Friday, March 31, 2006
State Department criticizes Russia for religious intolerance; praises Afghanistan for religious freedom
It's buried at the end of this report, "Church to Open a Rights Center," from The Moscow Times, with thanks to Daryl:
Also, Kirill criticized a recent U.S. State Department report that criticized religious tolerance in Russia while praising Afghanistan for its religious freedom.
I hereby nominate Abdul Rahman to man State's Afghanistan desk.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Germany has opened an investigation into six companies that may have supplied Iran with technology vital to the mullahcracy's development of nuclear arms, the New York Times reports today. They're apparently not alone, as the Germans state that Russian companies acted as intermediaries for the transactions:
German prosecutors are investigating whether six German companies sold electronic equipment to a clandestine procurement network established to supply Iran with equipment for its nuclear development program.
A prosecutor in the state of Brandenberg, Benedikt Welfens, told German television on Monday that several million dollars' worth of equipment that could be used for a nuclear program had been shipped from Germany to Iran, via a Russian company that operated in Berlin in 2003 and 2004.
"Its main business is the supply of Iran's nuclear program," Mr. Welfens said on the ARD television network. He said the parts included special cables, pumps and transformers, worth about $3.6 million.
The Web site of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel on Tuesday quoted Mr. Welfens as saying that prosecutors suspected that one of the companies knew where the equipment had been headed, while the others may have mistakenly believed the equipment had been destined for Russia, for which no export restrictions apply.
If the German companies truly believed that they sold the equipment to the Russians as end users, it demonstrates a rather lackadaisical approach to the security of dual-use technology on the part of Germany. It seems likely that the German companies, and the German government, didn't much care where their technology ended up as long as it brought in cash. This rationale sounds very familiar in any case; the Germans, Russians, and others got caught breaking the sanctions against Saddam by supplying Iraq with weapons and technology that got middled through Syria in a similar fashion.
But if this shows that Germany has been asleep at the switch, it demonstrates that Russia has been wide awake in its dealings with Iran. The transactions show that Russia has put a lot of effort into breaking the technology embargoes against Iran, all of which are designed to keep Iran from going nuclear -- a goal which they profess to share. If that was truly the case, though, the Russians would not provide clandestine means of communication for that technology to reach Iran.
The Russians have decided to restart the Cold War and want to start building up a network of nuclear states in opposition to the US and the West. Vladimir Putin has supplied the worst dictators with technology and intelligence aimed directly against Western interests, including military intelligence to Saddam Hussein that, in the hands of a more competent military commander, could have made the invasion of Iraq much bloodier. Russia remained one of the regime's biggest suppliers, sending weapons to Baghdad through 2002 despite the absolute UN Security Council ban on sales of military equipment of any sort. And now they're doing the same thing with Iran.
We must not allow Russia to insinuate itself as a mediator in the Iranian nuclear standoff. Their interests lie in a nuclear Iran to keep the US and UK out of the region. They should be treated as an advocate for the enemy in this diplomatic effort, because they certainly have proven themselves no friend to the West.
Posted by Captain Ed
At Brussels Journal, Fjordman translates a disturbing series of quotes from a Swedish newspaper article about the crime wave sweeping the city of Malmö: Swedish Welfare State Collapses as Immigrants Wage War. (Hat tip: grayp.)
Fjordman writes: “Although it is not stated, most of the immigrant perpetrators are Muslims. In one of the rare instances where the Swedish media actually revealed the truth, the newspaper Aftonbladet reported several years ago that 9 out of 10 of the most criminal ethnic groups in Sweden came from Muslim countries. This must be borne in mind whilst reading the following newspaper article:”
Immigrants are “waging war” against Swedes through robbery
The wave of robberies the city of Malmö has witnessed during this past year is part of a “war against the Swedes.” This is the explanation given by young robbers from immigrant backgrounds when questioned about why they only rob native Swedes, in interviews with Petra Akesson for her thesis in sociology. “I read a report about young robbers in Stockholm and Malmö and wanted to know why they rob other youths. It usually does not involve a lot of money,” she says. She interviewed boys between 15 and 17 years old, both individually and in groups.
Almost 90% of all robberies reported to the police were committed by gangs, not individuals. “When we are in the city and robbing we are waging a war, waging a war against the Swedes.” This argument was repeated several times. “Power for me means that the Swedes shall look at me, lie down on the ground and kiss my feet.” The boys explain, laughingly, that “there is a thrilling sensation in your body when you’re robbing, you feel satisfied and happy, it feels as if you’ve succeeded, it simply feels good.” “It’s so easy to rob Swedes, so easy.” “We rob every single day, as often as we want to, whenever we want to.” The immigrant youth regard the Swedes as stupid and cowardly: “The Swedes don’t do anything, they just give us the stuff. They’re so wimpy.” The young robbers do not plan their crimes: “No, we just see some Swedes that look rich or have nice mobile phones and then we rob them.” LGF
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) — Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified at his sentencing trial Monday that he knew about the terrorist group’s plan to crash airplanes into the World Trade Center.
“I had knowledge that the two towers would be hit, but I did not have the details,” Moussaoui told jurors after taking the stand in his own defense. He said he was supposed to pilot a plane into the White House, with convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid as a member of his crew. Moussaoui said he did not know in advance the precise date of Twin Towers attack, which unfolded the morning of September 11, 2001.
The only person tried in the United States in connection with the 9/11 attacks, Moussaoui testified against the advice of his court-appointed lawyers.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Here’s an excellent post from Alexandra von Maltzan at All Things Beautiful: The Myth Of Palestine Part II.
The “Palestine” lovers are so concerned with a right to a state for a completely new and unprecedented nationality, whereas for some reason the right to self-determination for the world’s oldest nationality— one which has acted, by any moral barometer, with infinitely more compassion, civilization, and care for human life than the new-fangled murderous one he is championing—seems to be extremely limited if it exists at all. That is the classic definition of anti-Semitism: one standard for everyone else, and then an impossible one for the Jews.
Joschka Fischer's past as a Frankfurt street-fighter has again caught up with him. For the second time in five years, Fischer has been called as a witness to testify about his experiences in Frankfurt's anarcho-lefty "scene" during the 1970s. The first time was in the 2001 trial that saw former Fischer friend Hans-Joachim Klein convicted for his part in a terrorist attack on a 1971 OPEC meeting in Vienna during which three people were killed.
The Wednesday (22 March 2006) edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports:
Fischer, on Tuesday called as a witness in a civil suit opposing the Frankfurt music producer Ralf Scheffler and the Munich-based weekly Focus, seemed to be still impressed by his experience of the precision required by the justice system. His way out of the problem was the usual: you cannot later be accused of having spoken falsely what you do not say at all. Explaining that the events in question occurred thirty years ago, Fischer claimed hardly to remember that a so-called "Cleaning Group" [Putzgruppe] existed on the militant fringe of the Frankfurt anarcho-leftist scene. He is supposed, moreover, to have been the leader of the group. The civil suit revolves around this band of street fighters: later and with a certain self-irony labeled the "Proletarian Union for Terror and Destruction" [the initials give the acronym "PUTZ" in German – JR].
It is interesting to note who else is supposed to have formed part of Fischer's Frankfurt circle of friends: notably, for example, the German diplomat Tom Koenigs, who is also scheduled to testify in the trial. The FAZ writes:
In his early years of inner turmoil, the banker's son from Cologne is supposed to have bequeathed his inherited wealth to the Vietcong. Later, as a member of the Green party, he served as the environmental counselor of the city of Frankfurt. Koenigs is supposed also to have figured among "Fisherman's Friends" as one strapped on one's motorcycle helmet before encounters with the police. Afterwards at the bar, according to the former Green Party member Jutta Ditfurth, the guys bragged about their heroic deeds in the confrontations with the "pigs" [Bullen – literally "bulls"].
From 1999 to 2002, Tom Koenigs was Deputy Special Representative, responsible for civil administration, in the UN administration (UNMIK) in Kosovo. In December of last year, he was appointed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
An interview with Stephan Grigat by Jens Misera
(First published in "Israel Nachrichten", the German daily newspaper in Tel Aviv in 2004;first published in English at http://info.interactivist.net/ in 2005)
Jens Misera: You are a member of the Viennese group "Café Critique", a pool of anti-German communists. What is your definition of communism? Stephan Grigat: Communism is a concept which cannot be defined in terms of the established social sciences. Strictly speaking, communism is nothing more than the movement of materialistic criticism. And communists, who detest propaganda, should refuse to deliver too detailed descriptions of a possible communist society. Not because one could not imagine a society beyond the utilization imperative of capital and the domination imperative of the state, but rather because of the simple reason that people should talk about and criticise the existing reality in the first place. People who are only interested in how the bananas will come to Europe and who will remove the dirt from the streets in communism - questions which appear to be rather strange, by the way, in view of the fact that approximately two thirds of humanity live in misery - those people don't find fault with the existing system anyway. But criticizing the existing also basically implies, how it should be instead: Communism is not about a dictatorship of people over people, but rather about a dictatorship of the will and the wishes of people over the objective-material conditions of their existence. Therefore, materialistic criticism is about creating social conditions, which enable people for the first time, to plan their lives self-confidently, that is, beyond the utilization imperative and domination imperative of state and capital. This is not paradise on earth, where there are no problems and contradictions any more, but a society established according to the requirements of reason, where no one, anywhere in the world, must starve because he does not have enough means. Communism, in this sense, has nothing to do with either traditional marxism nor with alternative renunciation ideologies. It is neither about an equal distribution of misery, nor about consumption renunciation.
Friday, March 24, 2006
You may already know that malevolent British MP George Galloway is a creep, but you may not realize how much of a creep, until you see this outrageous March 18 appearance on Abu Dhabi TV featuring Galloway’s antisemitic jibes at Richard Perle, courtesy of MEMRI TV.
As you watch, notice how Galloway calculatedly, carefully enunciates each word to make sure the UAE translators get every bit of his hate speech exactly right.
George Galloway: A hundred thousand or more of the Iraqi patients have died. Sectarianism and extremism, fundamentalism, is now rampant in Iraq. The entire Muslim world has been radicalized. There are flames spreading throughout the Muslim world. They are even reverberating outside the Muslim world, in Europe, including in the capital city of London, where I sit.
Now even amongst the crazed Zionist Crusader fundamentalists who got us into this war, Richard Perle is an extremist. In fact, most of the neo-con Zionists who talked Bush into this war have now begun to admit that this has been a terrible catastrophic mistake. Unfortunately, it is not their blood, which has been shed. It has been the blood of entirely innocent people, whose lives have been destroyed.
So nobody serious, outside the lunatic asylum of Richard Perle’s circle, any longer believes that the invasion of an Arab Muslim country by hundreds of thousands of Crusading soldiers has done anything to make the world a more peaceful place.
And that’s why Bush, in November, will pay a very high political price, and Mr. Blair will be out within a few weeks. I assure you, anyone who studies the politics in London knows that Mr. Blair is in his last days in Downing Street. And when they come to write his obituary - the word Iraq will be engraved at its heart.
In Iran, 17 million people voted for the President, Ahmadinejad, and ten million voted for his opponent Rafsanjani. Those 27 million are determined to exercise their right to nuclear power. The response of Bush and Perle is to threaten them with invasion.
These are the people who murdered Salvador Allende, the elected president of Chile. These are the people who have overthrown elected governments all over the world, and he come on your program to prattle about democracy. These people don’t want democracy, they want slave governments. If it’s a slave dictatorship - that’s fine. If it’s a slave elected government - that’s also fine. The only thing that matters is that the government is a slave government. That’s why they will never invade Egypt. They will never invade Saudi Arabia. They only invade countries or threaten to invade countries, who stand against them and who refuse to be slaves to them. That’s why they hated Iraq, that’s why they hate Iran, that’s why they hate Syria.
Of all the faults of all the three regimes in these three countries - they were never slaves to the United States, and that’s why they were attacked.
Richard Perle: Let me just say, having listened to George Galloway, that I am not going to insult the intelligence or waste the time of an audience that has tuned to this channel in the hope that they will hear an interesting discussion, by responding to his ad hominem and scurrilous personal attacks. This is what he’s good at. It’s a talent from the gutter, and I’m not going to engage in this.
George Galloway: Show us the shekels.
Richard Perle: I’m not going to engage in it.
George Galloway: Show us the shekels, Richard.
Richard Perle: Needless to say... what he’s had to say deserves no serious comment, and so I’m not going to make any comment about his personal attacks.
But I do find ironic his comment on the absence of democracy in the Muslim world, when the only Arab country to have voted in a free election in living memory is the Iraq that was liberated by the United States, the United Kingdom, and a number of other countries acting in this coalition.
One of the most popular comedians in France is Dieudonné—an antisemitic, hate-spewing lunatic fond of dressing up in Nazi uniforms.
When the curtain rises, he is greeted with roars and whoops by a packed, multi-racial audience, which is young, trendy, intellectual and left-wing. Many of them have come straight from the latest demonstration against the government’s new jobs law for the young.
Much of Dieudonné’s show - “Le Depot du Bilan” (The Bankruptcy) - is surreally funny. ...
All through the show, however, something else intrudes, something darker and more sinister. Dieudonné is obsessed with Jews. All races, even his own mixed black and white origins, get a gentle mickey-taking in his show. When Jews are mentioned - and they are mentioned over and over again - the tone becomes more aggressive, even violent.
In one skit, Bernard-Henri Lévy, the Jewish-French philosopher, haggles with a street potato seller. Dieudonné/Lévy says: “How can you ask me to pay so much when six million of us died in the Holocaust?” Roars of delight from the audience. There is also a Hitler-in-his-bunker sketch which is moderately funny until the closing line: “You will see, in the future, people will come to realise that I, Adolf Hitler, was really a moderate.” ...
Dieudonné proceeds by the kind of nudge-nudge, coded provocation that has long been the stock in trade of the anti-Semitic far right in France. He had been prosecuted 17 times for inciting racial hatred, or denying the Holocaust, but had won every case before his recent condemnation. If you put a few of his comments together, however, the Dieudonné message becomes pretty clear.
On Beur FM, a radio station directed at young people of North African origin, he said in March last year: “In my children’s school books, I ripped out the pages on the Shoah. I will continue to do so as long as our pain is not recognised.”
In December 2003, he appeared on a French chat and comedy show dressed as an Israeli West Bank colonist and ended his skit with a Nazi salute and shouted: “Israel-heil”. In his statement announcing his intention to run for the presidency, he launched an attack on the French Jewish association CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France). It was, he said, a “Zionist organisation of the extreme right that gathers all our leaders at the beginning of the year to share with them a roadmap or an agenda for the year ahead”.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
If they’re not happy here perhaps they could go back to Iran and try it under the Ayatollahs
a remark which he repeated – with slight variations in the wording between the two comments -- when asked to explain himself. As it happens, the Reuben brothers were born in Bombay to Iraqi parents of Jewish descent and have lived in the UK for almost four decades. Had they actually been Iranian, the remark would have been the equivalent to saying to a pair of black property developers: ‘Go back where you came from’ – the defining verbal tic of a racist. Since they are not Iranian, the remark is the equivalent of saying to a pair of Jamaican property developers: ‘Go back to Africa’ – a possibly even more offensive variant on this tic. In any event, suggesting that two Jews should either shut up or push off to a regime which regards them as targets for genocide is simply an expression of a quite visceral prejudice.
There are two possible reasons for this behaviour. The first is that, when presented with Jews doing something that irritates him, Livingstone cannot stop himself from an instinctively and obsessively prejudiced reaction. The second is that he is cynically milking for political advantage the dismaying public support he received over the Standards Board’s ruling. That support derived in part from the view that Livingstone’s remarks to the reporter – comparing him to a ‘war criminal’ and then, upon learning that he was a Jew, to a ‘concentration camp guard’, were no more than Ken being a bit tired and emotional and, well, Ken just being Ken and that altogether far too big a deal was being made of the whole thing, particularly since an unelected quango had had the temerity to suspend the London voters' hero. Livingstone manipulated all this brilliantly, managing to imply that accusations of anti-Jewish prejudice were a Zionist conspiracy (even though the issue of Israel had had absolutely nothing to do with it) and posing as a martyr for democracy. Any prejudice was all coming from the other direction.
With today’s non-alcoholic outburst, however, that defence falls away. One anti-Jewish remark may (to some people) be an accident, but two suggests a pathology. The reaction to this incident will be interesting to observe. Let’s see who stands up for decency here. The London Assembly’s Conservative group is commendably jumping up and down. In a press release, Assembly member Brian Coleman said:
This is the latest antisemitic remark by Livingstone. He clearly has a major problem with the Jewish business community. To suggest that these men should go to Iran is shocking, outrageous and grossly offensive to the entire Jewish community.
That community itself, however, may now be cautious in its response. In Britain, Jewish leaders are neurotically averse to putting their heads above the parapet for fear of making the prejudice against Jews even worse – a stance which they feel was all too horribly vindicated by the backlash against the complaint made by the Board of Deputies of British Jews (and the Commission for Racial Equality and many others, by the way) over the concentration camp guard episode. It would not be surprising, therefore, if the Board were reacting to today’s developments with unalloyed horror – not just at Livingstone’s remarks, but at the prospect of having to raise once again the issue that now dare not speak its name in multicultural Britain.
For there is no doubt that anti-Jewish hatred is now the forbidden prejudice – forbidden, that is, to be complained about. There are many reasons for this, including – ironically – a revolt by the public in general against the tendentious or false accusations of offensiveness which are now routinely deployed by minority groups as weapons against majority values (through intimidating people with accusations of Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia) as in the recent uproar over the Danish cartoons. This has led to an impatience with any minority group complaining about prejudice, even where the complaint is well-founded. People have had it up to here with the delicate sensibilities of minorities, period. So the Jews, who really are victims of true, unprovoked, irrational prejudice based on a visceral and ancient hatred, are being similarly dismissed in the same backlash.
But there’s more, much more to this. Jewish victimhood is simply being systematically expunged from the British narrative. Why? Many reasons; but one of the deepest is that it’s payback time for the guilt that Christian Europe has been made to feel for the way Jews have been treated at its hands – and Israel is their get-out-of-jail-free card. Which is why we can expect Livingstone to claim that the protests against today’s remarks are all a Zionist/Mossad plot. Press the Israel button and silence the British Jews. Which is why the timid, servile, supine boobies who pass for the leaders of the Jewish community should grit their teeth and name this thing for what it is. If they are muted or silenced, the intimidation will have worked and the peddlers of prejudice will have won.
We can never eradicate the oldest hatred. The only question is whether the Jews of Britain choose to deal with it on their knees, or by standing upright and fighting it like a free people. It’s a no-brainer.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Above is a poster made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - as you know, this Commission is one of the worst jokes in recent history, a club subsidized by our tax dollars and euros to defend the honor and pride of the worst tyrannies and dictatorships in the world.
On this poster, Denmark is being insulted. No, not Sudan / I have no recollection of a poster ever made by the High Commssioner to criticize Sudan.
But Denmark is an easy target.
If Denmark is racist, how to call Saudi Arabia, or Iran, or any other Arab/Muslim tyranny?
I am so fed up with the political elites of the UN, the EU, and the rest of the dhimmi world... and I am even paying for them...
The Free West's Weblog
Sweden’s foreign minister Laila Freivald resigned today, after accusations that she acted unconstitutionally by shutting down a web site that published the dreaded cartoons of blasphemy. (Hat tip: Sugiero.)
Laila Freivald resigned as Sweden’s foreign minister on Tuesday with immediate effect, after accusations that she acted unconstitutionally by closing a far-right web site that published controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. Freivald also was sharply criticized last year for the Swedish government’s bungled response to the Asian tsunami, which claimed the lives of around 500 Swedes on holiday. Prime Minister Goran Persson said Freivald’s departure was her own decision.
Given that Denmark published the cartoons that riled up so many Muslims, one would think that the powers-that-be at the UN might be sensitive to sending the wrong message. Or is this attack (discovered by the eagle-eyed Michelle Malkin) on LEGO – a Danish company – just one more sign that the UN has completely capitulated to Islam?
Certainly it could be taken as a way to depict Danes as racists. After all, you have a nondescript jigsaw puzzle and incongruously, and intrusively, a LEGO piece that has no reason to be in the photo-except for a cheap propaganda shot.
The European Union will be giving $78 million to Hamas:
EU to sign aid for Palestinians. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — The European Union will sign a deal Monday with the United Nations granting euro64 million (US$78 million) in urgent aid for Palestinians, but much more in future funding is under threat after the formation of a government by Hamas, a group the Europeans consider a terrorist group.
The EU foreign ministers will debate the impact of a Hamas government, as will the 25 EU leaders at a Brussels summit later in the week.
On Sunday, a European diplomat said the EU will work with Hamas, but added, “Those putting together the new government must know that how they decide their government program will have repercussions.”
“We’ll look at what (Hamas) adopts as its program, what it says about key issues” such as recognizing Israel and Middle East peace, said the official, who asked not to be named given the sensitive nature of the EU-Palestinian relations.
And then they’ll fork over the dough as usual.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
A TERROR suspect allegedly linked to al Qaeda has visited the Houses of Parliament — as the guest of a Labour peer.
Former detainee Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh even sat in the Commons public gallery for a debate.
He was invited to Westminster on Tuesday by Lord Ahmed, who met him at Regent’s Park mosque three weeks ago.
The father of five — suspected of being a money man for terror groups — was given a SECURITY sticker for his Parliamentary visit.
And he boasted yesterday of sitting in the Commons gallery, adding: “It was very interesting.”
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis last night said Abu Rideh had been able to “walk around one of the UK’s biggest terror targets”.
Lord Ahmed confirmed he invited Abu Rideh, 34, to see him — and said he QUIZZED him over the suspected al Qaeda link.
He said: “I gave an appointment to see him this week. He came to see me as a Parliamentarian. It was my duty to hear what he had to say.
“He came through the peers’ entrance. He went through the security check and I met him at security. He did not leave me for one second.
“I did not take him into any public gallery.“I asked him, ‘Have you ever been linked with al Qaeda?’ and he denied it.”
Oh, well, then it's OK.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Here’s a disturbing report at Healing Iraq:
Sistani: “Gays Should Be Killed in Worst Way Possible.”
His Eminence, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the supreme religious authority for Shi’ite Muslims in Iraq and worldwide, decrees that gays and lesbians should be killed in the worst manner possible, according to this news article from a London-based gay rights group.
A quick search through Sistani’s official website turns up this page, translated as:
Q: What is the judgement on sodomy and lesbianism?
A: “Forbidden. Those involved in the act should be punished. In fact, sodomites should be killed in the worst manner possible.”Thus says the Iranian cleric who was nominated by Iraqis for the 2005 Nobel Peace prize.
"You are not a human being!" You are just a dhimmi.
"Intruder Threatens Catholic Priests and Youths," from Compass Direct, with thanks to Leslie:
March 16 (Compass) – A Turkish Muslim shouting insults against Christianity pulled a long butcher knife on two priests and a group of teenagers last Saturday evening (March 11) at a Latin Catholic church in Mersin, threatening them and their families.
In a 30-minute standoff in the town on the southern coast of Turkey, Erdal Gurel entered the parish convent of St. Antoine’s Catholic Church while 25 of the church’s young people were rehearsing for an Easter passion play.
“I was in my church office about 7:30 p.m. when I heard someone shouting and looked out in the hall to see what was happening,” Brother Hanri Leylek later told the police in a recorded statement.
Leylek, a Turkish citizen and brother in the Capuchin order, said he offered to help the stranger. But the man insisted with strong language, “I want to see the fat bearded priest.” Then he started to swear loudly and “talk nonsense,” Leylek said.
Telling the frightened parish youth to go back and lock themselves in their rehearsal room, Leylek tried to talk with Gurel and asked him to go outside. When he began to shout insults and refused to leave, the priest went to a hallway telephone to call the police.
Before the priest finished dialing, the church young people shouted a warning. He turned around to see the intruder approaching him, brandishing a 30-inch butcher knife that had been hidden behind his back.
“He started to threaten me with the knife and curse against Christianity and the church,” Leylek said.
Just then Italian priest Roberto Ferrari entered from the kitchen door. Gurel turned and dashed toward him, waving the knife and declaring in vulgar terms, “You are not a human being! I will violate your mother, your sisters, your children.”
Read it all.
Friday, March 17, 2006
At LA Weekly, Brendan Bernhard does an excellent review of Oriana Fallaci’s new book The Force of Reason: The Fallaci Code.
In the 1960s and ’70s, when she was a Vietnam War correspondent and a legendarily ferocious interviewer — going mano a mano with the likes of Henry Kissinger and Yasser Arafat, Fallaci was simply too preoccupied with the events of the moment to notice that an entirely different narrative was rapidly taking shape — namely, the transformation of the West. There were clues, certainly. As when, in 1972, she interviewed the Palestinian terrorist George Habash, who told her (while a bodyguard aimed a submachine gun at her head) that the Palestinian problem was about far more than Israel. The Arab goal, Habash declared, was to wage war “against Europe and America” and to ensure that henceforth “there would be no peace for the West.” The Arabs, he informed her, would “advance step by step. Millimeter by millimeter. Year after year. Decade after decade. Determined, stubborn, patient. This is our strategy. A strategy that we shall expand throughout the whole planet.”
Fallaci thought he was referring simply to terrorism. Only later did she realize that he “also meant the cultural war, the demographic war, the religious war waged by stealing a country from its citizens ... In short, the war waged through immigration, fertility, presumed pluriculturalism.” It is a low-level but deadly war that extends across the planet, as any newspaper reader can see.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
By Julia Gorin
Milosevic's death probably marks only the second or third time most people have heard anything about the so-called "Second Nuremberg" trial in the four years it has been proceeding. That's because it wasn't going too well - for the prosecution, which Milosevic embarrassed on a daily basis. Journalists were snickering at the prosecution's flimsy evidence and flaccid performance. That’s right: journalists--those people who built their careers in the 1990s as co-belligerents against the Serbs in the Balkan wars.
Though Milosevic's conviction was a foregone conclusion (we wouldn't want any more rampaging Muslims than there already are in Europe), he was creaming the Court (the Court and the prosecution are essentially one) to such a degree that six months ago prosecutor Geoffrey Nice admitted (transcript) that he was no longer sure what, exactly, the case against the former strongman was. Why four years to try someone who was the undisputed "Butcher of Belgrade"? The answer is that there's been an unintended benefit to the otherwise bad idea of an international court: the historical record was being set straight.
No, this typically corrupt Balkan socialist was no prize, but he was no genocidist either. But look for a renewed offensive about Milosevic's alleged "crimes" from the majority of the media anyway--and blame for the Balkan wars placed squarely on Serb shoulders--now that the press (both Right and Left) is confident the truth will stay buried with him. Slivers of this truth are present in a few recent headlines you most likely won’t have seen: “Ethnic Albanian Guerrillas Warn UN to Leave Kosovo,” (Agence France Presse March 1, 2006); “Kosovo Bishop Warns Not to Hand Jihadists a Victory,” (CNSNews.com February 23, 2006); “Terror Hunt for 7/7 Bomber's Relative in Bosnia Mosque,” (The Mail February 12, 2006); “Grand Mufti of Bosnia Calls for Standing by Syria,” (ArabicNews.com February 4, 2006); “Abu Hamza 'Boasted of Bosnia Action',” (London Times January 17, 2006); Ex-Security Chief Blows Whistle on UN's Kosovo Mission, (CNSNews.com September 27, 2005).
All that Americans need to know about that confounding, dreaded subject that we so aggressively ignore, the Balkans, is that the Serbs have admitted to not being innocent in those civil wars. But they were less guilty than their enemies--the Croats (a people Germanized since the 1500s and nostalgic for the 1930s), the Bosnian Muslims, and the Albanian Kosovo Muslims. None of these other parties has admitted to anything at all, despite their much more dastardly roles in sparking the Balkan wars. Darling of the West, the late Bosnian President and fundamentalist Muslim Alija Izetbegovic turned down the 1992 Lisbon plan that would have avoided the Bosnian war. Then the Croats, under Franjo Tudjman, ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Serbs from Croatia during Operation Storm. The Albanian role, meanwhile, was summarized in a National Post article by Canadian former UN Commander Major General Lewis MacKenzie, entitled "We Bombed the Wrong Side?":
"The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized…their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early '90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world."
When Bill Clinton misled us into an obscure region called Kosovo to stop a genocide that wasn't happening, he told us it would stabilize the region, keep the conflict from spreading. This is precisely what Milosevic was doing. Like clockwork, within months of our intervention, the Albanians moved on to terrorize Macedonia, and now they are fighting for parts of Southern Serbia, Montenegro and Greece to form the Greater Albania that had been their nationalistic and Islamic vision all along. Meanwhile, as UN human rights observer Jiri Dienstbier has said, "Kosovo is an infinitely more dangerous place than it was before" the U.S.-led NATO intervention. What we've managed to do, if you can imagine, is destabilize the notoriously unstable Balkans.
Indeed, we mistook for Nazis people who were fighting the Nazis' real heirs. Once we approve independence for Kosovo this year and Albanian borders revert to what they were under Hitler, it'll be worth recalling that an Albanian SS Skanderbeg Division and a Bosnian-Muslim SS Handzar Division fought alongside Hitler, and that Croatia killed 750,000 Serbs and Jews in concentration camps--in ways that humbled the Nazis. By looking for holocausts under every bed, we picked a staged one, and set the stage for a real one; the Serbs were only the Balkans' first victims. New York, Madrid, London and Netanya followed soon enough.
For some reason, fate intends the Serbs to be maligned to the end. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman died before the Hague could hand down an indictment for his war crimes--which would have exposed the damning Croatian role in the Balkan wars; Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic was being quietly investigated and died before the indictment came down (which would have been damning to the Bosnian Muslims)--and now Milosevic has died before the completion of the trial that threatened to expose the Islamofascist narco-terrorist hoax on whose behalf we declared war against a multi-ethnic European nation.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
ANKARA, Turkey, MARCH 12, 2006 (Zenit.org).- For the second time in the last two months a priest in the southern Turkish city of Mersin has been attacked.
Early Saturday evening a young man with a knife entered the parish of Capuchin Father Hanri Leylek, saying that he wanted to speak with a priest.
Aid to the Church in Need told ZENIT that young Turk insulted the priest and then threatened him with an 80-centimeter (31-inch) Kebab knife.
The priest was able to repel the aggressor, and that same evening the police arrested a suspect, a young Turk.
Bishop Luigi Padovese, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia, reported that this was the second time, in the last two months, that an attempt was made to kill a Catholic clergyman in the parish of Mersin, where 700 Catholics reside.
Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses Turkey's demand that the EU adopt Islamic blasphemy laws:
Abdullah Gul, who works for Erdogan, both of whom have absurdly described Europe as being a "Christian club" -- even as they belong to the "Muslim club" of the O.I.C. -- is now trying to demand changes in the right of freedom of speech as understood within Europe. He and Erdogan are doing this despite the fact that Turkey has not yet been admitted to the E.U. One would think that at this point they would be trying to be on their best behavior, instead of issuing demands and veiled threats.
The E. U. will not, and should not, permit Turkey’s admission. Too many, during the Cold War, were willing to believe that Turkey was permanently on the road to ever more secularism, ever more Kemalism. Too many thought that the Cult of Ataturk -- and not everyone recognized that it was merely a replacement for the only conceivable alternative, the Cult of Muhammad -- was itself permanent.
It was not to be. The beneficiaries of Kemalism may now be about one-quarter of the population. But they were never sufficiently grateful to him to continue his practice of pushing Islam to the side of Turkish life. They never realized, for example, that instead of forever pretending that the Armenian genocide did not take place, they should have worked to have the question forthrightly studied, and once studied recognized -- but recognized not as some fault inherent in "the Turks" but rather, as the result of Islamic teachings. Those teachings also explain the massacres of the Greeks in Smyrna, the anti-Greek violence in Istanbul in 1955 (in which 4,000 Infidel-owned businesses were destroyed), and the World-War-II era legislation, the Varlik Vergesi, that was in effect a kind of Jizyah imposed on non-Muslims (and on this, see the conclusions of a study by Faik Okte, who had been put in charge of collecting the tax).
Continue reading "Fitzgerald: Turkey vs. free speech"
Monday, March 13, 2006
The cartoon-rage-based war on free speech spreads, and is still based on the fiction that Christianity and Judaism are somehow protected from criticism by European laws. From The Telegraph, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
Abdullah Gul, the Turkish foreign minister, sparked disagreement among his EU counterparts at a weekend meeting in Austria, when he called for European nations to review existing laws, to ensure they outlawed the "defamation" of all religions.
Mr Gul told a meeting of EU and Balkan foreign ministers in Salzburg that many Muslims believed that European laws amounted to a double-standard, protecting established Christian religions, and banning anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, while doing nothing to defend Muslims who felt offended....
However, Bernard Bot, the Dutch foreign minister, told reporters: "We have freedom of speech. That means that Mr Gul can say what he wants and I can say what I want. And I think that this [Mr Gul's idea] is superfluous."
Bot, I hope you win.
School textbooks should be reviewed for intolerant depictions of Islam and other faiths by experts overseen by the European Union and Islamic leaders, the European Parliament was told yesterday.
The call for a special committee to examine religious education in schools came from Hans-Gert Pöttering, the German Christian Democrat, who heads the largest group of MEPs. But the proposal was immediately condemned as "appeasement" by Charles Tannock, a British Conservative MEP.
Right you are, Tannock.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Mark Steyn’s column is no longer available in the British press; according to the Guardian’s Lionel Shriver, Steyn has now been dropped from both the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator. (Hat tip: Tim Blair.)
And there’s very little doubt that it’s because of his clear-headed, uncompromising writing about Islam.
UPDATE at 3/12/06 8:23:20 am:
As a case in point, here’s Mark’s new column for the Sun-Times: Media shockingly ignorant of Muslims among us.
If Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar is not a free-lance terrorist, then what is he? Who is he? What’s he thinking? In the absence of any explanatory voices from the Muslim community, all we have are the bare bones of his resume: He’s a 22-year old UNC psychology major who graduated in December. And what’s revealing is the link between Taheri-azar’s grievance and his action.
Take him at his word: He’s upset about “the treatment of Muslims around the world” — presumably at the hands of Israelis on the West Bank, of the Russians in Chechnya, the Indians in Kashmir, the Americans in the Sunni Triangle and the Danes in the funny pages. So what does he do to avenge Islam? He goes to the rental agency, takes out the biggest car on the lot, drives it to UNC and rams it into the men and women he’s spent the last few years studying with and socializing with — the one group of infidels he knows really well.
How many Muslims feel similarly? Not many in America, perhaps — if only when compared to Europe: For all the multiculti blather, the United States still does a better job assimilating immigrants than France or Germany. A recent poll found that 40 percent of British Muslims want sharia introduced in the United Kingdom and 20 percent sympathized with the “feelings and motives” of the July 7 London Tube bombers. Or, more accurately, 20 percent were prepared to admit to a pollster they felt sympathy, which suggests the real figure might be somewhat higher. Huge numbers of Muslims — many of them British subjects born and bred — see their fellow Britons blown apart on trains and buses and are willing to rationalize the actions of mass murderers.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
A translation of this Jyllands Posten article, "The Quran reported to the Police" is here, with thanks to all who sent this in.
A broad alliance of grass-roots movements have gone to the prosecutors of several states to hinder the dissemination of the Quran. According to the indictment, the Quran is not just a religious and historic book, but also a political book, which is incompatible with the constiution.
At the prosecutor’s office at Gorch-Forck-Wall 15 in Hamburg, an unusual letter was received Monday morning, containing an indictment filed this weekend. The indictment targeted the Quran, charging that the holy book of the Moslems, according to the accuser, is incompatible with the German constitution.
The accuser is “Bundesverband der Bürgerbewegungen (BVB)”, which concerns itself with, in its own words, “defending basic rights and freedoms” against Islam. The extensive international furore, allegedly caused by the Muhammed cartoons, has made clear the relevancy of the alliance. Its homepage is decorated with a Danish flag with the words “Support Denmark! Defend the Free World.” superimposed on it.
The indictment has been filed in several states, including Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bayern and probably more.
In several talkshows on German TV, conservative politicians have pointed out that the Quran is incompatible with the German constitution. The Turkish-born writer Serap Cileli said on January 29 this year that “the Quran must be considered a historic document. It is not compatible with our constitution and Human Rights.”
Now the alliance wants the matter tried at the courts.
Potent Political BookThe author of the indictment in Hamburg, Jutta Starke, says that the Quran was reported to the police two or three years ago, but that the report was dismissed on the grounds that it was a book of only historical interest.
“The events of the last months have made clear that the Quran isn’t just a historical book, but very much a potent political book, a thing which we document extensively in the indictment,” Jutta Starke says.
She says it is a task of sisyphean dimensions to inform the media, politicians and churches of the true intentions of Islam in the enlightened world of the West.
“We are grateful to Jyllands-Posten that discussions about Islam have now become possible,” says Jutta Starke....
Just about everybody in Denmark has expressed regret that the Mohammed Cartoons may have caused offense. But that isn’t good enough. Denmark must kowtow really low before it will satisfy “Muslim preachers,” namely one Tareq al-Suweidan.
This is of course an intimidation tactice, after the trumped-up “offense” at the perfectly innocent Mohammed cartoons. It is Muslim cultural imperialism. It means a surrender of free speech from now on out, to be followed by further demands. Why aren’t Danish women wearing burqas? Why are they provoking Muslim men by showing their bodies? Why are Danish Gays out of the closet? And why do Danes put blasphemous ideas out on the Internet, where innocent Muslims can read them?
It won’t end with Denmark.
Friday, March 10, 2006
ROMA, March 9 2006 – The island of Cyprus was the first destination of the “special mission” that the Holy Spirit entrusted to Paul and Barnabas, according to what is written in the Acts of the Apostles, in chapter 13.
On the island they found a Roman governor, Sergius Paulus, “an intelligent man who wanted to hear the word of God and believed, deeply shaken by the teaching of the Lord.”
But if Paul and Barnabas were to return to Cyprus today, to the northern part of the island, they would find not the Romans as governors, but the Turks.
And instead of a Christianity being born, they would find a dying Christianity, with the churches and monasteries in ruin, or else transformed into stables, hotels, and mosques.
This is documented in a startling report from Luigi Geninazzi, who was sent to Cyprus by “Avvenire,” the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.
Cyprus became part of the European Union on May 1, 2004. But this was true only for the southern part of the island, which is Greek and Christian.
The northern part was occupied by Turkey in 1974, with 40,000 soldiers. The Turkish occupation caused death, destruction, and a forced relocation of populations. About 200,000 Greek Cypriots of the Christian Orthodox faith who lived in the north of the island fled to the south. And likewise, the Turkish Cypriots of the south, Muslims, moved to the north.
In 1983 Turkey consolidated the occupation by creating a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is internationally recognized only by the government of Ankara: 180,000 persons live there, 100,000 of whom are colonists originally from Anatolia.
This is a recurring phenomenon of Islamic history, albeit quite little noted: population transfers for purposes of colonization. In Caesarea last fall I visited the Bosnian mosque, built for Muslims forcibly resettled there by the Ottoman Turks. There are innumerable such examples.
Read it all.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
The state-owned operator of Denmark’s passenger rail service, Banedanmark, according to Reuters
briefly banned a poster advertising a new book on Islam, drawing accusations of censorship because of heightened sensitivity following the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) cartoon row.
The rail operator had banned the advert for the book “What is Islam” on Tuesday but reversed its decision yesterday after government and opposition criticism of undue suppression in a country still recovering from the cartoon crisis. [....]
In the first decision sent to the publisher Akademisk Forlag, the rail operator said it had banned the poster for the book from an underground station because it did not wish to “contribute to political and religious discussions in public places and a possible fresh outbreak of the conflict”.
Rail operator, Banedanmark, said the unit responsible for scrutinising adverts for pornographic, religious and hidden political content had decided the poster, showing the book’s cover and a couple of endorsements, could be found to be offensive.
Let’s be blunt. They were afraid of even raising the subject of Islam. Probably because they feared that Muslims living in Denmark might turn violent right there in the underground train station. At minimum, any serious outburst could disrupt the tain schedules, someting they must worry about a lot.
In other words, Muslims have already intimidated state bureaucrats (usually the most risk-averse people in the world) into an exaggerated sensitivity, leading to outright censorship. If the railroad bureaucrats behave this way, we can be fairly certain that other Danish bureaucrats, laboring in more obscurity, will also be making decisions based on fear, granting power to Islamic preferences over their own Danish traditions.
Fortunately, the railroad operator changed its mind:
But it later changed its mind. “After having seen the ad, I have to say that if the management had been presented with this issue, the decision would have been different,” Banedanmark Chief Executive Henrik Hassenkam said.
“It shows that when it comes to the Mohammad issue, things are still very sensitive”, he said.
The book, written by Joergen Baek Simonsen, a leading historian specialising in Islam, is a broad introduction to Islam and how it affects people and society, according to the publisher.
“We wanted to advertise a sober, clear-minded introduction to Islam. It’s just the kind of enlightened book we need in these times”, Akademisk Forlag’s editor Morten Hesseldahl said.
Left unexplained is how the change of heart came about. Did the publisher protest? Bureaucrats rarely reverse themselves unless forced to.
The good news is that Danish sensibility won out. The bad news is that shari’a law restrictions on what may be seen in public have entered into the decision-making framework of Danish bureaucrats. The jihadists have already won some of what they want. They take a perspective of centuries, don’t forget.
Hat tip: Eric Schwappach
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
In the French Alpine town of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, seething Muslims demanded that a municipal center cancel a play by Voltaire—but instead of submitting, the mayor called out the police: Muslims ask French to cancel 1741 play by Voltaire.
A municipal cultural center here on France’s border with Switzerland organized a reading of a 265-year-old play by Voltaire, whose writings helped lay the foundations of modern Europe’s commitment to secularism. The play, “Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet,” uses the founder of Islam to lampoon all forms of religious frenzy and intolerance.
The production quickly stirred up passions that echoed the cartoon uproar. “This play ... constitutes an insult to the entire Muslim community,” said a letter to the mayor of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, signed by Said Akhrouf, a French-born cafe owner of Moroccan descent and three other Islamic activists representing Muslim associations. They demanded the performance be cancelled.
Instead, Mayor Hubert Bertrand called in police reinforcements to protect the theater. On the night of the December reading, a small riot broke out involving several dozen people and youths who set fire to a car and garbage cans. It was “the most excitement we’ve ever had down here,” says the socialist mayor.
The dispute rumbles on, playing into a wider debate over faith and free-speech. Supporters of Europe’s secular values have rushed to embrace Voltaire as their standard-bearer. France’s national library last week opened an exhibition dedicated to the writer and other Enlightenment thinkers. It features a police file started in 1748 on Voltaire, highlighting efforts by authorities to muzzle him. “Spirit of the Enlightenment, are you there?” asked a headline Saturday in Le Figaro, a French daily newspaper.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Monday, March 06, 2006
Tehran, Iran, Mar. 06 – Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reportedly told Iranian businessmen in Germany that he agreed with statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust was a “myth”, the semi-official Jomhouri Islami reported on Monday.
The government-owned daily wrote that at a dinner gala with Iranian hoteliers and entrepreneurs, Kohl said that he “heartily agreed” with Ahmadinejad’s remarks about the Holocaust.
“What Ahmadinejad said about the Holocaust was in our bosoms”, the former German chancellor was quoted as saying. “For years we wanted to say this, but we did not have the courage to speak out”.
Ahmadinejad caused an international furore last year when he publicly declared that the Holocaust was a “myth” and threatened that Israel must be “wiped off the map”.
His comments were supported by senior Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
The country’s state-run media have systematically defended the position of the Iranian president and given extensive coverage to historians and “experts” who deny the Holocaust took place.
Hat tip: Eric Schwappach
Thomas Lifson 3 06 06
UPDATE: Blogger DeWinter at The Free West blog of DieWelt.de thinks the quote is is a hoax by Iran. Some of the comments are sobering.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Israpundit reproduces an Australian article that profiles one of the most serious (and effective) enemies of radical Islam: Steven Emerson’s World.
Despite broadly supporting the work done by US law enforcement agencies, Emerson alludes to an underlying malaise. “If I were to publicly disclose the degree to which there is a dysfunctional common denominator to agencies, people would not believe it.” Nor does he hold fire when it comes to Karen Hughes, whom George W. Bush hand-picked to repair bridges to the Muslim world. “When Karen Hughes runs into the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo and says, ‘Oh forgive us, we’re on the same page. We can agree on our values’, we can’t agree on the same values with the Muslim Brotherhood! There’s no possibility of agreeing on their same values if they believe in the notion of sharia. I think that what she has done has been exceptionally detrimental to our national interest of upholding the rights of women, of pluralism, of democracy in the Muslim world.”
The Muslims interviewed said embarrassing things. Now they are blaming the interviewer. "ČTV documentary angers Muslims," from The Prague Post, with thanks to all who sent this in:
A Czech Television (ČTV) documentary is threatening to raise tensions within the country's Muslim population to a level not seen here during weeks of recent global unrest over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Ambassadors to the Czech Republic from Arab nations and members of the Czech Muslim community say they are outraged by a documentary aired on ČTV last fall that used hidden camera footage of conversations in a Prague mosque and spliced it — they say unfairly — with images of terrorism.
"The reaction is usually immediate, while in this case it took a month for any reaction to appear and two months for it to grow," says Jiří Ovečka, the documentary's producer. "It was the same with the Muhammad cartoons."...
Members of the Muslim community first filed a complaint with the Czech Radio and Television Broadcasting Council (RRTV) that month, claiming the program is biased, provokes fear and manipulates footage to promote false stereotypes.
"It was made in a confrontational style," says Vladimír Sáňka, head of the Islamic Center in Prague. "We see it as a one-sided documentary, which evokes a distorted look at Islam in the eyes of the Czech public."...
The footage in I, Muslim shows a reporter pretending to be someone interested in converting to Islam. He conducts several conversations with members of the mosque, located in Černý Most, about Islam, Europe, terrorism and the role of women.
Ovečka says he stands behind his choice to use the hidden camera footage.
"I wanted to get real opinions of the local Muslim community on the issue — find out what the differences are between Czech and foreign Islam," he says.
One Muslim in the documentary compares Islamic terrorists to Jan Palach, the Czech student who committed suicide by setting himself on fire in protest of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Another says Islamic law should be implemented in the Czech Republic, including the death penalty for adultery, Ovečka says.
"I have to say with 100 percent certainty that by using hidden camera I have learned things that I would never have learned otherwise," he says. "The result was alarming, and if not for the hidden camera, I would have never had any of this footage."
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Al Qaeda’s number two honcho, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calls for mass murder.
Al Qaeda’s Zawahri calls for strikes against West.
And by the way, those Danish cartoons really irked ol’ Ayman, too.
As well as physical attacks on the West, Zawahri, who is deputy to al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden, called for an economic boycott against several countries.
“It is our duty to take part in a mass economic boycott of Denmark, Norway, France, Germany, and all countries that take part in this crusader attack against Islam,” he said, referring to the cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper last year.
He described the cartoons as part of a U.S.-led “crusader” campaign. “An example of the hatred of the crusaders led by America ... are the repeated offences against the personality of the Prophet Mohammad, may peace be upon him,” Zawahri said.
Robert Tracinski makes an essential argument about the violent Islamist intimidation that poses an unprecedented threat to free speech: Publish or Perish: The Lessons of the Cartoon Jihad.
The central issue of the “cartoon jihad”—the Muslim riots and death threats against a Danish newspaper that printed 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed—is obvious. The issue is freedom of speech: whether our freedom to think, write, and draw is to be subjugated to the “religious sensitivities” of anyone who threatens us with force.
That is why it is necessary for every newspaper and magazine to re-publish those cartoons, as I will do in the next print issue of The Intellectual Activist. Click here.
This is not merely a symbolic expression of support; it is a practical countermeasure against censorship. Censorship—especially the violent, anarchic type threatened by Muslim fanatics—is effective only when it can isolate a specific victim, making him feel as if he alone bears the brunt of the danger. What intimidates an artist or writer is not simply some Arab fanatic in the street carrying a placard that reads “Behead those who insult Islam.” What intimidates him is the feeling that, when the beheaders come after him, he will be on his own, with no allies or defenders—that everyone else will be too cowardly to stick their necks out.
The answer, for publishers, is to tell the Muslim fanatics that they can’t single out any one author, or artist, or publication. The answer is to show that we’re all united in defying the fanatics.
That’s what it means to show “solidarity” by re-publishing the cartoons. The message we need to send is: if you want to kill anyone who publishes those cartoons, or anyone who makes cartoons of Mohammed, then you’re going to have to kill us all. If you make war on one independent mind, you’re making war on all of us. And we’ll fight back.
This is a tremendously important point—but unfortunately, since this article was written on February 13, nearly every major newspaper in the United States has caved in to the intimidation.
The first part is the op-ed piece by Dutch minister Agnes van Ardenne of Development Cooperation [the department through which the Dutch state is giving aid to underdeveloped countries] in the Arab newspaper Asharq Alawsat about the cartoon uproar.
The second part is my reply to the minister in Dutch newspaper NRC-Handelsblad.
Draw your own conclusions:
The Cartoon Crisis: a Distorted Picture
Saturday 25 February 2006
Freedom has many faces: the freedom to say what you think, but also to believe what you want. Freedom is worth discussing, worth defending – with the written word and with images. And that is what we have seen happening in recent days. However, the prevailing image of a confrontation between the West (as the standard bearer of freedom) and the Islamic world (as the champion of religion) is, in many respects, a distorted one. Due to globalisation we are seeing not a clash of civilisations, but rather a manifestation of the clash between the secular and non-secular worlds. If we look beyond the cartoon controversy for a moment, we can see that these days the secular tendency to ignore or even denigrate religion is leading to alienation instead of reconciliation.
In the first place, the West does not hold a monopoly on the concept of freedom. It was, after all, the birthplace of fascism and communism. Amidst all the verbal, visual and even physical violence of the present crisis, it pays to step back and listen to the wisdom of the past. In 1941, when the cause of freedom was under threat from all sides, Franklin Roosevelt used his State of the Union address to articulate humanity’s four basic freedoms: not only freedom of speech, but also freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. After World War II all countries of the world embraced these four freedoms. Under the inspiring leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt, who served as chair of the drafting committee, they were included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today these freedoms have, to a greater or lesser degree, spread all over the world, as witness the winners of this year’s Four Freedom Awards, which will be presented this spring in the Dutch town of Middelburg. The honourees come from all over the world and from all walks of life: Mohammed ElBaradei, the Egyptian head of the IAEA; Mohammed Yunus, a Bengali pioneer in the field of microcredit; Carlos Fuentes, a Mexican writer; Taizé, a French religious community, and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the famous Burmese opposition leader.
The exercise of one’s freedoms is not an end in itself. Attempts to frame the debate as a matter of principle only are counterproductive, leading to greater conflict and robbing the discussion of its pragmatic dimension. This is a pity, since there are good pragmatic arguments for promoting open societies, certainly in my own field of development cooperation. In our global economy open societies are at an advantage: the free access to information in those countries leads to more innovation and greater productivity, reduces the risks associated with financial transactions, stimulates investment and improves the efficiency of businesses. Statistics show that poor democracies, where freedom is generally respected, score better than poor autocracies on a wide range of development indicators: 50% fewer children die before the age of five; twice as many children go on to secondary education; average life expectancy is ten years longer; and of the 49 poor countries that suffered through civil wars in the 1990s, 41 were run by despotic regimes of varying degrees of repressiveness. UNDP’s Arab Human Development Reports, produced by an independent group of Arab intellectuals, have successfully and objectively spotlighted the need for greater freedom and better governance in the Arab world: ‘If the repressive situation in Arab countries today continues, intensified societal conflict is likely to follow.’ This is why the Netherlands is supporting a project in Yemen for training independent journalists. Last week I visited that country, with which the Netherlands has had a successful bilateral development relationship since the 1970s. It is a relationship based on mutual respect. For that reason I will not hesitate to bring up the subject of the four freedoms and the decision to close down a number of newspapers in the wake of the cartoon controversy with the Yemenis I will meet on my trip (including students at the University of San’a).
We are duty-bound valiantly to defend freedom of speech from every assault, especially in the form of bricks through embassy windows and death threats to cartoonists. But setting aside the immediate issue of the cartoons, freedom of expression does not relieve us of the responsibility to immerse ourselves in the various cultures and religions of our globalising world.
The problem is that many people who are making the most commotion about freedom of expression are not prepared for this responsibility. All too often, the façade of tolerance masks indifference or even hostility towards other cultures and religions. It is not always said aloud, but religion is sometimes seen as a relic of backward times and places, and inherently dangerous besides. This attitude of fundamentalist secularists is not only regrettable, it is itself inherently dangerous. It is a plain fact that cultures and religions are the principal unifying factors of our time: if the 20th century was an age of ideology, the 21st will be an age of identity. If we do not use those identity-forming factors for peace and prosperity, others will misuse them for war and personal gain. On my many trips to Africa, I have had a chance to see for myself how important religion is in the daily lives of the people there and how more than half of the schools and hospitals are run by religious organisations. We have to remain respectful of this fact – not to win converts but to save lives. Last year a group of religious leaders set an inspiring example at a regional conference in Sana’a by establishing an international network to fight HIV/AIDS. ‘The virus should not be seen as a sin but as a problem we must join forces to fight,’ said one participant from Sudan.
As the British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has observed, religion is like fire: it can burn people but also warm them. In his book The Dignity of Difference, he describes how representatives of all major world religions (including the Archbishop of Canterbury, an imam, a Hindu guru and a chief rabbi) came together in 2002 at the spot where the World Trade Center was destroyed. At Ground Zero, for many a metaphor for the clash of civilisations, these people were able to find common ground. It was a rare moment of solidarity in opposition to the awesome human powers of destruction. If we want to keep globalisation from dividing us, we need to mobilise that solidarity. The question of who is ‘right’ in the cartoon debate should not distract us from this Herculean task.
Here is my reply in yesterday's NRC-Handelsblad:
In her op-ed piece in Asharq Al-Awsat Dutch Minister Agnes van Ardenne refers to a paragraph in FD Roosevelt’s State of the Union 1941: there are four essential freedoms, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. The minister concludes: ‘Today these freedoms have, to a greater or lesser degree, spread all over the world.’
No, I am not misquoting her, our minister of Development Cooperation dares to write this without shamefully falling on her knees.
The central idea of the bizarre piece of the minister is that ‘ fundamentalist secularists’ manipulate the cartoon uproar by pretending to defend the freedom of expression but in reality they show ‘indifference or even hostility towards other cultures and religions.’
According to the minister religion in our time is a binding factor – she is able to write this while worldwide radical Muslims, who pretend to speak and act in the name of their Prophet, commit mass murder.
According to me those cartoons showed the violent side of the political Islam, and the burnings and murders that followed were nothing but the naked proof of their validity.
Just like the minister I accept that there are people who passionately believe that an illiterate man around 600 AD while sleeping heard the voice of an angel who transmitted to him the text of a book that was conceived by a supreme power way before the Big Bang.
I am withholding any comment when there are people who find comfort and meaning in this mythology. Only, when believers find in their belief arguments to kill other people, I want to analyze the essential ideas of their belief system in order to understand my enemy so I can defend myself against their violence
In the Arab-Islamic world it is not permissable to freely and rationally study the history of the Koran and Islam. In the cosmos of the traditional Muslim it is blasphemy to study his holy texts in the light of the European Enlightenment. This is one of the main causes of the terrible educational, economical and cultural stagnation among Muslims.
In her piece the minister mentions that she recently visited Yemen, a country with which ‘the Netherlands has had a successful bilateral development relationship since the 1970s. It is a relationship based on mutual respect.’
Yes, she really wrote this: 'mutual respect'.
The following is from a sermon broadcasted by Yemeni TV a couple of years ago, in the country where there is no real freedom of expression and with which the Dutch Christian minister of Development Cooperation has such a great relation: "O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters and the Christians and their supporters and followers. O Allah, destroy the ground under their feet, instill fear in their hearts, and freeze the blood in their veins."
The minister finds problems where they are non-existent – how many Muslims have been blown up or decapitated by those perfidious Western secularists? – and where religious lunacy leads to mass slaughter, she is delusional and only wishes to see mutual respect.
The minister innocently thinks that all religions are equal, and that’s why she is opposing those secularists. She does not realize she is picking the wrong adversaries. I am not interested in the belief system of the minister, but is she aware of the fact that Islam, just like Dan Brown, asserts that Jesus did not die at the cross? Islam considers Jesus an Islamic Prophet and Christians as the followers of a ridiculously false religion. Mutual respect? Yes, as long as she brings her purse with her.
The minister is not only sloppy in her mind, she is also a sloppy reader. The 1941 Roosevelt speech she referred to, is a dramatic call for armament:
'As a nation we may take pride in the fact that we are soft-hearted; but we cannot afford to be soft-headed. We must always be wary of those who with sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal preach the ism of appeasement.'
In the minister's piece we hear that brass and cymbal; it is the sad tune of the appeaser.
The Free West's Weblog
Athens: An Orthodox Christian and a Muslim man who were travelling to Germany were forcibly put on separate flights after they began fighting over their religious beliefs at the international airport here, reports said on Thursday.
The men, bound for a flight to Frankfurt, began arguing on the bus as they were being transferred from the terminal to the plane.
According to reports, the two men started fighting over who was the more religious of the two when the Muslim man, fed up with being attacked, suddenly exclaimed that he was going to blow up everyone on the plane.
Well, that certainly proves that he was the more religious of the two.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Dutch Immigration Minister to send gay Iranians and Iranian converts to Christianity back home to almost certain death
AMSTERDAM – Immigration minister Rita Verdonk says gay asylum seekers from Iran should be sent back home. Six months ago she had refused to send them back because two gay Iranian men had been executed there.
Verdonk said in a letter to the Second Chamber that there was no question of anyone being executed or sentenced to death purely on the basis of their being gay, although she did concede that gay sex was punishable by death by Iranian interpretation of Islamic law.
Even so, gay asylum seekers should be returned, she said, based on information from the Foreign Office about the actual situation in Iran. The two gay men were executed not for their sexuality but because they had robbed, kidnapped and raped a minor....
Verdonk says that asylum-seeking Iranian Christians who have converted from Islam, who also face strong societal disapproval, can also safely be sent back.
D66 has requested a debate next week over Verdonk’s decision. The party is not convinced that the repatriation is as safe as she suggests.
Gee, ya think?