Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Same old scapegoat
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It gives me no pleasure to learn of the rise of far right parties in Austria, even if they oppose mosque building. Nigel Jones comments in The Times:

By and large the Germans have faced up to and faced down their Nazi past. The Austrians have not, hence why, unlike Germans, a third of them are willing to vote for xenophobic parties.

Until this decade, Austrian schools continued to teach that the country was “Hitler's first victim”, rather than his earliest collaborator. The 1938 newsreel films showing the delirious Viennese crowds welcoming Hitler back give the lie to that particular piece of special pleading. As well as Hitler, many of the worst Nazi war criminals - including two of those hanged at Nuremberg, the SS leader Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Arthur Seyss-Inquart, overlord of the occupied Netherlands - were Austrians; as was Otto Skorzeny, reputed leader of the postwar Odessa organisation of former SS men.

The Times carries another disturbing report:

A Muslim cemetery in Austria was desecrated in the same weekend that elections established the far-Right as the largest political bloc in the country.

More than 90 graves were severely damaged at the cemetery in Traun, near Linz, in what police believe was an organised action of far-Right extremists.

According to a Linz police spokesman, the incident happened between Friday night and Monday morning. The offenders have sprayed Jewish symbols such as the Star of David over some of the graves, but police believe that it was a bid to distract attention from far-Right offenders.

The descration of Muslim cemeteries is a despicable act in itself. To do so with Jewish symbols compounds the crime. I suspect that Jewish symbols would not have been chosen but for a belief that enough Austrians will be ready to blame the Jews.

BNP supporters take note: opposition to Muslims is not enough. Not if it is being used as a tool of racism - not the manufactured racism of "Islamophobia" but the real racism of Jew-hatred.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:35 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Today in the "Religion of Peace?"
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On September 29th, 1547, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born near Madrid, Spain, or as the Muslims refer to it, Al-Andalus.  Cervantes was not a Muslim, as the "Moors" (Muslim invaders) had been driven back out of Spain a few generations before his birth.  Cervantes' connection to Islam would come later in his life, when he battled, and when he was taken prisoner by, Muslim pirates.

Cervantes joined the Spanish army at the age of 23, and fought against the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate in the Battle of Lepanto.  In this naval battle, the fleet of the Christian Holy League decisively defeated the Muslims, ending the Islamic invasion of Europe, and curtailing Islamic slave-raiding in southern and central Europe.  In the battle, Cervantes was badly injured, and permanently lost the use of his left hand.

After finishing his military service, he began the sailing journey back to Spain, when he was captured by Islamic Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean Sea.  He was taken to Algiers, where he served as the slave of Benedikli Hasan Pasha for five years, until the Christian Trinitarian friars paid his ransom.

Just as Eskimos (Inuit) supposedly have a multitude of words for types of snow, Muslims have a multitude of words for types of slaves.  Cervantes was a Saqaliba, which is a transliteration of Greek "Sklavinoi", for "Slavs".  It specifies slaves taken from Italy and Spain, and refers to their light skin tone.  Saqaliba served as servants, eunuchs, craftsmen, and soldiers, and were highly prized by their Muslim captors for their relatively high level of education.  They were similar to the Mamluks, who were also white slaves taken from the Caucusus and conscripted as soldiers.

According to Robert Davis, over 1 million Europeans were taken as slaves by Muslim slave-raiders between 1530 and 1780.

This paper by James William Brodman gives some detailed description of Islamic slave-raiding in Europe, and contains some quotes describing the conditions of the lives of the slaves:

Bougie and the other western ports became crowded with captives, the roads rang with the noise of their chains, especially when the unfortunates, bound with irons and chains, poured out of their quarters to work at their daily tasks.  (Ibn Khaldun, Muslim scholar and historian)

Muslim emirates armed and sent forth their fleets with the sole intention of capturing kufirs' booty:

They arrived by surprise and took off all they could get their hands on; they also attacked the ships of the infidels [i.e., the Christians], very often seizing them and returning with them filled with booty and prisoners.  (Ibn Khaldun)

Treatment of the slaves was harsh:

For he who has been captured by the Saracens is led to Lérida bound in iron chains, and afflicted with hunger and thirst and various sufferings, and is at last to be imprisoned as a slave.  (Bishop Gaufred)

And yet modern revisionists such as Harold Cox and Edward Rothstein (h/t Hugh Fitzgerald) have the audacity to re-interpret Cervantes' work as being pro-Islamic, based on some very unconvincing and unsound reasoning.  Imagine the outcry if revisionists attempted to claim that black slaves in America enjoyed slavery and admired their slave-owners, based on a literary device that Frederick Douglass used in one of his books.

His ransom paid to the Muslim warlords, Cervantes returned to Spain where he served in the government and began his literary career.  His most famous novel was Don Quixote de la Mancha, the story of a confused and naive man who sets off on a series of journeys to uphold an idealized and childish version of chivalry, to rescue non-existent damsels in non-existent distress, and to save persons who are not actually in need of saving.  All his "good deeds" end in failure and humiliation, in a story not without some resonance today.  Don Quixote regains his sanity and lucidity before his death, and spends time philosophizing about deception and self-deception.  Will the modern Don Quixote, with his Iraqi Light Unto the Islamic Nations project, regain his sanity?  The answer is irrelevant at this point.  It's too late, we'll be paying for his follies for the rest of our lives.

As for Cervantes, he continued his writing, finishing The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda just four days before his death at the young age of 68.

Previous Days in the "Religion of Peace™":

Sept 27: Emir of Kuwait begs UN for help
Sept 25: Assassination of Aqila al-Hashimi in Iraq
Sept 24: Abbasid Caliph al-Hadi
Sept 23: Gulf Air Flight 771
Sept 22: Iran-Iraq War

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Posted on 09/30/2008 2:59 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Exploding custard truck sends driver running
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I missed this from The Telegraph last week. As no one was hurt my silly imagination was able to take flight.
A lorry driver has been forced to flee after the 60,000 tins of custard and rice pudding he was transporting began to explode.
The cans of dessert exploded "like fireworks" after the a blaze broke out on his HGV.
The driver was unaware that his lorry, carrying 26 tonnes of Ambrosia custard and rice pudding to a local supermarket, was on fire and motorists were forced to flag him down.
I frequently burn cooking as well so I know the feeling. I get engrossed in reading and then . . .
Fire crews raced to the blaze but the desserts were too well alight and the whole lorry was consumed in just 20 minutes.
A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the road was closed for six hours while debris was cleared.
He said: "On arrival the crews found the lorry carrying rice pudding to be well alight on the highway. The incident was believed to be accidental."
It is quite hard, even for me to burn custard. I have had some custard disasters in my time; when serving I would ask one lump or two? Once it was so solid it was suggested that I put it out in the garden for the hedgehog. This was before it was widely appreciated that milk is not good for hedgehogs and that if you are going to feed them cat food is the better option.
The hedgehog didn’t fancy it either but walked across the bowl in disgust. Next morning, like some suburban Grauman’s Theatre, the row of tiny claw prints was set as stone.

Exploding custard truck sends driver running  

    Picture - makes one realise how insignificant a burnt saucepan and a brillo pad are.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 3:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Pirates shoot each other on hijacked ship
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From The Australian
RIVAL Somali pirates arguing over what to do with a hijacked Ukrainian ship and its cargo of 33 tanks engaged in a shootout on board, killing three of their number, a maritime group said today.

Pirates seized the MV Faina off the Somali coast last week and have demanded $US20m ($24.9m) in ransom.
US navy ships are within sight of the boat, whose capture has sparked controversy over the destination of its military cargo and thrown an international spotlight on rampant piracy in one of the world's busiest shipping areas.
Andrew Mwangura, of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, said rival factions among the roughly 50 pirates guarding the Faina had argued over whether to give in to international pressure to free the cargo and 20-man crew.
"There was a misunderstanding yesterday between the moderates and the radicals on board who do not want to listen to anyone," said Mr Mwangura, whose Kenya-based group is monitoring the saga via relatives of the crew and the pirates. The moderates want to back-peddle. The Americans are close, so everyone is tense. There was a shootout and three of the pirates were shot dead."
With US and French military bases in the area, and the UN Security Council having promised to take steps against the pirates, many are unhappy with the lack of international action.
"If civil aircraft were being hijacked on a daily basis, the response of governments would be very different," top shipping trade bodies and transport unions said in a joint statement today. “Yet ships, which are the lifeblood of the global economy, are seemingly out of sight and out of mind".
Not much yo ho ho and a sauce bottle of gin here.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 2:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 29 September 2008
33 Pastors Flout Tax Law With Political Sermons
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In our upcoming October edition, I discuss "Vanishing Christianity" and contend that when churches become enmeshed in politics, they are reduced to being simply an arm of this or that political movement or party.  From the Washington Post:

CROWN POINT, Ind., Sept. 28 -- Defying a federal law that prohibits U.S. clergy from endorsing political candidates from the pulpit, an evangelical Christian minister told his congregation Sunday that voting for Sen. Barack Obama would be evidence of "severe moral schizophrenia."

The Rev. Ron Johnson Jr. told worshipers that the Democratic presidential nominee's positions on abortion and gay partnerships exist "in direct opposition to God's truth as He has revealed it in the Scriptures." Johnson showed slides contrasting the candidates' views but stopped short of endorsing Obama's Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain.

Johnson and 32 other pastors across the country set out Sunday to break the rules, hoping to generate a legal battle that will prompt federal courts to throw out a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship.

The ministers contend they have a constitutional right to advise their worshipers how to vote. As Johnson put it during a break between sermons, "The point that the IRS says you can't do it, I'm saying you're wrong."

The campaign, organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a socially conservative legal consortium based in Arizona, has gotten the attention of the Internal Revenue Service. The agency, alerted by opponents, pledged to "monitor the situation and take action as appropriate."

Each campaign season brings allegations that a member of the clergy has crossed a line set out in a 1954 amendment to the tax code that says nonprofit, tax-exempt entities may not "participate in, or intervene in . . . any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office."...

Pastors need to leave their politics at the church door and get back to the higher purpose of religion.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 8:07 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Solid as a Rock
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Financial institutions on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia are reporting a dramatic and sudden increase in foreign investments.   Finance Minister Louis Pitmag said today in the city of Gagil outside the capitol of Colonia, "We've seen a one-thousand-fold increase in foreign currency exchange since the recent downturn in the global economy.  Investors are looking for a safe hedge in an uncertain market, and apparently see our currency as their safest investment."   Masons at the local mint have been working around the clock to try to keep up with demand.  Gagil said, "We want investors to know that the Rai is a solid, durable investment.  It is also almost immune from the threat of theft or embezzelment."

Finance Minister Louis Pitmag displaying Yapese currency in Gagil

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Posted on 09/29/2008 5:59 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Monday, 29 September 2008
A Musical Interlude: Just Another Dream Of You (Russ Columbo)
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Posted on 09/29/2008 5:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Swing Low, Sweet Dow Jones Index
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by Policywatcher:

Swing low, sweet Dow Jones Index
Coming for to carry off my home
Swing low, sweet Dow Jones Index
Coming for to carry off my home

I looked over Wall Street and what did I see
Hoping for to own my own home
A panic engulfing the banking industry
Hoping for to own my own home
 
Chorus
 
Sometimes its up and sometimes its down
Hoping for to own my own home
But still the economy is claimed to be sound
Hoping for to own my own home
 
Chorus
 
The brightest sign that I can claim
Hoping for to own my own home
Warren Buffet investing in the Goldman Sachs name
Hoping for to own my own home
 
Chorus
 
If a rescue plan is not passed soon
Risking for to carry off my home
The Dow Jones Index will suffer from the gloom
Risking jobs and lots of peoples’ homes
 
Chorus
 
If ever I pay off before you do
Hoping for to own my own home
I’ll pray that the bank lasts long enough for you
Hoping they don’t carry off your home
 
Chorus
 
If ever you pay off before I do
Hoping for to own my home
Tell all the bankers I’m saving too
Hoping for to own my own home.
 
Chorus
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Posted on 09/29/2008 3:49 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 29 September 2008
James Bruce Receives Good Advice While Among The Sudanese
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In a passage from James Bruce, Travels to Discover The Source of the Nile, the intrepid explorer who in Scotland would later become known as "The Abyssinian" recounts some advice he received from Adelan, a local sheik he encountered at Aira, a village 3 1/2 miles from Sennaar: 

"Shekh," said I, "when I pass these Arabs in the square, I hope it will not disoblige you if I converse with some of them out of curiosity?" Adelan. "By no means, as much as you please; but don't let them know where they can find you at Sennaar, or they will be in your house from morning till night, will eat up all your victuals, and then, in return, will cut your throat, if they can meet you upon your journey." 

I returned home to Sennaar, very well pleased with my reception at Aira. I had not seen, since I left Gondar [in Ethiopia], a man so open and frank in his manners, and who spoke, without disguise, what apparently he had in his heart...." 

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Posted on 09/29/2008 2:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Mother's ruin
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On the subject of moving alcohol around Tescos I was in there the other afternoon. I was feeling a bit glum but I managed to resist the dubious temptation of a large bottle of own brand value gin for £6.54. ($12.07)
I am not a huge fan of gin but there have been times in my life when it has featured.
For some reason, which sociologists may have followed up, the two Essex new Towns with which I am most familiar were closely associated with the distilling of gin. The Gilbeys gin factory in Harlow and the Gordons gin factory which used to be in Laindon, just outside Basildon. Gordons was much favoured by the Queen Mother; I used to navigate my way to my Aunt’s house (Laindon being rather boring and featureless) by keeping the gin factory to my left. It closed in July 2000 and the gin is now distilled in Scotland.
The Gilbey family were originally wine merchants in Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire who expanded into other fields, including Elsingham Jam and Gilbeys gin with a factory in Harlow. When I was a student in the 70s I had friends in Harlow and got invited to a lot of student and nurses parties.
Everybody knew someone who worked at the gin factory and could usually find someone who could provide drink for the party very, very cheaply. The stuff was smuggled out in numerous ways, in lunch boxes and tea flasks, or a tube, plugged at both ends and wrapped round the waist. It then found its way to the party in whatever bottle the provider had handy. I recall several HP sauce bottles. A milk bottle sealed by a red laboratory bung was not uncommon. I also recall refusing to drink out of said milk bottle and being given a tea cup. Very speakeasy.
But at £6.54 for 700 ml, which is nearly 4 sauce bottles worth, gin is no longer worth the effort of nicking.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 1:39 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Western Tourists Rescued, Unsurprisingly, By Western Forces
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Foolish Western tourists, who insisted on travelling to unguarded parts of Muslim lands, simply because they felt like seeing this or that, have after nearly a week been rescued from their local kidanppers,  by German and Italian Special Forces, at great expense.  Egyptian soldiers were much in evidence to welcome the tourists when they landed in Cairo; the official story will remain, no doubt, that it was "the Egyptians and the Sudanese" who were responsible for rescuing the Western hostages. But don't be fooled. It was a Western operation in the important respects.

Western governments know that Muslim regimes, given their dangerous disarray and lack of systematic planing, cannot be counted on to rescue Westerners. They can't even be counted on to re-capture the holiest site in Islam: when rebels  seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca in November 1979, the Saudis proved hapless and helpless, so French troops --  no doubt having first been made to hastily recite the Shehadah before entering the city -- came in and routed the rebels. 

The last time the Egyptians tried a similar large-scale rescue, by having Egyptian "Special Forces" storm a plane, sixty passengers were killed.

The immediate rescuers may have been "Egyptian and Sudanese" as is now being claimed, but the intelligence, the planning, and possibly even a major part of the execution of the plan, must have been by the Italians and Germans.

Western governments know how Egyptian forces dealt with that plane,  or with the attack in Luxor, and must long ago have decided that they will not entrust such rescues to the locals alone. And the other day, somewhere in Egypt or Sudan or Chad, they didn't.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 11:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Wanted
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Bath for baby with aluminium bottom.

Lady with large chest for sale.

Air hostess seeks new position on ground.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 9:40 AM by Mary Jackson
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Monday, 29 September 2008
A Musical Interlude: Thank Your Father (Al Goodman's "Flying High" Orch.)
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Posted on 09/29/2008 9:06 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 29 September 2008
The British Government Wants Bottom
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"[Mr. Ahmad’s]  claim for racial discrimination, victimisation and harassment..."  [from this article]
 
Here is a chance for an English court to state firmly that beliefs do not constitute a race, and that the invocation of "racial discrimination" will not do, not here, and not in any cases brought by Muslims who make similar claims. There is no "racial discrimination" here. He took a job with Tesco in a warehouse. That job meant he had to use a forklift to lift boxes. Among those boxes were some containing alcohol. No one made him hold a bottle in his hand. No one made him swig it down. No one took any notice of his “race”but did take notice of his failure to forklift. State, once and for all, that “racial discrimination” is a red herring, a particularly nauseating and indigestible one. Let notice – and judicial notice – be taken.
 
 
How, by the way, did Mr. Ahmed get to the U.K.? Who gave him his visa, in what Saudi consulate? On what grounds? Did he suffer some kind of "discrimination" or "persecution" in Saudi Arabia, that could only be dealt with by allowing him into an Infidel land, instead of into four dozen Muslim countries? Did he possess a special skill, one desperately needed in the U.K.? Why is he there? What will he, and his potential family, cost the British taxpayer, in benefits, in legal fees, in monitoring for conceivable mischief of all kinds? Perhaps the Exchequer is bottomless. That can surely be the only explanation for having allowed such a complete drain on the economy into Great Britain. And it would make sense.   After all, so many in the present British government, and in previous governments, have wanted bottom. 
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Posted on 09/29/2008 9:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Qaradawi Warns Of Shi'a Invasion
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The Western world should not discourage the deepening divide between Sunni and Shi'a within the Camp of Islam despite the hopes of the Bush Administration that the Shia and Sunni will put aside their differences and settle down to create a unified and prosperous Iraq. Clever propagandists, such as existed during WWII and the Cold War, might even stoke the flames. In this case, it appears Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheik Qaradawi is doing the work for us. Hugh had posted on Qaradawi's comments earlier. This is from the  LATimes:

CAIRO -- A popular Sunni Muslim cleric with a television show and a website that churns out religious edicts and dieting tips agitated centuries-old animosities in the Islamic world recently by referring to Shiite Muslims as heretics seeking to invade Sunni societies.

The bitter, often bloody, divide between the two main branches of Islam has been an undercurrent since the 7th century, but Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi's vitriol comes at a fragile time, when Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt are wary that the predominantly Shiite nations of Iraq and Iran could destabilize the region.

With populist fervor, Qaradawi's comments intertwined religious mistrust with political suspicion. Iran's nuclear program and influence with the Shiite-led government in Iraq and the radical group Hezbollah in Lebanon have agitated Sunni governments. Fighting between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq, which left tens of thousands dead since the U.S. invasion of 2003, has calmed, but the Sunni Arab minority worries about its future.

"Shiites are Muslims but they are heretics and their danger comes from their attempts to invade Sunni society," said Qaradawi, who was quoted in the Egyptian independent daily Al Masry al Youm. "They are able to do that because their billions of dollars trained cadres of Shiites proselytizing in Sunni countries. . . . We should protect Sunni society from the Shiite invasion."

Those opinions were first published Sept. 6. Since then, Qaradawi, a man with a polished voice and a gray beard who hosts a show on Islamic law on TV channel Al Jazeera, has been chastised by Shiite scholars and writers in what has turned into a war of polemics and personal attacks played out on websites and in newspapers from Doha to Cairo.

 
Qaradawi's statements are dangerous and may "push the Muslim people in the direction of more division," Ayatollah Mohammed Taskhiri, vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, was quoted as saying in the Iranian press. The Tabnak News Agency, which is close to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Council, condemned the comments as a "calculated conspiracy against Iranian Shiites."

Another leading Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah of Lebanon, said Qaradawi was instigating fitna, or civil strife.

The protests have not fazed Qaradawi; he has appeared more defiant.

"I do not care and I am not shaken by this stir. I made this statement to answer to the dictates of my conscience and religion and responsibility," he said in a second interview with Al Masry al Youm published Thursday. "I am trying to preempt the threat before it gets worse. If we let Shiites penetrate Sunni societies, the outcome won't be praiseworthy. The presence of Shiites in Iraq and Lebanon is the best evidence of instability."

Qaradawi is a prominent moderate cleric, but he has grown skeptical of Shiite intentions. Two years, ago he suggested that Shiites were using the mystical Sufi order of Islam as a cover to penetrate Sunni society. His most recent volleys undercut efforts by Islamic leaders to ease religious tensions, and raise questions about his motivations. Much of the funding for Qaradawi's Qatar-based media enterprises comes from Sunni nations uneasy over Iran's widening influence in the Persian Gulf...
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Posted on 09/29/2008 8:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Reason #14 To Vote For McCain
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Why deprive yourself of the pleasure of Tina Fey doing imitations of Sarah Palin for four more years? 

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Posted on 09/29/2008 8:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Further happenings at your friendly neighbourhood Employment Tribunal
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Mary writes about the Employment Tribunal. My experience of Employment Tribunals is that they are Byzantine in their operation. Employers complain that they are weighted in favour of the employee, employees that they are weighted in favour of the company. 
Some reform would not go amiss and it might deter actions like this one reported in the Express.
A MUSLIM forklift truck driver who is suing Tesco because he was expected to handle alcohol was accused yesterday of “trying it on”.
Mohammed Ahmed, 32, said he was unaware that the retail giant sold booze.
He added that coming into contact with drink was against his beliefs and he was forced to quit because bosses failed to resolve the dispute.
But furious Tory MP David Davies said: “This is absolutely disgraceful. It seems to be a simple case of someone trying it on. Immediately this man discovered he was expected to do something which was against his beliefs he should have handed in his notice.”
The Monmouth MP added: “He should be told to go and take a running jump because I refuse to accept that he was unaware that he would be expected to handle crates of alcohol.”
An industrial tribunal heard how Mr Ahmed began at Tesco’s distribution depot in Lichfield, Staffordshire, in September last year but left after eight months.
He said that when he realised the job involved alcohol he asked for another role. But he claimed the company did not help him and that one supervisor told him “Do your job or go home” and another said angrily: “Do not take the p***.”
The tribunal in Birmingham also heard last week that he suggested at one stage that he could handle Budweiser beer. I have heard some beers criticised as “near beer” or “like making love in a punt” (ie f***ing near water) but I think it is a bit unkind to single out Budweiser as “acceptable to Islam”.
Mr Ahmed is due to find out this week if his claim for racial discrimination, victimisation and harassment has been successful.
Mr Ahmed was raised in Saudi Arabia where enforcement of Sharia law regarding alcohol is among the harshest in the world.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 8:17 AM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Shake-up to stop 'bonkers' tribunals
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In case any readers need a reason to vote Conservative - I don't - the Tories intend to tackle employment tribunals, thereby clamping down on hijabbed lawfare. From the London Evening Standard:

Britain's employment tribunal system will be radically overhauled by the next Tory government in a bid to stop "bonkers" rulings against firms, shadow business secretary Alan Duncan signalled today.

Mr Duncan said it was time the 40-year-old system was shaken up to give bosses more flexibility to hire and fire in line with their company's needs.

His call for urgent reform was sparked by the verdict of a tribunal this summer which force a London hair salon to pay £4,000 compensation to a Muslim woman who was refused a job because she wore a headscarf. The woman had been rejected for 25 hairdressing jobs.

In another case this month, a Scottish woman is taking action against Lothian and Borders Police because it refused her a Pc post on the grounds that she had poor eyesight. The woman is claiming discrimination on grounds of disability.

Businesses now feel that the tribunals are so heavily stacked against them that it makes it easy for employees with a grudge to use the system to extract outof-court settlements.

The Confederation of British Industry has found that all firms with fewer than 50 staff now settle every claim despite legal advice that they would win almost half of the cases.

Among the plans being considered by the Tories are moves to impose a fee on any litigant who loses their case. At present there is no deterrent from a claimant lodging a complaint.

Other changes will be aimed at restoring employer confidence in the system by changing statutory dispute resolution procedures. The CBI wants to require all claimants to make clear in writing they are lodging a grievance before the situation can escalate to a tribunal.

Mr Duncan said he believed some small firms felt "intimidated" by the current system, adding: "Some of the recent employment tribunals have been bonkers."

I wrote about the hairdressing case here,  pointing out the aggressive nature of victimhood, and the demand by the Muslim that the Infidel make sacrifices:

Forgoing the opportunity to work in an “urban and edgy” salon would seem a small price to pay for God’s approval. Wouldn’t God prefer Noah to work in a more traditional salon? And shouldn’t Noah accept this sacrifice as part of the deal? It seems not. Noah is a Muslim, and Allah is not God. Islam demands sacrifice, but the sacrifice must be made by the unbeliever, not the Muslim. Desrosiers sacrificed, but not enough. And for Noah? Nothing ventured, everything gained.

Aggressive victimhood is not confined to Muslims - a Christian recently jumped on the gravy train - but it is a tried and tested means of Jihad.

It is good to see the Tories speaking openly about Muslim abuses of our laws, and taking steps - however tentative - to put a stop to them. Perhaps it is more than talk. When I expressed scepticism about their proposals to put a stop to Sharia tribunals, Esmerelda pointed out that they may have something constructive and specific in mind:

As they are talking elsewhere in the article about amendments to the Convention on Human Rights, or more practically under UK legislation our own Human Rights Act, to facilitate the deportation of undesirables my feeling is that they do intend legislation if that proves necessary. Either an amendment to the Arbitration Act 1996 or new legislation.
Dominic Grieves thought that the status of the sharia tribunals was unlawful and could be challenged in a higher court so he may have something of that sort in mind. Legislation is more certain, and once in power a Conservative government could submit a bill. A challenge in the courts would be a second option if they either lost the next election, didn’t carry out this promise once in power, or it is felt that it is too long to wait for the next election.
 

Incidentally, the inclusion of the quotation mark before 'bonkers' is very important. The long arm of the law has not yet reached into the bedroom.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 7:39 AM by Mary Jackson
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Deadly suicide attack in Algeria
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From The BBC. Ramadan Day 28.
A suicide attack east of the Algerian capital, Algiers, has killed three people and injured another six, the state news agency has reported.
The attack took place at Dellys, about 100km (60 miles) east of Algiers on Sunday, APS news agency said.
Reports said a suicide car bomber hit a checkpoint there at the end of iftar, the meal that breaks the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Algeria has suffered regular suicide attacks by rebels linked to al-Qaeda.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 5:46 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 29 September 2008
New moon and Rosh Hashanah
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Rosh Hashanah the Jewish New Year begins at sunset tonight, a period of 10 days which concludes with Yom Kippur.
I wish you all a good year.
I have had to look this up but I read that Rosh Hashanah, like Passover and Easter in the spring is a moveable feast which can begin between 5th September 5th October. It will begin 163 days after the first day of Passover. The beginning of the month and the beginning of the year are also linked in with the new moon.
Easter and Passover are also both linked to the cycle of the moon. I know that in Western Christianity Easter Day will be the Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.
And we can know in advance for centuries ahead when Easter and Passover and Rosh Hashanah and Whitsun will be because we can calculate the phases of the moon and the passage of the sun and we know that God will run them both in their courses and can be trusted to continue to do so. And because the phases of the moon and the journey of the sun are not exactly the same man has used his God given intelligence to arrange a calendar for both so that festivals aligned to a season occur during that season.
Psalm 104 says it nicely.
Thou has made the moon to measure the year and taught the sun where to set.
Muslims have no such security around Ramadan.
The new moon is tonight.
But Muslims are writing in their newspapers that “Ramadan may end on Monday, say Muslim leaders”. According to the Philippines Inquirer
Aleem Omar Pasigan, Mindanao’s oldest mufti (guardian of the House of Opinion, the decision making body of the Muslims), said a reconvened moon-sighting committee will determine whether the holy fasting month is to be 29- or 30-day, through naked eye lunar observation and credible organizational networking with similarly tasked groups and institutions here and abroad.
An English local paper the Burton Mail warns readers this morning that taxis may not be available one day this week.
Depending on when the new moon is sighted, which may be tomorrow or Wednesday morning, taxis will not be available in the morning as many of the drivers will be celebrating Eid. . . People are being advised to check with taxi services the night before if they require the service on any of the days.
Such uncertainty about God's reliability is sad.

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Posted on 09/29/2008 5:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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