Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why the culture of extremism must not be allowed to flourish in the west

Memo from Egyptian mufti Ali Gomaa:

knock off the adult breastfeeding stuff, and just get back to drinking the prophet’s urine?

CAIRO: Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s top Mufti, requested that all Islamic institutions put a unified standard to which all sheikhs in the world should adhere, when it comes to issuing fatwas, reported Al-Ahram Daily newspaper.

Gomaa made the request three days ago during a conference that brought together members of Dar El Ift (house of fatwa, religious edicts) yesterday in Kuwait. The conference, titled “Issuing Fatwas in the Open World,” is expected to run for three days, said Al-Ahram.

Gomaa himself is the author of a controversial book which claimed that Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) companions used to drink his urine, considering it a blessed act, as reported by Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.

Gomaa stuck to his position despite criticism, claiming that everything which emanated from the Prophet is pure and sacred.

“We hope that we will no longer have to see another fake and incorrect fatwa similar to those that have been released recently about breastfeeding adult men and the Prophet’s Mohammed’s (PBUH) urine,” Sheikh Mohmoud Ashour, former deputy of Al Azhar and member of the Islamic Research Center, told The Daily Star Egypt.

“If implemented properly [Gomaa’s recommendation] will prevent fatwas from becoming a business not a science as it should be,” Ashour said pointing to the sheikhs who appear on TV and profit from making controversial and incorrect fatwas.

“A person who issues a fatwa should be qualified to do so. He should be honest and careful with every fatwa he releases,” Ashour said.

Gomaa’s request came a week after Sheikh Ezzat Atiya, president of the Hadith (Prophet Mohamed’s (PBUH) Sayings) department at Al-Azhar University, issued the breastfeeding fatwa in which he had drawn on Islamic traditions which forbid sexual relations between a men and a women who had breastfed him, to suggest that symbolic breastfeeding could be a way round the strict segregation of males and females.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Anti-Islamic writer 'stirs hatred'

Anti-Islamic writer 'stirs hatred'

by Simon Kearney

Author arrives today amid tight security Calls Islamic culture 'backward' Under 24-hour guard since 2004

A VISIT to Sydney by a controversial Somali writer who calls the prophet Mohammed a pedophile and says Islam is inferior to Western culture has outraged Muslims, who accuse her of inciting hatred.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali will arrive in Sydney today amid tight security normally reserved for foreign dignitaries or royalty.

Her writings and talks focus on what she calls the backwardness of Islamic culture and the persecution of Muslim women.

The Somali-born Muslim - who fled to The Netherlands, became a Dutch citizen and renounced her religion - has been under 24-hour guard since the murder of film-maker Theo van Gogh in November 2004 by a Muslim extremist in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh's film Submission, which examined the oppression of Muslim women, was written by Hirsi Ali. His killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, left a five-page death threat addressed to her, pinned to the filmmaker's chest.

However, University of Technology Sydney Islamic law lecturer Jamila Hussain said Hirsi Ali's ideas were extreme and stigmatised Muslims.

"I think she'd be better staying where she came from," Ms Hussain said. "I've read enough of her thoughts. It's a narrow and radical opinion, and I don't agree with it. She's obviously had some dreadful experiences, but they're not typical."

In her writings, Hirsi Ali describes being circumcised as a young girl and how she escaped an arranged marriage.

Nada Roude, of the NSW Islamic Council, said Hirsi Ali's comments on the prophet Mohammed were a "no-go zone".

Read more at ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Excellent cultural law - ban minarets and loudspeakers

Swiss move to ban minarets
BBC News

by Imogen Foulkes

A row is brewing over religious symbolism in Switzerland.

Members of the right-wing Swiss People's Party, currently the largest party in the Swiss parliament, have launched a campaign to have the building of minarets banned.

They claim the minaret is not necessary for worship, but is rather a symbol of Islamic law, and as such incompatible with Switzerland's legal system.

Signatures are now being collected to force a nationwide referendum on the issue which, under Switzerland's system of direct democracy, would be binding.

The move has shocked Switzerland's 350,000 Muslims, many of whom have been campaigning for decades for more recognition for their faith.

In theory Switzerland is a secular state, whose constitution guarantees freedom of religious expression to all. In practice however mosques in Switzerland tend to be confined to disused warehouses and factories.

Across the country, there are only two small minarets, one in Zurich and one in Geneva, neither of which are permitted to make the call to prayer. In Switzerland's capital Berne, the largest mosque is in a former underground car park

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cultural disrespect of women who don't wear burkas

Darfur Women Describe Gang-Rape Horror


The seven women pooled money to rent a donkey and cart, then ventured out of the refugee camp to gather firewood, hoping to sell it for cash to feed their families. Instead, they say, in a wooded area just a few hours walk away, they were gang-raped, beaten and robbed.

Naked and devastated, they fled back to Kalma.

"All the time it lasted, I kept thinking: They're killing my baby, they're killing my baby," wailed Aisha, who was seven months pregnant at the time.

Read more at ...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ban the symbols of hatred and brutalization

"50 pc of Belgians want headscarf ban"

LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE – One in three people in Belgium is bothered by women wearing headscarves in public places. Just over half even would prefer that they be banned in certain places. Intolerance and racism are at the root of these negative views on headscarves.

This was the conclusion drawn by the religious faculty's centre for psychology at the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve after two studies into the Belgians' attitude towards headscarves.

Some 69 percent of those asked see the headscarf as a sign of oppression and 53.3 percent thinks wearing one goes entirely against modern western values. Some 44.6 percent are disturbed by someone wearing a headscarf at school.

Cultural disaster under the radar

Muslim paramilitary compounds springing up around America
One News

by Chad Groening

A U.S. defense analyst and author says Americans should be very concerned about some radical Muslim paramilitary compounds that have sprung up around the country and that are surrounded with "No Trespassing" signs.

Greg Copley, president of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), says the compounds are often populated with former U.S. convicts who were converted to Islam in prison. These convicts, he contends, are connected to a Pakistani organization.

"Islamberg in New York, Ahmedabad in Virginia, and Holy Islamville in South Carolina, and so on are places which have been formed largely by Jamaat ul-Fuqra," Copley notes, "which is a fundamentalist jihadist movement, which has been involved in terrorist activity and supporting terrorist activity."

The U.S. government has been monitoring the organization's activities, the ISSA official says. "The U.S. government, for example, claimed that ul-Fuqra members were involved in more than a dozen bombings and arson attacks during the 1980s and 1990s," he points out, and that members were "possibly responsible for a couple dozen homicides, and possibly linked to the murder of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was killed in Pakistan."

Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which means "community of the impoverished," recruits converts from the U.S. prison system, the defense analyst says. "They're a very big international group," he asserts. "They do have connections to fundamentalist groups in Pakistan."

There is also evidence that ul-Fuqra may have been linked to shoe-bomber Richard Reid, Copley adds. He says he believes U.S. authorities should thoroughly investigate and keep a watch on the activities of these Muslim compounds that are located in America but connected to a Pakistani jihadist movement.

Friday, May 25, 2007

PBS will show film about islam

A documentary billed as “the film PBS doesn’t want you to see” will at long last get a national audience.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) announced a joint agreement yesterday to make “Islam vs. Islamists” available to the 354 Public Broadcasting Service member stations across the nation as a “stand-alone” TV program, with a little extra embellishment.

“We plan to distribute the film to any public broadcasting station that wants it. We’ll package it and also produce some sort of discussion to accompany the film, and give it some context,” OPB President Steve Bass told The Washington Times yesterday.

“There has been a lot of debate on whether this program needed editing. Some said yes, some no. When you’re dealing with an object of controversy, it is better to let the audience draw their own conclusions,” Mr. Bass said.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Are the peaceful muslims the elephants that are pooping in the living room?

The Peaceful Muslim
Jihad Watch

A man whose family was part of the German aristocracy prior to World War Two owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave should guide our attitude toward Islamic fanaticism.

“Very few people were true Nazis "he said," but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of Islamic fanaticm rampaging across the globe. The fact of the matter is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide.

It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent of Africa, in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill.. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously stone, behead and shoot homosexuals and rape victims.

The hard quantifiable fact is that the "peaceful majority" the "silent majority" of Muslims is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of a peaceful majority of Russians who just wanted to live in peace. Yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but the Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War 2 was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"? Of course!

This history lesson is incredibly simple and blunt! Yet for all our powers of reason we are missing the most basic and uncomplicated of points: THE PEACE-LOVING MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN MADE IRRELEVANT BY THEIR SILENCE.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them and the end of their world has come.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for we Americans, who are watching this all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: THE FANATICS WHO THREATEN OUR WAY OF LIFE.

Peaceful muslims must be held accountable.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Losing control of the women is something that makes Islamic conservatives very angry.

Why Islamic Militants Hate Women

by James Dunnigan

One reason for Islamic terrorism is there are too many Moslems. At least in the sense that the economies of Islamic countries cannot create enough jobs for all the young people coming of age. Consider that for the last fifty years, the population of all Moslem countries has tripled. That's population growth that is more than double the rate of the world as a whole, and about ten times the rate of Europe. It's about five times the rate in the United States.

Many of those unemployed young men are angry, and making war is a typical activity of angry young men. But the women are not too happy either, and this is becoming one a major threat to Islamic terrorists. In Islamic societies, women's activities are greatly restricted. One thing they are encouraged to do is have lots of children. Many women in Islamic countries are rebelling against this. You don't hear much about this, because women don't rebel in the same loud, headline grabbing way that men do. What unhappy women often do is stop having children. Not so easy to do, you think? Well, think again.

The rest of the world has found that the best way to curb population growth is to give women educational and economic opportunities. This actually works too well, with many industrialized nations producing so few children, that their populations are shrinking. The primary way around this is allowing migrants from higher population countries. In Europe, this has meant lots of Moslems. While this has brought in some terrorists, the vast majority of migrants are looking for economic and educational opportunities. But it's in Europe that you get the best look at the womens revolt in the Islamic world. The men are fighting back, and the rebellious Moslem women murdered in Western countries get reported. But they are now becoming news in countries like Pakistan as well.

While Islamic countries tend to have very low levels of education, especially for women, the introduction of satellite television and DVDs has enabled even illiterate women to learn that there are other options. Ignorance is an excellent form of control, but when the ignorance is lost, so is the control.

Thus in most Islamic countries, the women are having fewer children, and making more noise about economic and educational opportunities. This resonates with some of the better informed Islamic men. One reason the West, and other parts of the world, have enjoyed much better economic growth than the Moslem countries, is that they have added large number of educated women to their work force.

Losing control of the women is something that makes Islamic conservatives very angry. Murderously angry. This is a vicious, lethal battle taking place largely out of the media spotlight. But, long term, it is destroying the source of Islamic terrorism.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why banning religious headdress just in public places would be so effective against extremism.

Straight from the Mullah's Mouth: Unveiled Women Are like Buses -- "Anyone Can Ride"
Associated Content

by Kimberly West

As Iran has just begun it's warm-weather crackdown on women's dress in the regime with the Iranian Fashion Police out in full force, it might (or it just might not) bring up the age-old theological question-

What do women and mass transit have in common?

Quite a lot, according to Iranian Mullah Hojatolislam Hassani. In last Friday's sermon (Friday is the Islamic Holy day), Gateway Pundit reports that the Islamic hardliner divided women into three groups--

The first group... he said are the women who are badly veiled who are like buses who everyone and anyone can ride.

The second group... are women who are wearing scarves without the Islamic overcoats; they are like taxis who only pick up certain passengers.

And finally, in the third group... there are women like my wife who are like donkeys who let only one person ride them!

Read more at ...

Why banning religious headdress just in public places would be so effective against extremism. Rigid cultural control is necessary to extremism.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Culture that encourages honor killings must not be allowed to make excuses

Need to debate shocking behaviour
Jordan Times

Randa habib’s corner

Every time I hear of a new “honour crime” my blood boils over with shock and disgust.

How can a father kill his daughter? How dare a brother execute his sister? How on earth is this “cleansing the family honour”?

I keep asking myself, what honour is there in killing a member of your family, over, most of the time, vicious gossip.

My shock is even bigger when I hear some people saying they can understand such actions. And the reason they put forward is that in some parts of society, a man and his family will be considered as pariahs if they don’t act when one of the female members “acts immorally”.

“The man will not be able to walk in the street. He will be abused by his neighbours and relatives, until he cleanses his honour,” a professor told me by way of explanation for such barbaric action.

So, for a man not to hear criticism from his entourage, he has to go ahead and shoot his daughter when someone tells him, for example, that her picture appears on men’s mobile phones, or that she was seen talking to a stranger.

Even more difficult to accept is that all those responsible for premeditated murder are out in three months.

We really need to have an open debate on this subject and deal with it urgently and with courage.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Culture that turns a beloved figure to brainwashing children into hatred and death

Palestinian Journalist: 'Hamas Has Turned Mickey Mouse into a Monstrous Figure'

“I wonder what Farfur has to say about the latest fighting between Fatah and Hamas,” a respected Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip said this week when asked to comment on the internecine violence.

Farfur, a squeaky-voiced Mickey Mouse look-alike, is the star of a weekly children’s program called “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” broadcast on the official Hamas station, Al-Aksa TV.

Farfur has thus far ignored the street fighting that has left more than 165 killed since the beginning of the year, choosing instead to attack the “oppressive invading Zionist occupation” that must be “resisted” at all costs.

“Hamas has turned Mickey Mouse into a monstrous figure,” said the journalist, who describes himself as a secular and moderate Muslim. “When you spread such messages of hatred, especially among children, you then can’t ask why young men grow up to become so violent and ruthless.”


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Muslims slam 'divisive' test

Muslims slam 'divisive' test
Herald Sun

by Ben Packham

MUSLIMS are outraged that prospective citizens will have to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian tradition as the basis of Australia's values system.

Australia's peak Muslim body said the proposed citizenship question -- revealed in the Herald Sun -- was disturbing and potentially divisive.

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Dr Ameer Ali said the "Abrahamic tradition" or "universal values" would be less divisive ways of describing the nation's moral base.

Dr Ali said use of the term Judeo-Christian was the result of "WWII guilt", and before 1945 Australia would have been called only Christian.

"That question must be rephrased," he said.

Dr Ali was backed by Democrats senator Lyn Allison, who said the answer to the question was highly debatable.

But Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews stood firm on the merit of the question.

Mr Andrews said Australia's Judeo-Christian heritage was indisputable historical fact.

Read more at ...

Friday, May 18, 2007

cultural battle against women's body movements made while riding a bicycle to be provoking to men and not compatible with social rules.

Iran plans to make special bicycles for women

Tehran - Iran plans to make special bicycles designed for women that will be compatible with Islamic regulations and not expose their body movements while riding, the newspaper Iran reported Thursday.

The new bicycle would have a cabin to cover half of a rider's body, the daily quoted project manager Elaheh Sofali as saying.

Women's sports in general, and cycling in particular, have been a constant controversial issue in Islamic Iran. Several efforts to promote athletics by reformist circles and women's activists have failed because of opposition by the conservative clergy.

Women in Iran are obliged to wear scarves and long gowns to hide their hair and body contours. Female athletes must also follow this rule and participate in sports wearing scarves and gowns.

The clergy considers women's body movements made while riding a bicycle to be provoking to men and not compatible with social rules.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Once were warriors: Why Islam failed Muslims

Once were warriors: Why Islam failed Muslims

by Ohmyrus

...Islam was immensely successful in the first few centuries of its birth. It spread like wildfire from Spain to Pakistan. The success was due to the fact that Islam is a warrior religion - the last of its kind today. But the qualities and ethos that led to success are also some of the reasons for its current failure. Today Muslims are among the poorest and most backward people in the world...

Read more at ...

Stop Islamic world’s slide into obscurantism, says Musharraf

Stop Islamic world’s slide into obscurantism, says Musharraf

Pakistan’s president issues warning in opening address to the annual summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. One proposal made is to deploy an Islamic peacekeeping force to Iraq. In the meantime Musharraf is facing rising street protests in favour of an independent judiciary and calls for investigation into yesterday’s deadly attack in Peshawar.

Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A peacekeeping force with troops from Islamic countries under a UN mandate should be deployed in Iraq to stabilise the country is one of the proposals made yesterday, the first day of the 34th annual summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) now underway in Islamabad, Pakistan.

In his opening speech to the three-day conference, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf urged the representatives of the 57 member-states to reform the OIC to stop the Islamic world from sliding into obscurantism compared to the West.

“We must face the fact that the disparity with the Western world is increasing, not decreasing,” General Musharraf said. “We have to reject extremism and terrorism and go on the path of socio-economic development,” he added, calling for the organisation to be restructured into a “futuristic and dynamic” player in world affairs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Islam, not lack of money is the cause of their violence

tar's first lady argues Islam not the root of extremism
AP on Bakersfield Californian

by Peter Prengaman - ap

In a rare appearance of a female Middle Eastern leader, Qatar's first lady argued Islam has been incorrectly blamed for the rise of extremist violence when the real culprits include poverty, a lack of political freedom and "failed U.S. policies."

Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned told the Los Angeles World Affairs Council Tuesday that societies worldwide were failing to provide jobs, hope and a feeling of greater good for their citizens.

As a result, youth "are seduced by a global culture of violence that is fueled by cynicism," said Sheikha Mozah, dressed in pants, a business blazer and with her hair covered.

"In the Middle East, youth feel politically paralyzed, and are doubly excluded. Like the general population, they cannot choose their governments and are severely limited in venues of self-expression," she said. "Certainly, failed U.S. policies in the Middle East have provided a fertile ground for radical groups."

Her 15-day U.S. tour includes stops in New York, Los Angeles and Houston to push her country's vision for the future of the Middle East and expand sister campuses with U.S. universities. Outside of more liberal countries like Israel and Lebanon, public appearances of Middle Eastern first ladies are rare, much less by one giving speeches and opining on world problems.

But over the past two decades, gas-wealthy Qatar has become one of the leading proponents of reform in the region. Qatar has women in government posts, held nationwide municipal elections in 2003 and several U.S. universities have opened branches in the nation's Education City.

The tiny Gulf country is home to the Al-Jazeera satellite television network and Washington's Mideast military headquarters, which oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It regularly hosts international conferences of the World Trade Organization, World Economic Forum and others.

Sheikha Mozah is the second of three wives of Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and is a leading voice for increased female participation in public life and education.

Answering questions after the speech, the first lady rejected the idea that Islam is the reason for limited education of women in many Middle Eastern countries.

"Muslim countries prohibiting the education of women is not because they are Muslim," she said. "There are other cultural aspects" that guide those decisions.

She said it was important to educate women because both sexes had to "share in the responsibility of their societies in the Middle East."

Without singling out any leader or country, she said the youth in much of the Middle East had lost faith in their rulers, which made some attracted to extremist movements offering them a sense of purpose.

But she also criticized Western democracies, referencing U.S. participation in Iraq in questions afterward.

"We live in times when we have to swallow the bitter pill of hypocrisy called Western democracy or else be injected with the poison of extremism," she said.

She criticized an increasingly globalized world economy, saying that hyper competition had created a world of "consumerism and survival of the richest, of the man with the biggest gun has the loudest voice."

She said defeating extremist violence and other ills would require "a major paradigm shift," but didn't offer concrete details of solutions.

Despite all the negatives, she said she believed young people would pave the way to a more humane global community.

"You are probably ready to diagnose me with a bad case of naivety, but I can bear this diagnosis," she said in closing. "For I believe idealism is exactly the antidote we need to the cynicism of our times."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Integration before immigration

Integration before immigration

by Nina Lødemel

Oslo City Council leader Erling Lae and mayoral candidate Fabian Stang believe that Oslo's immigrants need to be integrated before new immgrants can come in. The ramifications of immigrant family reunification are too much of a strain on Oslo, argues city council leader Erling Lae.

"For Oslo it must be important to do everything possible to integrate those who are here properly before discussing taking in new immigrants," Stang told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting).

"We must be honest and say that all of the family reunifications are a strain on our city," Lae told

In the past year there have been 5,000 family reunifications in Oslo, and Lae believes this increases immigrant unemployment. He also believes that the primary reason behind living standard differences in the capital is immigrant women living isolated from Norwegian society.

"One of the most important things we can do is to get immigrant women into employment," Lae said.

One solution to the demands is stricter regulations about asylum seekers remaining in the region where they are placed.

"We can't put up a wall around Oslo, but it is important that we demand stricter rules," Lae said.

Frank Aarebrot, Professor of Comparative Politics, believes that the claims are a stunt for the local election campaign, and that the Conservative politicians are hoping to nab some of the populist Progress Party's voters.

Lae said that the comment given to NRK was a reply to an article in the weekly Mandag Morgen (Monday Morning), which argued for increased immigration in Norway and the rest of Europe.

"We should not be discussing increased immigration now. The most important thing for us is the debate about integration," Lae said.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Appease the trappings of extremism, you get more extremism, not less

Appease the trappings of extremism, you get more extremism, not less

To Veil or Not To Veil: The Pelosi Question
NY Sun

by Youssef Ibrahim

The new minister of education for Kuwait is a brave woman now famous across the Islamic world for a landmark moment: The day she walked up to the podium of Parliament, despite the catcalls from Islamist lawmakers, and took her oath of office without wearing a veil to cover her hair or face.

Her April 2 act of defiance placed Dr. Nouriya Al-Subeeh on the front line of the growing ranks of Muslim women leaders who are denouncing the veil as a symbol of female oppression. But on the following day, April 3, America's Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the very first woman to hold that position, meekly donned a veil during a visit to a popular market in downtown Damascus, sending the exact opposite message to tens of millions of Arab women.

After her precedent-setting episode, Dr. Subeeh explained her stand in an interview with the Egyptian weekly Rose El Yousuf: "A woman who wears the veil out of belief, which must be respected — just as the belief of a woman who does not want to wear a veil must be respected. The essence of democracy," she said, "is to respect and accept the opinions of others."

Ms. Pelosi made a similar choice — but in the opposite direction. Anxious to curry favor with the male rulers of the Middle East, she failed to comprehend that as an American woman, a symbol of Western democracy and secularism as well as a guardian of women's rights, her agenda should have rested elsewhere.

Read more at ...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

banning all headdress would be huge win against cultural extremism

Kuwaiti Education Minister Would Not Wear the Veil

by I. Rapaport

While the refusal by newly elected Kuwaiti Education Minister Dr. Nouriya Al-Subeeh to wear a veil in parliamentary sessions evoked the resentment of the Islamist MPs, the Kuwaiti press published many articles supporting Dr. Al-Subeeh's position. The papers argued that no one had the right to impose a dress code on her, and that there was no law requiring her to wear a veil.

Cultural focus - extremism needs to be moderated

Police renew focus on Muslim cabbies
Authorities worry about 'taxi jihadists' in cities

With the arrest of a Philadelphia taxi cab driver in the Fort Dix terror plot, authorities are paying closer attention to Muslim cabbies, many of whom are militant believers, WND has learned.

Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, a U.S. citizen born in Jordan, was charged earlier this week with conspiring to kill at least 100 soldiers on U.S. soil. The FBI says the 22-year-old drove a cab in Philadelphia.

"My intent is to hit a heavy concentration of soldiers," said Shnewer, the alleged mastermind of the terror plot.

Muslims account for the majority of cab drivers in many major U.S. cities – including the nation's capital. And a number of them have ties to terrorism, federal and local authorities say.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cultural debasement of women must be ended

The War on Women
By Oliver North
Saturday, May 12, 2007
WASHINGTON -- This Sunday we Americans celebrate Mother's Day. It's been that way since May 8, 1914, when the second Sunday in May was designated as a day to honor our maternal parents. For those who are still fortunate to have their mothers with them, they will shower her with cards, flowers, love and affection. Wise husbands among us will do our best to give the mothers of our children a day of peace and relaxation.

But no culture can truly celebrate mothers unless first they respect women. In the United States women hold top positions in government, law, academia, business and even the military. Democrats claim to be the favorite of America's women. Indeed, polling data shows that upwards of 55 percent of American women vote Democrat in national elections. And Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker of the House, insists that Democrats care about women's rights. Unfortunately, if Pelosi and her Democrat Party allies have their way -- 650 million women around the globe may well be abandoned to the most misogynistic abuse imaginable at the hands of radical Islamists.

The masters of the mainstream media routinely report on Islam's violent Sunni vs. Shiite sectarian divide -- most evident in Iraq. But scant attention has been devoted to the No. 1 target of radical Islam: Muslim women. Nor do the potentates of the press bother to identify the principal protectors of Muslim women today: the Armed Forces of the United States.

In Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, Al Qaeda strongholds in Iraq and other countries and regions ruled by radical Islamists, boys become men at 15, but girls are considered women at age 9 -- meaning they can be tried as adults in a criminal court, are liable for the death penalty and can be stoned to death for adultery. Though the legal age of marriage for a girl is 13, a father can make a daughter marry earlier and order her to endure female genital mutilation.

Radical Islamic courts ascribe a woman's testimony to be worth half of a man's and mothers may not act as financial guardians or make decisions regarding their children's residence, foreign travel or medical care. Women must have permission from a father, husband or male relative to travel.

Men have uncontested rights to divorce their wives, and may practice polygamy. Women are not allowed to vote or participate in political debate. They receive half the inheritance of men and if a man dies childless, his entire inheritance goes to his parents, not his wife.

Specific evidence of radical Islamic violence perpetrated against Muslim girls and women in the name of "Islamic purity" has been catalogued by the United Nations, the European Union, numerous human rights organizations and by an increasing number of female refugees brave enough to tell all. In her biography, "Infidel," Ayann Hirsi Ali describes what she calls "Islam's divinely ordained enslavement of women." Her book is a litany of horrors perpetrated against the fairer sex. In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. military commanders routinely report atrocities perpetrated against women and girls.

On April 28, U.S. soldiers in Tarmiya, north of Baghdad, discovered unexplained buried wires running into a new school for girls. The Americans followed the wires and found them connected to detonators attached to propane tanks hidden beneath the floors and artillery shells secreted in the ceilings and walls. The terrorists who constructed this deathtrap hoped that the carnage would discourage other little girls from attending school.

On May 3, in Gujrat, Pakistan, a terror cell linked to the Taliban detonated a bomb at the gate of a girls' school. The wrath of these radical Islamists was aroused by the notion that girls would learn to read and write.

On April 29, Iranian police arrested 31 women for holding a peaceful vigil outside Tehran's Revolutionary Court. Encouraged by advances being made by women in neighboring Iraq, they were protesting Iranian laws that discriminate against women. The police shoved and kicked the women into a curtained minibus and drove them to Evin prison, where they were blindfolded and interrogated. One of the protesters, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, told the Associated Press that the police and prosecutors "insisted that foreign governments were exploiting our cause."

These are but a few of the most recent examples of how women are treated by radical Islam. Nearly all of these events are ignored by the mainstream media -- as are the innumerable ways from the Balkans to the Hindu Kush to the Tigris and Euphrates, U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines have become the protectors of Muslim women.

Thanks to young Americans wearing flak jackets and helmets, hundreds of schools have been built for Muslim girls, millions of women have the right to vote, scores of female health care clinics have been opened and hundreds of thousands of women now work, have their own bank accounts, use cell phones -- even serve in elected office. But all of these advances may soon stop if our Congress insists that "the war is lost" and U.S. troops must now come home.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A culture that must not be appeased. A culture that needs to be reformed

Despite its oil, the Middle East is less relevant than ever

May 11, 2007

Defence scholar Edward Luttwak, in Prospect on why this backward region is not strategically important
WE devote far too much attention to the Middle East, a mostly stagnant region where almost nothing is created in science or the arts. Excluding Israel, per capita patent production of countries in the Middle East is one-fifth that of sub-Saharan Africa. The people of the Middle East (only about 5 per cent of the world's population) are remarkably unproductive, with a high proportion not in the labour force at all.
Not many of us would care to work if we were citizens of Abu Dhabi, with lots of oil money for very few citizens. But Saudi Arabia's 27 million inhabitants also live largely off the oil revenues that trickle down to them, leaving most of the work to foreign technicians and labourers: even with high oil prices, Saudi Arabia's annual per capita income, at $US14,000 ($16,800), is only about half that of oil-free Israel. Saudi Arabia has a good excuse, for it was a land of oasis hand-farmers and Bedouin pastoralists who cannot be expected to become captains of industry in a mere 50 years.

The Middle East was once the world's most advanced region, but these days its biggest industries are extravagant consumption and the venting of resentment. According to the UN's 2004 Arab human development report, the region boasts the second lowest adult literacy rate in the world (after sub-Saharan Africa) at just 63 per cent. Its dependence on oil means that manufactured goods account for just 17 per cent of exports, compared with a global average of 78 per cent. Moreover, despite its oil wealth, the entire Middle East generated less than 4 per cent of global gross domestic product in 2006, less than Germany.

Unless compelled by immediate danger, we should therefore focus on the old and new lands of creation in Europe and America, in India and east Asia, places where hardworking populations are looking ahead instead of dreaming of the past.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Atrocious cultural appeasement will lead to extremism

NY allows Muslim prison guard to wear kufi to work

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York prison guards will be allowed to accommodate religious practices in their uniforms after settlement of a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim prison officer, the New York Civil Liberties Union said on Wednesday.

The settlement with the New York Department of Correctional Services will allow Abdus Samad Haqq, a devout Muslim corrections officer, to wear a kufi, or skullcap, on the job after he was ordered not to wear it in 2005, according to the


The union, which filed the suit in Manhattan federal court on behalf of Haqq last October, said the settlement meant other prison officers would also have religious rights in wearing their uniforms.

"New York has now abandoned its policy of refusing to accommodate the religious beliefs of correction officers," said NYCLU lawyer Christopher Dunn.

Brian Fischer, commissioner of the correctional services department, said in a statement it revised its policy "to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace when it comes to the religious beliefs and practices of its employees."

In March the U.S. Justice Department filed a similar lawsuit against the Department of Correctional Services citing Haqq's case and arguing that Americans were not required to abandon their religion when they report to work. That case is still pending.

Haqq, 53, wore the skullcap without incident for more than 10 years before he was ordered to remove it because it was not part of a sanctioned uniform.

A great truth for those who are enabling tyranny

Silenced truth: "pacifists" protect tyrants and incite wars
Across Pacific Magazine

Ambito Iberoamericano News

History will record with severity the huge social, human and political cost of the activism of the erroneously named "pacifists" The so-called "pacifist" movements, articulated by leftists, and their silent accomplice, have decisively contributed to the protection of the most fierce tyrants of the XX and XXI Centuries, since Adolph Hitler and Stalin, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot and Kim Jong Il, to Saddam Hussein. With their harmful political formula of "giving in so as not to loose", they paved the way for several of those dictators to increment warmonger attitudes against countries and continents, in addition to enslaving their own people.

Towards the end of the 1930's, it was the English and French "pacifists" who, with the pretext of avoiding war with Germany, pressured the public opinion of their respective countries, to give-in before the annexation of Hitler in Austria and other territories where German was spoken belonging to Czechoslovakia ("Sudentenland"), Poland (Dantzig "corridor"), etc. Those "pacifists" supported their respective Heads of State, Chamberlain and Daladier, in their giving-in attitude before the German despot. It was not in vain when Winston Churchill, the great English statesman, reprimanded Chamberlain by telling him: "Your choice was between shame and war; you chose shame and you will have war". In fact, after so many shameful concessions, peaking with the Munich pact, which legitimately recognized the usurpations of Germany, it invaded Poland, which led to the Second World War, which had a toll of 60 million deaths. During the decade of 1970, the handing over by U.S. government of several Southeast Asian nations to communists -who unleashed indescribable massacres of millions of innocent civilians, such as in Cambodia- was in most part precipitated by pressures on behalf of "pacifists". Other historical examples could also be mentioned.

During the present, the complex circumstances of war in Iraq do not impede us from pointing out similarities and censurable contradictions of Western "pacifist" movements that, with the pretext of condemning the war, lift up a smoke screen in front of the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, in front of the conditions of misery and oppression of the Iraqi people, in front of the danger which said regime represents to regional and international peace. As it has already been denounced, those "pacifist" manifestations which are spread throughout the world were previously articulated in the recent Worldwide Social Forum of Porto Alegre, a gigantic catalyst of revolutionary forces which survived communism.

Those same "pacifists" who cry only with the left eye, do not only keep silence as to the crimes of the Iraqi dictatorial regime, but also as to the repressive onslaught unleashed recently by Fidel Castro against oppositionists and independent journalists; the cruelties of Colombian narco-guerrillas; the violations of political-religious rights in countries such as China, Cuba and North Korea; Christian persecutions in Muslim countries; the pro-Castro despotism of the Venezuelan President Chávez; the fratricidal violence of the ETA, in Spain, etc.

It is symptomatic that in the United States entities that promote anti-war protests, such as "Workers World Party" and "Answer" their façade entity (at a cost of an estimated 200 thousand dollars per protest), have initiatives in their curriculum in support of Castro's Cuba, Saddam's Iraq, and Kim Jong Il's North Korea, as demonstrated by the journalist Dan Springer, of Fox News. In Spain, protests of the erroneously named "pacifists" resort to violence, attacking government party headquarters and causing much destruction to public property. According to a denouncement made in editorial of Libertad Digital, in Spain there is a resurgence of the "Jacobean traditional sectarianism", with "violent methods" used by the "extreme totalitarian left" who are counting on the support, through act or omission, of the United Left and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party. In England, Ahmed Chalabi, of the Iraqi National Congress, in exile, denounced that the supposedly pro-peace activists want to "prolong the life of Saddam and the misery of the Iraqi people". In Italy, journalist Ernesto Galli della Loggia, in a front-page article in the "Corriere della Sera", calls attention to the enormous "capacity" of the so-called "pacifists" in that country to "manipulate reality", using as an example the "massive" use in protests of pictures of the Cuban-Argentinean guerilla "Che" Guevara, who is being presented as a symbol of "pacifism" when in reality, his cruelty made him contrary to peace. As Elio Bromuri, another Italian journalist, Communications Director of Perugia Archdiocese, observed, "pacifist" Italian leaders are guided by "an ideology that only maintains pacifism in its name".

After the emotional climate artificially created by the left (with the collaboration of the media), that clouds reason and common sense, History will, without a doubt, record with severity and indignation the gigantic social, human and political cost of the erroneously named "pacifists". The cause of peace is too important to leave it in their hands.

Lastly, it is important to not confuse the pacifists with the peaceful. Jesus Christ promised to those last mentioned an admirable prize: "You shall be named Children of God". The peaceful ones are those that love true peace, defined by Saint Augustine as "the tranquility of order". On the contrary, if the pacifists speak of peace it is as a pretext to fool and immobilize the peaceful, supporters of order.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A cultural nightmare brewing in our country

(Muslim) Terror Arrests in Fort Dix Plot - New Jersey
ABC News

Terror Arrests in Fort Dix Plot FORT DIX, N.J.

May 8, 2007 - Six ethnic Albanians have been arrested in a plot to storm the Fort Dix installation in Burlington County.

Five of the suspects were arrested in Cherry Hill. They will be arraigned later today in federal court. Officials say it will happen in either in Camden or Newark.

Investigators say the suspects planned to use automatic weapons to storm the base and kill solders. The men were lured into a secret meeting to purchase AK-47s from an arms dealer, who was secretly cooperating with the FBI.

Officials say the suspects worked on a number of targets, including the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, and several Coast Guard stations.

Federal agents made the arrests when the suspects zeroed in on Fort Dix.

Officials say some of the suspects were caught on tape.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A rigid dress code is so important to extremism



Tehran, 7 May (AKI) - Female public employees in Iran will soon have to wear a uniform abiding by new Islamic dress code rules. The measure, under which all female employees will be given two uniforms, is part of a new "moralisation" campaign that kicked off last month under which Iranians who do not abide by Islamic dress rules can be jailed, said Fereshteh Sasani, a top official at the office for women's affairs of the presidency. Sasani said the measure will cost Iran the equivalent of two million euros.

The government has also ordered all public institutions to abolish open space offices as they do not guarantee an effective separation from female and male employees.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

We're not playing girls, say imams

We're not playing girls, say imams
The Australian

MUSLIM and Christian leaders in Oslo scrapped a soccer match meant to foster understanding between religions today after the imams refused to play a team that included women priests.

The imams said physical contact with women would be inappropriate, NRK public television said, and the Norwegian Christians refused a proposal of a male-only clash.

The match was to have followed talks meant to build bridges between faiths in Norway.

"Some say that bodily contact is the problem. It leads to special feelings that can lead to something forbidden," imam Senaid Kobilica told NRK public television in explanation.

A woman priest from Norway's Lutheran state church, who was part of the Christian team, said that barring women from the pitch would be discrimination.


Her objection prompted the Christian captain to cancel the match.

"There are both men and women priests in Oslo, and you can't have a dialogue in which everyone can take part and then have a game where only men are allowed," Trond Bakkevig said.

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............More reason why cultural laws would be so effective

Friday, May 04, 2007

Disasterous cultural accomodation

Muslim woman wins headdress battle

A Muslim woman has won her battle with a supermarket in western Sweden which informed her that she could not work there if she chose to wear a headdress.

The Ica Kvantum supermarket in Västra Frölunda has now made adjustments to its dress code following criticism from the Ombudsman against Ethnic Discrimination (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen - DO).

Plot to blow up girls' school uncovered

Plot to blow up girls' school uncovered

From correspondents in Baghdad

Agence France-PresseFont

US SOLDIERS stumbled on a plot to turn a girls school in Iraq into an "absolute death trap" by rigging it with explosives while it was being built.

"It was truly just an incredibly ugly, dirty kind of vicious killing that would have gone on here by al-Qaeda," Major General William Caldwell said in an interview with CNN.

No one has taken responsibility for the plot.

Maj-Gen Caldwell said US soldiers discovered the explosives this week when they spotted detonating wire across the street from the school and followed it to its source inside the building.

The general said it was "obviously a sophisticated premeditated attempt to inflict just massive casualties on our most innocent victims - young children, girls in this case."

"We found artillery shells that were being literally built into the ceiling. We found artillery shells again all hooked up with wires being built into the floors.

"We found propane tanks, two very large propane tanks built into the floors under the stair wells. "Somebody had clearly taken and planned to take this school, a place of learning for these young children and turn it into an absolute death trap," he said.

Pentagon officials said they had no information about the plot.

CNN identified the school as the Huda Girls School, which was under construction in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. Caldwell said the school was in a predominantly Shi'ite area.

Maj-Gen Caldwell said the Iraqi contractors who were building the school were being investigated.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cultural appeasement will only increase extremism

Airport admits installing foot-washing benches

Kansas City International Airport officials have acknowledged installing foot-washing benches in a restroom at the airport, but deny they're intended for Muslim cab drivers.

WND over the weekend reported that KCI Airport recently constructed four foot-washing benches to accommodate a growing number of Muslim drivers who requested the facilities to prepare for daily Islamic prayer.

"Recently, a small expansion was made to the building," said Kansas City Aviation Department spokesman Joe McBride in a statement to WND. "Included were wash areas used for any wash purpose by any of the users, including filling car wash buckets."

He insisted the wash benches were not "built for the exclusive use of any ethnic group or culture."

However, the department director in an earlier statement to WND appeared to contradict that claim.

"The majority of our drivers are Muslim, so preventing them from praying at all was not an option, especially in our public terminal restrooms," said Mark VanLoh, director of the Kansas City Aviation Department. "This was the best solution, and those facilities were added without public money."

He added that cab drivers paid for construction through a one-dollar per-trip fee.

In October 2005, the KCI Airport Police first solicited advice from other law enforcement regarding "wash bench facilities for those of Islamic faith," according to internal e-mails obtained by WND. In one e-mail sent to members of the Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network, or ALEAN, KCI Airport Police brass asked, "If you do have such an area, do you refer to this location as a place for those of Islamic faith to [go to] prepare themselves for worship?"

The KCI Airport Police are responsible for the taxicab drivers and the building they use at the airport to wait on fares. The building contains the restroom with the four new foot-washing benches.

One airport official told WND the police are concerned about "catering" to Islamic rituals at the airport, particularly after the 9/11 hijackings and the more recent transatlantic sky terror plot. Airports have been operating under heightened security. The KCI Airport Police force, in fact, was beefed up after 9/11 to help prevent Islamic terrorism.

Islamic suicide attackers go through a ritual called ablution, or bodily cleansing, before carrying out their martyrdom operations. The 9/11 hijackers performed this ritual before entering airport terminals.

McBride suggested to a Kansas City TV news station, KMBC-TV (Channel 9), that it was, as the station put it, a "myth" that the airport installed foot-washing benches for Islamic taxi drivers. "It's a case of mistaken information on the Internet," McBride is quoted as saying.

However, a Savage radio listener yesterday offered photos he says he took of the benches on Monday in the taxicab facility restroom located in the middle of the airport under the control tower.

The photos clearly show four individual wash benches across from knee-high faucets and hand rails. Drains are visible in the floor.

In one corner of the room stands a rolled-up prayer rug. Smaller rugs can be seen lying on a cart behind it.

"There are foot bathes [sic] in the cabbie way station," asserted Phillip Morgan of Kansas City in an e-mail. Morgan went on to say he planned to lodge a complaint with the mayor's office.

Some 250 taxicab drivers operate at KCI Airport in Missouri, one of the largest airports in the U.S., linking some 10 million passengers between mid-America and other U.S. cities. One internal KCI Airport Police email said "approximately 70% of the drivers are [of] Middle Eastern heritage and practice the Islamic faith."

Muslims are required to wash their feet and other body parts before praying to Allah five times a day. They often complain that public restroom sinks do not accommodate their needs. Floor-level basins and benches make it easier for them to perform their foot-washing ritual.

Muslim taxi drivers at KCI Airport pooh-poohed concerns about the wash benches, arguing they are not just for their use.

"The guys [sic] making a big issue out of it – it's not just for Muslims," said taxi driver Shareif El-Mahdi in an interview with KMBC-TV.

Other major airports have dealt with increased demands from Muslim cab drivers. Cabbies at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, for instance, recently caused a stir when they refused to carry passengers possessing alcoholic beverages or accompanied by seeing-eye dogs. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and dogs are considered unclean.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bloodless cultural linchpin

"Close all Islamic schools"

THE HAGUE – Freedom Party PVV faction leader Geert Wilders is arguing that all Islamic schools in the Netherlands should be shut down immediately. He says this measure is necessary in order to "protect children against the spread of Islamic doctrine."

Wilders writes this in a column that appeared today on the website "Islam is rapidly pushing our Western civilisation close to the edge of the abyss. We have too much Islam in the Netherlands. Islam is more a violent political ideology than a religion," the MP writes.

He admits that he has taken a strong position in the debate on Islam. That is necessary, he says, because it is "the eleventh hour."

Wilders also talks about the recent incident with the National Coordinator for Anti-terrorism (NCTb). He says that during a talk at the NCTb office last month an employee told him he should tone down his comments on Islam. Wilders doesn't think that the fact that Tjibbe Joustra, head of the NCTb, corrected his employee diminishes the situation at all.

"It certainly was intimidation and of the worst kind," the MP writes. He says he has heard from two other individuals who are outspoken against Islam that they have been subject to similar treatment by officials.

"A subordinate urges that the comments be toned down in the debate on Islam and the boss corrects the criticism. So the criticism is uttered, but is then also "corrected." This way Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin can wash their hands of it."

Hirsch Ballin stressed on Friday that there was no case of intimidation and that the freedom of speech is not at stake. He says the talk with the NCTb was intended to inform Wilders about his security situation. The minister will send Parliament a letter on the matter this week.

Wilders also referred in his column to a website with quotes from people who have turned away from Islam. "Mohammed was a narcissist, just like Hitler, Saddam or Stalin," they write.

"I couldn't have said it better myself," Wilders adds.

Standing up to cultural demands will send extremists scurrying away

Berlin angry at Muslim segregation demand

BERLIN, April 30 (UPI) -- The dialogue between the German government and the country's Muslim community is heating up shortly before the second leg of an integration conference.

Maria Boehmer, Germany's envoy for integration matters and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, has harshly criticized a demand made by the German Muslim community to separate girls and boys in the physical education classroom.

"We will not allow that a small minority of backward people wants to install (in Germany) the rules of their grandfathers," she told the Neue Osnarbruecker Zeitung newspaper.

This is hardly a successful prelude to the second installment of the German Islam Conference, which will summon government officials and representatives of the country's Muslim group Wednesday in Berlin.

Boehmer added that cultural plurality was "beautiful and enriching," but it stopped where it undermined Germany's basic rights. "Sexual equality is one of these non-negotiable basic rights," she told the newspaper.

An estimated 3.2 million Muslims live in Germany, most coming from a guest-worker background and stemming from Turkey. Last September, Germany held the first-ever official conference on Islam in an effort to better integrate the country's Muslim population.

The conference has officials from the government and Germany's main Muslim groups meet in working groups every three months to tackle integration problems. It was initiated by German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who is also the country's top anti-terror czar

Arabian delusions

Arabian delusions
The Washington Times

by Zalman Shoval

"The Palestinians," the late Abba Eban famously said, "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." This seems to go for the Arab world as a whole, judging by the recent Arab leaders' summit in Riyadh. Those taking part are sometimes referred to as the "axis of moderates" -- though it would require creative amnesia to classify Saudi Arabia, one of the principal ideological and financial founts of Islamist fundamentalism, as a "moderate."

Tom Friedman of the New York Times termed the conference resolutions "emotionally stale," but this may not be the worst of it. In Riyadh, the Arab leaders, looking at the new realities in the Middle East, had a chance to actually make a serious move toward ending the more than 100-year-old Arab-Jewish conflict. Instead they submitted to Israel what amounts to an ultimatum: Accept our demands, or face ongoing violence.

Their convoluted logic probably goes something like this: Israel, after its less-than-brilliant performance in Lebanon and considering its weak leadership, won't have the sinews to resist pressure, and no less importantly, taking into account the state of political affairs in the United States, let alone the imbroglio in Iraq, couldn't the administration, being eager to show some achievements for its policies in the region, be induced to support the Arab stance? Writing in London's Financial Times, Mamoun Fandy, a director of the Middle East program at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, bears this out. He writes: "Land [i.e., the "territories" held by Israel on the West Bank] for Iraq, instead of Land for Peace, should be the core of any American and European diplomatic initiative in the Middle East."

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