those hard-won freedoms, for women, for minorities, and for all religions and the non-religious.  Long live freedom and the right to speak one’s mind!
Good on’yer Geert!
Postscript (III): ... Geert Wilders lives under 24-hour armed guard because of explicit death threats made against him by the killer of Theo van Gogh and by other Muslims. Yet he’s the one who gets puts on trial.[ref]
Postscript (II): In this transcript from an Australian ABC television story, the reporter Rachael Brown, can barely conceal her contempt for Wilders and incredulity at the decision to acquit him.  She does herself no favours, though, with the snippet from Voxpop: "Officially, he didn't do anything wrong but I don't like him. I think he should be guilty of something and locked away forever because I really don't like his opinion."
Well, dearie me!  Didn't like his opinion?!  Off with his head.
Postscript (I): FrontPage magazine notes that the acquittal staves off, at least for a while "...attempts to criminalize speaking accurately about a radically repressive ideology that would use our self-enforced silence about its nature and intentions to advanced unopposed....
" is certainly a good thing that Wilders was acquitted. It is a great victory for common sense. But this is by no means the end of the Islamic supremacist challenges to the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression in the West. The OIC [Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which is made up of the 56 Muslim majority countries in the world] is bent on using Western “hate speech” codes to enforce Sharia blasphemy laws upon the non-Muslim states of the West, making honest discussion of Islam and jihad a crime to be punished instead of a necessary task in our defense against the Islamic supremacist threat. The forces that were responsible for the persecution and prosecution of Wilders will not give up."

End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

The "war on drugs" has failed, at a cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives.  Far better to legalise and treat as a medical issue.
LEAP is "law enforcement [officers] against prohibition": that is, men and women who have been at the front line of enforcement and have seen that it doesn't work.
I get their regular mails.
Here's a recent one:

One Law for all: debate on practice of sharia law in the UK

Message from Maryam Namazie, convener of the non-partisan One Law for All organisation:
One Law for All and the National Secular Society invite you to a debate on the use and practice of sharia law in Britain. This is to be held in a committee room in the House of Commons on Tuesday 28 June 2011 from 18.00-20.00 hours. The event will be chaired by Jim Fitzpatrick MP.

The focus of the debate is the practice of sharia law under the powers of the Arbitration Act 1996 and whether sharia tribunals should be permitted to hear cases of family and criminal law.

If you would like to attend please

For more information, go to
One Law for All.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Jews did not steal Palestine

I have often heard it said that the Jews stole land from "Palestinians" to create Israel.  If that were the case, then we should indeed be indignant, and demand they hand it back.  But it's not true.
My post to
Prof Pipes: you say: the time of the British withdrawal in 1948, Jews owned only 6 to 10 percent of the territory's land area. True, but when one discounts uncultivated and public land, the percentage becomes very much higher.
Actually, it's even better than that: the number of Jews in what is now Israel, at 1948, was about 538k ,vs 397k Arabs. See Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel, p27. [sources in his book]
Great article! Love your stuff and always looking out for more of your posts.

Summary of Jewish immigration to the Holy Land:

  • Part of normal global population moves: in the case of the Jews they bought land, didn't steal it.
  • At time of partition and UN establishment of Israel, the Jews in modern Israel were the majority.
  • In the Arab-inspired war of 1949, most Arabs fled their homes were not driven out by Jews.  This was because of fear of war, and also encouraged by some Arab generals -- who wanted to create the causus belli for refugees and the destruction of Israel.
All this confirmed by contemporaneous sources: Jewish, Arabic and UN observers.
The above are just a couple of quick links. There is much, much more: abundant evidence from both Muslim and non-Muslim sources that supports the reality of what happened up to 1949: Jews did not "steal" the land that became Israel; and they did not "drive out" the Muslim Arabs living in the land that became Israel.

Israel is not the only state established for a religion

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Mark Steyn on free speech at the IPA

Mark Steyn on Free Speech at the IPA from Institute of Public Affairs on Vimeo. (h/t KD)
Rousing, amusing, spot on!
Love the bit about the British Muslim gent who made nasty comments about homosexuals. He was investigated for "homophobic hate crime". Next, a gay group accuses the Muslim guy of being homophobic, and is investigated "Islamophobic hate crime"!  Crazy!

Will Turkey pull through?

I mean: will it manage to build on some of the steps along the democratic path it's taken?  Or will it slip back to Islamism?
The New York Times is optimistic.  The constitution, it says:
"...should be replaced by a fully democratic charter. It must reinforce human rights, including free speech, a free press and equal rights for women and ethnic minorities and represent the full range of the country’s increasingly pluralistic society."
And Stephen Kinzer writing on the same day (15 June) concludes his article (which I can't find at the moment):
"Turkey is poised to become one of the most successful countries of the 21st century, a model of Muslim democracy and a pwerful force for regional peace.  Whether it will fulfill its potential depends largely on how Erdogan handles the mandate he has just won."
Erdogan has let slip his Islamist leanings. He has quoted the famous Turkish poem:
"The minarets are our bayonets; the domes our helmets; the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army".
He has also railed against the split some in the west make between moderate and "extremist" or "radical" Islam.  "Islam is Islam" he says.[*]
Indeed.  And there's the problem.
My prediction is that the arc tending to Islamism will win out.  I hope I'm wrong.  But I think that's wishful thinking.
[*]Speaking at Kanal D TV’s Arena program, PM Erdogan commented on the term “moderate Islam”, often used in the West to describe AKP and said, ‘These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

Source: MilliyetTurkey, August 21, 2007 via Memri

Tuesday 21 June 2011

"Studying Islam has made me an atheist"

Atheists go on the rampage; along with Baptist bombers, Buddhist beheaders,
Mormon mass murderers... (Cartoon thanks to Loon Pond)
I became an atheist in my youth, it didn't need the kicker of reading about Islam.  For me, reading about Islam just made me realise what a wretched ideology it is, unique amongst religions in its aggression, hate for infidels and for preacing warfare against the unbeliever.
For Douglas Murray, though, it led him to cast aside the belief in any god.
"Studying Islam has made me an atheist":  This is an old-ish piece in the UK Spectator, always a good read, as is Murray.  YouTube him to see him in some hot debating action with various dhimmies...
It's well worth printing out and reading at leisure.
Read it here.

Monday 20 June 2011

"How Palestinians became the baby seals of the Western human rights lobby"

Of chickens, seals and Palestinians.....
Alice Walker, the author quoted in this article, is typical of many on the left who don't examine the absurdity of their own statements.
Take this one, for example: chickens are something "precious, beautiful and rare".  Actually, if you look at each of these adjectives, you realise that each one is wrong. Chickens are not precious in any of its senses, they are plentiful and cheap (cheep?). They are not beautiful, except perhaps to other chickens, and they are not rare -- and hence not precious.  It is surely Ms Walker who is herself rather precious with her bogus comparison between chickens in cages and Palestinians.
In her interview with Guernica, she talks of Operation Cast Lead, the Israel counter-attack on Hamas in Gaza, of 2009. She fails to mention -- of course! of course! -- the fact that Cast Lead was preceded by Hamas' openly-declared "Operation Oil Stain" which rained nearly 100 mortars on Israel, to which Cast Lead was a response.  Oh no, to mention that would do damage to the "narrative"

Sharia law is not like Jewish religious law

Some people say Sharia is nothing to worry about, but that's a nonsense.  Read the "Reliance of the Traveller", the classic manual of Islamic jurisprudence.  Others say, well in any case, it's not in our legal systems, so there's nothing to worry about. But that's also a nonsense.  In the UK there are 87 Sharia courts and in the US regular attempts to have Sharia accepted in the courts.
Another apologia is that, "well, it's no different to the Jews using their own laws for mediation". Well, that too, is a nonsense:
Contrary to the popular misapprehension, sharia is not like halachah and sharia courts are not like the batei din [Beth din]. Jews believe that the law of the land is the law. Decisions of the batei din are therefore essentially informal rulings; any binding decisions about family or other matters are made in accordance with the law of the land, which is acknowledged to hold sway.
Read more here.

How to handle the media on Israel-Palestine

The great blogger on the Middle East, the Elder of Ziyon, speaks in the US about how to handle media on Israel-Palestine relations.
It's quite long at just over an hour, but well worth a listen, if you have the time to kick up and listen...
Here it is.

"Christians are more militant than Muslims, says Government's equalities boss"

A couple of readers drew my attention to this article, headlined in the Telegraph as above.
That's the same logic of "Terrorists are not Muslims... except for the 94% that are!"
The sane and sensible, those with just a touch of common sense, and eyes to see, ears to hear and brains to read, will react to Phillips with "Christians more militant than Muslims?  Riiiiight"...

I never knew it was so easy! Friedman on his new proposal for mid-east peace

Thomas Friedman has a way with words and can knock up an elegant 800 words at the drop of a hat.   His is simple writing, simply put.  Sometimes, though, he veers into simplification, as in his book "The world is flat", which struck me rather as a glimpse of the obvious, drawn out into the long gaze of a book.
Here, in "What to do with Lemons", New York Times of June 18, he hits new highs (lows?) of simplification. "Just update resolution 181", he says. Oh, is that all?
He ignores the fact that the Palestinians, now more than ever in the grip of Hamas, don't just want a Palestinian state. They also want the destruction of Israel. If that's understood, then Bibi' alleged prevarications, and his alleged "lack of will to make big decisions", itself becomes understandable.
Here's Friedman on his idea for a breakthrough on Israel-Palestine:
So why don’t we just update Resolution 181 and take it through the more prestigious Security Council? It could be a simple new U.N. resolution: “This body reaffirms that the area of historic Palestine should be divided into two homes for two peoples — a Palestinian Arab state and a Jewish state. The dividing line should be based on the 1967 borders — with mutually agreed border adjustments and security arrangements for both sides. This body recognizes the Palestinian state as a member of the General Assembly and urges both sides to enter into negotiations to resolve all the other outstanding issues.” Very simple.
And simplistic.  And willfully ignoring of the Palestinian real agenda: to drive Israel into the sea.  The rest of the article over the fold.

Sunday 19 June 2011

"Who do these male bloggers think they are?" Well... the Guardian sure don't know.

"Amina Araff"?  No... it's Tom MacMaster. [ref]
The above post heading is the title the South China Morning Post gave to a piece it reprinted today (19 June) from the Guardian, of 14 June, where it was headlined "The weird world of the lesbian hoaxers", by Kira Cocharane.
Trust the Guardian to get it wrong.
According to them Tom MacMaster impersonated a fictional Amina Araff, who wrote "Gay girl in Damascus" blog, and fellow impersonator Bill Graber invented his "Paula Brooks", because they wanted to promote the lesbian agenda. "...apparently under the delusion that they were doing something good for lesbians."
But that wasn't it, was it? 
According to MacMaster himself -- and there's little reason to doubt him on this --- he did it to get a different persona that would be taken more seriously than would a western white guy.  As he said about his postings: 
"While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on this blog are true and not misleading as to the situation on the ground." 
In his judgement that he would be taken more seriously than just another cranky old white guy, he was no doubt correct: daily hits to "her" site soared.  As Golberg says in his LA Times piece, of 14 June:
'MacMaster's ploy really worked. People desperately wanted to believe in this "hero": a saucy, sage, left-wing member of the LGBT community who likes to wear the hijab, can't stand Israel or George W. Bush and who parrots every cliche about the romantic authenticity of the Arab people and their poetic yearning for democracy, peace and love. Whereas no one cared about McMaster's "Anglo" arguments, Amina's assertions succeeded with little effort. For instance, "she" writes of the Palestinians' need to return to their homes inIsrael: "It's simple but, maybe, you have to be a Levantine Arab to get this. It makes perfect sense to me." Of course it does!'
Mark Steyn as usual nails it with crisp crunchiness:
Western liberals, who think that in the multicultural society the nice gay couple at 27 Rainbow Avenue can live next door to the big bearded imam with four child brides at No. 29 and gambol and frolic in admiration of each other's diversity. They will proffer cheery greetings over the picket fence, the one admiring the other's attractive buttock-hugging leather shorts for that day's Gay Pride parade as he prepares to take his daughter to the clitoridectomy clinic.

Saturday 18 June 2011

"The Roots of racism"

Letter to The Australian, Weekend Magazine:
Professor Kevin Dunn arrogates to himself the claim that "racism" also includes "anti-Muslim" sentiment, a view your Greg Callaghan appears to accept without question ("The roots of racism", Weekend Australian Magazine, 11-12 June). But of course criticism of the tenets of Islam is not criticism of individual Muslims, as Islam is not a race.

But put aside that ipse dixit assertion. 

Dunn also claims that discomfort with the burka is a form of bigotry which can be overcome through "education".  By education even the 20% of Australians who find the burka "inappropriate" will see the light, presumably as a just another part of our rich and diverse cultural tapestry.

But what if the "education" reveals that the burka is indeed a form of repression; just a different form of the slave's chains. That's the view of many Muslim women themselves, who call for its banning or restriction.  Pakistani feminist writer, Rooshanie Ejaz, for example, says that girls are forced to wear the burka from a young age and that it's a "kind of psychological torture".  She favours the French ban.  [ref]
Would Dunn and Callaghan consider Ejaz' views "islamophobic" or "inappropriate"?  

In cases like these, it's usually the fear of being called "islamophobic" that trumps feminists' concerns.  More's the pity.
Yours, etc.

Postscript: I need to write something about Dunn, the post-modern, marxist, queer studies professor.

Friday 17 June 2011

The Dalai Lama announces he's a marxist: my views

Friend of mine told me they’re heading off for two-day "happiness seminar" with the Dalai Lama. Having just read Dalai Lama’s statement ("I'm a marxist") I fired off this slightly-grouchy email:
The Dalai Lama, eh?
I always thought the guy was a bit of a kook... and he’s confirmed it recently (for me, at least): “I am a Marxist” he said in New York last month [1].
Weird thing is: he acknowledges that capitalism has brought “lots of positives to freedoms and... millions of people's living standards improved.”  Indeed it has: for all its human rights failings, it’s raised over 500 million people above the poverty level and they have infinitely more freedoms today than they did when I first went there at the fag-end of the (Marxist) Cultural Revolution in ‘76.
Yet he wants Marxism, the ideology that impoverished China for 30 years, to rise again. So, what’s with the “I’m a Marxist” bit?  Unless he’s a bit of a kook?  Or suffers from cognitive dissonance? I don’t get it.
Other weirdness : he says Marx didn’t abhor religion.  Marx was just against religious institutions “that were allied with the European ruling class”,  says the Dalai Lama.  Actually, no he wasn’t. Marx was four-square against religion, qua religion. [2]
Anyway sorry to come across all negative about a guy you’re going to see tomorrow.  Happens that I’d only just been reading about him when you sent your note.  His kooky cackling has always got me too.  Then again, one of the participants at his talk found him “cute”. [3]
Anyway, xxx, you’re a happy person and that’s natural in you.  That’s how you’ll be, it’s the natural order of things.
Although, as a philosophical matter -- and it seems in reality too -- constant happiness is definitely not the order of things, and appears not to be achievable.  When we know and accept that, we become, happily, more content, happier even.  Frank Sinatra has (happily?) just come on the radio:

Still in all I’m happy,
the reason is you see,
once in a while along the way,
love’s been good to me
And to you, no?
For myself, I remain a slacker dilettante; have done nothing like the good works you have, for which I suffer twinges of middle-class angst, and occasional determination to do something about it; then sloth takes over again.  The next bit of dilletantery is Cape to Cairo drive in September.
Thanks for keeping me in your loop, glad that I haven’t worn out your patience yet....(or maybe I have, and you’re just being polite...)
And have a great two days at the conference, interested to hear how it went, in due course. And how you found His Holiness!.

[2]  [these quotes from Marx on religion are a good example of why any sane person wouldn’t want to be a post-modern marxist.... Dreary and turgid.  But the animus to religion is clear]

Bearded Bruins win Cup. What's wrong with that?

Every man jack of the players has a beard..... Weird huh?
See the photo above of the Boston Bruins celebrating their win over the Vancouver Canucks.
What I don't get is that every single one of the guys, apart from the coach, is sporting a beard.
Given the bent of this blog, I couldn't help wondering if there was some connection with the religion of peace and the requirement of pious men to be hirsute.  I guess not.  Then why??