Thursday 29 June 2017

What Might be Missing in the Muslim World?

I've written before about so-called "Islamic science" especially pathetic attempt to claim various historical inventions as "Islamic". As Trump would say, Sad! Do we bother to claim the myriad inventions of the West as Christian?
Here's a revealing article about the reality of Islamic science: "What might be missing in the Muslim World?", Gatestone Institute.
In short: it's poor.
The article quotes Pakistani nuclear physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy:
In the 1980s an imagined "Islamic science" was posed as an alternative to "Western science." The notion was widely propagated and received support from governments in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and elsewhere. Muslim ideologues in the US, such as Ismail Faruqi and Syed Hossein Nasr, announced that a new science was about to be built on lofty moral principles such as tawheed (unity of God), ibadah (worship), khilafah (trusteeship), and rejection of zulm (tyranny), and that revelation rather than reason would be the ultimate guide to valid knowledge. Others took as literal statements of scientific fact verses from the Qur'an that related to descriptions of the physical world. Those attempts led to many elaborate and expensive Islamic science conferences around the world. Some scholars calculated the temperature of Hell, others the chemical composition of heavenly djinnis. None produced a new machine or instrument, conducted an experiment, or even formulated a single testable hypothesis. A more pragmatic approach, which seeks promotion of regular science rather than Islamic science, is pursued by institutional bodies such as COMSTECH (Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation), which was established by the OIC's Islamic Summit in 1981. It joined the IAS (Islamic Academy of Sciences) and ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) in serving the "ummah" (the global Muslim community). But a visit to the websites of those organizations reveals that over two decades, the combined sum of their activities amounts to sporadically held conferences on disparate subjects, a handful of research and travel grants, and small sums for repair of equipment and spare parts.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Immoral Equivalence | commentary

The deception that runs throughout the text will bewitch the average reader into believing that the Israelis are usually bad, usually wrong, usually to blame; that the Palestinians are usually good, usually right, usually blameless. And that's what makes this book both shameful and dangerous. For in truth there is no moral equivalence between an army that warns its enemy of an impending attack so that people might have a chance to steer civilians to safety and a terrorist entity that targets unarmed men, women, and children. There can be no rational comparisons between a nation that collectively shuns and condemns those among them who have resorted to violence, and a people that celebrates murderers as martyrs, names town squares in their honor, and pays surviving family members for the barbarity, inciting and incentivizing even more bloodshed.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

"Minister puts brakes on Uber in city road map", 7 June

UPDATE: Printed 26th June, see at bottom.

I was very disappointed to read that the government plans to squeeze Uber out of Hong Kong (Minister puts brakes on Uber in city road map, 7 June). I'm sure this disappointment will be shared not only by Uber drivers, but also by the many tens of thousands of satisfied customers they have served in recent years. There was an almost unprecedented number of online comments on your article, the vast majority of which were in favour of Uber and calling on the government to find away to make it to work. 
Sadly it looks like the government will ignore the public in favour of the small coterie of taxi owners.
I fear the real reason is not the regulatory one, but the political one pointed out by Jake van der Kamp (Uber issue is about politics, not about defying regulation, 10 June).  
To add insult to injury, the Minister for Transport, Anthony Cheung smeared Uber by saying "They hope they can run their businesses and not come under any regulation".  Uber says it has repeatedly offered to discuss regulating its operations.  Only one is telling the truth and I know who I believe.  Cheung also said "I believe that no country and no government wold allow that".  That's plainly untrue, as there are many countries where Uber operates perfectly well and legally, including nearby Singapore and my own Australia.
By giving in to the rotten borough transport lobby within Legco, the minister is putting the interests of a few taxi owners above tens of thousands of ordinary citizens. He is putting the interests of taxi owners above this interests of Hong Kong itself. The effect of his ridiculous suggestion that Uber operate "like taxi companies" would be to bring Uber down to the level of taxi service, rather than to improve taxi service through competition. 
This is all a great shame.  It makes a joke of the government's alleged aim to encourage hi-tech, as you argue in today's leader, (Invest in hi-tech to remain competitive, 13 June).
We must hope this is not the end, that common sense prevails and some way is found to allow innovative, effective and popular ride-hailing services into our city's transport mix.
Peter Forsythe.
The South China ran myletter on 26th June, as the featured letter.  Click to enlarge:

Sunday 11 June 2017

Muslims Demand Infidel Owner Remove 'Perfect Man' Sign — He Has Brilliant Counter-Offer

First time I've seen this site and it looks to be rather of the right. But so what? I decided to post the article because it's 100% spot on. Even down to the quibble over how many Jews were killed in one day.
The owner of the sign,  Don Woodsmall's "brilliant counter-offer"? He will take down the sign if any one of its statements is shown to be false.  So far, no Muslim, including noone from CAIR, has managed to do that.
Interesting that Muslims immediately know who he was talking about, even though the sign doesn't mention Islam or Muslims!  Now how did they do that, if it weren't for the fact that the statements are recorded in Islam's core documents, the Koran, Hadith and Sirah?
And remember that Muhammad is known by Muslims as the "Perfect Man".
How dare the representatives of Islam, and the like, demand this be pulled down when every one of these statements is in Islamic source documents: the Koran, Hadith and Sirah. All quoted in the article.
No one would make the same demands of any other religion. Not that you could make anything like the same declarations about Jesus. Or Buddha. Or Ganesh. Or The Great Spaghetti Monster.
Read all about it here.

Muslims are loudly condemning terror, but is the world listening? | South China Morning Post

These guys condemn ISIS then say "it's nothing to do with Islam".
What's the point, then?  Why even go through the motions of demonstratilng?
Perhaps I can answer the question in the headline of Mr Bazarwala's recent article (Why must it fall to Muslims to decry terror? 10 June).

I acknowledge that many Muslims have indeed decried terror. A recent heartfelt letter from Hong Kong’s chief Imam Muhammad Arshad is an eloquent example (Terror attacks by deviant soldiers can never be justified, 9 June).

But very often these are "non-condemnation condemnations".

They condemn "terrorism", but then they say that "it is nothing to do with Islam". The perpetrators have "hijacked" or "warped" or "twisted" the "Religion of Peace”. They are “deviant foot soldiers”. [or, here]

No matter that the mass murderer is a hafiz who has learnt the Koran by heart. No matter that the mass murderer is a regular mosque goer who wears pious Islamic clothes and lives the modest Islamic life. Because he commits an act of terror he is not a "true Muslim", a classic of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.  If it’s not denial, then it’s deflection, as Bazarwala himself does when he says most terrorism in the US originates in the alt-right.  This is a bogus statistic that has been comprehensibly debunked but is in any case irrelevant to the issue of Islamic terrorism. Or yet again, the blame is on western foreign policy.  Certainly that is a factor, but even without it there would be jihadi terrorism against the west.

The facts are that the foundational documents of Islam -- the Koran, Hadith and Sirah -- provide plenty to encourage a young jihadi, without any need to cherry pick or blame western foreign policy. This point is repeatedly made by the likes of ISIS, who are no less Muslims for deciding to follow the more warlike passages in the doctrines of Islam.

It may be difficult or "embarrassing" (to quote Mrs May) to acknowledge the connection between Islamic doctrine and terrorism. I understand this. But to ignore it because of this difficulty will only compound the problem of understanding motive. 

For sure it's difficult for Muslims to acknowledge that their core religious documents encourage terrorism. But they do. 

When that is admitted that's when we can acknowledge that Muslims really do decry Islamist terror.   

Zubin Madon has the perfect response to the Islamophilic truth haters « Why Evolution Is True

Zubin's T-shirt
Courtesy of Jerry Coyne's website, I come across for the first time the articles, blog and tweets of Zubin Madon. In this article Madon -- an ex Muslim atheist -- covers it all on the "nothing-to-do-with-Islam" theme. This is indeed a keeper.
Follow the internal link to go to Madon's article from 4 July 2016.
I share Jerry's surprise that it even appeared in the HuffPo, since HuffPo is usually a major islamapologist site.

Saturday 10 June 2017

Why Jeremy Corbyn Will Be A Foreign Policy Disaster – Areo Magazine

Kisses for the boss. Note Koran. He was not secular, Saddam
There are far too many people who blame the whole of the disaster in the middle east on western intervention. It's a factor of course. But even in Iraq Saddam had a prototype of al Qaeda and ISIS going: his faith brigades as above.
The young fella writing this article is still at uni. He has his head screwed on, unlike all the snowflakes I keep reading about in America.
Very good article, spot on.
It is understandable for the British public to be sceptical of our role on the world stage, especially after our disastrous campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But the narrative which has increasingly gained momentum amongst the left, is that we went to war for the pure sake of wanting to exploit the people of Iraq. Many also argue that we toppled a secular leader and in turn destabilised the region. If using chemical weapons on the Kurds, annexing a sovereign Kuwait, and harbouring notorious terrorists is a sign of stability, then that shows how low our expectations are of what can be tolerated in the Middle East. Saddam had also encouraged the spread of Salafi ideology in Iraq during the faith campaign of the early 90's, which laid the groundwork for the jihadist insurgency of today, and thus it is absurd to call such a man "secular." This isn't justification for the war itself or the eight-year occupation which followed, but it is merely an attempt to contextualize Blair's decision.

Why Jeremy Corbyn Will Be A Foreign Policy Disaster – Areo Magazine

There are far too many people who blame the whole of the disaster in the middle east on western intervention. It's a factor of course. But even in Iraq Saddam had a prototype of al Qaeda and ISIS going: his "Return to Faith" brigades.
There's also this: imagine if in South Africa, after the overthrow of apartheid, the whites (until then the minority but in charge), had become insurgents, instead of buying into the "rainbow nation".  That's Iraq.  The Sunnies could have bought into the new Iraq, but decided instead to murder.  It's not all down to George W.
The young fella writing this article is still at uni. He has his head screwed on, unlike all the snowflakes I keep reading about in America.
Very good article, spot on. 
It is understandable for the British public to be sceptical of our role on the world stage, especially after our disastrous campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But the narrative which has increasingly gained momentum amongst the left, is that we went to war for the pure sake of wanting to exploit the people of Iraq. Many also argue that we toppled a secular leader and in turn destabilised the region. If using chemical weapons on the Kurds, annexing a sovereign Kuwait, and harbouring notorious terrorists is a sign of stability, then that shows how low our expectations are of what can be tolerated in the Middle East. Saddam had also encouraged the spread of Salafi ideology in Iraq during the faith campaign of the early 90's, which laid the groundwork for the jihadist insurgency of today, and thus it is absurd to call such a man "secular." This isn't justification for the war itself or the eight-year occupation which followed, but it is merely an attempt to contextualize Blair's decision.

Friday 9 June 2017

May Mayn't

I'm watching the meltdown of the Conservative majority in Britain's government, as the election results are rolling in on BBC.
And the pundits are suggesting May may not ("May Mayn't", geddit?) retain the leadership after this disaster -- which she brought on herself -- is over.
The pundits are saying the big swing for Corbin's Labour is because the young'uns have come out in force.
If guess the youth see a vote for Labour as a vote for forward-looking progressivism.
In reality they're getting warmed-over socialism, anti-capitalism, anti-westernism from the seventies.
With Corbyn they've got the whole package. Not just a socialist, a quasi-Marxist who wants to renationalise. He's also a hard leftist who never met a terrorists he didn't like -- he supported the IRA (then) and supports Islamists (now). He calls Hamas and Hezbollah -- these Jew haters who call for a new holocaust -- he calls them "my "friends" He is reflexively anti-American, a good Chomskyist. He is anti western values -- he supports instead the Islamic Human Rights Council. He's a unilateral disarmament man who wants to get rid of Trident.
In short he's the whole disaster.
And now I see he's just been re-elected to his seat, smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
Pity the youth if he manages to cobble together a leftist coalition to form a government.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967 -

Since then, Israel has given back most of the land gained in a defensive war.
All ("all") that remains is West Bank and Golan.  Both could've been resolved
with a more positive Palestinian response
This is an insightful -- at least it seems so to me -- article marking the 50th anniversary of the Six-day war -- "Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967".. And of course just one of many articles on that milestone. Most in the New York Times, at least, are quite sympathetic to Israel. Unusually so. 
Yossi Klein Halevi identifies:

  • "May 1967 moments" --  which demand wariness. 
  • "June 1967 moments" -- which require the self-confidence of victors. 
Halevi further skewers -- correctly -- the international community for failing to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable. Something which continues to this day, with non-stop criticism of Israel and virtually no pressure on Hamas and PA. (my emphasis):
When the Oslo process broke down in 2000, and buses and cafes were routinely exploding in Israeli cities, the public reverted to May 1967. Israelis were especially embittered by the failure of much of the international community to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for rejecting two Israeli offers for Palestinian statehood.
All the Israelis I met on a recent visit to Israel, said they don't want to keep a hold of the West Bank. But when and how to hand it back is the real question as long as handing it back will be an act of national suicide.
It can't be "land for peace", says Halevi. It must be "peace for land" (paraphrasing here). 
That's true. You can hold Land. Whereas Peace is a word, and can evanesce in the wind.
In short, "land for peace" is a sucker's deal, and Israel is not a sucker country.  "peace for land", however may work: as long as the Palestinians really want it, and show they want it, rather than using the lack of progress (which they promote) as yet another stick to beat Israel.
LATER: a friend in Israel says:
"Read NYT article.. he adjusts many of the facts to fit his solution.. not the otherway round.. not a mention of the 2000 intafada.. but NYT has an agenda"

Tuesday 6 June 2017

"Muslims are following what holy book says", May 30


The chief imam of Hong Kong, Muhammad Arshad, makes some good points in his recent letter ("Muslims are following what holy book says", May 30).  Of course China's consumption of endangered species must be called out and criticised.

The imam is a bit contradictory when he talks of veiling and eating of pork.  He says "Muslims have to follow what the holy book tells us."  Very well, in that case Saudi is not wrong, when they "enforce dress codes", especially since Saudi's constitution is the Qur'an, the "holy book" in question.  As for eating pork, if it's a "health risk", as the imam says, then 5 billion people who make it the most consumed meat on earth, did not receive that memo (and seem perfectly fine).

Given that the chief imam says "Muslims have to follow what the holy book says" can he acknowledge that jihadists are doing exactly that?  There are numerous verses in the Qur'an which enjoin the killing of infidels ("wherever you find them" Qur'an 2.191).  This is done in order to spread Islam to the world, to make it a universal Islamic magisterium. Such verses are so numerous in the Qur'an that one does not need to "cherry pick" — "cherry picking" being the common defence against those who point out the Qur'anic verses that urge pious Muslims to kill infidels.

If these violent verses are void, could the imam tell us when and why they were invalidated?

I ask this because we are consistently told after the latest Islamist atrocity, that the terrorists do not represent the "true Islam", that they have "nothing to do with Islam".

In what way, don't these verses have anything to do with Islam?  That would be a useful addition to the debate and encourage those of us who worry about the apparent doctrinal support for random killing of infidels.

Yours, etc...

[Imam Muhammad Arshad's letter of May 30]:

Definition of "Islamophobia"

From @LaloDagach (a Chilean Palestinian atheist):
"Islamophobia: The rational fear that teaching children a book that says to kill the infidel, may lead some of them to kill infidels."
The "book" is, of course, the Koran. Over 60% of the Koran curses "infidels", the "kuffar", we "unbelievers", often with clear and unambiguous orders to kill us. ("Kill them wherever you find them". Koran 2.191-193)

Another definition from the :
"Islamophobe: a non-Muslim who knows more than he is supposed to know about Islam".

Apparently this was contributed to the Urban Dictionary by Lalo.
Love it!

The complete guide to Islam apologetics

It's not quite "complete", and I may add to it, but for now it'll do, as an adjunct to the "nothing to do with Islam"'series.
Pretty good, what?
Thanks to Khalid Bahraoui for collating and to Lao Dagach for the RT:

"Clearly it's the prayers of the jihadis that are being answered"

Tweeted by @MsMelChen via @LaloDagach RT:

Monday 5 June 2017

Myth of the tiny minority of radical Muslims.

I've covered this issue in the page above:'Islam in figures".
The number of Muslims world wide who have views we would consider radical -- about sharia law, killing for apostasy, subjugating women, suicide bombing, etc -- make up between large minorities and up to majorities.
It is not the "tiny, tiny minority" that Obama Infamously described it as.
Ben Shapiro covers it well in the video above (also here).

For London terrorists, Islam’s sacred duty calls | Religion News Service

Praying for Peace. Right.  Their 5-times a day prayers repeat hatred towards
Jews ("Allah hates them")  and Christians ("they went astray")
This article is correct, Islam's holy duty calls
In Ramadan, the holiest Muslim month, jihad becomes a necessity. Instead of devoting time to worship and reciting the Quran, militant Muslims see the streets of London as full of evil and nudity. For them, all those non-Muslims are infidels and unbelievers, against whom jihad is prescribed, commendable, and supported by ancient sacred texts.

Outcry as Pauline Hanson turns UK police warning into anti-Islam meme | Australia news | The Guardian

> "We can only hope and pray that these events stop occurring."

Only hope and pray?? This is the Aussie premier of our largest state speaking. How pathetic. What extraordinary passivity and appeasement. Of course there are more things can be done than just hoping and praying. And it's not hashtags about love overcoming, flowers at the murder sites and singing "Imagine".
Let's get real and let's get tough. And let's get speaking straight about Islam as the motivator of mass murder.

Sent from my iPhone

After London: let’s start talking about Islam | Free speech | Terrorism | spiked

> Making criticism of Islam as commonplace and acceptable as criticism of any other religion or ideology is the first step to denuding Islamist terrorism of its warped moral programme, and it will also demonstrate that our society prizes freedom of speech over everything else — including your religion, your God, your prophets, your holy book and your feelings.

Jimmy Carter’s Dishonorable Record in Conflict Resolution

This article by Alan Dershowitz on Jimmy Carter's legacy is four years old but still relevant. Carter was mentioned favourably in a couple of recent articles I've read on the 50th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli Six Day war.  He should not be. As Dershowitz says his record is "dishonourable".
I'd read Carter's book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" which I found shockingly partisan. Unquestioningly pro-Palestinian; violently anti-Israel. 
I wanted to check up on assessments of his so-called peacemaking activities, especially his role in advising Yasser Arafat to reject the peace proposal put forth by Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak in 2000. 
Dershowitz recounts that story this article. Carter told Arafat that he (Arafat) would be killed if he accepted the very generous US/Israel offer.  Which included, btw, handing over Jerusalem to be the capital of a new Palestinian state. 
To which, the feared Arafat killing, I'd respond (1) Really? Wouldn't Arafat have been the one PLO leader with the credibility to accept the Clinton-Barak proposal?  And (2) If the Palestinians really did not accept a deal that gave them over 95% of what they wanted, including Jerusalem (with the remaining 5% to be compensated with cash), then what did this say about the Palestinians accepting any deal that did not involve the destruction of Israel?
Dershowitz blames Carter "in part" for resulting deaths in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.  Rightly, I believe. 
Yet Carter remains lionised on the Left. And is yet being mentioned in the avalanche of 50-anniversary articles.  

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday 4 June 2017

Why "cowards"? *Pious* Muslims more like

Islam means "submission" nothing to do with Freedom
for the pious Muslim (= "one who submits").
Whenever the latest Islamic murder rampage happens, we're told -- straight after we are told that it has "nothing to do with Islam" -- that the perpetrators are "cowards". 
So, for example, says Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London. And PM May had said it about Salman Abedi, the Manchester mass murderer. 
But in what way are they "cowards" these Islamist killers? I don't quite get why they're always said to be "cowards".
The definition of "coward" is:
A person who is contemptibly lacking in the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.  e.g. sentence: "they had run away—the cowards!"
Surely these Muslim "geezers" are not lacking in the courage to "endure dangerous or unpleasant things". Quite the opposite. And they certainly don't run away from danger. 
I said I don't get it.  But perhaps calling terrorists "cowards" means we (May, Khan) don't have to say they are what they really are: pious Muslims
This is misdirection, when it's Khan wot says it. 
It is simple foolishness, ignorance or duplicity when it's someone like Theresa May wot says it.*
These terrorists are pious Muslims who believe they are doing good to kill unbelievers and they will go to heaven by doing so. They are probably not filled with dread as they head out to kill infidels. They are more likely filled with sacred, excited, holy, anticipation.  A cock-hardening thrill, I would imagine, not cowardly dread at doing something they don't, after all, have to do.

*UPDATE: British PM, Theresa May has just come on BBC Radio here in Hong Kong (21:00 HKT) to tell us that the London Bridge murderers were "cowards".  And that they had "warped" the Religion of PeaceTM: they believed that Islam was incompatible with our western freedoms and democracy.  This, she tried to assure us, was "not the truth".  But she provided no proof at all, none, that this was a wrong interpretation of Islam. She provided precisely zero evidence that this was "not the truth".   Meantime, there are many Muslim scholars, and many Muslims who have demonstrated in the UK and elsewhere in the west along these lines: "No Democracy, we want just Islam", "Freedom go to Hell", and so on, and so, drearily, on. (see above photos for some of these charming views.  There are zillions more on the internet).
Why is Islam "not democracy" by the way? Because there can only be the laws of Allah. Man-made laws are blasphemy, and blasphemy is punishable by death according to normative "sacred" Islamic sharia law.

CNN's version of "nothing to do with Islam": street gangs and warped ideology

Re: London Bridge killings (now 6 dead and 30 48 wounded). 
CNN just now had a former FBI Special Agent, James Gagliano, telling us that the terrorists are nothing but a violent street gang made up of "disenfranchised" and "alienated" angry young men, who have based their actions on a "warped ideology", a "twisted version" of Islam. 
Agent Gagliano fails to tell us that since 9/11 pretty much all of the mass murder attacks in the West have been perpetrated by well-to-do middle-class Muslims. Salman Abedi, the Manchester mass murderer, was a Uni student for goodness sake. 
Agent Gagliano fails to tell us why other ethnic minorities who might feel themselves "alienated" or "disenfranchised" don't go on the murderous rampages Muslims do. Could it be that they don't have holy ideologies that tell them to kill those who don't believe their version of God, their version of a Supernatural Being. 
Agent Gagliano doesn't tell us how the Islamic terrorists are hewing to an allegedly "twisted and warped" version of Islam. About 60% of the Koran rails against "infidels" (I've done the text analysis) and promises glory to those Muslims who kill infidels. How is acting on that supreme command from the supreme being, Allah, how is that "warped" how is that twisted"?  
Killing infidels "wherever you find them" (9.29) is core Islam in Islam's core text the Holy Koran. 
Still, the CNN anchors and their acolytes lapped up the nonsense fed to them by Agent Gagliano. 
LATER: On CNN another FBI agent, Bobby Chacon, says that at a similar tourist place in New York they would have had armed police there in less than half the eight minutes it took the Londoners. And  that the "community police" in London ought to have been armed and trained. As it was they weren't so they ran away. I would guess this is all correct.
UPDATE: It was three terrorists and all are now dead.

BREAKING: more cases of probably "nothing-to-do-with-Islam"

This time by London Bridge and nearby Borough Market. 
The first incident used the "drive by and kill infidels by car" method. 
The second used the "kill infidels with your kitchen knife" method. 
Whoops I've said "infidels"'which would suggest I think it was Muslims. My bad.
But no worries. Even if they are Muslims, what they did will be "nothing to do with Islam". 
On BBC just now a geezer called Jerard -- who I'm sure the BBC won't repeat because it was three *Muslim* "geezers" who had attacked him, he said -- described the knife wielders.  He got away by throwing chairs at them. 
So far one of the terrorists -- described by police as being of "Mediterranean colour" -- has been killed and another wounded. The latter had canisters strapped to his body.
My wild guess: it was adherents to the Religion of Peace™ wot done it.
Casualties so far: "more than one" dead. 20 in hospitals around London.
UPDATE: 6 dead 30 wounded
UPDATE: 48 wounded 

Saturday 3 June 2017

"Nothing to do with Islam".... the “search me” version

One of the doctors attending the wounded young girls from the Manchester Arena murders is a Muslim. Interviewed on BBC Radio he expressed shock that the bomber should have been one of his coreligionists. One wonders where the good doctor has been living. Evidently buried in hospital wards. [after all, there have been over 30,000 attacks by Muslims around the world since 9/11].
Beebs was sympathetic, of course. They referred to the mass murderer, Salman Abedi, as the bomber who "claimed to be Muslim"! Right. Abedi was brought up a Muslim by a pious Muslim father. He'd become increasingly pious himself; he was a hafiz, one who has learned the Koran by heart; he wore Muslim garb. But to the BBC, he just might be an atheist, or a Hindu, perhaps.
As usual, the Author at Jesus & Mo skewers this point, in his cartoon above.
Excellent comments too.  

Baroness Cox: “Of course, you immediately run the risk of being called ‘Islamophobic,’ but we speak the truth”

"... stubborn facts, not fear, support Cox in being what Ahmed unflatteringly calls an "Islam skeptic." If objective observers believe that Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi enjoys the support of the majority of his countrymen even amidst enormous human rights abuses, then support for Assad in similar circumstances is no surprise.
"Meanwhile at home in Britain, the Manchester Arena ISIS attack a week after her private address made her discussion of a gynecologist friend appear prophetic. The friend had related how a Muslim woman paid an office visit with a schoolboy guardian (??)* who then discussed his madrassa teaching about blowing up a soccer stadium full of non-Muslim kuffars (infidels). Muslims and non-Muslims alike need more critical inquiry from courageous individuals like Cox, not less."
*(?? My emphasis): "schoolboy guardian"? Must be Saudi or Pakistan.

Read the whole article with the Baroness' views here.   Interesting. Good on the good baroness. 

Friday 2 June 2017

"Public wants Uber. Why the harassment?" | South China Morning Post

Let your fingers do the driving
My letter was published today in the South China Morning Post. 
I'm always very conscious -- and thankful -- that we're lucky here in Hong Kong: we have the luxury of publicly worrying about something as trivial as the rights and wrongs of a car-hailing service. And not about where our next meal is coming from or how to get to a near-barren shop while dodging sniper fire.
Syria is a constant reminder how a peaceful country -- just six years ago! --can slip into deadly anarchy virtually overnight. Before then it was a place where the average Muhammad & Aisha went about their normal lives: sending kids to school, going to work, picnics with friends.  
If you were an anti-government activist you could end up rotting in jail, sure. But for the majority life was peaceful and good. We had Syrian friends who told us this and encouraged us to visit Syria. "Especially Palmyra" they said.  Too late! Palmyra, that wonder of the ancient world is now laid to waste by murderous Islamist lunatics. That is to say, by pious, doctrinally-observant Muslims. 
I'd wager that the vast majority of Syrians would rather have back the peaceful if autocratic times, before the civil war, than the chaos now. Indeed they vote with their feet to tell us that. See Germany. 
So we must thank our secular gods that we here in Hong Kong remain safe and peaceful. And always remember that it's a fragile thing that must be treasured, this safe and peaceful freedom.  
That said, now my letter as published. One of the bigger points I make out of the Uber imbroglio here in Hong Kong is that we are increasingly falling behind in high tech. We used to lead. We had the Octopus contactless pay card, one of the first in the world and now used widely and imitated worldwide. We have an excellent subway, a world-beating airport and excellent public transport. But all these things are decades old. I can't think of anything new that this government has got behind in twenty years. The new cruise terminal is a white elephant. The Kowloon cultural district, pedestrian in concept and design, is woefully behind schedule. The government couldn't even handle electric bikes. They are not listed in the transport regulations so they were banned rather than update the regulations. 

That seems to be the government's attitude now to Uber. It's not in the transport regulations so sick the rozzers on 'em!

(That's not the only issue. There's the power of the transport lobby in the Legislative Council, which also has the ear of Beijing. Jake van der Kamp covers it well in "Give it up Uber!")

I have concluded from talking to friends and neighbours who have used Uber that the public loves the service. I'm sure a government consultation would confirm this.
The civil service is there to serve the public. Instead of harassing Uber ("22 Uber drivers arrested in undercover Hong Kong police operation", May 24), officials should be working with the company to regularise its popular service.
Legco's latest workaround of a premium franchised taxi service is aimed at the fat cats, given the minimum investment of 200 cars, at a cost of at least HK$60 million.
If Hong Kong wants to retain what's left of our increasingly tattered reputation for efficiency and modernity, the government needs to work with Uber.
We would then join the other 800 plus forward-thinking cities which have embraced modern technology.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay

Thursday 1 June 2017

Like it or not, Islam is a problem

Well said Gary Johns.
Ok, it's the Australian, but look at the message, not the messenger.  It's sound. 

Post-Manchester, Pope Francis Asserts Equivalence Of Islam, Christianity

The pope is a borderline Marxist: capitalism is the "economy that excludes".
He is also a moral relativist. A post-modern excuser of Islamic violence. We all commit violence, you see.
Not mentioned in this article in The Federalist the time on the pope-oplane just after the Charlie Hebdo massacre when he seemed to excuse the Islamic massacre. He said "if you attack my mother, I will hit you back".  He said "we must not make fun of, or disrespect, any religion"  That's a scandalous, disgusting thing to say when twelve cartoonists have been murdered simply for drawing.
Talking about the Manchester mass murderer:If ever there were a time to call down judgment on acolytes of annihilation, this is it. Refusal to name the motive for slaughter comes unnervingly close to the old legal maxim: Silence equals assent. Certainly, Francis does not sanction the violence. Not at all. What he assents to is the multicultural dogma of religious equivalency—the Same God myth—and the lethal fairytale that Islam is not inherently violent.