Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cultural linchpin laws will help both sides

European resentment of Muslims is on the rise
The Record


SHELLEY EMLING

AMSTERDAM

Ehsan Jami sees himself as the legendary Dutch boy who used his finger to plug a leaking dike.

Jami, a Dutch politician, is trying to prevent a flood of what he views as intolerant Muslim immigrants threatening to overrun the Netherlands and all of Europe.

He's not alone. In France, Germany and across Western Europe, a vigorous public debate is underway over preservation of national identities, the assimilation of minorities and tolerance of different cultures.

A former Muslim who was born in Iran, Jami is a right-wing member of the Dutch parliament who has used his position to issue strong criticism of Islam.

He's especially critical of "radical" Muslims but he also takes issue with Islam's treatment of women and homosexuals.

The harsh rhetoric has made him the most talked-about public figure in Holland and provoked physical attacks and death threats, forcing him into hiding.

"I don't mind if people are Muslim but I do mind when their values go against Western values," Jami said in a recent interview, under the watchful eye of his bodyguards. "We have to be very clear with Muslim immigrants that we will not negotiate our values."

bloodless cultural moderation badly needed throughout the world - the dominos will start to fall

Students in Iran Protest Sentences for 3 pro-Democracy Activists
NY Times

by Nazila Fathi


nytimes.com

TEHRAN, Oct. 22 — Students at one of the most politically active universities in Tehran demonstrated Monday amid high security to protest jail terms for three student activists, an Iranian student news agency reported.

Students from different universities gathered at Amir Kabir University to protest sentences of up to three years issued last week for the activists, Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli and Ahmad Ghassaban, the student news agency, ISNA, reported.

Authorities accused the three, all from Amir Kabir University, of publishing articles insulting to Islam in student publications. The students denied the charges and said their publications had been forged to frame them.

Mr. Mansouri’s mother said in August that the three men were tortured at the notorious Evin prison in Tehran.

Pictures distributed by ISNA showed a few hundred students, whose faces were digitally blurred to maintain their anonymity, holding photographs of the jailed students. The news agency also reported that the protesters walked around the campus chanting slogans and giving speeches in front of its central building.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This cultural hatred leads to millions being killed and must be moderated

Lessons in hate found at leading mosques
Times


Sean O’Neill, Security Editor Books calling for the beheading of lapsed Muslims, ordering women to remain indoors and forbidding interfaith marriage are being sold inside some of Britain’s leading mosques, according to research seen by The Times.

Some of the fundamentalist works were found at the bookshop in the London Central mosque in Regent’s Park, which is funded by the Saudi regime and is regularly visited by government ministers. Its director, Ahmad al-Dubayan, is also a Saudi diplomat and was among those greeting King Abdullah when he arrived in Britain last night for his official state visit.

Extremist literature, including passages supporting the stoning of adulterers and waging violent jihad, was also found on sale at many other mosques regarded as mainstream institutions.

More than 80 books and pamphlets were collected during a year-long project in which researchers visited 100 mosques across Britain.

Related Links Hardline takeover of British mosques Homegrown cleric who loathes the British Studies in hate One book, Fatawa Islamiyah, which urges the execution of apostates, was found in bookshops at Regent’s Park mosque and at the huge East London mosque in Whitechapel. Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), is the chairman of the East London mosque.

The researchers said that they found further controversial works during visits to mosques in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford and High Wycombe.

The Times has learnt that five of the books that were acquired by researchers had been also found in searches during Scotland Yard antiterrorist investigations since 2001. About half of the books collected were in English – raising questions about the emphasis placed by the Government in combating extremism by training more English-speaking imams. The other publications were in Arabic or Urdu. The report, The Hijacking of British Islam, is published by the conservative Policy Exchange think-tank and was written by Denis MacEoin, a Fellow at Newcastle University and expert on Islamic issues.

The researchers found hardline material at a quarter of the 100 mosques visited during the project.

The report said: “On the one hand, the results were reassuring: in only a minority of institutions – approximately 25 per cent – was radical material found.

“What is more worrying is that these are among the best-funded and most dynamic institutions in Muslim Britain – some of which are held up as mainstream bodies. Many of the institutions featured here have been endowed with official recognition.”

A key theme of the books was a “strident sectarianism” which told Muslims that they should remain separate from other faiths and resist integration. The report stated: “Simply put, these notions demand that the individual Muslim must not merely feel deep affection for and identity with his fellow believers and with all that is authentically Islamic. The individual Muslim must also feel an abhorrence for nonbelievers, hypocrites, heretics, and all that is deemed ‘unIslamic’. The latter category encompasses those Muslims who are judged to practise an insufficiently rigorous form of Islam.” Most books stopped short of calling for violence. But they created a climate of intolerance and contempt for nonMuslims that could be exploited by violent jihadists, the researchers said.

The report called for a radical overhaul of Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it argued has a “powerful and malign” influence over British Islam and sponsored the export of fundamentalist Islamic doctrine.

Regent’s Park mosque said that the bookshop on its premises was run by a private company. Yunes Teniaz, of the London Central Mosque Trust, told The Times: “The bookshop is franchised to a separate organisation. These books express their authors’ opinions and not those of the London Central Mosque Trust.”

Inayat Bunglawala, the MCB assistant secretary-general, said: “Bookshops sell a variety of publications and we live in an open, democratic society where it is not illegal to sell books which contain antiWestern views.”

Fundamental views

Extracts from works found on sale in British mosques

“And if he apostatises after that, his head should be chopped off, according to the Hadith: ‘Whoever changes his religion, kill him’.” (Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, volume 5; reported found at the East London mosque and the London Central mosque)

“Whoever takes part in stoning a married adulterer is rewarded for that, and it is not fitting for anyone to abstain from it if a ruling of stoning is issued.” (Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, volume 6; reported found at the East London mosque)

“Some Kinds of Women Who Will Go to Hell 1. The Grumbler … the woman who complains against her husband every now and then is one of Hell. 2. The Woman Who Adorns Herself. 3. The Woman Who Apes Men, Tattoos, Cuts Hair Short and Alters Nature. (Women Who Deserve to Go to Hell: East London mosque; Muslim Education Centre, High Wycombe)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Forced marriage: cultural extremism that the must end in the West

Germany Cracks Down on Forced Marriages
By KIRSTEN GRIESHABER, Associated Press Writer

sfgate.com

Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined a growing movement to criminalize forced marriages in Germany, which is growing less tolerant of practices among Muslim immigrants that clash with the nation's liberal social values.


Forced marriages are generally imposed by young women's families to keep them from dating. Prosecution is rare and must take place under assault laws that also outlaw threats and coercion.


Women's' groups have been increasingly pushing for forced marriages to be specifically criminalized, to ease prosecution and to send a strong signal that the practice violates German laws and traditions.


"I completely agree that forced marriages should be punishable as a criminal act," Merkel said in a speech at a women's conference held by her conservative Christian Democrats over the weekend, surprising and pleasing activists.


"We are thrilled that the chancellor has made such a clear statement," said Sibylle Schreiber, a spokeswoman for the women's rights group Terre des Femmes. "Finally she's given a signal to the people that forcing your daughter into marriage is a crime."


Approximately 3.3 million Muslims live in Germany, 70 percent of them of Turkish origin. Many lead secular lifestyles but some make strong, even extreme, efforts to preserve conservative values.


In recent years, several courts have upheld state-level bans on headscarves for Muslim women teaching in public schools. Immigration laws now require that foreign spouses be at least 18 years old and already have a basic knowledge of the German language.


The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has proposed federal legislation criminalizing forced marriages. It passed twice, most recently in February, but has not been taken up by the lower house. Women's activists were hopeful that Merkel's push would accelerate the process.


Serap Cileli, a Turkish-German writer whose book — "We Are Your Daughters, Not Your Honor" — documents her escape from a forced marriage at age 24, welcomed Merkel's initiative but said it was important to address the immigrant community directly.


"As long as we don't teach the fathers, husbands and brothers to let the women live self-determined lives, this wound will never stop bleeding," Cileli said.


Women's groups and experts on immigration in Germany said it was difficult to tell how many women marry after threats or abuse, but enough flee such arrangements that several shelters remain busy.


Along with Baden-Wuerttemberg, the states of Lower Saxony, and Berlin have started shelters, hot lines and online counseling. North Rhine-Westphalia has made it mandatory for all high school students to learn that forced marriage is illegal in Germany.


The impetus behind pressure to marry is found in conservative families' opposition to dating and premarital sex — considered affronts to family honor.


Such pressures are also behind so-called honor killings of women by family members, often brothers or husbands. The Federal Crime Office counted 55 such cases from 1996 to 2005.


A 20-year-old Turkish-German woman, whose her parents wanted her to wed a cousin she had met once, fled to Berlin, where she lives with a new identity out of fear her family might track her down.


"After they found out I had a boyfriend, they locked me up in my room and beat me up every day for a month," said the woman, who now uses the name Rojin Dogan. "They wanted to sew the tear in my hymen and quickly marry me to my cousin — they wanted to make him believe that I am still a virgin."


Dogan was rescued by "Hatun und Can" — a private organization named after the Turkish-German woman Hatun Surucu, who was shot and killed for her Western lifestyle in 2005. The group of 23 volunteers says it has helped 75 women since its founding in February.


Dogan contacted them online. A few days later they picked her up by car, brought her to Berlin and provided her with an apartment and a new job as a cashier.

The domino effect already is sending ripples throughout the extremist world of islam

AL QAEDA'S QUAGMIRE

nypost.com



For evidence of how quickly the tide of war can turn, look no further than Osama bin Laden's latest epistle to his al Qaeda underlings in Iraq. The theme of the audiotape, broadcast on al-Jazeera TV last week, is purportedly the need to avoid "division" in the prosecution of jihad. The not-so-subtle message: You guys are screwing up - big time. From his bloody-handed perspective, he's right to be worried. Both American and civilian casualties in Iraq are on track to drop drastically for the second straight month - a direct result of the sharp rise in Iraqi cooperation with U.S. forces that has resulted from Gen. David Petraeus' so-called surge strategy. "Among the things which sadden the Muslims and delight the unbelievers," bin Laden admits, "is the hindering of some combat operations against the enemy" due to, among other things, "treachery." What's spurring the "treachery?"

Cultural threats in Australia - strict bloodless cultural linchpin laws would moderate the extremists

Australia risks 'London-type bombing'


AUSTRALIA faces a "London-type bombing" if relations between Muslims and the intelligence and police authorities do not improve, an influential Islamic youth leader has warned.

Fadi Rahman, who runs one of Sydney's biggest youth centres at Lidcombe in the city's west, said overseas Islamic elements were attempting to radicalise Muslim youth with their hardline ideologies.

But in a warning that will resonate with Australian authorities, Mr Rahman said Muslims did not trust ASIO or the Australian Federal Police and that the bungled terror case against Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef had worsened the situation. "The biggest problem ASIO and the federal police have is that no one in the Islamic community trusts them enough to give them a heads-up about anything," Mr Rahman told The Australian.

"Look at the Haneef thing - why would we trust these guys when all you see is one fumble after another? People are afraid."

Dr Haneef, an Indian national, was detained in July on suspicion of having played a role in the foiled terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow, but the case fell apart after a series of prosecution mistakes.

Mr Rahman said a battle for the hearts and minds of young Muslims was under way in Australia between influences from overseas wanting to radicalise youths and more moderate influences in Australia.

Mr Rahman said he believed he had been the target of a recruitment attempt but when he responded "defensively" those talking to him said they had merely been joking.

Asked about the anatomy of a recruitment, he said: "Most of the time they start at the local mosque in small groups - they move quickly into the garage, then people's homes. You get sucked in."

He said the typical recruiter was in their 40s or 50s, "from overseas, well-educated and tapping into young people's frustrations and anger".

"I think we are very similar to London," he said. "There are these individuals from overseas who are basically in their mid-life who have these ideologies and because of the animosity they have experienced in their own countries have deep hatred of the Western world. It's very easy to tap into the mind of someone who has a low education level, unemployment and who has basically given up on life.

"The right ingredients are there. We need to do something or what happened in London, a London-type bombing, will happen here."

The "something" includes programs to give opportunities to Muslim youth and a "less hostile" attitude by the federal Government. Mr Rahman said the Government was spending too much on campaigns directed at people who did not know what was going on - such as the Be Alert, Not Alarmed campaign - but not enough in communities such as southwestern Sydney, where about 250,000 Muslims live. "It's not like it will be John Smith on the north shore of Sydney who will have information, it will be Mohammed or Ahmed out here," he says.

Mr Rahman said he and Toufic Mallah, the man he brought into the youth centre to stress moderation, preached non-violence.

About 50 of the youths at the centre, which has about 460 members aged 10 to 35, are former criminals who have done time in jail. Mr Rahman said they could go "either way".

At the Independent Centre of Research Australia, he runs anger-management programs and has opened a prayer room run by Sheik Mallah. Sheik Mallah said the second chapter of the Koran stressed that "we have made a moderate nation".

He says non-Muslim Australians should approach their local sheiks if there was anything they did not understand or like about their local Muslim communities. "Come and speak to us," he said.

Mr Rahman brokered a deal with IBM last week under which the computer company will mentor 10 youths from the centre and offer three traineeships.

Mr Rahman said this sort of support gave the young people and their families and friends hope. In the aftermath of the Cronulla race riots in Sydney in 2005 there was progress between Muslim and non-Muslim communities, but since then "things have taken a nasty turn".

"The blame game" of all Muslims being blamed for terrorism "will only put people offside", he said.

"When the shit hits the fan we will all be covered with it. It's just a matter of time before someone says I've had enough. Unless something is done and attitudes change something will happen.

"We haven't learnt our lesson post-September 11, the Bali bombings, the Cronulla riots and the London bombings. There's deep-seated hatred on both sides. When young Muslims go into other areas they go in with force.

"I cop it from both ends - who do you please? Do you please your own community or the wider community? A lot of them are saying don't waste your time, you will never get anywhere with these people."

Mr Rahman said one of the biggest problems in the Lebanese community was that many of his generation, although they loved their parents, felt caught between two worlds.


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22663795-5006784,00.html

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Why cultural linchpin laws throughout the West are so critical to moderate thinking like this

They Want to Kill Her Because She’s a Woman
by brianbaldwin

Too many are trying to making something raison d'être out of the motives behind the recent terrorist assassination attempt on PPP Chairperson Ms Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. But there isn’t really anything complicated about this.

They want to kill her, because she’s is a woman. She is a woman and she is a leader. And that is why the Islamic extremists, the militants, want her to die. Sure, the current leadership in Pakistan may want her dead as well. They may also kill her, yet. But this is really about Islam. And that is the reason why they want all such women to die, and terrorism is their means of murder.

The same Islamic extremists will, if and when given the power, will kill all the feminists of this country and of the Western world. Benazi Bhutto is no saint, but she is a voice of woman in a world where women are truly considered second class at best. And yet, in that Islamic world, she still is a powerful woman. And so, with her return to Pakistan at a time an objective of the Islamic Fascists is to take chokehold of Pakistan and their terrorist hands on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons so that they can mass murder and terrorize the entire world. All such women such as Benazir Bhutto, have no place in their holy Islamic state and must die.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Very important bloodless cultural linchpin - will have enormous moderating effect

Bill to Ban Canadian Voters With Niqab
Islam Online

CAIRO — The federal government in Canada has introduced a new draft law that would bar Muslim women from voting if they show up at polling places with a niqab (face-veil), a move criticized by the opposition and Muslim leaders as unnecessary, The Globe and Mail reported on Saturday, October 27. The new bill would close a loophole that had enflamed the debate about niqab in Canada in the wake of the government's recent dispute with Elections Canada, which has refused to bar people with veiled faces from polling places.

The draft legislation provides for only one exception: bandages on the face worn for medical reasons, for example, after surgery.

But in that case, voters must present two proofs of identity or be accompanied by a qualified elector able to vouch for them.

It also gives some flexibility to Elections Canada officials in administering the law so that it is respectful of religious beliefs.

Electoral officers, for instance, can arrange for veiled Muslim women to uncover their faces behind a screen and in front of a female elections official.

The debate over the veil erupted last September, during federal by-elections in Quebec province.

Several days before the vote, Elections Canada laid down rules, under which fully veiled women could vote without showing their faces.

Led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, MPs in several parties hit out at the country's Electoral Chief Marc Mayrand, accusing him of thwarting the will of Parliament, which had passed a bill last spring aimed at enhancing voter identification requirements.

But Mayrand refused to budge, arguing that there was nothing in the current law that would bar Muslim women to remove their veils before voting.

He said lawmakers should consider changing the law, if they wanted to guarantee propter identification in voting.

Unnecessary

The opposition and some Muslim leaders, however, dismissed the motion as unnecessary, charging that the Harper government was making too much fuss about nothing for political gains.

Liberal deputy leader Michael Ignatieff said.

"What I don't like about this whole project is the idea that we take a bunch of women wearing veils and we make a whole big deal about this ... Let's not have politicians fishing around and creating divisions between Canadians about this," he added.

New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton also questioned the urgency of such an issue given the fact that a handful of Muslim women wear niqab.

He said the government should rather fix an oversight in last spring's electoral law changes that wound up inadvertently disenfranchising one million rural voters who do not have formal street addresses.

Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress said the law is unnecessary and will feed discrimination against Muslim Canadians.

Sameer Zuberi, of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Canada, agreed, adding that "there are hardly any" women in Canada who choose to wear niqabs or burkas.

They both agreed that the Tories are hoping to make political mileage among Islamophobes.

Standing up to the bad guys starts a domino effect - evil must escalate or perish, it never stays the same

Italian Mobsters in Widespread Decline
Associated Press

by LARRY McSHANE


NEW YORK - In early 2004, mob veteran Vincent Basciano took over as head of the Bonanno crime family. The reign of the preening, pompadoured Mafioso known as Vinny Gorgeous lasted only slightly longer than a coloring dye job from his Bronx hair salon.

Within a year, the ex-beauty shop owner with the hair-trigger temper was behind bars - betrayed by his predecessor, a stand-up guy now sitting down with the FBI.

It was a huge blow to Basciano and the once-mighty Bonannos, and similar scenarios are playing out from coast to coast. The Mafia, memorably described as "bigger than U.S. Steel" by mob financier Meyer Lansky, is more of an illicit mom-and-pop operation in the new millennium.

The mob's frailties were evident in recent months in Chicago, where three senior-citizen mobsters were locked up for murders committed a generation ago; in Florida, where a 97-year-old Mafioso with a rap sheet dating to the days of Lucky Luciano was imprisoned for racketeering; and in New York, where 80-something boss Matty "The Horse" Ianniello pleaded to charges linked to the garbage industry and union corruption.

Things are so bad that mob scion John A. "Junior" Gotti chose to quit the mob while serving five years in prison rather than return to his spot atop the Gambino family.

At the mob's peak in the late 1950s, more than two dozen families operated nationwide. Disputes were settled by the Commission, a sort of gangland Supreme Court. Corporate change came in a spray of gunfire. This was the mob of "The Godfather" celebrated in pop culture.

Today, Mafia families in former strongholds like Cleveland, Los Angeles and Tampa are gone. La Cosa Nostra - our thing, as its initiates called the mob - is in serious decline everywhere but New York City. And even there, things aren't so great: Two of New York's five crime families are run in absentia by bosses behind bars.

Mob executions are also a blast from the past. The last boss whacked was the Gambinos' "Big Paul" Castellano in 1985. New York's last mob shooting war occurred in 1991. And in Chicago, home to the 1929 St. Valentine's Day massacre, the last hit linked to the "Outfit" went down in the mid-1990s.

The Mafia's ruling Commission has not met in years. Membership in key cities is dwindling, while the number of mob turncoats is soaring.

"You arrest 10 people," says one New York FBI agent, "and you have eight of them almost immediately knocking on your door: `OK, I wanna cut a deal.'"

The oath of omerta - silence - has become a joke. Ditto for the old world "Family" values - honor, loyalty, integrity - that served as cornerstones for an organization brought to America by Italian immigrants during the era of Prohibition.

"It's been several generations since they left Sicily," says Dave Shafer, head of the FBI organized crime division in New York. "It's all about money."

Which doesn't mean the Mafia is dead. But organized crime experts say the Italian mob is seriously wounded: shot in the foot by its own loudmouth members, bloodied by scores of convictions, and crippled by a loss of veteran leaders and a dearth of capable replacements.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why it's so important to moderate the culture of extremism all over the West and dominos like this will start to fall

Iran Clamps Down on Coffee Shops

guardian.co.uk

by Robert Tait

They have become a haven for modern bookworms everywhere - a place to combine a love of the written word with the pleasures of cafe society. But now the trend of opening coffee shops inside bookstores has fallen foul of the authorities amid a general clampdown on social and intellectual freedoms.

Four bookshops in Tehran this week closed their coffee shops after receiving a 72-hour ultimatum from Amaken-e Omoomi, a state body governing the retail trade. The order has led to the closure of the cafe in one of the city's best-known bookshops, Nashr-e Sales, which has hosted reading sessions by writers, including the Nobel prize-winning Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, and become a popular meeting point for literary types.

Amaken justified the closures by declaring that the coffee shops constituted an illegal "mixing of trades". However, critics suspect the move is aimed at restricting the gathering of intellectuals and educated young people.

The reformist newspaper, Etemad-e Melli, pointed out that Ahl-e Ghalam, a bookstore linked to the culture and Islamic guidance ministry, had been allowed to keep its cafe. "When we pointed this out to the authorities, their argument was that just because other people make a mistake doesn't mean you have to repeat it,"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why banning the trappings of "extremism" will have a moderating ripple effect (the domino theory)

How a British jihadi saw the light
Ed Hussain, once a proponent of radical Islam in London, tells how his time as a teacher in Saudi Arabia led him to turn against extremism


During our first two months in Jeddah, Faye and I relished our new and luxurious lifestyle: a shiny jeep, two swimming pools, domestic help, and a tax-free salary. The luxury of living in a modern city with a developed infrastructure cocooned me from the frightful reality of life in Saudi Arabia.

My goatee beard and good Arabic ensured that I could pass for an Arab.

But looking like a young Saudi was not enough: I had to act Saudi, be Saudi. And here I failed.

My first clash with Saudi culture came when, being driven around in a bulletproof jeep, I saw African women in black abayas tending to the rubbish bins outside restaurants, residences and other busy places.

“Why are there so many black cleaners on the streets?” I asked the driver. The driver laughed. “They’re not cleaners. They are scavengers; women who collect cardboard from all across Jeddah and then sell it. They also collect bottles, drink cans, bags.”

“You don’t find it objectionable that poor immigrant women work in such undignified and unhygienic conditions on the streets?”

“Believe me, there are worse jobs women can do.”

Though it grieves me to admit it, the driver was right. In Saudi Arabia women indeed did do worse jobs. Many of the African women lived in an area of Jeddah known as Karantina, a slum full of poverty, prostitution and disease.

A visit to Karantina, a perversion of the term “quarantine”, was one of the worst of my life. Thousands of people who had been living in Saudi Arabia for decades, but without passports, had been deemed “illegal” by the government and, quite literally, abandoned under a flyover.

A non-Saudi black student I had met at the British Council accompanied me. “Last week a woman gave birth here,” he said, pointing to a ramshackle cardboard shanty. Disturbed, I now realised that the materials I had seen those women carrying were not always for sale but for shelter.

I had never expected to see such naked poverty in Saudi Arabia.

At that moment it dawned on me that Britain, my home, had given refuge to thousands of black Africans from Somalia and Sudan: I had seen them in their droves in Whitechapel. They prayed, had their own mosques, were free and were given government housing.

Many Muslims enjoyed a better lifestyle in non-Muslim Britain than they did in Muslim Saudi Arabia. At that moment I longed to be home again.

All my talk of ummah seemed so juvenile now. It was only in the comfort of Britain that Islamists could come out with such radical utopian slogans as one government, one ever expanding country, for one Muslim nation. The racist reality of the Arab psyche would never accept black and white people as equal.

Standing in Karantina that day, I reminisced and marvelled over what I previously considered as wrong: mixed-race, mixed-religion marriages. The students to whom I described life in modern multi-ethnic Britain could not comprehend that such a world of freedom, away from “normal” Saudi racism, could exist.

Racism was an integral part of Saudi society. My students often used the word “nigger” to describe black people. Even dark-skinned Arabs were considered inferior to their lighter-skinned cousins. I was living in the world’s most avowedly Muslim country, yet I found it anything but. I was appalled by the imposition of Wahhabism in the public realm, something I had implicitly sought as an Islamist.

Part of this local culture consisted of public institutions being segregated and women banned from driving on the grounds that it would give rise to “licentiousness”. I was repeatedly astounded at the stares Faye got from Saudi men and I from Saudi women.

Faye was not immodest in her dress. Out of respect for local custom, she wore the long black abaya and covered her hair in a black scarf. In all the years I had known my wife, never had I seen her appear so dull. Yet on two occasions she was accosted by passing Saudi youths from their cars. On another occasion a man pulled up beside our car and offered her his phone number.

In supermarkets I only had to be away from Faye for five minutes and Saudi men would hiss or whisper obscenities as they walked past. When Faye discussed her experiences with local women at the British Council they said: “Welcome to Saudi Arabia.”

After a month in Jeddah I heard from an Asian taxi driver about a Filipino worker who had brought his new bride to live with him in Jeddah. After visiting the Balad shopping district the couple caught a taxi home. Some way through their journey the Saudi driver complained that the car was not working properly and perhaps the man could help push it. The passenger obliged. Within seconds the Saudi driver had sped off with the man’s wife in his car and, months later, there was still no clue as to her whereabouts.

We had heard stories of the abduction of women from taxis by sex-deprived Saudi youths. At a Saudi friend’s wedding at a luxurious hotel in Jeddah, women dared not step out of their hotel rooms and walk to the banqueting hall for fear of abduction by the bodyguards of a Saudi prince who also happened to be staying there.

Why had the veil and segregation not prevented such behaviour? My Saudi acquaintances, many of them university graduates, argued strongly that, on the contrary, it was the veil and other social norms that were responsible for such widespread sexual frustration among Saudi youth.

At work the British Council introduced free internet access for educational purposes. Within days the students had downloaded the most obscene pornography from sites banned in Saudi Arabia, but easily accessed via the British Council’s satellite connection. Segregation of the sexes, made worse by the veil, had spawned a culture of pent-up sexual frustration that expressed itself in the unhealthiest ways.

Using Bluetooth technology on mobile phones, strangers sent pornographic clips to one another. Many of the clips were recordings of homosexual acts between Saudis and many featured young Saudis in orgies in Lebanon and Egypt. The obsession with sex in Saudi Arabia had reached worrying levels: rape and abuse of both sexes occurred frequently, some cases even reaching the usually censored national press.

My students told me about the day in March 2002 when the Muttawa [the religious police] had forbidden firefighters in Mecca from entering a blazing school building because the girls inside were not wearing veils. Consequently 15 young women burnt to death, but Wahhabism held its head high, claiming that God’s law had been maintained.

As a young Islamist, I organised events at college and in the local community that were strictly segregated and I believed in it. Living in Saudi Arabia, I could see the logical outcome of such segregation.

In my Islamist days we relished stating that Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases were the result of the moral degeneracy of the West. Large numbers of Islamists in Britain hounded prostitutes in Brick Lane and flippantly quoted divorce and abortion rates in Britain. The implication was that Muslim morality was superior. Now, more than ever, I was convinced that this too was Islamist propaganda, designed to undermine the West and inject false confidence in Muslim minds.

I worried whether my observations were idiosyncratic, the musings of a wandering mind. I discussed my troubles with other British Muslims working at the British Council. Jamal, who was of a Wahhabi bent, fully agreed with what I observed and went further. “Ed, my wife wore the veil back home in Britain and even there she did not get as many stares as she gets when we go out here.” Another British Muslim had gone as far as tinting his car windows black in order to prevent young Saudis gaping at his wife.

The problems of Saudi Arabia were not limited to racism and sexual frustration.

In contemporary Wahhabism there are two broad factions. One is publicly supportive of the House of Saud, and will endorse any policy decision reached by the Saudi government and provide scriptural justification for it. The second believes that the House of Saud should be forcibly removed and the Wahhabi clerics take charge. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are from the second school.

In Mecca, Medina and Jeddah I met young men with angry faces from Europe, students at various Wahhabi seminaries. They reminded me of my extremist days.

They were candid in discussing their frustrations with Saudi Arabia. The country was not sufficiently Islamic; it had strayed from the teachings of Wahhabism. They were firmly on the side of the monarchy and the clerics who supported it. Soon they were to return to the West, well versed in Arabic, fully indoctrinated by Wahhabism, to become imams in British mosques.

By the summer of 2005 Faye and I had only eight weeks left in Saudi Arabia before we would return home to London. Thursday, July 7, was the beginning of the Saudi weekend. Faye and I were due to lunch with Sultan, a Saudi banker who was financial adviser to four government ministers. I wanted to gauge what he and his wife, Faye’s student, thought about life inside the land of their birth.

On television that morning we watched the developing story of a power cut on the London Underground. As the cameras focused on King’s Cross, Edgware Road, Aldgate and Russell Square, I looked on with a mixture of interest and homesickness. Soon the power-cut story turned into shell-shocked reportage of a series of terrorist bombings.

My initial suspicion was that the perpetrators were Saudis. My experience of them, their virulence towards my non-Muslim friends, their hate-filled textbooks, made me think that Bin Laden’s Saudi soldiers had now targeted my home town. It never crossed my mind that the rhetoric of jihad introduced to Britain by Hizb ut-Tahrir could have anything to do with such horror.

My sister avoided the suicide attack on Aldgate station by four minutes. On the previous day London had won the Olympic bid. At the British Council we had celebrated along with the nation that was now in mourning.

The G8 summit in Scotland had also been derailed by events further south. The summit, thanks largely to the combined efforts of Tony Blair and Bob Geldof, had been set to tackle poverty in Africa. Now it was forced to address Islamist terrorism; Arab grievances had hijacked the agenda again.

The fact that hundreds of children die in Africa every day would be of no relevance to a committed Islamist. In the extremist mind the plight of the tiny Palestinian nation is more important than the deaths of millions of black Africans. Let them die, they’re not Muslims, would be the unspoken line of argument. As an Islamist it was only the suffering of Muslims that had moved me. Now human suffering mattered to me, regardless of religion.

Faye and I were glued to the television for hours. Watching fellow Londoners come out of Tube stations injured and mortified, but facing the world with a defiant sense of dignity, made me feel proud to be British.

We met Sultan and his wife at an Indian restaurant near the British Council. Sultan was in his early thirties and his wife in her late twenties. They had travelled widely and seemed much more liberal than most Saudis I had met. Behind a makeshift partition, the restaurant surroundings were considered private and his wife, to my amazement, removed her veil.

We discussed our travels.

Sultan spoke fondly of his time in London, particularly his placement at Coutts as a trainee banker. We then moved on to the subject uppermost in my mind, the terrorist attacks on London. My host did not really seem to care. He expressed no real sympathy or shock, despite speaking so warmly of his time in London.

“I suppose they will say Bin Laden was behind the attacks. They blamed us for 9/11,” he said.

Keen to take him up on his comment, I asked him: “Based on your education in Saudi Arabian schools, do you think there is a connection between the form of Islam children are taught here and the action of 15 Saudi men on September 11?”

Without thinking, his immediate response was, ‘No. No, because Saudis were not behind 9/11. The plane hijackers were not Saudi men. One thousand two hundred and forty-six Jews were absent from work on that day and there is the proof that they, the Jews, were behind the killings. Not Saudis.”

It was the first time I heard so precise a number of Jewish absentees. I sat there pondering on the pan-Arab denial of the truth, a refusal to accept that the Wahhabi jihadi terrorism festering in their midst had inflicted calamities on the entire world.

In my class the following Sunday, the beginning of the Saudi working week, were nearly 60 Saudis. Only one mentioned the London bombings.

“Was your family harmed?” he asked.

“My sister missed an explosion by four minutes but otherwise they’re all fine, thank you.”

The student, before a full class, sighed and said: “There are no benefits in terrorism. Why do people kill innocents?”

Two others quickly gave him his answer in Arabic: “There are benefits. They will feel how we feel.”

I was livid. “Excuse me?” I said. “Who will know how it feels?”

“We don’t mean you, teacher,” said one. “We are talking about people in England. You are here. They need to know how Iraqis and Palestinians feel.”

“The British people have been bombed by the IRA for years,” I retorted. “Londoners were bombed by Hitler during the blitz. The largest demonstrations against the war in Iraq were in London. People in Britain don’t need to be taught what it feels like to be bombed.”

Several students nodded in agreement. The argumentative ones became quiet. Were they convinced by what I had said? It was difficult to tell.

Two weeks after the terrorist attacks in London another Saudi student raised his hand and asked: “Teacher, how can I go to London?”

“Much depends on your reason for going to Britain. Do you want to study or just be a tourist?”

“Teacher, I want to go London next month. I want bomb, big bomb in London, again. I want make jihad!”

“What?” I exclaimed. Another student raised both hands and shouted: “Me too! Me too!”

Other students applauded those who had just articulated what many of them were thinking. I was incandescent. In protest I walked out of the classroom to a chorus of jeering and catcalls.

My time in Saudi Arabia bolstered my conviction that an austere form of Islam (Wahhabism) married to a politicised Islam (Islamism) is wreaking havoc in the world. This anger-ridden ideology, an ideology I once advocated, is not only a threat to Islam and Muslims, but to the entire civilised world.

I vowed, in my own limited way, to fight those who had hijacked my faith, defamed my prophet and killed thousands of my own people: the human race. I was encouraged when Tony Blair announced on August 5, 2005, plans to proscribe an array of Islamist organisations that operated in Britain, foremost among them Hizb ut-Tahrir.

At the time I was impressed by Blair’s resolve. The Hizb should have been outlawed a decade ago and so spared many of us so much misery. Sadly the legislation was shelved last year amid fears that a ban would only add to the group’s attraction, so it remains both legal and active today. But it is not too late.

© Ed Husain 2007

Extracted from The Islamist, to be published by Penguin on May 3, £8.99. Copies can be ordered for £8.54 including postage from The Sunday Times BooksFirst on 0870 165 8585

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The culture that forbids kissing must be moderated with bloodless cultural linchpin laws throughout the West

Iran forbids public displays of affection
Ynet News

by Dudi Cohen

Iranian police have decided to crack down on "inappropriate behavior of couples in public", the semi-official FARS new agency reported Sunday.

"If someone walks in the street with his partner and commits an offense, we will deal with it," Ahmad Ruzbahani, chief of the morality police, was quoted as saying.

Islamic republic's 'modesty guard' plans to boost operations as summer approaches, detain young women and men straying from strict Islamic dress codes

Iranian law forbids women to be seen in public with men who are not family members. However, not all Iranians comply, and many meet their significant others in public parks.

Now police have decided to put an end to the growing phenomenon and forbid couples to hold hands in public. Ruzbahani said married couples were also called upon to "act modestly" in public.

"They should not act in an inappropriate manner or in a way that will attract attention," he said.

Other police officials said kissing in public was also strictly forbidden.

Last week it was reported that a young woman committed suicide after being arrested for a "moral offense". Zuhara Bani, a 27-year-old med student, was caught in a public park with her boyfriend.

She was taken to a detention facility, where she hung herself 48 hours later with a piece of cloth she had found.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why banning religious headdress would help moderate extremism

If the culture moderates and turns against "extremism", "extremism" will wither and shrink to nothing

Violence in Iraq Down 70% in Past 3 Months
Reuters.com

"Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of 30,000 extra troops to stabilize the war-torn country, the Interior Ministry said on Monday."

"In Baghdad, considered the epicenter of the violence because of its mix of Shi'ites and Sunni Arabs, car bombs had decreased by 67 percent and roadside bombs by 40 percent, he said."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Standing up to the murderers is the only way the culture will moderate: appeasement will get more and more killed

Benazir Bhutto: Only democracy can defeat Pakistan’s extremists
Financial Times

by Benazir Bhutto


I did not come this far in life to be intimidated by suicide bombers. There is a battle raging in Pakistan for the hearts and minds of a new generation. It is a battle for the future of Pakistan as a democratic nation.

The new generation will choose moderation or extremism; it will choose education or illiteracy; it will choose dictatorship or democracy; it will choose tolerance or bigotry; and it will choose peace or war. I returned to Pakistan this week to lead the fight for democracy. With the blood of my supporters on the streets and on our clothes, I reaffirm my commitment to these values.

I know that the militant forces fear me as their enemy. General Zia-ul-Haq, the extremist dictator of Pakistan in the 1980s, once said that the greatest mistake in his life was not killing me when he had the chance.

The battle for the future of the people of Pakistan rages in every village and on every city street corner. The crowds that gathered at Karachi airport came from far and wide, despite the threats, despite the risk it carried. They are the real face of Pakistan, the moderate middle.

The future direction of Pakistan should be settled through fair and free elections, scheduled for later this year. The extremists will use everything in their bloody arsenal to strike and obstruct the cause of democracy. They use violence to block the people’s freedom of association and expression, to turn them away from our nation’s transition to democracy.

The attack on me was more than an attack on an individual. It was meant as an attack on all the political forces in Pakistan that want democracy. The attack was on Pakistan itself. It was an attack on the human and political rights of every citizen and on the political process.

It was intended to intimidate and blackmail all the political parties in our society. It was a warning to members of civil society.

The extremists thrive under dictatorship; they know that moderation and democracy is their undoing. They will stop at nothing to undo both.

The murderers who killed 140 people in Karachi last week violated the very heart of the Islamic message. Muslim law makes it absolutely clear that unprovoked attacks on unarmed civilians and innocent people and the destruction of property is prohibited under Islam. Their actions are hiraba (war against society). They may hijack aircraft but they cannot hijack the message of Islam.

The militants know that democracy can save Pakistan from the politics of extremism preached by warlords. They are trying to take over the state of Pakistan by attacking its political process and challenging its law enforcement.

They cannot murder the dreams and hopes of the poor people of Pakistan of democracy for a better future. The international community has condemned the terrorist attacks of October 18 in Karachi, grieved with the families of the dead, prayed for the early recovery of the injured.

All our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with those who laid down their lives, or were wounded, and their families. They made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of democracy and the fundamental rights of the people. May God rest their souls in eternal peace.

The greatest memorial to these brave citizens will be a strong, viable and moderate democratic Pakistan.

The writer is leader of the Pakistan People’s party. She was prime minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. On her return to the country last week, she survived a suicide-bomb attack that killed more than 130 of her supporters and injured more than 500.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A culture of victimhood sets group against group - (ensures failure)

U.K. chief rabbi: Multiculturalism

haaretz.com


Multiculturalism promotes segregation, stifles free speech and threatens liberal democracy, Britain's top Jewish official warned in extracts from his book published Saturday.

Jonathan Sacks, Britain's chief rabbi, defined multiculturalism as an attempt to affirm Britain's diverse communities and make ethnic and religious minorities more appreciated and respected. But in his book, "The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society," he said the movement had run its course.

"Multiculturalism has led not to integration but to segregation," Sacks wrote....."Liberal democracy is in danger."....."The politics of freedom has become the politics of fear."...

Britain's politics had been poisioned by the rise of identity politics, as minorities and aggrieved groups jockeyed first for rights, then for special treatment.

The process, he said, began with Jews, before being taken up by blacks, women and gays. He said the effect had been inexorably divisive.

"A culture of victimhood sets group against group.....

Cultural moderation through assimilation, NOT MULTICULTURALISM, is critical to avoid hordes of hate filled violence

Nine days in Slotervaart Immigrant youths turn to violence in Amsterdam
Radio Netherlands Worldwide

by Georg Schreuder Hes

radionetherlands.nl

It has been an unusually violent week for Amsterdam's western Slotervaart district. Cars were torched and youths clashed with police on several consecutive nights after a 22-year-old ethnic Moroccan was shot dead at a police station. He was killed by a policewoman he had just stabbed a number of times. The riots that followed reminded Amsterdam's Chief Commissioner Bernard Welten of a major nightmare for Western European cities: violence on a Parisian scale.

Every major town in the Netherlands has its share of so-called problem youths, the type of violent adolescents who gang up to terrorise the neighbourhood. Many of them are the children of migrant workers of Moroccan descent who arrived in the Netherlands in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Dutch called them guest workers, the operative idea being that they would return to their country of origin when they were no longer needed. So nobody bothered to teach them Dutch, or much of anything else for that matter. The guest workers had their wives come over, but they, just like their husbands were not expected, or encouraged, to integrate into Dutch society.

However, very few went back. What they did do, much to the government's surprise, was have children. These children were raised in a strange and often openly hostile environment, by parents who did not speak the language and tried to instil moral values completely at odds with those of the country they lived in. So, kids being kids, they began taking advantage of the language gap by playing off their parents against their teachers and pretending not to understand what any Dutch person in a position of authority was saying.

Free speech is an integral part of the success of the American culture

Free speech is an integral part of the success of the American culture

American Muslims Must Learn To Accept Free Speech

http://outsidethewire.mensnewsdaily.com/2007/10/20/american-muslims-must-learn-to-accept-free-speech/

And I'm not just talking about Muslims. A lot of people need to take a time-out instead of getting all upset anytime someone says something you don't agree with.

Almost every day, I read about some group upset something was said. It's called racist, insensitive, intolerant, and I'm finding I'm repeating myself on these points every few columns. At the same time, liberals call conservatives every name they can think of, because when THEY do it, that's okay because THEY are the enlightened.

Local Muslims upset by UW campus event

Seattle Times religion reporter

A controversial week of events, billed as Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, launches at the University of Washington and some 100 other colleges next week — drawing condemnations from Muslim groups here and across the country.

The UW College Republicans, organizer of the local events, say the week is intended to foster awareness of the terrorist threat posed by a small number of extremists within Islam.

But some local Muslims say the week fosters Islamophobia and racism and attempts to paint all Muslims as terrorists.

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, launched this year by a recent graduate of Duke University and sponsored by the Los Angeles-based David Horowitz Freedom Center, is intended to "confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat," according to its Web site.

The Web site includes suggested campus activities such as holding sit-ins outside women's studies departments to protest "the silence of feminists over the oppression of women in Islam" and holding a memorial service for the "victims of Islamo-Fascist violence around the world."

Again, we've bent over backwards for Muslims in America, and what do we get as thanks? Well, certainly not always "Thanks."

For example, Christians and Jews cannot pray in an American public school or on it's grounds without incurring the wrath of the ACLU. Conversely, Muslims have been given (in some public schools) designated areas within the building where they can pray, and they got this and other considerations (and concessions) within our society because they make persistent "demands".

In the United States of America, our First Amendment guarantees us freedom of speech; a concept that can get you killed in some countries. Our First Amendment also guarantees freedom of assembly, so if some students want to have "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week", they'll just have to deal with it. Muslims are free to protest all that week if they want to, but because it's a topic that has merit and they don't want to hear it, doesn't mean anyone has to shut up.

I don't recall seeing Americans taking to the streets, burning Middle East nation flags, while chanting "death" to that nation. We could, as that's our guaranteed right, but we don't because we're better than that. The recent bombings in Pakistan, for example, were not a new phenomenon. The wanton killing of civilians by religious fanatics has been a consistent terror tactic used, and must be denounced without reservation or condition. That is what, I believe, "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" is all about.

No where in the "Terrorist Awareness" literature and commentary does the word "all" precede the word "Muslims". If it did, they would be wrong.

Don't kill the messenger as the messenger is not the one doing the killing.

Bloodless linchpin laws needed to fight the aspects of demagoguery

Definition of Demagogy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Demagogy (Demagoguery) (from Greek d?µ??, "people", and ??e??, "to lead") refers to a political strategy for obtaining and gaining political power by appealing to the popular prejudices, fears and expectations of the public — typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist or populist themes.



Contents


1 Uses and definitions
2 Methods of demagogy
2.1 Methods not involving violations of logic
2.2 Methods involving violation of logic
2.3 Arguments unrelated to a discussion
3 See also
4 References

Uses and definitions

The early 20th century American social critic and humorist H. L. Mencken, known for his "definitions" of terms, defined a demagogue as "one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots."

Though this definition emphasizes the use of lying and falsehoods, some point out that demagogy does not require such, but that skilled demagogues often need to use only special emphasis by which an uncritical listener will be led to draw the desired conclusion himself, seeding a belief that is self-reinforced rather than one based on fact or truth.

Demagogues may make use of logical fallacies, though persuasion may require no use of logic. While it may not rely heavily upon outright lies, the use of half-truths, omissions, and distortions are what define demagogy — it is, in essence, giving bad-faith arguments for the purpose of political gain.

Another famous usage was by the aging Erich Ludendorff, who was for a time a strong supporter of the early rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. After learning of Hitler's appointment as Chancellor, he expressed his disappointment to German President Paul von Hindenburg [1][2]:

"By appointing Hitler Chancellor of the Reich, you have handed over our sacred German Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action." Hitler indeed would become regarded as perhaps the epitome of a demagogue, having successfully risen to power through appeals to the ethnic and nationalistic prejudices and vanities of the German people —exploiting a political base of embittered and misled war veterans and nationalists and directing blame at minority and other convenient scapegoats ("Dolchstosslegende"). Hitler further consolidated his power through means of fear and intimidation, and targeted killing of German political dissidents and intellectuals. "Gleichschaltung" had been another method of bringing the power in the hands of just a few.


Methods of demagogy



Methods not involving violations of logic

Apples and oranges — mixing of incomparable quantities. For example, "our government has increased social spending by 5 billion dollars, while the previous government increased it only by 0.4 percent." Obviously, the latter sounds like less, but one cannot be sure without an absolute value.

Half-truth — making statements that are true only in a strict and relatively meaningless sense. For example, "the opposition have accused us of cutting foreign aid, but actually our government has increased foreign aid by 500 million dollars," not mentioning that (adjusted for inflation) the allocated funds have in fact gone down.

False authority — relying on the general authority of a person who is not proficient in the discussed topic. For example, "the professor read my book, and liked it very much," omitting the fact that it was a professor of chemistry who read a book on anthropology.

Methods involving violation of logic

False dilemma — assuming that there are only two possible opinions on a given topic. For example, "You're either with us or against us...," ignoring the possibility of a neutral position or divergence.

Demonization — identifying others as a mortal threat. Often this involves scapegoating — blaming others for one's own problems. This is often advanced by using vague terms to identify the opposition group and then stereotyping that group. This allows the demagogue to exaggerate this group's influence and ascribe any trait to them by identifying that trait in any individual in the group. This method can be aided by constructing a false dilemma that portrays opposition groups as having a value system that is the polar opposite of one's own, as opposed to simply having different priorities.

Straw man — mischaracterizing the opposing position and then arguing against the mischaracterization.

Loaded question — posing a question with an implied position that the opponent does not have. "When did you stop taking bribes?"


Arguments unrelated to a discussion

Unrelated facts — bringing unrelated facts that sound in favor of the speaker's agenda. For example, marking a vegetable or cereal product as "cholesterol free". Since cholesterol is only found in animal products, such labeling does not actually distinguish this product from similar competitors.

Emotional appeal or personal attack — attempting to bring a discussion to an emotional level. For example, "Everyone is against me!", "Can't I be right just once?", "You're stupid!", "You are Racist!" or just the classic retort "Shut up or I'll kill you!"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cultural appeasement to allow children to be brainwashed into hatred, murder, suicide, blame of jews, brutalizing of females

Religion monitor: Shut Saudi school


by Julia Duin

washingtontimes.com

An independent government agency that monitors worldwide religious freedom will suggest today that the State Department shut down the 23-year-old Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia on the grounds it is fomenting hate and religious extremism.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which advises Congress, the State Department and the president on religious-freedom issues, has issued a 30-page document saying the Saudi Embassy, which operates the 933-student academy, is violating U.S. law...

Foreign governments can engage in nondiplomatic activity on American soil...but cannot do so via their embassy, according to the 1982 Foreign Missions Act. The State Department can require an embassy to divest itself of property and close down any businesses not embassy-related.

Embassy spokesman Nail al-Jubeir did not return a call seeking comment. His brother, Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, is chairman of the bilingual English/Arabic academy's board of directors.


At issue are textbooks the USCIRF says contain "highly intolerant and discriminatory language, particularly against Jews, Christians and Shi'a Muslims." Its findings are based on a three-year study of Arabic-language textbooks, some of them from the Saudi Academy, by the Center for Religious Freedom in the District.

The textbooks instructed students to "hate" Jews, Christians, "polytheists" and other "unbelievers," praised violent jihad as a "religious duty" and to believe as fact the anti-Semitic forgeries known as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Saudi officials said in response that the textbooks were being revamped and an official at the academy, who asked not to be named, said school textbooks were revised in 2006....The Saudi Academy is one of 20 international Saudi schools around the world. The Virginia academy's main campus is on Richmond Highway in Alexandria and a west campus for young children is on Popes Head Road in Fairfax.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Great cultural warfare - brutality and repression and superstition go hand in hand

Myanmar embassies receiving "Panties for Peace"
CTV
Associated Press


BANGKOK, Thailand -- Women in several countries have begun sending their panties to Myanmar embassies in a culturally insulting gesture of protest against the recent brutal crackdown there, a campaign supporter said Friday.

"It's an extremely strong message in Burmese and in all Southeast Asian culture,'' said Liz Hilton, who supports an activist group that launched the "Panties for Peace'' drive earlier this week.

The group, Lanna Action for Burma, says the country's superstitious generals, especially junta leader Gen. Than Shwe, also believe that contact with women's underwear saps them of power.

To widespread international condemnation, the military in Myanmar, also known as Burma, crushed mass anti-regime demonstrations recently and continues to hunt down and imprison those who took part.

Hilton said women in Thailand, Australia, Singapore, England and other European countries have started sending or delivering their underwear to Myanmar missions following informal coordination among activist organizations and individuals.

"You can post, deliver or fling your panties at the closest Burmese Embassy any day from today. Send early, send often!'' the Lanna Action for Burma website urges.

"So far we have had no response from Burmese officials,'' Hilton said.

POLL

The entire world of islam badly needs to be moderated, cultural linchpin laws will start a domino effect

Pakistan says Islamist militants behind Bhutto attack

Reuters


By Imtiaz Shah

KARACHI, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The Pakistan government blamed Islamist militants for a grenade and suicide bomb attack early on Friday that killed 133 people as opposition leader Benazir Bhutto drove through masses of supporters in Karachi.

Two blasts in quick succession rocked Bhutto's motorcade as it edged through hundreds of thousands of well-wishers who had stayed up late into the night to welcome the two-time prime minister back to Pakistan after years of self-imposed exile.

There was no claim of responsibility. But police were investigating whether the bomb had links to tribal regions bordering Afghanistan which have become hotbeds of support for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

"Definitely, it is the work of the militants and terrorists," Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said, adding it was too early to say which group was involved.

Interior Ministry Secretary Syed Kamal Shah said 133 people had been killed and 290 wounded.

"The first blast was caused by a hand grenade. The second was the suicide attack," Manzoor Mughal, a senior police official involved in the investigation, told Reuters.

"The attacker ran into the crowd and blew himself up."

Bhutto, travelling in a truck reinforced to withstand bomb attacks, was unhurt in one of the deadliest attacks in her country's history.

It was the second most deadly suicide bombing of 2007, and most deadly outside a war-zone.

Mughal said the head of the suspected bomber had been found, and it was estimated he had 15 to 20 kg of explosives strapped to his body. Typically the upward force from a blast blows off the head an attacker.

"The attacker appears to be 20-21 years old, and (had) 48-hour stubble," another investigator said. A sketch was being made and DNA samples taken.

Militants linked to al Qaeda, angered by Bhutto's support for the U.S. war on terrorism, had this week threatened to assassinate her, and officials said there were intelligence reports of plots by three separate groups.

Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of involvement, and there are many Pakistanis who shared his suspicions.

Bhutto, 54, has plenty of enemies in Pakistan with links to the country's security apparatus and jihadi groups, going back to her two stints in power more than a decade ago.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A burka bank robber - need to ban religious headdress in schools and workplaces


HIDDENITE, N.C. — Police are investigating an unusual robbery in Hiddenite. Someone dressed in a burgundy burka walked into the People’s Bank at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, showed the teller a handgun and demanded money.

The robber then took off down N.C. 90 in a burgundy sport utility vehicle.

Authorities are looking into whether this bank robbery can be connected to one in Morganton. An androgynously dressed person held up a bank there last week.

Officers aren’t sure whether they’re looking for a man or a woman in either case.



http://www.wsoctv.com/news/14360566/detail.html

Why banning the headscarf would be so effective in ending the subjugation and brutalization of women in islam

The Submission of Women in Islam

by Dr. Bill Warner

newenglishreview.org


In the end, there are two things to remember about Islam and sex—duality and submission. Islamic dualism separates men from women. Submission makes sure that the women submit to the men.

Islam is a civilization that is entirely based upon duality and submission. Our civilization is based upon equality and freedom. These two civilizations cannot co-exist. Islam is ahead of us here, because the incompatibility of the two is clearly stated and gives the world the solution for this incompatibility. We must submit to Islam and exchange freedom and equality for Islamic slavery.

This is not really an inherent problem, as we have faced other doctrines that said we must submit. Communism and Nazism come to mind. In the past, our intellectuals have attacked the enemies of our civilization and defended our civilization. But our intellectual system has degenerated and is no longer capable of defending us or attacking our enemy. Our intellectuals have decided that there is no Western civilization; it is just one big multicultural world where all cultures are equal. So there is nothing to defend.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Courageous cultural warfare - freedom of speech must not be compromised

Artist defiantly draws Prophet Mohammed
CNN

HOGANAS, Sweden (CNN) -- Swedish artist Lars Vilks...

Al Qaeda has put a $100,000 price on his head and offered an extra $50,000 for anyone who murders him by slitting his throat after the eccentric artist and sculptor drew a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.

One Swedish Muslim woman who lives just an hour-and-a-half drive from Vilks said she hopes to make good on the al Qaeda threat and slaughter Vilks like a lamb.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/10/16/artist.controversy/?iref=mpstoryview


(

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The culture of extremism must be moderated

FBI Monitoring al-Qaida Activity in North Jersey
1010Wins
NorthJersey.com


NEWARK, N.J. -- Members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force are monitoring a number of north Jersey residents with ties to al-Qaida.

The agents have disrupted their activities and deported several.

Task force director Kevin Cruise tells The Record of Bergen County there are facilitators in the state.

Cruise would not describe any case in detail. However, efforts to disrupt Osama bin Laden's network range from deportation to telling the suspects that they're being watched.

Cruise tells the newspaper his agents have no information about an imminent attack here.

The task force is conducting more than 400 counterterror investigations.

The culture must not allow extremists to hide behind the smiling works of moderates

Pentagon and Islam

By Bill Gertz Washington Times

Defense officials involved in waging the global war against Islamist extremism are increasingly frustrated by the apparent failure of senior military and civilian officials to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys.

They are concerned that community outreach efforts have helped legitimize some U.S. Islamic groups with covert or overt ties to extremists, a problem that also is occurring at the FBI and Justice Department.

Officials said the Pentagon's problem was highlighted by a recent Marine Corps ceremony marking Ramadan. The little-noticed "iftar," or fast-breaking, was held Sept. 26 at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast and was hosted by Marine Corps Deputy Commandant Gen. Robert Magnus.

Among the guests was Agha Saeed, national chairman of the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), a political group that has been linked to Muslim organizations that voice support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists.

Official Pentagon backing for the Marine Corps event and a similar Oct. 1 Pentagon iftar celebration were demoralizing, several Pentagon and military officials said.

"During the Cold War, we at least had the brains to recognize Soviet front groups and didn't invite them to the Pentagon for vodka and caviar," one defense official said. "Now, the Islamic militant front groups are [the Department of Defense's] guests of honor."

According to the Web site DiscoverTheNetworks.com, AMA is a political group that works to get Muslims elected or appointed to senior influential positions in the U.S. government.

"AMA is an active member of the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council," DiscoverTheNetworks stated. "It also is affiliated with Muslim groups — such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council — whose members have publicly supported Hamas and Hezbollah, or have been linked to the funding of terrorist activities."

As noted in this space earlier, Stephen Coughlin, a counterterrorism analyst on the Joint Staff, warned in a recent memorandum that U.S. government efforts to work with front groups for the extremist Muslim Brotherhood had increased the danger that instead of countering Islamist extremists, the government is helping to legitimize groups that are potential terrorist and insurgent support groups.

Monday, October 15, 2007

JIHADOPHOBIA - Victimhood leads to denial and failure - the culture of jihad must be moderated

Vicious Violent Victims Work It
By Chris Allen

American culture has deveolped a debilitating
obsession with 'victimhood'. Victims NEED or WANT and
in our society, those who are perceived as 'givers'
are rewarded with power and influence.... from both
the needy themselves (or the lazy and manipulative)
and the affluent who may be reacting from feelings of
guilt or burning, incurable narcissism. Being a member
of a 'victimized group' is essentially a "get out of
jail free" card excusing all kinds of behavior and
bestowing unique status upon the perpetually offended.
This is the culture we live in, and the Muslim
community has noticed the weakness. The Muslim
response to the deferential treatment afforded victims
is to scream "Islamophobia" and rush into court. We
are allowing yet one more avenue for them to take
toward working our own system against us and
destroying our country from within.

CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations)
has spearheaded the effort to make "Islamophobia" the
wedge muslims use to pervert United States law into
pro-muslim entitlement doctrine. When Dr. Laura
Schlessenger advised a caller to prevent her 16 year
old daughter from participating in a school field trip
to a local mosque, saying " What is the point of going
to a mosque? How many Americans have tortured and
murdered muslims? You tell him that you are willing to
go only if it is one that has done its best to rout
out terrorists in its midst. I am horrified that you
would let her go. " CAIR led the charge for all the
muslims who were "depressed and offended" by Dr.
Laura's words and promptly demanded an apology from
her, saying she encouraged unfair stereotyping against
muslims. CAIR also filed a $2 million defamation
lawsuit against North Carolina Congressman Cass
Ballenger (R) for suggesting the organization was a
fundraising enterprise for Hezbollah and could be
promoting bombing in Washington. Fortunately, US
District Judge Richard Leon dismissed the suit, and
his decision was upheld on appeal.

All of this litigiousness is designed to give the
impression that muslims are unjustly discriminated
against, are being victimized, and deserve special
treatment (and even rights) under the law. I submit
Islamophobia is not about muslim victimhood, but about
victims OF Islam; the innocent people who have been
abused, tortured and killed by Islamists. Wherever
Islamophobia exists, it is a natural response to
brutal murderers and the culture that creates them.
If someone tells you they will kill you and then
proceeds to murder innocents DAILY, all over the
entire world - they should be feared and hated AND
FOUGHT as if our lives depended on it. Actions may be
louder than words, but Muslims offer us both words and
actions to prove their intentions. This
"Islamophobia/Muslims as victims" craze is an attempt
to intimidate Americans and deflect attention from the
outrageous threats made by muslims and the worldwide,
bone chilling, gratuitous violence that backs it up.
CAIR's 'Islamophobia' campaign is also a blatant
attempt to manipulate our laws. Do not fall for it.
Take time, educate yourself, read. The truth is there,
in plain sight for anyone with the will to face it.
Ask a muslim about stoning, or how children are
indoctrinated to martyr themselves, to "bleed for
Allah". Legislation, rhetoric and intimidation cannot
negate the truth; that the ultimate goal of Islam is
to bring tyranny and Sharia law to the world. And as
for me, I'm not a vicious violent victim whining for
special (undeserved) rights, but I'll fight for my
country, my family and my life because I know the
facts, I can see the truth, and I DO suffer from
"Jihadophobia".

The veil is a symbol of extremism, and banning it will moderate the extremists

U.K.: Priest gets a visit from 'hate crime' police for expressing his views on Muslim veil affair
The Daily Mail

by STEPHEN WRIGHT & TOM KELLY





Veil fight

A priest has been interviewed by police on suspicion of inciting racial hatred for expressing his Christian views in his parish newsletter.

Father John Hayes, 71, was quizzed for more than an hour after commenting on the case of a Muslim girl who went to court over her wish to wear a full veil in class.

A sergeant and community support officer turned up without warning at his presbytery after an allegation was made to a Scotland Yard 'hate crimes' unit.

The inquisition in Hornchurch, East London, prompted a furious row about policing priorities. In the past 12 months there have been five murders, 33 rapes, 424 robberies and 2,267 burglaries in the local police borough of Havering.

Yet, despite being accused of turning a blind eye to the inflammatory remarks of some Muslim preachers of hate, the Met still found time to quiz Mr Hayes.

Last night the priest said his 'offending' remarks had concerned Shabina Begum, who, represented by Cherie Blair QC, claimed unsuccessfully that it was her human right to be allowed to wear her jilbab, a loose gown, in class.

After hearing an interview with the girl, Mr Hayes suggested in his internet bulletin to his parishioners that it was never possible to convince anyone by argument in matters of religion.

"My point was that you have to demonstrate what it means to be Christian through your actions," he said.

"Apparently someone in my congregation was unhappy with my comments and, after waiting a year, went to the police to say he had been 'disturbed' by it."

A fortnight ago officers knocked on the door of his home next to St Mary's Church, Hornchurch. They said they had been sent by a superintendent.

"They said they had come to see if I had intended to incite racial hatred," the priest said. "I was pretty surprised. It seemed to me that political correctness had gone haywire in this situation.

"They were very polite and cordial, but I did say to them that surely they had better things to be doing with their time.

"We had a long, civilised discussion and I didn't give an inch.

"They seemed satisfied and when they eventually left the sergeant told me 'that's the end of the matter'. I felt the whole thing was a bit of a storm in a teacup."

He added: "I have the greatest respect for Islam. There are so many more similarities than differences in our religions that I feel it is a great pity we concentrate on the few things that divide us."

The decision to quiz Mr Hayes has infuriated many Met officers.

A source at the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: "What happened is a gross error of judgment and possibly even an abuse of power.

"The senior officer who decided on this course of action should be called to account.

"It is yet another example of the political correctness which is blighting the Met. It is plain bonkers."

Mr Hayes, who became the priest at St Mary's 13 years ago, said one of his main aspirations was to bring people of different backgrounds together. On Saturday night he organised a 'One World' evening, where his congregation brought traditional cuisine from their country of origin.

He said: "You can talk about integration until you are blue in the face, but at the end of the day it's better to do this through actions - like getting people together over some food!"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Symbols of extremism and repression must wisely be banned in the interest of assimilation

Soccer Ref Benches Girl For Scarf
The Tampa Tribune ^ | October 14, 2007 | Carlos Moncada

2.tbo.com


The youth soccer tournament had not even begun before the referee made a controversial call.

Iman Khalil was forced to sit out Saturday's game at Putnam Park because the center referee said the 15-year-old Muslim girl's head scarf was not part of her red-and-white soccer uniform and therefore violated game rules. Soccer players sometimes use their heads to strike the ball and wearing headgear is generally prohibited.

'The referee looked at me and said, 'You can't play in that,'' the Spring Hill teen said after the game. 'This isn't headgear or anything. It's part of the faith. I don't think it should be a problem that I wear it.'

Khalil said the white-and-blue head scarf has never been an issue in the two years she has played competitively across the state for the Hernando Heat, an under-16 girls squad.

Her teammates, parents, even members of the opposing Zephyrhills Bulldogs, all urged the referee, Steve Richardson, to let Khalil play, to no avail.

Richardson stood by his decision even after the United Soccer Association's referee assignor for Pinellas County, Demetrios Papas, checked with the league at halftime and was told Khalil could play the second half, said Mike Duke, an assistant coach for the Heat.

Papas initially backed Richardson before checking with the league at halftime, Duke said.

'That's the really disappointing thing,' Duke said. 'He had an opportunity to make it right at that point, and he chose not to. Both teams were screaming for him to let her play. Still, he wouldn't do it.'

A bloodless cultural linchpin that will have a HUGE effect

Sunday Herald Sun

by Chris Tinkler and Lincoln Wright

news.com.au

THE Howard Government is considering banning Islamic scarfs at Australian airports, senior government sources have revealed.

The security measure would see even the most inoffensive Muslim scarf, the hijab, which covers the hair and neck, banned, along with several other types.

Security officials were especially concerned by two other types of scarf, the niqab and burka.

Allowing mosques to blare from loudspeakers and take over an area, is a cultural linchpin - Europe is waking up

The rise of mosques becomes catalyst for conflict across Europe
guardian.co.uk

by Ian Traynor




If Ulrich Schlüer has his way the Wangen minaret will be toppled. An MP from the rightwing Swiss People's party (SVP), the country's strongest, Mr Schlüer has launched a crusade to keep his country culturally Christian.

"Unlike other religions," he argues, "Islam is not only a religion. It's an ideology aiming to create a different legal system. That's sharia. That's a big problem and in a proper democracy it has to be tackled. If the politicians don't, the people will."

Switzerland's direct democracy rules require referendums if there is enough public support. Mr Schlüer has launched a petition demanding a new clause in the Swiss constitution stating: "The building of minarets in Switzerland is forbidden." He already has 40,000 signatures. ...

"Culture clashes" over Muslim religious buildings have erupted in Italy, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands.

"Christian fundamentalists are behind this," says Reinhard Schulze, professor of Islamic studies at Berne University. "And there's also a lot of money coming in from the Gulf states." ...

In Italy the mayors of Bologna and Genoa last month cancelled or delayed planning permission for mosques after a vociferous campaign by the far-right Northern League, one of whose leaders, Roberto Calderoli, threatened to stage a "day of pork" to offend Muslims and to take pigs to "defile" the site of the proposed mosque in Bologna. ...

Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne has voiced his unease over a large new mosque being built for the city's 120,000 Muslims in the Rhineland Roman Catholic stronghold. A similar scheme in Munich has also faced local protests.

The Bishop of Graz in Austria has been more emphatic. "Muslims should not build mosques which dominate town's skylines in countries like ours," said Bishop Egon Kapellari. ...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why the cultural linchpins are so necessary to moderate this

'Make peace with us – or we'll kill you!'

worldnetdaily.com




An open letter issued by a group of 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and academics issued an "invitation" to the Vatican, the archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian leaders to "make peace" with Islam.

At least, that is the way most mainstream news reports styled it – "an invitation to make peace." It was actually more of an ultimatum than it was an invitation. Boiled down to its essence, the letter warned Christians to "make peace with us or we'll kill you." The letter just phrases it more nicely.

"As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them – so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes."

It was hard to know what to make of that statement. If it refers to the war on terror, it was Osama bin Laden who declared this a war of religions, in which he identified his enemies as Christian Crusaders and Jews.

The so-called "invitation" to make peace with Islam suggests that the price of peace is Islamic freedom to make war on others without fear of retaliation. At no point in the conflict has anyone other than Islam defined it as a conflict between Christians and Jews against Islam.

The statement was timed to coincide with the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan and one year after the pope inflamed the sentiments of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage by quoting the words of an obscure 14th century Byzantine emperor.

The letter was hailed by Newsweek as "something of a miracle" – treating it as if were an olive branch being offered by the victim to the aggressor, if only the aggressor were humane enough to accept it.

Gushed Newsweek in it's column headlined, "Give Peace a Chance" – as if it were the West who opposed peace and had suddenly run amok attacking innocent Muslims everywhere – "It is addressed to Christianity's most powerful leaders, including the pope, the archbishop of Canterbury and the heads of the Lutheran, Methodist and Baptist churches, and, in 15 pages laced with quranic and biblical scriptures, argues that the most fundamental tenets of Islam and Christianity are identical: love of one (and the same) God, and love of one's neighbor."

I hardly know where to begin to address that statement. In the first place, if it were true, then no Muslim could make a credible argument to his co-religionists based on the most fundamental tenets of Islam that there is any eternal reward to be had for killing one's enemy in jihad.

If it were true, then the word "jihad" wouldn't be an Islamic concept. There is no identical fundamental belief within Judaism or Christianity that ascribes special spiritual benefits to dying in religious combat. In fact, there is no such concept of "religious combat" of any kind in Christianity or Judaism.

The Bible relates combat involving Jews against their enemies, but those were territorial political battles, not battles to impose Judaism on the vanquished.

Jews don't particularly encourage converts, and Christians believe that conversion can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit.

The job of the Christian is limited to sharing the Gospel, not imposing it by force or threats. Christians are taught by no less an authority than the Lord Himself, "And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them."

The Quran tells the faithful that, should an infidel reject Islam, "you will fight against them until they submit." And of course, those who continue to reject are to be slaughtered.

The document is peppered with references to the Islamic contention that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God, which got rave reviews from the press. Time magazine enthused, "The letter notes that 'whilst Islam and Christianity are obviously different religions – and whilst there is no minimizing some of their formal differences,' both require believers to believe in only one god, and it's the same god."

Time, in its excitement, is emulating Newsweek's style of making sweeping theological pronouncements disguised as news. From their perspective, who can blame them? If you don't believe in any god at all, what difference does it make? One god is as good as the next – or as some Americans would say, as offensive as the other. Islam not only demands that its followers believe that Allah is the same god as the God of Christians and Jews; it demands that Christians and Jews agree.

Neither Christianity nor Judaism imposes that requirement on their adherents, although Christians and Jews generally agree that the God of Israel is also the God of Christianity. Not because one side or the other demands it, but because both understand from the Bible that the nature of the God of Israel and the God of Christianity are the same.

The mainstream media embraced the letter as vindication of their long-held but difficult to believe faith in the existence of a vast, moderate Islamic majority that follow the kinder, gentler Islam that we keep hearing about, but for which we see little evidence. That is one way of interpreting it, if you really squint hard.

Unfortunately, there are verses in the Quran that nobody wants to talk about – probably because nobody wants to consider the awful implications of their meaning.

The ignorance of our political leaders and the media concerning Islam's true beliefs is beyond deplorable; it is more in the range of criminal negligence in time of war.

Under Islamic law, before Islam can make war against the infidel with Allah's blessings, the infidels must first be offered an opportunity to submit to Islam. Osama bin Laden has just recently asked the leaders and people of the United States to embrace Islam. So has Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. All these letters offer the West the "opportunity" to submit to Allah as being equal to God. They also warn that, should their offer be rebuffed, "The very survival of the world is at stake."

Islam just finished the feast of Ramadan. Here is what the Quran says should be the attitude of all Muslims at the end of this sacred feast season: "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters [particularly Jews and Christians] wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. …" (Quran, Surah 9.5)

The irony of our leaders' and media's response is mind-boggling. This is not an offer of peace – it is a prelude to war. In the cold light of day it means, "Make peace with Islam and Allah, or we'll kill you."

Friday, October 12, 2007

America and the West need more leaders like this - culture of islamofascism must moderate

Prime Minister John Howard - Australia

Muslims who w ant to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you", he said on National Television
"I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia : one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, a n d would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option", Costello said.
Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off. Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off", he said.
Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on We dn esday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: "IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians."
"However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patr iot ism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. " "However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand." "This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has ser ved only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle."
"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom"
"We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society. Learn the language!"
"Mos t Aus tralians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture."
"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us."
"If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to an other part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.
"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,
'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'."
"If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted."

Turning theology of Islam

Turning theology of Islam


by Ghayyour Rana

Read more at boston.com



A group of Muslim clerics and scholars worldwide called on Christian leaders yesterday to recognize similarities between Islam and Christianity as a way of fostering mutual understanding and respect between the two religions.In an open letter to major international Christian patriarchs, including Pope Benedict XVI, 138 Muslim clerics, theologians, and academics said they hoped fundamental theological ties between Islam and Christianity could foster peace among their believers. "It's hoped that the recognition of this common ground will provide the followers of both faiths a shared understanding that will serve to diffuse tensions around the world," said John L. Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. Esposito and other scholars discussed the letter, titled "A Common Word Between Us and You," at the National Press Club. Delivered two days before the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the letter said followers of Islam and Christianity share a commitment to love one God and to love their neighbors, which include members of different religions. "There is no one who does not accept these two principles as being essential to the Christian way of life," said Seyyed Hossein Nasr, a professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, who signed the letter. Nasr said violent actions often overshadow the principles of compassion held by a majority of Muslims. Conversely, he said, many Muslims remember the violent history of the Crusades and fail to recognize that Christian teachings include principles of love. "The demonization is from both sides," Nasr said. Some scholars called the letter unprecedented.

Free Site Counter