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As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky














The Iconoclast

Tuesday, 02 October 2007
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Lawrence Auster alerted us to two developments with Ayaan Hirsi Ali this morning. The first is she has been forced to return to The Netherlands because U.S. government won't pay for her security detail. and the second is an inteview to be out shortly at Reason magazine covered by Rod Dreher here:

Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

Reason: Don't you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it's defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It's very difficult to even talk about peace now. They're not interested in peace.

(...)

Hirsi Ali: ...There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don't all follow the rules of Islam, but there's really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God. There's nothing moderate about it.

Reason: So when even a hard-line critic of Islam such as Daniel Pipes says, "Radical Islam is the problem, but moderate Islam is the solution," he's wrong?

Hirsi Ali: He's wrong. Sorry about that.

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Posted on 10/02/2007 6:45 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 02 October 2007
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The false note, the one you overlooked, was that "Jacksons of Piccadilly."  I don't doubt the McVities but I doubt very much that one English person would say to another,in such a situation, "Earl Grey from Jacksons of Piccadilly" except as a joke. One exception: if that English English-speaker is Mrs. Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet"), telling poor harried Richard that instead of a "candlelight supper" she will be having over these immigrants, but since they don't rate, they'll have to be satisfied with "McVities and tea from Jacksons of Piccadilly."  [From Hugh's heavily accented attempt at Brit-speak here]

Outside the sitcom (Britcom?) you mention, we would be very unlikely to talk about having McVities. We would say, "Digestive, darling?" or "Care for a custard cream?", or "Help yourself to a hobnob."

Click on the jammie dodger above for more information on tea and biscuits - essential reading for Americans who are pretty clueless about this kind of thing. Iced tea, for example, is wlatsome.

My mother always warned me never to come between a man and his ginger nuts. This advice has served me well.

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Posted on 10/02/2007 5:53 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 02 October 2007
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and the end of Ramadan are reaching fever pitch.
Shopping fever for Eid has started and people have started rushing to different markets and malls to buy new cloths for Eid. This trend causes pressure on the sales staff and makes the traffic impossible to get to any shopping center.
The opening hours of most malls are till midnight and some are opened till 1:00 am.
When we have too much customers, we can't just close the store early. Many stores stay till open after midnight and our manager tells us not to close the store when there are many customers. This is the high season for selling and we have to work although it's exhausting," said Ahmad, a salesman in one store at Al-Fanar Mall.
The situation is similar to the rest of the new shopping malls that are open till after midnight. As people go to work later in Ramadan, they can stay awake later and have more time for shopping. When seeing the malls so crowded you think if all people came here, who are going to the rest of the malls, but in fact all the malls are crowded.
During the holy month of Ramadan, the opening hours change so the stores, which close at 10:00pm, are now closing at midnight. Some close by 1:00 am. "It's terrible for us as salesladies. We have no time to spend with our families. Now we close at 1:00 am but next week, just before the Eid, our timing may extend to 2:00 am or even later. But this is still better than the employees working in the Avenues, who will work till 4:00 am," said Abeer, a saleslady in one store in Souq Sharq Mall.
The Avenues Shopping Mall is the newest shopping mall in Kuwait. It's unbelievably crowded and has many new brands which are available only there. The biggest problem at this mall is to find a parking space for your car. The roads leading to the mall are crowded as well so shoppers should go early before the rush.
And I thought Lakeside before Christmas was to be avoided.
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Posted on 10/02/2007 2:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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A GOVERNMENT minister believes that the answer to furthering the integration of the Muslim community into wider British society could be for them to share more coffee and biscuits with their white neighbours. --from this news article

Coffee, tea, or me?

The coffee-and-biccies may come in handy when one is feeling peckish, and it's time for elevenses, and let's invite the Ahmeds over, but why don't we also invite, at the same time, soft-spoken Mr. Patel (of the Hindu, not the Muslim, Patels), who grew up in India and who has a brother still in Bangladesh, and who started with a single tuck shop and now owns the Curry Centre, and quiet Mrs. Goldweizer, whose parents came from Germany, and whose brother was killed while serving with the R.A.F. during the war, and of course let's also invite Professor Jones, who retired after all those years wandering the globe for the British Council, and who told me just the other day that he's been reading a lot about Islam, especially in the last year or two.

It will be just us, and Professor Jones, and all those immigrants -- the Ahmeds, the Hindu Patels, and Mrs. Goldweizer. They should all, no we should all, have so much in common, so much to talk about. And it will be so friendly, so intimate-like. No reason for anyone to hold back.

McVities, then? With some nice Earl Grey, from Jacksons of Piccadilly?

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Posted on 10/01/2007 5:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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"Cultural" superpower?

What culture? What art? What science? What literature? What philosophy? What political thought? What anything?

"Economic" superpower?

Inshallah-fatalism explains the failure of Muslim states to create modern economies, despite having received, since 1973 alone, some ten trillion dollars -- the largest transfer of wealth in human history.

Furthermore, Islam encourages despotism, and despotism only infrequently leads, under modern conditions, to economic development. Despots in the Muslim world have done two things. First, in the oil-and-gas rich lands, they have simply arrogated to themselves large amounts of the national wealth -- see the Al-Saud, Al-Thani, Al-Sabah, Al-Khalifa. Where there is wealth of other kinds, they take a big share of that -- see the Al-Maktoum of Dubai. And when property rights are subject to the whim of a despot, one is less likely to work to acquire such property, or even to make plans far into the future. See how Khaddafy, the Assads, Saddam Hussein treated their political enemies.

If that "cultural" and "economic" superpower is to be created, it will be because Muslims will, through inexorable demographic conquest, much of Western Europe. But will they? They may, if the European elites continue to pretend that nothing is wrong, or if it is wrong, something that does not disrupt the mixture as before, that accepts all the clichés of the age, will be able to fix things. Oh no they won't.

Only those prepared to take perfectly rational and sensible measures -- rational and sensible, that is, to any educated European making policy in 1946, or 1926, or 1826, or 1666 -- to protect their legal and political institutions, their encouragement of free and skeptical inquiry, their means of artistic expression, their solicitude for the rights of the individual -- and those prepared not in some distant future but starting now, are likely to preserve enough of what they have, to avoid major catastrophes in four, or three, or two, or one decade hence. The ideology is clear. It is not that of "Al Qaeda" alone. The division of the world between Believer and Infidel, and the duty to conduct or support Jihad, and the many and varied instruments of Jihad -- the Money Weapon, Da'wa, demographic conquest -- that go far beyond those dreamed or schemed of in the limited minds of the bushes and rices and cheneys and cheerleading kagans and kristols, who are preventing, and not aiding as they complacently and myopically appear to believe, the creation of a policy designed never to allow Islam, triumphalist Islam, a victory, but also one that will whenever and wherever possible exploit the pre-existing fissures -- ethnic, sectarian, and economic -- within the Camp of Islam.

Finally, while the richard-reids and john-walker-lindhs and yvonne-ridleys, the slightly or more than slightly-off psychically marginal will continue to embrace Islam, as will some of the economically marginal until a counter-Da'wa campaign is launched in prisons and immigrant communities, while in the meantime, all the most advanced, most intelligent and morally aware people born into Islam -- such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan and Ali Sina and Ibn Warraq -- will continue to desert the Army of Islam, and join the Army of the Infidels.

If enough Infidels come to their senses in time, this is a perfectly manageable problem. And it would involve nothing like the folly and waste of the Iraq venture. Just those two things. Enough. And in time.

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Posted on 10/01/2007 5:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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They don't make 'em like this anymore:

 Douce dame jolie Écouter

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Posted on 10/01/2007 4:36 PM by Mary Jackson
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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This is from The Sunday Times yesterday. Hat tip AI. 
At the crown court in Preston on August 10, a trial involving two Asian men caused unusual interest across a number of cities in the north of England. The defendants, Zulfqar Hussain and Qaiser Naveed, were each sentenced to five years and eight months for abduction, sexual activity with a child, and the supply of a controlled drug.
They had both pleaded guilty, and they were placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
It seemed a shabby, seedy episode, probably typical of many cases down the years that have involved exploitative men and naive women. Yet, until these convictions, the police in over a dozen towns and cities, including Leeds, Sheffield, Blackburn and Huddersfield, had appeared reluctant to address what many local people had perceived as a growing problem – the groups of men who had been preying on young, vulnerable girls and ensnaring them into prostitution.
It was a very uncomfortable scenario, not least because many of these crimes had an identifiable racial element: the gangs were Asian and the girls were white. The authorities, in the shape of politicians and the police, seemed reluctant to acknowledge this aspect of the crimes; it has been left to the mothers of the victims to speak out.
Despite evidence from rigorous research by organisations such as Crop that the gangs are largely made up of men from the Pakistani Muslim communities, many are determined to downplay this. “What we’re dealing with is gross criminality,” says Kosaraju. “That should be confronted whatever the race of the perpetrator.”
Mike Cunningham, an assistant chief constable with Lancashire police, says he is aware that several recent cases reported to police in Lancashire have involved Asian men, but that the issue of sexual grooming of young girls is not based solely on race or culture.
“Offenders can and do come from a variety of cultural backgrounds,” says Cunningham, “and we deal with each case on its own individual merit.” He says he is not aware of “any accusations of racism from the accused or their respective communities”.
A number of families affected by Pakistani pimping gangs have said that police inaction and the refusal of white liberals to acknowledge the problem has resulted in more girls being at risk than ever before. “We are still battling to get recognition that what we are dealing with is organised crime against children,” says Kosaraju.
Sunny Hundal, editor of the online magazine Asians in Media, has followed the phenomenon of Asian pimping gangs. “Although it’s obvious that it’s young, lawless Pakistani boys,” says Hundal, “it’s tricky to make this an issue about race or religion when neither are contributing factors.” However, he does believe some young Asian men “hold very disparaging attitudes towards white girls, thinking they’re ‘easy’”.
Gemma cannot remember ever being happy, although her mother, Anni, says she was a contented child until she reached the age of 13. That was the day she fell out of puppy love. It was the day that Amir, her 24-year-old boyfriend, chose to brutally rape her.
Gemma had been introduced to Amir by a 15-year-old boy at her Blackburn school.  When Gemma became enamoured of her new boyfriend, he introduced her to his 24-year-old “cousin”, who began plying her with cannabis and alcohol. She initially enjoyed feeling “grown-up” and rebelling against her parents. The date Gemma was raped was important – Amir, a seasoned pimp, was well aware of the law. If anyone has sex with a girl under 13, there is a strong risk of being arrested for having sex with a minor. Once they reach 13, however, unless the victim makes a complaint to the police, nothing will happen. However, police rarely take action unless the victim complains, thereby allowing the pimps and their customers to act with impunity.
From Gemma, and other girls in her situation, there will be no complaint to the authorities. They are afraid to give evidence, or refuse to.
Jean’s eldest daughter, Sally, was targeted at school at 13 by slightly older Asian boys. They were on the payroll of older men who run pimping operations in the town. The modus operandi of the gangs is that pimps employ school-aged boys to make the initial connection with suitable girls and befriend them. The whole business is chilling, but that is the bit that really made my blood run cold. That girls are enticed by their schoolfellows. The girls are then introduced to men they are told are older relatives of the boys. The older men take them out in flash cars and buy them gifts. Soon, however, it is payback time, and the girls are sold to men from private flats, hotels and cars.
“All of a sudden Sally was only interested in hanging out with Pakistani boys,” says Jean. “She started saying I was racist, and that is why I objected to her hanging out with them.”
Jean was soon to find out just how indoctrinated her daughter had become when she discovered Sally’s photographs and profile were posted on a website. She was posing with the flag of Pakistan. There were 97 names of Asian men posted on it who had made contact with her. She was asking for Asian men to “date”. She said she hated white people. There were other girls’ photographs on the site, one of whom Sally had recruited, as were other girls who were being pimped. Jean’s boyfriend went online, pretending to be a girl. One of the men asked: “Are you better than Sally?”
Preying on her shyness and vulnerability, the pimps told Sally she was beautiful and would be treated like a princess if she showed them loyalty. They also convinced her that her family did not care about her, saying her parents would think she was a “slag” for having Pakistani boyfriends. “We parents are doing more to investigate these criminals than the police,” says Jean. “My husband and I have sat for hours outside hot spots, taking down car-registration numbers. I have given the police dozens of names from my daughter’s mobile phone, but they have done nothing.”
The pimps are adept at trading on teenage rebellion and use similar methods, according to Crop, of convincing the girls all white people are racist. This is part of the controlling process, to instil guilt in the girls. “Like most teenagers, I was going through a phase of arguing with my mum,” says Gemma. “Amir told me they didn’t understand me and were racist and ignorant. I believed him.” Gemma was given an Asian name by Amir, and told she had to read the Koran, a story support workers tell me is not uncommon. “They erode the girls’ identities,” says Kosaraju, “to make them more compliant and needy.”
In all of these cities, victims such as Sally are facing an explosive mix of brutality and denial – from the authorities and the Pakistani community. It seems easier for many people to pretend it is not happening. The girls involved just don’t have that choice. 
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Posted on 10/01/2007 4:21 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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The bus-side slogans tell us nothing. A website name -- "Islam Is Peace" as in www.islamispeace.org, means nothing. It tells us nothing about a brand-new Muslim movement to deny the literal meaning of hundreds of passages in what is taken to be the literal Word of God. A website named www.islamispeace.org does nothing to change the wording in the hadiths to be found in Bukhari and Muslim, each more dangerous for Infidels than the last. A website with the name www.islamispeace.org implies nothing about whether or not Muslims will continue to regard Muhammad as the Model of Conduct, uswa hasana, the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, and in modelling themselves on him, will recall his life as a military leader who took part in 78 campaigns, 77 of them offensive, and who will remember his approving of the decapitation of the bound and helpless prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, his attack on the inoffensive Jewish farmers, in his raid, undertaken for loot and for women, on the Khaybar Oasis, the pleasure he took in hearing of how his followers assassinated Asma bint Marwan, a woman who had mocked him, and Abu Akaf, a poet whose verses offended him. And will Muslims publicly denounce the use of the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya as the basis for all Muslim treaties with non-Muslims? Will they denounce, publicly, and apologize for, in the manner of Western countries apologizing for this and for that, for the 60-70 million Hindus who were murdered? For driving the Jews into exile, where so many of them suffered, and for 1300 years did not have a political entity of their own to guarantee some minimum physical protection? To the Buddhists, for helping to drive Buddhism out of India, and destroying so many Buddhist statues and stupas, over more than a millennium, throughout Asia? To the Christians, for taking over huge territories, in the Middle East and North Africa, once Christian, and managing over time to slowly squeeze out, by killing, by persecution, by the dhimmi system itself, so many of those Christians, or managing to force so many to convert to Islam in order to escape, in the only way they then could, the status of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity that the dhimmi condition entailed?

Only when this kind of thing is done, and not the ad campaign worthy of a cigarette company, and not even a cigarette company today, but the kind that back in the 1930s could advertise a smoke as being "smooth" and "good for the throat," will Infidels begin to let up on their examination and critical scrutiny of Islam, which so far has gotten off nearly scot-free, but -- and only because of the behavior of Muslims themselves, and despite the effort of Western elites to defend and protect Islam at every turn -- will do so no longer.

Indeed, the transparency and clumsiness of this ad campaign, and the obvious suspicion that its costs are being met by rich Arabs, merely will heighten suspicions and also be subject to silent, or perhaps open, ridicule.

It's a good sign, however, that organized Muslims feel they must engage in this. It's a sign that they feel under pressure, that they somehow have to turn off the tap of information and intelligent attention by Infidels. But those Infidels will start reading, with greater and greater understanding, the Qur'an and the Hadith. And they will begin to make sense of what they read. They will realize that Islam inculcates a permanent state of war that must exist between Believers and Infidels, between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. They will begin to realize that Jihad to spread Islam, by any means available, is a living doctrine, and one that fell into desuetude not because of any change in either doctrine or Muslim understanding of that doctrine, but because of perceived Muslim weakness until the OPEC trillions came along to make those Muslims rich, able to buy weapons,and Western hirelings, and also to support a vast propaganda effort on behalf of Islam to supplement campaigns of Da'wa all over the advanced West, which, as it happens, was also successfully penetrated by millions of Muslim immigrants -- including those who now live in Great Britain, and ride those busses, and smile as they look at those advertisements, and think to themselves, if only we can keep the Infidels unwary for just another decade, or two, if only, if only...

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Posted on 10/01/2007 3:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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General Ermolov. Travels to Arzrum. Pechorin. Hadji Murat.

The End of History, a man on the lecture-circuit and academic make was confidently predicting a decade ago. No: the Return of History, of all the history that had been overlooked in the Western world, but is now being recovered by so many, from the Syriac scholars in the pages of "Hugoye" rediscovering or piecing together lost texts, or libraries that had disappeared, reviving interest in Ephrem of Edessa, or an Assyrian priest killed by the Turks in 1900, to those who have been studying with greater interest the fate of non-Muslim peoples under Islam, in what is mistakenly called "the Arab world," and in the Byzantine Empire, and in India. Things now seen, and not only by hermetic scholars, afresh, as forces beyond the control of apologists for Islam lead inexorably to a closer examination of the effect of Islam on the minds, and behavior in time and across space, of those who call themselves the Believers, and call all others the Infidels.

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Posted on 10/01/2007 3:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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I've been doing a fair bit of that recently.  For anyone interested, Bruce Fein and I gave it a go at Cato a few months back, now pub'd in the Cato Policy Report for Sept/Oct 2007 (beginning on p. 13).  I also appeared on a panel about FBI National Security Letters with several experts (including the Bureau's general counsel, Valerie Caproni), now available in the ABA Standing Committee on Law & National Security's August 2007 Report (beginning on p. 4).

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Posted on 10/01/2007 3:49 PM by Andy McCarthy
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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The Dynamic Duo have a characteristically insightful piece up on OpinionJournal.com
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Posted on 10/01/2007 3:47 PM by Andy McCarthy
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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MEMRI has an interview with Lebanese researcher Anis Al-Naqqash, which aired on Al-Manar TV on September 14, 2007 in which he states the obvious:

Anis Al-Naqqash: I say straightforwardly that the U.S. is the enemy of the Arabs, the Muslims, and all of humanity. This empire must die. What means or methods should be employed, or where and how you should deal it a blow – that is up to the fighters and the mujahideen, and up to the resistance throughout the world.

Whoever says that we are the ones who started it, or that we were the ones who attacked them, giving them a reason to attack us, as if [the U.S.] were as harmless as Santa Claus and has never done anything to the world, does not need any oil, does not support Israel... It is as if [the U.S.] did not perpetrate all these crimes throughout the world, and as if it was the 19 [terrorists] who changed the strategy of the world, when they attacked New York.

[...]

The strategy that serves our interests is to get the U.S. embroiled in endless wars, which it cannot win. Wasn’t it in their interest to get the USSR mixed up in a war it could not win, in order to get rid of it? Weren’t they right to do so? We would read about this and say: “They are smart, they have research institutes and intelligence agencies.” What are we – donkeys? It is in our interests for the U.S. to get mixed up in every possible crisis and fail. This does not constitute an attack against peaceful people, but against those who attacked us. This attack does not target those who epitomize justice and humanity on earth, but those who epitomize crime on earth – beginning with the Kyoto Agreement and air pollution, and culminating with all the wars and military coups carried out by the U.S.

[...]

I say: Let’s go to war. We need to reach the desired outcome, which is to put an end to American control [in the region].

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Posted on 10/01/2007 3:32 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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"What has been the effect on weakening the Camp of Islam and Jihad by spending this $880 billion in Iraq, and how else might it have been spent to weaken that Camp?

And suppose some of the rest had been spent on propaganda, broadcasting akin to Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, not to tell Muslims how much we like and respect them, nor how well-off Muslims are in our country, but rather to tell other Infidels about Jihad News around the globe (the kind of thing one finds gathered at Jihad Watch every day, but on a much larger scale, disseminated hither and yon).

Or what if the American government had also beamed into Muslim countries the voices of Wafa Sultan and Ali Sina and Ibn Warraq and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, both in English and whatever other languages they choose to broadcast in, about their own "spiritual journey" out of Islam? What if there were, on these satellite channels beamed into Dar al-Islam, discussions by scientists on what is necessary for the development of science -- the free and skeptical inquiry so discouraged, even punished, in Islam? What if there were figurative artists and sculptors and art historians discussing their art, and the lack of such means of expression in Islam? What if archaeologists came on to discuss how the civilizations of the Near East were rediscovered not by the Muslims, but by such Westerners as the Assyriologist Austen Henry Layard, and Leonard Woolley at Ur, and a succession of Egyptologists -- Champollion, Lepsius, Howard Carter -- from everywhere but Egypt itself?

But there is no propaganda campaign. There is no large-scale effort, or even a small-scale effort, or even the hint of serious imposition of taxes by the American government on gasoline and on oil, to do as much damage to OPEC, and to raise the price of oil and gasoline as much as possible, thereby to encourage conservation and new technologies and new sources of energy.

No.

There is only the idiotic squandering of men, money, and matériel, on and on and on, world without end, in Iraq, to bring "freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" in the Muslim Middle East, and somehow to make of Iraq a unified state, instead of what we should be wanting, which is to create a permanent fault line between Shi'a and Sunni running north and west of Baghdad, a line that the Sunnis will never acquiesce in.

Oh, it's a policy all right. It's Boots on the Ground. It's soldiers, taught never to question but only to execute. It's destruction of morale, military (at least among the soldiers who can think for themselves, can take in the nature of Islam, and of Iraq, and of Iraqis) and civilian (ditto). It's not the way to combat, it does nothing to halt, the instruments of Jihad that really count: Da'wa, demographic conquest, and the money weapon.

It's a policy begun by those who did not know about Islam and about Iraq, and still refuse to learn. It makes no sense."

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Posted on 10/01/2007 2:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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From This is London. It is not actually new news as the plans for the London Markaz Mosque complex (aka megamosque) on the Abbeymills site have always included an Islamic school with boarding facilities. However it does no harm to keep pointing out the undesirability of Tablighi Jamaat. My husband lived in Dewsbury for a year when he was a teenager; the church where my father-in-law was vicar is now defunct. I don’t want that happening again.
An Islamic group accused of having links to al Qaeda wants to open a school near the 2012 Olympic village.
Tablighi Jamaat wants the school for 500 boys to form part of an 18-acre complex which would include Britain's biggest mosque for 19,000 worshippers.
The group, which already runs a school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, has always denied being linked to terror groups.
But the FBI has described it as "a recruiting ground" for al Qaeda.
Shoebomber Richard Reid and 7/7 bombers Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer were members.
The proposal for the West Ham site has yet to be submitted to Newham Council for planning approval.
At its institute in Dewsbury, teenage boys devote six mornings a week to Islamic history, theology, law, Qur'an recitation and Arabic. Afternoons are set aside for the national curriculum.
Abdul Rashid Bhatti, a Tablighi member, said: "Tablighi Jamaat has been the subject of many investigations but nobody has proved anything.
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Posted on 10/01/2007 12:55 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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Last week British Defence Secratary Des Browne admitted that Britain could be involved in Afghanistan and Iraq for decades. He also said that the Taliban will have to play a part in the peace process in Afghanistan for it to work.

Mr Browne warned that there was "no possibility" of establishing a western legal system there and argued that an "Islamic-based" solution would have to sought instead.”

This is from the Asia Times with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

KARACHI - While the Taliban and the Afghan administration of President Hamid Karzai play political football with the idea of peace talks, the stumbling block remains al-Qaeda, which is firmly opposed to any dialogue unless it can gain something for itself.

Over the past few weeks, the Taliban have responded positively to Karzai's offer of talks, but just when it appeared there might be progress, there's a setback.

Speaking on his return from the United States on Saturday, Karzai said that he was ready to meet Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of another insurgency group, Hezb-e-Islami, for peace talks aimed at sharing power.

But on Sunday, Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a Taliban spokesman, was quoted by Reuters as saying that peace talks with Kabul would not take place as long as the more than 50,000 foreign troops remained in the country. "The Karzai government is a dummy government. It has no authority so why should we waste our time and effort?" Yousuf was quoted as saying. Previously, the Taliban have said that they would talk without preconditions, and they could well revert to this position.

Coincidentally or not, Karzai made his offer hours after one of the biggest bomb attacks in six years killed 30 people in Kabul.

Karzai said that President George W Bush and Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, had both supported the idea of peace talks when he met them in the US. Karzai said he would allocate some government posts to the Taliban and that both Hekmatyar and Mullah Omar could stand in elections scheduled for 2009, if they wanted power...

So the point is, it will take decades, thousands of millions of dollars, and thousands of lives, but in the end our only option will be to let Afghan society go right back to the way it was.

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Posted on 10/01/2007 10:17 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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Elyyakim Ha'etzni writes at Mideast Outpost:

Some day we’ll recall these tranquil months of Israeli newspaper headlines devoted to road accidents and minor scandals—the headlines of a society free from existential cares—as a fool’s paradise whose fools turned a blind eye to the erupting volcano threatening to bury us all. There was another summer like this one preceding Yom Kippur in 1973, but this time the surprise attack is being readied from within, and the calamity will be diplomatic.

I’m referring to the ritual sacrifice being prepared for us this November that goes by the name of a “peace conference.” The role of the sacrificial lamb will be filled by Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, hundreds of Jewish communities, and hundreds of thousands of Jews who will become refugees in their own land – all this on the backdrop of national, societal, and diplomatic collapse.

The kindling and the fire for the sacrifice will be brought by Shimon Peres and his perpetual partner Terje Larsen [UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process]. Serving them are Haim Ramon, Ehud Olmert, and Abu Mazen. Spurring them on are two ambitious women who, like the most destructive tornadoes, are called by cute nicknames: Tzipi and Condi. On the tombstone the gravediggers will engrave the words “The Diplomatic Horizon” and/or “Principles for the Final Status Agreement” and/or “Framework Agreement for the Establishment of a Palestinian State.” The conference will deal with “core issues,” that is to say it will uproot the core and the heart of our hold on our land: Jerusalem, borders, refugees, destruction of the settlements.

Discussions on these matters are being held continually in order to bring the sacrificial lamb to Washington on time, already bound and readied for slaughter. There are those who are working to ensure that the sacrificial feast will be well attended—from Morocco in the West to the Gulf States in the East. Israel’s enemies have waited 40 years for this moment when Israel will be forced to regurgitate all that she swallowed during the Six Day War. Their eyes will finally merit seeing the ceremony of subjugation whereby the Jews will return to the Arabs their lost honor and resume their proper places. To our enemies’ good fortune, manning the helm of Israel’s ship of state is a man supremely appropriate to the task of self-administering this coup de grace to the Jews -- a man dogged by failures and accusations of corruption, whose personal attributes embody all that is weak, rotten and foundering among the Jews in their land at this hour.

The rest is here.

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Posted on 10/01/2007 10:03 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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Brian of London writes at Shire Network News:

There is a great new show in production right now featuring Richard Landes, but in the meantime here is something that will explain to you why the West is loosing. Somebody has some big bucks to spend on propaganda and you can guess who it is.

This is one of the very buses blown up by a devout Muslim 2 years ago. Maybe they should be spending their money convincing devout Muslims it's a Religion of Peace™ rather than me.

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Posted on 10/01/2007 9:50 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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Google, though thwartsome at times, is extremely useful. However, it makes me lazy. I do not always make an effort to recall what I know, or to commit to memory what I have just learned. It is as well, then, that I don't have an entire research library on my iPod. Just imagine what that would be like:

IMAGINE CARRYING AROUND an entire research library on an iPod. Such a feat suddenly seemed feasible as of earlier this month, with the news that IBM physicist Stuart Parkin is close to perfecting an advance called "magnetic random access memory," or MRAM, which will enable us to store exponentially more data on the tiniest of hard drives.

Parkin's development, which should reach consumers within a few years, is the latest installment in our eternal quest to preserve and supplement the human memory, which has taken us from the cuneiform slab to the cassette tape to the Ginkgo biloba tablet washed down with the day's first cup of coffee.

As digital-storage capacities reach seemingly boundless proportions, however, some thinkers are becoming nervous about the unintended consequences of memory technology. Certainly Google's enormous reserves of user information, stored in dozens of secretive data centers across the world, and the literally photographic memory of the Internet Archive, which preserves billions of defunct Web pages for posterity, are enough to leave anyone rattled. New forms of memory are permanent and accessible from anywhere. As their reach grows, scholars are asking if now - perhaps for the first time in human history - we need to find ways to forget.

"We used to have a system in which we forgot things easily and had to invest energy in remembering," says Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "Now we're switching to a system in which we remember everything and have to invest energy in order to forget. That's an enormous transformation."

Jorge Luis Borges envisioned the risks of perfect memory in his famous story "Funes the Memorious," about a man gifted with unlimited recall, and paralyzed by it. Perhaps not even Borges, however, could have imagined our present capacity to accumulate and preserve memory in digital form - or the powerful impact it is already having on individual lives, as temporary indiscretions become part of the permanent record. "What you do online is potentially there forever," says Coye Cheshire, an assistant professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. "Delete if you want; ask Google to take down that one unflattering photo - but it's still saved, archived, somewhere."

The personal costs of this reality are clear, but there may be broader social costs as well. "What a lot of people forget - no pun intended - is that forgetting is hard-wired," says Mayer-Schönberger. "Cognitively and sociologically, we've never had to develop the capacity to forget or to put things in temporal perspective, because forgetting was built in biologically."

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Posted on 10/01/2007 8:38 AM by Mary Jackson
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Regular readers may recall that my family and I enjoy regular holidays in Norfolk. During one such holiday some 15 years ago we visited the town of Heacham near Hunstanton where, in the parish church of St Mary the Virgin we fell into conversation with Mrs Freda England the parish historian. She told me of the connections the village had with Pocahontas and Virginia in the US. The conversation stayed in my mind as the germ of an idea, which with the number of Virginia events and exhibitions this year to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, resulted in my spending some time visiting places significant to Pocahontas that she would have known during the last year of her life, 1616-1617 which she spent in England.  more..
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Posted on 10/01/2007 7:53 AM by NER
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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by Norman Berdichevsky

The most influential book written about why intelligent, dedicated and noble men with the highest motives fell under the hypnotic spell of Communism remains The God That Failed, a collection of thirteen essays by Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Richard Wright, Andre Gide, Louis Fischer, Stephen Spender, R. H. S. Crossman and the book's editor Steven Engerman. The essays chronicle the noble motives that drew these individuals to the Party, its cynical manipulation of their idealism and their ultimate disillusionment and sense of betrayal.

I underwent a similar experience with respect to lesser but still enormously powerful gods in the realm of ideas and a world-view that boasted, like the Kremlin, of being the “vanguard” of progressive humanity and the ultimate reference guide for any political question or doubt. I refer to the two media organizations that for some remain idols in the pantheon of news gathering and interpretation. No evidence to the contrary, no matter how persuasive or corroborated by independent investigation, can match the unearned epithets of praise or the mantra of authority conferred on a statement by …“I read it in The New York Times” or “I heard/saw it on the BBC.”  more...

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Posted on 10/01/2007 7:50 AM by NER
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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by Jerry Gordon

 

University of Columbia President Bollinger certainly blundered by giving an internationally televised soapbox to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad during the latter’s fractious visit to New York for the recent U.N. General Assembly meetings, but the fact of the matter is, the Iranian President had been invited to speak by Columbia’s School of International Public Affairs, not by Bollinger himself. more...

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Posted on 10/01/2007 7:36 AM by NER
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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by Mary Jackson

In a recent article for National Review, my colleague John Derbyshire declares that he doesn't like Islamophobia. He is, he says, "Islamophobophobic". I take the opposite position, hence the title of this piece: Islamophobophobophobia. The overly suffixed word is silly, but the concept is sound: we should be wary and critical of attempts to dismiss our very rational fear of Islam.  more...

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Posted on 10/01/2007 7:33 AM by NER
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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Are Muslims really turning against the cult of the suicide bomber?

by Peter C. Glover

 

"Muslims increasingly reject Osama bin Laden and oppose suicide bombings." While The (London) Times' (July 26, 2007) opening line captured the main findings of a new poll of Muslim opinion, the article captured something else - a palpable mood of hope that ran through the Western media's coverage generally, for a new rapprochement with the Muslim world. But is it a realistic hope? Or are we in the West just keep clutching at straw poll idealism?  more...

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Posted on 10/01/2007 7:29 AM by NER
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Monday, 01 October 2007
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

“When the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry -- that is a sad and troubling development,” Annan said. “Such is the case with ‘Islamophobia.’ The word seems to have emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Today, the weight of history and the fallout of recent developments have left many Muslims around the world feeling aggravated and misunderstood, concerned about the erosion of their rights and even fearing for their physical safety.”
--- Former Secretary-General of the U.N. Kofi Annan

The “world” was not “compelled to coin a new term” -- it was Muslims who coined the word, and they did so deliberately. For that word so deliberately kept undefined is merely a weapon employed to deflect criticism, to label all those who may offer criticism of Islam and of its adherents, basing their criticism not on some blind prejudice, but on their own observations and study. Indeed, the entire Western world -- its political leaders, its media, its university departments of Middle Eastern studies -- have all been engaged in a massive effort to deflect criticism or disarm it. It is despite all that that Infidels everywhere are coming to some conclusions about Islam, and the more they study, and the more they observe, and the more “Interfaith” gatherings and little Muslim Outreach evenings they attend, all of which end up being dismal exercises in Taqiyya and Tu-Quoque argumentation, the more wary, and critical, and indignant, and sometimes more, they become. The game is up. From a Beslan school full of children to a Bali nightclub full of revellers, from Madrid subways to Moscow theatres, from New York skyscrapers to Najaf mosques (where Sadr’s bezonians tortured, killed, and stacked the bodies of Iraqis who had opposed their reign of terror), from Istanbul to India, the evidence just keeps piling up. And the evidence, too, of what is actually in the Qur’an and hadith and sira -- and how many Infidels, a few years ago, even had heard of the “hadith” and the “sira,” or had any idea what was really in the Qur’an, or had ever heard of the Treaty of al-Hudaibiyya -- now online, and it can easily be read. And all the excuses, all the nonsense, can no longer be offered up -- for we Infidels, fortunately, have the guidance of defectors from Islam, ex-Muslims such as Ibn Warraq (whose own guide to debating Muslims, and how not to be intimidated or snookered, will for many prove invaluable).  more...

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Posted on 10/01/2007 7:25 AM by NER
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