Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Judge disciplines accused in terror trial
DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — An Islamic terrorist suspect, on trial with three others on charges they plotted attacks on American targets in Germany, was thrown out of the courtroom Tuesday after an outburst.
Judge Ottmar Breidling threw Adem Yilmaz, 30, out of the Duesseldorf state court for the day after the suspect yelled: "I want back in my cell!"
Breidling also sentenced him to an extra week's imprisonment, to be added on to any possible sentence.
Yilmaz has already earned two extra weeks in prison as punishment from Breidling for refusing to stand up during the swearing-in of a translator last week. He told the court: "I only stand up for Allah."
Prosecutors allege that the group planned car bomb attacks on various sites, including a U.S. military base with the aim of killing "as many people as possible."
All the suspects are accused of being members of the radical Islamic Jihad Union, an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. They face charges including membership in a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder.
Schneider is further charged with attempted murder, for allegedly grabbing an officer's gun and firing it at him during arrest. He faces possible life in prison.
Posted on 04/29/2009 3:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
That which we call a bacon sandwich, by any other name would smell as sweet.
The dislike of pigs and pig products among Muslims is drilled in young and goes deep.
I have known quite a few Jews who would eat and enjoy pork in certain circumstances; I have never known a Jew with the deep horror of anything pertaining to the pig that all Muslims display.
I was walking past an Islamic primary school in East London one Saturday morning a few weeks ago. Lovely artwork in the window and I will take it at face value because I will not think ill of infant school age children and that they do not mean what they had written on the beauty of nature and the virtues of neighbourliness.
I think there must have been a special class on as children were leaving with their parents. One man, of Turkish origin I would say from his features, had a boy and girl of maybe 4 and 5, none of them in clothing that one thinks of as Islamic.
The school is next to a pub and within quite a busy local shopping centre.
I could smell bacon frying which I thought was from a café but which seemed to be coming from a house on the corner of a side street. I started to debate whether I had time to visit one of the cafes for a bacon sandwich when I heard the father speak.
Little curious voice from one child. “What’s that smell Daddy?”
“That’s bacon that is. It’s disgusting. What is it?”
“It’s disgusting, daddy”
“Yes, Daddy, it’s disgusting”
But of course the smell of frying bacon is one of the most delicious aromas known to mankind. It has brought vegetarians back from the abyss. Unlike the stench of a dustbin or dogdirt the children didn’t know that it was “disgusting” until they were told.
Posted on 04/29/2009 2:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
The third largest importer of weaponry in the world is the UAE?!
STOCKHOLM – The volume of weapons exported to the Middle East has risen sharply in the last four years, threatening to destabilize the volatile region further, a leading Swedish think tank warned Monday.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said arms exports to the Middle East increased 38 percent in the period 2004 to 2008, compared with 1999 to 2003. The United States supplied most of the arms although major shipments also came from France.
The United Arab Emirates was the biggest importer of weapons in the region — and the third biggest in the world, after China and India, SIPRI said in a report on global arms transfers. In the 2004-2008 period, the UAE bought 80 F-16E combat aircraft from the U.S. and 50 Mirage 2000-9 fighters from France, it said.
"This is of course a big concern in a region where we see a lot of tension and full-out conflicts," SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman told The Associated Press.
He warned that growing arsenals in the Gulf could trigger a response from Iran and encourage it to pursue nuclear weapons.
You just know that when Iran builds nuclear weapons, it will be the fault of the U.S. for having supplied weapons to the UAE and the KSA, thus forcing the peace-loving Iranians to protect themselves from the evil Sunnis.
"When Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates increase their arsenals there is a risk that Iran will feel even more threatened and marginalized than it already is," he said. "This should be very much taken into account when countries decide to supply these countries with weapons."
During the four-year period, the UAE accounted for 34 percent of the arms imports in the Middle East. Israel accounted for 22 percent and Egypt 14 percent. Only 5 percent of the arms transfers to the region went to Iran, the report said.
One would like to believe that those 78% (i.e. 100% minus Israel's 22%) of weapons imports in the Middle East will be used for intra-Islamic internecine warfare. But much more likely, they will be used against Israel. There is also a very good chance that these weapons will be used against U.S. troops (or citizens) at some point, in some place. The Obama administration ought to reconsider this ill-advised policy.
Posted on 04/29/2009 1:14 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Whither the noble interrobang?
The recent contretemps about living languages and their changes over time, brought to mind the interrobang. From wikipedia:
American Martin K. Speckter invented the interrobang in 1962. As the head of an advertising agency, Speckter believed that advertisements would look better if copywriters conveyed surprised rhetorical questions using a single mark. He proposed the concept of a single punctuation mark in an article in the magazine TYPEtalks. Speckter solicited possible names for the new character from readers. Contenders included rhet, exclarotive, and exclamaquest, but he settled on interrobang. He chose the name to reference the punctuation marks that inspired it: interrogatio is Latin for "a rhetorical question" or "cross-examination"; bang is printers' slang for the exclamation point. Graphic treatments for the new mark were also submitted in response to the article.
In 1966, Richard Isbell of American Type Founders issued the Americana typeface and included the interrobang as one of the characters. In 1968, an interrobang key was available on some Remington typewriters. During the 1970s, it was possible to buy replacement interrobang keycaps and typefaces for some Smith-Corona typewriters. The interrobang was in vogue for much of the 1960s, with the word interrobang appearing in some dictionaries and the mark itself being featured in magazine and newspaper articles.
The interrobang failed to amount to much more than a fad, however. It has not become a standard punctuation mark. Although most fonts do not include the interrobang, it has not disappeared: Microsoft provides several versions of the interrobang character as part of the Wingdings 2 character set ( on the }/] and the ~/` keys) available with Microsoft Office. It was accepted into Unicode and is present in several fonts, including Lucida Sans Unicode, Arial Unicode MS, and Calibri, the default font in the new Office 2007 suite.
The French equivalent is "point exclarrogatif", expressing a similar idea - the fusion between "point d'interrogation" (?) and "point d'exclamation" (!).
I bet Martin K. Speckter is fluent in Volapük. Consciously-created languages, words, and punctuation never seem to gain currency. Unless your name happens to be William Shakespeare. And it's not, so just leave it alone, mate.
Example usage of the interrobang:
"They're rioting over the name of a teddy bear?!"
"The third largest importer of weaponry in the world is the UAE?!"
"Aisha was how old when Mohammad raped her?!"
"As long as it was then sold to a neighboring tribe, Ayatollah Khomeini said it was okay to do what with a goat?!"
As you can see, the interrobang can come in quite handy. Almost as handy as the "sarcasm mark".
UPDATE: Feh. The embedded interrobangs in the above examples are unhelpfully being converted to question marks. So, I'm forced to resort to "?!". Please use your imagination, and picture an interrobang instead. Quite an improvement, don't you think?
Posted on 04/28/2009 10:09 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
�Muslims immune from swine flu symptoms��
From Al Bawaba.com. I did say something very similar. Not quite enough to win me my bet tho' not yet.
While the Arab world is on high alert in fear of the swine flu outbreak, many Muslims in the Middle East are certain they are safe and immune from the new strain.
Generally speaking, Islam prohibits the consumption of pork because it considers the pig to be "unclean". Many Muslim doctors and specialists have been claiming long before the present plight that pork is a harmful diet. In addition, according to the Islamic belief, consumption of swine-flesh leads to lowliness in soul and demolishes spiritual and moral faculties in any person.
Thus, the news about the symptoms and the infections from the current swine flu virus created a heated debate in the streets, the cafes and internet forums all across the Arab world - will the "scavenger pig" spread also among the Muslims?
A review of some posts loaded in recent days to the internet exposes some kind of optimism among the Muslims.
"Muslims are better immune. Did you ever hear of SARS cases in Muslim countries?" Other posts support this view, claiming Muslims will not be infected as they don't eat the "dirty" pork.
In recent hours, there are suggestions asserting the virus will soon hit the Arab world. Some unconfirmed reports indicate that some cases of swine flu have already been detected in Egypt.
As always, when such big news spread all over the world, the rumor mills in the Arab world start to work around the clock. The most popular rumor in this regard is that the Muslims themselves created this swine flu virus with the aim reducing the world's Christian population….
Funny, Christians always pray for you . . .
Posted on 04/28/2009 5:24 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Iqra: the backstreet bookshop that taught frontline war
From The Times
The shop on Beeston Hill was called Iqra, Arabic for “recite”. It was the first word of the Koran as revealed to the Prophet.
When the shop was opened in 2000 by “a dedicated core of brothers and sisters who have taken it upon themselves to propagate the message of Islam”, Iqra was welcomed by many local Muslims. Too many of their children were going astray, lured by the corrupting decadence – alcohol, drugs, clubs, sex – of Western society and alienated from their parents’ customs and values.
So when a group of bright young Beeston Muslims, some of them youth workers, decided to open Iqra – with its English books, DVDs and classes – it was hoped that a lost generation might be returned to the fold. The bookshop did turn some away from drugs and petty crime. Yet its main players had no intention of steering young minds towards the “folk Islam” that their parents had carried from South Asia.
The six trustees of Iqra, listed on a declaration form sent to the Charity Commission in 2002, included Mohammad Sidique Khan, who in 2005 would be the leader of the July 7 suicide bombers. Also named were Khalid Khaliq, jailed last year for a terrorism offence, and Sadeer Saleem and Waheed Ali, two of the three men cleared yesterday of helping to plan the July 7 mission.
Shehzad Tanweer, whose suicide rucksack would kill seven people at Aldgate, was one of four names subsequently added to the list of trustees. Hasib Hussain, the future bus bomber, and Mohammed Shakil, who was also cleared yesterday of any involvement in the July 7 plot, were regular visitors. The charity offered membership of a global brotherhood of true believers that held both the older generation’s Hindu-influenced Barelwi Islam – Sufi pirs (masters), music and festivals – and liberal democracy in equal contempt.
After rejecting the Hardy Street mosque used by their parents, the group moved initially to the Deobandi mosque on Stratford Street whose literal interpretation of the faith was far more in tune with their new-found beliefs. But even that would eventually prove inadequate because political discussions were discouraged.
Iqra was not just a bookshop. Over three floors, its back rooms included an internet suite, a prayer room, an office and a digital video-editing suite.
Every room breathed the Salafi jihadist creed. It was shouted by the radical websites, argued in the literature and proclaimed in the store’s collection of graphic videos and DVDs. That it was every Muslim’s duty to wage jihad was as unquestionable as the certainty that martyrdom was an honour to be sought.And all the while, well-intentioned public bodies were throwing money at the Iqra gang, whose projects included a school, a youth access venue and a gym. Grants totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds were made by the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and the local council, churches and charities.
And so life in Beeston continues. Mr Gilbertson (former employee) says that not once inside Iqra did he hear a Muslim voice raised to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. Police have voiced frustration at the lack of cooperation they have received from certain people in Beeston who are, they believe, withholding vital information about the terror gang.
Posted on 04/28/2009 5:32 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.
Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.
Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,
nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum
tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.
Posted on 04/28/2009 11:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Musical Interlude: What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Posted on 04/28/2009 9:51 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Ice shelf the size of New York City collapses off Antarctica
Trouble. From Reuters:
An area of an Antarctic ice shelf almost the size of New York City has broken into icebergs this month after the collapse of an ice bridge widely blamed on global warming, a scientist said Tuesday.
"The northern ice front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf has become unstable and the first icebergs have been released," Angelika Humbert, glaciologist at the University of Muenster in Germany, said of European Space Agency satellite images of the shelf.
Humbert told Reuters about 700 sq km (270.3 sq mile) of ice -- bigger than Singapore or Bahrain and almost the size of New York City -- has broken off the Wilkins this month and shattered into a mass of icebergs.
She said 370 sq kms of ice had cracked up in recent days from the Shelf, the latest of about 10 shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula to retreat in a trend linked by the U.N. Climate Panel to global warming.
The new icebergs added to 330 sq kms of ice that broke up earlier this month with the shattering of an ice bridge apparently pinning the Wilkins in place between Charcot island and the Antarctic Peninsula.
Nine other shelves -- ice floating on the sea and linked to the coast -- have receded or collapsed around the Antarctic peninsula in the past 50 years, often abruptly like the Larsen A in 1995 or the Larsen B in 2002.
The disquieting statistics continue in the original story.
Posted on 04/28/2009 9:41 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
The Times Literary Supplement has a short note on “poetry babble”:
Poetry babble is a tool of measurement used to gauge the relations between poetry as it appears on the page and the critical comments on the back of the book. In certain cases, the gulf separating the two can be wide indeed. Classical babbleologists point to Lisa Jarnot’s book Ring of Fire, which includes many lines like “ding dong/ dug dirt / ditch dib / chimp chore”, and others such as “Anomalous circus events take the shape of / mandible density in the great outer planets. Readers wondering if they should read Ring of Fire pondered Patrick Pritchett’s endorsement: “Rising on wave after wave of near endless iteration, like a linguistic Mandelbrot set, they arrive in the long moment after loss as the signature and enactment of an initiation.”
Few precedents are as clear, but John Goodby’s uncaged sea (Waterloo Press), which has seventy-five pages of verse like this –
haD the measure
-stimulates John Hartley Williams to emulate Mr Pritchett: “What can one say of such a ‘tusked ramshackling’ work? All I could say after reading it was: ‘like the dramatic sea I have been a ball of lakes.’”
All? Actually that switching from upper to lower case beats boring old e. e. cummings, or e. E. cuMminGs as that capital fellow should be called.
Posted on 04/28/2009 10:28 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Geert Wilders' Speech At Florida Free Speech Summit
Thanks to Pamela Geller for providing this transcription of Wilders' speech:
I wish I had come to a place they call they call The Sunshine State with better news, but it would be very unwise to deny that the situation indeed is very gloomy, and it might take a while for you to understand the situation that we are in now. Maybe you as Americans still think that Europe is a place with a great culture and a profound way of looking at things. Maybe you see immigration as something that is inherently good for our country as it contributed so much for the United States, and I understand that. But Ladies and Gentleman the Europe as you know it from visiting Europe or from stories from your parents or friends or whoever, is on the verge of collapsing.
We are now witnessing profound changes that will forever alter Europe's destiny and might send the Continent in what Ronald Reagan once called: "A thousand years of darkness."
And the takeover of Europe, that is currently taking place, is part of a global fight, a global fight of Islam for World domination.
Let me tell you first, that Islam is not a religion. Islam is a totalitarian political ideology. Islam hearts lies at the Koran and the Koran is a book that calls for hatred, that calls for violence, for murder, for terrorism, for war and submission.
The Koran calls upon Muslims to kill Kuffars, non-Muslims. The Koran describes Jews as monkeys and pigs, and Churchill, and I agree with him, Churchill compared the Koran, the book in the 50's, to Adolf Hitlers book Mein Kampf.
Ladies and Gentleman the core of the problem with Islam is twofold, First, the commands of the Koran are not limited by place or time, they apply for all time, to all Muslims of the World.
Second, the Koran is Allah's personal words that leaves no room for interpretation, therefore, there is not such a thing as a moderate Islam. Of course, there are many moderate Muslims, but a moderate Islam does not exist.
As the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Erdogan once rightfully said, he said: "There is no moderate Islam, Islam is Islam"
Apart from the Koran, the life of the Prophet Mohammed is very important for you to understand, in order to understand this terrible ideology. Mohammed plays the crucial part in this Islamic totalitarian ideology. Mohammed in fact is the role model for all Muslims in the World but, who was Mohammed? Mohammed, in fact was a paedophile, was a conqueror, was a Warlord and in establishing Islam he preached violence and the slaughter of non-Muslims.
He took part in 78 battles and slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah and Mohammed once said and I quote: "I have been ordered by Allah to fight against people until they testify that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is his messenger"
And, indeed, Mohammed's behaviour inspired Iran's former leader the Ayatollah Khomeini to say and I quote: "The purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah"
And Mohammed's behaviour and the Koran inspired Jihadists all over the World to slaughter innocent people like they did in Washington, in New York, in Madrid, in London and in Mumbai.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Islam has always intended to conquer Europe and it has done so for centuries.
The Christian city of Constantinople fell in the 15 century and now in the 21st century. Islam is trying again, but this time, not with Armies, but through the application of AlHaya the Islamic doctrine of migration. As expounded so masterfully by my good friend Sam Solomon in his (book ?????) The doctrine that is based on the example of Mohammed who himself migrated from Mecca to Medina.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi said and he unfortunately is correct, and I quote: "We have 50 million Muslims in Europe and there are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe, without swords, without guns, without conquest. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn Europe into a muslim contininent within a few decades" Ladies and Gentlemen, unfortunately Gaddafi is right.
The AlHaya doctrine is and has been very successful in Europe for the first time in World history there are dozens of millions of Muslims living far outside the dark area of Islam, the Islamic World, and that poses enormous problems to the West.
Ladies and Gentlemen AlHaya may be the end of the western civilisation as we know it, for Islam is not coming to our societies to integrate or to assimilate but wants to dominate, and wants to submit us all, and the most dramatic situation is the one in Europe today.
My country is in the process of becoming Hollandistan as Europe is becoming in the process of becoming Eurabia. Only 12% of the German Muslims see themselves more German than Muslims, and churches throughout Europe are emptying out whereas Mosques are shooting up like mushrooms. Many evil phenomena such as Burqas, honour killings, female genitalia mutilations are becoming more and more prevalent.. Sharia testaments, Sharia mortgages, Sharia schools, Sharia banks, Sharia courts and even sharia Barbie dolls - Europe has them all today.
And I have not even mentioned the fact that for instance 70% of all crimes in the European city like Copenhagen are committed by Muslims. Indeed, we let in the Trojan Horse and the free World is now facing a Stealh Jihad, the Islamic attempt to introduce Sharia Law, bit by bit (or hit by hit?).
Allow me to give you a few examples also of the Islamisation here in the United States:-
Muslim taxi drivers in Minneapolis have refused over 5,000 passengers because they were carrying alcohol. Muslim students are demanding separate campus housing. Muslim women are demanding separate hours and gyms, and swimming pools. Schools are already banning Halloween and Christmas celebrations. Indeed, schools are taking pork off their cafeteria menus to avoid Muslim students.
Ladies and Gentlemen, be aware that this is only the beginning. If things continue like this, you will have the same problems that we are facing in Europe today. And if we do not stop the process of Islamization, I am sure we will lose everything, we will lose our identity, we will lose our culture, we will lose our Democratic Constitutions, we will lose our freedom, we will lose our Civilization.
In Europe we are already losing the fight for freedom of speech. We are losing the fight to criticize Islam and I think that criticizing religions and ideologies, always, always ought to be possible in a free World. Human rights exists for the protection of individuals, not religions and certainly not ideologies. so I propose that all the hate speech laws in Europe are to be repealed.
Europe ought to defend the freedom of speech.
In fact Europe should adopt a US model like the First Amendment. The difference between United States and Europe and the area of free speech is for instance shown by the example of my short film Fitna.
A few months ago, I was invited to show Fitna in the Senate, in your democratic Senate, by Senator Jon Kyl and in contrast to that the screening of my film Fitna was banned twice in the terrible European Parliament, and let us see to which the Freedom of Speech is exercized not only in Washington DC but also in Brussels and Strasbourg, and that is why we do need a European First Amendment.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is one country in our Western Civilization that has been forced to fight the forces of Jihad for its values since the very day of its existence: Israel the Canary in the Coal Mine. Let me say a few words about that wonderful country.
I had the privilege myself to live in Israel for a few years and since then I have visited that country many many times.. Why? Because I love it, I do love Israel.
However, in Europe, being Pro-American, being Pro-Israel makes you an endangered species. Israel is a Beacon of Light in an area, the Middle East, that is pitch black everywhere else.
Israel is a Western Democracy, whilst Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and all the other countries in the region are medieval dictatorships. And the so -called Middle East conflict, as you all know it, is not about land at all. It's a conflict about, once again, about ideologies. It's a conflict and a battle between Islam and Freedom. It's not about some land in Gaza or Judea or Samaria, it's about Jihad.
To Islam the whole of Israel is occupied terroritory. They see Tel Aviv and Haifa as settlements as well, and I am very much in favour of a two state settlement solution but then the two state solution from Winston Churchill in 1921, when Palestine was partitioned into a Jewish and an Arab part, Arab Palestine, Ladies and Gentlemen, is now called Jordan and I think that Jordan is the Palestinian State.
Islam forces Israel to fight. Israel is not just fighting for itself, Israel is fighting for all of us, for the entire West, just like those brave American soldiers who landed in Sicily in 1943 and stormed the Normandy beaches in 1944.
Young Israeli men today, young Israeli Women today, are fighting for our freedom, are fighting for our civilization, and like Bosnia, like Kosovo, like Nigeria, like Sudan, like the Caucasus, like Kashmir, like Southern Thailand, like Western China and the South of the Phillipines, Israel is situated exactly on the dividing line between dar al Islam, the Islamic World and dar al Harb the non-Islamic World. It is no coincidence that it is precisely this dividing line, where blood is flowing and war is raging in many many areas.
And, we have to get rid of that politically correct fallacy that it is all about separate conflicts, it's not. Let us please allow ourselves at least to see the big picture, which is, that all those conflicts, have to do with Jihad, Jihad in the spirit of Mohammed. Ladies and Gentlemen, Europe ought to fully back Israel to the hilt and (???help) us fight against those that threaten it, whether it's Hezbollah, whether it's Hamas, or Nuclear Iran. Also, because of it's history, Europe has certainly the moral duty and obligation to prevent at all cost, another Holocaust against the Jewish people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, still Islam is not our No. 1 problem, our No. 1 problem is called 'Cultural Relativism', the Elites that rule our countries have converted us to this sick philosophy a long time ago. Government leaders, Judges, even Churches, Trade Unions, Universitities, the Media, all of them are blinded by political correctness and have chosen the side of Islam. They feel sorry for Muslims and pity them. 'Cultural Relativism' is weakening the West day by day. As a result of this 'Cultural Relativism' a little bit of the Free West dies everyday. Many Politicians, seem to believe, unfortunately, that their job is not to defend democracy but to help to make the transition to Sharia as smooth as possible.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am often asked whether I have any answers to all the problems that I mention or what those answers might be. Well, let me tell you, I certainly have a lot of answers. Here are a few things that I believe we should do in the West, to stop the Islamization.
First, I have already said it, we have to stop the idea of 'Cultural Relativism'. Get rid of the misconception that all cultures are equal. They are not. Our culture based on Christianity, on Judeaism and Humanism is far better than the Islamic culture. So we should stop it.
We should also stop pretending that Islam is a religion, sure, it has religious symbols, but it's not a religion. It is a totaltarian ideology and the right to religious freedom should not apply to Islam.
We should stop the mass immigration from Muslim countries. We have to stop it, today. No more immigrants from Muslim countries. We have to stop the AlHaya (sp??).
We have to encourage the voluntary repatriation. We have to expel criminals. We have to expel criminals with dual nationality even if we have to de-naturalize them and send them back to their homelands. I think we need a European First Amendment to strengthen our freedom of speech.
I think we have to have a contract, in any Western Country, a contract, a binding contract signed by everybody there, of assimilation. We need a Pledge of Allegiance in all Western countries for people to adhere to our values as well.
We have to stop the building of new Mosques. We have to close the Mosques where incitement of violence is taking place.
We have to close down Islamic schools, for they are fascist institutions, where young people are brought up with an ideology of violence. And, last but not least, we have to get rid of the weak leaders that we have.
We have the privilege, until today, to live in a democracy, and let us use that privilege in order to exchange our own values.
We need indeed, in our Western World today, we need more leaders, we need more Churchill's and we need less Chamberlain's. We need strong leaders like we have here today, like Alan West and Adam Hasner, we need strong men like that.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in short, we have to go on the offensive, my message of this evening is that we have to go on the offensive. We have to start fighting back, there is no alternative other than fighting back. We must no longer allow ourselves to remain seated in our armchairs and get trampled over. If they bombard us with Sharia Law as they do, then we shall bombard them back with our Human Rights and our Freedom of Speech. If they bombard us with all their court cases we will bombard them back with all our court cases, against them. We have to fight back and show them indeed millions, millions of people.....
(GEERT WILDERS III)
I assure you that I will continue my struggle for Freedom, and indeed a struggle it is.
After Fitna had been screened for the first time last year, there were threats. Don't ever dare to criticize Islam publicly, you will get threats of economical boycotts, your flag, like the Dutch flag will be burnt all over the World You will be prosecuted, like I am to be prosecuted in my own home country, and also in France and Jordan, I face prosecution.
I have been barred from entering the United Kingdom, Lord Malcolm Pearson just spoke about it, but also barred from going to Indonesia.
The most radical Imam in the Netherlands is threatening to sue me and demanding a compensation, and a Parliamentary Bill, even today in the Netherlands in my own country, is currently being drafted with the aim of protecting Islam from criticism, and on top of all this, because of my view of Islam anybody else who dares to stand up and criticize islam, Al Qaeda is there determined to kill me, and others who speak out against Islam.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I told you I was going to be blunt, I was going to be tough, but there is no alternative for this. In spite all this bad news, fortunately there is also some good news I can share with you and there is no doubt in my mind that at the end of the day, even though it is five minutes to twelve, Freedom will prevail. There are already some hopeful signs.
For instance, last week, in my own Parliament in the Dutch Parliament, they accepted a motion, a resolution, proposed by my own Party, seeking to block any dialogue between Government Officials and Hamas. And, according to the most recent opinion polls, already for months now, if elections were to be held in the Netherlands today, my own Party, the Freedom Party, will be the largest Party in the Netherlands. So you might be looking at the next Prime Minister of the Netherlands. So, I ask you, if it can be done in the Netherlands, why not throughout the whole Western World.
If the Netherlands were the first country to end up the Multi-Culturarist Swamp why can't it be the first Country to find a way out. Why are there not other countries where people stand up and win the elections and make some changes.
Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, of course, we in Europe, we in the Netherlands, I myself, have not forgotten to whom we owe our Liberties. Our Liberties were bitterly fought for by American Soldiers. American soldiers fought, bled, and died for the European freedom. American soldiers did not die for an Islamized Europe, they died for a free Europe. We owe, we owe something to those brave men, those brave American men, their legacy can not be squandered and cannot be given away. The third President and his spiritual father of this great Nation, once said and I quote: "The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance" as so often Thomas Jefferson was right.
Our freedom must be safeguarded, and it is, we, ourselves, as we are sitting here, that must do so, that must act. A period of inattention of dropping our guard, for even a short while, might cost us our freedom, just like that. It has happened before in history, please let us not allow it to happen again.
Everything we stand for has to be defended, everything we are, everything we have, with all our might, our identity, our culture, our democracy, our freedom and our civilization is at stake.
We owe it, Ladies and Gentlemen, to our children..
So Ladies and Gentlemen, I leave you with the expression of our determination. We will never give up, we will never give in, we will never never, ever, surrender. Thank You.
Posted on 04/28/2009 9:22 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
President Obama expresses extreme sensitivity toward the Muslim world - personally addressing them as one of his official acts in office, but when it comes to New Yorkers...NYPost:
A jumbo jet being chased by a F-16 fighter jets buzzed Lower Manhattan this morning, panicking New Yorkers, many of whom were forced to evacuate their office buildings.
It was not a terrorist attack, however, but a photo opportunity for Air Force One, sources told the Post.
President Obama was in Washington at the time, but the low-flying 747 circling the Statue of Liberty was one of the planes used as Air Force One, sources said.
The NYPD and the city were notified of the planned flight, but did not share that information with Mayor Bloomberg and other New Yorkers, many of whom said they were terrified.
Hours after the incident, a furious Bloomberg called the photo-op "insensitive."
"First thing is I'm annoyed - furious is a better word - that I wasn't told," he said. "Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination. Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase."
Bloomberg said federal officials notified the NYPD and another city official, whom he declined to identify, of the flight plan.
"Had I known about it I would have called them right away and asked them not to," he said. "The good news is it was nothing more than an ill considered, badly conceived, insensitive photo op - with the taxpayers' money."
Dominick Caglioti, who works at the Mercantile Exchange, thought the worst as he saw the jets hurtle toward his window just after 10:30 a.m. After learning it was all a photo op, he was furious.
"It's so stupid because they tell you about every fire drill, but they didn't tell us about this," he said.
The planes flew over the Verrazano Bridge, buzzed the left ear Lady Liberty and then continued up the Hudson past Jersey City and then circling back toward Staten Island, federal sources told the Post.
Thousands flooded the streets downtown as buildings called evacuations.
"There is situation outside. We don't have any further information," went one announcement at the Embassy Suites downtown....
Posted on 04/28/2009 8:40 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
What odds do you give me?
Mary beat me to this news item. But on the way back from this morning's errand I wondered if anybody would take a bet from me how long before Anjem Choudary or Omar Bakri or any other barmpot of choice comes up with the advice that if all women wore niqabs or burkas the transmission of H1N1 flu would be diminished, and had we all given up pig rearing would never have mutated in the first place.
I give them no more than 3 days.
If we didn't have pigs would flu be able to transmogrify in camels? Or do they produce other ills?
Posted on 04/28/2009 8:01 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Swiss high court rules UDC Muslim posters not racist
From Geneva Lunch
The Swiss federal high court has ruled that posters of Muslims prostrate in front of the Swiss federal palace, with the slogan “use your heads” is not racist. The court argued, with one judge noting reservations, that the posters do not fulfill legal requirements for racial discrimination.
The court said . . . that the interpretation of the law should not be so narrow as to endanger freedom of expression.
The judges noted that no member of the Muslim community pressed charges.
Posted on 04/28/2009 7:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
This is one for the “funny-but-actually-quite-mad” pile:
The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed “Mexican” influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday. Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and “we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu,” he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel. Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products.
Let’s set aside for a moment objections that the virus in question – a mongrel strain of H1N1 - has more to do with pigs than with Mexico as a whole, or indeed with Mexicans, as some might infer from the suggested renaming. Let’s also set aside the fact the virus has been found in the US, Canada, Spain, New Zealand and the UK, and has genetic elements of at least three other animal flu viruses found in North America, Asia and Europe. Let’s put that out of our minds and grapple with the much more pressing issue: When did the mere “reference to pigs” – i.e. the word “swine” - become such a trial for the devout? Will the indignity never end? And is the aforementioned “sensitivity” something to do with the fact that transmission from pigs to humans suggests a genetic commonality of some kind?
David Thompson overlooks the fact that "swine flu" is doubly haram: "swine" contains "wine". In any case, why the archaic-sounding "swine flu" and not "pig flu"? We didn't talk about "fowl flu", did we?
Posted on 04/28/2009 7:25 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
A Musical Interlude: Do I? (Brox Sisters)
Posted on 04/28/2009 7:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Not just rape
Rape provokes strong opinions. Islam has no concept of rape, only zina (fornication or adultery), and if a woman is raped she is often killed. The West is more enlightened, although the view that if a woman is less than pure or less than sober she is asking for it, is sadly all too common. At the other extreme, all men are potential rapists, and "something must be done" about the low conviction rates ( 6.5% in the UK). Theodore Darlymple addresses this last point in a piece for the Social Affairs Unit. As he once did with a headline, "Why Intellectuals Like Genocide", so here with his choice of crime, Dalrymple likes to startle the reader before proceeding to a sober, measured argument:
It is curious how, when it comes to rape, the liberal press, and presumably liberals themselves, suddenly appreciate the value of punishment. They do not say of rape that we must understand the causes of rape before we punish it; that we must understand how men develop into rapists before we lock them away, preferably for a long time; that prison does not work. It is as if, when speaking of rape, it suddenly becomes time to put away childish things, and (to change the metaphor slightly) to talk the only kind of language that rapists understand.
They quiver with outrage when they learn that the clear-up rate for rape cases is only 6.5 per cent, though this in fact is very similar to the clear-up rate of all crimes. They are appalled at cases where rapists are left free to commit more of their crimes because of police and Crown Prosecution Service incompetence, which is itself the natural result of the policy of successive governments. But it is important for their self-respect as liberals that their outrage should not be generalised, that they should not let it spill over into consideration of other categories of crime, where the same bureaucratic levity and frivolity is likewise demonstrated. For, as every decent person knows, there are far too many prisoners in this country already, and prison does not work.
Thus, in an opinion piece about "the national disgrace" that "rape almost always goes unpunished" in The Guardian for 15 April, the writer Libby Brooks concludes:
This is Britain in the spring of 2009. We are not some UN-designated failed state. We have a criminal justice system that works reasonably effectively for pretty much everyone else.
I will pass over the question of the rate at which we are progressing towards failed-state status (it is important not to exaggerate); but let us just examine the assertion that the criminal justice system works reasonably well for everyone else.
The last time I looked up the figures, the official clear-up rate for domestic burglaries was about one in 12. (Even this is an overestimate, because of unreported burglaries, and because of cases "taken into consideration", a category ripe for statistical manipulation in favour of the police).
The imprisonment rate of convicted burglars was about one in 13. This means that one in 156 domestic burglaries ended in a prison sentence. The average prison sentence is 6 months (which means prisoners actually serve 3 months); let us, for the sake of argument, assume that convicted burglars get, on average, double the average prison sentence, that is to say 12 months, of which they serve 6 months, or 180 days.
Thus, the average cost to a burglar of a domestic burglary is approximately 1 day in prison. The question to be asked, then, is not why there are so many burglaries, but so few. My point at the moment, however, is that the criminal justice system can hardly be said to serve the burgled community very well, though it serves the burgling community very well.
The Guardian for the same date carried a small news item about the widower of Jane Goody, Jack Tweed, who was sentenced to prison for having assaulted a taxi driver. I reproduce it in full:
Jack Tweed, husband of Jane Goody, who died of cancer last month, was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail yesterday for an assault on a taxi driver after a drinking binge in May last year. Tweed, 21, was found guilty at Epping magistrates' court last month. The court heard how he grabbed taxi driver Stephen Wilkins round the throat and threatened to stab him while he was driving. The 21-year-old also attempted to apply the handbrake while the car was moving, the court heard. It was the second time in six months that Tweed had been found guilty of assault.
It can hardly be said, then, that Tweed was a contrite soul, who had learnt his lesson after the previous assault for which he was convicted (epidemiologically unlikely to have been the first assault he had committed, of course).
It cannot be said, either, that what he did was the kind of thing that anyone might do on the spur of the moment, from understandably overwhelming passion. Nor, I think, is it very likely that the taxi driver considered the six (not twelve) weeks that Tweed would spend in prison sufficient recompense for what he, Tweed, had done, or for what he had made the taxi driver suffer. As for the alcohol, it should not be regarded as in the slightest a mitigating circumstance, rather the reverse.
The driver and other drivers like him could hardly conclude from the sentence passed on Tweed that the state was deeply concerned for their safety or well-being. It is unlikely, also, that The Guardian, which passed no comment on the sentence, was deeply concerned either: for are not taxi-drivers as a whole the kind of people who read the Daily Mail and frequently express the most reactionary ideas? They are certainly not a designated oppressed group, and therefore it is not of any great importance that crimes against them are inadequately repressed and thereby prevented.
Nevertheless, the logic of pursuing and severely repressing crimes such as that committed by Tweed is exactly the same as that of pursuing and severely repressing rapists.
If anyone were to write that he thought that rapists should not be locked up because they have had a difficult childhood, have psychological problems and aberrant personalities, including a tendency to take drugs and too much alcohol, and because prison does not work as evidenced by the fact that they often commit the same sorts of crimes on release, he would be (rightly) regarded as a moral idiot. Yet the very same arguments are trotted out, with every appearance of convincing the people who trot them out of their own moral superiority over those who do not believe them, with regard to the kinds of crimes that make the lives of many old people in this country (to take only one example) a torment.
This is moral frivolity of a very high – or low – order. And it would hardly be an exaggeration to say that it has been predominant in this country for decades.
I would add that in fact Guardian readers indirectly excuse rape - by failing to condemn Islam, which allows it. Otherwise Dalrymple is quite right.
Posted on 04/28/2009 5:20 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Shop raid prompts Muslim veil ban
From The BBC
The owners of an Asian jewellery shop which was recently robbed have decided to turn away people wearing the traditional veil worn by Muslim women.
ATAA Jewellers in the west end of Glasgow was raided by two Asian men entirely covered apart from their eyes. The pair wore full Muslim female dress, including the Niqab headwear, and were carrying handbags
The store's owners said they think it is an idea that will be taken up by other businesses.
They acknowledged that such a move may offend some people, but they said safety was their priority.
Rukhsana Sadiq was in the shop when it was robbed. She spent hours showing what she thought were the two women gold, but she never saw their faces.
"We didn't realise how tall they were until we got attacked and the pepper sprays came out," she said.
Rukhsana said the incident has left her terrified, and suspicious of everyone she sees.
She added: "They know us by face, but we don't know who they are. I mean they can even walk by the shop, we don't even know it's them and it's really, really frightening. It will just help if the community gets together and does something solid, for these women to know. It is our safety that matters as well at the end of the day. God forbid anything like this happening to anyone else."
Rukhsana's brother Mohammed Amin Sadiq said it was not the first time that a veil's been used as a disguise in the area.
"There's been an incident in another Asian shop," he said. "Two females came in, or males. They picked up a bag of money, but the shop owner took note and they ran out."
For the Sadiq family protecting business is the most important thing and they want clear boundaries for anyone who shops there.
They told the BBC Asian Network that when they get a sign there will be ways around the rule, like ringing up in advance to make sure there is a female member of staff present to identify a shopper wearing the Niqab.
But Madihah Ansari, a 19-year-old student in Glasgow, said a sign banning the veil was not the solution.
Madihah wears a Burkha and always has her head and body covered. Sometimes she chooses to wear a Niqab as well, meaning her face is covered. If she can leave it off sometimes then she can leave it off when she wants to enter particular shops. Which shows that the niqab it is not about modesty.
She said: "I just really don't like that idea. It is like prejudice about one type of person. (Yes, criminals!)
"There'll be loads of people who just want to go in a buy gold and come out. To prevent them kind of reminds me of when they had signs saying 'no blacks'." (No, its about saying No people with something to hide - a different kettle of fish)
Glasgow councillor Hanzala Malik has backed the shops decision to turn people away who cover their faces. "Business people have to make a decision; do they want their customers in or not with that type of dress? I know in Scotland that banks will not allow their customers coming in with motorbike helmets, I don't see why it should be different for people wearing the Niqab. It is an issue about identifying people."
Posted on 04/28/2009 3:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Birmingham - Muslim Mayor denies rejecting Labour candidate for being "white and Jewish"
From The Birmingham Post
A former Lord Mayor of Birmingham has been accused of telling a woman she was not a suitable inner-city Labour Party candidate because she is “white and Jewish”.
Coun Mahmood Hussain, who served as Birmingham’s first Asian Lord Mayor seven years ago, is alleged to have made the comment to Elaina Cohen who wanted to stand in the East Handsworth and Lozells by-election.
Yesterday, Coun Hussain denied her claim and said he would never make such a comment.
He said: “I do not think it would be appropriate for me to comment on any complaint. But I would not make those sort of comments.”
Ms Cohen said in her complaint, sent to Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins, she was “deeply hurt and shocked”.
Her claim has been backed by local community worker Lorraine Briscoe, who said she overheard what was said on a carphone speaker as Ms Cohen talked with Coun Hussain, chairman of the Perry Barr Constituency Committee. Ms Briscoe, who runs the South Aston Community Association, said: “I was disgusted that a councillor could make comments like that in 2009. He told her ‘my Muslim members don’t want you because you are Jewish’.
The East Handsworth and Lozells seat is one of Labour’s safest on Birmingham City Council and a party candidate can be almost certain of victory in the by-election on June 4.
Members of the local Labour Party were presented with only one candidate for the vacant seat, Hendrina Quinnen, who was duly selected by an almost unanimous vote. There were two other applicants, Elaina and local Labour Party officer Camille Ade-John. Both were rejected at a pre-selection meeting after failing to gain the support of a local party panel.
Hendrina Quinnen is from South Africa. She is a former teacher who complained bitterly when she was sacked by Birmingham Council when they found that she was not fully qualified.
Posted on 04/28/2009 3:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Saudi cabinet denounces racism
DAMMAM: Saudi Arabia yesterday emphasized the significance of the recently concluded UN anti-racism conference in Geneva and voiced its concern over a number of phenomena that are considered the causes and sources of racism across the world.
“The Kingdom gives the utmost importance to the problem of racism and works to prevent racist practices, and in order to do that, it follows the regulations drawn from Shariah that emphasize humanity irrespective of sex, color and race,” the Council of Ministers said.
"Emphasize humanity", not "recognize equality". This is the same sort of language as is contained in the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, where women are granted "equal dignity", rather than "equal rights". And of course, the list "sex, color, and race" glaringly omits "religion", since according to mainstream Islam, non-Muslims must never be accepted as equals by Muslims.
According to Al-Fassi, discrimination against women is a form of racism too and should end. “This is gender apartheid. We need to acknowledge that there is discrimination against women.
Women are a race? How do they procreate? If "racism" can be applied to religion, why not to gender? Or political party, or tribal affiliation, or collegiate alma mater? In for a penny, in for a pound.
The Cabinet move against racism will help us move in that direction,” she said, adding: “Our endorsing the anti-racism conference document means we will now be accountable for what we do vis-à-vis cases of racism.”
Accountable to whom, using whose definition of racism?
In the future, women will enjoy the same level of rights in Saudi Arabia as they have enjoyed for the past 1,350 years, as naive human rights activists continue to tell us that change is just around the corner, if we are just patient.
Posted on 04/28/2009 12:53 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Karzai backs down over �abhorrent� marital rape law
From The Times
President Karzai bowed to international pressure yesterday by promising to amend a new law condoning marital rape and child marriage that provoked violent clashes in the Afghan capital.
At a press conference in Kabul yesterday Mr Karzai said: “The law is under review and amendments will take place. I assure you that the laws of Afghanistan will be in complete harmony with the constitution of Afghanistan, and the human rights that we have adhered to in international treaties.”
His statement appeared to rebut widespread speculation that by signing the law he was pandering to conservatives before this summer’s delayed presidential election.
Mr Karzai’s climbdown came a day after he said that he had been unaware of its content when he signed it. He made the claim when he met a group of women activists who organised a protest against the new law in Kabul last week. The protesters were attacked by a mob of male supporters of the law.
The controversial provisions were buried in the 239-page document, much of it written in dense theological jargon. Mr Karzai said that his aides had not briefed him properly about the details. Many opponents of the law have said that it did not pass through the normal channels, that would have included discussion of all the articles, because MPs were advised to let the Shia community determine the details of their own laws – a right granted by the constitution.
One article stipulates that the wife “is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires”. Another passage sanctions marital rape. “As long as the husband is not travelling he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night . . . Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.”
Article 133 reintroduces the Taleban restrictions on women’s movements outside their homes, stating: “A wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband” unless in a medical or other emergency.
Article 27 endorses child marriage, with girls legally able to marry once they begin to menstruate. The law also withholds from the woman the right to inherit her husband’s wealth.
When its contents were made public it was condemned widely by Western governments, with President Obama describing the new law as abhorrent.
And as an aside in the last paragraph this report of a nasty incident.
A poison attack on a girls’ school north of Kabul was suspected of making 45 pupils and staff fall sick. The teachers and pupils fell ill with severe headaches during a ceremony at the school in Sadiqi District of Parwan Province, north of the capital. “It seems to be airborne poisoning,” Dr Abdullah Fahim, a spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said.
Posted on 04/28/2009 1:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 27 April 2009
I Don't Know About Early To Bed, But Early To Rise Is A Big Mistake
From Le Figaro, referring to a just-published study in "Science":
"La “France qui se lève-tôt”, si chère à notre président, vient de prendre un sacré coup à sa réputation, via une étude menée en France, en Suisse et en Belgique.
L’expérimentation a consisté à comparer l’activité cérébrale de deux groupes tests de santé comparable : 16 lève-tôt et 15 lève-tard. Des IRM réalisés à 1h30 après le réveil, puis 9h plus tard, afin de mesurer le degré d’attention.
Résultat : en début de journée (que celle-ci soit à 7h ou 11h), l’attention est bonne pour tout le monde. Mais en fin de journée (à 16h pour les uns, à 20h pour les autres), ce sont les lève-tard qui sont les plus alertes ! En effet, plus on se lève tôt, plus on a du mal à gérer la fatigue accumulée dans la journée et à garder son niveau de concentration.
Vous expliquerez ça à votre patron la prochaine fois que vous arriverez en retard."
The moral is clear. Poor Richard had it wrong. No matter what time the birds manage to wake me tomorrow morning, I'm staying in bed for a few more hours of memory-sleep.
Dorénavant, je ferai la grasse matinée.
Posted on 04/27/2009 9:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 27 April 2009
More Christians Murdered In Iraq
From The Christian Post (April 27), by Michelle Vu:
Four Iraqi Christians were murdered within two days by unknown assailants, according to a Christian persecution watchdog group.
Shabah Aziz Suliman was reportedly killed in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Apr. 1, and Nimrud Khuder Moshi, Glawiz Nissan and Hanaa Issaq were murdered thereafter in Dora, a historical Christian neighborhood of Baghdad.
"The killing of four innocent people within the last two days has put a renewed fear in our hearts," said Julian Taimoorazy, president of Iraqi Christian Relief Council, in an interview with International Christian Concern. "What is important is to keep these continuous atrocities in the media and on the policy makers' radars. What we need is a more safe and secure Iraq for all of Iraqi's especially for the Christians who have faced ethno-religious cleansing."
Since 2003, some 750 Christians have been killed in Iraq, according to Archbishop Louis Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk. Dozens of churches have also been bombed.
Islamic extremists often target Christians under the assumption that they are supporters of the coalition force since they share the same faith as the West.
Constant death threats, lack of economic opportunities, and security instability have forced more than half of the Iraqi Christian population to flee the country within the past five years.
The U.N. High Commission for Refugees reports that although Iraqi Christians make up only three percent of Iraq's population, they account for nearly half of the refugees leaving the country.
In October, more than 15,000 Iraqi Christians were driven out of the northern city of Mosul after 13 local Iraqi Christians were killed within four weeks, including three within 24 hours. Several Christian homes were also bombed.
And last March, a high-ranking Chaldean Catholic archbishop was kidnapped and murdered outside of Mosul in northern Iraq. The death of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was the second most senior Catholic cleric in Iraq, sparked outcry from the Christian community over the increased violence towards the tiny Christian community that is on the brink of extinction.
Other Iraqi Christian leaders who have been murdered since the start of the U.S.-led war include Fr. Paulos Iskander, who was beheaded; Fr. Mundhir al-Dayr, who was assassinated in his Protestant church; and Fr. Ragheed Ganni and three deacons, who were gunned down and whose cars were bombed, according to Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, in the National Review.
"The suffering of Iraqi Christians has been beyond description and is not yet over. More than ever, the Iraqi Christians need our prayer and support," said Jonathan Racho, ICC's regional manager for Africa and the Middle East.
"The latest martyrdom of our brothers should serve to awaken churches in the Western countries to come to the aid of their Iraqi brothers and sisters," he said. "We call upon Iraqi officials and the allied forces in Iraq to avert further attacks against Iraqi Christians. It is simply unacceptable to watch the extinction of the Christian community from Iraq."
Posted on 04/27/2009 9:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 27 April 2009
Gordon Brown Makes -- Dimly -- A Connection
From a news account:
After visiting British troops in Afghanistan Monday, Brown said the safety of the Western world was tied to events in the beleaguered frontier region.
"Stability on the streets of London depends on stability in the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan," Brown said. The border areas "are the breeding ground, the crucible of terrorism."
Gordon Brown should ponder his own words: "Stability on the streets of London depends on stability in the border areas of Afghansitan and London." What is the meaning of that observation to Gordon Brown? What should it mean?
Posted on 04/27/2009 6:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 27 April 2009
The Japanese Train Station
A Jew from the tiny village (shtetl) of Zalecie was sent by his firm to Osaka. He arrived at the local station and said to the station attendant “I want to buy a ticket for Osaka”.
Station attendant : "I don’t know where that is. Go to Warsaw and ask there!”
When the Jew reached Warsaw, he immediately went to the booth and asked for a ticket to Osaka.
Station attendant: "I don’t know where that is. Go to Moscow and ask there”
In Moscow, our Jew went to the booth and said “A Ticket to Osaka please”.
Station attendant: "Asaka? I’m not familiar with it but I advise you to take the train to Vladivostock on the Pacific Coast and ask there."
In Vladivostock our Zalecie resident approached the ticket booth and asked the station attendant “A ticket for Osaka please!”
Station attendant: "I don’t know where that is, but take the train to Tokyo and ask there – they must know!”
What did our Jewish friend do at the Tokyo station – he bought a ticket to Osaka!
When he finished his mission, he went to the Osaka train station wishing to return home.
The Jew: “I require a ticket for Zalecie please"
Station attendant: "Is that Upper Zalecie or Lower Zalecie?”
Posted on 04/27/2009 6:50 PM by Norman Berdichevsky