Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Unveiling Obama?s American Muslim partner - the ISNA
Given the controversy surrounding US Department of Justice (DOJ) representation at the annual convention in Washington of, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Patrick Poole unveils in today’s Pajamas Media links by this Muslim advocacy group to terrorism finance, racism, Holocaust denial . His investigative report, “ A Closer look at Obama’s Islamic Partners,” chronicles two decades of extremist activities, terror support and leadership in this Muslim Brotherhood front. The ISNA was listed by Federal prosecutors among several unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Trial. It had filed motions endeavoring to expunge its name from the Federal prosecutor evidence at the HLF rial.
Jennifer Rubin in an earlier Pajamas media article had exposed the efforts by the DOJ to recruit personnel to man its booth at this year’s annual convention. We had posted on an Indianapolis NBC TV affiliate , WHTR investigative series into the ISNA, headquartered in the area , and IPT news revelation about dissension within the DOJ regarding representation at this ISNA convention. IPT reported a meeting between the FBI and an officer of the ISNA as a furtherance of Obama’s Muslim outreach initiative, the centerpiece of his Cairo speech
Among Poole’s revelations about the ISNA:
Thomas Jocelyn of the Weekly Standard observed that ISNA’s name has come up in a current German terror finance investigation. It is believed that the Islamic group had donated $100,000 to the Third World Relief Agency at the very same time that TWRA was funding the terror network behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The Bush administration came under fire after ISNA official Muzzamil Siddiqi and other known supporters of Islamic terrorism appeared with Bush at a prayer service just three days after the 9/11 attacks. One of those leaders, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was later convicted on terrorism support charges and is serving a 23-year federal prison sentence. Alamoudi was identified in 2005 by the Treasury Department as the top al-Qaeda financier in the U.S. He too had been a leading Islamic partner of the U.S. government; he was personally responsible for establishing the Department of Defense’s Islamic chaplain program. He served as a State Department “goodwill ambassador” to the Islamic world, taking half a dozen trips to the Middle East at taxpayer expense before his arrest and conviction.
According to Steve Emerson in his New York Times bestselling book, Jihad Incorporated, ISNA was also responsible for providing $170,000 in start-up cash for the Islamic African Relief Agency. The U.S. Treasury Department designated them a global terror finance entity in 2004 for providing direct support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and Hamas.
Last summer I reported that Pakistani terror leader Qazi Hussein Ahmad, a close ally of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, was scheduled to be a featured speaker at ISNA’s Canadian convention. Due to pressure by the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, he was denied entry to the country and couldn’t appear at the ISNA event. He had, however, appeared at previous ISNA conferences, but he is now banned from entering the U.S. as well.
Another article published here at Pajamas Media back in January noted that Salah Sultan, a member of ISNA’s Fiqh Council, had appeared on Egyptian TV threatening that America was destined for death and destruction. Sultan also invoked a notorious Islamic hadith promising that the Day of Judgment would not come until Muslims killed all of the Jews, and he cited approvingly the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
One speaker at this year’s ISNA conference is long-time ISNA favorite Hamza Yusuf, who at the 1995 ISNA conference denounced Judaism as a “most racist religion”:
The Jews would have us believe that God has this bias to this little small tribe in the Middle of the Sinai desert and all the rest of humanity is just rubbish. I mean that this is the basic doctrine of the Jewish religion and that’s why it is a most racist religion.
Another featured speaker this year is Yasir Qadhi, who in 2001 delivered a sermon claiming that Hitler never intended to exterminate the Jews and promoted a book entitled The Hoax of the Holocaust. Curiously, Qadhi’s name does not appear on ISNA’s conference website, but is included in the official compilation of ISNA speaker biographies. Qadhi has been a main attraction at ISNA conferences for the past several years.
One speaker at this year’s ISNA conference who has first-hand knowledge of genocide and holocaust is Abubaker Al-Shingeiti. As I reported exclusively here at Pajamas Media, Al-Shingeiti is the appointed outreach coordinator for ISNA and a number of other Muslim Brotherhood front groups to the Obama administration. Al-Shingeiti served as the official spokesman for the regime of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir when it was waging a war of genocide against Christians in southern Sudan, which claimed the lives of over two million people. He was also a top advisor to Bashir when his regime was giving shelter to Osama bin Laden and was listed by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.
But no doubt the belle of this year’s ISNA ball will be ISNA president Ingrid Mattson, who spoke at Barack Obama’s inaugural prayer service despite her organization’s ties to Hamas. That invitation was opposed by a number of American Islamic leaders, who issued a statement chronicling Mattson’s extensive record of denigrating other religious faiths and her support of Islamic extremism.
Mattson, a Canadian convert to Islam, also heads one of three programs certifying chaplains for the US military that convicted terror financier Alamoudi had helped to establish. Mattson is on the faculty at the venerable Hartford (CT) Seminary, Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Muslim Christian Relations. Alamoudi had been a co-founder with Washington conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, of the Islamic Institute. He also had been a founder of the Islamic Society of Boston.
The investigations of Poole, Rubin, IPT News and others have compiled a stunning dossier that begs the question of why the Obama Administration under Attorney General Holder have opened up liaison with the ISNA, given this record of extremism, racism and support for terrorism.
Posted on 06/30/2009 4:55 AM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 29 June 2009
Columbia gives tenure to controversial Professor, Joseph Massad
Today’s New York Post had this disquieting revelation by columnist Jacob Gershman: Columbia University has granted tenure to notorious Israel and gay bashing, Professor Joseph Massad. Massad was a central figure in the David project documentary, “Columbia Unbecoming” that roiled the Morningside Heights campus in 2005 and 2006. The film portrayed allegations by Columbia students about anti-Semitism and anti-Israel statements by faculty in the Middle East Arts Language and Culture (MEALAC) program . In the film a former IDF soldier and Columbia Student relates how he was rebuked by Massad and questioned, “ how many Palestinians did he kill.?”
Massad’s appointment is not the first Columbia University tenure controversy. Last year we had another event, the tenure of Nadia Abu el Haj of the anthropology faculty at Barnard College. Abu El Haj had published a controversial book denying the ancient Jewish heritage and provenance of Israel. That was preceded by the appointment in 2005 of Rashid Khalidi to the Edward Said Chair of Middle East History endowed with significant Saudi money. Khalidi was a colleague of President Obama in his days as a junior Illinois Senator, when they were both on the faculty at the University of Chicago.
Massad, as the Gershman New York Post column points out, has bizarre views on Israel and gays:
Columbia's process for reviewing tenure candidates is as rigorous as any Ivy League school's. Ordinarily, an academic of Massad's caliber would be bounced from Morningside Heights. And in fact, the system did work -- it denied Massad tenure two years ago.
But now the school's academic standards have succumbed to ideological tensions and campus politics -- in what appears to be a remarkable manipulation of the tenure process and a breach of fiduciary trust.
First, a little background on Massad.
A Christian secularist of Palestinian-Arab descent, Massad has dedicated his academic career primarily to encouraging the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Criticism of Israel is far from unusual in his field, but Massad goes much further, taking arguments to bizarre ends. "The ultimate achievement of Israel," he writes, is "the transformation of the Jew into the anti-Semite, and the Palestinian into the Jew." In a book, he rails against the "Zionist theft of Palestinian Arab food (e.g., hummus, falafel)."
In a recent work, "Desiring Arabs," Massad claimed to expose yet another plot against the Muslim world -- the "Gay International." He describes how a vast conspiracy of gay activists descended on Arab countries and endangered the lives of "practitioners of same-sex contact" by transforming them into "subjects who identify as 'homosexual' and 'gay.' "
So, if Massad’s tenure was side tracked two years ago, how did he gain a tenure appointment, now? Gershman reveals how:
But faculty members opted instead to lionize Massad as a supposed martyr of academic freedom. A crucial ally for him was Dean of Arts and Sciences Nicholas Dirks, whose wife taught a class with Massad.
In 2007, months after Massad completed his latest book, a committee rejected his tenure application. Tenure candidates rarely get a second shot at Columbia, but Dirks intervened and pushed for a second committee, sources say.
Oddly, the professor who led the first review of Massad refused to serve again. Even odder, the administration justified the do-over by claiming that Massad had switched his field of specialty from political science to cultural studies.
After the second committee approved Massad, President Lee Bollinger and Provost Alan Brinkley took extraordinary measures to protect the secrecy of Massad's tenure case and guard against an outcry from Jewish alumni and donors.
The last step in the process was the trustees. The administration refused to share with the trustees any list of who was on the two tenure committees. The board was also kept in the dark as to why Massad failed the first review. Bollinger and Brinkley also refused to discuss in detail why Massad was permitted another shot.
Massad's tenure appointment puts the nail in the coffin about what passes for academic leadership and governance at Columbia.
For those fellow alumni who had thought that vocal opposition and supporting evidence of Massad's lack of qualifications would prevent this turn of events, they were naively wrong.
Bollinger and Brinkley have connived with the cabal of left radical academics on the College and University tenure and promotion committee to reward Massad’s Gobbelian anti-Israel, anti-Gay and anti-Semitic screed. Surely, Obama's former University of Chicago colleague Rashid Khalidi, Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia's School of International Public Affairs must be overjoyed at the prospect of tenure for Massad.
Like the tenure appointment of Nadia Abu el-Haj in the anthropology at Barnard, the Massad tenure appointment is all about rewarding Meta fiction and degradation of the merest scholarly standards at Columbia .
Massad at Columbia's MEALAC faculty, Abu El-Haj over at Barnard and the late Edward Said are Christian dhimmis supporting cultural Jihad and the myth of Orientalism. (See Ibn Warriq’s critical analysis of Said and Orientalism in his book, “ Defending the West. “) Is this the equivalent of a Stockholm syndrome? After all these Christian Arabs are supporting the Jihadi killers of their own threatened minority in the Middle East. I suspect they are misguided Arab nationalists like the late Orthodox Christian George Habash, who co-founded the Marxist terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They have adopted the Islamic Jihad creed and are consumed with hatred towards Jews who had the chutzpah to reclaim the ancient Jewish homeland.
Good thing the recession has diminished Columbia's endowment. Now fellow alum who gave freely of their largess can claim that their purses are closed for economic self preservation reasons. Jewish alumni in particular, ought to have turned away in disgust back in 2005 with the Khalidi appointment. Last year’s Abu El-Haj appointment at Barnard College and now this Massad tenure appointment at Columbia are mounting evidence that President Bollinger and Provost Brinkley have abetted the cultural jihad on campus. They have kept trustees in the dark about the shenanigans employed in the Massad tenure announcement this month and besmirched both the university’s and their professional reputations. Bollinger as you may recall was a First Amendment legal scholar.
Columbia has clearly become a post-modernist academic institution par excellence. Massad's tortuous tenure track is just the latest evidence of the devolution of academic freedom and scholarship on Morningside Heights. Pity!
Posted on 06/29/2009 8:32 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 29 June 2009
More on the Dismissal of the MAS case against Joe Kaufman:
Joe Kaufman, Chairman of Americans Against Hate is one courageous guy. I had the privilege of standing beside him during an Anti-Terror Coalition press conference organized to protest Muslim Day on the west steps of the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahasse in March. At the time the frivolous case brought against him by the Muslim American Society (MAS) in Texas, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, was still unresolved. His defense, although costly, was an important First Amendment matter that finally was dismissed by the Texas court, last week.
Intrepid Dr. Paul Williams discusses the MAS-Kaufman case in this article, "Allah in Agony," on his blog, The Last Crusade. Williams rightly calls Kaufman "one of the heroes in the fight against Radical islam." Others who have been similarly sued by Radical Islamics that Williams cites are Rachel Ehrenfeld, our colleague Bruce "Beowulf" Tefft, Mark Steyn, and Williams himself. To that group I would add Andy Whitehead, who forced CAIR to drop its lawsuit against him, as well as those in the American for Peace and Tolerance organization, Dr. Charles Jacobs, Prof. Dennis Hale, Sheik Ahmed Mansour and others, who caused the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) to withdraw their defamation case in 2007. The connection between Kaufman's Texas case brought by the MAS and the ISB matter is made clear by the fact that one of the founders of the MAS, Jamal Badawi is also a trustee of the ISB Cultural Center formally opened last weekend in the Roxbury section of Boston.
Here is the account by Williams of this important victory for Kaufman and for all those rightly made anxious by those pushing the Stealth Jihad:
There is great elation deep in the bowels of the Last Crusade bunker this afternoon. Corks are popping in celebration of Joe Kaufman’s victory over the forces of Islamic hatred and intolerance. The lawsuit that was initiated against him by seven Muslim groups, including the Muslim American Society (MAS), was kicked out of court by the Texas Court of Appeals.
Mr. Kaufman is one of the heroes in the fight against radical Islam and the proliferation of terrorist groups and organizations throughout the country.
His legal problems arose when he led a small protest against Muslim Family Day at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement part. The event was sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a group with ties to such terrorists groups as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan.
At the protest, Mr. Kaufman and ten other protestors carried signs which read “Americans against Hate,” “ICNA – Bugs Bunny’s Terrorist Friends,” and “No Jihad in Our Backyard.” This activity proved to be highly unsettling for many Muslims in attendance. And Mr. Kaufman was slapped with a restraining order.
Upon returning to his office in Florida, Mr. Kaufman wrote an article about the ICNA event (which was closed to Jews and Christians) for Front Page Magazine, an on-line news publication.
The article resulted in the lawsuit from MAS and the other Muslim groups.
The case ended up in Texas Appellate Court, after the presiding judge refused to rule on whether or not Kaufman was a “media defendant” and to determine if the case should go to trial.
In their appearance before Appellate Court, members of MAS and other Islamic groups that initiated the suit admitted under that neither Kaufman nor his group had ever threatened them in any way, shape or form. The Appellate, therefore, decided that the restraining order should be lifted.
The Court also ruled that Mr. Kaufman is a “media defendant” and deserves all the rights provided to print journalists and moved to dismiss the case, on the grounds that the article written by Kaufman was not about the plaintiffs.
Despite the favorable ruling, the lawsuit took a financial toll on Mr. Kaufman.
A lesser man would be acquiesced to the Islamic demands by issuing an apology.
But Mr. Kaufman is not a journalist with weak knees and a rubber spine.
Other journalists in recent years have been sued for writing and speaking about Islamic terrorists. The list includes Mark Steyn, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Bruce Tefft, and, last but not least, Paul L. Williams.
What about the Muslim American Society (MAS), the group that initiated the suit against Mr. Kaufman? Is it a peaceful Islamic organization that fosters peace on earth and good well toward men?
We think not.
A visitor to a MAS website will be treated to the following quotes from the Koran and the Hadith:
- “The Holy Prophet (and through him the Muslims) has been reassured that he should not mind the enmity, the evil designs and the machinations of the Jews …”
“In view of the degenerate moral condition of the Jews and the Christians, the Believers have been warned not to make them their friends and confidants.”
“If you gain victory over the men of Jews, kill them.”
“The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”
“May Allah destroy the Jews, because they used the graves of their prophets as places of worship.”
“A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death in order to reach his ultimate goal … Regularly make the intention to go on jihad with the ambition to die as a martyr.
In May 2005, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross reported in The Weekly Standard that MAS is a U.S. front group for the Muslim Brotherhood — a claim supported by a September 19, 2004 Chicago Tribune story. “The message that all countries should be ruled by Islamic law,” Gartenstein-Ross writes, “is echoed throughout MAS’s membership curriculum. For example, MAS requires all its adjunct members to read Fathi Yakun’s book To Be a Muslim. In that volume, Yakun spells out his expansive agenda: ‘Until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful.’”
MAS’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood were confirmed on August 14, 2007 at the terror-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation. FBI agent Lara Burns testified that a phonebook found at the home of Ismail Elbarrasse — un-indicted co-conspirator and former assistant to HAMAS leader Musa Abu Marzook — listed the names and numbers of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the United States. On the first page of the phonebook under the title ‘Members of the Board of Directors’ were fifteen names. Among those names are Ahmad Elkadi, Jamal Badawi, and Omar Soubani: the founding incorporators of the Muslim American Society (MAS).”
Joe Kaufman’s victory and his courage under fire merits celebration.
But it should not serve to give true believers the assurance that the last Crusade can and will be won.
When Mr. Kaufman went to Texas to protest ICNA’s Muslim Family Day, we called Christian groups throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area to support Mr. Kaufman in his protest of Muslim Family Day. Only ten out of the thousands who had been summoned showed up to carry placards and to decry the parks exclusion of non-Muslims. The rest believed that the ICNA event which was taking place in their backyard was of no spiritual or patriotic importance.
Posted on 06/29/2009 6:04 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 29 June 2009
Anyone for tennis?
In a tense, drawn out match, Andy Murray, sometime consort of Lady Mondegreen, battled his way through to the Wimbledon quarter final with scarcely a grunt. He deserves to make a mint (geddit?), unlike the unsporting fakers in the latest racket from Newsbiscuit:
Michelle Larcher de Brito, the latest tennis grunting sensation, was booed off the court at Wimbledon yesterday when it was revealed that she was miming. The crowd turned on the teen star when her ‘wounded fox’ recording began to skip, and continued playing while she was seen to be sitting down eating an energy bar between games.
Martina Navratilova, the former champion best remembered for her between sets renditions of ‘Old Man River’ during her 1980s heyday, complained that Michelle was ‘cheating, pure and simple’. Meanwhile, Wimbledon institution Cliff Richard was asked for his views on the controversy, but was unavailable for comment in the wake of revelations that he had provided the vocal track for the Chinese girl lip-syncing at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Posted on 06/29/2009 5:43 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 29 June 2009
Belgian headscarf ban sparks heated reactions
From Ex Patica
The state secondary schools in Antwerp and Hoboken (also part of Antwerp) are in the midst of heated discussion regarding a decision taken by the school administration to ban all religious symbols from the next school year.
The principal of the state secondary school in Antwerp, Karin Heremans, explains that the decision to ban religious symbols stemmed from a growing pressure on Muslim girls to wear veils, even if they don't want to. The idea behind the ban is to take away the growing peer pressure.
"We have noticed that certain students have started feeling less comfortable over the past few years," says school principal Karin Heremans. "We have the impression that some students are under social pressure to conform and wear religious symbols."
The decision to ban religious symbols from the public schools has drawn criticism from the immigrant community. The public schools have many students of different ethnic backgrounds. "This is an emotional decision but the students are at the centre of the discussion. It is a decision that is in the interest of the students."
When Karin Heremans addressed the students in the courtyard to explain the measure her words were met with booing. The police were massively present in the neighbourhood, but no incidents were reported.
During a protest action in the school the Antwerp imam Nordine Taouil, also chairman of the Muslim Executive, called on muslim parents to keep their children at home and not send them to school as long as there is a ban on headscarves. "I'm calling on all parents, muslim parents, not to send their children to school from the first of September until our rights are guaranteed," said the imam.
The Flemish conservative nationalist N-VA party (the big winners of the recent regional elections), thinks the imam has gone too far. The N-VA labels the imam's call to keep children at home "irresponsible".
"Mr Taouil talks about rights, but there are other rights too. Like the right of children to get an education," says Flemish MP Kris Van Dijck. "Calling on parents not to send their children to school threatens their future."
As it is, many students of foreign origin (children who do not speak Dutch at home especially) are somewhat behind at school.
And from Al Arabyia
About a hundred people gathered in Antwerp Sunday to protest a ban on veils imposed over the weekend at the only remaining high school in Belgium that permitted them, according to press reports over the weekend.
The protesters held placards bearing slogans like "Freedom for all, except us" and "Democracy not discrimination," according to a local TV station
It is expected affect about 50 percent of the school’s female students according to Nordin al-Taweel, former president of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, the official national organization of Muslim Belgians, told the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat.
"We notice that the equality and freedom of our students is suffering," the school administrations said in a statement. "It is possible that students feel obliged due to social pressure to wear political and religious symbols. Therefore we will not allow it anymore."
Taweel said that out of 148 elementary and middle schools, only 23 allowed the veil, and that the high schools were the only remaining that permitted students to wear it.
About 100 Muslims, including several students, gathered at Antwerp’s Sint-Jansplein to protest the ban, according to local press reports, following a call by Taweel to stage a demonstration. He also urged parents to boycott the school by not sending their children.
"We feel that the identity of the Muslim woman is targeted," he told the paper. "Women bring up generations. If they are lost, all Muslims will be lost, too."
According to the far right Vlaams Belang party, Taweel is paving the way for founding an Islamic school, a step the party considers unacceptable.
He denied those allegations in several media statements.
His detractors accuse him of appearing moderate to the public while behind the scenes he portrays fundamentalist views.
I would like to see a similar ban in UK schools and institutions.
Posted on 06/29/2009 12:12 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 29 June 2009
Catholic school bans Muslim girls from wearing face veils during official visit
From The Daily Mail
Two Muslim pupils and their teacher were told to remove their facial veils before they could make an official visit to a Catholic school.
The party were from an Islamic school in Great Harwood and were visiting St Mary's School in nearby Blackburn, Lancashire for its annual open day.
A spokesman for St Mary's said the request was made because the veils were against school policy.
The two pupils agreed to the removal but their teacher refused.
She was taken to an office at St Mary's and told she would not be allowed on the premises.
Abdul Quereshi from the Lancashire Council of Mosques spoke out against the ban.
'I thought St Mary's had a good reputation and am very disappointed,' he said. 'The information I have is that this was the action of one individual and now this will once again will become a big issue. The wearing of the veil is to protect the nature of the Muslim family and avoid the temptation facing Muslim males.'
Well done that individual. I don't think there are going to be any Muslim males to be tempted by schoolgirls at a Catholic school.
I can't find out which St Mary's school in Blackburn this is; there are several. Most are primary schools so any boys around would be under the age of 12 anyway.
Update - the mail has updated their report. The school was a Sixth form college (16-18) and the girls were probably aged 15. If they were intending to apply there for their A-levels then they had to understand from the outset, no veil!
Posted on 06/29/2009 11:44 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 29 June 2009
Face it - I'm getting old
I think of the Sony Walkman as, if not quite the dernier cri in portable music, a rather newfangled, snazzy little gizmo. I don't use mine anymore, as I have an iPod, but then so does the Pope. Face it, I'm a fuddy-duddy. And like many fuddy-duddies before me, I only realise it by comparison with the youth of today.
The BBC invited 13-year-old Scott Campbell to swap his iPod for a Walkman for a week, with barely comprehensible results:
My dad had told me it was the iPod of its day.
He had told me it was big, but I hadn't realised he meant THAT big. It was the size of a small book.
From a practical point of view, the Walkman is rather cumbersome, and it is certainly not pocket-sized, unless you have large pockets. It comes with a handy belt clip screwed on to the back, yet the weight of the unit is enough to haul down a low-slung pair of combats.
I can see your predicament - better brace yourself.
When I wore it walking down the street or going into shops, I got strange looks, a mixture of surprise and curiosity, that made me a little embarrassed.
It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.
The devil take me if I know what is meant by "genre-specific equaliser".
Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn't is "shuffle", where the player selects random tracks to play. Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down "rewind" and releasing it randomly - effective, if a little laboured.
I told my dad about my clever idea. His words of warning brought home the difference between the portable music players of today, which don't have moving parts, and the mechanical playback of old. In his words, "Walkmans eat tapes". So my clumsy clicking could have ended up ruining my favourite tape, leaving me music-less for the rest of the day.
That's too, too awful.
You can almost imagine the excitement about the Walkman coming out 30 years ago, as it was the newest piece of technology at the time.
Now I feel like Professor Higgins with his phonograph.
After the Walkman, but before the Mini-disc player, came the Discman. What was the point of that? If you didn't hold it absolutely still and sprit-level horizontal, it would leap about right in the middle of your favourite Abba song, or possibly skip from one Abba song to another: dancing queen....I have a dream...take a chance....you can dance....cross the stream....my my.....why why...aha......aha-ah-ah...my friend...ahahaaa.. You could lose all meaning.
Posted on 06/29/2009 9:01 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 29 June 2009
The Brothers and Al Jazeera
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report expands on an article in the Jerusalem Post which explores the role of the Muslim Brotherhood at Al Jazeera. According to the JP article:
The meteoric rise of the network and its increasing popularity have led many political and media commentators in the Arab world to wonder exactly who or what was behind what appears to be its main purpose: encouraging opposition and promoting incitement against Arab regimes, exposing the corruption of their leaders and their entourage, while holding to an extreme Arab nationalist attitude against the US and Israel and extolling the values of conservative - and sometimes extremist - Islam. It did not take long for one name to emerge: the Muslim Brotherhood. This hypotheisis is supported by a number of facts. The director-general of the network, Wadah Khanfar, was a member of the organization in Jordan, where he was arrested. Today he is one of the closest advisers of the emir. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is also a member of the inner circle of the emir and is known to work closely with Khanfar. Both support Hamas. Arab researchers have succeeded in uncovering a number of other Brothers working for the network, but it is surmised that there are many more. The general consensus is that Qaradawi is the visible tip of the iceberg. In an article published in 2003 in the London-based Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat, Maamun Fendi, a well-known Egyptian liberal thinker today living in the US, wrote that some 50 percent of the network’s personnel belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. He added that their influence in Qatar was rising both in the network and among government circles. According to him, the Brotherhood had intended to hold its world summit in Qatar in 2003 but had to scuttle its plan when it became known. These summits are usually held in a European capital far from Arab countries, in conditions of the utmost discretion, if not secrecy. Fendi believes that Qatar, by embracing the Brotherhood, an extremist Islamic organization quite popular in the Arab world, while hosting American bases, has found the perfect formula against retaliation by Arab leaders and attacks by all other Arab and Islamic extremists including al-Qaida.
According to a report in a Mideast business publication, Wadah Khanfar was born and educated in Jordan where, consistent with a Muslim Brotherhood background, he was educated as an engineer. The same report indicates that he also was a student activist, organizing a student union an activity also consistent with a Muslim Brotherhood background. In a TV interview, Khanfar stated that started his career as a journalist as an analyst on African affairs, mainly on Al Jazeera, while living in South Africa where is was doing graduate study in international politics and African studies at the time. He also described himself in the interview as “a researcher and consultant in Middle Eastern economics and political affairs.” In 1997, Khanfar became the Al Jazeera correspondent in South Africa. However, while living in South Africa, Khanfar was also was the Director of Human Resource Development for the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (IIFSO), an organization closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood. A memo purporting to be a 1998 briefing document prepared for the South African President Thabo Mbeki has long been posted on the Internet and describes the IIFSO as working closely with Hamas:
According to information HAMAS members in South Africa does not recognise the MUSLIM YOUTH MOVEMENT (MYM) as the official organ representing the Muslim youth in South Africa. HAMAS is of the opinion that the MYM have lost their control of the youths representation. Based upon this situation HAMAS, with the help of the INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC FEDERATION OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS (IIFSO) are busy to establish institutions for the Muslim youth in South Africa to take over the role of the MYM. These youth centres are implemented in Pretoria and Cape Town.
The memo also identifies an individual called Wahdan Abu Ahmed KHUNFUR who it says was a Trustee of the Al Aqsa Foundation in South Africa as well as a Hamas contact. The Al Aqsa Foundation is one of the organizations comprising the Union of Good, the worldwide coalition of charities collecting money for Hamas and directed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. The memo appears to be genuine, containing substantial detail and matching the time that Khanfar was known to be living in South Africa, but cannot be verified as genuine or that these are the same individuals. It should be noted, however, that a Jordanian newspaper reported recently that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave Qatari officials a file demonstrating Khanfar’s Hamas/Brotherhood connections.
In 2003, Khanfar became head of the Al Jazeera Baghdad bureau and shortly thereafter station General Manager. A recent report in Nation Magazine attributes the support by the Al Jazeera television station for Islamic movements to Khanfar’s influence. According to the report, Al Jazeera coverage changed when Khanfar took over in March 2003:
“How things are covered, the prominence of things, what words are used–sometimes you do see that very clear Islamist subtext, depending on the issue,” says Alberto Fernandez, the director for press and public diplomacy in the Bureau of Near East Affairs at the State Department. “We see the unconditional support of Islamic movements, no matter where they are: Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan,” says a Jordanian official who did not wish to be identified because of what he characterized as the deteriorating relations between his country and Qatar. Dozens of hours of viewing Al Jazeera for this article confirm the charge. Whether it’s reporting the Hamas perspective from the occupied territories without mention of the Palestinian Authority’s version of events, or the fawning depiction elsewhere of Islamist parties and militias as the grassroots reflection of Arab sentiment, Al Jazeera has moved away from its ideologically diverse origins to a more populist/Islamist approach. After the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera replaced its longtime secular bureau chief in Baghdad, Faisal Yasiri, with Wadah Khanfar, who had reported from Afghanistan after the American invasion in 2001 and then Kurdish-controlled territory as the war with Iraq was launched in 2003. Shortly thereafter, the secular head of Al Jazeera, Mohammed Jassem Ali, was ousted and replaced by Khanfar, whom nine current and former employees of the station interviewed for this article characterize as an Islamist. It was around this time that Jazeera’s Iraq bureau “became a platform for [Sunni] extremists,” says Shaker Hamid, a secular Jazeera correspondent in Baghdad from 1997 to 2000, who left to work at another Arab satellite station after getting what he says was a better offer. “I can’t say that Jazeera’s rhetoric is completely against Shiites,” Hamid says. “The Americans introduced this, but the media should not make it worse, and Jazeera did.”
The report goes on to say that the trend toward Islamism at the station is continuing:
Former employees of Jazeera interviewed for this article say the newsroom is becoming more religiously conservative. “Everyone is complaining about the new trend now–that the liberals, the secular types, the Arab nationalists are getting downsized and the Islamic position is dominating the newsroom,” says Hamid, the former Baghdad correspondent. Mirazi, the former Washington bureau chief, told Al Hayat: “From the first day of the Wadah Khanfar era, there was a dramatic change–especially because of him selecting assistants who are hard-line Islamists.”
Posted on 06/29/2009 8:20 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 29 June 2009
Iran slams 'terrorist attack' on embassy
From the Swedish edition of The Local
Iran's official news agency, IRNA, described a protest outside the Iranian embassy in Stockholm on Friday as a “terrorist attack" after around 100 protesters stormed the compound and a staff member was injured.Iran summoned Swedish Ambassador Magnus Werndstedt following the incident.
"Following the terrorist attack by anti-revolutionary groups on Iran's embassy in Stockholm on Friday, the Swedish ambassador was summoned immediately," the IRNA report said.
The employee, whose nationality was not known, was hurt when protesters entered the compound and attacked him, according to Stockholm police.
He was punched and kicked and received medical attention at the embassy.
The protest outside the Iranian embassy in Stockholm broke out on Friday afternoon. Around 150 demonstrators, some of them wearing masks, began throwing rocks and trying to break into the embassy.
“People were yelling chants and cheers at the Iranian embassy for about an hour, and then about an hour later around 100 of the protesters entered the embassy compound through a gate,” Massood Mafan, a witness at the scene, told news agency TT.
“We are here because we demand that Sweden shut down the embassy and suspend all relations with Iran,” Mohammad Mohammad Bagheri, 29, told TT.
Ulf Höglund of the Stockholm police said the number of protesters inside the compound remains unconfirmed. Two people have been arrested on suspicion of vandalism.
Posted on 06/29/2009 3:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 29 June 2009
Terrorism conviction upheld
From The Copenhagen Post
One of the two men who had appealed a conviction for a planning a terrorist attack will serve an extra year in jail
The Eastern High Court upheld the sentence of two men convicted last year of planning terror attacks and increased the sentence of one man by a year.
Hammad Khürshid and Abdoulghani Tokhi were arrested in 2007 after domestic intelligence agency PET learned that one of the two had attended an al-Qaeda training camp.
Khürshid, of Pakistani background and Tokhi, of Afghan background, were sentenced in October to 12 and seven years respectively. Tokhi’s sentence was increased to eight years today.
The court also upheld Tokhi’s deportation to Afghanistan, ruling that that the seriousness of his crime outweighed his weak ties to his native country. He will be expelled from Denmark after serving his sentence.
The two are convicted of making explosives to be used in a terror attack. The men had admitted to making triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which is commonly used in terrorist bombs, but claimed that the explosive was to be used for fireworks.
Posted on 06/29/2009 2:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 29 June 2009
Of tangential points and mission statements
I just posted this comment at the Nashville Scene. I just got back into town after taking the kids out for the weekend to a large amusement park in California (no, the other one), to splash around, try to stay cool, eat lots of unhealthy food, and generally have fun. Just like all extreme-right-wing Islamophobic extremists are wont to do when not mongering fear.
Jack Silverman said:
"Imagine that! Right-wing extremists grasping onto one tangential point having little or nothing to do with my central argument, then obsessing over it to divert attention from the flimsiness of their own argument."
Jack, Jack, Jack. Right-wing extremists? If you say so, you're the self-appointed expert. But I must tell you that I voted for Barack Obama in the general election, Hillary Clinton in the primary, and have voted Democratic ever since I was old enough to vote. I am pro-abortion-rights, pro-gay-rights, pro-gay-marriage, pro-universal-healthcare, pro-womens'-rights, pro-free-speech, pro-religious-tolerance, anti-war-in-Iraq, and so on. Which is exactly why I am ... against Islam.
Islam is the viewpoint of a 7th Century paedophilic, misogynist, looting, raping, slave-taking warlord, (and I can back each of those terms up with quotes from the holy Qur'an and the ahadith) codified for eternity, with no mechanism for a Reformation such as what Christianity went through. Islam is what it is, and it is not subject to changing values as society develops over time. Mohammad makes GWB look like a card-carrying ACLU/NAACP/NOW member by comparison.
Here is my prediction: One day, it may be 1 year from now, or 10, but one day you will come to realize (because of future events, or maybe even because despite yourself you will begin to investigate what Islam actually teaches) that you have been defending a belief system that stands against everything you believe in. In your desire to be open-minded and tolerant, you have supported a fascist belief system that stones gays to death, beats women for going in public without being covered head-to-toe, encourages forced marriage (i.e. rape) of pre-teen girls, and so on. Think of me then, Jack. I won't say "I told you so." I just happened to figure it out before you did, but many others figured it out before I did. But the day will come, because Islam will not change for you or anyone else, it will not swerve. Investigate what the "Gates of Ijtihad" are, and why they are important.
And now on to your main point (I wouldn't want to be accused of ignoring your main point in this post), that I was grasping on to one tangential point etc. I don't know how you do it, but you've got it exactly backwards again. Here are some quotes:
"The group's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."
"The group's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."
"The New English Review's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."
"The New English Review's Web site lists a Nashville mailing address, but it does not include a description of the group's purpose or mission."
And of course, some words that might sound familiar:
"What is the New English Review, you ask? I`m still scratching my head on that one, too. There`s no discernible mission statement or "about us" page..."
(Thanks to Mary Jackson for compiling this list)
In other words, the media is simply parroting the same lines, over and over. They are grasping onto one tangential point having little or nothing to do with New English Review's central argument, and obsessing over it as if it has any significance whatsoever. Instead of putting some effort into investigating, let alone trying to rebutt, the writings at the New English Review, they (or should I say you) are acting as if this is some sign of hidden malevolence.
"New English Review, they're comin' to gitcha!"
As for what your central argument was in your original post, I'm not sure what it was. That Islam is not responsible for Islamically-justified terrorist attacks, and that New English Review should not be allowed to have a meeting in Nashville? Unfortunately for you, our gathering went along quite nicely. The speakers were fabulous, and I met some fascinating people from across the globe who are all well-educated about Islam.
I'll cross-post this at New English Review, since most NER readers, like me, don't often read the Nashville Scene, except for the rare occasion when Rebecca Bynum is kind enough to provide a link.
Oh, BTW, I don't want to insult the other writers at New English Review by giving the impression that they all share my liberal views. I speak for myself, and so do they.
(Don't miss the comments from Rebecca, Mary, and John!)
UPDATE: After four attempts since last night, my comment is still not showing up at the Nashville Scene, while others' comments are. Typical of the type of free and open conversation about Islam that we are allowed to have in the West. What are you so afraid of, Jack?
UPDATE: The post not appearing was due to technical issues. Jack Silverman manually pushed it through, and the post now appears.
Posted on 06/29/2009 2:25 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Monday, 29 June 2009
85 sharia courts in UK, says report
There are as many as 85 sharia courts operating in Britain, according to a new report.
Academic Denis MacEoin, the report's author, said the existence of the courts practising Islamic law could lead to different legal standards being applied to Muslim and non-Muslim citizens.
He said many of the courts operate out of mosques and their rulings are closed off to non-Muslims.
In previous reports it was claimed there were only five sharia courts in the UK, working in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Nuneaton.
He said: "This is not a matter of eating halal meat or seeking God's blessing on one's marriage. It is a challenge to what we believe to be the rights and freedoms of the individual, to our concept of a legal system based on what parliament enacts, and to the right of all of us to live in a society as free as possible from ethnic-religious division or communal claims to superiority and a special status that puts them in some respects above the law to which we are all bound."
His report, published by the think-tank Civitas, includes a list of previous sharia judgements which he believes give an indication of the type of ruling being handed down by the courts working in the UK.
Among the examples quoted are laws banning a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim unless he converts to Islam and the removal of a wife's property rights in the event of divorce.
The report states: "Among the rulings ... we find some that advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards as they are applied by British courts."
This is a poster advertising one such court. It was in the window of the islamic shop in Queens Road, Walthamstow, almost opposite the Masjid-e-Umer, the centre of at least one terrorist plot. With many English County Courts now closed (and my colleagues redundant) the fees increased and the backlogs ditto, even before you look at the language difficulties and accessability you can see the attraction of a free court at your neighbourhood Mosque. I wonder how these are financed?
Posted on 06/29/2009 1:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 28 June 2009
More Da?wa: CAIR to distribute 100,000 Qurans to state and local leaders
CAIR issued a news release launching a new initiative in its 2010 Strategic plan: distribution of 100,000 Qurans to US state and local officials. In the news release CAIR said it was prompted to conduct Da’wa (preaching) by President Obama’s Cairo speech:
"In the multi-year initiative, American Muslims will sponsor Qurans for distribution to governors, state attorneys general, educators, law enforcement officials, state and national legislators, local elected and public officials, media professionals and other local or national leaders who shape public opinion or determine policy," the statement said.
According to the press release from CAIR, the "Share the Quran" educational campaign "was prompted by President Obama's recent address to Muslims worldwide in which he quoted from that holy text."
CAIR Chairman and North Carolina Democratic State senator, Larry Shaw noted:
"Through this ground-breaking outreach initiative, we hope not only to educate policy-makers and opinion leaders about Islam, but also to provide an opportunity for American Muslims to reach out to their fellow citizens of other faiths."
The "Share the Quran" initiative, according to the CAIR statement, is part of the celebration of the council's 15th anniversary.
In an interpretation of a verse from the Quran used by Obama in his Cairo speech , WorldNetDaily noted:
During his speech "to the Muslim world" from Cairo on June 4, Obama referred to the Quran as "holy" four times and quoted several verses from the Islamic text. He also used Muslim terminology, such as the Quranic obligation of "zakat" or charity.
As the Holy Quran tells us, 'Be conscious of God and speak always the truth,'" Obama said. "That is what I will try to do – to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart."
Obama was reading from chapter 9 verse 119 of the Quran, which scholars pointed out to WND carries two interpretations: the primary exegesis, or tafsir, which deals with speaking the truth, and a second, underlying tafsir urging Muslims to follow Muhammad in waging jihad against nonbelievers. [This is based on context].
In an NER article, “ Is CAIR’s 2010 Plan a Fiasco?” we noted prior efforts to spread Da’wa (preaching among Americans:
CAIR trumpeted one element of the “hearts and minds” campaign, the delivery of more than 40,000 press kits to newspaper editors, radio and TV stations and electronic media outlets in a blitz distribution in late 2007. Note this report from PRWeek:
WASHINGTON: The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) has launched a campaign called "Beyond Stereotypes," featuring a new publication called American Muslims: A Journalist's Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims, which intends to educate the media and disabuse journalists of misinformation about the religion.
The guide and the campaign were developed by the nonprofit advocacy group's national office. The campaign's aim is to provide the Islamic perspective on such issues as democracy, women's rights, and "interfaith relations."
CAIR plans to distribute the publication to as many as 40,000 editors, reporters, and producers at major media outlets across the country, as part of the broader initiative to educate the media about Islam.
As regards the particular version of the Quran, perhaps, CAIR might distribute one of the translations of the ‘holy work’ such as the Pickthall version. A worthy project to counter the CAIR Da’wa project might be to enlist a benefactor to send a kit to all these state and local leaders composed of critical works such as Andrew Bostom’s, “ The Legacy of Jihad,” Robert Spencer’s, a “Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)”, Ibn Warriq’s What the Koran Really Says: Language, Text, and Commentary; or the Center of the Study of Political Islam series, starting with A Simple Koran.
But we seriously doubt that a benefactor will come forward to do this. Sic Gloria “Stealth Jihad.”
Posted on 06/28/2009 9:59 PM by Jerry Gordon
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Is there dissension in the Department of Justice about Obama?s outreach to the ISNA?
This coming week, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) will hold its annual convention in Washington, DC. The Obama Administration has done a literal two step. As reported by IPTNews,” FBI Replaces Brotherhood-Tainted Liaison with Brotherhood-Tainted Liaison”, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI have simply exchanged one Muslim Brotherhood Front, CAIR, for another, the ISNA. This is in furtherance of outreach to the American Muslim community following the President’s Cairo U. speech. In a controversial move the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it will send representatives to attend the ISNA convention. IPT News report noted that there is serious dissension in the DOJ and FBI over this ISNA issue. There is good reason for these internal DOJ and FBI concerns given the recent convictions in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial. The federal prosecutors had named CAIR, ISNA and several other Muslim Brotherhood front groups as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial. This trial resulted in May convictions of five officials of the Muslim charity on charges of funneling over $12 million in funds to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Two of the HLF officials fled the US in 2004 for Syria when the indictment in the original trial was handed down, as we have posted. The ISNA has admitted ties to Hamas.
The Investigative Project alerted us to an Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR investigation of the ISNA, which has its national headquarters in that area. The report, “Images in Conflict,” was done back in 2004 but is still relevant. You can watch the WTHR report on YouTube, here and here.
In the transcript of the WTHR investigation of ISNA were these revelations:
On Holy Land Foundation and Hamas connections
Tucked away on the farmland of rural Plainfield, Indiana, are headquarters to one of the largest Islamic organizations in the country – the Islamic Society of North America.
Its charismatic leader, Dr. Sayyid Syeed, promotes ISNA as a mainstream organization of American Muslims. He preaches family values, unity and acceptance of all religions.
"Here we are Muslims, young and old, men and women," he said in a Friday prayer service earlier this year. "We respect Christianity. We respect Judaism…. America should be proud of this community."
It's talk that is worlds away from the beliefs of Islamic extremists.
But although ISNA is a well-respected Islamic organization that's received accolades from Indiana's late Governor and even grant money from the federal government, some charge it is a supporter of extreme ideology.
Steven Emerson, author of the bestselling "American Jihad: The terrorists Living Among Us," dedicated an entire section of his book to ISNA as a supporter of militant Islamic groups.
Emerson says ISNA's popular annual conventions, attended by thousands of Muslims, serve as gathering places for some Islamic extremists to raise money and share ideas.
"I think ISNA has been an umbrella, also a promoter of groups that have been involved in terrorism," Emerson told Eyewitness News. "I am not going to accuse ISNA of being directly involved in terrorism. I will say ISNA has sponsored extremists, racists, people who call for Jihad against the United States."
In fact, we found about a dozen charities, organizations or individuals under federal scrutiny for possible ties to terrorism that are linked in some way to ISNA – ties sources tell us have also placed ISNA under the federal microscope.
ISNA has provided convention booth space and helped raise money for a number of Islamic charities later linked to terrorism by the federal government – groups like the Holy Land Foundation.
ISNA has also supported Hamas leader Mousa Marzook, who was deported from the U.S. in 1997 and is on the State Department's designated terrorist list. Marzook thanked ISNA in an open letter of appreciation for support of his legal defense fund.
"It doesn't hurt it you give a few words of support or if you give a few words of sympathy," Syeed said. "The issue is, do I get involved in some major campaign? Then it would be a problem."
Emerson said ISNA took Marzook on "as their poster child."
"Go ask ISNA whether Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad are terrorist groups," he said.
When we asked, Syeed said: "That's not us."
But does he condemn the groups?
"We will condemn anywhere there is hate, whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jew or whatever."
On convicted felon Sami Al Arian, Triple I-T and Saudi funding
Recently indicted University of South Florida professor Sami Al Arian is one controversial figure ISNA supported. In a federal indictment, Al Arian is accused of heading the U.S. front for the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The DOJ links him to the death of 100 civilians overseas, including two Americans. When Al Arian was arrested, ISNA issued a statement critical of the government.
Syeed downplayed the action.
"Sometime we might have said that so-and-so should not be targeted just because he's a Muslim," he said. "But once you know there's a definite case in court, ultimately it will be the court that will decide. No one else will decide."
Before coming to ISNA, Syeed was a long-time employee of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, an Islamic think tank in Virginia known as Triple I-T. Federal authorities executed a search warrant there last year. The reason - major donations made, while Syeed was there, to an organization founded by Sami Al Arian.
"It was a surprise for me, a shock for me," Syeed said.
He said he no longer has any ties to Triple I-T. But according to the group's website, Syeed is still on the advisory board of its journal. Triple I-T leaders say they have no ties to terrorism, and no charges have been filed.
Some of ISNA's own members have raised concerns on another issue: large donations from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia follows an extreme version of Islam known as Wahhabism, and questions continue to swirl around Saudi connections to terrorism, including the attack on 9-11.
Thus, in light of the Holy Land Foundation and Al-Arian convictions, ties to the extremist Triple I-T and Hamas, you can understand why there is dissension in the Justice Department FBI ‘substitution’ of the ISNA for CAIR at the behest of the Obama White House.
Posted on 06/28/2009 7:07 PM by Jerry Gordon
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Is Waxman-Markey a 'clean' energy Act?
Read this AP analysis of the narrowly passed House version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (“The Waxman Markey Act”) "Winners and Losers emerge in the Climate Bill" and then look at your monthly electrical bill and visualize a possible five-fold increase. Your utility costs will increase each year until 2050 when we may get an 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide levels for less than a 0.05 degree Celsius drop in average temperatures at a cost of over $7.4 trillion according to a Heritage Foundation Study cited by Investors Business Daily. Further, an internal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, surfaced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute indicated that: "Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data." The Heritage Foundation Study notes that human activity generates less than 3.4% of carbon dioxide which in turn accounts for less than 3.6 % of all greenhouse gases, the bugaboo of global warming. Moreover, there will not be a net gain in employment from the greening of America, quite the reverse, millions of jobs will be diminished.
I'm a transplant from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast. The one thing I learned as a transplanted New Englander was that electricity is darn expensive in these parts. Part of it is the climate. Its warmer most of the year. But the other factor is in the Southeastern US most of the power is generated by coal-fired plants-a scapegoat of the Waxman-Markey Act promoted by the Obama Administration. The crowning set piece of this Act is the Cap and Trade, some call it Cap and Tax, proposal directed at allegedly putting a cap on carbon dioxide generation by fossil fuels like coal and oil, although natural gas is given a reprieve because of its alleged cleanliness. Gasoline would be taxed at the refinery and passed on to the consumers. Neither would natural gas escape the additoonal taxes. Western states get heavy subsidies for solar, geo thermal and wind resources, while the Northeast gets incentives for biomass. Nuclear power, the cleanest of all energy sources, gets some support, but nowhere near that going to the renewable energy advocates. Further, lumber companies get paid not to cut trees down because trees absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into oxygen. The Act also gives foreign aid to reforest tropical forests. Tropical forests like those in Brazil, currently being cleared for agricultural production of sugar ethanol with its flex fuel mandates.
The Act penalizes refining of oil here, virtually assuring that we are forced to purchase refined products from questionable offshore locations. The Act amounts to a huge inter-regional wealth transfer tax for not a lot of benefit. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies of the Act indicate that the cost impact will be less than $175 per person per year (CBO), while the EPA alleges its analysis says less than $80.00. Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts, co-sponsor of this Act, along with Hollywood Congressman, Henry Waxman, blithely trumpets that it will cost less than a postage stamp a day. Where have I heard that before?
Think of the Ethanol subsidy program that supplies 10% of a gallon of gas with each fill up at the pump resulting in less combustion and lower mileage. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that the confiscatory effects of this new climate change proposal is worse, perhaps as much as $3,300 a year per household by 2020. It will transform what's left of our automobile industry, increasingly under government direct control, by mandating production of smaller fuel efficient vehicles and it will result in sticker shock when you open those monthly utility bills. All this because of the specter of global warming and climate change based largely on consensus science and interpretation of speculative computer simulations. How much of this is based on real science, meaning the consequence of natural weather cycles, and how much is sheer statistical speculation is hard for an educated layperson to tease out from the welter of alleged facts.
I only need remind you of the consequences of panic in 1979 with the infamous Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear plant incident conflated by the, "China Syndrome" film starring Jane Fonda that threw everyone into a panic about the dangers of a possible reactor meltdown and radiation death. Didn't happen here. It may have at Chernobyl in 1986 because of lousy Russian nuclear engineering and plant safety. So we panicked, and shot ourselves in the foot. We could have avoided passage of the House Waxman-Markey Act by a razor thin margin of less than seven, 219 to 212. If we hadn't panicked then we would have nuclear energy plants today, which would have given us a bulwark for energy independence and aided in achieving a cleaner environment. Not to be. If the TMI panic had not occurred we could have avoided this looming transformational disaster, the untoward consequences of this Act. The Obama Administration with willing assistance of the Democratic super majorities in the House and Senate are on a fast track to gain its adoption. We hope that ‘blue dog’ Democrats in the Senate will follow the lead of their colleagues in the House who joined Republicans to narrow the margin of the victory sought by House Democratic managers of the Waxman-Markey Act and strangle this L’Enfant terrible legislation in its cradle. If the Senate Democratic Majority succumbs to the siren-like calls of consensus scientists and computer simulations using questionable data, this country could witness the throttling of its economic productivity. Further, it could imperil our national security by further ramping up imports of foreign oil and natural gas. We have more than two hundred years of coal reserves in this country, some of which could be converted to clean fuel for power plants and into petroleum products for our vehicles. But, not with this legislation. Waxman-Markey, is an expensive failure aborning in a vain attempt to deal with the phantom of climate change.
Posted on 06/28/2009 4:29 PM by Jerry Gordon
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Kaufman Case Thrown Out
Press release - (Dallas, TX) The lawsuit and restraining order that were filed against the Chairman of Americans Against Hate (AAH) Joe Kaufman by seven Dallas-area Muslim organizations, in October 2007, were thrown out this past week by the State of Texas Court of Appeals, Second District of Texas Fort Worth.
The seven plaintiffs included the Muslim American Society (MAS), which the U.S. government has called a front for the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, and three Islamic centers owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), an organization that was named a co-conspirator in the 2007/2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas financing trial.
The groups claimed in the lawsuit that Kaufman had written an article for FrontPage Magazine that libeled them, yet not one of the groups was actually named in the article. It was about the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and its connection to the financing of terrorism overseas. Kaufman, in October 2007, had flown to Texas to lead a demonstration outside an ICNA-sponsored event to expose this information to the public.
Regarding the restraining order or temporary injunction, the groups admitted under oath that neither Kaufman nor his group had ever threatened them in any way, shape or form. Indeed, with respect to this case, it was Kaufman and his organization that received a threat, before Kaufmans arrival in Texas.
The case was placed in the Appellate, after the presiding judge refused to rule on whether or not Kaufman was a "media defendant"and refused to rule on the case ("summary judgment") prior to it going to trial.
The Appellate dealt with both issues, stating that Kaufman was a media defendant and deserved all the rights provided to print journalists. And the Appellate moved to dismiss the case, on the grounds that the article written by Kaufman was not about and did not mention any of the plaintiffs or appellees. The Appellate basically agreed with everything that Kaufman and his attorneys were arguing and shot down the arguments from the losing side.
One of the more embarrassing arguments from the other side was that Joe Kaufman ran FrontPage Magazine. FrontPage, in reality, is run by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Kaufman is a columnist for it. Both Kaufman and David Horowitz wrote and filed affidavits attesting to this. The plaintiffs worked hard to have these affidavits thrown out.
From the start of the case, Kaufman has called the lawsuit entirely frivolous and stated that it was only brought to harm Kaufman financially and to stop him from writing about the terrorism ties of the plaintiff's friends. In the end, the case was an important victory for Freedom of Speech.
Posted on 06/28/2009 2:53 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 28 June 2009
The shocking picture of a white boy aged 11 being 'converted' to Islam by radical preacher
The Mail on Sunday misses the point completely that Islam is not a race and Muslims can be, and are white, sometimes several generations so, even in England.
What is the point is that Anjem Choudary is roving ready to do instant conversions. An adult baptism would take weeks, if not months of study, prayer and preparation. In my church confirmation will not be considered before the end of year 7, slightly older than this boy. A man I used to work with converted to islam a few years ago so that he could marry his wife and colleagues told me that the preparation for that also took months.
This is the shocking picture of a young, white schoolboy being converted to Islam by a cleric linked to a radical Muslim hate preacher.
The bewildered 11-year-old, who gives his name as Sean was filmed repeating Arabic chants and swearing allegiance to Allah.
The boy is prompted throughout by controversial cleric Anjem Choudary, a follower of exiled hate-preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed.
Choudary defended the young boy's 'reversion' to Islam but admitted his parents were not with him and were not consulted.
He said: 'The child was genuinely interested in Islam. The boy told us he wanted to become a Muslim and, of course, some people are intellectually more mature than they are physically. I don't see there is any harm in this.
'He was with his friends, but I didn't see if his parents were there,' he added.
A message on Choudary's website offers advice for those who become Muslim at his Islamic Roadshow.
'Conversion packs are already provided to those who revert to Islam in the Islamic Roadshows,' it says. 'They include a booklet on 'Everything a Muslim must know' and a free DVD with a brief guide on how to pray in Islam.'
Some churches do a great deal to reach young people searching for God and spiritual development. But there is much more work needs to be done. And look at the strange staring eyes of the chap to the right - he looks like he is seeing raisins.
Posted on 06/28/2009 1:49 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Miliband's lethal weapon
Posted on 06/28/2009 12:09 PM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Regrets, I've had a few...
John Tierney writes:
Marc Bekoff, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Colorado, says he’s convinced that animals feel emotional pain for their mistakes and missed opportunities. In “Wild Justice,” a new book he wrote with the philosopher Jessica Pierce, Dr. Bekoff reports on thousands of hours of observation of coyotes in the wild as well as free-running domesticated dogs.
When a coyote recoiled after being bitten too hard while playing, the offending coyote would promptly bow to acknowledge the mistake, Dr. Bekoff said. If a coyote was shunned for playing unfairly, he would slouch around with his ears slightly back, head cocked and tail down, tentatively approaching and then withdrawing from the other animals. Dr. Bekoff said the apologetic coyotes reminded him of the unpopular animals skulking at the perimeter of a dog park.
“These animals are not as emotionally sophisticated as humans, but they have to know what’s right and wrong because it’s the only way their social groups can work,” he said. “Regret is essential, especially in the wild. Humans are very forgiving to their pets, but if a coyote in the wild gets a reputation as a cheater, he’s ignored or ostracized, and he ends up leaving the group.” Once the coyote is on his own, Dr. Bekoff discovered, the coyote’s risk of dying young rises fourfold.
If our pets realize what soft touches we are, perhaps their regret is mostly just performance art to sucker us. But I like to think that some of the ruefulness is real, and that researchers will one day compile a list of the Top 10 Pet Regrets. (You can make nominations at TierneyLab, at nytimes.com/tierneylab.) At the very least, I’d like to see researchers tackle a few of the great unanswered questions:
When you’re playing fetch with a dog, how much regret does he suffer when he gives you back the ball? As much as when he ends the game by hanging on to the ball?
Do animal vandals feel any moral qualms? After seeing rugs, suitcases and furniture destroyed by my pets, I’m not convinced that evolution has endowed animals with any reliable sense of property rights. But I’m heartened by Eugene Linden’s stories of contrite vandals in his book on animal behavior, “The Parrot’s Lament.”
He tells of a young tiger that, after tearing up all the newly planted trees at a California animal park, covered his eyes with his paws when the zookeeper arrived. And there were the female chimpanzees at the Tulsa Zoo that took advantage of a renovation project to steal the painters’ supplies, don gloves and paint their babies solid white. When confronted by their furious keeper, the mothers scurried away, then returned with peace offerings and paint-free babies.
How awkward is the King Kong Syndrome? Both male and female gorillas have become so fond of their human keepers that they’ve made sexual overtures — one even took to dragging his keeper by her hair. After the inevitable rebuff, do they regret ruining a beautiful friendship?
Do pet cats ever regret anything?
Posted on 06/28/2009 11:13 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Miliband rebukes Iran after arrest of British embassy employees
I bet the ayatollahs are quivering in their socks after a "rebuke" from the schoolboy. After all he has been so formidably decisive in the matter of the 5 British hostages kidnapped in Iraq, 2 of whom have now been found to have been dead for 18 months.
Nine employees of the British embassy in Tehran have been detained by the authorities in a worrying escalation of tensions between Iran and Britain.
David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, has issued a sharp rebuke to Iran after the arrests, which are part of a campaign by the clerical regime in Iran against what it has portrayed as foreign interference in its politics.
The employees were arrested on suspicion of playing a role in the demonstrations that followed Iran's disputed presidential election. Those demonstrations, which saw calls for a re-run amid allegations of widespread vote rigging, have now largely fizzled out after a crackdown by regime.
Mr Miliband dismissed the allegations of British involvement in the demonstrations as preposterous. He called for the detainees to be released immediately, saying: "This is harassment and intimidation of a kind that is quite unacceptable. We want to see [them] released unharmed. These are hard-working diplomatic staff and the idea that the British Embassy is somehow behind the demonstrations and protests that have been taking place in Tehran in recent weeks is wholly without foundation."
The embassy employees were rounded up on Saturday and a number were released yesterday. A relative of one of those detained said the staff member had disappeared: "He went out yesterday morning and I have been unable to reach him since his mobile phone is switched off. Since then I have had no news of his whereabouts."
Mr Miliband said Britain had made a strong protest to the Iranian authorities and had raised the issue with his European Union counterparts gathering in Corfu.Last week both countries threw out mid-ranking diplomats in a tit-for-tat round of expulsions, but British officials are wary of being drawn into a protracted dispute with Iran which could serve to distract attention from the domestic pressure to overturn the result of the election.
Posted on 06/28/2009 10:40 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax