My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's a Wall for the Israelis...but only a fence for the Saudis...

Will people oppose this as much as they opposed the security fence in Israel?
Security in Iraq has collapsed so dramatically that Saudi Arabia has ordered the construction of a 550-mile high-tech fence to seal off its troubled northern neighbour.

The huge project to build the barrier, which will be equipped with ultraviolet night-vision cameras, buried sensor cables and thousands of miles of barbed wire, will snake across the vast and remote desert frontier between the countries.

Friday, September 29, 2006

She deserves a lengthy prison term....

False accusations of rape should be dealth with harshly.
A woman who falsely cried rape against her former husband was facing jail yesterday after being convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Sally Henderson, 40, a mother of two, described by the prosecution as a "wicked liar", claimed Richard Cooke, 39, had repeatedly raped her during their year-long marriage.

But police discovered her claims were almost identical to false allegations she had made five years earlier against a previous boyfriend, Mark Rowe, 42, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

Lifting an order preventing her identification, Recorder David Lane, QC, said: "The public has a right to know the identity of a person who makes such allegations and who seeks to use the system of justice for her own, unscrupulous ends.

"These two men were put through the extreme anxiety of facing the most serious and most grave offences that can be brought against a man."

Neither man was charged but Henderson's plea of not guilty meant that they had to give evidence to the jury.

The judge told Henderson she had "forced the two men to appear in a public court, face complete strangers and give evidence and be cross-examined about painful, embarrassing and intimate details".

Henderson reported the false rapes only after both men left her. Mr Cooke was held in a police cell for 36 hours following his arrest.

Mr Cooke told the court: "It was quite shocking to have three or four police officers arrest you, manhandle you and take you away for something you've never done."

Israel lobby behind 911?

And, the war in Iraq too.
A tenured professor at the University of Chicago last night blamed the "Israel Lobby" in America for both the Iraq war and the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Speaking to a crowd of hundreds at the Cooper Union, he was met mostly with support from two other professors, Tony Judt of New York University and Rashid Khalidi of Columbia.

"The Israel lobby was one of the principal driving forces behind the Iraq War, and in its absence we probably would not have had a war," said the University of Chicago professor, John Mearsheimer, at a forum organized by the London Review of Books.

Later, in response to a question from the audience, Mr. Mearsheimer claimed that the "animus to the United States" of Qaeda terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed "stemmed from U.S. foreign policy toward Israel."

This, Mr. Mearsheimer asserted, "Simply can't be discussed in the mainstream media." He appeared to have forgotten the article that ran on September 20, 2001, on the op-ed page of the largest circulation American newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, that began with the sentence: "Is American support of Israel behind the hatred of this country that pervades the Arab world and that literally exploded into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11?"

In fact, Mr. Mearsheimer claimed, "There is a considerable amount of evidence that there is a linkage between the two" — the two being American support for Israel and the terrorist attacks of September 11.
Do these professors really believe that if Israel didn't exist that the muslim world would be calm and peaceful?

Borat drives Kazakhstan crazy...

Apparently, the President of Kazakhstan will discuss the character Borat with President Bush....
Last year, the government threatened to take legal action against Cohen when he appeared as Borat during the MTV Europe Music Awards.

But its efforts have so far only added to Cohen's comedic ammunition. Speaking in character as Borat, he appeared in a video on his website, saying he had no connection with Baron Cohen and supported his country's decision to "sue the Jew."

He went on to "defend" Kazakhstan as a modern society, saying: "Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

UNIFIL isn't serious...

Interesting report from Israel.
The talks broke down when the Israelis demanded that UNIFIL adopt more aggressive rules of engagement. What particularly angered the IDF officers was an interview Pellegrini gave The Jerusalem Post last week in which he said the peacekeeping force would not actively engage Hizbullah guerrillas, even if they were in the midst of an attack against Israel.

The officers even presented Pellegrini with a copy of the interview at the meeting and confronted him with his comments, which they said were in direct contradiction to previous understandings and interpretations of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

"We demand more effective rules of engagement," the high-ranking IDF officer said. "If they don't adopt them, we are prepared to stay in Lebanon for as long as necessary."

How environmentalists do harm....

A nice case history of how environmentalists can do harm.
My admiration for environmentalists started to decline when I was lucky enough to be posted to Romania as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. There I covered a campaign by Western environmentalists against a proposed mine at Rosia Montana in the Transylvania region of the country.

It was the usual story. The environmentalists told how Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company, was going to pollute the environment and forcibly resettle locals before destroying a pristine wilderness.

But when I went to see the village for myself I found that almost everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false.

Rosia Montana was already a heavily polluted village because of the 2,000 years of mining in the area. The mining company actually planned to clean up the existing mess.

And the locals, rather than being forcibly resettled as the environmentalists claimed, were queuing up to sell their decrepit houses to the company which was paying well over the market rate.

It was surprising that environmentalists would lie, but the most shocking part was yet to come. As I spoke to the Western environmentalists it quickly emerged that they wanted to stop the mine because they felt that development and prosperity will ruin the rural "idyllic" lifestyle of these happy peasants.

This "lifestyle" includes 70 percent unemployment, two-thirds of the people having no running water and using an outhouse in winters where the temperature can plummet to 20 degrees below zero centigrade.

One environmentalist (foreign of course) tried to persuade me that villagers actually preferred riding a horse and cart to driving a car.

Is this what Taliban Jack Wants?

Is this the sort of news that makes Jack Layton happy?
Taliban gunmen carried out their first assassination of a female Afghan government official yesterday, shooting the 63-year-old head of the women's ministry in the southern city of Kandahar.

Safia Ama Jan was attacked by two gunmen on a motorcycle as she left home for her office.

Her nephew Farhad said she was shot as she got into a car. "She died on the spot," he said.

Safia Ama Jan defied fundamentalist death threats to campaign for women's rights and education in the former Taliban stronghold.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Foreign Policy Win for Bush...

All the headlines just talk about the Bush administration threatening Pakistan - in reality, they turned Pakistan into an ally.
Pakistan's president says in his memoir released this week that he had no choice after the Sept. 11 attacks but to switch from supporting the Taliban to backing the U.S.-led war on terror groups or face an American "onslaught."
Let's be clear - under Clinton, Pakistan was supporting the Taliban - it was the Bush administration that got this changed.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Yet another call to boycott Israel...

This time..the Irish...
Israeli academics over the holiday weekend slammed a call for a European Union boycott of Israeli academic institutions delivered by 61 Irish academics in a letter sent to The Irish Times. Signatories to the petition, meanwhile, defended their actions.

While complaining that "The Israeli government appears impervious to moral appeals from world leaders and to long-standing United Nations resolutions," the September 16 petition called for "a moratorium on any further [cultural and academic] support to Israeli academic institutions, at both national and European levels."

The petition cited Israel's "policy of violent repression against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, and its aggression against the people of Lebanon" and urged that the "moratorium should continue until Israel abides by UN resolutions and ends the occupation of Palestinian territories."

"It is obvious that there is no universal norm [in the call for boycott], only discrimination," said Dr. Alexander Yakobson in response to the petition. Yakobson, a lecturer in history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, recently authored a book with former MK and renowned legal scholar Amnon Rubinstein entitled Israel and the Family of Nations: The Jewish Nation-State and Human Rights, which confronts anti-Israel activism and discourse.

"The petitioners don't call for a boycott of academic institutions in every country with whose policies they disagree," Yakobson explained. "They don't demand a boycott of Sudan, or of China, which has tremendous academic ties to Europe. And they don't want to boycott the United States or Britain over Iraq. There is no universal norm, they're just anti-Israel. So," he concluded, "we have to ask what it is about Israel that upsets them."

More importantly, for Yakobson, "they don't demand of any Palestinian academic even to disavow terror." This is particularly strange, he believes, since "even when Europe imposed sanctions on the Hamas government, it did not impose them on Palestinian universities. Nobody has even suggested doing this."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

This is a ridiculous ruling....

These girls do not belong on the boys team.
Hockey-playing sisters Amy and Jesse Pasternak are savouring their victory at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission that will allow them to play for their high school boys' team.

They say they'll have no regrets, even if they don't make the team next week.

"Yes! It's definitely worth it," the twins exclaimed in unison Friday just hours after hearing the news.

"It's worth it for the young girls we've coached in the past, it's worth it for the girls coming up in the hockey program who want to pursue the same path we have," said Amy, a goaltender.

The Grade 12 students took their complaint to the commission this spring to protest a Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association policy forbidding girls from playing on a boys' team when a school has a girls' squad.

The association argued the policy was an integral part of a participation-based approach to sports that isn't based on merit.

But the girls, who had played on community boys teams for years, called their school's girls team a joke and said some students had trouble simply skating.
Just because the other girls are not that good is not reason enough to force the boys team to take the girls. And, it's ludicrious that each of the girls got $3,500 in damages. I have no problem with girls playing hockey - let them play on the girls team. We need to be fair to the sexes - so, if girls can play on the boys team, then boys can play on the girls team.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This Rosh Hashanah card is from the arist Shraga Weil...soon after the state of Israel was established.

Hamid Karzai meets with Jack Layton

The leader of the NDP, Jack Layton, spent a pleasant hour with Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan today. According to participants, Layton spent the hour educating Karzai on the realities of Afghanistant, the Taliban, and the proper way to fight terrorism. "It was a very productive meeting. I believe we managed to educate Karzai - he was very appreciative of learning more about Afghanistan," said Layton on Parliament Hill.

The Layton-Karzai meeting gave the NDP leader ample time to explain the correct way of thinking about buidling a democracy. He told Karzai that he would help negotiate a peace between his government and the Taliban, and that the NDP could also help build up proper democractic institutions. Said Layton, "First, we told them they needed a Status of Women Committee, sign the Kyoto Protocol, legalize gay marriage, and we also referred them to the CBC for lessons on how to start a national broadcaster." And, what did Karzai say in response? "Well, we had a lot to tell him, so he really just listened. I like that in a leader," said Layton.

The NDP leader said he would have liked another two hours to properly instruct Karzai, but the Afghan leader unfortunately had to leave. "I hope he has a better understanding of how Afghanistan works," said Layton, "but really, I needed another hour or two to properly explain the complexity of Afghan life."

Layton is hopeful that Karzai will come back to Canada for more meetings. "I also hope that Taliban representatives can come to Canada and meet with me for preparation for peace talks," Layton said. "It shouldn't take long for us to negotiate a deal. I just hope that Karzai keeps an open mind. I belive he needs more education - and the NDP is here to help."

North Korea to make plutonium?

This is an alarming report.
North Korea is planning to unload fuel rods at its Yongbyon reactor within the next three months in what would be a significant boost to its nuclear weapons capability, an American scholar said Saturday.

During a meeting this past week in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, Selig Harrison said Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan told him that North Korea would unload the rods "beginning this fall, and no later than the end of the year."

The Yongbyon reactor has been at the center of US concerns about North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The reactor's spent fuel rods can be mined for plutonium, which can then be used to construct nuclear bombs.

Removing the fuel rods is "a significant new development because it underlines that North Korea is enhancing its weapons capability," Harrison told reporters in Beijing shortly after arriving from a four-day stay in North Korea.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Nasrallah undermines Lebanese Government....Again....

He's proud that Hezbollah still has 20,000 rockets....he knows the UN won't force him to disarm.
heikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah's leader, made his first public appearance since the war with Israel yesterday, and threatened to break Lebanon's political system.

More than 300,000 supporters filled a square in Beirut's southern suburbs to hear Mr Nasrallah claim that the group had survived intense Israeli bombardment and retained an arsenal of rockets.

"The resistance today — pay attention — has more than 20,000 rockets," he declared. "[It] has recovered all its organisational and military capabilities. It is stronger than it was before July 12 [the start of the conflict]."

The pro-Western prime minister, Faud Siniora, was not invited to the rally, even though it was billed as a celebration of national resistance.
He clearly is undermining the current government - he talked of a new unity government...clearly he believes that Hezbollah should have a much bigger role.

What's Going on in Norway?

This is a lot more than just shooting at a synagogue.
Norwegian authorities on Friday presented details of an alleged plot to decapitate the Israeli ambassador to Oslo and blow up the Israeli and American embassies in the city.

The four suspects, three of them of Muslim background, are also charged with firing at the city's synagogue last week, causing damage but no injuries.

The evidence against the suspects was revealed in the course of extending the suspects' remand, and is based on recordings of their conversations obtained by bugging devices placed in the lead suspect's car.

Some real questions for Ahmadinejad...

Mona Charen has some questions for Ahmadinejad that the press should have asked.
1. On Sept. 5 of this year, you called for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from Iran's universities. How is the campaign to impose religiously acceptable teachers going?

2. In your speech to the United Nations, you mentioned that "some" countries, "relying on their superior military and economic might," were performing a great disservice to the cause of peace. You added that "even the interests of citizens of powerful countries will be jeopardized -- as was seen in the recent crises and even the natural disaster such as the recent tragic hurricane." Was God punishing the United States by sending Katrina to the Gulf?

3. You seemed to imply that U.S. intelligence and security services must have had a hand in the September 11 attacks. What do you think happened that day?

4. Human Rights Watch has described your cabinet as "Ministers of Murder." Interior Minister Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi, for example, was reportedly responsible for the extra-judicial killings of opposition figures, political activists and intellectuals. Gholamhussein Mohseni Ezhei, the minister of information, was said to be responsible (in his last post) for prosecutions of reform-minded clerics. He also cracked down on the press, closing at least 100 newspapers in the past six years. He has been implicated in the kidnapping and murder of Pirouz Davani, a critic of the Islamic regime. How do you square this with your claim that you represent a "perfect democracy"?

5. In your speech to the General Assembly, you declared that "in accordance with our religious principles, pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited." Yet just one sentence earlier, you threatened that if the "hegemonic powers" attempt to "impose their will on the Iranian people through resort to a language of force and threat with Iran, we will reconsider our entire approach to the nuclear issue." Can you reconcile this flat contradiction?

6. You have dedicated yourself to reviving the spirit of the Islamic Revolution. When Ayatollah Khomeini took power, he reduced the marriageable age for girls from 18, as it had been under the shah, to 9. It was later raised to 13. What age do you consider proper for marriage?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The latest in social engineering...

In Norway, if you're will be tougher to adopt.
Concerns have arisen over a possible change requiring potential adoptive parents to disclose their height and weight.

A proposal for a new application form for adoptive parents includes information on height and weight, as has already been the practice in Denmark for many years. Overweight is often a factor in adoption refusals there.

"If overweight carries significant health problems with it we must accept that it is part of the assessment," Øystein Gudim, general manager of the Adoption Forum, told radio station P4.

The Ministry of Children and Equality is now considering whether weight and height are necessary information for disclosure.

"If one is very heavy it poses a risk for high blood pressure, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. So in this respect weight and height information can have significance for the outcome," Gudim said.

Hirsi Ali Warns the West....

Glad to see her in the US.
Neither is she pessimistic about the West. It has, she says, ''the drive to innovate.'' But Europe, she thinks, is invertebrate. After two generations without war, Europeans ''have no idea what an enemy is.'' And they think, she says, that leadership is an antiquated notion because they believe that caring governments can socialize everyone to behave well, thereby erasing personal accountability and responsibility. ''I can't even tell it without laughing,'' she says, laughing softly. Clearly she is where she belongs, at last.

Another reason why I love the Tories...

If feminists think these groups are important, then let them fund them themselves...
The federal Conservative government is threatening the survival of women’s organizations by delaying funding, the NDP charged today.

“By not responding to funding applications, the Conservatives are allowing programs to shut down, one by one,” New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen said.

“What’s next? . . . It looks like Bev Oda is spoiling to dismantle the Status of Women Department.”

The National Association of Women and the Law closed its doors Sept. 12 due to a lack of federal funding, the NDP said, while the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action shuts down Sept. 26.
I'm all for shutting down the Status of Women Department. How about Status of People?

Should Israel Release Prisoners?

According to this!
According to a report released by the Almagor Terror Victims Association, security-related prisoners released by Israel that were not directly involved in the deaths of Israelis, later killed 132 and wounded hundreds more in new attacks.

Many of the prisoners were released in what were supposed to be confidence-building measures between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“[Israelis should] not be led astray by formulations that take the terrorists' murderousness lightly,” the study said.

“[We cannot] console ourselves with the hope that the next terror attack will not hurt us or our immediate surroundings,” it added.

Honour Killing in the UK...

How sick is this?
Two men murdered a six-year-old girl by setting fire to her house to warn her brother off a relationship he was having, a court heard yesterday.

Alisha Begum suffered 95 per cent burns and died after a masked man burst into her home, sprayed petrol around and set it alight. The fire spread so quickly that members of her family had to jump out of upstairs windows to escape.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the attack was planned by Hussain Ahmed, a 26-year-old dentist, and Daryll Tuzzio, 18, after Ahmed found out his 15-year-old sister was seeing Alisha's brother, Abdul Hamid, 21. Yesterday the two men went on trial accused of murder and the attempted murder of nine of the girl's relatives who escaped from the blazing house in Aston, Birmingham.

Adrian Redgrave, prosecuting, said: "One hears of so-called honour killings though one may wonder how by any stretch of the imagination there can be any honour in what happened here, resulting in the death of a six-year-old child.

Canada's first honour killing?

Nowhere in the article does this say these are muslims...but it appears this is an honour killing.
The brutal shooting death of a 20-year-old Ottawa woman and the wounding of her fiance early Tuesday morning provided one more shock yesterday: the suspect is the bride-to-be's brother.

Police said yesterday they are on the hunt for 20-year-old Hasibullah Sadiqi of Ottawa in connection with the death of his sister, identified by her fiance's family as Khatera Sadiqi, and the wounding of the fiance, Feroz Mangal, 23.

Just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, at least five shots were fired as Mr. Mangal and Ms. Sadiqi sat in a black Honda in a parking lot at the Elmvale Acres shopping plaza at the corner of St. Laurent Boulevard and Smyth Road.

Ms. Sadiqi, who was at the wheel, died of a single gunshot to the head. Mr. Mangal, beside her in the passenger seat, was hit in his neck, torso, arm and thigh. He remained in the intensive care unit of the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus yesterday, in critical but stable condition.

Islamists at Westminster Cathedral, Sep 17, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Opening Day at the UN...

Anne Bayefsky is the best observer of what goes on at the UN.
The real surprise of the day, however, was President George W. Bush. Last year at this time the president issued a list of reforms he expected from the U.N. in the near future: a new human-rights body which didn’t count abusers among its members, a comprehensive treaty against terrorism, meaningful institutional reforms in the area of oversight, accountability, efficiency. Not one of those demands has been met, but instead of issuing a failing grade, the president said nothing at all about U.N. reform. On Iran, the most he could muster was “Iran must abandon its nuclear-weapons ambitions.” No talk of sanctions. No mention of consequences for Iran’s obvious refusal to abandon those ambitions. On Hamas he said “the world is waiting to see whether the Hamas government will…pursue an extremist agenda.” Waiting to see? Just how many rocket attacks, kidnappings, speeches inciting racial hatred and violence, or murders does it take be an extremist? And on the Palestinian-Israeli front he said “the Palestinian people have suffered from…the daily humiliation of occupation” — the exact language of…yes, Kofi Annan.

No doubt, given the hostility of the U.N. forum toward America, nothing but obsequious babble from an American president would be well-received. Which is exactly the real and present danger of the U.N. — only by running from who we are will we win a popularity contest at the U.N. It is a competition we shouldn’t have entered.

What about Burkas?

Political its worst.
Muslim women wearing hijab, or headscarves, should be employed in front-line roles in the media, said a report published yesterday by Ruth Kelly, the minister for women.

More women wearing hijab needed to be seen in the public eye, particularly on television, to encourage more Muslim women to put themselves forward, it said.
I personally don't see enough men wearing yamulkes. Shouldn't we have a program for orthodox jews?

Why Liberals Enrage Me....

An excellent opinion piece by Sam Harris.
Perhaps I should establish my liberal bone fides at the outset. I'd like to see taxes raised on the wealthy, drugs decriminalized and homosexuals free to marry. I also think that the Bush administration deserves most of the criticism it has received in the last six years — especially with respect to its waging of the war in Iraq, its scuttling of science and its fiscal irresponsibility.

But my correspondence with liberals has convinced me that liberalism has grown dangerously out of touch with the realities of our world — specifically with what devout Muslims actually believe about the West, about paradise and about the ultimate ascendance of their faith.

On questions of national security, I am now as wary of my fellow liberals as I am of the religious demagogues on the Christian right.

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are.

A cult of death is forming in the Muslim world — for reasons that are perfectly explicable in terms of the Islamic doctrines of martyrdom and jihad. The truth is that we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise.

This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims. But we are absolutely at war with those who believe that death in defense of the faith is the highest possible good, that cartoonists should be killed for caricaturing the prophet and that any Muslim who loses his faith should be butchered for apostasy.

Unfortunately, such religious extremism is not as fringe a phenomenon as we might hope. Numerous studies have found that the most radicalized Muslims tend to have better-than-average educations and economic opportunities.

Given the degree to which religious ideas are still sheltered from criticism in every society, it is actually possible for a person to have the economic and intellectual resources to build a nuclear bomb — and to believe that he will get 72 virgins in paradise. And yet, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to imagine that Muslim terrorism springs from economic despair, lack of education and American militarism.

An Effigy Store...

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.

Why was this man released?

He only servied 26 months?
Alleged terror leader Abu Bakar Bashir said TV shows featuring scantily clad women were more harmful than the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, the state news agency reported.

Bashir, recently released from jail after serving 26 months for conspiracy in the bombings, said images of naked or semi-naked woman on television were sinful and chipped away at the moral fiber of Muslim believers.

"So, if I am asked which is more dangerous, naked women or the Bali bombs, then my reply is of course those women in skimpy clothes," Antara quoted him as saying at a public rally calling for the imposition of Islamic law in Indonesia.

Bashir, 69, has traveled across the predominantly Muslim nation since his release from jail preaching in favor of Islamic law and against the secular government. He previously urged relatives of victims of the Bali bombings to convert to Islam and said the attacks themselves were part of God's will.

Shame on Bangladesh!

We've blogged on Choudhury before...his biggest crime is the urging of normal relations with Israel.
At approximately 1:30 PM Bangladesh time, a judge ruled that the government would begin its sedition trial of journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, possibly within fifteen days. Choudhury is the Muslim journalist who was arrested by the Bangladesh government in 2003. He was imprisoned under often deplorable conditions and tortured after angering the government and radicals by warning his country about the rise of Islamist terrorism there, urging Bangladesh to recognize Israel, and advocating interfaith understanding and religious equality. In April 2005, after seventeen months in prison, Choudhury was freed after an unrelenting battled waged by Dr. Richard Benkin, an American Jew, and with the help of Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Since his release, Choudhury has continued to pursue a course that advocates moderate Islam and opposes radical Islam. Together, Choudhury and Benkin have worked to form inter-religious ties with other advocates worldwide. Choudhury has also resumed publication of his paper, Weekly Blitz (Dhaka), which also champions the same causes. This summer, radicals set off explosives outside the office of Blitz, and they left a bomb in the paper’s press room that did not detonate.

Over the past several weeks, Choudhury was optimistic that the government would drop the charges, which Bangladesh officials have admitted on many occasions to be false. The presiding judge, a member of the radical Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) party, ruled that his trial for sedition-a capital offense-is to proceed immediately. The JMB is a member of the current ruling coalition and signs point to significant Islamist gains in the upcoming elections in January 2007.


This is very scary...
Youths wielding iron bars beat up two riot policemen patrolling a rough housing project in a southern Paris suburb, police officials said Wednesday.

One officer was hospitalized with a double fracture of the skull during Tuesday night's incident in Corbeil-Essonnes, a police source said. His colleague reportedly sustained facial and body injuries.

Police were called in to disperse the gang of up to 30 youths who stoned the unmarked police car as it patrolled the area, police officials said.

The police got out of their car, were encircled and attacked. Some of the youths were armed with iron bars, according to reports.

No arrests were made following the incident, police said.

"These youths fear nothing," a police union official said on LCI television.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Camps for Holy War?

Well, this is good news.
Islamist militants in Somalia say they are planning to open camps to prepare students for a holy war against any foreign peacekeepers sent to the region.

The militants, who control much of southern Somalia and the capital Mogadishu, oppose foreign interference, including a planned 3,500-strong Ugandan and Sudanese peacekeeping force.

Copenhagen's Rabbi....

I love this quote from the Rabbi of Copenhagen.
That so many in the Muslim world joined the protests against the pope merely show[s] just how influential Islamist extremist groups have become. [...] [T]here’s no reason to respond to every presumed insult. Consider an example from Denmark. Recently, a paper there published a number of rather tasteless Holocaust cartoons which had been shown in Tehran. The reaction of Copenhagen’s rabbi was instructive when considered against the bloody response to the Muhammad cartoons – outrage which ended up costing lives. When asked if he would call for protests, the rabbi merely said: “You know, I’ve seen worse.”

Number of Gay-Friendly Companies Growing...

This is just good common sense...and it's why same-sex marriage is here to stay.
A record number of U.S. companies are trying to be gay-friendly, according to a survey released on Tuesday showing a growing number offering benefits and protections to gay and lesbian employees and customers.

An unprecedented 138 major U.S. companies scored 100 percent in a Corporate Equality Index compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay rights advocacy group.

That number was up from 101 companies last year and was 10 times higher than the 13 companies with that score in 2002, said the campaign, which conducts research and education programs and lobbies Congress.

Top companies offer such benefits as medical coverage and family leave to same-sex partners, prohibit discrimination against transgender workers or advertise in ways that respect gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, it said.

"More companies are not only implementing very comprehensive workplace policies that cover gay employees and their families but more companies are doing it faster and also seeking recognition for it," said Daryl Herrschaft, director of the group's workplace project.

Consistent high scorers since the group began the index in 2002 have been IBM Corp. IBM.N>, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Levi Strauss & Co and Nike Inc., he said.
Same-sex marriage now allows companies to only offer benefits to gays who marry - and companies need not extend benefits to straight couples who just live together. This to me is a Conservative position - ie. same-sex marriage is a plus for marriage in general.

Why we're losing....

An excellent column by Jonathan Kay in the National Post.
We can lecture the Muslim world till we're blue in the face about freedom of speech and pluralism. But why should they listen? At the end of the day, war and politics are both about mobilization. A couple of blunt words from the Pope or some cartoons published in an obscure European newspaper are apparently enough to get mobs of angry Islamists into the street. But here in the West, we can't even come up with the few thousand extra troops needed to finish off a war we thought we'd already won. We're fat and lazy. The enemy is mean and hungry.

Check out this cartoon from Al-Jazeera...

This was created by a Pakistani cartoonist...and published on Al-Jazeera.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oslo can see the shots..

Here's a picture of the synagogue in Oslo that had about 10 shots fired at it over the weekend.

Chirac does it again....

Once again, he breaks rank with the west....
President Jacques Chirac last night provoked a diplomatic showdown at the UN when he broke ranks with America and its allies and called on them to stop threatening Iran with sanctions.

To the barely concealed fury of American and British officials, who have been calling on the UN Security Council to confront Teheran over its nuclear ambitions, Mr Chirac argued for more negotiations.

"I don't believe in a solution without dialogue," he said. He added pointedly that he had never noticed that sanctions had been effective.

Guess what? Muslims blame the Jews....

I should have known.
Palestinian nationalist and Islamic leaders on Sunday strongly condemned fire-bombing attacks against a few churches in the West Bank, calling the incidents “suspicious” and “incompatible with Palestinian and Islamic culture.”

Three churches in Nablus, Tulkarm and Tubas in the northern West Bank have been attacked with fire-bombs by unknown perpetrators resulting in minor damage.

The mayor of Tubas, where a small Greek Orthodox Church was attacked, accused “suspicious elements,” a reference to Israeli Shin Bet (Israel’s chief domestic intelligence agency) agents of “having embarked on this ugly act and criminal act.”

“It is either Israeli collaborators or some overzealous fools upset by the remarks of the Pope,” said Iqab Darghmeh (Abu Ahmed), in a telephone interview.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Resistance group, Hamas, strongly condemned attacks on churches in parts of the West Bank, calling such attacks “criminal and harmful to the Palestinian cause.”

“I am sure that Israel is enjoying this. Israel always wants to create problems and divisions between Muslims and Christians. And those who committed these acts are only serving Zionist propaganda and goals,” said Yousuf Ibrahim, a Hamas spokesperson in the Bethlehem region.

“I am nearly certain that at least some of the perpetrators are Israeli agents.”

Gay Pride March in Jerusalem in November...

This is what I like about Israel....probably the only country in the middle that will have a gay pride march.
The High Court of Justice ruled on Monday that the controversial Gay Pride Parade will take place in Jerusalem on Nov. 10.

The decision came after the Jerusalem Open House, the organizers of the parade, submitted a petition against the Jerusalem Police, who had refused to allow the parade to take place for security reasons.

Following pressure by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, police agreed to guard the parade. The Jerusalem Municipality was also obligated to aid the event.

Open House Chairperson Noa Sattath responded by saying that "the achievement is the achievement of all those who hold a democratic and pluralistic Israel dear to their hearts."
The march would be a lot easier to have in Tel Aviv...which is not as religious as Jerusalem.

Al-Qaeda Timeline...

Interesting article about one of Canada's foremost terrorist experts...
In an article published in the current International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Carleton University security expert Martin Rudner presents an Islamic terrorist timeline for the next 20 years.

On al-Qaeda's conquest calendar, the beginning of "total war on non-believers" begins seven years from now. And it ends with Islamic victory in 2020.

Ask Mr. Rudner, director of Carleton's Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies, how he assesses this declared march to world domination.

"I take it very seriously," he says. "Obviously."

So, too, does Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, who publicized the timeline based on his talks and correspondence with al-Qaeda members. "Al-Qaeda makes no compromises," says Mr. Hussein. He published his findings in the book al-Zarqawi -- al-Qaida's Second Generation a year before Mr. al-Zarqawi's death in June in a U.S. air strike in Iraq.

Al-Qaeda's seven-stage plan:

Stage 1: Awakening. Strategic time line: Sept. 11, 2001. Tactical Objective: Provoke U.S. attack on Muslims, galvanize jihadism.

Stage 2: Opening Eyes. Time: 2003-2006. Objective: Force West on defensive.

Stage 3: Arising and Standing Up. Time: 2007-2010. Objective: Assault on Turkey and Israel.

Stage 4: Downfall of Apostate Muslim regimes. Time: 2010-2013. Objective: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, oil producers.

Stage 5: Declaration of Caliphate. Time: 2013-2016. Objective: Mobilization of Muslim forces.

Stage 6: Total Confrontation.

Time: 2013-2020. Tactic: Total war on non-believers by 1.5 billion Muslims.

Stage 7: Definite Victory. Time: 2020. Objective: A Muslim world.

UNIFIL won't disarm Hezbollah....

This means they won't be disarmed...
The commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon said Monday that his troops will not try to disarm Hizbullah, saying that was a matter for the Lebanese government.

Major-General Alain Pelligrini told reporters that the main task of the beefed-up UN force, known as UNIFIL, was to ensure that southern Lebanon could not be used as a base for attacks on Israel.

"The disarmament of Hizbullah is not the business of UNIFIL. This is a strictly Lebanese affair, which should be resolved at a national level," he said.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Vatican's tougher line on Islam...

Let's hope he keeps up this push for reciprocity.
At first sight, there may seem to be little divergence between Pope Benedict XVI's approach to Islam and that of his predecessor.

The present Pope, a scholar who has made an extensive study of the faith, is clearly keen to promote understanding between Christians and Muslims and has many personal contacts.

At his inaugural Mass as Pope in April last year, he made a point of welcoming Muslim leaders.

In reality, however, Benedict XVI has adopted a far more cautious approach than the late John Paul II, who apologised for the Crusades and became the first Pope to visit a mosque during a visit to Syria in 2001.

Even before he became Pope, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was a rigorous analyst of the theological differences between Christian and non-Christian faiths, and Islam in particular.

He is therefore less enthusiastic than his predecessor for interfaith summits such as that staged by John Paul II at Assisi, which critics fear can blur the distinctions between religions and diminish the status of Catholicism.

Since Benedict XVI became Pope, the Vatican has signalled a tougher line in its negotiations with Islam, stressing the need for "reciprocity".

Vatican officials argue that if Muslims want the freedom to practise their faith in the West, Christians should be free from persecution in Muslim countries.
It always seemed crazy to me that many Muslim countries, like Saudi Arabia, do not allow the construction of churches (let alone synagogues).

Teaching 'Secret Jihad'....

Hard to know if this is true....but certainly disturbing...
ISLAMIC clerics in Sydney and Melbourne are using covert tactics to preach martyrdom and jihad to young followers, recruiting them under the guise of classes teaching the Koran.

Singapore-based terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna told The Australian that despite their denials and stronger terror laws, religious leaders in the two cities continued to preach violence to impressionable followers, though they now did it away from their mainstream teachings. He said the clerics' influence on young believers increased the risk of a terrorist attack in Australia. "We have seen a number of Australian clerics preaching jihad and martyrdom," Dr Gunaratna said.

"The most likely form of attack in Australia is a suicide attack for jihad. You will need to make arrests in time."

Clive Williams, who runs a terrorism and counter-terrorism program at the Australian Defence Force Academy, said young Muslims were being recruited for jihad through "Koran classes". "They are doing it differently now," he said.

Shots fired at Synagogue in Oslo...

This synagogue has been targeted...
A shooting at an Oslo synagogue on Sunday caused damage to the building but wounded no one. Police who arrived on the scene after the incident identified at least ten bullet holes in the shul's windows and exterior wall.

The identity of the shooter was unknown and he has yet to be apprehended, although passers-by reported that they saw the gunman fleeing the scene immediately after the shooting.

According to the Norwegian press, the attack prompted the Israeli consulate in Oslo to up its security measures.

In the past few months, Oslo has been the scene of a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist incidents, including an attack on the synagogue last month, where an unknown perpetrator smashed glass windows and scrawled graffiti on the site after defecating near the entrance.

Sunday's shooting came less than a week after an Al Qaida plot targeting the site was uncovered. Following the exposure of an Italian cell's intention to attack the synagogue, police had said that they would take steps to secure the synagogue, but did not detail what they intended to do.

Finally, the WHO is supporting the use of DDT...

We've blogged on this topic before...DDT is necessary in the fight against malaria...and mot of the NGOs are not allowing African countries to use it.
The World Health Organisation is urging powerful environmental groups not to oppose the use of the pesticide DDT to fight malaria in Africa, after a significant reversal of policy by the agency.

Arata Kochi, the director of the WHO's malaria department, issued his appeal to the green lobby after announcing that the agency now endorsed spraying the pesticide inside dwellings, especially mud and thatched huts, in mosquito-infested regions.

"I am here today to ask you, please help save African babies as you are helping to save the environment. African babies do not have a powerful movement… to champion their well-being," Mr Kochi said.

He said he expected opposition, but prominent environmental groups contacted by The Sunday Telegraph yesterday were reluctant to be drawn into a row over the renewed use of the pesticide. The only group to speak out publicly so far has been the Pesticide Action Network (PAN), which questioned the effect of DDT on young children.

DDT is banned in the developed world and the WHO has discouraged its use in the Third World for three decades, but the organisation has now concluded that its life-saving benefits far outweigh the health and environmental risks.

"Indoor residual spraying with DDT and other insecticides will again play a major role in [WHO's] efforts to fight the disease." Mr Kochi said. "WHO will use every possible and safe method to control malaria."

Widespread DDT spraying proved remarkably successful in eradicating malaria in the United States, southern Europe, Russia and the Middle East after 1945. But an estimated 700,000 to 2.7 million people die of the disease each year, 75 per cent of them African children.
What took them so long?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Brothers in a great global struggle....

Ahmadinejad visits Venezuela tomorrow.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that he and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez are like "brothers" in a great global struggle, and Chavez promises to argue for Iran's nuclear program if he wins a rotating seat on the UN Security Council in a vote next month.

Chavez has said Venezuela "will stand together with Iran at all times and under any conditions," accusing the US of planning to invade Iran.
Gee, I thought he said the US was planning to invade Venezuela.

This is outrageous....

There should be harsh punishment for false rape accusations.
An innocent man jailed for a sex attack was dramatically cleared after it emerged that his 'victim' is a serial liar with a long history of crying rape.

But because of laws that protect her anonymity, judges are powerless to name and shame her, leaving her free to make more false accusations against blameless members of the public.

Mr Blackwell, 36, hugged his loyal wife Tanya and wept as the Appeal Court quashed his conviction.

He described his accuser as "every man's worst nightmare".

Mr Justice Tugendhat admitted, however, that similar tragic cases could follow because of the lies of the woman, Miss A.

"Parliament does not seem to have contemplated this situation.

"There appears to be no means of displacing her entitlement to anonymity."

Churches attacked in West Bank....

This is not the way to show that Islam is tolerant...
Two churches in the West Bank were hit by firebombs early Saturday, witnesses and clergy said, and a group claiming responsiblity said the attacks were meant as a protest against the pope's comments about Islam.

The firebombs left black scorch marks on the walls and windows of a Greek Catholic and an Anglican church in the West Bank city of Nablus. Father Yousef Saada, a priest at the Anglican Church, said several firebombs hit the outside wall of the church.

"It is easy to worry," Father Yousef Saada said Saturday. "The atmosphere is charged already, and the wise should not accept such acts."

An interview with Chrisopher Hitchens...

Australian TV had him the air on the anniversary of September'd never see somebody like him on CBC TV.
TONY JONES: That's alright, as long as you can hear me. Is it clear now, do you think, that history will primarily judge President Bush's reaction to September 11 by his decision to go to war with Iraq and the linkage he made between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It’s not the linkage that he made it's the linkage that Saddam Hussein made. The Iraqi regime was the only one in the region to applaud the attacks and it was the only one when every other country, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, were expelling al-Qaeda sympathisers, to start welcoming them onto its soil, particularly in the shape of the notorious Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. I think that I heard someone say this, actually it was the President, I'm sorry, on your show just a moment ago: the removal of the Taliban was in reprisal for the last attack. The removal of Saddam Hussein was for the next attack so that it wouldn't come. And yes, I'm certain the President will be remembered principally for ridding the Middle East - along with Australian and British support - of the worst dictator the region has ever known and the most dangerous one.

TONY JONES: At least one key witness to the events, within the White House, immediately after the 9/11 attacks, the former counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke, says that advisers in the White House were bent on attacking Iraq in retaliation, whether or not Saddam Hussein had anything to do with al-Qaeda?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, there is a pre-existing quarrel with Saddam Hussein as you know on other matters, including his support for international terrorism. If you remember, the man who was responsible for the hijack of the Achille Lauro the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, the so-called Abu Abbas, the late, when he was captured, had to be released by the Italian police because he was travelling on a diplomatic passport. Do you want to know which country issued him with a diplomatic passport? This wouldn't be the only time that Iraq had given official State support to activity like that. It was unsleepingly pursuing nuclear materials in places like Niger as we can now, I think, adequately demonstrate. It was a permanent threat to its neighbours and a latent threat to all of us. The Senate had passed 98 votes to nil, the Iraq liberation act at the urging of President Clinton and vice-president Gore in 1998. So there was a pre-existing commitment to the removal of Saddam Hussein, which meshed, in my opinion, much better than most people believe with the provocation of September 11. After all, the last time the World Trade Centre was attacked, the man who mixed the chemicals for it, Mr Yassin, went straight from New Jersey, after he'd been interrogated and released, to Baghdad, where he still is, and lived in the intervening time under Saddam Hussein's protection. It's really all a question of whether you would, or would not, give the Saddam Hussein regime the benefit of any doubt, or the presumption of any innocence. If I phrase it like that, I think you might find it difficult to say yes you would.

TONY JONES: Isn't it more important, though, to create or to make a link between September 11 and Saddam Hussein, if you are going to invade the country virtually as a direct result of that?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Yes, well I mean, I think the links were pretty adequately demonstrated.

TONY JONES: Not according to Richard Clarke, for example, who makes the claim that the President himself, only 24 hours after the attacks, came to him urging him to find the evidence that Iraq was involved with the September 11 attacks and he couldn't find that evidence?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I've read that too. I wouldn't myself have tasked Mr Clarke with that, nor would I have trusted the CIA to get that right, even a tiny thing like that, because they've always got everything else wrong. The CIA continues to say there can't have been a connection, because if one was ever proved - and there's a great deal of evidence for it - they would look stupid. Because they always said, not just that it wasn't there. Do observe this distinction. They said it couldn't be there. They said, by definition, Saddam Hussein could not help Islamic terrorists because his regime was supposedly secular. Now that to anyone who knows anything about Iraq is sheer fatuity. There is an overarching analysis as well that, to some extent, puts these matters of linkage in perspective. When one examined the situation, and realised that al-Qaeda and its co-thinkers have been incubated by what was, in effect, a political slum in the Middle East, which we've been letting rot and decay for far too long and, therefore, it would be a good thing to begin some slum clearance in the region. This meant turning the Pakistani Government from a sympathiser of the Taliban to at least, neutrality. It meant taking away their Afghan colony from them. That's what they've been treating Afghanistan as being. It meant warning the Saudi Arabians we knew what they were doing; it meant undercutting their oil monopoly, by trying to liberate the oil fields of Iraq. And it meant removing the most outstanding supporter of terrorism and jihadism in the region, who was a man with whom we in any case had a political rendezvous. A man who should have been removed from power in 1991. So if you could get over your obsession with this idea that there were invented linkages, you would see there is a broader intersection of argument that favours regime change in the Middle East.

Is Global Cooling on the Way?

An article in the new New Scientist magazine claims that lower solar activity may lead to global cooling.
Dramatic global temperature fluctuations, as New Scientist reports, are the norm. A Little Ice Age struck Europe in the 17th century. New Yorkers once walked from Manhattan to Staten Island across a frozen harbour. About 200 years earlier, New Scientist reminds us, a sharp downturn in temperatures turned fertile Greenland into Arctic wasteland.

These and other temperature swings corresponded with changing solar activity. "It's a boom-bust system, and I expect a crash soon," says Nigel Weiss, a solar physicist at the University of Cambridge. Scientists cannot say precisely how big the coming cooling will be, but it could at minimum be enough to offset the current theoretical impact of man-made global warming. Sam Solanki, of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, says declining solar activity could drop global temperatures by 0.2 degrees Celsius. "It might not sound like much," says New Scientist writer Stuart Clark, "but this temperature reversal would be as big as the most optimistic estimate of the results of restricting greenhouse-gas emissions until 2050 in line with the Kyoto protocol."

The New Scientist says this gives the Earth some breathing room in the face of climate change over the next 50 years, but it warns against complacency. "If the Earth does cool during the next sunspot crash and we do nothing [about man-made global warming], when the sun's magnetic activity returns, global warming will return with a vengeance," says Leif Svalgaard of Stanford University in California.

Well, that's one man's view based on his take on the science. But other scientists have differing views. Last month, the Russian Academy of Sciences' astronomical observatory reported that global cooling could develop in 50 years. Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of the agency's space research branch, is reported to have said a period of global cooling similar to one seen in the late 17th century could start in 2012-2015 and reach its peak in 2055-2066. "The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times," he said.

It's official - Palestinian Authority will NOT recognize previous agreements with Israel...

This so-called unity Government does not deserve any foreign aid.
The political program of the proposed Palestinian national unity government does not include recognition of agreements that were previously signed between Israel and the Palestinians, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Saturday.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Students back Imams in Norway....

Earlier, we blogged how many Imams in Norway don't believe that Al-Qaeda was behind 9/11.
Many Muslims in Norway support the controversial claims of some Oslo imams who doubt that Muslims were behind the terrorist attacks on the US in 2001. Among them are some students who don't believe Osama bin Laden gave the order to attack.

Rehan Maajid (right) and Junaid Tariq agree that "those who were behind the attacks in New York shouldn't call themselves Muslims."

Junaid Tariq, age 23, said he's heard that bin Laden's terrorist network al-Qaida was behind the attacks. "But I don't know, and really don't believe that bin-Laden gave the order," Tariq told newspaper Aftenposten on Friday. "At any rate, I don't think it was Muslims who did it."

That's because Islam advocates peace, Tariq said, and Muslims are taught not to take human life. "Those who were behind the airline attacks shouldn't call themselves Muslims," said Tariq's friend, Rehan Maajid, age 32.

"It could have been al-Qaida, but it's difficult to say," Maajid continued. "There are still lots of holes in the stories around what happened. I think al-Qaida exists, but Muslims shall not take a life. Islam is the religion of peace, and if you take a prisoner, you're supposed to treat them like an equal."

Masoom Zubair, leader for a Pakistani youth organization, says many Muslims feel unjustly suspect when terrorist attacks occur, something they neither have been involved with nor support.

The leader of the Muslim student organization in Norway, Awais Mushtaq, shares the doubts of imam Zulqarnain Sakandar Madni that it was al-Qaida who was behind the attack on the World Trade Center, contending there are only "indications," no hard evidence.

Feminist Party goin down in flames in Sweden!

So, they bring in Hanoi Jane (Fonda) to help out....
Figures in the Feminist Initiative hope that Fonda's presence will boost the party's support in Sunday's election. Most polls so far suggest that fewer than 1 percent of voters plan to vote for the party.
Even women won't vote for these feminists.

Oops...just kidding!

Hey man, can't you take a joke?
One of the leaders of a gang of Muslims allegedly planning to attack Britain joked about bombing the House of Commons during Prime Minister's Questions, a court was told yesterday.

Omar Khyam, from Crawley, West Sussex, said he had joked with friends about attacking Parliament but never meant it to be taken seriously.

Giving evidence in the second day of his defence at the Old Bailey, Khyam, 24, said he had been watching television in the flat he shared with Mohammed Babar, an American. "I remember watching, on Wednesday, Prime Minister's Questions. I said 'Imagine if you dropped a bomb right then and there. It would take out all the MPs'."

He said Babar and two other friends from Britain, "just laughed" and claimed that it was neither a serious proposition nor a plan.

But asked if he had ever met any members of al-Qa'eda, Khyam admitted: "Yes, probably."

Khyam admitted paying for a training camp on the Afghan border but said it was "just two tents and a few guns" and denied there had been any explosives training.

Here we go again...

I don't usually agree with the Pope...but perhaps he has it right this time....
Pakistan's legislature unanimously condemned
Pope Benedict XVI. Lebanon's top Shiite cleric demanded an apology. And in Turkey, the ruling party likened the pontiff to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades.

Across the Islamic world Friday, Benedict's remarks on Islam and jihad in a speech in Germany unleashed a torrent of rage that many fear could burst into violent protests like those that followed publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

By citing an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman," Benedict inflamed Muslim passions and aggravated fears of a new outbreak of anti-Western protests.
Are we now going to have weeks of violent protests?

Oriana Fallaci Dies...

If you haven't read her book, The Force of Reason, then go out immediately and buy a copy.
The 77-year-old journalist was in the news in recent years because of her bestselling book The Rage and the Pride, published two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S. The book was critical of Islam and argued Western culture was superior to Muslim culture.

The book struck a nerve and sold well in Italy and Europe. Fallaci was already one of Italy's most respected journalists and a well-known anti-fascist during the Second World War.

"A great Italian and brave writer has died who has led a life full of passion, full of love, with great civil courage," said Ferruccio De Bortoli, editor in chief of Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.

The paper published the essay that would lead to Fallaci's contentious book, in which Muslim immigrants are described as dirty and multiplying "like rats."

She wrote a later book, The Force of Reason, accusing the Muslim faith of sowing hatred, and warned Europeans they would soon be overwhelmed by Muslims and the Islamic faith. The journalist was ordered to stand trial on charges of defaming the religion, but the case never reached the courts.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is Pakistan going off-side?

Disappointing news from Pakistan.
Pakistan's credibility as a leading ally in the war on terrorism was called into question last night when it emerged that President Pervez Musharraf's government had authorised the release from jail of thousands of Taliban fighters caught fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Five years after American-led coalition forces overthrew the Taliban during Operation Enduring Freedom, United States officials have been horrified to discover that thousands of foreign fighters detained by Pakistan after fleeing the battleground in Afghanistan have been quietly released and allowed to return to their home countries.

Pakistani lawyers acting for the militants claim they have freed 2,500 foreigners who were originally held on suspicion of having links to al-Qa'eda or the Taliban over the past four years.

The Latest Zionist Conspiracy...

This is from the Syrian Arab News Agency.
Chairman of the Arab Center for Strategic Studies Nasser Mohammed said Wednesday that the Zionist International Organization, conspiring with Western governments and the Israeli entity, are managing a new plot aims at attracting a million Jewish emigrant to Palestine in a step to expand its imposed colonial existence in the region by the human factor and the frightening power.

"The Israeli entity's extreme aggression, killing and expanding settlements goes a long with its seeking for imposing normalization and economic cooperation on the Arab countries in order to push them toward a New Middle East determined by the USA, Israel and the Zionist movement as a substitution for the Arab integration," he said.

He clarified that the New Middle East plot aims to fragmentize the Arab regional entities on one hand, and re-distribute the land, humans, wealth and powers according to the new map of the Middle East.
If you want in to the next conspiracy meeting, e-mail me privately.

This is shameful....

These are the people who should most be behind peace....
Egypt's best-known democracy movement has switched causes and is now focused on demanding an end to the country's peace treaty with Israel.

The Kifaya movement has launched a campaign to collect 1 million signatures on a petition calling for the annulment of Egypt's U.S.-sponsored 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Error led to Strike on UN Post...

Noe the number of Hezbollah fighters found next to the UN post...
Hezbollah fighters were active in the area around the post and the bodies of 17 Hezbollah fighters were later discovered, the report said.
A map error led to the Israeli strike on a UN post in Southern Lebanon....but, of course, Hezbollah used the Post as cover for their activities.

The Imams of Norway....

Very disturbing...
More of Norway's imams have expressed their disbelief that the terrorist attacks of Sep. 11 2001 on the USA can have been carried out by Muslims.

"I don't believe that Muslims have the resources or qualities needed to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001," said Imam Hafiz Mehboob-ur-Rehman of the Islamic Cultural Center. Other Norwegian imams share his view, which first came to attention in a web chat on with imam Zulqarnain Sakandar on Monday.

"There are many theories about Sep. 11, but no hard evidence. In addition, it is against the teaching of Islam to kill civilians like this," said imam Mehboob-ur-Rehman.

Mehboob-ur-Rehman emphasized that the attacks could not be defended no matter who was responsible, but he had no reason to believe they were Muslims.

"The attacks have had no positive effects for Muslim. Muslims and Islam have suffered because of what has happened," Mehboob-ur-Rehman said.

Rehman did not go as far as Imam Zulqarnain Sakandar and subscribe to conspiracy theories that the USA itself was behind the attacks, saying there was no hard evidence for this either. But Mehboob-ur-Rehman did agree with imam Zulqarnain Sakandar's doubts about the existence of al-Qaeda.

"Neither I nor any of my acquaintances had heard of al-Qaeda before Sep. 11. I don't know if it exists. Al-Qaeda has primarily existed in the media. I have the impression that everyone mentions al-Qaeda because the USA and President George W. Bush mentions it," Mehboob-ur-Rehman said.

Let's get this over with...

It looks like the Conservatives don't have the votes to get this passed.
The Canadian government will introduce a motion to re-open the issue of same-sex marriage the week of September 25 a Montreal newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The French language La Presse reports that the motion will be presented shortly after Parliament resumes sitting and quoting party sources the paper says that the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper expects to lose the vote.
Harper's made a commitment to never bring this up let's hope his word is good.

Let Taiwan In...

It's about time...
After being rejected the 14th year in a row in its bid for membership in the United Nations, Taiwan will try a new approach, its president, Chen Shuibian said yesterday.

Rather than applying for readmission as the Republic of China, whose seat Taiwan held until 1971, Taiwan will consider applying as a new member under the name "Taiwan."
I'm sure that China will block this as well.

Teach Kids Peace...

Here's a very valuable web site that talks about the child abuse going on in the middle east.

A worthwhile apology...

This is nice to see.
Well, here it is, five years late, but here just the same: an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. No, I didn't help organize the killers or contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing.

The only time I raised my voice in protest against these men who killed thousands of innocents in the name of Allah was behind closed doors, among the safety of friends and family. I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning their actions, but fear of becoming another Salman Rushdie kept me from ever trying to publish it.

Well, I'm sick of saying the truth only in private - that Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have perpetrated on the world at large.

Yes, our extremists and our culture.

Every single 9/11 hijacker was Arab and a Muslim. The apologists (including President Bush) tried to reassure us that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, but was a twisting of a great and noble religion. With all due respect, read the Koran, Mr. President. There's enough there for someone of extreme tendencies to find their way to a global jihad.
Please read the whole article.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The new Unity PA government won't recognize Israel....

There's nothing that will get Hamas to recognize Israel.
However, a statement issued by Hamas on Tuesday stated: "The political program of the unity government does not contain any explicit or implicit recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. Nor does it include any concession on Hamas's principles and positions. Hamas will continue to abide by its own program, especially regarding the resistance and the refusal to recognize Israel."

Expel Iran from the UN....

Here's a campaign that I support.
Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and lawyers Irwin Cotler and Alan Dershowitz are backing the Jerusalem Council for Public Affairs’ campaign.

The group will circulate a document calling for the United Nations to oust Iran because it has violated the U.N. Charter with its threats to destroy Israel.

Meanwhile, Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, urged U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to redisplay a U.N. Holocaust exhibit during next week’s visit by Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has denied the Holocaust and called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Are Canadians Stupid?

hat tip: Shameer...who sent me this article.
I don’t know quite how to ask this question, but I suspect that a lot of Americans are about to, so I’ll put it as directly as I can: Are Canadians stupid?

A recent poll found that a majority of Canadians, including a whopping three-quarters of Quebecers, believe that U.S. foreign policy was the root cause of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This shouldn’t be so shocking; their previous prime minister, Jean Chretien, said practically the same thing a few years back (which I wrote about in NRO here.) In other words, they believe that the Americans brought 9/11 on themselves.

What makes this such a jaw-dropping finding, and prompts my question about the intelligence of the average Canadian in general (and of Quebecers in particular), is that it comes only a few months after Canadian authorities broke up a conspiracy among Islamic extremists in Canada in which a dozen men and five minors were arrested. They were apparently planning to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Canadian parliament, storm the national public-broadcasting building…oh, and they were going to behead the Canadian prime minister, too .

And, what would he call it?

Islamic trouble-makers?
The United States senator Russell Feingold has called on President Bush to stop using the term “Islamic fascism,” saying it harmed the war on terrorism. “We must avoid using misleading and offensive terms that link Islam to those who subvert this great religion or who distort its teachings to justify terrorist activity,” Feingold, who is Jewish and bidding for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, said on Tuesday to applause from an Arab American Institute delegation. “I call on the president to immediately stop using the phrase Islamic fascism, a label that doesn’t make any sense and certainly doesn’t help our effort to fight terrorism”, Feingold was quoted by JTA as saying. Bush has used the term to describe competing threats from Sunni terrorists like al-Qaeda and Shiite groups such as Hezbollah.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Syria blames the US....

It's not as if the Syrians do anything to encourage terrorism.
Syria's embassy in Washington accused the United States of fueling extremism, terrorism and anti-US sentiment in the Middle East, following a foiled attack on the US embassy in Damascus.

"It is regrettable that US policies in the Middle East have fueled extremism, terrorism and anti-US sentiment," the statement, issued by the Syrian embassy in Washington said.

"What has happened recently in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iraq is exacerbating the fight against global terrorism.

"The US should take this opportunity to review its policies in the Middle East and start looking at the root causes of terrorism and broker a comprehensive peace in the Middle East."
How ridiculous! Do they honestly believe that Israel is the cause of terrorism and that peace in the middle east would stop it?

Enough of the UN...

Anne Bayefsky is one of the best UN watchers out there.
Just last Friday the U.N. gave the world its answer to 9/11. The General Assembly adopted its first-ever "Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy." The title is grand. The substance was not: it called for the implemention of a General Assembly resolution from 1991, which draws a distinction between terrorism and the "legitimacy of the struggle of national liberation movements." The document was also telling for what it omitted: a definition of terrorism, a reference to state sponsorship of terrorism and a call to sanction states that harbor and assist terrorists. Worst of all it began, not with defeat of terrorists, but with "measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, which it describes as "prevent[ing] the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures," "eradicate[ing] poverty" and reducing youth unemployment.

What does such a strategy do for winning the war? It throws sand in the eyes of the troops on the front lines and renders the goalposts a mirage.

Terrorists fall from grace...

At least some people in the Palestinian territories are getting tired of the terrorists...
A stolen car, its number plates torn off and replaced by a black plaque bearing the word 'Palestine' and the symbol of a militant group, pushes through a crowded alley in the Balata refugee camp.

As it squeezes among the pedestrians, some seem reluctant to get out of the way while others shoot looks of disdain at the muscle-bound young men in black T-shirts just visible behind the vehicle's tinted windows.

A guide points out that the car is driven by members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militant group allied to Fatah, the political party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Formed by Abbas's predecessor, Yasser Arafat, al-Aqsa has carried out scores of attacks and suicide bombings against Israel over the past five years, putting it at the forefront of the battle against Israel's 39-year occupation of the West Bank.

But among the residents of Balata, one of the largest and poorest Palestinian refugee camps and traditionally a fertile source of recruits, there is less awe these days for the actions of groups like al-Aqsa, and a growing sense of scorn.

"To be honest, I feel frustrated with the resistance," says Ismail Hashash, the owner of a driving school in Balata, using the general term Palestinians use for those who battle Israel.

"They don't respect the goal, which is fighting the occupation. They've been corrupted. Instead of just fighting Israel, they are involved in disputes and crime, or they just like to show off their weapons."

The very fact that the 32-year-old, who says he knows many militants as acquaintances, is willing to criticise them openly shows how the groups have fallen in his esteem.

He says the movements have lost their way, and are now filled with unemployed young men looking for direction.
Israel has made it tougher for them to they now turn inward. I wish these people would condemn all terrorism..including terrorism against Israel.

The problem with pacifists...

John McWhorter, one of my favorite writers, looks at the issue of pacifism.
Now, many tell me that what is supposed to make me uncomfortable is the administration's purportedly using war as a smokescreen for "invading our civil liberties." But this is another place where I don't glean the fit between the rhetoric and the reality. Certainly the point must be raised. Yet when I asked a self-avowed radical friend of mine how her civil liberties had been threatened lately, she had no answer. The issue was solely theoretical for her.

This type of concern is defended as a form of patriotism — we deplore that our country is not living up to its ideals. This explains, I suppose, the rabid animus against Dick Cheney while Osama bin Laden is coolly designated a "madman," which in a way excuses from censure someone who gives all indication of being perfectly sane.

Perhaps there is a certain sophistication that I lack. But this reflexive contempt for our leaders' meeting force with force has an element in it, I suspect, of the enjoyment of feeling superior. And as to this exemption of The Other from serious condemnation, rather than resort to the easy score of the R-word I'll say that it smacks of a certain paternalism.

Yet I cannot stop there, lest I join those who dwell in name-calling over reflection. The War on Terror, after all, is a rich subject and no one can claim to have all the answers. I just wish that after five years I were closer to being in pacifists' heads than I currently am.

A view from Baghdad...

This is a piece by Mohammed Fadhil, a blogger from Baghdad.
You also see others who criticize the American response to the attack calling it "savage" or "brutal" which are words commonly used by the Arab media that at the same time ignores the savage brutality of the attack in the first place.

Concentrating on the response and ignoring the attack that provoked it is an act of denial and running away from reality, and concentrating on the "erroneous" American policy is something I cannot accept because it comes either from dictatorships that see a threat for them in the American policy that calls for liberty and democracy, or from fascist religious powers that see in the pluralism and tolerance that America calls for a danger to their dominance on the minds of their people, or from some American politicians blinded by ambition and care only about discrediting their opponents.

Like we said in a previous post, did Moscow's pro-Arab, pro-Islamist policy keep the Russian people safe from the hands of radical terrorists who use their extreme interpretation of religion as a cover for violence?

Monday, September 11, 2006

The problem of post-modernism...

Another terrific essay by Robert Sibley in the Ottawa Citizen.
But then you don't need to look to the left to detect the confusions of the post-modern consciousness. Consider the five-year debate among New Yorkers about what to rebuild on Ground Zero, and how to memorialize those who died.

At one point, Myron Magnet relates in City Journal magazine, New York City Fire Department officials proposed the idea of a bronze statue based on the famous Bergen Record photograph of three firefighters raising the Stars and Stripes at Ground Zero as the recovery effort began. Sounds good, but then the officials wanted the heads of two of the firefighters to be replaced with those of a black and a Hispanic. It didn't matter that that's not what happened.

As Mr. Magnet, editor of the New York-based magazine, says, "This monument's readiness to falsify gives an especially bleak and revealing glimpse into the cynical mendacity that is political correctness, always ready to elevate ideology over ideals."

Another "post-modern" politically correct proposal came from the board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Board members pumped for an International Freedom Center. The centre, as journalist Stefan Kafner wrote recently in City Journal, would have addressed slavery and other human rights issues not directly related to the terrorist attack. The board members "could not make themselves acknowledge what almost all Americans know in their bones. Roman Catholics did not perpetrate the attacks; neither did Hindus, Klan members, Greek Orthodox Christians, Jews, Seventh-day Adventists, evangelicals, animists, Shintoists, Buddhists, or secular humanists. Radical Muslims did."

Remembering 9/11

9/11 is a very emotional day. Who would have thought, five years ago, that there would have been NO major attacks in the United States? Clearly, the US has made progress in the fight against terror; most of the top leadership of Al-Qaeda has either been arrested or killed. That's the good news.

The bad news is that it appears that a large part of the US is tired of the fight. President Bush rightly went into Iraq and blundered badly by not sending in enough troops. It is not clear as to whether Iraq can be saved. The Europeans could have helped in Iraq, but decided to take a pass - as they usually do in times of crisis.

Many people, including many Democrats, seem to have accepted the self-hating view of the West (the Noam Chomsky position) and seem to want to make common cause with the terrorists. How else can you explain the perverse attitudes of the New Democratic Party here in Canada? They want to sit down with the Taliban, Hezbollah and with Hamas. I'm sure they wouldn't turn down an audience with bin Laden himself.

The plain fact of the matter is that the fight is not over. Fortunately, we have a Government in Canada that recognizes this. But, we now have 2 political parties (the NDP and the Bloc) who oppose our role in Afghanistan and we still don't know where the Liberals are on this issue. As the casualties mount, I'm afraid that we will see much more opposition to helping the Afghanis. In both the US and Canada, the tolerance for any sort of casualties is low.

Our only option is to have the military in Afghanistan be the conduit for aid - in short, have our soldiers both fighting and aiding. We need to win the both the hearts of minds of Afghanis....and Canadians. And, the same goes for the Americans - they have to continue the fight against terror while winning the hearts and minds of Americans.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

When will people learn that Hamas doesn't want peace?

The Europeans keep on hoping that Hamas can be a partner for peace...
Tony Blair's hopes of inspiring a breakthrough in the Middle East were dashed yesterday when Hamas rejected his conditions for any future talks with the militant group.

During a visit to the region, the Prime Minister said Britain would talk to Hamas if it joined a new Palestinian government of national unity which renounced violence and recognised Israel. He encouraged other Western governments to do the same.

But Mr Blair's offer was immediately rejected by Hamas, which said that although it was ready to form a government with the moderate group Fatah, it would be on its own terms – "not according to standards that are dictated".

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, added: "I want to renew our rejection of these [Western] decisions because we consider them as biased, unjust and conditional decisions.

Love Songs Banned!

I would just limit the ban to Celine Dion.
Islamic militants controlling much of southern Somalia shut down a radio station Sunday for airing "music and love songs," the latest example of the region's new fundamentalist rule.

The group closed Radio Jowhar because the programs were un-Islamic, Islamic official Sheik Mohamed Mohamoud Abdirahman said. It was the only radio station in Jowhar, some 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the capital, Mogadishu.

"It is useless to air music and love songs for the people," Abdirahman said.

Since sweeping over much of southern Somalia, including the capital, in June, the Islamic group has brought a semblance of order after years of anarchy. But the imposition of strict religious rule has sparked fears of an emerging, Taliban-style regime.

Islamists in the capital have banned movie viewing, publicly lashed drug users and broke up a wedding celebration because a band was playing and women and men were socializing together.

And this is a compromise????

Only the Europeans could believe this is an acceptable compromise.
Iran is ready to consider suspending uranium enrichment for up to two months, diplomats told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The diplomats, who insisted on anonymity to disclose confidential information, spoke shortly after senior Iranian and European Union diplomats held a second day of talks on Tehran's defiance of a U.N. demand that it suspend enrichment, which can be used to make nuclear arms.

They said the compromise was mentioned by Ali Larijani, Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator, during his meeting with the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana.

One diplomat said Larijani floated the possibility of stopping enrichment activities "voluntarily, for one or two months if presented ... in such a way that it does it without pressure."

Canadian History According to the NDP

Some Iranian Holocaust Cartoons...

These are cartoons from the current Holocaust Exhibit now on display in Tehran.

The dark side of multiculturalism...

Robert Sibley has a masterful essay in today's Ottawa Citizen.
It hasn't helped, he says, that cultural and academic elites promote a radical version of multiculturalism that undermines and effectively "denationalizes" the country. Indeed, nothing better exemplifies contemporary elite assumptions than multiculturalism. Multicultural theory asserts that assimilating immigrants from non-western countries is wrong because it presumes western culture is superior. Assimilation, in other words, is coercion. Liberal societies must accept not only the immigrants but also their cultures. Thus, the maintenance and even the assertion of cultural values becomes a fundamental right. Originally, of course, the elites that promoted this theory thought multiculturalism would amount to immigrants celebrating their native cultures while gradually adopting prevailing liberal principles of political order. Immigrants might hang trinkets from rearview mirrors, cheer soccer teams from the old country and hold festivals displaying the native cuisine and artifacts of their homelands, but they would, as it were, be good liberals.

Not surprisingly, multiculturalism was pushed beyond trinkets and restaurants. The original idea of multiculturalism as a way to promote tolerance and open-mindedness was kidnapped by the radical left and inflated to produce a variety of notions -- postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism -- all of which are essentially anti-western. So today, as Huntington remarks, multiculturalism is "basically an anti-western ideology."

Contemporary multiculturalism, at its most fundamental, is an appeal to and promotion of what historian Vincent Cannata has called "native nationalisms." In effect, the imposition of multicultural policies in liberal western countries resulted in the importation of cultural ascriptions and practices that are, in some cases, inimical to liberal traditions. Behind this is the assumption on the part of western cultural elites since the Second World War that nationalism is almost the equal of fascism. This, of course, ignores the context of nationalist expression. To wave the flag in Canada or the United States is not the same as waving the flag in Nazi Germany. To "stand up for America" is not necessarily a demonstration of xenophobia. For the elites, however, nationalism demonstrates one of the great sins of liberalism -- exclusion. To apply "nation" to a group or set of values is to exclude others. In today's globalized worlds, say the cosmopolitans, the nation-state been superseded by the realities of mass immigration, multi-ethnic populations and telecommunications.

This makes multiculturalism much more than a feel-good policy to make immigrants feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. Roger Kimball, a respected cultural commentator in the United States, summarized the situation in an essay earlier this year in The New Criterion: "We are now beginning to reap the fruit of our liberal experiment with multiculturalism. The chief existential symptom is moral paralysis, expressed, for example, in the inability to discriminate effectively between good and evil ... The large issue here is one that has bedeviled liberal societies ever since they were liberal: namely, that in attempting to create a maximally tolerant society, we also give scope to those who prefer to create the maximally intolerant society."

Joseph Rhea, in his book Race Pride and the American Identity, offers an illuminating example of just how far the cultural elites will go in denigrating western civilization by comparing poems recited at two presidential inaugurations three decades apart. At President John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961, Robert Frost referred to the "heroic deeds" that marked the founding of the United States in 1776. America, Frost proclaimed, was established with God's "approval" and ushered in "a new order of the ages." "Our venture in revolution and outlawry/ Has justified itself in freedom's story/ Right down to now in glory upon glory." The United States, the poet concluded, was embarking on a new "golden age of poetry and power."

Thirty-two years later, at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, Maya Angelou's poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," portrayed a badly tarnished America. In fact, Angelou didn't once use the words "America" or "American." Instead, she identified 27 racial, religious, tribal and ethnic groups -- Muslim, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Pawnee, Ashanti, Jews, Irish, Scandinavian and even Eskimos (Inuit, for politically corrected Canadians), among others. She denounced the repression these groups suffered at the hands of the United States' "armed struggles for profit" and its "bloody sear" of "cynicism." (How, you might ask, has the U.S. oppressed Scandinavians?) The United States, Angelou concluded, may be "wedded forever to fear, yoked eternally to brutishness."