Friday 29 March 2013

"Department left behind on e-bike benefits"

An electric bike on a road in Hangzhou. Photo: NYT [from SCMP]
The South China Morning Post published my letter in full today, as the lead letter, under the headline above, and the piccie.  Let's see what the Transport Department makes of it, if anything. There's also an e-bikes lobby group, that I'm kind of a part of, pushing for the legalisation of these environmentally-friendly bikes.  Some comments below the letter.

Department left behind on e-bike benefits
How sad that police chief superintendent Eddie Wong Kwok-wai, of the police public relations branch, should think it a fruitful use of police time to chase otherwise law-abiding citizens who ride electric bicycles ("Police cracking down on illegal bikes, tricycles", March 23).
Let's be clear: the only reason e-bikes are "illegal" in Hong Kong is that the Transport Department has failed to keep up with the rest of the world, and failed in its regulatory duties. Hong Kong has the dubious distinction of being the only jurisdiction in the world that does not allow the use of any type of environmentally friendly e-bikes.
Other jurisdictions - the mainland, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, the US, Canada and Europe - all have recognised the health and environmental benefits of e-bikes and amended regulations to legitimise them. Only Hong Kong hasn't bothered.
Does our government have a unique insight that the rest of the world doesn't have, that battery-powered bicycles are somehow dangerous?
In 2008, I presented a submission to the department on how it could regulate the growing use of e-bikes in Hong Kong. Its response was that it couldn't be bothered.
In my submission, I reported on a test that I had done comparing an e-bike and a standard bicycle. On the flat and downhill, the bicycle is faster than an e-bike. Only uphill is an e-bike very slightly faster.
Given that speed is the main factor in accidents, it's surprising that the Hong Kong police should accept the word of one complainant, L. Charleston ("Call to recycle intelligence on 'danger' bikes", March 16), about their alleged danger. There are no statistics in Hong Kong supporting your correspondent's assertion.
Hong Kong residents should not, as Eddie Wong suggests, phone the police to report "offenders". They should instead ring to complain about a shocking waste of police time. This is use of police resources to harass and prosecute people for trying to be healthier and environmentally aware, and Hong Kong is the only jurisdiction in the world to do so.
If there is a response to this letter, it should be from the Transport Department, not the police. It should explain why it has failed to keep up with the rest of the world. Is it simply its dilatory nature? Or is it indeed a holder of some arcane knowledge about the lack of safety of e-bikes of which the rest of the world is unaware? Do tell, Transport Department.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay
A comment from PC (online):
"Department left behind on e-bike benefits"
Excellent letter..... and exactly on the mark. Several people over the years have been writing to Transport Department along these lines but quiet word comes back from that the main objections are from (obstructive) senior traffic police officers who think that only they know best.
One of these once proclaimed to me very loudly, "Hong Kong will allow electric bikes on its streets over his dead body". The irony is that he had personally imported a motorcycle specially designed for off road racing and then had it registered for use on public roads.

A comment from Hans:
Very Nice one Peter,
will send it to my Cheung Chau police management, the No2 told me very proud last week that he caught a e-bike rider while I have dozens of unsolved and repeating reports for vandalism, litter, drug use on public kids play and sitting grounds just a stone throw away from their station....
Cheers, & Happy Easter.


A comment from Martin:
Very clear and forceful statement.

A comment from Steve:
... nice one Peter :)

Monday 25 March 2013

Who is responsible for Romani unemployment rates?

I rather like BBC's Zeinab Badawi.  Last week she interviewed the Romanian PM, Victor Ponta on its Hard Talk.
At one point she says that the population of Roma ("who some call 'gypsies'", says Zeinab...), in Romania is around 8-11%, depending on who's counting.  Yet they are 44% of all unemployed.
This, says Badawi, is "proof" of discrimination against the Roma.  Ponta agrees, then goes on to say what his government is doing to try to reduce that number.
But is is really "proof" of discrimination?
Maybe in part, but surely there are other factors as well.
Like the fact that the strong Romani culture doesn't encourage children to finish school, so that only about 10% do. Uneducated kids... that could have something to do with unemployment, couldn't it?
Like the fact the the Romani culture, by numerous reports, encourages drawing on welfare rather than work, especially for women.  That, too, could have something to do with it, couldn't it?

This reminds me of a study done a decade or more, in Australia.  It looked at unemployment in the Lebanese community in Australia, a community which is about 60% Christian and 40% Muslim.  The unemployment rate of Christian Lebanese was about the same as that of Australian society as a whole.  The unemployment rate of Muslim Lebanese was about three times that of the rest of Australia and of Lebanese Christians.  Here you have, I thought, a perfect experiment: same country, same ethnicity. The only difference us their religion.  Could their being Muslims, and encouraged by their menfolk not to work but to claim benefits, have something to do with their widely divergent unemployment rates, one wonders?

Sadly, rather that leading to discussion on the topic, the study in question was removed from the bloggosphere. And shame too, for it was from the Australian Legislature's Publications department.  But just too hot -- too incendiary -- to keep out there....

E-bikes for Hong Kong

Letter to the South China Morning Post, today. Letters referred to are below the fold....

How sad that police chief superintendent Eddie Wong should think it a fruitful use of police time to chase otherwise law-abiding citizens who ride electric bicycles.  (“Police cracking down on illegal bikes, tricycles”, March 23).
Let’s be clear: the only reason e-bikes are “illegal” in Hong Kong is that the Transport Department has failed: failed to keep up with the rest of the world, and failed in its regulatory duties. 
Hong Kong has the dubious distinction of being the only jurisdiction in the world that does not allow the use of any type of environmentally friendly e-bikes.  *
Other jurisdictions – our motherland China, ASEAN, Australia, the US, Canada, Europe – all have recognised the health and environmental benefits of e-bikes and amended regulations to legitimize them.  Only Hong Kong hasn’t bothered. 
Does our government have a unique insight -- that battery-powered bicycles are somehow “dangerous” -- that the rest of the world doesn’t have?
In 2008 I presented a submission to the Transport Department on how they could regulate the growing use of e-bikes in Hong Kong.  Their response: they couldn’t be bothered.
In my submission I reported on a test that I had done comparing an e-bike and a standard bicycle.  On the flat and downhill the standard bicycle is faster than an e-bike. Only uphill is an e-bike very slightly faster.  Given that speed is the main factor in accidents, it’s surprising that the Hong Kong police should accept the word of one complainant (L. Charleston, Mar 16), about their alleged danger.  There are no statistics in Hong Kong supporting Charleston’s assertion.
Hong Kong residents should not do as Eddie Wong suggests: phone the police to report “offenders”.  They should instead ring him (2984 6200) to complain about a shocking waste police time. Imagine: using police resources to harass and prosecute people for trying to be healthier and environmentally aware and HK the only jurisdiction in the world to do so!
If there is a response to this letter, it should be from the Transport Department, not the police.  The TD should explain why they have failed to keep up with the rest of the world. Is it simply their dilatory nature?  Or are they indeed holders of some arcane knowledge about the lack of safety of e-bikes of which the rest of the world is unaware?  Do tell, TD.

Hong Kong

*Hawaii does not allow e-bikes, but does allow electric mopeds.

Friday 15 March 2013

Apostates on the chopping block....

Loonwatch, the Muslim apologist site, maintains there's no penalty of death for apostasy from Islam.  I debated them on this a couple of years ago.  So, I guess the following countries are all "misunderstanders" of Islam....
Courtesy of One Law for All , this list below of punishment of those who have left Islam, or criticised it in some way.  Note that people are imprisoned for apostasy even in "moderate" Muslim countries like Indonesia and Kuwait...

Countless individuals accused of apostasy and blasphemy face threats, imprisonment, and execution. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

On 14 March 2013, we, the undersigned, call for an international day of action to defend apostates and blasphemers worldwide by highlighting ten cases though there are countless more. [That's yesterday; no news of how it went, yet...]
Alex Aan, Indonesia: 30 year old atheist, in prison for blasphemy for saying there is no god on Facebook. Sign Petition Here.
Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al-Baz (also known as Ben Baz), Kuwait: Blogger and atheist charged with blasphemy.  Support him here.
Turki Al Hamad, Saudi Arabia: Novelist in prison for Tweets critical of Islam and Islamism. Write Letter Here!
Raif Badawi, Saudi Arabia: Charged with apostasy for setting up a website that "harms the public order and violates Islamic values". Sign Petition.
Asia Bibi, Pakistan: 45 year old Christian mother of five, sentenced to death for blasphemy for ‘insulting Mohammad’. Join Save Asia Bibi Facebook Page Here.
Hamza Kashgari, Saudi Arabia: 23 year old Muslim charged with blasphemy for Tweeting about Mohammad and women’s status. Sign Petition Here and Here.
Saeed Malekpour, Iran: Sentenced to death for ‘insulting and desecrating Islam’. Join Free Saeed Malekpour Facebook Page Here.
Shahin Najafi, Iran:  A death fatwa for apostasy has been issued by Iranian clerics against Shahin Najafi living in Germany for a song critical of an imam.  Support Shahin Here.
Ahmad Rajib, Bangladesh: The well-known 35 year old atheist blogger had his head hacked apart with a machete one day after attending anti-Islamist protests in Bangladesh.
Alber Saber, Egypt: The atheist blogger has been sentenced to three years in prison for blasphemy. Support Him Here.
We urge the public to mark this day by taking action in support of the many women, men and even children languishing in prison or on death row.
We must never forget them.
Take action on 14 March to highlight this intolerable situation, including by Tweeting, signing a petition, writing a letter of protest, drawing a picture, taking a photo, making a video – anything at all to defend free expression and thought and the many whose lives are at stake.
Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning and Execution, Germany
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President and co founder, Stop Child Executions, Canada
Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe, UK
Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Atheist, UK
Carlos A. Diaz, President, Atheist Alliance International, Argentina
Michael De Dora, U.N. Representative, Center for Inquiry, USA
Sonja Eggerickx, President, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Belgium
Sundas Hoorain, Human Rights Lawyer, Pakistan
Sikivu Hutchinson , Editor,, USA
Darina al Joundi, Writer and Actress, France
Harold Walter Kroto, 1996 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, USA
Ronald Lindsay, President, Centre For Inquiry, USA
Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women's Issue, France
Houzan Mahmoud, International Representative, Organisaiton of Women's Freedom in Iraq, UK
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, One Law for All and Equal Rights Now, UK
David Nicholls, President, Atheist Foundation of Australia, Australia
Michael Nugent, Chair, Atheist Ireland, Ireland
Fariborz Pooya, Iran Secular Society, UK
Anthony B Pinn, Academic, USA
Gita Sahgal, Centre for Secular Space, UK
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, UK
Nina Sankari, President, European Feminist Initiative, Poland
Sohaila Sharifi, Women’s Rights Campaigner, UK
Esam Shoukry, Organization for Secularism and Civil Right in Iraq, Canada
Annie Sugier, President, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes, France
Jacek Tabisz, President, Polish Rationalist Society, Poland
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner, UK
Ibn Warraq, Writer, USA
(Please add your name or action in the comments section on the CEMB website and the list will be updated with your details on a regular basis until 15 March 2013.)
End Quote.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Making fun of the new Pope.... isn't that Cathophobic?

Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt. Where are the Twitterati jokesters?
Gomaa is on record approving death to apostates... But don't you dare say that,
you Islamophobe!
There's daily news on the trials of catholicism -- financial scandals, "inappropriate" sexual behaviour, da da.... and then there's a new Pope elected yesterday, and so start the funsters, eg "Holy Smokes! Twitter's funniest Pope Reactions"
All fair enough, right?  All's fair in love and.... No rampaging Catholics, no apologia, no claims of "Cathophobia".
There's no Pope equivalent in Islam.  But there are senior clerics, such as Al Qaradawi ("what a creep!") and the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa (above).  Imagine if one were to make fun of them.  Or if one were to point out the inherent paedophilia in Islam?  Or -- heaven, or Allah forfend -- if one were to draw cartoons!
Not just cries of "Islamophobe".  That would be the least of it. Rampaging mobs: guaranteed.... Killings in the name of the Religion of Peace: pretty certain.  Death to you, infidel!  To the cries of "Allahu Akbar!"
And the crazy thing is that many or most mainstream media in the West, especially, one must note, on the Left, would be complicit in this and helping Islam apologists find justification in it.*
Sad state of affairs.  Banish the bogus word "Islamophobia".
*From JW: ".... here are three recent examples from mainstream media enemies of the freedom of speech: Eric PosnerSarah Chayes, and Nathan Lean."

Obama visits North Korea!

Came across the above vid -- pretty funny -- when I was searching for the vid of "Kim Jong Unfortunately Fake", which was reported in The Daily Beast today, but had been removed for copyright violation by the time I got to it....

" Reducing gun violence isn't about gun control - it's about the drug war"

Dear Peter:

So much has been said in recent months on the subject of gun violence, but in the midst of this heated debate, one obvious solution to rampant gun violence has often been downplayed or overlooked: ending drug prohibition.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition’s speakers and supporters represent the full spectrum of opinions on the issue of gun control, but we agree on one point: reducing gun violence has little to do with either gun control or gun rights. It has everything to do with ending the “war on drugs.” 

If we were to legalize and regulate all currently illicit drugs today, we would see a dramatic decrease in gun violence. Cartels and street dealers arm themselves with arsenals to protect their illegal investments and to settle disputes. This culture of using gun violence in settling disputes bleeds into society as a whole and is particularly detrimental to our impressionable youth. Under a system of legalized regulation, the black market drug trade would be a non issue, the resulting carnage would subside and the "gangster" culture would dissolve.

Help LEAP reduce gun violence by speaking out for a more rational, responsible drug policy. Stand with us in calling for an end to drug prohibition.

Thank you,
Major Neill Franklin (Ret.)
Executive Director

Monday 11 March 2013

How Sharia kills free speech

The burning desire to impose Sharia blasphemy law -- which mandates the killing of those exercising free speech critical of Islam -- is hardly limited toAl Qaeda. Mainstream, institutional Islam, including the creed's mainstream religious organizational representatives in America, share the same totalitarian goal of destroying our nation's -- and Western civilization's -- bedrock liberty, freedom of speech.....
Andrew Bostom covers it in extenso...

Sunday 10 March 2013

China Reinvests for growth

This recent article in The Guardian is interesting: new mega ships called "Triple E" class -- 400 metres long -- will sail the China-Europe route.
There are no ports in North or South America that will take them. And only a handful in Europe. Yet China, through high investment in infrastructure over recent decades, already has at least five that do, including us here in Hong Kong.  The others are Shanghai, Yantian, Ningbo and Xiamen.
That's called reinvesting to retain and extent competitive advantage...
BTW: an interesting aside: these ships will emit 3g of CO2 per tonne/km.  This compares with: trains 18g, trucks 48 g and planes 560g.  Hence, one of the "E"s in "Triple E" stands for "environmentally friendly"...

Saturday 9 March 2013

Stephen Sackur and Timo Soiny: does Sackur not know about pedophilia in Islam or is he dissembling?

BBC's Hard Talk's Stephen Sackur gives Timo Soini a hard time (Feb 22nd) over the statements of one of Soini's Finnish National party members.  To wit: that said member had stated five years ago that the "Prophet Muhammad" was a pedophile and Islam a pedophilic religion.  The party member had been found guilty of the crime of "ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion".
Sackur wanted to know why the party member had not been sacked.
Several things here:
First: "ethnic agitation".  What ethnicity is Islam?  It's multi-ethnic, of course, including ethnic Finns (whatever they might be...).
Second: "Breaching the sanctity of religion": what, is "blasphemy" now to be a crime in Finland?
Third: what about the party member's comments which led to his being charged for this "crime"?  Muhammad, by common knowledge in Islam (the Sirah, official life of Muhammad and reliable Hadith such as Sahih Bukhari) married Aisha when she was six years old and consummated the marriage when she was nine.
One might say "that was then, this is now".  But Muhammad is held in Islam to be the "perfect example of a man", to be emulated unto today.  He "revealed" the Koran, which is inerrant and for all time.
It is revealing that even Muslims who try to deny Muhammad's pedophilia do not do so on the basis that times were different, or that "pedophilia" is understood differently in Islam, but on the basis that Aisha, his pre-pubescent bride, was actually not nine, but nineteen (none of the sound Hadiths supports this, and the Koran specifically allows underage coupling: eg article and comments here). That argument implies an acceptance by Muslim apologists of the fact that pedophilia is sex with children below middle teenage-hood.
As for Islam today: because of Muhammad's actions are normative for Muslims and because the Koran allows underage marriage, sex with young girls is common and accepted (whatever those apologists seek to deny).
If we accept -- as both sides of this argument appear to -- that pedophilia means sex with underage children, then Islam is pedophiliac.  The evidence is widespread in the Muslim world of today (eg child brides in south Asia, of which BBC has itself reported. Even countries lauded as "Moderate Muslim", like Malaysia will marry girls as young as 12, under Sharia law).  Muslim clerics regularly cite Koranic and Islamic jurisprudence in fatwas that justify marriage to and sexual relations with young children including the pre-pubscent.  [See footnote below].
Of course, we could say those are just "our" standards and not those of other religions and cultures.  But that's not what's argued here, in the video -- or even what Muslim apologists suggest, as I noted above. Sackur's position (one ineluctably infers) is simply that there is no pedophilia by Muhammad or Islam and that Soini's party member is guilty of "ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion" for saying that there is.  Yet it is palpably and provably true that both Muhammad and Islam are both pedophilic.
EG: Fatwa 178318, here. There are many similar:
 It is permissible for a man to arrange a marriage for his young son even if he has not reached puberty; it is also permissible for him to arrange a marriage for his young daughter even if she had not reached the age of puberty.

Friday 8 March 2013

The real meaning of "Jihad"

The paper of record -- the "Grey Lady" -- New York Times, has finally got around to reporting on the debate over the meaning of the word "Jihad".
For those not au fait with the issue: The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is saying that it just means "struggle", as in an inner struggle for self-improvement, say, to go the gym more often, to get fit.  While those in the counter-jihad community say that its primary meaning is "holy struggle in the way of Islam".
The real meaning of Jihad?  Both, but with the strong weight to the latter.
This is clear from Islamic texts and Islamic jurisprudence:
For example:
In the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari (reliable sayings of Muhammad), "Jihad" appears 58 times, 51 meaning "holy war".
In the standard Islamic Manual of Islamic jurisprudence, The Umdat al-Salik the definition is straightforward:
"Jihad means to war against non-Muslims and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion." (o6.90).  
In simple summary: CAIR is duplicitous (or, at the most charitable, very very economical with the truth).  The counter-jihad bloggosphere is correct.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

The Wandering self-hating Jew?

To the BBC:

You've just had Gilad Atzmon on your BBC WorldService radio, here in Hong Kong.
Have you read Atzmon's book, "The Wandering Who?" ?
I have, and -- as a non-Jew -- am shocked at his (a Jew's) anti-semitism.....
From one of the commenters at Amazon, quoting direct from his book:
He boasts about "drawing many of my insights from a man who ... was an anti-Semite as well as a radical misogynist" and a hater of "almost everything that fails to be Aryan masculinity" (89-90). He declares himself a "proud, self-hating Jew" (54), writes with "contempt" of "the Jew in me" (94), and describes himself as "a strong opponent of ... Jewish-ness" (186). His writings, both online and in his new book, brim with classic anti-Semitic motifs that are borrowed from Nazi publications:
Throughout his writings, Atzmon argues that Jews seek to control the world:
· "[W]e must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously."
· "American Jewry makes any debate on whether the `Protocols of the elder of Zion' [sic] are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy."
Atzmon expands on this theme in The Wandering Who?, repeatedly conflating "the Jews" and "the Zionist".
· He calls the recent credit crunch "the Zio-punch" (22) and says it was not "a Jewish conspiracy" because "it was all in the open" (30).

· He calls the recent credit crunch "the Zio-punch" (22) and says it was not "a Jewish conspiracy" because "it was all in the open" (30)....· The American media "failed to warn the American people of the enemy within" because of money (27)....· "The Homo Zionicus quickly became a mass murderer, detached from any recognised form of ethical thinking and engaged in a colossal crime against humanity."...
Atzmon regularly urges his readers to doubt the Holocaust and to reject Jewish history:
· "It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its current form, doesn't make any historical sense. ... If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein--free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war?"
Surely Atzmon's views -- I'd call them "odious" --  bear scrutiny.  The above, his direct quotes, are pretty damning testimony.  They ought not be presented on BBC without some balance and comment...

Yours, etc...

China's Ghost Cities

Ordos ghost city's art museum. Empty...
Wow!  I've read about these ghost cities in China, quite a while back.  Still, the article below is sobering....

We have written about China's ghost towns — neighborhoods with massive new buildings not inhabited by any people.  Many see this as the clear evidence of overbuilding and a housing bubble.
Yale's Stephen Roach has said, however, that China's modernization is "the greatest urbanization story the world has ever seen," and that these ghost cities will soon become "thriving metropolitan areas."
But analysts say most Chinese people can't afford the types of homes being built in the ghost cities.
China has been trying to get a grip on its property market for some time now and some say officials are in control and have been deflating the housing bubble.
However, the risks of the housing bubble evolving into a financial crisis appear to be high.
There is a new report from "60 Minutes" titled "China's real estate bubble." We've seen photos of China's ghost towns, but they are nothing compared to new video footage from "60 Minutes." Here are some screenshots of Zhengzhou from the segment.

Saturday 2 March 2013

New Census in Britain and nobody noticed....

I rather like Douglas Murray, the scourge of bien pensants...
In the article (linked below), he raises some thought-provoding issues.
Amongst them:
But what levels, after all's said and done, do the celebrants of diversity want to get to? What is their ideal target figure? Is a ceiling of 25 per cent white Britons in London — or the country at large — optimal? Or would it be 10 per cent? Or none at all? A final, and perhaps harder, question: how — given the concatenation of claims against them — might "white Britons" ever acceptably argue, let alone complain, about such unspecified or unspecifiable odds?
"Census That Revealed a Troubling Future".

h/t: BCF.

"Oppose Channel 4 and BBC's censorship when it comes to Islam"

From One Law for All, in the UK:
Dear Friend,
You may remember Lloyd Newson’s verbatim hit play ‘Can We Talk About This?’ which enjoyed a successful run at London’s National Theatre and Sydney Opera House amongst others. The play focused on the reluctance of media and political figures to openly discuss the dangers of Islamism and Sharia law.
Featuring speeches and interviews with leading figures from across the political and cultural spectrum, including One Law for All’s Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie Waters, the play explored issues of freedom of speech, censorship and violence, as well as the impact of significant events such as the ‘Rushdie Affair’, the murder of Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh, and the Mohammed cartoons.
‘Can We Talk About This?’ received rave reviews around the world and won several high profile awards, including ‘Best Dance or Ballet’ (Helpmann Awards, Australia 2012) and dance ‘Production of the Year’ (Germany, 2011/12).
Channel 4 decided not to commission the play due to the ‘current climate’ even though Lloyd Newson’s last film, the Cost of Living, was commissioned for Channel 4 and won 17 international awards, including a Prix Italia and the coveted Rose D’or. Similarly the BBC, which had commissioned previous films from Newson, declined to film the play though they broadcast ‘Jerry Springer – The Opera’ (which featured Jesus Christ in a nappy). So much for the supposed ‘bravery’ of Channel 4 and the ‘impartiality’ of the BBC when it comes to Islam!
This blasphemy-law-by-stealth must be opposed. One Law for All vehemently objects to the climate of censorship and fear when it comes to Islam and calls on supporters of freedom of expression to exert pressure on UK broadcasters to screen this highly successful and relevant play. We must demand an end to censorship particularly for the many who are suffering under Sharia law and Islamism across the world and facing threats, imprisonment and the death penalty for merely speaking their minds.
Please write to the BBC at BBC Audience Services, PO Box 1922, Darlington DL3 0UR and/or Channel 4 at Channel 4 Television Corporation, 124 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2TX and ask for this important production to be screened.
Here are more addresses:

Channel 4 Chief Executive:
 Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer:
 Commissioning Editor, BBC Music & Events:
We look forward to your support.
Thank you.
Maryam Namazie
One Law for All
BM Box2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8122621.

Friday 1 March 2013

"Danish Opponent of Islam Is Attacked, and Muslims Defend His Right to Speak "

COPENHAGEN — When a would-be assassin disguised as a postman shot at — and just missed — the head of Lars Hedegaard, an anti-Islam polemicist and former newspaper editor, this month, a cloud of suspicion immediately fell on Denmark’s Muslim minority.
I had just finished reading Andrew Higgins' article (lede above) in my morning's edition of the International New York Times (as the International Herald Tribune is soon to be known), and was going to comment here, on the moral equivalence therein. To wit: the moral equivalence of saying that the person who resists violent extremism and the violent extremist are two sides of the same coin, as the article explicitly suggests. That's complete nonsense of course.
Then I find that Robert Spencer has done the job for me, and much better, in his skewering of Andrew Higgins' own "odious" article on Lars Hedegaard, the Danish journalist who was nearly murdered last month by a gun-toting Danish muslim.
Harris' last para:
“There is no such thing as ‘moderate’ Islam, and there never has been,” Mr. Hedegaard said. “There may be shades of opinion among Muslims, but as a totalitarian system of thought, Islam has remained unchanged for at least 1,200 years.”
To this we're no doubt supposed to react with horror: Hedegaard is clearly "Islamophobic"! Problem is, it's true.  In 2007, Turkish PM, Erdogen made the same point:
"These descriptions are very ugly; it is offensive and an insult to our religion.  There is no moderate or immoderate [sic] Islam.  Islam is Islam and that's it." ( MilliyetTurkey). [Ref]
"Islam is Islam".... And what it is, is in the "Trinity" of Islam's core documents.  It hasn't changed, as Hedergaard notes, and it can't, on pain of death for being a blasphemer.

So either the Turkish PM is an "Islamophobe" himself, or both he and Hedergaard are right. (hint: They're both right....)
LATER (2 March '13): The reliable Bostom on the above: "The New York Times Demonizes Hedegaard" and "Spot the 'Xenophobic Butcher'"
LATER (8 March '13): Diana West's evisceration of the Higgins article, here.  Via here.

"...the first majority Asian-American district in the mainland United States."

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Home to Apple, Google and other high-tech pioneers, the 17th Congressional District here recorded a political first in last fall’s elections, becoming the first majority Asian-American district in the mainland United States.
LATER (2 March '13): Amusing ("Sly and hilarious") take-off of the above: "Tackling Asian Privilege" which includes as well some stunning figures on the extent of success of Asians in the US.