Sunday, September 30, 2007

Appeasement encourages extremism, bterrible cultural capitulation

Ahmadinejad walks away with a win
by Stephen Chernin

His Columbia engagement gives him what he wants -- legitimacy -- and his hosts look rude to Islamic eyes.

One of the world's truly dangerous men, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left New York a clear winner this week, and he can thank the arrogance of the American academy and most of the U.S. news media's studied indifference for his victory.

If the blood-drenched history of the century just past had taught American academics one thing, it should have been that the totalitarian impulse knows no accommodation with reason. You cannot change the totalitarian mind through dialogue or conversation, because totalitarianism -- however ingenious the superstructure of faux ideas with which it surrounds itself -- is a creature of the will and not the mind. That's a large lesson, but what should have made Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia University this week a wholly avoidable debacle was the school's knowledge of its own, very specific history.

In the 1930s, Columbia was run by Nicholas Murray Butler, to whose name a special sort of infamy attaches. Butler was an outspoken admirer of Italian fascism and of its leader, Benito Mussolini. The Columbia president, who also was in the forefront of Ivy League efforts to restrict Jewish enrollment, worked tirelessly to build ties between his school and Italian universities, as well as with the powerful fascist student organizations. At one point, a visiting delegation of 350 ardent young Black Shirts serenaded Butler with the fascist anthem.

yet another cultural linchpin to help the moderates

NY Cabbies Lose Suit Over 'Anti-Muslim' GPS Devices

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance freaked out about plans to install GPS devices in cabs, because they would be used to spy on Muslims.

Fear and paranoia are driving the taxi strike planned for tomorrow and Thursday, industry sources said yesterday.

The global-positioning systems being installed in all 13,000 cabs will be used to target and spy on Muslims, according to pro-strike literature being distributed by members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, the group behind the two-day walkout.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cultural appeasement of the trappings of extremism will encourage extremism, and stifle moderation - terrible move

Illinois Schools Canceling Christmas and Halloween to Avoid Offending Muslims

Another absolutely disgusting example of pre-emptive dhimmitude, in the name of tolerance and multiculturalism, right here in the US: First Jell-O, now Santa.

So long, Halloween parade. Farewell, Santa’s gift shop.

The holiday traditions are facing elimination in some Oak Lawn schools this year after complaints that the activities are offensive, particularly to Muslim students.

Final decisions on which of the festivities will be axed will fall to the principals at each of Ridgeland School District 122’s five schools, Supt. Tom Smyth said.

Parents expect that the announcement is going to add to the tension that has been building since officials agreed earlier this month to change the lunch menu to exclude items containing pork to accommodate Muslim students. News that Jell-O was struck from the menu caused such a stir that officials have agreed to bring it back. Gelatin is often made with tissue or bones of pigs or other animals.

That controversy now appears to have been been dwarfed by the holiday debate, which became so acrimonious Wednesday that police were called to Columbus Manor School to intervene in a shouting match among parents.

“It’s difficult when you change the school’s culture,” said Columbus Manor Principal Sandy Robertson.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Authorities in the Netherlands are launching an investigation into all Islamic schools for possible malpractices. (cultural extremism)

Netherlands: All Islamic Schools Investigated for Malpractices
NIS News

THE HAGUE, 27/09/07 - Sharon Dijksma and Marja van Bijsterveldt, both State Secretaries for Education, are launching an investigation into all Islamic schools for possible malpractices.

The Netherlands has about forty Islamic primary schools, of which 25 percent are suspected of misuse of government subsidies. This came to light during regular inspections. There are also two Islamic secondary schools, both of which are under suspicion.

"The succession of investigations in Islamic education, in which similar irregularities were identified, justifies our asking whether these irregularities exist on a wider scale," Dijksma and Van Bijsterveldt wrote to the Lower House. This is why all Islamic schools will be investigated more closely. The investigation is expected to be completed by next spring.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

disallowing segregated sexes is a major social linchpin

Wildcat masjids in Minneapolis?

In "Slouching toward dhimmitude in Minneapolis?" I noted the apparent establshment of two sex-segregated "masjids" (mosques) within the (public) Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Having visited the college yesterday to observe the room designated on the outisde as a "masjid" reserved for Muslim "sisters" on the third floor of the Technical Building, I wrote MCTC interim vice president for academic and student affairs Laura Fedock as she requested after she told me she knew nothing about the rooms. Here is the text of the message I sent her:
Dear Ms. Fedock: As I mentioned to you in the call to your office this afternoon, I write for the Power Line web site ( It is a site that provides commentary on the news from a conservative perpsective and occasionally offers original reporting.

A student at MCTC has written us concerning the separate Muslim men's and women's masjids set up on the fifth and third floors of the Technical Building, respectively. I am asking you for information concerning the nature and purpose of the rooms, to whom they are assigned, and anything else that would allow readers to understand their purpose at MCTC. I am particularly interested in the school's allowing the assignment of rooms by sex and religion. Is it MCTC's view that this is lawful? If so, on what authority does the school rely?

Ms. Fedock has now responded:
Thank you for calling this matter to our attention. The college recently received a request from the Somali Student Association for the use of additional space. We evaluated the request through the process used for all space requests made by recognized student organizations.

Unused space was identified and provided with the understanding that it could be used until needed by the college for other purposes. In recent days, without the knowledge of either the college or the student organization leaders, an unidentified individual put up two handmade signs designating these spaces for gender-specific religious use. Consistent with college practices, those postings have been replaced with two room signs identifying the student organizations using those spaces.
MCTC honors the constitutional rights of all its students and student organizations, and employees, and does not discriminate on the basis of religious viewpoint. Any student or employee with concerns about these issues is welcome to bring them to the administration's attention through the student life office or other administrative office.
Laura Fedock
Interim Associate Vice President
Academic and Student Affairs

Do You Have Any Idea What Your Web-Site Is Doing To Our Youth?

Do You Have Any Idea What Your Web-Site Is Doing To Our Youth?
Jihad Unspun

by Khadija Abdul Qahaar

On a daily basis JUS receives mail from viewers who ask a variety of questions from issues of the current war to issues of Aqeedah. Recently a viewer wrote the following letter that has application to many viewers, particularly in Pakistan and India where cultural influences are often mistakenly mixed in with the Islamic faith. Today JUS answers this pressing question.

READER QUESTION: SUBMITTED BY A.C. (name withheld to protect reader identity)

I don’t mean any disrespect to the noble lady Ms. Khadija but I would like to ask her one question. Do you have any idea what your web-site is doing to our youth??? Our young men who have responsibilities of their old parents, young brothers and unmarried sisters are being stolen away from their families for the cause of jihad. Don’t you think you guys are misguiding them?

Because of your message of jihad, a young boy has been completely brain-washed and his mother has to beg him for love, affection and support but he says that he will sacrifice his family and his helpless mother for the cause of jihad. Please note that this boy belongs to a family who is in deep financial and relationship crisis. His father has zero bank balance and his parents are going for a divorce. He has a younger brother and a 22 year old sister who works and is single but this boy is ready to leave his family like this and even if he doesn’t he is not mentally and emotionally THERE for his family. And this is all because of the teachings of Ms. Khadija.


In The Name Of Allah The Most Gracious The Most Merciful

Assalamualeikum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Barakatu

Dear Respected Brother A.C.,

Alhamdulilah, I am pleased to receive your letter. This is an issue that many parents struggle with and inshaAllah we can lay the matter to rest here and now.

First let me say that reading in between the lines, I am assuming that you are the father in this situation and your dialogue leads me to believe that you are either a Pakistani or Indian Muslim. Please forgive me if I have made a miscalculation here but your question is one that many Pakistani and Indian families deal with so I am addressing your question on this assumption.

Alhamdulilah, how blessed you are to have a son who is embracing his obligations to aid our Muslim Brothers and Sisters who are being warred against in a growing number of areas; from Palestine to Iraq, Afghanistan to Somalia and now even Pakistan itself is poised to burst open another jihad front. Allah tells us that the highest reward in Paradise is for those who are martyred in the way of Allah and what Muslim Father would not want the very best for his son?


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Islamic headscarves ought to be banned at workplaces and in schools - that's the view of half the people surveyed in a new Swedish poll.

'Ban headscarves' say half of Swedes

Islamic headscarves ought to be banned at workplaces and in schools - that's the view of half the people surveyed in a new Swedish poll.

The poll, the third of its kind taken by Uppsala University to measure Swedes' views of diversity, shows a rising number of people supporting a headscarf ban.

In 2005, 43 percent wanted a ban on Islamic female head coverings. This year, 49.8 percent of the 1,065 people asked supported a ban.

The results the poll are open to some interpretation. The questionnaire asked people for their view on the banning of the 'slöja' or veil, indicating a garment covering the face as well as the top of the head, such as a burqa or a niqab. However, in common parlance, the word 'slöja' is often used to describe all sorts of female Islamic head coverings, including those that just cover the hair.

Hardening attitudes on the headscarf question were not the only sign of deteriorating race relations. More than one in three of those asked said they agreed with the statement that "many foreigners come to Sweden simply to take advantage of our social welfare."

On a more positive note, 80 percent of people said they had good experiences of contact with people of foreign origins. According to the study's authors only 5 percent have "extremely negative views" of immigrants - around the same percentage as last year, but higher than in 2005.

"There could be a link to how well the Sweden Democrats did in the last election - there are such tendencies in Sweden today," said Dr. Irving Palm, one of those behind the survey, to Svenska Dagbladet.

A culture that needs moderation

Iran Does Far Worse Than Ignore Gays, Critics Say

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's seemingly ridiculous claim that "we don't have homosexuals, like in your country" masks the cruel reality that his government does far worse than ignore gays, human rights groups charge.

"There are criminal laws on the books in Iran that allows for people to be killed for being homosexual," said Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Just how many gays may have been killed — some say the figure is more than 400 — is impossible to determine. Routine harassment and systematic torture of gays in Iran is quite common, charge human rights groups.

Iranian gays who try to operate in these circles do so at great peril. In one case widely covered by Western news agencies, Iran allegedly executed in July, 2005, an 18-year-old man and a minor for the "crime" of homosexuality.

According to Iranian law, consensual gay sex in any form is punishable by death. Violators are reportedly given a choice of four methods of execution: hanging, stoning, halving by sword — or being dropped from the highest perch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why the culture that preaches this must be moderated

Al Qaeda Targets Our Schoolchildren

by Marc Sheppard

September 25, 2007
Al Qaeda Targets Our Schoolchildren
By Marc Sheppard
While Democrats prepare witless campaign slogans blaming Republicans for millions of children not protected by health insurance, al Qaeda's blatant threat to exterminate 2 million American kids remains unheeded. And it will likely continue to be, notwithstanding mounting evidence that there exists no peril on Earth our young need greater protection from today than merciless jihadist monsters.

Not lack of a national insurance plan. Not global warming. Not racial or cultural disparities. Not even the Patriot Act, any of its overplayed incursions into individual liberties, or any of the other countless silly and diaphanous liberal causes célèbres, but rather that which would abruptly and savagely end their innocent short lives.

Nearly 6 months have passed since I first challenged the inexcusable refusal by DHS and FBI authorities to publicly connect the obviously connectable dots representing an unnerving number of alarming events -- particularly in the wake of the Beslan school massacre. These include:
Videotapes confiscated in Afghanistan showing al-Qaeda terrorists training to takeover a school [newly available Video]
Spokesman Suleiman Abu Gheith‘s declaration of al-Qaeda's "right" to kill 2 million American children
An Iraqi national with known terrorist connections caught with a computer disk containing information detailing Department of Education crisis planning for U.S school districts.
Two Saudi men - one wearing a black trench coat despite the Florida heat -- terrifying a busload of Tampa schoolchildren by boarding a school bus and remaining for the entire ride to school, all the while laughing and speaking Arabic.
A March FBI/DHS bulletin noting "recent suspicious activity" by foreigners who drive school buses, are licensed to drive them, or have actually managed to purchase them right here at home. Including "members of the unnamed extremist groups" who have obtained commercial drivers licenses with school bus endorsements.
Osama bin Laden's promise that the 2004 terrorist attack at Beslan will happen many times over in the United States.
In that time, little or nothing has been done to relieve parents' understandable anxieties, despite the fresh dots which continued to accrue on this disturbing non-puzzle.

Dots like the seventeen full-sized yellow school buses reported stolen from charter schools, business schools and private bus companies in Houston, Texas, over the past few months. Connect to that and previous disturbing stories the fact that thousands of school bus radios have also been stolen (2000 in California in 2005 alone), and the images shaped should be triggering earsplitting alarms throughout all branches of media and law enforcement.

But instead -- the silence looms apparent while the question remains: Why?

We ARE talking about School Buses

It's certainly no big stretch to imagine these purloined vehicles employed as mega-potent yet inconspicuous car-bombs to target schools or other heavily populated buildings, is it?

Or busloads of innocent, unsuspecting, tykes being exploited as hostages? Or, perhaps, kidnapped as prologue to a Beslan-style (see this article) school invasion horror story? Or -- our worst nightmare of all -- falling victim to some maniac who smiles the bassamat al-farah right before obliterating the bus and its tiny passengers from the driver's seat? Or all of the above?

Bear in mind, we're talking about school buses -- those nondescript yellow kiddie-movers into which parents have trustingly loaded their young for generations, never pausing to consider their naked vulnerability. Never, I can only hope, until now.

In his stirring article, The Logic of Suicide Terrorism, which first appeared in The Atlantic in June of 2003, terrorism expert Professor Bruce Hoffman examined the lure of bus explosions to twisted minds [Warning: Graphic]

"Buses remain among the bombers' preferred targets. Winter and summer are the better seasons for bombing buses ... because the closed windows (for heat or air-conditioning) intensify the force of the blast, maximizing the bombs' killing potential. As a hail of shrapnel pierces flesh and breaks bones, the shock wave tears lungs and crushes other internal organs. When the bus's fuel tank explodes, a fireball causes burns, and smoke inhalation causes respiratory damage. All this is a significant return on a relatively modest investment. Two or three kilograms of explosive on a bus can kill as many people as twenty to thirty kilograms left on a street or in a mall or a restaurant."
Can you imagine the heart-stopping horror of such an unthinkable event and its impact upon the nation -- particularly on parents of school-aged children? Or the image of a burning yellow school bus carcass indelibly burned into your subconscious between those of two falling towers and many more falling and burning fellow-Americans?

Let there be no doubt whatsoever: these abhorrent architects of fear most certainly can and do imagine it in their dreams.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why aren't all muslims worldwide demanding that Saudi women drive? '

Saudi women demand the right to drive


RIYADH (Reuters) - More than 1,000 Saudis have sent a petition to King Abdullah demanding women be allowed to drive in the conservative Muslim kingdom, an activist said on Monday.

The petition was sent on Sunday, Saudi Arabia's National Day, by a women's lobby group calling itself the Committee for Women's Rights to Drive, Wajiha al-Howeider told Reuters.

It marks the first serious effort to break an informal ban on women driving since the early 1990s when a group of women flouted social conventions by driving together through central Riyadh.

The only ones who can change their culture are muslims themselves -

Abused Asian women killing themselves on UK tracks
Times of India

LONDON: A large number of Asian women in Britain are committing suicide by taking to railway tracks, a report has revealed. One third of the total suicides in Britain now happen on a particular stretch of track going through Southall, west London, which has a large Asian community, the Daily Mail reported here on Sunday, citing the report of First Great Western train company.

"Suicide on the railway is a national issue and is a terrible tragedy for all involved, including crews. First Great Western has seen a number of suicides on the main line in an area west of London. Victims may come from the communities where lines run through," a spokesperson for the train company was quoted as saying.

According to figures, 80 out of the 240 rail suicides last year were on the lines into Paddington, west London. These pass through Slough, Southall and other areas with large Asian communities and carry one tenth of the rail traffic.

Meanwhile, a women’s rights organisation, Southall Black Sisters, has claimed that domestic violence are forcing more and more Asian women in Britain to commit suicide on railway tracks.

"The high instance of Asian women suicides is linked to abusive practices within Asian families. There is a correlation between these suicides and violence in homes. Psychiatric research has shown there are rarely cases of mental disorders in these cases, suggesting they are the result of social circumstances. These women are often isolated and find it hard to escape," Hannana Siddiqui from Southall Black Sisters, was quoted as saying.

Even Muslim playwright Yasmin Whittaker Khan, who has written about the social problems affecting Asian communities, said: "They feel there’s no other way of escaping problems such as adultery, domestic violence and alcoholism."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The culture of slavery is condoned and exists today

The culture of slavery is condoned and exists today

This is another interesting bit: YUSUFALI: Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them),
PICKTHAL: And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), write it for them if ye are aware of aught of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you. Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world's life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

It's plain that their owners can't force slaves to be prostitutes. It's also plain that if- for whatever reason- the slaves are willing to be prostitutes the owners can make them so. The problem is, though, given the penalties for adultery and fornication in a muslim state, who are they going to be prostitutes with? Are the slaves going to be punished for fornication or adultery? And why aren't their owners punished for aiding and abetting fornication or adultery?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

the only ones who can change this cultural horror are muslims themselves! Do something, moderates!

the only ones who can change this cultural horror are muslims themselves! Do something, moderates!

Afghan Women Burning Themselves to Death at an Alarming Rate
Monitor ^ | Jan. 2005 | Ron Synovitz

More Young Afghan Women Committing Suicide

Fifteen year-old Fazela lies in an intensive care unit at Abdullah Ansari Hospital in Herat with burns across much of her body. Like many women from Herat who have tried to burn themselves to death during the past year, Fazela says she thought suicide was the only way to escape a physically and emotionally abusive husband she had been forced to marry.

"My name is Fazela. On that particular day when I burned myself, my husband -- who is also my cousin -- had a fight with me," she recalls. "He beat me. And after I was beaten, I poured kerosene over myself. Then I lit myself on fire. Before this, I really wanted to leave this house. But he took my burqa and did not let me go outside of the house. Now I really regret that I burned myself."

Fazela is being treated by doctor Abdullah Ardalan.

He tells RFE/RL that he has been closely monitoring cases of suspected self-immolation by women in Herat since the Afghan government sent a delegation to the city a year ago to investigate the alarming trend.

"Since the start of the Afghan solar new year [on March 22, 2004], we have registered 234 burn victims, and 84 of those women have died as a result of their burns," Ardalan says.

"Four or five of these women have been transferred to hospitals in Iran by their relatives. I believe that from the 84 victims who have died here, more than 60 of them are cases of suicide."

A member of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, who spoke to RFE/RL on condition of anonymity, says 184 of Herat's burn victims during the past year were women suspected

If secular Muslims get the headscarf (a symbol of extremism) banned, just that small move will have a HUGE ripple effect

If secular Muslims get the headscarf banned, just that small move will have a HUGE ripple effect - freedom for women will start a ripple effect that will spread throughout islam. The headscarf is an important symbol of extremism.

Kosovar Students Defy Headscarf Ban ^

SRBICA, Serbia (AP) — Three students were suspended from school in Kosovo this week for wearing Muslim headscarves, reflecting a debate that is echoing across Europe and complicating the province's quest for independence.

The argument over whether secular society should trump religious rights is similar to those taking place in France, Turkey, Britain and elsewhere.

But some in the breakaway Serb province fear its bid for statehood could suffer if Kosovo is perceived as overly Islamic.

"Not only does religion damage the quest for independence, it damages our entire concept," said Rexhep Ismajli, the head of Kosovo's Academy of Science, a body that includes the province's leading thinkers. "It damages Kosovo's society, it damages our vision."

Fatmire Jashari, 18, was suspended from her high school in the central Kosovar town of Srbica — a former stronghold of the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, the guerrilla group that fought Serb forces in the 1998-1999 war.

"I hope I won't be pushed to choose between the two," she said. "But if I am, I will choose the headscarf."

Another girl in Fatmire's school and a student in a different school were also suspended this week.

Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians are mostly Muslim, although they are largely secular. The province's governmental institutions, which are supervised by a United Nations administration, are careful not to associate themselves with Islam, fearing that a strong Muslim identity could harm the province's quest for independence from Serbia, a predominantly Orthodox Christian country.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tomorrow's heros

Thursday, September 20, 2007

This cultural nightmare must not be allowed anywhere in the West - all girls must be examined

In Egypt, a Rising Push Against Genital Cutting
New York Times

by Mona el-Naggar

KAFR Al MANSHI ABOU HAMAR, Egypt — The men in this poor farming community were seething. A 13-year-old girl was brought to a doctor’s office to have her clitoris removed, a surgery considered necessary here to preserve chastity and honor. The girl died, but that was not the source of the outrage. After her death, the government shut down the clinic, and that got everyone stirred up.

The truth must come out

A Possible Hoax--French court explores if infamous murder of Palestinian boy was staged
The Washington Times

by Joel Mowbray

In the seven years since the start of the Palestinian intifada, perhaps no incident has inspired more Western criticism of Israel, nor generated as much terrorism against the Jewish state, than the supposed cold-blooded murder of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durra on Sept. 30, 2000.

The video of a terrified Mohammed taking refuge behind his father before being shot and killed generated a firestorm of Western criticism... Palestinians, meanwhile, used the apparent murder as a rallying cry for murderous riots and terrorism.

But that video was released before the ascendancy of the blogosphere, back when the mainstream media rarely challenged stories aired by other outlets.

...the video doesn't hold up well under scrutiny.

But what if Mohammed Al-Durra never even died? What if the entire scene was staged in order to generate precisely the reaction it did?


Mohammed's dying image has become a powerful symbol across the Arab world. "Postage stamps bearing his crouched image have been issued in Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia, a street in Baghdad and a square in Morocco bear his name, while many schools across the Arab world are named after him," notes Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America.

Recent Palestinian history certainly suggests a hoax is possible.

During an April 2002 funeral procession, the stretcher carrying the "victim" was dropped. Thankfully, the "victim" sprung up quickly and shook it off.

The West was fooled, though, for at least a few days earlier that month following an intense battle at the Jenin refugee camp, a known terrorist hotbed. Palestinians immediately accused the Jewish state of systematically committing war crimes, and the Western press parroted the claims uncritically. That no massacre actually occurred — even the United Nations found no evidence to suggest one had — received only a fraction of the earlier coverage.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Huge cultural move back to the repression of women

Turkish PM says wants to lift headscarf ban

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was quoted in the Financial Times on Wednesday as saying he wanted to lift the ban on the Islamic headscarf in universities as part of a planned constitutional overhaul.
The remarks by Erdogan, whose Islamist-rooted AK Party won a new five-year mandate in July elections, could reignite tensions with Turkey's powerful secular elite, including army generals, which suspects him of wanting to boost the role of religion.

"The right to higher education cannot be restricted because of what a girl wears. There is no such problem in Western societies but there is a problem in Turkey and I believe it is the first duty of those in politics to solve the problem," he told the FT in an interview in Ankara.

The secularists regard the headscarf as a symbolic threat to Turkey's separation of state and religion. They also fear any lifting of the ban would put social pressure on uncovered women to start wearing the headscarf in overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey.

Powerful cultural linchpin - have youth learn the truth

Put Islamo-Fascism into the college curriculum

Put Islamo-Fascism into the college curriculum

Six years after 9/11 we are engaged in a global conflict in which we cannot name the enemy who has attacked us. The President has described the war we are in as a “war on terror.” But terror is only a tactic used by many. Our enemies are Islamo-fascists. They are religious fanatics who, as the President has said, “are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism.” Yet even the President cannot use the word “Islamo-fascist” because civil rights groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) complain that that is “Islamo-phobic.” CAIR is itself an arm of the Islamo-fascist movement, having been created by the Muslim Brotherhood – the fountain-head of al-Qaeda and the jihad against us – and the terrorist Palestinian organization, Hamas.

What would World War II have been like if every time we described our enemies as “Nazis,” a German civil rights group complained that we were “Germanophobes” and our leaders caved to their demands? Yet that is precisely the situation we presently face. We cannot name the enemy and we cannot study him.

Six years after 9/11, not a single Middle Eastern Studies Department in the United States offers a course on Islamo-Fascism or Islam and Fascism, although the founders of the modern jihad Hassan al-Banna and Sayd Qutb were both admirers of Hitler as are the current rulers of Iran. Yet without studying the movement that threatens us, we cannot possibly be equipped to defend ourselves adequately.

To end this censorship, we demand that the Middle Eastern Studies Department at this university

Include a course on the origins, perspectives, motives and goals of the Islamo-Fascist movement in its basic course offering Offer a series of open seminars on Islamo-Fascism for the student body at large Invite speakers to address these classes and the campus at large, offering a variety of perspectives on Islamo-Fascism

Cultural child abuse

Unchecked abuse of Palestinian children

The indoctrination of Palestinian Arab children to hate and seek to destroy the Jews living in this area is, again, nothing new. It is an ongoing violation of Israel’s agreements with the Palestinians that the rest of the world is content to ignore.

Nevertheless, every time I am presented with the latest example of this wicked treatment of impressionable young minds, my anger rises afresh.

What got my blood boiling this time was Sunday’s report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) concerning the newest episode of the Hamas children’s program Tomorrow’s Pioneers, which was previously hosted by Farfur the Mouse, who earlier this month was shown being beaten to death by an Israeli security agent.

In the episode broadcast over the weekend on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV, Farfur’s replacement, Nahool the Bee, tells his young audience that together they will “liberate the sad Al-Aqsa [the mosque that occupies Jerusalem’s Temple Mount] that is waiting for us. Yes, we will liberate Al-Aqsa from the filth of the criminal Jews, who killed my grandfather, and killed Farfur.”

Later in the show, a young caller says she wants to be a journalist when she grows up. Nahool encourages her to “photograph the Jews when they are killing Farfur and the little children.”

In a previous episode immediately following Farfur’s “martyrdom,” the show’s other host, a young girl named Saraa, confirms for a three-year-old caller that the “Jews” were in fact behind Farfur’s murder, and that they are “criminals and enemies” who must be expelled from the land.

PMW noted that the number of young Palestinians calling in to the show to assail the Jews is evidence that the indoctrination efforts are having the desired effect.

What I want to point out is the constant use of the word “Jews” instead of “Israelis.” Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Syria, etc all constantly state that they have no problem with the Jews per se, but rather with the “Zionists” and the “Zionist entity.”

These children’s programs paint a different picture, though. They are teaching children to hate the Jews as a people, to view all Jews as blood-thirsty murderers and thieves. It is the same indoctrination that has been going on for centuries, and which paved the way for the Nazi Holocaust.

In addition to reiterating the utter dismay that I feel as a father when I see children the same age as my young son being taught such things, I would also like to again point out the thorough hypocrisy of the international community. If Israel was allowing any of its citizens to broadcast such venomous hatred against the Palestinians or Arabs in general, the international community would be in an uproar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cultural linchpin: Saudi Arabia enforces an almost total segregation of the sexes.

Saudi women face cul-de-sac

by David Blair

Women in Saudi Arabia have challenged one of the kingdom's social mores by forming a committee to lobby for the right to drive cars.

At present, all women are banned from driving...

But the issue arouses intense emotions ... Pious male Saudis argue that allowing women to drive would begin a general collapse of morality. Following a strict interpretation of Islam, Saudi Arabia enforces an almost total segregation of the sexes.

If women drove, they would come into contact with petrol pump attendants. No longer reliant on male relatives to shuttle them around, they would be able to leave the house without always seeking their husband's permission.

The importance of cultural warfare

Sinking in the Polls

by Karen Hughes

People in America and many other Western nations have expressed strong disapproval of bin Laden and al-Qaeda since the Sept. 11 attacks. What's new is the dramatic decline in his standing in majority-Muslim countries. Polls in the two nations that have suffered some of the worst of al-Qaeda's violence -- Afghanistan and Iraq -- show that more than 90 percent of those populations have unfavorable views of al-Qaeda and of bin Laden himself.

Pollsters say that it is difficult to find 90 percent agreement that apple pie is American -- yet polling in Turkey two years ago found that 90 percent of citizens believe the al-Qaeda bombings in London, Istanbul, Madrid and Egypt were unjust and unfair; 86 percent thought that there was no excuse for condoning the Sept. 11 attacks; and 75 percent said bin Laden does not represent Muslims....

Support for terrorist tactics has fallen in seven of the eight predominantly Muslim countries polled as part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project since 2002; in most cases, those declines have been dramatic. Five years ago in Lebanon, 74 percent of the population thought suicide bombing could sometimes be justified. Today it's 34 percent.... [Other Muslim Countries as well]

Perhaps most significant, Muslim populations are increasingly rejecting bin Laden's attempts to pervert their faith. found in April that large majorities in Egypt (88 percent), Indonesia (65 percent) and Morocco (66 percent) agree: "Groups that use violence against civilians, such as Al Qaida, are violating the principles of Islam. Islam opposes the use of such violence."

These shifts in attitude are beginning to show up in actions. Sunni leaders in Iraq's Anbar province are working with coalition forces against al-Qaeda because, as one local leader said to journalists, all the terrorists bring is chaos

Muslim dentist 'told patient to wear a headscarf or go elsewhere'

Muslim dentist 'told patient to wear a headscarf or go elsewhere'
Daily Mail

A muslim dentist made a woman wear Islamic dress as the price of accepting her as an NHS patient, it is alleged.

Omer Butt is said to have told the patient that unless she wore a headscarf she would have to find another practice.

Later this month, Mr Butt will appear before a General Dental Council professional misconduct hearing, which has the power to strike him off.

It is claimed that the 31-year-old dentist asked to speak to the woman in private after she turned up for an appointment at his clinic in Bury.

According to the charges, he questioned her on whether she was a Muslim and told her that if he was to treat her she would have to wear Islamic dress.

He is also said to have read out a number of religious rules to her.

He then told his nurse to give the patient her own headscarf to wear, the accusation says.

Are imams everywhere brainwashing the young and vulnerable into intolerance, hatred, death and destruction?

New Terrorism Case Confirms That Denmark Is a Target
ny times


COPENHAGEN, Sept. 16 — After three terrorism cases in less than two years, including an alleged bombing plot broken up this month, intelligence officials say tiny Denmark is on the front line in the battle against Islamic terrorism in Europe.

A mosque in Copenhagen. Young Muslims, coming of age with the war in Iraq, have more anger than their parents, an imam says.

And, of course, the imams are not trying in any way to encourage that anger.

Are imams everywhere brainwashing the young and vulnerable into intolerance, hatred, death and destruction?

Why it is so critical to moderate "extremism" in America

Muslim Brotherhood's papers detail plan to seize U.S.
The Dallas Morning News


A 1991 strategy paper for the Brotherhood, often referred to as the Ikhwan in Arabic, found in the Virginia home of an unindicted co-conspirator in the case, describes the group's U.S. goals, referred to as a "civilization-jihadist process."

"The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions," it states. This process requires a "mastery of the art of 'coalitions,' the art of 'absorption' and the principles of 'cooperation.' "

Success in the U.S. "in establishing an observant Islamic base with power and effectiveness will be the best support and aid to the global movement," it states.

A transcript of a Brotherhood orientation meeting recorded in the early 1980s includes discussions of the need for "securing the group" from infiltration by "Zionism, Masonry ... the CIA, FBI, etc. so that we find out if they are monitoring us" and "how can we get rid of them." Discussions later turn to "weapons training at the Ikhwan's camps" in Oklahoma and Missouri.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Maybe it's time for muslims to vacate Medina and return it to the jews!

The UN's Palestinian Rights Covenant--A new statement on the rights of "indigenous peoples" ^ | September 17, 2007 | Joseph Klein

Posted on 09/17/2007 5:44:55 AM PDT by SJackson

The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples last week. Four countries voted against the text – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. They did so with good reason. The Declaration, which was more than twenty years in the making, is a muddled document that does not even contain a definition of the “indigenous peoples” it is supposed to protect. It is also superfluous. Individual and minority rights are already addressed in existing human rights treaties.

The Declaration’s purpose is to manufacture a synthetic global group identity among distinct, unrelated communities of people living within legally defined national jurisdictions all over the world. The characteristic that all of these folks are supposed to share in common, under the blanket title of “indigenous peoples”, is that they claim to be ‘first’ inhabitants in a given area of land whom ‘colonialist’ outsiders have sought to wipe out or exploit. The Declaration’s proponents believe that today’s globalization is nothing more than a continuation of this exploitation, which they call ‘neo-colonialism’. In their anti-Western, anti-capitalist worldview, which the Declaration embodies, technology, multi-national corporations and global markets are all driving forces in the exploitation of countless indigenous communities which stand in their way.

Although not legally binding as a treaty, the Declaration is intended by its proponents to set forth international norms to govern the collectivist rights of indigenous peoples over ‘their’ lands, resources and ‘traditional knowledge’. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (an advisory group under the UN’s Economic and Social Council), said that the Declaration "sets the minimum international standards for the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples. Therefore, existing and future laws, policies and programs of indigenous peoples will have to be redesigned and shaped to be consistent with this standard."[1]

Remember that you will not find any definition of “indigenous peoples” in the Declaration. It relies entirely on communities’ own self-identification as indigenous peoples, based on claims asserting historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies, a strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources, and different cultural, linguistic, traditional, and other characteristics to those of the dominant culture of that region or state. That could mean just about any self-declared minority group with alleged ties to an area of land can claim indigenous status, insist on self-determination over control of huge swaths of territory and resources within national borders and demand reparations for perceived wrongs against them and their ancestors.

Not surprisingly, for example, the Palestinians are asserting with a straight face that “Palestinian rights are enshrined in the universally accepted principle that land belongs to its indigenous inhabitants”.[2] They got help in this regard from a document published as far back as 1990 by the UN’s Division for Palestinian Rights, which contrasted the ‘outsider’ Zionists who came from Europe to establish the state of Israel with the “indigenous people of Palestine, whose forefathers had inhabited the land for virtually the two preceding millennia”.[3] Of course, under the UN principle of self-identification - which the Palestinians are all too happy to exploit to their political advantage - no proof is required of any Palestinian ties by birth, continuity of land possession, language, religion or tradition to the ancient idol-worshipping Canaanites whom Muslim Palestinians now conveniently claim to be their indigenous forebears. By contrast, Jews living in Israel today are indisputably connected by common religion, heritage and language to the ancient Hebrews who inhabited the land several millennia ago.

Masters of propaganda and of playing victim, the Palestinians have shamelessly linked their situation with that of indigenous groups such as the Six Nations Indian tribes in Canada. One of their motives is to whip up as much indigenous grassroots and sympathetic Leftist support as they can for their global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel by using the vocabulary of oppression, colonialism and apartheid that the Left loves to hear.

In a letter of “solidarity” to the Canadian “People of Six Nations”, the Palestinians wrote as follows:

“On the anniversary of the Six Nations Land Reclamation we express our solidarity to you and to all those that are defending today their land and livelihoods against theft and colonization.

On February 28th, 2006, after the Canadian government gave a construction company the permission to build a settlement on their land, the people of Six Nations took it back, demanding an end to the theft and destruction of their land and to settler encroachment on their territory. Many of them now face charges in Canadian courts for defending their land. This sounds tragically familiar to us in Palestine and to many others around the world. For over 500 years the same mechanisms have been used against indigenous peoples, to colonize and dispossess…

As Palestinians we are still victims of a colonial project and a state that continues to refer to itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East”. The fact that it has been scrutinized by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for its policies and even the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights accuses it of apartheid policies seemingly does not detract from its status.”[4]

The Palestinians followed much the same course in another letter of solidarity with “our brothers in the Mexican indigenous communities who have resisted genocide for over 500 years”, stating that “the Palestinian and Mexican people are united more than ever in a common history, mourning and struggle”.[5]

The UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will have China and Iran as members starting in 2008. Their presence will help assure more propaganda opportunities for the Palestinians to de-legitimize Israel’s right to exist. Meanwhile, there will continue to be a complete whitewash of the plight of the indigenous Tibetans brutalized by the Chinese and of the indigenous Persian people in Iran whom the Muslim conquerors subjugated with their imported Islamic religion and continue to oppress.

Beyond being subject to abuse by the Palestinians and other self-serving groups, the Declaration as written is fundamentally at odds with modern-day institutions premised on individual rights and obligations and on long-settled legal structures operating within internationally recognized sovereign national boundaries. The Declaration’s proponents deny this. They say that they took care of any national sovereignty concerns by agreeing to compromise language offered by the African member states who were concerned about indigenous claims within their own borders. The language they point to states that the Declaration was not intended to authorize or encourage the dismemberment or impairment of the territorial and political sovereignty of any nations. But this language means little in the face of an ideology embodied in the Declaration that rejects modern-day legal institutions as the primary mechanism for determining rights, settling disputes and prescribing remedies for violations of law when indigenous claims are alleged.

Among the areas of concern in this regard is an article in the Declaration saying that "states shall give legal recognition and protection" to lands, territories and resources traditionally "owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired" by indigenous peoples. (emphasis added)[6] Indigenous peoples’ claims are communal in nature and not based on any concept of individual rights and minority protections familiar to modern day courts and legislatures.

Another provision of the Declaration requires member states to obtain the indigenous peoples’ “free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources…" (emphasis added)[7] This effectively gives veto power to self-declared indigenous communities over national or regional legislation and management of resources located within a member state’s legal jurisdiction.

The Declaration goes on to provide that the UN’s member states are expected to “provide redress for past transgressions through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property that has been taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs”.[8]

In other words, the member states must defer to indigenous peoples’ customary laws in any areas where their interests may arguably be affected. These customary laws are not codified anywhere. They are based on traditions that are transmitted orally from generation to generation and that vary widely from community to community.

The inevitable result will be to fragment the current legal institutions and economies of nation-states within which all of these communities of people reside. Indeed, if we accept the estimates of a UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous matters, there are indigenous peoples living in approximately 70 countries throughout the world and constituting approximately 350 million individuals, including 5,000 distinct peoples and over 4,000 languages and cultures. If so, there may be thousands of different sets of customary laws that international law is now supposed to recognize and enforce without any means of determining the authenticity of such orally transmitted customs.

A key area of law that activists for indigenous rights want to replace with indigenous customs is our standard intellectual property law, which permits patenting and other intellectual property protections for products derived from genetic information on plant or animal species. They believe that our intellectual property system allows drug companies to steal indigenous peoples' ‘traditional knowledge’ of the medicinal uses of the plants and animals in their locales.

The indigenous activists draw a false dichotomy, asserting that intellectual property rights as defined in developed countries are completely incompatible with the protection of ‘traditional knowledge’. They do not have to be. Patent law already recognizes that an invention based on ‘prior art' does not qualify for a patent and can accommodate the inclusion of ‘traditional knowledge’ within the definition of prior art, assuming that the existence of such knowledge can be verified. Non-governmental organizations can work with indigenous community representatives to collect and catalogue their relevant accumulated knowledge in databases, which can be used as a resource for challenging patent applications for ideas that add nothing new to this collective wisdom.

However, without effective intellectual property protection for new ideas, pharmaceutical companies will not risk the many millions of dollars in research and development necessary to turn the medicinal properties of plant and animal species into affordable cures for serious illnesses. If they gain any benefits from the bio-diverse regions of the developing world, the drug companies can give back to the people living in these regions by making available free or low cost medicines that result from their research, along with financial assistance in building, equipping and staffing much-needed health clinics. But the Declaration encourages an adversarial relationship rather than such cooperation.

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in its current form, is a recipe for more UN-sponsored hostility against Western values and institutions. It also provides yet another UN-made arrow in the Palestinians’ propaganda quiver. A document this bad deserves a quick, unceremonious burial.



[1] UN Adopts Declaration on Rights for Indigenous Peoples Worldwide, International Herald Tribune (September 13, 2007).

[2] How Palestine Became “Israel’s Land” by Sonja Karkar, ZNet (March 31, 2007).

[3] The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917-1988 (1990).

[4] Solidarity Letter from Palestine to Six Nations from the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (February 28, 2007).

[5] Resisting colonialism in Palestine and Oaxaca from the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (November 24th, 2006).

[6] Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous (Article 26, paras. 1 and 3)

[7] Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Article 32, para. 2).

[8] Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Article 11, para. 2).

Cultural linchpin opportunity - follow the laws

Muslim cabbies get tickets while praying
Chicago Sun Times


Faisal, a taxicab driver who works at O'Hare Airport, wants to be a good cabbie while staying true to his Muslim faith.

But Muslim cabdrivers are finding the latter difficult lately, as they've been hit with a rash of tickets for parking in access lanes leading to the airport terminals near where the city helped set up a prayer trailer for them.

"For most of us who need to pray, that's part of our religious duty," said Faisal, a 13-year-cab veteran who declined to give his last name.

"It doesn't do us any favors if you write us a ticket and you know this guy's going to come back in five minutes and his friend is waiting outside to move the car in case of an emergency," the cabbie complained.

Drivers such as Faisal say they mean no harm by parking in the lanes leading to the prayer trailer on the grounds of O'Hare's commercial lot -- which either have no-parking signs posted or are meant for brief stops.

The cabbies say they are caught in a Catch-22 -- that the city provided them the location in which to practice their faith, but punishes them when they park and pray.

Drivers are particularly worried about receiving tickets as they celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, a time for steadfast prayer, fasting and spiritual reawakening

Why cultural linchpin laws must be passed before millions more die

Terror must be normal part of life: al-Qaeda
Herald Sun

AL-Qaeda called on Islamists to sow terror in the West to create a climate of fear, in a third video marking the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, which was posted on the internet today.

Called "reasons and motives for the attacks on New York and Washington," the video features a montage of images of the burning World Trade Centre towers and scenes from Islamist training camps.

"We must take Islamist terrorism to Western countries so that it becomes a normal part of life like natural disasters," a voiceover says.

"In that way, we will have acts of mass extermination in which people will feel that their affluence also brings death... and we will have created a balance of deterrence between us and them," the unidentified voice adds.

The new video also includes clips from old voice recordings of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as a short video clip of Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid, also known as Sheikh Said, the group's commander in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda already released a videotape and an audiotape featuring bin Laden earlier this month to mark the sixth anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3000 people in the US.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why cartoons are one of the many cultural linchpins of extremism that must not be appeased

Qaeda calls for killing of Swedish cartoonist


The head of an Al Qaeda-led group in Iraq has offered a $100,000 bounty for someone to kill a Swedish cartoonist for his drawing of Islam's Prophet Mohammed, and has threatened to attack major Swedish companies. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq, also offered $50,000 to anyone who kills Ulf Johansson, the editor of the newspaper that published the drawing by Lars Vilks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Islmaophobia? Or a fear of being killed? Is a legitimate fear of being killed a phobia?

UN investigator: "Islamophobia" on the rise, especially in Europe
More misplaced alarm about "Islamophobia" in Europe, while the jihadists plot, and legal coercion and demographic conquest proceed. Again, the label "right wing" is the kiss of death, inviting the wholesale dismissal of any issue being addressed.

"Islamaphobia on rise, especially in Europe," from Reuters:

GENEVA - The United Nations investigator on racism on Friday condemned a rising trend of Islamaphobia, especially in Europe, where he said it was being exploited by some right-wing political parties.
Doudou Diene, UN special rapporteur on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, also accused Switzerland’s most popular party, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP/UDC), of inciting hatred.
He urged the withdrawal of the party’s controversial campaign poster calling for expulsion of foreigners who commit serous crimes, depicting three white sheep booting out a black sheep under the headline “For the Security of All”.
“In the current context, Islamaphobia constitutes the most serious form of religious defamation,” Diene said in a speech and report to the UN Human Rights Council, whose 47 member states were holding a debate on religious defamation.
More and more political leaders and influential media and intellectuals were “equating Islam with violence and terrorism,” and some were seeking to “silence religious practices by banning the construction of mosques”, Diene said.
Pakistan, speaking for the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), called the rise of Islamaphobia “alarming”.
Of course, Cartoon Rage makes an appearance:

“Recent acts of defamation in the shape of blasphemous sketches in Sweden and posters in Switzerland reinforce this conclusion. Such blasphemy should not be encouraged in the name of freedom of expression,” Pakistan’s envoy Masood Khan said.
He said the 57-nation OIC, which represents 1.3 billion Muslims, condemned terrorism in all its forms.
That's nice. What about jihad? Wait, sorry, we're supposed to "de-link" Islam and violence in our minds, according to the OIC.

“The international media continues to use the misguided actions of a small extremist minority as an excuse to malign the entire Muslim world, as well as the religion of Islam,” he said.
Diene, a Senegalese lawyer, said in his 21-page report to the Council that Islamaphobia had grown since the Sept 11 2001 attacks on the United States.
Worldwide, an increasing number of traditional democratic parties were “resorting to the language of fear and exclusion, scapegoating and targeting ethnic or religious minorities in general, and immigrants and refugees in particular”, he said.
In Europe, Muslims faced growing difficulties to establish places of worship and carry out their religious practices such as dietary regimens and burials, according to the UN envoy.
“Political parties with open anti-Islamic platforms have joined governmental coalitions in several countries and started to put in place their political agendas. In sum, Islamophobia is in the process of permeating all facets of social life.”
As we have said here before, the surefire way to end Islamophobia would be to end violent attacks committed by Muslims in the name of Islam.

The Swiss SVP/UDC has launched a referendum to ban construction of minarets in the Alpine country, home to 350,000 Muslims. A similar move is underway in Cologne, Germany.
Switzerland’s delegation defended its system of direct democracy, where multiple issues are put to referendum each year, saying it showed great political transparency although ”sometimes with exaggerated, regrettable views being expressed”.
“The Swiss government has repeatedly stated its commitment to fight racism and the Swiss government will continue to take a clear stance against all forms of discrimination and xenophobia,” Swiss ambassador Blaise Godet said.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cultural wake up call

A Wake-up Call : Almost all terrorists are Muslims..
Abdel Rahman al-Rashed*

It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

The hostage-takers of children in Beslan, North Ossetia, were Muslims. The other hostage-takers and subsequent murderers of the Nepalese chefs and workers in Iraq were also Muslims. Those involved in rape and murder in Darfur, Sudan, are Muslims, with other Muslims chosen to be their victims.

Those responsible for the attacks on residential towers in Riyadh and Khobar were Muslims. The two women who crashed two airliners last week were also Muslims.

Osama bin Laden is a Muslim. The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim.

What a pathetic record. What an abominable "achievement." Does all this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?

These images, when put together or taken separately, are shameful and degrading. But let us start with putting an end to a history of denial. Let us acknowledge their reality, instead of denying them and seeking to justify them with sound and fury signifying nothing.

For it would be easy to cure ourselves if we realize the seriousness of our sickness. Self-cure starts with self-realization and confession. We should then run after our terrorist sons, in the full knowledge that they are the sour grapes of a deformed culture.

Let us listen to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the sheikh – the Qatar-based radical Egyptian cleric – and hear him recite his fatwa about the religious permissibility of killing civilian Americans in Iraq. Let us contemplate the incident of this religious sheikh allowing, nay even calling for, the murder of civilians.

This ailing sheikh, in his last days, with two daughters studying in "infidel" Britain, soliciting children to kill innocent civilians.

How could this sheikh face the mother of the youthful Nick Berg, who was slaughtered in Iraq because he wanted to build communication towers in that ravished country? How can we believe him when he tells us that Islam is the religion of mercy and peace while he is turning it into a religion of blood and slaughter?

In a different era, we used to consider the extremists, with nationalist or leftist leanings, a menace and a source of corruption because of their adoption of violence as a means of discourse and their involvement in murder as an easy shortcut to their objectives.

At that time, the mosque used to be a haven, and the voice of religion used to be that of peace and reconciliation. Religious sermons were warm behests for a moral order and an ethical life.

Then came the neo-Muslims. An innocent and benevolent religion, whose verses prohibit the felling of trees in the absence of urgent necessity, that calls murder the most heinous of crimes, that says explicitly that if you kill one person you have killed humanity as a whole, has been turned into a global message of hate and a universal war cry.

We can't call those who take schoolchildren as hostages our own.

We cannot tolerate in our midst those who abduct journalists, murder civilians, explode buses; we cannot accept them as related to us, whatever the sufferings they claim to justify their criminal deeds. These are the people who have smeared Islam and stained its image.

We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women.

We cannot redeem our extremist youths, who commit all these heinous crimes, without confronting the sheikhs who thought it ennobling to reinvent themselves as revolutionary ideologues, sending other people's sons and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and American schools and colleges.

*Abdel Rahman al-Rashed is general manager of Al-Arabiya news channel. This article first appeared in the London-based pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

Bloodless cultural linchpin laws are critical in Europe

Europe's First Islamic Political Party Has Formed in Finland
Catholic World News

The Finnish Islamic Party plans to collect 5,000 signatures in order to qualify for official registration by the end of the year. Counting on support from the 55,000 Muslims living in Finland, the party anticipates some success in next year's municipal elections as well as in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Party spokesman Abdullah Tammi acknowledged to reporters that to date the party has enrolled only a few dozen members.

The Finnish Islamic Party platform supports a ban on alcohol sales, the option for Muslim children to be excused from school music classes and outings to swimming pools, legal status for ritual animal killing and male circumcision, and the eventual introduction of SHARIA LAW in Finland. Tammi added that the purpose of Sharia law was to prevent crime.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why polygamy is a cultural linchpin and MUST BE OUTLAWED

Girl, 14, fled abuse, 'mind control' of polygamy

by Amanda Townsend and Agnes Pawlowski

Sara Hammon saw some of her sisters pulled out of school to be married to men they didn't know. She dreaded a similar fate. And so, she ran away from home before she was old enough to drive legally.

left behind 19 mothers, 74 siblings, and a father she says could never remember her name, even though he repeatedly molested her.

And, she left behind a culture she says was oppressive for young women.

Hammon recently gave CNN a deeply disturbing account of her life inside the polygamous sect whose leader, Warren Jeffs, goes on trial this week in Utah.

Jeffs is accused of being an accomplice to rape. The charge stems from his alleged practice of arranging polygamous marriages between child brides and older male followers.

Hammon is not directly involved in the charges against Jeffs, which concern an arranged marriage between a girl, 14 and her 19-year-old cousin. She left the sect before she could be placed in an arranged marriage. But she is one of its most outspoken former members. Watch Hammon describe her escape from a closed world »

"Probably the worst part of the whole theology," she said, " is the treatment of women and teaching women that they are not equal to men."

Courageous cultural linchpin move - may these people not be murdered

Young Muslims begin dangerous fight for the right to abandon faith

Ehsan Jami rejected Islam after the 9 11 terror attacks. He wants Muslims to be able to give up their religion

A group of young Muslim apostates launches a campaign today, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, to make it easier to renounce Islam.

The provocative move reflects a growing rift between traditionalists and a younger generation raised on a diet of Dutch tolerance.

The Committee for Ex-Muslims promises to campaign for freedom of religion but has already upset the Islamic and political Establishments for stirring tensions among the million-strong Muslim community in the Netherlands.

'Whoever changes religion – kill him'

Ehsan Jami, the committee’s founder, who rejected Islam after the attack on the twin towers in 2001, has become the most talked-about public figure in the Netherlands. He has been forced into hiding after a series of death threats and a recent attack.

The threats are taken seriously after the murder in 2002 of Pim Fortuyn, an antiimmigration politician, and in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh, an antiIslam film-maker.

Speaking to The Times at a secret location before the committee’s launch today, the Labour Party councillor said that the movement would declare war on radical Islam. Similar organisations campaigning for reform of the religion have sprung up across Europe and representatives from Britain and Germany will join the launch in The Hague today.

“Sharia schools say that they will kill the ones who leave Islam. In the West people get threatened, thrown out of their family, beaten up,” Mr Jami said. “In Islam you are born Muslim. You do not even choose to be Muslim. We want that to change, so that people are free to choose who they want to be and what they want to believe in.”

Mr Jami, 22, who has abandoned his studies as his political career has taken off, denied that the choice of September 11 was deliberately provocative towards the Islamic Establishment. “We chose the date because we want to make a clear statement that we no longer tolerate the intolerence of Islam, the terrorist attacks,” he said.

“In 1965 the Church in Holland made a declaration that freedom of conscience is above hanging on to religion, so you can choose whether you are going to be a Christian or not. What we are seeking is the same thing for Islam.”

Mr Jami, who has compared the rise of radical Islam to the threat from Nazism in the 1930s, is receiving only lukewarm support from his party which traditionally relies upon Muslim votes. His outspoken attack on radical Islam has led to a prelaunch walk-out from fellow committee founder Loubna Berrada, who herself rejected Islam.

She said: “I don’t wish to confront Islam itself. I only want to spread the message that Muslims should be allowed to leave Islam behind without being threatened.”

There have been suggestions that Mr Jami might defect to the right-wing Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, the most outspoken politician in the Netherlands, who has called for the Koran to be banned. But Mr Jami said: “I have respect for Wilders but we do not have the same ideology. I am for the freedom of religion.

“Banning something is not going to help. I am the opposite – everyone should read the Koran.” Mr Jami is being compared to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali refugee who became a prominent Dutch politician campaigning for the reform of Islam but who left eventually for an academic career in the United States.

Jannie Groen, a writer for De Volksrant newspaper, said: “[Among Muslims] he is getting the same reaction as Ayaan Hirsi Ali that he is too confrontational but you are seeing other former Muslims now coming forward. So he has been able to put this issue of apostasy on the agenda, even though they do not want to be in the same room as him and he has had to pay a price.”

By the Book

— 14 passages in the Koran refer to apostasy

— According to Baidhawi’s commentary, Sura 4: 88-89 reads: “Whosoever turns back from his belief, openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel. Separate yourself from him altogether. Do not accept intercession in his regard.”

— The hadith, tradition and legend about Muhammad and his followers used as a basis of Sharia, tells of some atheists who were brought to “’Ali and he burnt them. The news of this reached Ibn Abbas who said: ‘If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostate forbade it . . . I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostate, ‘Whoever changed his [Islamic] religion, then kill him’.”

— According to hadith, a special reward in Paradise is reserved for the killer of apostates

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kill hundreds of school children, then force headscarves on all - why a ban on religious headdress would be so effective

Russia's Chechnya imposes Islamic dress code

GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - Female civil servants must wear Islamic headscarves or be fired, the maverick head of Russia's Chechnya region said on Tuesday, an edict that may put him at odds with his secular masters in Moscow.

The Kremlin installed 30-year-old Ramzan Kadyrov as Chechnya's president to crush a decade-old separatist insurgency, but some observers say he has turned the region into a private fiefdom where Russian laws are flouted.

Muslims who want to end extremism should welcome and vote for cultural linchpin laws.

Muslims who want to end extremism should welcome and vote for cultural linchpin laws. Muslims who appease and send money to extremists are encouraging and enabling extremism to spiral out of control. Muslims who appease extremism will, in the end, cause millions more muslims to be killed. Appeasing extremism will never ever cause extremism to lessen. Appeasing always always gets more extremism.


WASHINGTON - Despite six years of promises, Saudi Arabia has failed to pursue wealthy individuals identified as sending millions of dollars to Al Qaeda, the US official in charge of tracking terror financing said in an ABC News interview on Tuesday.....SNIP..........

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A religion with bloody borders must not endlessly get away with blaming others -

On 9/11 anniversary, looking inward to explain terrorist attacks
By Jane Perlez Published: September 10, 2007


The German mass circulation newspaper, Bild, wrote Friday: "There are no easy answers. But the 1.4 billion or so Muslims owe it to the rest of the world to at least try to give answers and find a remedy. A religion with bloody margins does not belong in a world that wants to and must move closer together."



A religion with bloody borders must not endlessly get away with blaming others

Monday, September 10, 2007

Young Muslims Begin Dangerous Fight for the Right to Leave Islam

Young Muslims Begin Dangerous Fight for the Right to Leave Islam
Times Online

by David Charter

A group of young Muslim apostates launches a campaign today, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, to make it easier to renounce Islam.

The provocative move reflects a growing rift between traditionalists and a younger generation raised on a diet of Dutch tolerance.

The Committee for Ex-Muslims promises to campaign for freedom of religion but has already upset the Islamic and political Establishments for stirring tensions among the million-strong Muslim community in the Netherlands.

Ehsan Jami, the committee’s founder, who rejected Islam after the attack on the twin towers in 2001, has become the most talked-about public figure in the Netherlands. He has been forced into hiding after a series of death threats and a recent attack.

Related Links 'Whoever changes religion – kill him' The threats are taken seriously after the murder in 2002 of Pim Fortuyn, an antiimmigration politician, and in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh, an antiIslam film-maker.

Speaking to The Times at a secret location before the committee’s launch today, the Labour Party councillor said that the movement would declare war on radical Islam. Similar organisations campaigning for reform of the religion have sprung up across Europe and representatives from Britain and Germany will join the launch in The Hague today.

“Sharia schools say that they will kill the ones who leave Islam. In the West people get threatened, thrown out of their family, beaten up,” Mr Jami said. “In Islam you are born Muslim. You do not even choose to be Muslim. We want that to change, so that people are free to choose who they want to be and what they want to believe in.”

Mr Jami, 22, who has abandoned his studies as his political career has taken off, denied that the choice of September 11 was deliberately provocative towards the Islamic Establishment. “We chose the date because we want to make a clear statement that we no longer tolerate the intolerence of Islam, the terrorist attacks,” he said.

“In 1965 the Church in Holland made a declaration that freedom of conscience is above hanging on to religion, so you can choose whether you are going to be a Christian or not. What we are seeking is the same thing for Islam.”

Mr Jami, who has compared the rise of radical Islam to the threat from Nazism in the 1930s, is receiving only lukewarm support from his party which traditionally relies upon Muslim votes. His outspoken attack on radical Islam has led to a prelaunch walk-out from fellow committee founder Loubna Berrada, who herself rejected Islam.

She said: “I don’t wish to confront Islam itself. I only want to spread the message that Muslims should be allowed to leave Islam behind without being threatened.”

There have been suggestions that Mr Jami might defect to the right-wing Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, the most outspoken politician in the Netherlands, who has called for the Koran to be banned. But Mr Jami said: “I have respect for Wilders but we do not have the same ideology. I am for the freedom of religion.

“Banning something is not going to help. I am the opposite – everyone should read the Koran.” Mr Jami is being compared to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali refugee who became a prominent Dutch politician campaigning for the reform of Islam but who left eventually for an academic career in the United States.

Jannie Groen, a writer for De Volksrant newspaper, said: “[Among Muslims] he is getting the same reaction as Ayaan Hirsi Ali that he is too confrontational but you are seeing other former Muslims now coming forward. So he has been able to put this issue of apostasy on the agenda, even though they do not want to be in the same room as him and he has had to pay a price.”

By the Book

— 14 passages in the Koran refer to apostasy

— According to Baidhawi’s commentary, Sura 4: 88-89 reads: “Whosoever turns back from his belief, openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel. Separate yourself from him altogether. Do not accept intercession in his regard.”

— The hadith, tradition and legend about Muhammad and his followers used as a basis of Sharia, tells of some atheists who were brought to “’Ali and he burnt them. The news of this reached Ibn Abbas who said: ‘If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostate forbade it . . . I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostate, ‘Whoever changed his [Islamic] religion, then kill him’.”

— According to hadith, a special reward in Paradise is reserved for the killer of apostates

Brutally butchered for holding hands before marriage!

The Muslim Honor Killing Hollywood Doesn't Want You to See
by Debbie Schlussel

In their successful campaign to get the scene removed, Iranian Muslims whined that Iranians don't commit honor killings. But they should tell that to the Iranian Supreme Court, which--only four months ago--acquitted a gang of six men who brutally murdering a woman because she was holding hands with a man to whom she was engaged. And there have been many other instances of honor-killing in the country (including here and here). To claim that Iranians don't commit honor killings is like saying Americans don't eat at McDonalds.

It appears that the part which most offended Muslim Iranians was not the honor killing itself, but the invocation of the name in the script that we all know comes with most honor killings:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hijab lawsuit takes chutzpah

Hijab lawsuit takes chutzpah
Orange County Register ^ | September 9, 2007 | GORDON DILLOW

It's actually pretty easy to avoid having to give up some of your religious rights in the Orange County jail system.

For starters, you can simply not commit welfare fraud.

What I'm referring to here is the case of Souhair Khatib, the 33-year-old Muslim woman from Anaheim who is suing the Orange County Sheriff's Department for allegedly violating her religious rights after she was arrested last fall.

Khatib, a Lebanese-born U.S. citizen, says she suffered a “defiling experience” when deputies ordered her to remove her hijab, the head scarf worn by many Muslim women, while she was locked up – and she's demanding unspecified damages from the county to make up for that defilement.

Well, some people may think it's inappropriate or insensitive for me to say this – and who knows, maybe I'll get sued, too. But as they say in Yiddish, this woman has chutzpah!

The case began last year when Khatib and her husband, who have two young children, were charged with felony welfare fraud. According to prosecutors, the Khatibs had lied about their income in order to fraudulently collect about $3,400 in cash welfare payments, plus several thousand dollars in food stamps. The Khatibs later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and were sentenced to three years probation and 240 hours of community service each.


And it's also worth remembering that Souhair Khatib not only violated the law when she stole that money. By stealing, she also violated one of the basic rules of her religion.

So call it gall or nerve or chutzpah or whatever.

But to sue somebody else for not fully honoring your religion, when you didn't honor it yourself, certainly takes a lot of it.

separate sidewalks for women? cultural linchpin time

Sidewalks for women only
Edmonton Journal

September 01, 2007

ABU-DHABI, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia's religious police are insisting that authorities of Medina, one of Islam's holiest cities, should build separate sidewalks for women, the Kuwaiti al-Qabas newspaper reported Friday.

The country's Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, tasked with enforcing Sharia law, believes men and women should not be allowed to mix on the streets of the Islam's second holiest place, where the Prophet Muhammad is buried.

The clerical police, or Mutaween, are authorized to arrest unrelated men and women caught socializing, anyone suspected of being homosexual or a prostitute, and to enforce Islamic dress codes.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Necessary cultural linchpin - no one needs any of this

Hindus upset over ban on holy dot

By Amarnath Tewary
BBC News, Bihar

Mr Mishra has worn the tilak throughout his career

A senior official in India's Bihar state faces suspension for wearing the Hindu red mark on his forehead at work. Lakshman Mishra, deputy director of the agriculture department, is accused of breaching a new government dress code.

He says he has worn the mark, or tilak, on his forehead at work for 30 years and it is his religious right to do so.

His colleagues support him - nearly all of them arrived at work on Friday wearing red marks in protest, and unions are threatening mass action.

Suicide threat

Mr Mishra's troubles began in August when new guidelines were issued on what state government officials could wear at the office.

His department head, CK Anil, warned Mr Mishra that he considered his tilak to be in breach of the code.

When he refused to remove it, Mr Anil recommended him for suspension.

Mr Anil is a young, no-nonsense civil service high-flier who has already reprimanded staff in another department for spitting out betel leaf they had been chewing at work.

He is currently not taking calls from the media.

Many people in northern India wear the red holy mark on their foreheads and it is a common sight in government offices.

Mr Mishra says he has no intention of giving up the practice.

"I've been sporting the red holy dot on my forehead for the last 30 years of my career," he told the BBC.

"It has religious sentiment for me and if somebody goes on harassing me on this pretext I'll have no option but to commit suicide."


Barring some senior officials, all the employees of the state agriculture department went to work on Friday with tilaks on their foreheads in protest at his treatment.

Civil servants came out in protest on Friday

They laid siege to Mr Anil's office and demanded he withdraw his recommendation that Mr Mishra be suspended.

"The officer's move has hurt our religious sentiments and as our protest against his order we've come to the office today adorning our foreheads with the red dot. Let him suspend all of us now," said union leader Baidyanath Yadav.

Several other state government unions are also angry and are threatening mass protests if his suspension order is not revoked with immediate effect.

Even state Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh agrees, saying "no one should be suspended for wearing a holy tilak as it's a matter of personal choice".

Why it's so important to moderate islam in the West

Cleric: Muslims in the West Should Live Peacefully, Until Strong Enough to Wage War
by Andrew Norfolk

One of the world’s most respected Deobandi scholars believes that aggressive military jihad should be waged by Muslims “to establish the supremacy of Islam” worldwide.

Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani argues that Muslims should live peacefully in countries such as Britain, where they have the freedom to practise Islam, only until they gain enough power to engage in battle.

His views explode the myth that the creed of offensive, expansionist jihad represents a distortion of traditional Islamic thinking.

Mr Usmani, 64, sat for 20 years as a Sharia judge in Pakistan’s Supreme Court. He is an adviser to several global financial institutions and a regular visitor to Britain. Polite and softly spoken, he revealed to The Times a detailed knowledge of world events and his words, for the most part, were balanced and considered.

He agreed that it was wrong to suggest that the entire nonMuslim world was intent on destroying Islam. Yet this is a man who, in his published work, argues the case for Muslims to wage an expansionist war against nonMuslim lands.

Mr Usmani’s justification for aggressive military jihad as a means of establishing global Islamic supremacy is revealed at the climax of his book, Islam and Modernism.

Seven key failure factors in a failed society - why the appeasers are fostering extremism and getting far more killed

7 Signs of a Loser Society
By legislating against the 7 key factors of a loser society (as written by Ralph Peters) that the West could bloodlessly implement key social changes that could start a domino effect in Islam.

The Seven key "failure factors" are as follows:

1 Restrictions on the free flow of information.
2 The subjugation of women.
3 Inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.
4 The extended family or clan as the basic unit of social organization.
5 Domination by a restrictive religion.
6 A low valuation of education.
7 Low prestige assigned to work.

"........RALPH PETERS writes in "Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States..............When you leave the classroom or office and go into the world, you see at first its richness and confusions, the variety and tumult. Then, if you keep moving and do not quit looking, commonalties begin to emerge. National success is eccentric. But national failure is programmed and predictable. Spotting the future losers among the world's states becomes so easy it loses its entertainment value.
In this world of multiple and simultaneous revolutions--in technology, information, social organization, biology, economics, and convenience--the rules of international competition have changed. There is a global marketplace and, increasingly, a global economy. While there is no global culture yet, American popular culture is increasingly available and wickedly appealing--and there are no international competitors in the field, only struggling local systems. Where the United States does not make the rules of international play, it shapes them by its absence.
The invisible hand of the market has become an informal but uncompromising lawgiver. Globalization demands conformity to the practices of the global leaders, especially to those of the United States. If you do not conform--or innovate--you lose. If you try to quit the game, you lose even more profoundly. The rules of international competition, whether in the economic, cultural, or conventional military fields, grow ever more homogeneous. No government can afford practices that retard development. Yet such practices are often so deeply embedded in tradition, custom, and belief that the state cannot jettison them. That which provides the greatest psychological comfort to members of foreign cultures is often that which renders them noncompetitive against America's explosive creativity--our self-reinforcing dynamism fostered by law, efficiency, openness, flexibility, market discipline, and social mobility.
Traditional indicators of noncompetitive performance still apply: corruption (the most seductive activity humans can consummate while clothed); the absence of sound, equitably enforced laws; civil strife; or government attempts to overmanage a national economy. As change has internationalized and accelerated, however, new predictive tools have emerged. They are as simple as they are fundamental, and they are rooted in culture. The greater the degree to which a state--or an entire civilization--succumbs to these "seven deadly sins" of collective behavior, the more likely that entity is to fail to progress or even to maintain its position in the struggle for a share of the world's wealth and power. Whether analyzing military capabilities, cultural viability, or economic potential, these seven factors offer a quick study of the likely performance of a state, region, or population group in the coming century.

The Seven Factors
These key "failure factors" are:
Restrictions on the free flow of information.
The subjugation of women.
Inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.
The extended family or clan as the basic unit of social organization.
Domination by a restrictive religion.
A low valuation of education.
Low prestige assigned to work.

Zero-Sum Knowledge
The wonderfully misunderstood Clausewitzian trinity, expressed crudely as state-people-military, is being replaced by a powerful new trinity: the relationship between the state, the people, and information. In the latter phases of the industrial age, the free flow of quality information already had become essential to the success of industries and military establishments. If the internationalizing media toppled the Soviet empire, it was because that empire's battle against information-sharing had hollowed out its economy and lost the confidence of its people. When a sudden flood of information strikes a society or culture suffering an information deficit, the result is swift destabilization. This is now a global phenomenon.
Today's "flat-worlders" are those who believe that information can be controlled. Historically, information always equaled power. Rulers and civilizations viewed knowledge as a commodity to be guarded, a thing finite in its dimensions and lost when shared. Religious institutions viewed knowledge as inflammatory and damnable, a thing to be handled carefully and to advantage, the nuclear energy of yesteryear. The parallel to the world public's view of wealth is almost exact--an instinctive conviction that information is a thing to be gotten and hoarded, and that its possession by a foreign actor means it has been, by vague and devious means, robbed from oneself and one's kind. But just as wealth generates wealth, so knowledge begets knowledge. Without a dynamic and welcoming relationship with information as content and process, no society can compete in the post-industrial age.
Information-controlling governments and knowledge-denying religions cripple themselves and their subjects or adherents. If America's streets are not paved with gold, they are certainly littered with information. The availability of free, high-quality information, and a people's ability to discriminate between high- and low-quality data, are essential to economic development beyond the manufacturing level. Whether on our own soil or abroad, those segments of humanity that fear and reject knowledge of the world (and, often, of themselves) are condemned to failure, poverty, and bitterness.
The ability of most of America's work force to cope psychologically and practically with today's flood of data, and to cull quality data from the torrent, is remarkable--a national and systemic triumph. Even Canada and Britain cannot match it. Much of Japan's present stasis is attributable to that nation's struggle to make the transition from final-stage industrial power to information-age society. The more regulated flow of information with which Japan has long been comfortable is an impediment to post-modernism. While the Japanese nation ultimately possesses the synthetic capability to overcome this difficulty, its structural dilemmas are more informational and psychological than tangible--although the tangible certainly matters--and decades of educational reform and social restructuring will be necessary before Japan returns for another world-championship match.
In China, the situation regarding the state's attempt to control information and the population's inability to manage it is immeasurably worse. Until China undergoes a genuine cultural revolution that alters permanently and deeply the relationship among state, citizen, and information, that country will bog down at the industrial level. Its sheer size guarantees continued growth, but there will be a flattening in the coming decades and, decisively, China will have great difficulty transitioning from smokestack growth to intellectual innovation and service wealth.
China, along with the world's other defiant dictatorships, suffers under an oppressive class structure, built on and secured by an informational hierarchy. The great class struggle of the 21st century will be for access to data, and it will occur in totalitarian and religious-regime states. The internet may prove to be the most revolutionary tool since the movable-type printing press. History laughs at us all--the one economic analyst who would understand immediately what is happening in the world today would be a resurrected German "content provider" named Marx.
For countries and cultures that not only restrict but actively reject information that contradicts governmental or cultural verities, even a fully industrialized society remains an unattainable dream. Information is more essential to economic progress than an assured flow of oil. In fact, unearned, "found" wealth is socially and economically cancerous, impeding the development of healthy, enduring socioeconomic structures and values. If you want to guarantee an underdeveloped country's continued inability to perform competitively, grant it rich natural resources. The sink-or-swim poverty of northwestern Europe and Japan may have been their greatest natural advantage during their developmental phases. As the Shah learned and Saudi Arabia is proving, you can buy only the products, not the productiveness, of another civilization.
States that censor information will fail to compete economically, culturally, and militarily in the long run. The longer the censorship endures, the longer the required recovery time. Even after the strictures have been lifted, information-deprived societies must play an almost-hopeless game of catch-up. In Russia, it will take at least a generation of genuine informational freedom to facilitate an economic takeoff that is not founded hollowly upon resource extraction, middleman profits, and the looting of industrial ruins. Unique China will need even longer to make the next great leap forward from industrial to informational economy--we have at least half a century's advantage. Broad portions of the planet may never make it. We will not need a military to deal with foreign success, but to respond to foreign failure--which will be the greatest source of violence in coming decades.
If you are looking for an easy war, fight an information-controlling state. If you are looking for a difficult investment, invest in an information-controlling state. If you are hunting a difficult conflict, enter the civil strife that arises after the collapse of an information-controlling state. If you are looking for a good investment, find an emerging or "redeemed" state unafraid of science, hard numbers, and education.
A Woman's Place
Vying with informational abilities as a key factor in the reinvigoration of the US economy has been the pervasive entry of American women into the educational process and the workplace. When the stock market soars, thank Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the suffragettes, not just their beneficiary, Alan Greenspan. After a century and a half of struggle by English and American women, the US economy now operates at a wartime level of human-resource commitment on a routine basis.
Despite eternally gloomy headlines, our country probably has the lowest wastage rate of human talent in the world. The United States is so chronically hungry for talent that we drain it from the rest of the planet at a crippling pace, and we have accepted that we cannot squander the genius of half our population. Even in Europe, "over-skilling," in which inherent and learned abilities wither in calcified workplaces, produces social peace at the cost of cultural and economic lethargy, security at the price of mediocrity. The occasional prime minister notwithstanding, it is far rarer to encounter a female executive, top professional, or general officer in that mythologized, "more equitable" Europe than in the United States. Life in America may not be fair, but neither is it stagnant. What we lose in security, we more than compensate for in opportunity.
While Europe sleepwalks toward a 35-hour work-week, we are moving toward the 35-hour day. The intense performance of our economy would be unattainable without the torrent of energy introduced by competitive female job candidates. American women revolutionized the workforce and the workplace. Future social and economic historians will probably judge that the entry of women into our workforce was the factor that broke the stranglehold of American trade unions and gave a new lease on life to those domestic industries able to adapt. American women were the Japanese cars of business labor relations: better, cheaper, dependable, and they defied the rules. Everybody had to work harder and smarter to survive, but the results have been a spectacular recovery of economic leadership and soaring national wealth.
Change that men long resisted and feared in our own country resulted not only in greater competition for jobs, but in the creation of more jobs, and not in the rupture of the economy, but in its assumption of imperial dimensions (in a quirk of fate, already privileged males are getting much richer, thanks to the effects of feminism's triumph on the stock market). Equality of opportunity is the most profitable game going, and American capitalism has realized the wisdom of becoming an evenhanded consumer of skills. Despite serious exclusions and malignant social problems, we are the most efficient society in history. When Europeans talk of the dignity of the working man, they increasingly mean the right of that man to sit at a desk doing nothing or to stand at an idling machine. There is a huge difference between just being employed and actually working.
The math isn't hard. Any country or culture that suppresses half its population, excluding them from economic contribution and wasting energy keeping them out of the school and workplace, is not going to perform competitively with us. The standard counterargument heard in failing states is that there are insufficient jobs for the male population, thus it is impossible to allow women to compete for the finite incomes available. The argument is archaic and wrong. When talent enters a work force, it creates jobs. Competition improves performance. In order to begin to compete with the American leviathan and the stronger of the economies of Europe and the Far East, less-developed countries must maximize their human potential. Instead, many willfully halve it.
The point isn't really the fear that women will steal jobs in Country X. Rather, it's a fundamental fear of women--or of a cultural caricature of women as incapable, stupid, and worrisomely sexual. If, when you get off the plane, you do not see men and women sitting together in the airport lounge, put your portfolio or treaty on the next flight home.
It is difficult for any human being to share power already possessed. Authority over their women is the only power many males will ever enjoy. From Greece to the Ganges, half the world is afraid of girls and gratified by their subjugation. It is a prescription for cultural mediocrity, economic failure--and inexpressible boredom. The value added by the training and utilization of our female capital is an American secret weapon.
Blaming Foreign Devils
The cult of victimhood, a plague on the least-successful elements in our own society, retards the development of entire continents. When individuals or cultures cannot accept responsibility for their own failures, they will repeat the behaviors that led to failure. Accepting responsibility for failure is difficult, and correspondingly rare. The cultures of North America, Northern Europe, Japan, and Korea (each in its own way) share an unusual talent for looking in the mirror and keeping their eyes open. Certainly, there is no lack of national vanity, prejudice, subterfuge, or bad behavior.
But in the clutch we are surprisingly good at saying, "We did it, so let's fix it." In the rest of the world, a plumbing breakdown implicates the CIA and a faltering currency means George Soros--the Hungarian-born American billionaire, fund manager, and philanthropist--has been sneaking around in the dark. Recent accusations of financial connivance made against Mr. Soros and then against the Jews collectively by Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir only demonstrated that Malaysia's ambitions had gotten ahead of its cultural capacity to support them. Even if foreign devils are to blame--and they mostly are not--whining and blustering does not help. It only makes you feel better for a little while, like drunkenness, and there are penalties the morning after.
The failure is greater where the avoidance of responsibility is greater. In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, oil money has masked cultural, social, technical, and structural failure for decades. While the military failure of the regional states has been obvious, consistent, and undeniable, the locals sense--even when they do not fully understand--their noncompetitive status in other spheres as well. It is hateful and disorienting to them. Only the twin blessings of Israel and the United States, upon whom Arabs and Persians can blame even their most egregious ineptitudes, enable a fly-specked pretense of cultural viability.
On the other hand, Latin America has made tremendous progress. Not long ago, the gringos were to blame each time the lights blinked. But with the rise of a better-educated elite and local experience of economic success, the leadership of Latin America's key states has largely stopped playing the blame game. Smaller states and drug-distorted economies still chase scapegoats, but of the major players only Mexico still indulges routinely in the transfer of all responsibility for its problems to Washington, D.C.
Family Values
After the exclusion of women from productive endeavors, the next-worst wastage of human potential occurs in societies where the extended family, clan, or tribe is the basic social unit. While family networks provide a safety net in troubled times, offering practical support and psychological protection, and may even build a house for you, they do not build the rule of law, or democracy, or legitimate corporations, or free markets. Where the family or clan prevails, you do not hire the best man (to say nothing of the best woman) for the job, you hire Cousin Luis. You do not vote for the best man, you vote for Uncle Ali. And you do not consider cease-fire deals or shareholder interests to be matters of serious obligation.
Such cultures tend to be peasant-based or of peasant origin, with the attendant peasant's suspicion of the outsider and of authority. Oligarchies of landed families freeze the pattern in time. There is a preference for a dollar grabbed today over a thousand dollars accrued in the course of an extended business relationship. Blood-based societies operate under two sets of rules: one, generally honest, for the relative; and another, ruthless and amoral, for deals involving the outsider. The receipt of money now is more important than building a long-term relationship. Such societies fight well as tribes, but terribly as nations.
At its most successful, this is the system of the Chinese diaspora, but that is a unique case. The Darwinian selection that led to the establishment and perpetuation of the great Chinese merchant families (and village networks), coupled with the steely power of southern China's culture, has made this example an exception to many rules. More typical examples of the Vetternwirtschaft system are Iranian businesses, Nigerian criminal organizations, Mexican political and drug cartels, and some American trade unions.
Where blood ties rule, you cannot trust the contract, let alone the handshake. Nor will you see the delegation of authority so necessary to compete in the modern military or economic spheres. Information and wealth are assessed from a zero-sum worldview. Corruption flourishes. Blood ties produce notable family successes, but they do not produce competitive societies.
That Old-Time Religion
Religion feeds a fundamental human appetite for meaning and security, and it can lead to powerful social unity and psychological assurance that trumps science. Untempered, it leads to xenophobia, backwardness, savagery, and economic failure. The more intense a religion is, the more powerful are its autarchic tendencies. But it is impossible to withdraw from today's world.
Limiting the discussion to the sphere of competitiveness, there appear to be two models of socio-religious integration that allow sufficient informational and social dynamism for successful performance. First, religious homogeneity can work, if, as in the case of Japan, religion is sufficiently subdued and malleable to accommodate applied science. The other model--that of the United States--is of religious coexistence, opening the door for science as an "alternative religion." Americans have, in fact, such wonderful plasticity of mind that generally even the most vividly religious can disassociate antibiotic drugs from the study of Darwin and the use of birth-control pills from the strict codes of their churches. All religions breed some amount of schism between theology and social practice, but the American experience is a marvel of mental agility and human innovation.
The more dogmatic and exclusive the religion, the less it is able to deal with the information age, in which multiple "truths" may exist simultaneously, and in which all that cannot be proven empirically is inherently under assault. We live in a time of immense psychological dislocation--when man craves spiritual certainty even more than usual. Yet our age is also one in which the sheltering dogma cripples individuals and states alike. The price of competitiveness is the courage to be uncertain--not an absence of belief, but a synthetic capability that can at once accommodate belief and its contradictions. Again, the United States possesses more than its share of this capability, while other societies are encumbered by single dominant religions as hard, unbending--and ultimately brittle--as iron. Religious toleration also means the toleration of scientific research, informational openness, and societal innovation. "One-true-path" societies and states are on a path that leads only downward.
For those squeamish about judging the religion of another, there is a shortcut that renders the same answer on competitiveness: examine the state's universities.
Learning Power and Earning Power
The quality of a state's universities obviously reflects local wealth, but, even more important, the effectiveness of higher education in a society describes its attitudes toward knowledge, inquiry-versus-dogma, and the determination of social standing. In societies imprisoned by dogmatic religions, or in which a caste or class system predetermines social and economic outcomes, higher education (and secular education in general) often has low prestige and poor content. Conversely, in socially mobile, innovative societies, university degrees from quality schools appear indispensable to the ambitious, the status-conscious, and the genuinely inquisitive alike.
There are many individual and some cultural exceptions, but they mostly prove the rule. Many Indians value a university education highly--not as social confirmation, but as a means of escaping a preassigned social position. The privileged of the Arabian Peninsula, on the other hand, regard an American university degree (even from a booby-prize institution) as an essential piece of jewelry, not unlike a Rolex watch. In all cultures, there are individuals hungry for self-improvement and, sometimes, for knowledge. But, statistically, we can know a society, and judge its potential, by its commitment to education, with universities as the bellwether. Not all states can afford their own Stanford or Harvard but, within their restraints, their attempts to educate their populations still tell us a great deal about national priorities and potential. Commitment and content cannot fully substitute for a wealth of facilities, but they go a long way, whether we speak of individuals or continents.
Any society that starves education is a loser. Cultures that do not see inherent value in education are losers. This is even true for some of our own sub-cultures--groups for whom education has little appeal as means or end--and it is true for parts of Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Arab world. A culture that cannot produce a single world-class university is not going to conquer the world in any sphere.
America's universities are triumphant. Once beyond the silly debates (or monologues) in the Liberal Arts faculties, our knowledge industry has no precedent or peer. Even Europe's most famous universities, on the Rhine or the Seine, are rotting and overcrowded. We attract the best faculty, the best researchers, and the best student minds from the entire world. This is not a trend subject to reversal; rather, it is self-reinforcing.
Yet there is even more to American success in education than four good years at the "College of Musical Knowledge." The United States is also far ahead of other states in the flexibility and utility of its educational system. Even in Europe, the student's fate is determined early--and woe to the late bloomer. You choose your course, or have it chosen for you, and you are more or less stuck with it for life. In Germany, long famous for its commitment to education, the individual who gains a basic degree in one subject and then jumps to another field for graduate work is marked as a Versager, a failure. In the US system, there are second, third, and fourth chances. This flexible approach to building and rebuilding our human capital is a tremendous economic asset, and it is compounded by the trend toward continuing education in mid-life and for seniors.
A geriatric revolution is occurring under our noses, with older Americans "younger" than before in terms of capabilities, interests, and attitudes--and much more apt to continue contributing to the common good. We are headed for a world in the early decades of the next century when many Americans may hit their peak earning years not in their fifties, but in their sixties--then seventies. This not only provides sophisticated talent to the labor pool, but maintains the worker as an asset to, rather than a drain upon, our nation's economy. For all the fuss about the future of social security, we may see a profound attitudinal change in the next generation, when vigorous, high-earning seniors come to regard retirement at today's age as an admission of failure or weakness, or just as a bore. At the same time, more 20-year-old foreigners than ever will have no jobs at all.
Investments in our educational system are "three-fers": they are simultaneously investments in our economic, social, and military systems. Education is our first line of defense. The rest of the world can be divided into two kinds of societies, states, and cultures--those that struggle and sacrifice to educate their members, and those that do not. Guess who is going to do better in the hyper-competitive 21st century?
Workers of the World, Take a Nap!
Related to, but not quite identical with, national and cultural attitudes toward education is the attitude toward work. Now, everyone has bad days at the office, factory, training area, or virtual workplace, and the old line, "It's not supposed to be fun--that's why they call it `work,'" enjoys universal validity. Yet there are profoundly different attitudes toward work on this planet. While most human beings must work to survive, there are those who view work as a necessary evil and dream of its avoidance, and then there are societies in which people hit the lottery and go back to their jobs as telephone linemen. In many subsets of Latin American culture, for example, there are two reasons to work: first to survive, then to grow so wealthy that work is no longer necessary. It is a culture in which the possession of wealth is not conceptually related to a responsibility to work. It is the get-rich-quick, big-bucks-from-Heaven dream of some of our own citizens. The goal is not achievement but possession, not accomplishment but the power of leisure.
Consider any culture's heroes. Generally, the more macho or male-centric the culture, the less emphasis there will be on steady work and achievement, whether craftsmanship or Nobel Prize-winning research, and the more emphasis there will be on wealth and power as the sole desirable end (apart, perhaps, from the occasional religious vocation). As national heroes, it's hard to beat Bill Gates. But even a sports star is better than a major narco-trafficker.
Generally, societies that do not find work in and of itself "pleasing to God and requisite to Man," tend to be highly corrupt (low-education and dogmatic-religion societies also are statistically prone to corruption, and, if all three factors are in play, you may not want to invest in the local stock exchange or tie your foreign policy to successful democratization). The goal becomes the attainment of wealth by any means.
On the other hand, workaholic cultures, such as that of North America north of the Rio Grande, or Japan, South Korea, and some other East Asian states, can often compensate for deficits in other spheres, such as a lack of natural resources or a geographical disadvantage. If a man or woman has difficulty imagining a fulfilling life without work, he or she probably belongs to a successful culture. Work has to be seen as a personal and public responsibility, as good in and of itself, as spiritually necessary to man. Otherwise, the society becomes an "evader" society. Russia is strong, if flagging, on education. But the general attitude toward work undercuts education. When the characters in Chekhov's "Three Sisters" blather about the need to find redemption through work, the prescription is dead on, but their lives and their society have gone so far off the rails that the effect is one of satire. States and cultures "win" just by getting up earlier and putting in eight honest hours and a little overtime.
If you are seeking a worthy ally or business opportunity, go to a mid-level government office in Country X an hour before the local lunchtime. If everybody is busy with legitimate work, you've hit a winner. If there are many idle hands, get out.
Using this Knowledge to Our Advantage
Faced with the complex reality of geopolitics and markets, we must often go to Country X, Y, or Z against our better judgment. Despite failing in all seven categories, Country X may have a strategic location that makes it impossible to ignore. Country Y may have an internal market and regional importance so significant that it would be foolish not to engage it, despite the risks. Country Z may have resources that make a great deal of misery on our part worth the sufferance. Yet even in such situations, it helps to know what you are getting into. Some countries would devour investments as surely as they would soldiers. Others just demand savvy and caution on our part. Yet another might require a local ally or partner to whom we can make ourselves indispensable. Whether engaging militarily or doing business in another country, it gives us a tremendous advantage if we can identify four things: their image of us, their actual situation, their needs, and the needs they perceive themselves as having (the four never connect seamlessly).
There are parallel dangers for military men and businessmen in taking too narrow a view of the challenges posed by foreign states. An exclusive focus on either raw military power or potential markets tells us little about how people behave, believe, learn, work, fight, or buy. In fact, the parallels between military and business interventions grow ever greater, especially since these form two of the legs of our new national strategic triad, along with the export of our culture (diplomacy is a minor and shrinking factor, its contours defined ever more rigorously by economics).
The seven factors discussed above offer a pattern for an initial assessment of the future potential of states that interest us. Obviously, the more factors present in a given country, the worse off it will be--and these factors rarely appear in isolation. Normally, a society that oppresses women will do it under the aegis of a restrictive dominant religion that will also insist on the censorship of information. Societies lacking a strong work ethic rarely value education.
In the Middle East, it is possible to identify states where all seven negatives apply; in Africa, many countries score between four and seven. Countries that formerly suffered communist dictatorships vary enormously, from Poland and the Czech Republic, with only a few rough edges, to Turkmenistan, which scores six out of seven. Latin America has always been more various than Norteamericanos realized, from feudal Mexico to dynamic, disciplined Chile.
Ultimately, our businesses have it easier than our military in one crucial respect: business losses are counted in dollars, not lives. But the same cultural factors that will shape future state failure and spawn violent conflicts make it difficult to do business successfully and legally. We even suffer under similar "rules of engagement," whether those placed on the military to dictate when a soldier may shoot or the legal restraints under which US businesses must operate, imposing a significant disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign competitors.
As a final note, the biggest pitfall in international interactions is usually mutual misunderstanding. We do not understand them, but they do not understand us either--although, thanks to the Americanization of world media, they imagine they do. From mega-deals that collapsed because of Russian rapacity to Saddam's conviction that the United States would not fight, foreign counterparts, rivals, and opponents have whoppingly skewed perceptions of American behaviors. In the end, military operations and business partnerships are like dating--the advantage goes to the player who sees with the most clarity.
We are heading into a turbulent, often violent new century. It will be a time of great dangers and great opportunities. Some states will continue to triumph, others will shift their relative positions, many will fail. The future will never be fully predictable, but globalization means the imposition of uniform rules by the most powerful actors. They are fundamentally economic rules. For the first time, the world is converging toward a homogeneous system, if not toward homogenous benefits from that system. The potential of states is more predictable within known parameters than ever before.
We have seen the future, and it looks like us..........."

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