Saturday 26 November 2011

Mona Eltahawy: assaulted by Islam... for wearing pants?

I see that journalist Mona Eltahawy was assaulted in Tahrir Square. There's a graphic account with pictures here.

One quote from Eltahawy jumps out at me:
".... I lost count of the number of hands that tried to get into my trousers..."
The thing is: it may be exactly about trousers. Let me explain.  Eltahawy has spoken out against the mistreatment of women in Islam.  Fair and brave enough.  But in calling for better treatment of women, she has signally failed to address the crux of the problem: that mistreatment of women is core to Islamic doctrine.  She's said for example that there's no sanction in Islam for women wearing trousers.  Wrong, Mona.

I recorded back in August 2009 how she had tackled the mistreatment of Muslim women, but had failed to name the reason for that mistreatment, and specifically about wearing "men's clothing":
Mona Eltahawy claims that there is no sanction in Islam for the various “crimes” (her quote marks) such as women wearing trousers, having sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol (“Abusing Women and Islam”, IHT August 15-16).  She is wrong on all counts.
The standard manual of Islamic jurisprudence, the ‘Umdat al Salik  is the accepted authority of all Sunni schools of Islamic, Sharia law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali).  It is certified, inter alia, by Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, co-sponsor of Obama’s recent speech to Muslims and the chief centre of Islamic learning in the Sunni world.
Of women wearing trousers, it says: “The Prophet cursed men who wear women’s clothing and women who wear men’s clothing.” (p28.1.3). [more...]

It would seem that Eltahawy has been hoist on her own petard, pants in this case.  Naiveness or ignorance of the tenets of Islam is what caught her out.  There's no excuse for her awful mistreatment.  Just that if you're going to call out the abuse of women, you have to tackle what's at the core of that abuse.  Islamic doctrine. If you don't do that, no amount of "Arab Springs" is going to change the fundamental misogyny of Islam.

Note in all the coverage of Tahrir: the extent to which it's (1) Men only and (2) Very Islamic.
Update: From the The New Yorker, no less!


Tahrir Square was packed Friday. The crowd was as large and dense, with as much pushing and shuffling and squeezing as I have seen since the night Mubarak fell. Most of those present were Islamists, with untrimmed beards and close-shaved mustaches, wearing white knit prayer caps or the red tarboosh and white turban of scholars from Al Azhar, Cairo’s venerable Islamic University. Many, perhaps most, had come from distant governorates, in buses organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist organizations and parties. Read more...

Israel and "Pinkwashing" -- "Whitewashing the truth"

I was going to take apart a recent article by Sarah Schulman in the New York Times, called "Israel and 'Pinkwashing'", but, as so often happens, my natural laziness and the Chinese principle of "Wu Wei" came to my aid.  Wu Wei is a Taoist concept, meaning in its simplest terms: "do nothing".  Often you face a problem: do nothing for a while and bingo! it sorts itself out.  So the tearing apart of Schulman's shoddy piece has been done, and done much better than I could have, by David Harris, in his piece "Israel and 'Pinkwashing'": what was the New York Times thinking?
[Update: 25 Jan '12: just came across an article on Schulman's piece by the redoubtable Bruce Bawer, here.  The money quote:
To be sure, it never stops being remarkable to me that anyone who professes to care about human freedom – especially someone who is gay and a woman and a Jew! – can be anything but a fervent supporter of Israel, a small free country surrounded by Jew-hating, woman-oppressing, gay-killing neighbors that are intent on destroying it.  But then this is what happens, alas, when a mind is so besotted with ideology as to blind itself to even the most obvious of realities.]
I did however overcome my indolence to a little extent, by writing to the NYT, as below.  Sometimes they print my letters, though I have a lot more success with the local rag, the South China Morning Post.  It's quite difficult to get a letter in the NYT that's critical of Islam or Islamism, or is supportive of Israel, because that's just their left-of-centre bent, but they do from time to time. Anyway, here's my letter: [Update 1 Dec: The New York Times did publish my letter... see here]
For some people Israel can do no right (Israel and "Pinkwashing" by Sarah Schulman, NYT Nov 22).
Israel is the only gay-friendly country in the Middle East, but for Schulman that’s just a smokescreen for “co-opting” people into an anti-immigration, anti-Muslim stance.  I find offensive the suggestion that I can’t make a judgement on Israel because it’s gay friendly and that I’m somehow subject to a “pinkwash”. Hogwash, I say. [btw: Schulman’s remarks concentrate on the “global gay movement”, though they no doubt are meant also for the straight community, people such as myself — straight white guys]
Israel remains the only democracy in the Middle East, its Arab population -- both Muslim and Christian -- is the most satisfied with its lot of any in the Middle East, as attested to by many polls.  It has offered the Palestinian leadership peace on numerous occasions, beginning in 1947.  That leadership has always rebuffed peace, sometimes violently, as in the second intifada after the Camp David summit.  And the view that Israel is an “apartheid” state is gross calumny.
The fact that there  are gay communities in other Middle Eastern countries is irrelevant.  Of course there are: there are homosexuals in every society on the earth.  What matters is how they’re treated.  The only place they are treated well, both in law and in practice, is Israel. Yet for Schulman — herself gay -- that’s all just out to “blind us”.  
Shame on Schulman.
Yours, etc, Peter F.

Friday 25 November 2011

Israel is NOT an apartheid state

My letter to the South China Morning Post:
I.M. Wright should study his history before making allegations about stolen land and apartheid. (Israel intends to 'segregate' with policies, Letters, 25 Nov).

When Israel was created in 1947 by UN resolution 181, Jews were in the majority in the region.  They had not become so by driving Palestinians from their “traditional homes”, but by combination of long-term residence and 19th century immigration.  The immigrants bought their land from landlords often resident in Syria – to the extent that the area was often referred to as “Southern Syria”.  Moreover, the partition of the British Mandate gave the majority of land to today’s Jordan, which could easily have taken more Palestinians fleeing a war initiated by surrounding Arab states, but did not do so for political reasons (“keep the heat on Israel”).

To label Israel as an “apartheid” state is to confuse intent with outcome. The intent of Israel’s defensive tactics, including the wall, is to reduce attacks on its citizens, not to separate based on race and religion.  That the outcome affects the “race and religion” of Arab Muslims is because that’s who is attacking Israel.

Surrounded by hostile states intent on its destruction, is Israel meant to take no defensive action?  To suggest giving land for peace, without ironclad security guarantees would be national suicide. Israel has repeatedly offered peace in return for security, and repeatedly been rebuffed.  The conclusion is: if Palestinians lay down their arms there will be peace; it Israel lays down its arms it will be annihilated.

Yours, etc,
Peter F.
I.M. Wright's letter

Israel intends to 'segregate' with policies
I refer to the letter by Robert L. Meyer ("Allegations about Israel incorrect", November 16) in reply to my letter ("In backing Israel, US is out of step", November 4).
Your correspondent makes the premise that a connection to antiquity lends legitimacy to land rights. The analogy of the English connection to Stonehenge is untenable as this ancient monument pre-dates the establishment of England by more than 3,000 years.
I doubt that Mr Meyer is suggesting that all the Norsemen, Danes, and Germanic tribesman who invaded and stayed on be disenfranchised and sent back across the North Sea?
However, such a proposition was enacted in Israel in 1948 when 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their traditional homes, most fleeing across the Jordan River.
Mr Meyer is correct that Israel is not now an apartheid state. However, it is difficult not to reach the conclusion that Israel's settlement and control regimes in the occupied Palestinian lands of the West Bank and Gaza are apartheid policies, as their intention is to segregate by race and religion.
The hackneyed US statement of a "shared goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East" in the context of Israel's actions in the occupied lands is most surely a mirage.
I. M. Wright, Happy Valley

Thursday 24 November 2011

"Article 23 is aimed at unruly mob": my response to a thuggish letter

My letter tackling Philip Fang's brutish article received more positive stars than any letter this year, averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars.  From a reader re that letter, one of a number in support:
Great letter to the SCMP. Thanks for sticking up for Hong Kong.
“Give me a break.” Yes, give us all a break.
I guess you kne
w that Philip Fang is Anson Chan’s younger brother. [P: actually, no I didn't and wonder what he's doing attacking his well-known sister.  Happy families. Not]
Most other letters in response to Fang's article take him on, but one on Monday supports Fang's line and the introduction of the so-called "Article 23" legislation [*] in Hong Kong: that is, legislation to outlaw "treason, secession, sedition, subversion..." etc.  It is a requirement of Hong Kong's Basic Law, though the timing of implementation is up to Hong Kong.  Suspicion of the intent of the proposed law is high in Hong Kong and the last time a serious endeavour was made to implement it on the 1st of July 2005, some 500,000 people took to the streets (I was there).  The concern was (and is) that that in Beijing's eyes -- and hence in the eyes of Hong Kong's Chief Executive, who hews closely to Beijing's wishes --  "treason, secession" and the rest would weave a net with very fine holes: many could get caught in it, simply by exercising their right to free speech, a right in Hong Kong that's been sacrosanct to date and freely exercised (unlike in China, where it is not, despite being guaranteed in their constitution)
Now it appears there's a move again to put the promulgation of Article 23 back on the front burner.  Fang's article pushes for this, and a reader, Peter Lok, shines his shoes.  Lok's letter below and mine yesterday in response below that:

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Islam's Islam, but strategically you have to support moderate Muslims

Robert Small  causes a small firestorm with his post "A New Model of Islam with Less Bark and More Bite".  The simple issue is this: is there a moderate Islam? [Update, 24 Nov: Small answers me, see end of post]
On the one side, Spencer et. al. who say that Islam's Islam, and that at its core it is a violent and supremacist religion.
On the other side, Andrew McCarthy, Robert Small, who say that there is a moderate form of the religion, or at least moderate adherents and that we should work with that/them to overcome their more radical alternatives.
In my view, Spencer is correct. His view is echoed by the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan, who once said "there is no such thing as moderate or immoderate [sic] Islam.  Islam is Islam and that's it".  The doctrine of Islam, the core texts, the Koran, the Hadith and the Sirah of Muhammad, all point to the one conclusion: that it is violent, supremacist, anti-semitic, homophobic and the rest of it.
The problem with that conclusion about Islam, correct as it may be, is this: "where does it lead you?".  Are you now going to face off against all 1.2 or 1.6 billion Muslims?  What policy are you going to follow?  Is resistance the only policy you can follow? Or stopping all Muslim immigration to western countries?  That's not going to happen, is it, not in my lifetime, anyway.

Monday 21 November 2011

"Screams" against Islamism... or fighting the good fight by viewing naked babes!

Support Egyptian atheist blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy!

Once again, just in from One Law for All...
‘I will be celebrating my 27th birthday in a few days and as I enter into a new year of my life, I think it is time to renounce religion openly...The CEMB is doing a great job by providing a forum for Ex-Muslims and taking a stand against the brutality of this religion.’ - Hassan
‘After 20 yrs of Islam, I finally gave up the prison for my freedom. My main issue with Islam is the awful injustice against women and as a woman myself I could not stand for a religion which belittles me...well done CEMB for creating this unified voice for ex-Muslims!’ – Pariah

Dear friends

These are just two of the many testimonies of ex-Muslims on the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s (CEMB) website and forum.

Clearly, an organisation like ours is essential in this day and age - breaking taboos, defending free expression and rights, and challenging Islamism head on. As you well know, it’s not easy and people who do so deserve our full support, including those in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere.

20 year old atheist Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy is one such person. She has recently posted nude photos of herself as ‘screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy’:

You can find out more about the work the CEMB is doing on our newly designed website and via links below.

Thank you for all your support over the past year; we couldn’t have done it without you.

Please do continue to support the CEMB in any way you can. Given the ‘controversial’ work that we do, our only support comes from freethinkers and secularists like you.  Every little bit helps go a long way in the fight that lies ahead. If you’d like to donate to our work, please either send a cheque made payable to CEMB to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK or give via Worldpay.

Thanks again.

Warmest wishes
Maryam Namazie
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Saturday 19 November 2011

Condescending to Aborigenes

I just heard a report on BBC Worldservice radio, about the Australian government's proposal to tie Aboriginal welfare payments to the sending of their children to school.  The proposal is that a family will have to send its kids to school before they can collect their welfare cheque.
This is a kind of tough love.
It's based on years of observations that welfare cheques are picked up, used to buy the minimum of food for survival, then used for grog, and the kids are forgotten.
Then another fellow, an "expert on Aboriginal education" we're told, comes on and says that the policy is horribly condescending.
Then he proceeds to condescend atrociously himself, saying that he'd had "tremendous success" in teaching aboriginal kids to be "proud of your aboriginality" and that it's best to learn in the native aboriginal language first and only then learn English.
This seems to me to be misguided.  If you want them to continue sitting round in the bush -- and if that's what they want to do - fine.  But if they (not you, white man, but they) want to advance in Aussie society -- and surely it's a soft bigotry to assume they don't -- then they need English first.
Here in Hong Kong there's been a move by the government to have "mother tongue teaching".  But guess what?  The local Hong Kong Chinese want their kids to be taught in English, not Chinese. These are people who are not in any doubt about their culture; and they're not in any doubt either about what's best for their kids. If it's true for Chinese, when Chinese is massively more widely spoken than any aboriginal language, and who have a very robust sense of their own culture, then it must hold true for aboriginal languages and the aboriginal culture a fortiori.
Spare us from these post-modern "experts"....

Friday 18 November 2011

Those who speak openly about national issues are patriots, not traitors

My letter was the featured one in today's South China Morning Post.  So far it's running 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Update 24 Nov: has had most number of stars of any letter this year, still tracking 4.5/5.

Those who speak openly about national issues are patriots, not traitors

I refer to the article by Philip Fang ("Brat in the family", November 9).
He said that Anson Chan Fang On-sang, Martin Lee Chu-ming, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun were in "open defiance", presumably of Beijing, and were thus a "Gang of Four". He also said they would be considered "seditious" if we had an Article 23 law, in part because they were not "grateful" enough for the mainland's alleged largesse.

Grateful? That demand is not the sign of a mature or self-confident government.
I was in Beijing during the dark days of the original Gang of Four, in the 1970s, when the government was certainly not self-confident. I recall how it was then - no freedom of speech, labour camps for dissidents; pretty much like it is now, come to think of it.
To hear Hongkongers labelled thus is chilling indeed, especially when those so labelled are staunch supporters of freedom of speech. To call them a Gang of Four is a grotesque inversion.
Mr Fang is just a retired interpreter. But perhaps - though let's hope not - he is a stalking horse for central government opinion.
If this is what Beijing is thinking, it is even more scary. After all, Mrs Chan, Mr Lee, Mr Lai and Cardinal Zen, whatever we may think of their views, are by no stretch of the imagination "endangering state security".
They are committed and concerned residents of Hong Kong - patriots, too, I would suggest - who speak openly and robustly about many issues that affect Hong Kong and the nation.
That is part of the hurly-burly of an open society, part of working through issues and part of providing a safety valve for differing ideas.
That Mr Fang should suggest Hong Kong has descended into "lawlessness and anarchy" through "open defiance" is laughable. It is all the more insulting coming, as it does, from a [former] mainland official - after all, on the mainland, the law is routinely flouted and on the mainland there are daily demonstrations by a population incensed by unlawful and corrupt officials. Yet the mainland, via Mr Fang, seeks to lecture Hong Kong on law and order and anarchy? Give me a break.
It is to be hoped that Hong Kong people let Mr Fang know in no uncertain terms that his trial balloon is a lead balloon; it is, or ought to be, going nowhere.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay
Another letter, supporting my view, on 16th Nov:

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Sharia in UK bad for children

This just in from One Law for All in the UK:
"....there is a real danger that children, within Muslim communities, are at risk of being exposed to sharia law rulings and removed from the protections of the Children Act. Sharia tribunals and councils are gaining ground across the UK. According to a sharia practitioner, the courts are increasingly hearing cases on matters concerning children." [emphasis added]
Read more here.
One Law for All is headed by ex Muslim Maryam Namazie and has a membership of secular Muslims, ex Muslims, non-Muslims and prominent academics.  It is a non-partisan non-profit.  It's main concern -- one that ought to concern us all -- is the spread of Sharia law in the UK.  
There are now nearly 100 Sharia Courts in Britain, and increasingly they are being used to hear cases not just for Muslims, but also cases involving Muslims and non-Muslims.  Further, they are encroaching on areas outside their supposed remit of family law, into criminal and civil law.  
And if you think, "so what?", well, in that case you ought to read about Sharia law: by far the best reference guide is "Reliance of the Traveller", the "Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law". 
All the scary stuff you've heard about Sharia?  All true: the beheadings, the stonings, the female genital mutilation, the permission to murder you wayward child for "honour", the execution of apostates from Islam, the requirement for Islamic charity to fund Jihad, and "holy war"... all, all, all of it is there, all of it is clear, all of it is unambiguous, all of it is mandated.
This Manual is approved by the most ancient authority in Islam: the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

Shocker! US high school textbooks whitewash Islamic history!

This just in from Act! for America:

Islam just "became popular"
We have received a lot of emails asking when our textbook analysis project will be completed.

If you’re not aware of this, 18 months ago we launched an in-depth analysis of thirty-eight 6th through 12th grade textbooks, to see how they treated the subject of Islam.

The research has been completed, and what we have found will shock you. The historical falsehoods, bias and other misrepresentations of Islam in these textbooks are egregious and persistent.

We are currently completing the writing and final edits to the report, which will document over 245 errors in these various textbooks.

Here’s a small sample of what we found.
“In Medina, Muhammad displayed impressive leadership skills. He fashioned an agreement that joined his own people with the Arabs and Jews of Medina as a single community. These groups accepted Muhammad as a political leader. As a religious leader, he drew many more converts, who found his message appealing.”
McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin, World History - Patterns of Interaction, 2007, p.265

This is patently false. The Jews of Medina rejected Muhammad as a prophet, and as a result he drove two of the Jewish tribes out of Medina and exterminated the third one.
“Shari’a law requires Muslim leaders to extend religious tolerance to Christians and Jews.”
McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin, World History - Patterns of Interaction, 2007, p.268

This is so preposterous, so lacking historical justification or support within sharia law, one wonders how it ever got into a textbook.
“The Eastward Expansion of Islam:
In the early eighth century, Islam became popular in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. …”
Glencoe/McGraw Hill, New York
World History, 2008, pp.285-286

“Became popular” sounds more like a description of a new dance than what happened to the Hindus of India. Tens of millions of Hindus were slaughtered during the many jihad campaigns launched against it.

Rather than release this report as we enter the holiday season, we have decided to hold off until early next year. At that time we will mail an Executive Summary to every state and local school board member in America—over 70,000 people.

We will then post the Executive Summary and the full report online for downloading, and we will send out national emails with talking points on how to approach your local school board about the findings in this report.

Stay tuned!

Monday 14 November 2011

Geo Engineering gets a boost -- Solar Radiation Management

"Injection of sulphate aerosol is designed to 
mimic the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions"
From BBC News, Science & Environment
Professor David Keith makes a good case for Solar Radiation Management on today's BBC Hard Talk (sadly not available in my zone, Asia).
This is the second program on the Beebs in an as many days, on the issue of Geo-engineering, suggesting it's becoming mainstream.  Indeed, another article of 24th October on BBC News says "Public supports geo-engineering ideas, study suggests".
I wrote about it last year, and earlier this year.
To the greenies who worry that a technical solution will reduce the political will to charge for carbon, Prof Keith says (I paraphrase): "are we really saying that we don't want to have a technology that will -- or may, we don't fully know yet and have to do more research -- in the short term, reduce the risk of global warming? Is that a moral stance?" And also: "providing seat belts might incline people to drive a bit faster; are we saying that seat belts are wrong?"
He doesn't suggest that SRM is going to be a panacea, or that we should implement it without delay. His main point is that more study and research should be supported, and that if/when it's deployed it should be regulated, in the public arena and done with extreme care: step by reversible step.
That seems to me to be an eminently sensible proposal.
For my mind, we must proceed with the more study he proposes.
If a house is in fire, and you might have some water nearby, the fact that you haven't sorted out the cause of the fire should surely not stop you from using the water.... 

Sunday 13 November 2011

It's official: Islam ISN'T the "Religion of Peace"!

For the first time I've seen, the MSM has debated the motion: "Islam is a Religion of Peace", and the Nay's won it. See the Intelligence Squared Debate of October 6th here.
Almost all the undecideds decided that it was NOT a Religion of Peace, based on the arguments of Ayaan Hirsi Ali (an ex-Muslim) and Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion:

Pre-Debate Poll Results
41%For | 25% Against | 34%
Post Debate Poll Results
36% For | 55% Against | 9%

Thursday 10 November 2011

Is Phillip Fang a stalking horse for Peking? Chilling, thuggish words...

Letter to South China Morning Post:
The phrase “Gang of Four” should strike fear into any heart.
In “Brat in the family”, (Nov 9: see below) Phillip Fang says that Anson Chan, Martin Lee, Jimmy Lai and Joseph Zen are in “open defiance” – presumably of Beijing – and are thus a “Gang of Four” who should be considered “seditious” if we had an Article 23 law, seditious in part because they are not “grateful” enough for the mainland’s alleged largesse.  Grateful?  That demand is not the sign of a mature and self-confident government.   I was in Peking during the dark days of the original “Gang of Four”, in the seventies, when the government was certainly not self confident. I recall how it was then: no freedom of speech, labour camps for dissidents.  Pretty much like it is now, it seems.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Gilad Atzmon

I've just come across this guy, Gilad Atzmon, courtesy Blazing Cat Fur, reporting Alan Dershowitz's review of Atzmon's latest book, "The Wandering Who?".
Atzmon is a "proud self-hating jew".  In fact, he is a Jew hater.
He says he's not an anti-semite -- how can he be? he's jewish, born in Israel and was in the Israeli Defense Forces -- but he's living proof that a Jew can in fact be a Jew hater and a vicious anti-semite. Ben-Gurion would have been kinder: what we call today "self-hating Jews", he said were "lacking self confidence".
Atzmon's own site is here.  Have a look around, and see if it's not the sort of stuff, which said by anyone not Jewish, wouldn't be labelled racist anti-semitic bigotry.
In a recent post on his site Atzmon is quoted as saying:

"The Problem with Islam"

A new book by Patrick Sookhdeo is always welcome.  Here is a review of his latest, "Islam in our midst: the Challenge to our Christian Heritage".
I've read his monumental "Global Jihad", which, not surprisingly, Islam apologists did not like, though they attack the man, in typical form, not the argument: eg, Mehdi Hasan, who Sookhdeo answered here.
Timmerman, in his review linked above says:
Because of his scholarship and his deep understanding of Islamic texts and Islamic law, it is harder for the pro-Sharia lobby to dismiss him as an Islamophobe.
This is a bit hopeful.  The always ridiculous will always have a go at the messenger -- any person who lays out the facts of Islam, again with slight impact on the key arguments, preferring the good old standby of ad hominem, e.g."...this right-wing evangelical Christian's bigot..."
He is not (though he is a Christian). Read what he writes and judge for yourself.
[h/t Frontpage mag]

Thursday 3 November 2011

Frogs jump out of the barrel

You know that hoary old saying: the one about the frog in the water, which heats up so slowly that the frog doesn't realise it's getting slowly cooked and dies for lack of realisation.  That's the image that's often used as a simile for what's going on in the west, the slow islamisation that will "cook" the west, before it realises what's going on.
But hand it to the Frogs!  They've shown some grit where the anglo-saxon world has not. They've banned the burka and niqab, they've banned religious symbols in the classroom, they've not allowed meat in public hospitals to be slaughtered al-halal (ie, cruelly).
And now there's the case of the satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, which ran a piece with a caricature of Muhammad on the cover, got firebombed for its effort and -- here's the big surprise kicker and the one that truly shows their grit -- have said "we will come back and we will not be silenced".
Good on the froggies!! Show the ragged, poor cowardly "lion" across the water a thing or too about courage and principles.
Couple of links on the fire-bombing:

Shooting own goals

You know how it is?... when you read a sentence that's supposed to make you think "oh, my goodness, how horrible", but instead makes you think "yes, that's exactly right!"?

That's what I mean by scoring an own goal. And there's a lot of it in the writing of apologists for Islam. They'll write something like "so-and-so, says that Islam is a violent religion" and you're supposed to think that so-and-so is a terrible bigot, an Islamophobe.  Whereas, of course, if you know anything about Islam, then you would have studied its core documents, the Koran, the Hadith, the Sira (life of Muhammad) and you'll know that it is indeed a religion, not of peace but of violent supremacism.

It's really a measure of how deeply buried such apologists are in the obfuscations of Islam that they will write like this, oblivious to the fact that they've scored an own goal, that their writing is self-indicting.  They make it clear just how ignorant or blind they are to the dark aspects of Islam, that in reporting alleged "Islamophobic" comments they are merely highlighting those very same dark aspects of Islam.

The website does this all the time, one own goal after another.

Take this post, which reports on a Mr Barrish's contention that Islam is a "totalitarian theocracy" and that it is "littered with human rights violations".  Again, we're meant to think "how horrid of Mr Barrish, he's clearly ignorant, for Islam is a Religion of Peace, not a totalitarian theocracy".  But, of course, that is a very correct description of Islam.  It is totalitarian and it does make a theocracy when it is the state religion (Iran, Saudi Arabia).  Moreover, it is indeed littered with "human rights violations", in how it treats women, minorities and the repression of the right to freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

Keep reporting on that "Islamophobia", you folks at "Islamophobia-watch. com!, you only make it easier for sane and clear thinking folk to better understand the egregiousness of Islam.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

"Say no to wind farms: Shale of the century"

Can this be true?  Can shale gas be our saviour?
I will follow this issue with interest.
One suspects that on the further reaches of the green side -- the "watermelons", green on the outside, red on the inside -- anything that looks like it might be a quick and easy fix will not be welcomed, for a deeper agenda is a hatred of human depredations on mother earth.  "Life after People" is not a TV show for them, but a fervent hope...
And isn't it interesting how many greenies are against wind farms, especially when they're near where they live.  I'm not a greenie, but I don't mind wind farms. Mind you, I'm not sure how much electricity they really deliver.  There's the issue of capacity vs the amount actually delivered (something of the order of one tenth to one third, I believe, delivered vs installed capacity)

Administration bans the truth about Islam. In defense of Robert Spencer

I wrote here about the extraordinary directive from the US Justice Department, banning the use of "Islam" in relation to any violent acts.
Robert Spencer does a better job of "outing" this ridiculous policy, here.
New readers may not have heard of the name Spencer, or perhaps have only heard negatives in the mainstream press, that he is "bigoted", an "Islamophobe", whatever.  He is none of these.
But the criticisms continue from Islamic apologists: classic ad hominem, attack the man, don't take on the message.
This ad hominem happened in the comments after his article linked above.
I wrote a defense of Spencer:

Spencer has a body of published work which is subject to scrutiny. I have
read it all and find it informative and where I've had reason to check
it against authoritative Islamic texts, it has stood the test. He is
scrupulous in quoting sources fairly and accurately, knowing that the
slightest slip will be pounced on by Islamic apologists.
I have also seen him in public debate with Islamic apologists where he
always gets the better of them, for he's profoundly knowledgeable on
Islam and has a prodigious memory of the relevant sources.
I have also seen him on numerous TV interviews where he performs well
and knowledgeably.
I'm not rosy-eyed about him though. At times his books (especially
"Stealth Jihad") could use some more rigorous editing. And he trends
to be a bit prickly about criticism, rising to the bait a bit too
But he's clearly, by any measure of reality, thoroughly erudite on
Islam. If he has concluded -- as I had even before coming upon his
writings 8 years ago -- that Islam is not the "Religion of Peace" that
it's hyped to be, but is instead supremacist, sectarian, anti-Semitic,
homophobic and misogynist, then that's because the texts and doctrines
of Islam are so; not because Spencer says it's so.
In other words, don't attack the messenger.
It is exactly trying to kill the messenger that is being practiced by
these attacking Spencer for his critiques of Islam, and of the Administration's 
policy on [not] speaking the truth about it.

[I just went back to copy/paste my comment,  and see there's follow up comment: "Excellent post, Peter. Another intelligent blogger for our side :-)"]