Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Up Helly Aa.
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Yesterday was the last Tuesday in January when the people of the Shetland isles celebrate their Norse Viking roots in the festival of Up Helly Aa. In its current form it is not particularly ancient being about 130 years old and dating from a Victorian interest in the Island’s Norwegian roots. The celebrations last 24 hours and as I write at 7.30 am GMT celebrating Vikings will not yet have made their way to bed. Today is a public holiday in the Shetlands, for obvious reasons.
The men and boys in the procession are called guizers and I find myself wondering if that is the root form of the London expression for man, geezer, as in the phrase, which sounds a little old fashioned now, 'es a real tasty geezer.
This is a report from The Scotsman. And pictures from the BBC.
Jarl Squad
Up Helly Aa
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Posted on 01/31/2007 1:57 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
And evaluating it will be doubly wearisome
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At Word Spy (including apt examples):

diversity fatigue (di.VUR.suh.tee fuh.teeg) n. A form of mental exhaustion brought on by the constant attention required to ensure a workforce or other group is racially or ethnically diverse.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 4:55 PM by Robert Bove
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Gander. Sauce. Goose.
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The word "algebra" comes from an Arabic-speaking mathematician. Algebra as a mental undertaking comes from India, as does the concept of the zero. You don't have to be John Derbyshire to know that. You only have to be an eleven-year-old who has just completed Launcelot Hogben's "The Wonderful World of Mathematics."

Similarly, paper-making comes from China. That it then arrived in Damascus, and thence to Europe, should not be cause for credit accruing on the Arab Muslim account. We don't even know who was the conduit: perhaps it was a Jewish merchant, one of those whose papers were disinterred by S. D. Goitein from the Cairo Geniza. Perhaps it was a Nestorian Christian, going off to visit other Nestorian Christians who were, long ago, to be found all over the area from the Middle East to China.

In any case, the transmitter or bearer of the discoveries or inventions of others are lower down on the civilizational-gratitude scale.

If Muslims want to be celebrated for locating, and bringing westward the achievements of Chinese paper-makers (see Dard Hunter) or Hindu mathematicians (see every conceivable history of mathematics), then Hindus should demand a special unit, in the same schools, on algebra, the concept of zero, and much else that came from the subcontinent before the Muslim invasion.

Two -- no, many more -- can play that game.

Gander. Sauce. Goose. 

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Posted on 01/30/2007 4:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Nous avons chang? tout cela
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Two can play at that game.

Should you be male and so inclined, write to Mary Magdalene-Jackson. Dr Ruth, eat your heart out.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 4:34 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
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Some, reading this story, will be so furious as to want immediately to do the only decent thing: that is, to rush right out and start up an illicit sexual relationship, or two, or three, pour épater ces primitifs pakistanais avec ses moeurs sauvages de Donga Bonga. Should you be female, and so inclined, please resist doing anything rash. Instead, with your thoughts partly collected in tranquillity, write to House Doctor, NER, who is one of those selfless médecins sans frontières, un vrai médecin malgré lui (perhaps you can guess his name), and he will draw up a plan for long-term therapeutic intervention.
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Posted on 01/30/2007 4:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
One plus one equals submit
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This news, from the Daily Mail, fills out the story Mary posted on earlier.  It likely will make our friendly neighborhood math lover apoplectic (h/t Gates of Vienna):

In maths and science, key Muslim contributions such algebra and the number zero will be emphasised to counter Islamophobia.

Q.  How many infidels does it take to screw in a light bulb? 

A.  Zero.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 3:59 PM by Robert Bove
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Cleric 'wed vulnerable woman to live in UK'
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From the website of the London Evening Standard.
A foreign-born Islamic preacher has been accused of marrying a London woman with the mental age of seven in order to live in the UK.
The bride's family, which is planning to sue the imam for abandoning his wife, has criticised the Home Office for its failure to deport the cleric.
Mohammed Anhar Ali, who is from a village in Bangladesh, was granted indefinite leave to remain after the arranged marriage. The Home Office admitted today there was little it could do to revoke his status.
Mr Ali, 36, married Bilqis Begum, 28, from Poplar, in Bangladesh at an arranged marriage in which he pledged to look after his wife. She is profoundly deaf and mute, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has severe learning disabilities. Mr Ali disappeared in September 2004, having secured indefinite leave to remain the previous year.
Ms Begum's father Muhammed Abdul Matin is trying to sue Mr Ali, . . . He claims Mr Ali took his daughter's incapacity benefit before leaving. Incapacity benefit for Ms Begum was being paid into Mr Ali's bank account.  
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Posted on 01/30/2007 3:41 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Lovers stoned to death in honour murder
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More from The Australian's correspondent in Multan.
TWO lovers were tied to trees and stoned to death for adultery by angry relatives in a Pakistani village. Police said the couple, in their early 40s, were killed in a barrage of rocks thrown by relatives of the woman in Donga Bonga village in central Punjab province on Sunday.
"It was a case of honour killing and we have arrested two brothers of the woman,' local police chief Zafar Bokhari said.
Police reached the scene after some villagers heard the cries of the couple and contacted the authorities.
"We saw them sleeping together and we could not tolerate this immoral act and decided to punish them,' the woman's brother, Maqbool, told the police in custody. Mr Mohammad said police were conducting raids to arrest two others relatives who allegedly took part in the killing.
About 4000 people, mostly women, have been killed in deeply conservative rural Pakistan in recent years in the name of protecting family honour in the midst of allegations of illicit sexual relationships.
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Posted on 01/30/2007 3:25 PM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Sheik's speech sparks prayer meeting boycott
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AN interfaith prayer meeting was boycotted by religious leaders today due to a last-minute decision by controversial mufti Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali to make a speech.
The meeting, organised by Bhavan Australia and held in Sydney's Hyde Park, was intended to bring different faiths together in a commemoration of the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Interfaith Committee Chairman of the Jewish Board of Deputies, Josie Lacey, and the president of the Hindu organisation Ramakrishna Sarda Vendanta, Rev. Pravrajika Ajayaprana Mataji, both pulled out of the event making it an interfaith prayer meeting only in name.
It was Sheik Hilali's first speech since his controversial interview on the Egyptian news program Cairo Today. He kept a low profile, talking for five minutes in praise of Gandhi. Not to be without controversy, the sheik explained after his speech that the boycott by the Jewish Board of Deputies was an "indication that the Jews are not interested in reconciliation."
Representing the Jewish Board of Deputies, CEO Vic Alhadeff said the board "categorically reject any insinuation that we are not interested in reconciliation". He said the decision to boycott was that "there can be only one motivation for Holocaust denial, and that is antisemitism. We do not engage with those who practise it."
Meanwhile ONE of Australia's best-known Islamic colleges has been raided by police and government investigators on suspicion its three campuses have rorted the student subsidies payable for non-government schools.
Photo from The Australian home page.
30jan-iran
Iranian Shi'ites perform a flagellation ritual at a Tehran mosque on the last day of Ashura.
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Posted on 01/30/2007 3:16 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Nearer the truth than they realise.
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Found at the home of one of the men on trial for attempted murder after the failed bombimgs of 21 July 2005 were various DVDs, speeches by Osama bin Laden, books and suchlike, including a video called Islam - The Only Solution To World Peace.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 3:07 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Re: Wrong Reaction to a Wrong Reaction
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David Bell does not deserve ferocious criticism. His piece simply has the wrong emphasis, and lends itself to dangerous misunderstanding.. He should have said that terrorism is not the main worry; the other instruments of Jihad are more dangerous because more effective and less noticed. A response that is entirely military, and that furthermore is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of Islam, so that the "war on terror" (cf. Jimmy Durante and Irving Berlin at a War Bonds Rally, circa 1943, asking people to contribute to "a war against the Blitzkrieg") and not the war of self-defense against the Jihad and all of its instruments, becomes the only war in town.

Besides, one should cut Bell some slack. He did a good job on the Napoleonic poseur, now much diminished or ridimensionato, Dominique de Villepin, in The New Republic. And his mother, Pearl Bell, used to write good book reviews for The New Leader, a magazine which, like "The Progressive" under Max Ascoli, was implacably and intelligent anti-Communist, much more than The New Republic under Michael Straight, and unlike their supposed avatars today, the writers for those magazines would, were they alive today, have had little trouble recognizing Islam for what it is. They had lived through a lot. They had lived through the war, and some had been refugees from the Nazis. They knew some history. They were not foolable and certainly not inclined to be impressed by, much less offer automatic respect to, anything bearing the word "religion." They were in the same boat, more or less, as Oriana Fallaci, rather than in the current galere. But even in that sinking ship of state some may be both bailing out, and bailing, just in time, so that the motto of Paris (quondam Lutetia) can become that of the entire Western world:  Fluctuat nec mergitur.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 2:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Russia, Iran & and an Updated Look into Putin's Soul
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From the MEMRI Blog today:

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei met with Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov. During the meeting, Ivanov delivered a letter to the Iranian leadership from Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which Putin stressed Russia's adherence to continued cooperation with Iran in completing the nuclear facility at Bushehr.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 1:53 PM by Andy McCarthy
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Pseudsday Tuesday
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I’m glad I was never a student at Brandeis University when Herbert Marcuse taught there. Marcuse dedicated an essay to his students, and I don’t understand it, so I would not have been in a position to thank him for it. It isn’t written in postmodernist jargon or in a difficult foreign language, but it makes my brain ache and my heart sink trying to read it. Perhaps I’m just intolerant. But perhaps this is a good thing, as tolerance may be repressive:

 

The author is fully aware that, at present, no power, no authority, no government exists which would translate liberating tolerance into practice, but he believes that it is the task and duty of the intellectual to recall and preserve historical possibilities which seem to have become utopian possibilities--that it is his task to break the concreteness of oppression in order to open the mental space in which this society can be recognized as what it is and does.

 

Is “the author” writing about himself in the third person so he can call himself an “intellectual” without appearing to boast? And if you break the “concreteness” of something, do you find a “mental space” in it?

 

Tolerance is an end in itself. The elimination of violence, and the reduction of suppression to the extent required for protecting man and animals from cruelty and aggression are preconditions for the creation of a humane society. Such a society does not yet exist; progress toward it is perhaps more than before arrested by violence and suppression on a global scale. As deterrents against nuclear war, as police action against subversion, as technical aid in the fight against imperialism and communism, as methods of pacification in neo-colonial massacres, violence and suppression are promulgated, practiced, and defended by democratic and authoritarian governments alike, and the people subjected to these governments are educated to sustain such practices as necessary for the preservation of the status quo. Tolerance is extended to policies, conditions, and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery.

 

What are the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery? I’d say about zero. And would we really want one?

 

What has he got to say about art?

 

Art stands against history, withstands history which has been the history of oppression, for art subjects reality to laws other than the established ones: to the laws of the Form which creates a different reality--negation of the established one even where art depicts the established reality. But in its struggle with history, art subjects itself to history: history enters the definition of art and enters into the distinction between art and pseudo-art. Thus it happens that what was once art becomes pseudo-art. Previous forms, styles, and qualities, previous modes of protest and refusal cannot be recaptured in or against a different society. There are cases where an authentic oeuvre carries a regressive political message--Dostoevski is a case in point. But then, the message is canceled by the oeuvre itself: the regressive political content is absorbed, aufgehoben in the artistic form: in the work as literature.

 

Marcuse likes a struggle – his type always do:

 

The alternative to the established semi-democratic process is not a dictatorship or elite, no matter how intellectual and intelligent, but the struggle for a real democracy. Part of this struggle is the fight against an ideology of tolerance which, in reality, favors and fortifies the conservation of the status quo of inequality and discrimination. For this struggle, I proposed the practice of discriminating tolerance. To be sure, this practice already presupposes the radical goal which it seeks to achieve. I committed this petitio principii in order to combat the pernicious ideology that tolerance is already institutionalized in this society. The tolerance which is the life element, the token of a free society, will never be the gift of the powers that be; it can, under the prevailing conditions of tyranny by the majority, only be won in the sustained effort of radical minorities, willing to break this tyranny and to work for the emergence of a free and sovereign majority - minorities intolerant, militantly intolerant and disobedient to the rules of behavior which tolerate destruction and suppression.

If he was so keen on struggling, how could he have wanted "an existence free from fear or misery"? Wouldn't he have got bored?

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Posted on 01/30/2007 12:38 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Saudi Shi'ites Are Getting Nervous
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Donna Abu-Nasr writes at AP:

QATIF, Saudi Arabia -- Like many Saudi Shi'ites, Abdullah Abdul-Hussein is worried that if the government does not end anti-Shi'ite tirades by influential Sunni clerics, the sectarian conflict ravaging Iraq and threatening Lebanon could spread to his country.

"This rhetoric provokes trouble," said Abdul-Hussein, referring to recent statements from key members in Saudi Arabia's clerical establishment that have urged Sunnis around the world to expel Shi'ites from their lands.

"We are all citizens of the same country. The government should not allow such excess," said the 37-year-old merchant, expressing a worry shared by many in this mainly Shi'ite town.

Fears of sectarian tensions go beyond this sleepy oasis in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, where the kingdom's Shi'ite minority is centered. The bloodshed in Iraq and turmoil in Lebanon have enflamed the Shi'ite-Sunni divide across the Middle East and in much of the Islamic world.

The tensions are more palpable as Shi'ites mark Ashoura, one of their holiest days, today . It commemorates the seventh-century death of Imam Hussein in a battle with the leaders of what would become the mainstream Sunni branch of Islam. His death began the schism between Sunnis and Shi'ites...

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Posted on 01/30/2007 11:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Wrong Reaction to a Wrong Reaction
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Was 9/11 really that bad? The attacks were a horrible act of mass murder, but history says we're overreacting. --David A. Bell

Apparently the author, though having nothing piercingly original to offer, nonetheless felt he had to have his say on the Pressing Matter of the Day, and did so. He contented himself with the banal observation that what we see before us -- the entire Baby-Huey operation of "boots on the ground" in Iraq, determined to prevent those very fissures, sectarian and ethnic, we should welcome, (and Afghanistan, sweeping back the Muslim tide)-- is an "overreaction."

He did not wait to find the right word: it is not an "overreaction" but a misguided reaction. It is a reaction of the kind that will come if we persist, like Bush (or like David Bell) think that this is a "war on terrorism" -- in which case there is no need even to begin to think of all the other instruments of Jihad, the more effective and dangerous instruments, such as the money weapon, Da'wa, and demography, for if Jihad proceeds with instruments other than terror, and Infidels are only engaged in a "war on terror," then we should be content with any analysis that focuses on that, and so the disagreement between the Bush Administration and David Bell is merely over the size of that "terror" threat, and the proper size of our military and security steps to meet that "threat."

Nothing here about the islamization of Europe. Nothing here about the systematic long-term attacks on Christians in Indonesia (thousands of churches destroyed in 2003 alone), on Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kashmir, and deep into India. Nothing here about attacks on Christians over the past few decades in Nigeria (the Jihad that Col. Ojukwu, head of Biafra, was fighting against), nor in southern Sudan, nor within a great number of sub-Saharan countries. Nothing about the world-wide activities of the World Muslim Congress, the financing of mosques and madrassas, for which the Saudis have spent $100 billion (the Soviet Union, in all the years of its existence, never spent abroad on pro-Soviet propaganda and agents more than $10 billion) in the last two decades, nothing about the takeover of academic departments, or at least the use of Arab money to endow Centers (Durham, Exeter, Georgetown), or expensively-upholstered chairs (University of California, Harvard Law School, and a great many other places), where the King Abdul Aziz this, and the Guardian of the Two Holy Places that, can make sure that neither they, nor the successors they choose, ever enlighten the students about Islam (thus, for example, does Frank Vogel help pick, with a little help from Roy Mottahedeh and John Esposito, Noah "After Jihad" Feldman to continue to misinform Harvard Law students about Islam, providing a guide to nothing and to nowhere, for the next 35 years -- but how would the faculty members, innocent of Islam, and of what is going on in the field, be aware of that until long after Feldman arrives, trailing clouds of glory?).

Perhaps David Bell is merely disturbed at the colossal waste, the squandering in Iraq, of men's lives, of vast sums of money ($700 billion in past and committed future costs), in war matériel, in damage to American morale, military as well as civilian -- all to pursue a will-o'-the-wisp of "freedom" and "democracy" in a united, stable, prosperous Iraq that will be a Light Unto the (Sunni Arab) Muslim Nations. That, readers of this site understand, is a goal that is both impossible, and is exactly the wrong goal.

He might merely have written: a response that is purely military, based on a misunderstanding of the nature and scope of the menace, is the wrong response and the wrong type of response, insufficiently various, effective, ruthless, and cunning. For that menace, David Bell might have referred readers to others: See, for example, Bat Ye'or, Oriana Fallaci, Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Magdi Allam, Anne-Marie Delcambre, Alain Finkielkraut, Alain Besancon, Ali Sina, Bassam Tibi, Wafa Sultan, and a thousand others, not one of whom, I suspect, David Bell has yet read, digested, or thoroughly assimilated.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 10:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Keep Fritz Kuhn in Mind
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AMT members endorsing this statement [supporting Al-Arian] include: American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Project Islamic Hope (PIH), and United Muslims of America (UMA) --from Rebecca's post below

These are groups akin to the German-American Bund of Fritz Kuhn in their attitudes, and in their support for the enemy in what is, or should be, recognized as wartime. After all, in Islam it is always war-time: the division of the world between Believer and Infidel makes for a permanent state of war with all inhabitants of Dar al-Harb, and while fighting may not always be constant, that State of War is indeed forever, until all obstacles to the spread of Islam are removed, and until Islam everywhere dominates -- for "Islam is to dominate and not to be dominated" (also sprach Muhammad)--and Muslims rule, everywhere.

These Muslim groups identify with, and support, known enemies, known participants in Jihad. The Jihad in Sami al-Arian's case happens to have been mainly the Lesser Jihad against Israel, but no one should doubt that if given half a chance he would work tirelessly in order to further the islamization of Western Europe, or to expand the presence and power of Islam in this country, so as to look forward to the day when Islam prevails, and of course everywhere else in the world -- in Kashmir, in southern Thailand, in southern Sudan and Darfur, one should have no doubt where Sami al-Arian and his Arab supporters stand -- they stand with the forces of Islam, or in the case of Darfur, just like all the Arab states, foursquare with the Arabs mass-murderers of non-Arab Muslims, as they would with the Arabs who mass-murdered the Kurds, or deny the Berbers their linguistic and cultural rights, in North Africa.

These organizations need to be penetrated, and a book needs to be written -- many books -- about their schemes and dreams and what moves them, what they say and think behind closed doors, when the Infidels are not, they think, listening ("War is deception" said Muhammad). In the middle of World War II, John Roy Carlson performed such undercover work and wrote about it. His book, "Under Cover," went through 20, 30, 40 printings -- and exposed Fritz Kuhn's Bund, and William Pellley's Silver Shirts, and all the other pro-Nazi and pro-Axis groups, working so sinisterly, as best they could, to undermine their own country's war effort and its political and legal institutions.

There is no difference now. See the names of those organizations. Think of them as Fritz Kuhn's Bund. For their function and role are exactly the same.

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Posted on 01/30/2007 9:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Al Arian on Hunger Strike
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Speaking of FOG (friends of Grover), here is the latest press release from CAIR concerning the plight of Sami Al Arian, former professor at the University of South Florida who also happened to run an outlet for Palestinian Islamic Jihad from his office. Thanks to Jeffrey Imm.

National Islamic Coalition Seeks End to 'Harassment' of Florida Professor

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Muslim
Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a national coalition of
major American Muslim organizations, today said the new prison sentence
given to former Florida professor Sami Al-Arian amounted to
unconstitutional "double jeopardy."
    Al-Arian recently began a hunger strike after being given a sentence of
up to 18 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Virginia. He
and his attorney say an early plea agreement freed him from further
cooperation with the government. Al-Arian's supporters say he is being held
in a rat and cockroach-infested prison and is being forced to wear dirty
and inadequate clothing as a form of harassment.
    In 2005, a Florida jury rejected federal charges that Al-Arian operated
a cell for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian later pleaded guilty to
a lesser charge and was scheduled for release and deportation in April.
In a statement, the AMT said:
    "It is becoming increasingly clear that the government is seeking to
impose legal and physical penalties on Dr. Al-Arian that it could not
obtain through the judicial process. The government's actions amount to an
unconstitutional 'double jeopardy' situation in which a person who was
cleared of all charges by a jury of his peers is nonetheless being
imprisoned in harsh conditions through administrative means.
    "We call on all fair-minded Americans who care about the preservation
of the integrity of our nation's legal system to speak out about this
apparent abuse of prosecutorial power. We also call on federal authorities
to cease their harassment of Dr. Al-Arian and to release him as scheduled
so that he and his family can resume their lives in another country."
    AMT members endorsing this statement include: American Muslim Alliance
(AMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of
North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim
American Society (MAS), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim
Ummah of North America (MUNA), Project Islamic Hope (PIH), and United
Muslims of America (UMA)

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Posted on 01/30/2007 8:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Khan and Saffuri
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To reiterate, Suhail Khan will be moderating the debate between Dinesh D'Souza and Robert Spencer that will be hosted by Grover Norquist's CPAC (an organization that works to reduce the size of government by reducing tax revenues, a cause which is supported by many mainstream conservatives) and to be broadcast on CSPAN March 1. Suhail Khan is a member of the Islamic Institute also founded by Norquist. Khan was shuttled from his job at the White House to the Transporation Department after revelations that his father, Mahboob Khan had hosted Ayman Zawahiri at his mosque in Orange County see below.

Here is the latest press release from the Islamic Institute:

(Washington, DC) - On Saturday, January 26th, the Islamic Institute and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) hosted a luncheon to honor five Muslim and Arab American police officers and firefighters who heroically participated in the rescue efforts in New York and at the Pentagon on 9/11. The officers honored were: Adil Almontaser, Rafet Awad, Faisal Khan, and Ahmed Nasser of the New York Police Department, and Ronald J. Kuley of the Fairfax, Virginia Fire Department. The event drew over 120 members and leaders of the Muslim and Arab American communities as well as representatives of the Bush Administration and of members of Congress.

Following lunch at the Hotel Washington, Ms. Nina Shokraii Rees, Deputy Assistant to the Vice President, read a message of greetings to the gathering and the officers from President Bush. (I'll spare you that)

Ralph Boyd, Jr., the Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Civil Rights division at the Department of Justice, also gave remarks congratulating the officers and commending them for their devotion to service and their faith. After a word from Suhail Khan, Legal Counsel at the Department of Transportation, remarks were made by Islamic Institute Chairman of the Board Khaled Saffuri and ADC President Ziad Asali thanking the officers for their commitment to the people of their communities. They then presented the officers with commemorative plaques honoring their service...

About Saffuri from the Frank Gaffney FP article:

The founding director of Grover Norquist’s Islamic Institute, Khaled Saffuri, is a Muslim Palestinian by birth. Prior to joining Alamoudi’s group (where he served for almost three years15), Saffuri was active in Muslim-support operations in Bosnia,16 a hot-bed for Islamic radicals from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere anxious to establish a beachhead on the continent of Europe. In recent years, he has acknowledged personally supporting the families of suicide bombers – even though, in public settings, he strenuously denies having done so.17 He denounced President Bush for shutting down the Holy Land Foundation, a Saudi charity that the U.S. government determined was funneling American Muslims’ donations to terrorist organizations overseas.18 

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Posted on 01/30/2007 7:35 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
V S Naipaul
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Luke, in the comments to my post on diversity, has this to say:

The right-on literary establishment's treatment of VS Naipaul is nothing short of a philistine disgrace.

Never mind his more 'controversial' later books.

'A House for Mr Biswas' is one of the greatest post-war English language novels and knocks most British black / Asian writers into irrelevance. Monica Ali's Brick Lane owes a large debt to A House for Mr Biswas. Although it is, as these things always are, inferior.

Never mind The Enigma of Arrival or any of Naipaul's amazingly prescient works on Islam, books that identified, examined and dissected all that is happening in our world today over 25 years ago (Among the Believers came out in the early 1980's, and 'Beyond Belief', an even more vital work focussing on how Islam is little more than Arab imperialism, was published in the late 1990's.)

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Posted on 01/30/2007 7:11 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Suhail Khan, CPAC, D'Souza and Norquist
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Suhail Khan, son of Mahboob Khan. And the whole thing sponsored by CPAC, not all of whose members may be aware of Grover Norquist's many activities on behalf of Islam and of Muslims, and his founding of the Islamic Institute. There's a lot to know about Grover Norquist, and the members of CPAC ought to know it, and act on it -- his continued presence, and the sullying of CPAC's reputation and hence its diminished usefulness (which is now apparent, and will be more so when Karl Rove leaves), should not be tolerated. Not in wartime. And this is wartime, and there must be people connected to CPAC who understand this, or if they don't, are aware that a great many "conservatives" take a very dim view of Grover Norquist, and his companions, and who and what influence him, and who, and what, he influences.

Here's an an excert from an article on Norquist, which deserves to be read in its entirety:

A TROUBLING INFLUENCE by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

Penetrating the White House

Suhail Khan was one of at least three Muslim outreach gatekeepers at the White House with whom Norquist has been associated over the years. I became aware of the intensity of the attachment when Norquist verbally assaulted me one day in the hallway outside our offices with the accusation that I had been calling Khan a terrorist. I assured him that I had done no such thing. Evidently, somebody else, though, had stumbled onto the fact that Khan's late father, Mahboob Khan, was a prominent figure in the Islamist enterprise in America. It turns out that, among other things, he was the founder of a large Wahhabi center, mosque and school in Orange County, California. 29

The New York Times revealed on October 23, 2001, that, in that capacity, Khan Sr. had hosted Ayman al-Zawahiri, reportedly Osama bin Laden's right-hand-man in the al-Qaeda organization - not once, but twice in the 1990s.30 The first time, Zawahiri came under his own name, the second time he used an alias. In the course of his trips, the terrorist chief reportedly not only raised funds for al-Qaeda's operations at Khan's mosque but also purchased satellite communications equipment while in the United States.31

After Khan's family ties to terror became a focus of press attention, Suhail left the White House staff to go to work at the Department of Transportation. Grover Norquist closed a Wednesday Group meeting by tearfully apologizing to Suhail Khan for the injury caused him by "racists and bigots" and, by example, encouraging the assembled company to join him in a standing ovation to Khan. Most hadn't a clue what he was talking about but went along. Mindful that Norquist had me in mind, I sat it out.

If White House security procedures had worked across the board as they were supposed to, it seems unlikely that President Bush and his senior subordinates would ever have met with some of those sponsored by Norquist and Saffuri. Sami al-Arian and Abdurahman Alamoudi, for example, would probably never have gotten inside the White House compound.

What happened at the Wednesday Group meeting after Khan's move to Transportation was unfortunately not an isolated incident, but part of an already established pattern. In July 2001, the Secret Service evicted Sami al-Arian's son, Abdullah, from a meeting in the White House. The President had affably dubbed Abdullah "Big Dude" after first meeting him and his family on the campaign trail in Florida in March 2000.32 Evidently, the Service acted on the basis of the law enforcement community's longstanding suspicion of the father's ties to international terror.

Norquist's friends immediately raised a ruckus. Other participants in the meeting walked out in solidarity. It became a cause celebre, trumpeted as an egregious example of the racial profiling about which the Islamists and their leftwing allies incessantly complained. In short order, the Deputy Director of the Secret Service was obliged to issue a written apology to "Big Dude" al-Arian. And the President himself personally called the evictee's mother to express regret and to assure her that no such thing would be allowed to happen again...

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Posted on 01/30/2007 7:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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